Some of us are privileged enough to spend time around the great minds of the motorcycle industry. I’m such a soul that has been able to speak face to face with some very gifted minds, and it never fails to impress me just how down to earth and average these seemingly super human people manage to be. When you look at the results of their nearly tireless efforts to become one with the machine it is hard to imagine that they put their pants on one leg at a time.
At Custom Fighters (Street Fighter Motorcycle Forum) I’ve watched from a far as member Motohorho (Toni) has brought a GSXR from yesterday into a “twin-charged” (supercharged and turbocharged) and radically styled monster of a bike with what seems like a never ending budget and a knowledge base most of us mere mortals could only dream of. Given the job to have a chat with him and get some info was like being told to meet the president and ask him what his foreign policy details were going to encompass. I was a little nervous.
When I received the reply from the email I sent I was overcome with a sense of “this dude is just like any of us”. Although an ocean apart and about 200hp difference in comfort on a bike, we still share similar ideals and a good idea of what we want out of a bike, pure, simple, kick you in the seat of the pants performance with no exception. Really a poster child for the fighter breed.Toni has been into bikes since he was 5 years old, for any of us that have spent that much time around motorcycles it seems blasphemy to speak of ever retiring to a life less the motorcycles. It is just, “what we do”. Being 35 years old, married, and having 2 children would slow most down, but not Toni! He pursues his passion of turbo bikes with a viscous desire. A drive that most of us can easily relate to in one form or another.After 25 years of riding motocross and spinning slicks riding supermoto from 2002-07 you can understand that bike control is a skill rightly earned for Toni. Ever since 1994, he achieved what most of us Americans don’t have to earn the right to have, an A (big bike) license. From that very point on, big power bikes were an addiction that couldn’t be stopped. In ‘97, he began building his first turbo bike, and I think he said it best, “It was a GSX1100S KATANA (The real KATANA not that usa shit)”.By 1999 the addiction had brought him to the double ton (200 miles per hour) and at that particular time he was only the second or third person in Finland that had built a successful turbocharged motorcycle. There was very little, if any information on turbocharging at the time as well. So, in true builder/fabricator style he had to find his own route and fill in the gaps himself. Quiet the task to undertake, but for him, it was a passionate experience that has lead to him building more turbo bikes. Did I mention this is an addiction?The involvement with a friend of his, and the world of drag racing began in the late 90’s as well. Turbo’s became part of his life at that point and since then, he has been involved in about 80 different turbo bikes throughout Finland. As well as all the boost, he spent some time with Nitro burning drag bikes as well, TopFuel to be exact. Rolling the clock to 2010 and you see it in the history books that the team he was involved with was 2nd in European Top Fuel motorcycle racing. Quite the title to hold. As Toni said, he’s tried almost everything that involves insane power, including 1200+hp nitrobikes.
When I was given the task of covering the madness happening in Finland I instantly wanted to know more about Toni’s twin-charged GSXR. The man is doing things that break so many molds and change so many things that we have all grown to know as the normality, that it leaves me unsure just how far this thing will go, and Toni isn’t really sure either.
The GSXR was born from a pure need for a building challenge. Choosing the supercharger route was a step in a different direction as the usual style and the ease of a turbo system install seemed almost simplistic to him at this juncture. He wanted a challenge. Every single part on the bike was made by him, save for 2 small things and paint, it was all a long and loving effort to produce a radical machine he could live with, even if it will be for a few months before changing it again. When you design and manufacture everything yourself, and one of your main goals is learning as much as possible along the way, you pick up a few neat tricks of the fabrication trade. As Toni says, “Bolt on is not my thing, neither is copying from others.”.
With idea’s rattling around, and the prospect of a Supercharger being something totally new. and not seen much at all on motorcycles, the plan was formulated to not only make it a challenge to fit the supercharger, but to also run electronic fuel injection! Wiring in an electric fuel pump was also just “easy”, so more belts were added and the project grew into a mechanical monster. The
When your creating a bike so radical as Toni’s twincharged GSXR, you have to ask yourself, what would a bike like this look like? Unique. Pure and simple, it’s gotta look like nothing you have ever seen the likes of. Being in it’s first version there is much to be changed as nothing in Toni’s possession stays stock, or the same for long. Since this is an ongoing project, some parts have been fabricated, others are still in the design stages and will surely be tweaked or changed a little before they find their way onto the bike. likes of which I’m unsure if that many people have had the privilege of seeing.
With the lack of planning and a “making it up as he goes” attitude it isn’t a surprise that the projected timeline of the build will be 4-5 years, but that encompasses making every single part himself. Frame, swingarm, front end, the whole bike. His biggest target for the project is leaving it as his legacy. A bold, and honorable statement from such a humble man. As eccentric as his builds are, Toni is a soft spoken, but, upbeat, happy guy to have a conversation with.
The final goal of the twincharged project is to be happy with it finished. The builder is the biggest critic and Toni usually wants to strip a project down and start over before it is 70 perfect finished. So this build is the end to all desire and longing for him, the end goal would be a bike he can live with.
For any of us mere mortals a stock GSXR is more than enough to be happy with, but for Toni, it is only the beginning of a long and loving effort to produce a machine that not only stuns the motorcycling masses, but makes his adrenaline surge and his senses overload. If you ask me my opinion on it, I will tell you with confidence that as incredible and super human this man can seem from looking at his bikes, he is doing what we all do. As incredible as his end results are, he picks up a wrench and takes the bike apart one bolt, nut, and part at a time.