Sol’s GSX-R1100 Katana
Simon Oliver, or Sol for short, is an ex club racer, lifelong rider and owner of this thoughtfully uprated Katana special. Over the years he’s braced the frame, added GSX-R wheels and forks, uprated the shocks to Öhlins, and bolted in a GSX-R1100M motor with a Harris pipe and some very tasty flatslide Mikunis. Current output is 140bhp, but it’ll be tweaked soon to make it a bit livelier.
He’d got it running using a loom and switchgear from a GSX1100E, adapted for a Dyna adjustable ignition and coils, lithium battery and an M Lock instead of an ignition switch. But the bike was overcharging (more than 15 volts), and things electric were starting to look a little ropy.
There was quite a bit of prep to make sure the switchgear and clocks were OK. 1980s Japanese switchgear is brilliantly designed, and easy to rebuild. It’s amazing how slick it felt once it was stripped, cleaned and lubricated with silicone grease.
We also took the chance to move the ignition box to cover up holes from a previous install, and mount it on rubber anti-vibration bobbins. Next we sorted out the battery with a foam pad, hooks and retaining strap (you can get straps in various lengths from Petrolscooter). Once that was done the loom came together quite nicely. There’s lots of room on 1980s bikes, and anyway Sol had built that spacious electrics tray. With all new connections, and excellent earths, the charging problem went away: 14.1-14.2 volts is about right. The engine started very willingly too. New high capacity battery cables always help.
The plan now is to enjoy it for the summer, then strip it for final cosmetic sort-out in the autumn. You can follow Sol’s adventures with the bike on https://solcambs.wordpress.com