2005 Suzuki S83 (Intruder 1400)
What’s your attraction to the Intruder?
I always liked the Suzuki Intruder. In fact, my very first bike was an Intruder 800; I bought it in the mid-90s, then sold it when I upgraded to a Honda Shadow ACE 1100. After I tricked out the Shadow though, I decided to get another Intruder and go all out.
What was the plan for this bike?
The S83 lends itself to either a chopper or bobber style, with equal ease. I chose the way of the bobber.
Did you have any trouble along the way?
Did I! My first mod was to install forward controls. Naturally I also wanted the tight fitting rear fender and a Sparto tailight. The rear fender didn’t turn out as planned—it kept hitting the rear tire—so I ended up designing some fender struts for the rear—meaning it’s not exactly a long-distance mount!
I’m guessing you altered the design, then?
I ended up moving across the country soon thereafter, and on the cross country trip, snapped a shifter rod in half. Luckily, I was only a few miles from PipeWorx, a motorcycle customizer in Austin, TX (www.pipeworx.com). There, Matt Quinn re-welded the rod (including a nice triangular gusset), and even refused my payment. He finally accepted $80, but what’s more, earned my trust and admiration.
So much so that I ended up riding the 1000 miles BACK to Austin from my new home in Phoenix, AZ, just to have him finish the fabrication.
Matt ended up finishing the Intruder over the course of the next 8 months. I made numerous flights between Phoenix and Austin, checking out no fewer than 6 painters along the way. I finally settled on Brian Horstmann at Sinthium Inc. in Phoenix for the paint job (www.sinthium.com).
That rear light looks small—what’s the deal?
The Sparto taillight looks cool, but it’s not DOT-approved, so I found a local electrical engineer, Ed Bragg who was building replacement circuit boards for Harley rear turn signals using ultra-bright LEDs (www.braggengineering.com). He agreed to make one for the Sparto, so you’re looking at his first prototype! And I have to tell you, it’s dazzlingly bright! All the rear lights are now LEDs, and I knew that when you replace bulbs with LEDs, you have to install load equalizers into the circuits that have flashers. Matt at PipeWorx helped me dial that in too. So now I have much more peace of mind.
What was the final step in the project?
The bike was still running poorly at the end, and Matt at PipeWorx found some info about “uncorking an Intruder” on Canadian website Intruder Alert (www.IntruderAlert.ca). It basically advised to remove the airboxes and install K&N pod filters, which helped. But the real trick was getting it dyno-tuned. Eastside Performance Motorcycles here in Phoenix (www.eastsideperformancemotorcycles.com) dialed it in for me and now it runs great!
I now have a unique, totally original machine, and I’m proud to ride it anywhere I go.