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Author Topic: Suzuki GS550 rookie budget build  (Read 1067 times)

Offline k.graham

  • Posts: 16
Suzuki GS550 rookie budget build
« on: Apr 07, 2017, 02:05:25 »
Hey y'all

Figured I'd start a build thread here as I'm trying to get my bike put together for this riding season.

Here's how it all started

Last year I'd been obsessively looking for a suitable first bike that I could learn to ride on, that would also make a good candidate for a cafe or a brat. I came across a GS550 on a trip home from Calgary one evening that I thought might be the ticket. With no cash in hand, and no trailer i asked the seller if he'd give me a day to think on it, and round up what I needed to bring the bike home. I called him the next day and made him a reasonable offer. He refused, so I had to pass on the bike.

A month went by scouring kijiji for a suitable bike inside of my budget. No luck. Seemingly everyone I would contact either flaked out, or sold to someone else. Little did I know my wife, along with my family members bought the GS550 that I first encountered and were secretly sabotaging any attempts I made to buy other bikes.

They gave it to me a little before my birthday as my wife didn't think she could keep it from me any longer.


 

So I swapped the handlebars out for some cheap clubmans and was off to the races!



Unfortunately it handled pretty terribly with those things, so I picked up some dirt bike bars at a bike salvage place. Also found some bar end mirrors. Not totally sold on them, but they may look a little better if I shorten up the bars a bit. I recently discovered that the rear shocks that are on my bike are more than 2" shorter than stock! That explains the heavy steering, so once I get things back to stock length, I may look at going back to the clubmans, or clip-ons.



I stripped the paint off the tank, along with the bondo flame on top and the cruiser-esque profile on the sides. Also scored a '79 GS1000 parts bike with no motor, but it had the original aluminum hoop spoked wheels. Swapped out some bearings to work with the 550 axles and everything bolted up perfectly.



Today I had a few minutes to play with some seat shapes. I'm a journeyman cabinetmaker, so wood is by far the easiest medium for me to work with. I had some heavy fir timbers laying around so I started cutting. Here's where I'm at so far, just getting the rough shapes and angles first, and then will be refining the curves later.


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Offline advCo

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  • Nick Ol' Eye
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Re: Suzuki GS550 rookie budget build
« Reply #1 on: Apr 07, 2017, 03:04:50 »
Welcome bud. Looking good so far. I had similar bars on my GS550 and it was super comfortable and handled well. I'd stick with those, unless you end up going with rearsets/clipons. Otherwise it's a waste to put low bars on with stock foot controls.

Check out GSresources for a ton of good info on these bikes. I highly recommend a new R/R unit and check the stator output. These charging systems are notoriously shoddy, but the parts are available and it's a fairly easy job.




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"He broke the mirrors off his Cadillac, 'cause he doesn't like it looking like he looks back."

74 CB360 - Luna - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=63294.0
82 GS550L - Tracker-ish - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=67229.0 - Sold
74 XL350 - The Turd - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=70252.0
Suzuki FA50 "No-Ped" - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=71189.0
73 Suzuki RV125 -http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=73875.0

Offline k.graham

  • Posts: 16
Re: Suzuki GS550 rookie budget build
« Reply #2 on: Apr 17, 2017, 01:30:13 »


Got my wheels mounted up today, as well as fork seals finished up. Found some stock length shocks for the rear end at the bike salvage place in Edmonton yesterday. They'll need to be polished up a bit, but at least I'm not riding chopper stance anymore! Fired it up at the request of my little shop hand, but it was a little louder than he was expecting being straight piped. Spooked him pretty good. I told him we'd build something to quiet it down, so I suppose the exhaust will be my next project! 


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Offline k.graham

  • Posts: 16
Re: Suzuki GS550 rookie budget build
« Reply #3 on: Apr 21, 2017, 01:49:39 »
Built some baffles today on the cheap

Picked up some muffler pipe from Canadian tire, as well as the biggest couplers I could get to work with it.




First cut the couplers into quarters so that I could flare them out to match the inside diameter of the tapered tailpipe. Then crimped it together to fit snug with a muffler clamp.



Rivet together with stainless steel pop rivets







Cut end of pipe into sections and flare out so it takes a few knocks with a hammer to get it to bottom out inside the horn.




Measure the length that it sticks out past flush, and then cut that amount from the narrow end. Repeat the end cuts and flare out



Slice through with the angle grinder at 1" intervals 1/4 the circumference of the pipe. Insert a screwdriver and start bending.



 Offset by 1/2" and repeat until you have all 4 rows done



Wrap with fibreglass muffler packing and insert





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Offline advCo

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Re: Suzuki GS550 rookie budget build
« Reply #4 on: Apr 21, 2017, 02:06:38 »
Nice work on the baffle, I am going to try something similar on the XL. Does yours get held in by a screw/bolt or is that what the flared ends are for?


Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON
"He broke the mirrors off his Cadillac, 'cause he doesn't like it looking like he looks back."

74 CB360 - Luna - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=63294.0
82 GS550L - Tracker-ish - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=67229.0 - Sold
74 XL350 - The Turd - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=70252.0
Suzuki FA50 "No-Ped" - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=71189.0
73 Suzuki RV125 -http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=73875.0

Offline k.graham

  • Posts: 16
Re: Suzuki GS550 rookie budget build
« Reply #5 on: Apr 21, 2017, 02:35:19 »
Yeah, I'll probably pop a bolt through on the bottom side to keep things from rattling. I may try and put in some sort of adjustable flue of sorts to adjust the back pressure if need be. Ideally I'll fabricate a plate that will go in the end just to make it look a little less bushleague as well. Just pushed things together by hand this evening as I was a little pressed for time, but desperate to hear what it would sound like. Sounded pretty good to me! It did quiet it down quite a bit from being straight piped, but definitely has a nice low growl now. Still plenty loud, but not too obnoxious.


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Offline k.graham

  • Posts: 16
Re: Suzuki GS550 rookie budget build
« Reply #6 on: Apr 21, 2017, 23:12:17 »
Here's a short video of the sound those baffles produce. Sounds best through some speakers or headphones.




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Offline JamiT

  • Posts: 19
Re: Suzuki GS550 rookie budget build
« Reply #7 on: Apr 21, 2017, 23:33:41 »
Sounds pretty nice man! Looking forward to more


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Offline k.graham

  • Posts: 16
Re: Suzuki GS550 rookie budget build
« Reply #8 on: Apr 21, 2017, 23:34:43 »
Thanks!


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Offline k.graham

  • Posts: 16
Re: Suzuki GS550 rookie budget build
« Reply #9 on: Apr 30, 2017, 11:07:34 »


I whipped up a side cover for the bike yesterday evening. Going for something akin to federal moto's fade to black bike (pictured below). It's made of some marine vinyl I found at a discount fabric store for $10. I'll experiment with this stuff for the side cover bags and seat, and then probably upgrade to a nice leather a little later on as more cash becomes available. Thinking of going for something very similar on the seat as well.






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