Japanese for Germans: A Suzuki Intruder 1400 EuroCustom Motorcycle

A Suzuki 1400 Intruder gets an international makeover. From the June 2004 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine. By Andy Cherney.

Catching the attention of jaded event goers at Daytona Bike Week is no easy task. Between unbaffled mufflers, greasy hot-dog stands and a sea of skimpy outfits, sensory overload can be numbing. A newbie builder showing customs for the first time is easily lost amid the ruckus—unless his machine showcases more than the usual chrome contrivances.

Fortunately, Bryan Samuels' dishy design for Daytona was anything but stock, and it moved the crowds in for a closer look.

Persistence of Vision

Samuels' trek to Daytona began with an obsession about a 230 Avon rear tire. The only problem was that a donut that size would never fit an anorexic Intruder without major surgery. But you know what they say about necessity and invention, and a year later Samuels discovered one Toni Parak in Ingolstadt, Germany. The builder's streetfighter designs seemed a perfect match.

When Samuels called the shop to talk turkey, however, he learned that English isn't the universal language of motorcycling; Parak's company, MMS Cycles, is a German operation, and worse, Parak was skeptical of Samuels' commitment.

Not to be outdone, Samuels purchased a second Intruder (1999), stripped it down and sent it to Germany along with a $10,000 downpayment. Parak couldn't say no.

Subject To Interpretation

Samuels harbored a few ideas of his own from years as a Porsche/Audi dealership manager, and Parak integrated these onto the bike. Succinct side covers, brief fiberglass fenders and a slight teardrop tank (by MMS) lent the Intruder a tighter profile. Samuels even chose the paint—Negaro blue from Audi's S4.

Parak then balanced an MMS fiberglass fuel tank atop the cruiser, also painting it Negaro blue. Under the azure shading, Parak and Samuels fitted K&N; filters and a SuperTrapp 2-into-1 exhaust to the 1360cc powerplant, thus upping the rear-wheel output to an impressive 80 ponies.

Upon inspecting the modifications, however, Parak reconsidered his restraint and went back to the accessory list. Jos forward controls came first, then Schupfer billet oil coolers took up residence on the downtubes. A funky 4.5-inch MMS headlight became the focal point up front.

Parak then set the whole fork assembly into MMS triple trees. Lucas handlebars received Kellerman turn signals for a spick-and-span profile, but most impressive was an MMS billet speedo with a digital display—readouts appeared on a custom housing above the air cleaner to terrific effect. Out back, a Schupfer swingarm with BiTurbo shocks fit Samuels' "minimal" mandate, and a Paul Yaffe taillight and license holder added flourish.

Wheels often become a bike's focal point, so Parak imparted a set of funky Fischer Custom discs onto the Intruder. The 17-inchers up front received a split three-spoke hub and 130/70-17 Metzeler rubber, but the rear...well, remember that 230-series tire that got Samuels into this mess? Kid stuff. Instead, the Intruder got a brazen 250/40-18 Avon hoop out back, thankyouverymuch.

Samuels' Intruder finally got its fat tire—and plenty of kudos at Daytona. So was the man thrilled to have conquered his obsession? Hardly. Samuels says he's currently tearing down the bike, adding, "Nothing in my garage is ever finished." Which just means we'll have to hang around his Daytona booth next year—all the other stuff will only be a distraction.

For more articles on custom bikes and articles about how to customize and modify your motorcycle, see the Custom section of MotorcycleCruiser.com.

Photos by Tom Riles