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Author Topic: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler  (Read 19486 times)

Offline Northish

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2016, 19:24:16 »
Sweet! I had a red GS450L as my first bike. I loved that thing. Sold it to a kid who lives down the street and I think he still has it. Looking solid so far.

I like the tread pattern on those tires, may look into them for the XL when the time comes.

Nice

Thanks adventurco and julian!

After getting the rear hoop welded in and cleaned up I started focusing further ahead on the frame.  I wanted to both physically and visually lighten the bike up, so I spent a few days cutting off all the unnecessary frame and panel tabs.  You end up with a surprising amount of metal on the ground once they're all off.

The electronics are going to be going into a tray that I'll try my hand at fabricating so they can be tucked under the seat and away from the dirt.

I also started dissecting the wiring, but honestly it has been messed with so many times I am thinking it would be best in the long run to just re-do it with new wire and connections.

This is an exciting point for me  because I was able to get the new rear shocks temporarily mounted so that I could get a look at its 'stance.'  I must say I don't think it looks half bad compared to where it started.  The new rear shock height seems to be right where I was hoping, and the chain doesn't rub on the swing arm so that was exciting.  I'm 6'2" so it seems to fit me a little better at this height.  It's also really easy to get it on the center stand now.   ;D

Next steps are to weld in seat mounting points and then make a tray under the seat for all the electronics that were mounted behind the side covers.

Offline advCo

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2016, 13:03:12 »
If you put taller shocks on, there is a procedure to set your chain slack based on the travel of the swing arm . You cannot go by the manual specs for chain slack as it will be too tight.
"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 Northish

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2016, 09:36:21 »
Looking smart...the rear end raise, coupled with the chunky tyres might make the centre stand redundant.....I'm ditching mine in favour of side stand only....paddock stand in the garage.

Waiting for your next update.... :D
Thx NoRiders :)  You posted right as I was posting an update showing the bike with the raised shocks on the center stand and you can see the back wheel is basically still touching the ground.  Good call!  I have since shorted the shocks a wee bit so the rear does lift off on the center now.  I am thinking I might keep the center for the time being.  It is sure has been handy for working on as I don't have a shop stand or anything fancy like that (yet.)  I'll try to keep the updates flowing!

If you put taller shocks on, there is a procedure to set your chain slack based on the travel of the swing arm . You cannot go by the manual specs for chain slack as it will be too tight.
Hey adventurco - I hadn't thought of the height affecting the chain tension...  I've got a new chain ready to go on once more of the dirty fab work is done.  If you happen to know of a link to the procedure you mentioned I'd be all ears, otherwise I'll do some googling.  Thanks for mentioning that, I would have overlooked it!

Offline NoRiders

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2016, 18:30:38 »
You're welcome  :D

I'll be losing the centre stand, using the side stand only (but not cutting anything off). I picked up a new paddock stand for 19 at a local motorcycle jumble (swap meet). It lifts on the swingarm and not the spindle, should be OK for what I want. I love swap meets.

Your bike has changed radically from stock just by minor mods really....nice one.


Offline Northish

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #14 on: Jun 02, 2016, 17:13:52 »
This latest update will show some of the progress made on relocating some of the electronics that were previously mounted on the side of the bike under the side covers as well as how I mounted the seat that was originally intended for a CB350.

To make the tray I found some extra sheet metal that my dad didn't need.  It was only 5" wide strips, so I had to stitch them together with the wire-feed welder my dad has.  Being my first motorcycle and also first build I am trying to save pennies wherever I can so my mistakes aren't too costly.  I was able to get it stitched together and bent into shape without too much effort.  I'm surprised it turned out as well as it did for a first go.  It looks a bit rough, but I will be media blasting it clean along with the frame and other parts later on.

I've also included a shot showing the tray installed along with the new seat mounts.  The front mount and mid support are made out of some bar stock.  I had to heat the front mount with a torch a few times to get it bent to the right shape, but had a lot of fun doing that.  It's hard work!  The rear mounts came with the seat, so I cut them down a hair and welded them to the rear hoop.  All in all the seat is now very secure and even uses the stock seat rubber pads on the mid support.

The bottom pic shows the seat finally in place and the electronics tray seems to be barely visible beneath it.  I don't plan on hiding the battery under the seat, so was able to make the tray fairly slim.  You can also see the new header in place.  I decided to go with a simple MAC 2-1 in flat black to cut down on the visual mass.  I am liking the way it looks, though I wouldn't mind trying my hand at making a true scrambler high-mounted exhaust some day.  But alas, I have to draw the line somewhere as I'd love to finish the bike this riding season! 

Oh, and I also decided that this would be a solo bike and chopped off the passenger foot pegs and associated tubing.  Should help shave a little weight and keep things simpler.
Next area of focus will be fenders.  I definitely want to keep this bike functional, so will be re-using the stock fenders and getting a little creative.  Thanks for stopping by the build!
« Last Edit: Jun 02, 2016, 17:19:23 by Northish »

Offline advCo

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #15 on: Jun 02, 2016, 17:32:30 »
Looking good. I found a good article on chain adjustment procedure the other day...I was looking for this thread to post it and I couldn't find it but here we are.





We're dealing with the geometric relationship of three points, two of which don't ever move in relation to one another, and one that moves constantly in relation to only one of the other two. The chain rides around a path that encircles all three of these points. You have the counter-shaft sprocket (point A) mounted to the engine, which is mounted to the frame. You have the swingarm pivot (point B) which is also mounted to the frame. Then you have the rear axle (point C), and as a result, the rear sprocket, which is not mounted to the frame.



The two points that are mounted to the frame, points A and B, never move in relation to one another. They are always the exact same distance apart, no matter what  anything else on the motorcycles does. Because these two points are static, we can draw a line through their centers and call it the A-B Line that we'll use in minute. Point C rotates around point B. The chain is lashed around points A and C. Starting to sense where things might get funny for the chain?

As C moves in its arc around B, the distance from C to A changes. When C is aligned with the A-B line, such that all three points are perfectly aligned in a straight line, the distance from A to C is at its max. The further out of alignment with A and B that C becomes, the less the distance from A to C.

Now to apply that bit of sorcery to the chain tension adjustment on your motorcycle. You adjust the chain while the suspension is fully, or near fully extended. In other words, when C well out of alignment with the A-B line, in this case, C is below the A-B line. But this is not the point where the chain will be at its tightest as C rotates. It would be a pain in the ass to have to compress the suspension so that C in on the A-B line, and adjust the chain to just the couple millimeters of chain slack that it needs at it's tightest point. Rather, we adjust the chain with an amount of slack that will cause it to have only 2 - 5 mm of play when C passes through the A-B line; at its tightest point. This amount of slack when the suspension is unloaded might be 10 mm, 1/2 inch, two fingers between the chain and swingarm, whatever, that's not what's important in this article.

The critical part here is that there HAS to be enough slack in the chain at the top and bottom of the suspension travel, that when C passes through the A-B line, it does not get too tight and start pulling on things like the transmission shaft that is point A, or overloading the wheel bearings at point C. There are other, more subtle things that happen to the bearings at point B and to the chain when the tension is too high, but we'll skip that today. The other important point I want to make, is that none of this is effected by the load you are carrying on your bike. All this stuff behaves the same no matter what.

SO with that good bit of theory out of the way.
Pull off the bottom bolts of your shocks and tie them up out of the way. Move the swinger to where points A,B,C are in a straight line, you will notice the chain tension change as you get closer and further away from that line. That point where the straight line occurs is the tightest possible point for your chain. Adjust the chain tension so there is adequate slack at that point where A,B,C are in a line. When you put your shocks back on you can write the number down and use it for future reference.
« Last Edit: Jun 02, 2016, 17:37:25 by adventurco »
"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 Northish

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #16 on: Jun 02, 2016, 17:44:06 »
Looking good. I found a good article on chain adjustment procedure the other day...I was looking for this thread to post it and I couldn't find it but here we are.
...

Hey adventurco -
I'm glad you dug this up and were able to share it.  It makes sense to me now that I read it a few times.  I'm thinking I can put the bike on its center stand and remove the rear shocks and test the chain slack at the different swing-arm angles it will likely experience to make sure it doesn't get too tight on the A-B line and too loose in the event the shocks were fully compressed.
I appreciate you taking the time to post that!

Offline advCo

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #17 on: Jun 02, 2016, 17:52:30 »
No problem. There has been a lot of talk on the forum about this lately and I found that to help clarify it for myself, as it was something I didn't even think about on my first build.

The most important location to note is what is shown in the diagram. When the points A-B-C are in a straight line, that is the tightest point and therefore the only real location you need to worry about. But If you spin the rear wheel and move the swingarm up and down, you will notice the chain tension change as you get further and closer from that point.
"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 TJGM

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #18 on: Jun 02, 2016, 20:16:39 »
I really like how the piping on the seat lines up with the frame !
~T

Offline Northish

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #19 on: Jun 02, 2016, 23:36:30 »
I really like how the piping on the seat lines up with the frame !
~T

TJGM - So glad someone else noticed!  You can imagine how happy I was when I saw it worked out like that.  Every once in a great while you get lucky.