Custom-Built Suzuki XR69 Race Replica Has Bandit Power and Heaps of Carbon Fiber

Known to the broader bike-modding community as dB Customs, Darren Begg is a true master of his craft. We’ve looked at his work on autoevolution several times before, and the one thing we can tell you for sure is that it never disappoints. Pictured below is the first in a series of ten planned replica builds paying tribute to Suzuki’s mighty XR69 race bike – a startling demonstration of what Darren can pull off.
Suzuki XR69 Race Replica 14 photos
Photo: dB Customs
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It was built for a customer from New Zealand back in 2021, with the inline-four powerplant of a 1997 MY Bandit 1200 acting as the project’s basis. The engine has been revamped inside out, then put back together with an early GSX-R750's head, Kibblewhite valve springs, and the higher-spec cams of a Suzuki GSX-R1100. A modern Dyna 2000 ignition system provides a potent spark, but there’s also some fresh breathing equipment we need to look at.

On the intake side of things, you’ll find a quartet of Yoshimura TMR-MJN carburetors breathing through K&N air filters. Exhaust gases are expelled via lightweight titanium pipework from Racefit, running a four-into-one configuration. The powertrain componentry is cradled inside a custom-made tubular chromoly frame developed by the guys at CMR Racing, who’d also supplied a new fuel tank and swingarm.

Sir Begg went to town in the suspension department, as well, installing a full suite of high-grade Ohlins goodies at both ends. The inverted forks you’ll see up north were originally destined for the BMW S 1000 RR, and the rear shock absorber is a fully-adjustable part. Moreover, Darren sourced a pair of carbon fiber wheels from Dymag’s inventory, both measuring 17 inches in diameter.

Their rims are embraced by grippy Michelin Pilot Power 2CT rubber, and there are Brembo brake calipers providing ample stopping power front and rear. The ones up north are mated to dual 320 mm (12.6-inch) floating discs, the rear module pinches a standard drilled rotor, and all of them are operated through braided Spiegler brake lines. Now, the XR69 influence is made perfectly clear by the bodywork.

Darren shaped the full fairing and boxy tail section in-house using carbon fiber, then he topped the latter with a thin seat pad offering minimal (but in this case sufficient) comfort. On the other hand, a Honda RVF400’s twin headlights are recessed into the front fairing, while the cockpit area carries Koso instrumentation, clip-on handlebars, and Brembo RCS master cylinders.

The throttle comes from Yoshimura, and the motorcycle’s ergonomic package is finished off with billet aluminum rearsets from Harris Performance. Last but not least, the livery is a tasteful mixture of red, white, and blue nodding to Team Classic Suzuki. It was executed by Sketchs Ink, a frequent dB Customs collaborator with no regard for apostrophes. Darren will be offering other color schemes on future iterations, too.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
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A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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