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What's all this about then?


What's all this about then?

Nik Ellwood

So what is Retro-RR?

What you are looking at here, on your screen, is a bit of a chance.

A gamble.

An idea that wouldn’t quit buzzing around, that demanded exploring.

And I can safely say it is all Mark Hawwa’s fault. Well, him and my wife in reasonably equal measure. With a bit of help from John, and Tony, and Merry Michau and Dutch. Miss Amy Shore isn’t entirely blameless either. You see, these people are motivators, enablers and facilitators. They all have my utmost admiration and awe for their ability to get off their ass and make stuff happen.  And they inspired (and in some cases instructed) me to get off mine and make this happen.

I’ve been lucky enough to spend most of my career working with bikes, most recently for one of the best known and coolest motorcycle brands in the world. And as I have travelled around, riding new bikes from pretty much every genre* I couldn’t help but notice all of these older sportsbikes around. Really cool old sportsbikes. Really cool old sportsbikes that don’t cost a lot of money these days. The bikes I really wanted to buy in my early 20s but simply couldn’t afford to purchase, or to insure.

And then Mark Hawwa bought a GSXR1100 Slingshot and put a picture of it up on Instagram. I’ve known Mark for three years now. He’s equal part lunatic, legend, lover and hero. He’s one of the most prolific and motivated ideas monkeys I know of, with an irrestible and infectious energy level. He’s also the founder of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, a global phenomenon that to date has raised over $6M USD to support research into men’s health. When the picture of the GSXR popped up I just knew I had to have one.

I’m blessed with pretty much zero willpower so within a couple of months the blue and white GSXR1100L that you see at the top of the page was safely nestled in my garage. I posted a pic on Facebook and my friends instantly went crazy for it. Whenever it was parked up it would draw a crowd and I received about four offers to buy it in the first month. Sadly/not sadly I had to accept one of those offers. Because owning the GSXR lead me to realise that these old sportbikes, the ones I lusted after in my youth, offer an incredible opportunity.

The cool ones are still cool.

And fast.

And most of all cheap.

I figured I can’t be the only one out there who thinks this. So it might be cool to have a place where fans of such bikes can share pics, or drool over shoots, or be inspired to re-ignite an old riding passion. The biggest danger this project offers to you, the reader, is that eBay – and a host of fast, accessible performance machines - is only a click away. Go on, I dare you. Hit eBay and play the “if I had £2k” game. Or whatever currency applies.


Just don’t blame me when you click buy it now. Blame Mark Hawwa.




*apart from dirt bikes – I get hurt when I try to ride dirt bikes