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Keenan McCrackin’s 189.4 HP GSX-R1000

Published June 5, 2016

As soon as Keenan McCrackin introduced us to his GSX-R and described it as: “essentially a street legal AMA super bike” we knew we had to find out more. Since the majority of riders within our Gear Heads community are GSX-R riders, we thought Keenan would be just the man to ask about the art of turning a stock model Suzuki into a ferocious track racer. What we have here is a seven year long love story, and if you’re looking to get the most bang out of your GSX-R, then grab and pen and paper and take notes…

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In essence, this awesome K5 GSX-R1000 is a fully built and race prepared motorcycle, complete with Ohlins suspension, a full titanium exhaust system from Akrapovic, and a full race tune that sees this 2005 GSX-R1000 throw out 189.4 hp on the dyno! But it took a lot of work to get into that state, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears from Keenan himself. Born in Alaska, Keenan cut his teeth riding snow mobiles, quads and dirt bikes, whilst churning up snow tracks and dodging grizzly bears, but it wasn’t until he moved to Seattle that his interest in street bikes really evolved. After encountering a GSX-R750 with an 1100 engine at a party, and having a long and life changing chat with the owner, Keenan got his license, bought an old GSX-R750 and the rest is history. From the 750, he moved on to an R1, then to an S1000RR, before finally settling on the mean machine you see in front of you.

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To get the GSX-R to the level it’s at now, Keenan spared no expense and enlisted the help of one of the most renowned names in race preparation: Dave Lanigan of SpeedDealer Motors. Before Dave got his hands on it, Keenan checked out what had already been done by the previous owner. “I bought the bike from the first owner back in ‘07 with only 4k miles on it. It had a couple mods like an arrow exhaust, power commander, and frame sliders but other than that it was pretty much mint and fully stock. The first thing I had Dave do was install a euro-spec Akrapovic titanium/carbon fiber race exhaust and with a quick tune on the dyno, that proved to be a pretty good investment as she threw down 168 hp with just the exhaust and tune. I entered the bike in the East Side Motorsports Dyno Shootout and walked away with 1st place.”

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Fast forward to 2009, Keenan called David in again to rebuild the engine from the ground up: he decked the head, added a thin head gasket, replaced the valves, performed a full port and polish, a valve grind, and added a manual cam chain tensioner. While David was at work, Keenan was busy rebuilding the slipper clutch. On the dyno, the GSX-R now made 189.4 hp at the rear wheel with VP race fuel, and 181.2 at the rear on 92 octane. Once again, Keenan tried his luck at the Dyno Shootout in the superbike class, and walked away with first place, beating a tuned ZX-12 and a tuned Hayabusa, too. Reveling from his latest victory, Keenan decided that it was time to take the GSX-R to the track, and work on the suspension.

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“Dave new my desires and after several discussions, Dave called me about a new set of Ohlins road and track forks that he could score from a pro AMA race team. We moved forward with it and got them rebuilt and installed along with new head bearings. Also while we were there we installed a nice set of Gilles rear sets and rear axle nut/chain adjusters.”

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Next, Keenan turned his attention to the braking system. Once again, Dave stepped in and sorted him out with a Brembo master cylinder, custom SS brake lines, and Brembo mono block calipers with a set of braking wave rotors.

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In 2013, Keenan went back to Dave’s shop and got an Ohlins rear shock installed – the SU 503 unit, which is only a step down from the TTX shock – with a Yoshimura height adjuster. Keenan also received a new 520 chain, an Ohlins steering damper, a Bazzaz Z-Bomb Timing Retard Calibrator that tricks the GSX-R into thinking that it never leaves 5th, which bypasses the rev limiter for 6th gear, allowing the bike to hit 205 mph!

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“This bike is very close to perfection, with some mild tuning to the rear shock, she should satisfy even the most discriminating rider.”

“Now here I am with one of the most powerful bikes the world has to offer – sub turbo charger – and absolutely loving the hell out of it.” Not bad for a guy in his twenties, right?

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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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