Straight off the back of Icon’s ‘New Jack’ custom Suzuki Katana I was contacted by the Italian workshop ‘Gitano Rebelde’ (Gypsy Rebel). Workshop owner Davide Crosato had just completed his own custom Katana which to my surprise was more in line with some of Icon’s previous builds than their New Jack. With its stripped-down, blacked out styling it could have come straight off the set of Mad Max Fury Road and I’d think that if Max had to trade his Interceptor in for a 2-wheeler the “El Tiburon” would be the perfect candidate.
“The bike was purchased 6 months ago in a mountain locality close to Austria.” David informed me. It had been left outdoors, protected only by a plastic sheet for the last decade and was suffering from neglect and decay. “When we picked it up, there was no seat and we had to dig it out of the snow!” After a thorough clean David and his team started to devise a concept for the reconstruction of the Katana with an aim to retain the bike’s iconic lines but to add a strong dose of attitude.
El Tiburon still wears the original front fairing, but the plexiglass screen has been removed. The handlebars are original as is the instrumentation and the original square headlight still dominates the bike’s front end. Satin sheet metal was shaped to create new panelling and is held in place by alloy rivets for an armour plate look that adds to the bike’s post-atomic appeal. Reverse megaphone mufflers have been mounted to the stock 4-into-2 exhaust and the whole lot is finished in matte black. The original airbox has been replaced by cone filters and the carbs tuned using Dyno Jet kits to balance the mix out.
“Similar to Gitano Rebelde’s other builds we have kept the bikes scars. The plastics are not repainted, the dents, the hits, the ruined paint remains. To retain the bikes “lived” look, to give it history. Our bikes could be outlaws, always ready to fight and to challenge. This is what Gitano Rebelde’s bikes are.”