Once upon a time, there was a 1980 Suzuki GS 1100. After countless hours of modification work, time, attention, trial, and error, it went on to become the world’s fastest nitrous Pro Street motorcycle drag racing machine. Lovingly and painstakingly put together by Brad Mummert and Mike Schultz, this machine regularly sets quarter-mile times in the six-second range.
In this video, Mummert breaks down some of the differences between the Pro Street GS and his stock 1980 Suzuki GS 1100 restoration project. As you’d probably expect, to describe the drag bike as being heavily modified is a significant understatement. Per series rules, the cradle is the same. The headlight and taillight are also the same. Just about everything else, though, is completely different.
We’re talking about a bike that puts out around 600 horsepower, versus the stock 100 horsepower found on the original 1980 GS 1100. Adequately handling all that power and also rendering it usable requires a whole lot of strength—in the reinforced chassis, in the cylinder, in the crank—and so on. (As you’ve probably also noticed, the wheelbase is significantly longer because drag bike.)
What’s really cool about this build isn’t just the stats themselves, though. It’s hearing Mummert tell the Cycle Drag YouTube channel about how this bike was built, and more importantly, how it’s been iterated over the years. Like most builders for whom the process and labor-of-love aspect is as much (or sometimes even more) important than the finished product, they didn’t have it all figured out from the start. It’s been a journey, full of broken and discarded parts along the way that didn’t work out like he and Schultz had hoped.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the racer who’ll be sitting in the saddle. Having gone from a shorter rider to a taller one meant the exhaust had to change, for example, because the taller rider was getting burned by the exhaust as it had been configured for the other guy.
Hearing the story from Mummert’s mouth is fascinating. They’re racing other bikes—but they’re also continually improving against what they’ve done in the past. In a way, they’re also racing against themselves—always seeking to shave that next little bit off their time. Perfection may not exist—but faster is always just over the horizon.