Motorcycles can do pretty much anything. We’ve seen this put into practice through all sorts of wild custom builds that push the boundaries of what a two-wheeler should be capable of.

From a CBR1000RR-powered Honda Ruckus to off-road Hayabusas, people just can’t stop putting their toys through hell just because they can. To that end, the folks over at Bike World recently built a crazy Suzuki GSX-R1000 with knobby tires and a few other choice off-road modifications to challenge an older V8-powered Toyota Land Cruiser, and it was to be piloted by none other than CarWow’s Mat Watson.

We’ve seen collabs between CarWow and BikeWorld many times in the past, but none quite like this. The two vehicles slugged it out in various off-road conditions, with the goal of demonstrating driver skill and vehicle capability. The Land Cruiser was built for this type of terrain, while the GSX-R1000 was never designed to even get a taste of gravel, let alone tackle a gnarly off-road course.

Could a few mods possibly give it what it takes to beat the Land Cruiser?

The Suzuki Gixxer dominates the uphill challenge

The Suzuki Gixxer dominates the uphill challenge

Things seemed to start strong for the Gixxer as the bike decimated the Land Cruiser during the first challenge, a drag race up a muddy hill. Surprisingly, the Gixxer cleared the hill, gaining enough momentum for Chris Northover to add a steezy jump at the lip of the hill. Meanwhile, the Land Cruiser was stuck midway, spinning all four wheels. After a second run, both vehicles cleared the hill, with the Gixxer still taking the clear win.

Up next, a slow race down the same hill they climbed earlier. Naturally, the Land Cruiser, with its four wheels and large contact patch, took the win as Mat Watson feathered the brakes down the slope. But the Gixxer’s knobby tires couldn’t provide it with the traction it needed to maintain a slow and controlled descent.

With the scores now even, it was time for a technical challenge: a section of trail that showcases traction and maneuverability. The course involves a run up into a wooded area with loose muddy terrain, followed by a sharp, off-camber right-hander. Lastly, the sprint to the finish was adorned with ruts, potholes, and bumps.

The Gixxer gets some air after completing the technical course.

The Gixxer gets some air after completing the technical course.

With the LC set to go first, it seemed that it was just gliding through all the obstacles, all while maintaining traction throughout the entire course. However, when it was the Gixxer’s turn, we were treated to a spectacle of enduro riding from Chris, showcasing his insane riding skills. Ultimately, the Gixxer took the win, clocking in 16.6 seconds versus the LC’s 22.1 seconds.

An off-camber section with a u-turn around a cone at the end was up next, as we see sections of trail like this all over the place, and while it was easy pickings for the Land Cruiser, with its four-wheel drive and tall ground clearance, it was a harrowing experience for the Gixxer thanks to its aggressive ergonomics and limited steering angle. Nevertheless, the Gixxer won this round, beating Mat and the LC by four seconds.

The following challenge was a combination of uphill performance—power and traction, and downhill controllability. The vehicles’ uphill run would be timed, with the timer paused once the vehicle reaches the top. The vehicle would then be turned around and positioned for the downhill run. Whoever clocked in the quickest combined time wins. This challenge was much closer than the others, but the Gixxer still managed to eke out a victory with a time of 14.4 seconds, as against the Land Cruiser’s 16.1 seconds.

The LC glides through the rock garden while the Gixxer gets stuck

The LC glides through the rock garden while the Gixxer gets stuck

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With muddy, off-camber, and loose terrain all in the bag, the next challenge involved a staple in the world of off-roading: rock crawling. This is where the Land Cruiser flexed its muscles, making quick work of the rugged terrain. The Gixxer? Not so much, as it got stuck in between two rocks on both of its runs—a clear win for the cager.

It seemed that the Gixxer’s luck had hit a wall, as the next challenge involved a steep climb up a rocky hill—something that the Land Cruiser’s four-wheel drive system was designed to handle. It completed the challenge in an impressive 3.6 seconds, while the GSX-R, despite a valiant effort, only managed 7.1 seconds.

And just like that, it was time for the last challenge: the dreaded river crossing. Here, the Land Cruiser quite literally made waves, clearing a path for itself through the deep water. It took on the entire challenge effortlessly, clocking in a time of 23.63 seconds. As for the Gixxer, to say that this run was sketchy would be a massive understatement. It did, however, manage to clock in a time of 27.39 seconds—pretty impressive, all things considered.

The Gixxer remained unfazed by deep water

The Gixxer remained unfazed by deep water

At the end of the day, the scores were even. But were they really? The Toyota Land Cruiser has always been a vehicle designed for excellent off-road performance even in stock form. Its plush interior, air conditioning, and stereo system cushion the driver and passengers, shielding them from the harsh realities outside. Meanwhile, here we have Chris Northover and a Suzuki GSX-R1000, a bike that has no business shredding off-road. And yet, here we are, and the GSX-R put down quite a stellar performance.

And that’s one of the many reasons why motorcycles are cool as hell.

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