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Blood Sweat Tears and Grease => Projects => Trackers => Topic started by: Northish on May 23, 2016, 22:31:09

Title: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on May 23, 2016, 22:31:09
This build thread might start out a little differently, so I hope you can bear with me on it.  My hope is that someone will be able take something away from it.  Maybe something they like, or maybe an example of what not to do  ;)

Firstly, I've never owned a motorcycle.  I've also never logged a single mile on public roads on one.  This whole "scrambler" build started because I was slated to go to Nepal in Nov. last year as a volunteer to help build houses for a couple weeks.  On my one day off I was going to ride a Royal Enfield to the foothills of the Himalayas, which was kind of a dream I guess.  Long story short, the trip was cancelled less than two weeks before departure due to political unrest, but I fell in love with the idea of owning a smaller displacement, rugged, simple motorcycle.  I was a bit obsessed with the idea.

My brother, who has a huge heart, had an '81 GS450L in rough shape that he didn't pay anything for and decided that it would better off in my hands (I'm a bit more meticulous, I suppose.)  So, he surprised the heck out of me and gave me the keys to his GS450 on Christmas.  What a guy...

I'm not sure how many previous owners the bike has had, but when my brother someone had put pod filters on it without any carb changes, put a rear tire that was so big it rubbed the swingarm, chopped off the back end behind the rear shock mounts and welded in angle iron for some reason, hacked apart the electronics, etc.  It also looked like it was crashed at some point because the handle bars were bent and all the tree bolts on one side were different from the other side.

Here are a few pictures of it as received:
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on May 23, 2016, 22:45:38
Being that it was handed over to me in the dead of a MN winter I had a lot of time to decide that its current state wouldn't do.  I've never worked on a bike before, so I wasn't quite ready to dig into engine stuff just yet.  I just knew that I wanted to build something I would feel comfortable on, whether it be on city streets or on the gravel roads to my brother's place, and a scrambler or tracker seemed to fit the bill.  There are a lot of inspiring projects on this site.

So, I felt that the 16" rear and 19" front wheels were going to have to go.  I was able to find an 18" front and a 17" rear wheel so I started there.  I did a lot of looking for tires that I thought would do well on gravel without being to loose on pavement, so decided to get some IRC GP-110 Dual Sports.  The rear is a 4.60-17 and the front is a 4.10-18.  I got the wheels cleaned up and was even able to mount the tires myself, which was a new (and difficult) experience.

Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on May 23, 2016, 22:57:53
Here is a good side shot of the bike once I was able to get it to where I could start working on it. I try to use this same shot position for most future pictures so that I could make sure it was heading in the right direction.  You can tell it was cold out because if you look closely at the engine you can see it is covered in frost.  It was -18°F that first work day.  A lot of hot coffee was consumed  :)

I also included a picture of the rear frame section where it was cut and welded (I'm no expert at welding but it looked rough.)  The PO had welded the rear fender in place to the angle iron and the plastic fender was just sitting in there, held down by the seat.  I couldn't quite tell how it was all supposed to go together originally.  They had put some Progressive shocks on it, but the bushings were gone.  I measured their length at 12" tall.  I think stock is supposed to be 13", but If someone knows for certain please correct me if I'm wrong on that.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on May 23, 2016, 23:40:26
Looking at the side view of the bike I could tell that the back end definitely needed to come up some, so I set about finding some shocks.  I did some researching and decided to try TEC's remote reservoir ones.  They had a look that I liked, and I could afford them.  Ideally, I'd buy Ohlins, but that wasn't an option on my budget.  I did know that I wanted to stay away from the remote reservoir RFY versions on Ebay after reading some negative comments about them.  I also appreciated this nice write-up by Chris: http://chrislivengood.net/wp/tec-alloy-reservoir-shocks-analysis/

I ended up getting the TEC's with the adjustable dampening option and at 14.6" tall to help level the bike out a bit and increase clearance a bit.  They also have a ~1" spacer that one could use to raise them higer, but I think I will leave that out for now.  It was in place in the picture below.  I was a bit nervous about how they would look in person, but once they arrived I was pleasantly surprised.  They seemed on par for the price paid so I think it was a good choice given my budget.

The stock seat wasn't really helping the direction I wanted to go either, so I found a seat on Ebay for a Honda CB350 that I thought I could make work without breaking the bank.  If I messed it up then I wouldn't be out too much money.  This project is a learning experience, after all. And my first bike so I know that I'll be making plenty of mistakes as I go.

To make the new seat work and to get rid of that questionable angle-iron at the back of the bike I got an upswept hoop section from Dime city.  I like the upswept seat look, but the Ebay seat was flat.  It had an ABS base to it, so I figured I could do some trimming and heat-gun work to bend it as needed.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on May 23, 2016, 23:54:52
By this point I've got the old modified rear end cut off and put a slight bend into the new seat to see if I liked where it was heading.  I still don't really have an exact picture of what I want it to look like; rather I'm just kind of feeling it out as I go.  I can say that I think the new seat is in the right direction.  I can also say that the gas tank is definitely going to need some attention.  It's got a weird slope to it from it's cruiser roots, so I have decided to cut the mounts and re-position them to make the bottom of the tank run parallel with the new seat and frame.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on May 24, 2016, 00:03:29
Here's a better shot of the bike's guts with the tank and seat off.  I found that the ignition coils were simply zip-tied to the frame under the tank, and were pretty loose.  I've got the rear section close to being ready to weld in the new hoop and the gas tank mounts have been removed so that I can start mocking up some tank angles to create some lines that seems to match a scrambler or tracker style.  I'm still not really sure which is which at this point, so I hope this tread is in the right section.  I should also note my brother found an airbox for it, so that got put on for the time being to make sure it ran OK.

By dropping the front and raising the back of the tank it seems to create a nice flow, so decided I'd go that direction with things.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on May 24, 2016, 00:24:29
At this point the tank mounts have been modified/created and welded into place.  The front was dropped just over an inch and the rear was raised about as much. 

I bungee-corded the new seat on to see how things were looking and I was still thinking it was going the right way, more or less. 

So, I set about welding in the rear hoop into place.  I used frame slugs (also from Dime City) to get a good connection and I was pleased with the results considering my inexperience with welding (I did take a class in high school, once) ;)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: advCo on May 24, 2016, 00:59:18
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.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: julian.allard66 on May 24, 2016, 02:27:15
Nice
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: NoRiders on May 24, 2016, 19:22:53
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
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish 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.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: advCo 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.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish 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!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: NoRiders 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.

Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish 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!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: advCo 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.

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--rGGYGlrWn0/Vbr1E7yJSnI/AAAAAAAAEgA/avlhxuSb03Q/s1600/ChainDiagram.jpg)



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.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish 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!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: advCo 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.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: TJGM on Jun 02, 2016, 20:16:39
I really like how the piping on the seat lines up with the frame !
~T
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish 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.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: YoungMoneyyy on Jun 03, 2016, 10:20:39
That is one beautiful looking bike, great lines with the tank reset and seat setup. strong work.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: MattL9 on Jun 03, 2016, 11:50:39
How did you level out the tank? I can see that you raised the front and lowered the back, but what did you do to do that?
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: hillsy on Jun 03, 2016, 19:42:05
How did you level out the tank? I can see that you raised the front and lowered the back, but what did you do to do that?


I think he's just raised the back - the front looks untouched.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: dualero on Jun 04, 2016, 13:55:08


At this point the tank mounts have been modified/created and welded into place.  The front was dropped just over an inch and the rear was raised about as much. 

...



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Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Jun 06, 2016, 10:22:34
How did you level out the tank? I can see that you raised the front and lowered the back, but what did you do to do that?

Here's a better shot showing the new mounting locations with arrows where the old locations were.  The front mount was cut off and I made a new one with a piece of rod welded under the frame bar with a couple washers on it to hold the rubber bushings in place.  I reused the original rear mount, but cut it from its position between the frame rails and welded in bar stock on each side to stand it up.  Hope this helps answer your question.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Jun 06, 2016, 10:26:22
That is one beautiful looking bike, great lines with the tank reset and seat setup. strong work.
Thanks Young$, glad you think it's heading in the right direction!  Now to keep it going.  I hope to update on fender progress soon.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: YoungMoneyyy on Jun 07, 2016, 00:32:11
Northish quick question about your tires, I read you went from the stock 16" & 19" setup to a 17" & 18" setup for the stance, which turned out great. I plan on doing something similar on my kz440, my question is did you need and modifications to the rims (looks like you used the stock ones) or were you able to simply swap the rubbers. Sorry if this seems like a basic question... just need to know before I bite the bullet and drop 200$ on new tires.

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Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Jun 07, 2016, 08:39:21
Northish quick question about your tires, I read you went from the stock 16" & 19" setup to a 17" & 18" setup for the stance, which turned out great. I plan on doing something similar on my kz440, my question is did you need and modifications to the rims (looks like you used the stock ones) or were you able to simply swap the rubbers...

Not a dumb question!  I spent a good month trying to figure out the wheel situation and was actually looking at KZ wheels at one point.  I ended up going with Suzuki wheels again as I knew that they would fit right in with no problems with the stock brakes and modifications.  Also, I kind of think they kind of have the approximate "look" of a spoked wheel.

Here are the specs of the stock wheels vs. the ones I'm using if interested:
Stock GS450L wheel sizes:
Rear:  16x2.15
Front:  19x1.85

Bought Wheels:
Rear:  17x2.15
Front:  18x1.80

I picked my tire sizes so that the front and rear would each have the same overall outer diameter as that symmetry is appealing to me.  The front overall diameter with an 18" rim and 4.10 tire is actually pretty close to the same as it came stock with a 19" rim and 3.6 tire, so I wouldn't have to modify the speedo if I didn't want to, but I will be :)  Hope this helps, ask more if needed.  I'm not an expert at all but I can tell you what I did.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Psycrow on Jun 14, 2016, 11:19:52
Northish it might be helpful to state what bike (model and year) rims you ended up using. Nice build so far BTW.  I'm working on a similar conversion to a Yamaha XS 750 triple. 

Psy

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Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Jun 14, 2016, 12:05:06
Hey Psy - thanks for the suggestion.  I'm not 100% sure what Suzuki bikes the wheels came from.  I bought each separately off eBay but the sellers didn't list the source.  From what I have found I believe that the front wheel (18x1.80) likely came from a '80-'82 GS-450E or S.  As for the rear (17x2.15) I'm still not quite sure what the source was.  I believe the GS550's had a 17x2.50.  Perhaps someone with a broader knowledge than I may have to chime in here, as I'd be interested as well  :)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: canyoncarver on Jun 14, 2016, 12:23:22
Nice little twin you have there.  Great progress. 
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Jun 20, 2016, 01:00:28
Nice little twin you have there.  Great progress.
Hey canyoncarver - thanks for the compliment and stopping by to check things out!  :D

I've got a few more update photos from the build progression to share.  These updates deal with the fenders and making them a bit cleaner and less bulky, while still retaining a good deal of functionality.  You'll see that I have masked them off and then sketched out what I felt to be a slightly sleeker profile on the tape.  Then got out the angle grinder w/ a fiber disc and flapper wheel to "sculpt" them a bit.  I did this to both the front and rear fenders.  Because the rear fender was welded straight to the frame when I got it I had to spend some time cutting off the angle iron it was attached with ans smooth things out.  It also needed a new mounting scheme, so I cut up some bar stock and welded it in place across the frame for top and bottom mounts.  It can now be removed with just a few bolts, which is really nice.  I plan to re-use part of the plastic fender insert as an extension to the rear fender near the swingarm area to keep things tidy.  I'll try to get a picture when I get that far.  I also filled in the hole in the front fender where the brake line stay was mounted in the front fender by welding in some filler metal and grinding things smooth.  I also had to pound out a few small dents to clean them up.  They will eventually be painted.  It's a little to see the trimmed down rear fender in place in the last picture, but it's there.  I'll try to get a different angle on it in the future.  Still having fun with this!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: advCo on Jun 20, 2016, 01:39:05
Nice tuck on the fenders. Looks good but still mostly functional  ;D

I like the chrome
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Jun 24, 2016, 21:45:00
Another update to share with you all on this conversion from earlier this week. 

The last major piece to be welded has been the muffler onto the header.  Welding it in place didn't go too bad.  I got a pretty clean bead with the wire feed and then took the angle grinder to the excess weld and was able to get it smooth to the header to look like it's all one piece.  The muffler actually has a bracket on the back of it that I've bolted into the original muffler mounting point.  It's worked out better than I thought.  The weld will be getting a few coats of high temp. flat black paint to cover up the weld.

The title I gave this when I started out indicated that I'd be making a scrambler.  But, seeing as I'm not going the route of a high-mount exhaust, is it still a scrambler?  Or will this be better defined as a tracker?

Anyways, I think that most of the heavy cutting and welding is done at this point.  The build is now going to take a destructive, or rather, de-constructive turn for awhile now as I start pulling things apart.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: djmaynard on Jun 24, 2016, 22:34:43

Hey canyoncarver - thanks for the compliment and stopping by to check things out!  :D

I've got a few more update photos from the build progression to share.  These updates deal with the fenders and making them a bit cleaner and less bulky, while still retaining a good deal of functionality.  You'll see that I have masked them off and then sketched out what I felt to be a slightly sleeker profile on the tape.  Then got out the angle grinder w/ a fiber disc and flapper wheel to "sculpt" them a bit.  I did this to both the front and rear fenders.  Because the rear fender was welded straight to the frame when I got it I had to spend some time cutting off the angle iron it was attached with ans smooth things out.  It also needed a new mounting scheme, so I cut up some bar stock and welded it in place across the frame for top and bottom mounts.  It can now be removed with just a few bolts, which is really nice.  I plan to re-use part of the plastic fender insert as an extension to the rear fender near the swingarm area to keep things tidy.  I'll try to get a picture when I get that far.  I also filled in the hole in the front fender where the brake line stay was mounted in the front fender by welding in some filler metal and grinding things smooth.  I also had to pound out a few small dents to clean them up.  They will eventually be painted.  It's a little to see the trimmed down rear fender in place in the last picture, but it's there.  I'll try to get a different angle on it in the future.  Still having fun with this!

I was going to trim down my fenders as well the exact way you did it. Tried to do without and the day that I took off my front fender it rained the next day. So I put it back on.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Psycrow on Jun 25, 2016, 18:52:31
Looking good!

Psy

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Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Jun 26, 2016, 00:26:01
Looking good!
Thanks Psy!

Well, the de-construction has commenced.  All the rust and grease is beginning to get to me so it's time to start stripping things down and begin the long process of cleaning. 

I've separated the engine from the frame so that I can start working on getting the frame in more decent shape.  The plan is remove anything that is easily removed and try my hand with media blasting.  There is a lot of surface rust, and I'm seeing evidence that the back end of the bike has been repainted by one of the previous owners, so I'm hoping there aren't any surprises waiting for me under the newer paint.

Now that the engine is out I can see that the wiring harness really is a mess.  Lots of wire splices and questionable crimps.  I had planned from the beginning to just make a whole new harness with proper wire and connectors, so this inspection just confirms that I'll be going through that whole process.  I'll have some learning to do before I get to work on that step, though.

The engine is mostly just dirty with a lot of scratches and chips in the clear-coated parts.  I'll be sanding them down to bare metal and re-painting them at some point.  Some of the Phillips head screws holding the various covers on are pretty well stripped so I'll be picking up some new hardware when I get that far.  I'd like to get the frame shaped up first before I dive too deep into the engine.

I'm starting to feel a bit like I'm going backwards as I look at all the pieces and parts strewn about.  It's hard not to think about the fact that I started with a drive-able motorcycle and now have a growing pile of parts and wires that is far from drive-able.  I suppose one has to deconstruct things before they can be reassembled into something better.  I hope it ends up better than when I started!  We'll see...
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Jul 11, 2016, 20:20:49
Deconstruction has more or less been completed.  The frame has been stripped of basically everything so that it could be cleaned up and blasted.

I was able to use a simple media blaster hooked up to the air compressor and made a "blast chamber" out of painter's tarps.  That definitely cut down on the mess and allowed me to recollect and reuse the media several times over.  I used furnace slag as the media and seemed to do well without being overly aggressive.  I didn't take off all the paint as most of it was in good shape and pretty tough, but did focus on the rusty bits and areas where previous owners had repainted the frame.

After blasting the frame was coated several times over with self-etching primer.  It cleaned up quite well and will then be painted semi-gloss black :)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: NoRiders on Jul 11, 2016, 20:41:48
Nekkid....but looks much better already.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Jul 15, 2016, 19:07:32
Alright, it's Friday so let's get some more progress pictures going, shall we?

The frame and related bolt-on bits have now been media blasted, primed, and finally painted.  Paint was applied courtesy of the rattle-can. Actually, several rattle-cans.

I've taken the tank down to bare metal and started putting body filler on to smooth out the dents and emblem attachment points.  Hoping it holds tight near the emblem mounts.  I did as much roughing up as I could of the base and wiped everything down well with acetone.

The wheels have also been cleaned, polished a little (but not going for mirror finishes on this bike) and then painted.  The "spokes" were masked off with tape and then the tape was trimmed with a razor along the edges of each spoke.  Took some time.  Then everything was painted black.  Once 3 layers of black paint were sprayed and dried all the masking was removed and 4 layers of clear coat were applied.  I think they look sharper than when they were new!

That's all I've had time for now.  Hope you find the progress still moving the right way.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: advCo on Jul 15, 2016, 19:10:02
Wheels look great. I like that style a lot, the 550 has the slightly less cooler and more 80's version of those  :'(
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Jul 16, 2016, 09:38:11
Wheels look great. I like that style a lot, the 550 has the slightly less cooler and more 80's version of those  :'(
I have to agree with you there, they are a neat style for the late 70's/early 80's.  I'll be selling the original 19" front and 16" rear wheels if someone were looking for them.   :P
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Jul 29, 2016, 09:35:12
A few more progress pictures to share with the community  :)  Things have started to come back together now after stripping the frame bare and blasting and painting.  A fair amount of time has been spent lately just reassembling things.  Also got the front forks shined back up and clear-coated.

Spent some time researching new controls for the bike.  Several new parts have been ordered including: Bar risers, handlebars, left and right hand controls, clutch lever with switch, brake-lever with master cylinder, headlight & mount, fork boots.  I've mounted them but they aren't necessarily in their final position and they'll still need to be wired up.  Just mostly check fit and clearance and making sure they make sense with where the bike is heading.

I put the primered tank and seat back on to see how things were shaping up, but it's really hard to tell with out the engine in place.  The gaping hole in the center of the frame makes all the other dimensions look a bit weird to me.  I'm thinking it will all come together when the engine is back in its home.  You'll have to use your imagination a bit for the time being  :P
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 15, 2016, 00:16:42
It's been a busy last couple of weeks for me but I've got some progress shots to share with anyone interested.

I've put some time into getting the engine cleaned back up to a more presentable state.  Lots of time with cleaners and tiny brushes.  The fresh paint is high temp. & oil resistant via rattlecan.  The edges of the fins were polished up and also sealed with high temp. clear coat.

The majority of the Phillips-head bolts have been replaced with SS hex.  Also got some replacement acorn nuts for the tops of the cylinder head studs.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: PhillyThump on Aug 15, 2016, 09:47:59
Engine looks great! So does the build so far.

Can I ask how you masked your polished bits? I'm trying to do something similar and I keep coming up with complicated ways to get the mask right, but wondering if it's just as simple as being careful with your tape lines.

Thanks
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 15, 2016, 10:03:10
Engine looks great! So does the build so far.

Can I ask how you masked your polished bits? I'm trying to do something similar and I keep coming up with complicated ways to get the mask right, but wondering if it's just as simple as being careful with your tape lines.

Thanks

Thx, Philly!  Glad you like the look so far. 
As far as masking went, I really just had to be careful with the tape lines.  It did take me over an hour to mask everything.  If you can find some thinner tape it makes things much easier.  Wish there was a magic shortcut, though.  My best tool was a very sharp razor blade to take care of places where there were odd lines or where I needed to mask off a flat surface with irregular edges (ie. the exhaust ports.)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: PhillyThump on Aug 16, 2016, 11:48:56
Thanks a lot!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: djmaynard on Aug 17, 2016, 08:12:31
Maybe I missed it, but was that the original headlight or aftermarket?
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 17, 2016, 09:19:37
Maybe I missed it, but was that the original headlight or aftermarket?
Hey djmaynard - The black headlight is now an aftermarket unit with a halo (for a little something different) from DCC.  When I near the end of needing parts I plan to post a "Parts Used" list in case anyone is interested in specifics.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 17, 2016, 09:26:26
Another quick update on the build.  I was able to get the engine back in place by myself.  My back doesn't recommend it, though ;)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Aug 17, 2016, 09:40:58
Nice job so far. I'll follow along
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: advCo on Aug 17, 2016, 11:21:29
putting an engine in solo is always fun. looks sharp.

pretty sure you're supposed to take the rubber dust boots off the front fork lowers when you run gaiters though  ;) they look a bit scrunched up the way you got em installed
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 17, 2016, 11:45:19
pretty sure you're supposed to take the rubber dust boots off the front fork lowers when you run gaiters though  ;) they look a bit scrunched up the way you got em installed

adventureco - You are very right; I've been meaning to do just that for awhile now.  I put the gaiters on thinking I would "just see how it looks real quick" but procrastination has gotten the best of me.  I'll be using VHB to attach my flexible LED blinkers to the upper part of the shocks so I better get those dust caps off before I do that!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 17, 2016, 13:59:27
When I can't be in the garage physically working on the bike I've been spending time on the wiring and electronics side.  I think I'm more or less done figuring out how to re-wire the thing.  The wiring situation as the bike was received was a bit of a spaghetti bowl of old and new, with lots of those quick splice connectors and wire nuts.  I decided that since I was upgrading the hand controls and all lighting to new units and I'm also integrating in a new multi-function digital gauge system (Koso DB-03R) that I would just start from scratch with all new wires and connectors.
So, I just finished up making a new diagram integrating everything together again.  Maybe this will help someone else in the future?  Let me know if you catch something that doesn't look right!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 20, 2016, 12:20:30
I've been day-dreaming and trying out different paint options in my mind and on the computer for some time now.  I think I've finally settled on a design I like, so I'll share with the community.

I put the tank and fenders on and did some "photoshopping" (actually more like "powerpointing") and came up with these two somewhat crude/quick renderings.  I'm pretty excited about them, to be honest.  The inspiration for the offset stripes have come from several other builders' rides on here.  They give it a retro feel, while the "almond" pin-striping on the tank harks back to the original striping that the bike came with from the factory.  Looking at the picture it still looks empty without the carbs, battery, and filters; and the bars need to come down a bit.  Overall, though I'm pretty happy with it and more importantly I think I can handle it.

As this build has progressed since January, I've been honing in on the direction I want to take the build and I think now I have it pretty well defined:  I'd like to make a GS450 Scrambler/Tracker version as if Suzuki tried to do a revival similar to what Ducati has done today with their modern Scrambler line-up.

I think I'll start going for it.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: advCo on Aug 20, 2016, 14:01:24
Paint mockup looks great, man. I say go for it, I have a soft spot for offset stripes. If you need any decals made up, shoot me a PM.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 22, 2016, 23:57:06
Electronics are now working :)  New wires, connectors, lithium battery, LED lights, digital gauge, LED blinker relay all seem to be working so far.  First try, even! 

I will have to wait until I can start the bike to verify that the new rec/reg and charging system are wired up correctly, but fingers are crossed.  Would really hate to fry that new stuff.  There is a 20 amp fuse I put in line as a little insurance.

Also, had time to finally get the new chain riveted on with the new tool I had bought. Things are starting come together much quicker as summer is fading fast and I'm eager to try this thing out!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 24, 2016, 10:04:33
Wondering if anyone can help here.... I'm in the process of re-building and re-jetting the carbs at the moment in between painting steps.

The problem I need help with is finding a new throttle butterfly end cap.  See the attached picture.  It looks like one of the many previous owners tried to drill out and remove the EPA cap that sealed off the mixture screw, but rather than drilling the mixture cap they started drilling the butterfly cap.  If there was a "forehead slap" emoticon I'd use that about now.  I thought I'd have more luck finding one but I'm coming up blank.  Anyone have any ideas?

The carbs for an '81 GS450 are Mikuni BS34SS.

Thanks for your help!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: djmaynard on Aug 24, 2016, 23:49:05
Wow, LOVE that digital gage! Dime City tail light?
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 25, 2016, 09:42:00
Wow, LOVE that digital gage! Dime City tail light?
Glad you like that gauge - It's pretty awesome.  It can learn gear position and I've got a cylinder head temp. sensor feeding into it.  Since I've messed with the wheels and diameters it gives me a lot flexibility.  It's pretty compact which was my biggest draw.  I've mounted it with a modified aluminum cell phone mount which worked out great.
 
And you are correct, I got that tail light from DCC.  You can find it a fair bit cheaper elsewhere but I like to support the U.S. retailers.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 25, 2016, 09:46:47
Progress so far on carrying out the paint scheme I decided on...
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Aug 25, 2016, 09:49:49
Nice paint work so far that will look Factory like you wanted.  It really will look like Suzuki made a retro scrambler. I like it a lot.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: JustinLonghorn on Aug 25, 2016, 10:03:54
I really dig the paint, man.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Psycrow on Aug 25, 2016, 14:54:50
love the paint!

Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: djmaynard on Aug 25, 2016, 15:44:27
Phenomenal job on the paint! Original and so clean
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Habanero52 on Aug 25, 2016, 15:50:18
Very nice!!!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: 3DogNate on Aug 25, 2016, 18:11:07
Electronics are now working :)  New wires, connectors, lithium battery, LED lights, digital gauge, LED blinker relay all seem to be working so far.  First try, even! 

I will have to wait until I can start the bike to verify that the new rec/reg and charging system are wired up correctly, but fingers are crossed.  Would really hate to fry that new stuff.  There is a 20 amp fuse I put in line as a little insurance.

Also, had time to finally get the new chain riveted on with the new tool I had bought. Things are starting come together much quicker as summer is fading fast and I'm eager to try this thing out!

I have that same tail light on my 360 and it gets me oohs and ahhs every time someone sees it.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 26, 2016, 09:37:54
Thanks guys; I'm glad you're liking the paint and overall direction of this first-timer's build.  That really makes me feel motivated to keep pushing this thing to the finish line.  Sooo close now!

I've been able to get the first few sanding steps done.  The attached picture is an "in-process" shot before stepping up to the really fine grades.  I'll try to record all the grits I use.

Planning to work hard on it this weekend, so should be able to post some more progress shots.  Have a great Friday/weekend all!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 28, 2016, 00:08:38
Fine sanding and polishing are done on the tank and fenders. 

Looks halfway decent for being a backyard spray paint job.  The sanding/polishing (3M abrasive) grit steps were 800, 1200, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000 Trizact and finally polishing compound.

My next post should include the Suzuki logo and black stripe outline on the tank.  Thanks for stopping by :)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: NoRiders on Aug 28, 2016, 09:38:07
Very smart paint design and finish :D
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 28, 2016, 16:05:25
One side done :)

Used some 3M striping tape for the tank outline, similar to how the bike came factory.  The turn near the seat was a bit too tight, so I had to split the tape and do the stripes individually there.  Otherwise it was a pretty quick job.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Aug 28, 2016, 16:58:00
Nice job. Hope you used gas proof clear like spraymax 2k clear.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 28, 2016, 22:30:53
Nice job. Hope you used gas proof clear like spraymax 2k clear.
Thanks! and we are oil, gas and UV resistant.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Aug 29, 2016, 09:14:55
Good deal, I'd hate to see that paint job ruined the first time the gas overflows at the filling station.  Cheers

Maritime
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Habanero52 on Aug 29, 2016, 10:43:38
What paint did you use?
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 29, 2016, 13:59:54
What paint did you use?
Rustoleum's Engine Enamel.  I called their technical group to verify that it would work for my application and they said it should be just fine.  I mostly wanted to confirm that it had a UV stabilizer to prevent yellowing down the road.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Aug 29, 2016, 14:04:13
That's a good thing to ask, a lot of white doesn't have it, like the appliance epoxy. It will yellow in one season in white. Did you cure/bake the paint? It will make it last longer if you did.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Habanero52 on Aug 29, 2016, 14:07:29
Thanks!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 29, 2016, 14:10:54
Did you cure/bake the paint? It will make it last longer if you did.

I didn't bake it; didn't think to do that.  It should reach it's full cure eventually, though baking should get it there significantly faster.  Now that it's full of gas I think I'll pass on putting it in the oven  :o
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Aug 29, 2016, 14:38:37
good plan LOL
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: advCo on Aug 29, 2016, 15:00:28
I'm pretty sure most of the rattle can engine enamels do not achieve chemical resistant until they are cured properly, unless rustoleum is different i'd be cautious with the fuel  :o
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: jpmobius on Aug 29, 2016, 15:13:52
Right.  I've never seen a single component paint that was "fuel resistant" - unless fuel resistant is like a watch that is "water resistant" for up to one inch of water!  The paint may not "rinse off" when you spill gas on it, but I'd bet gasoline will leave a mark even if you have a rag at the ready.  Baking it very likely will help, but it won't be like 2k urethane or epoxy which are more like "fuel proof".  You could scuff it and shoot some more durable clear over it quite easily.  The 2k urethane spray can clear is expensive but worth it.  You've done a lovely tasteful job - worth preserving!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 29, 2016, 15:14:43
I'm pretty sure most of the rattle can engine enamels do not achieve chemical resistant until they are cured properly, unless rustoleum is different i'd be cautious with the fuel  :o
I wondered this, too.  According to Rustoleum's tech data sheet, the paint will reach a full cure in 7 days.  I can say that I've tested the fuel resistance a bit when I spilled gas onto the engine when priming the carbs for the first time.  The paint didn't seem to bubble or have any lasting effect and I was able to wipe it up with out it transferring to the shop towel.  I'm sure it's time dependent to an extent.  Should I spill on the tank I'd be wiping it up PDQ.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 29, 2016, 15:17:33
You've done a lovely tasteful job - worth preserving!
Thanks, jpmobius!

Allow me to be your guys' fuel resistance experiment :)  I'll be sure to post if I notice any troubles to save future folks the trouble.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Aug 29, 2016, 15:20:37
was the paint on the motor run through a heat/cool cycle? you should follow the can's instructions on that or you may have it fail down the road. Hopefully you do not run into any issues. If you can get the 2K clear in your neck of the woods and the proper respirator to wear while painting with it I would get it to be 100% sure you don't have issues.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 29, 2016, 18:04:08
Alright, so this discussion has gotten me curious regarding fuel resistance…  I've done a bit of digging on this on the paint side from info provided by the two paint makers, Rustoleum and SprayMax, as well as the BASF Handbook on Basics of Coating Technology.  Pardon me while I reveal my true side for a moment…  (by day I'm a nerd)  I hope maybe I can help someone with this question regarding solvent resistance that isn't content without asking "Why?" as I personally dislike coming across posts where someone says, "well I've heard such and such to be true…" yet has no supporting data or evidence.  That's how rumors and misinformation spread :)

Fuel resistance comes largely from a paint's ability to be crosslinked via reaction from individual polymer chains which are easily dissolvable into a network of molecules all tied together that cannot be easily dissolved by solvents (ie. fuel.)

Rustoleum's Engine Enamel is an enamel paint that uses a "modified alkyd" as its base polymer.  Enamel paints will usually be crosslinked (ie. cured) via oxidative crosslinking.  This reaction needs oxygen (or another oxidizer) to be carried out.  This is largely why you want to spray lots of thin coats over a span of time.  If you spray too thick, the top of the paint will cure, or skin over, and prevent the lower layers from curing and they will remain soft and less chemically resistant.  Rustoleum's Engine Enamel tech data sheet lists their resin as a "modified alkyd" which is very unspecific, but the fact that it is regarded as modified tells me that it was better solvent resistance than a standard enamel as there are some chain modifications that be made to tune the resin to have higher heat and solvent resistance.  Their product is essentially a 1 part, where the crosslinking component comes from the air (oxygen.)

The SprayMax 2k clear coat uses acrylic resins as the base, which are mixed with isocyanates when you put the button on the bottom of the can to "activate" it.  When you do that, you're allowing the acrylic resins and isocyanates (the crosslinker in this case) to react with each other and start crosslinking to form a larger network of urethane polymers.  (BTW, isocyanates are very nasty and they are happy to react with your body as much as your paint's resins.  You can become sensitized to them with prolonged exposure and get a nasty, itchy skin rash so it's a really good idea to use respirators and keep the mist off your body.)  The 2k is a 2 part because the base resin and crosslinker in the same can, but separated until you puncture the divider and mix them together.

Ultimately, urethanes are going to be more resilient to solvent exposure than their enamel counterparts.  If you are able to get the 2k I'd say go for that for your gas tank.  If not, you should still be just fine with the Engine Enamel, but make sure you have a rag handy and wipe up any drips as quickly and gently as possible.  The enamel is designed for intermittent, quick exposure whereas the urethane can withstand exposure longer.

With regards to baking painted parts, there are a couple things to consider…  If the manufacturer specifically calls for heat curing then it's likely because there is a set of reactions that cannot occur without the elevated temperature.  In that case, do it absolutely!  The paint won’t be as strong without baking.
Otherwise, cooking a painted part that isn't designed with high temp. reactions will allow crosslinked bonds to form faster.  Reaction rates, in addition to drying rates, are very sensitive to temperature (see the Arrhenius equation) so higher heat will cure paint faster.
BUT, it doesn't necessarily mean it will be stronger than an unbaked part, and if you bake it too soon, it can lead to the lower layers being weaker.  This is because you can skin over the top of the paint before the lower layers have had a chance to react with oxygen.  Skinning over means you've crosslinked the top layer tightly, but when you do this, it becomes less permeable to oxygen which is needed to cure the lower layers.  In other words, if you paint it thick and put right in the oven it could actually take longer to cure.  Let me quote the BASF Handbook on Basics of Coating Technology which in reference to enamel paints says, "During oxidative crosslinking of the unmodified alkyd resins the forming film undergoes molecular enlargement caused by crosslinking, starting from its surface.  A reduction in oxygen permeability is an associated feature.  Good through-hardening therefore requires only slow surface hardening."
Again, this is why people say, "use many light coats."

Sorry for the length, but I hope this is useful for someone without a reactions background that has the question of gas resistance on 2k vs. enamel in the future and values content over opinions and hearsay.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Aug 30, 2016, 08:17:22
Nice write up Northish, good info and true, the clear yo have will be ok if you are careful and clean gas off right away and use water etc. but if you miss a dribble it will cloud up in the spots, I have personal experience with that, the 2K you can be pretty careless and not hurt it which is insurance I need when the bike is a heavy rider, if it is a once and a while I wouldn't worry as much.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 30, 2016, 09:05:02
Nice write up Northish, good info and true, the clear yo have will be ok if you are careful and clean gas off right away and use water etc. but if you miss a dribble it will cloud up in the spots, I have personal experience with that, the 2K you can be pretty careless and not hurt it which is insurance I need when the bike is a heavy rider, if it is a once and a while I wouldn't worry as much.
Agreed - I think if I ever do a second, more fancy bike then I'll look harder for the 2k.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 30, 2016, 09:15:27
In other news, the carbs are rebuilt and back on the bike.  I've done as much research as I could on tuning and jetting to predict what jets and jet needle shimming I'd need to do to run my K&N's with pre-filters and the MAC 2-1 exhaust with a shorty muffler.

Main Jets - For main jets I've got 6 options, sizes 135 through 147, and these are actual Mikuni jets.  I am thinking that the 142.5 is where I'll start.
Jet Needle - When I took apart the diaphragms I noticed that there was no plastic spacer for me to remove, just a single metal washer about 0.5mm tall, so I am thinking a previous owner had fiddled with this already.  I was planning to do just this anyway so I left it as is.
Pilot Jet - Stock is a 17.5 and I also bought a 20 and a 22.5 just in case.  I've left the stock 17.5 in for now and will bump up if I run out of mixture screw travel.
Mixture Screw - I'll be starting with the screw 3.25 turns out

This tuning part has got me a bit nervous and I'm expecting the worst.  The bike hasn't started since Nov. 2015 and it now has new electronics, filters, exhaust, oil, plugs, gas, carb o-rings and main jets, and the carbs have been dipped and fully cleaned.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: danejurrous on Aug 30, 2016, 17:22:15
This tuning part has got me a bit nervous and I'm expecting the worst.

Worst case scenario, doubt it would come to this with all your meticulous work, you have a killer looking piece of art to put up in the house.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: AimlessMoto on Aug 30, 2016, 21:25:41
I absolutely love how this is coming out! Great work!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 31, 2016, 09:11:01
Worst case scenario, doubt it would come to this with all your meticulous work, you have a killer looking piece of art to put up in the house.
Haha!  You hit the nail on the head danejurrous... I've been telling people essentially that; that I'm just making very expensive garage art.  I suppose I could try to get it in the house somewhere though...  :o

I absolutely love how this is coming out! Great work!
Thank you, DannyMotor  :)  That means a lot.  I see you've had to mess with 4 carbs on your GS.  I can't even imagine... The two on mine are intimidating enough.   :P
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: 5ivemoto on Aug 31, 2016, 10:36:15
Very cool project. Really dig it. The rattle can paint job looks stellar nice tape lines. Just all around good stuff. Kudos
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 31, 2016, 10:51:24
Very cool project. Really dig it. The rattle can paint job looks stellar nice tape lines. Just all around good stuff. Kudos
:) Thx 5ivemoto - I appreciate the kind words. 

The cosmetics of the bike are pretty much done, so at some point I hope to get some nicer shots outside of the garage.  I'm forcing myself to hold off on final pictures because to me it still needs to run correctly before I can post "done" pictures.  Tonight I'll be starting her up and seeing just how much of a mess I've got on my hands to tune up.  I've never tuned a carb before other than adjusting the idle on a weed-whacker, so again, expecting the worst and may be posting lots of frantic "What does this sound mean?!?!" posts.

For starters, where does one plug their laptop into the carbs at to tune them?!?!   ;)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: AimlessMoto on Aug 31, 2016, 18:24:46
Thank you, DannyMotor  :)  That means a lot.  I see you've had to mess with 4 carbs on your GS.  I can't even imagine... The two on mine are intimidating enough.   :P

Yup! That's why I'm only working on parallel twins from now on! :)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 31, 2016, 23:06:45
This update has its ups and downs... or rather downs and then ups :)

I was able to get some gas in the bike and start it for the first time since January 2016.  It was a little sluggish to get going at first and had to put it on full choke to get it to kick over.  It did fire up though... well, at least half of it did.  It sounded pretty rough and I quickly found out that the left cylinder wasn't firing at all. 

I had a sneaking suspicion that it had to do with the way the RPM pick-up wire from the Koso digital gauge was wired into the signal wire going to the left cylinder coil.  The pick-up wire for the gauge is actually 2 wires, one black that was supposed to grounded and the other connected to the signal wire coming from the ignitor.  The Koso directions were tough to decipher and I was a bit suspicious about grounding the signal wire.  Sure enough as soon a I disconnected the ground the cylinder started working and the gauge started to display RPM info.  Got lucky there figuring that out right away; boy was I nervous it was something else.

It was still running pretty rough after that.  I wasn't really able to take it off choke even once it warmed up.  I did a lot of messing with the mixture screws and was able to get it off the choke by turning them out a fair amount.  But, then I was no longer able to give it any throttle whatsoever.  It would just instantly die.  I could put the choke on and then quickly twist the throttle and it would get up and out of the low end, but I couldn't slowly roll out of the low end.  It was very frustrating.  Very very frustrating.

Settings at this point:
Mixture screw - 3.25 turns out
Pilot jet - 17.5 (stock)
Float height - 23.5 mm
Jet needle - plastic spacer removed, one 0.5 mm washer in its place
Main jet - 145.2

Parts:
Mac 2-1 exhaust, shorty muffler, K&N pods with Outerwears prefilters

I decided to just pull the carbs back out and tear them apart since I wasn't getting anywhere with the adjustments I could make.  They were acting like the pilot circuit was plugged or something very wrong.  I've seen a lot of discrepancy in float heights reported for these GS450.  Clymer says 22.4 mm, others say 26.6 mm.  I ultimately set the float heights to 26.3 mm and upped the pilot jets to 20 just to see where that would put things.  I was pretty much grasping at straws at this point.

Settings after changes:
Mixture screw - 2 turns out
Pilot jet - 20
Float height - 26.3 mm
Jet needle - plastic spacer removed, one 0.5 mm washer in its place
Main jet - 145.2

I got dead lucky.  I'm pleased to say the bike started up much much more easily :)  It required a little choke to get warmed up, but once warmed I was able to take it off and it fell into an idle at about 900 rpm.  I did a few throttle blips, which were impossible before, and it indicated a little rev hang which I read to be too lean.  Working on the mixture screws ultimately brought the idle speed up to 1,200 which is where it should be factory.  When blipped, it responded very well.  I ultimately found that 3.75 turns out on the mix screws was best.  Getting close to going up another pilot jet size.  I wouldn't normally confound things by changing more than one variable but I was frustrated.  Feeling much happier as I can work from this base.

Final settings tonight:
Mixture screw - 3.75 turns out
Pilot jet - 20
Float height - 26.3 mm
Jet needle - plastic spacer removed, one 0.5 mm washer in its place
Main jet - 145.2

Ultimately, I intend to follow the standard tuning steps of find main jet first at full throttle, then move to jet needle shimming in mid range and finally pilot and mix screws.  At the moment though, I need to get insurance and registration set up.  Helmet is being delivered tomorrow as well as a license plate bracket and mirrors :)  Hoping I can get out and ride yet before the frost comes!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 01, 2016, 10:11:47
Everyone likes pics and videos over text, so here's where things stand after the carb work last night:
https://youtu.be/oGBFxHXHx0s
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Sep 01, 2016, 10:27:17
Nice, a ride will tell you a lot more for your jetting but sounds like you have a good start.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 05, 2016, 16:12:56
I've spent some time balancing the carbs.  They weren't too far off but there was a slight difference.  Attached are before and after pictures of the gauge readings.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 09, 2016, 09:52:37
So, I've been having some trouble getting the bike to run right at partial throttle openings.  It would sound like it was going very rich and would start running really rough/stumble and lose power.  Not a very reassuring thing to have every time you are pulling away from a stop light.

I went looking for some advice on gsresources.com and a couple knowledgeable folks there recommended looking at the slides/needle area and not the pilot circuit.  Here are the results and what I found to be the issue:

I've broken down the carbs again tonight after work and gone through everything again. I focused on the slide/jet needle/diaphragm parts. The diaphragms showed no holes when backlit. The slides were buttery smooth upon lifting and dropping and lifted when presented with air. The jet needles were genuine Mikuni non-adjustable 4C2's (somewhat unfortunately) and showing no wear.

The issue was completely my fault and ended up being the C clips in the slides not being seated correctly. I thought I had gotten them below the ridges but they were slightly above. This caused the jet needles to be too high up which was flooding the carbs with gas at partial throttle when the transition off the idle circuit was occurring.

I'm happy to report that the low throttle stumble is gone and I took the bike on the longest ride I've ever had with it (which was about 1 mile.) It seemed to be a hair lean, with a little rev hang when blipped, but I am happy to have a base I can work with.

And a picture of me smiling behind the helmet  :D
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: advCo on Sep 09, 2016, 10:55:32
Right on man. Looks mint. Hit the twisties!


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Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 09, 2016, 11:22:05
Right on man. Looks mint. Hit the twisties!
Thanks adventurco!  I will try to get out this weekend and do a little more tuning and get some more decent pictures that don't have me in them!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: magazine on Sep 09, 2016, 17:47:36
That's got to be a great feeling.  I LOVE your bike!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Sep 09, 2016, 18:41:02
You should be proud o what you have accomplished and you should get it dialed with minimal effort.  Great job!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: mothgils on Sep 12, 2016, 07:43:28
Looks great man! 


Get it off road!




What bars are those?  Where did you source them?



Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 13, 2016, 00:13:41
That's got to be a great feeling.  I LOVE your bike!

Thanks magazine!  Maybe it's just because it's my first bike, but I'm really excited about riding now :)

You should be proud o what you have accomplished and you should get it dialed with minimal effort.  Great job!

Thanks Maritime, I appreciate the support.  I'm happy to report I think I've got it dialed in to within one main jet step.  She's running really well and plug colors are looking pretty good, if not a hair lean.

Looks great man! 
Get it off road!
What bars are those?  Where did you source them?

Thx mothgils!  The bars are Moose 7/8" XC  on 1" bar risers from Dennis Kirk (they are so close to my house I get my parts delivered the next day :) )
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 13, 2016, 00:24:23
Well, I am happy to say that I have now put about 70 miles on the bike in the last few days and not one thing has fallen off :P  It's been on a cafe run and a commute to work and no issues to speak of!

The current carb settings are:
Mixture screw - 2.75 turns out
Pilot jet - 22.5
Float height - 22.4 mm
Jet needle - plastic spacer removed, one 0.5 mm washer in its place
Main jet - 137.5

It may be a tad lean on the top end, so I may be stepping up the jet a size or two in the coming weeks to see if I can get any more out.

Running along at 55 mph the head temp at the spark plug gets to about 308°F on a 78° day and holds steady, in case anyone was interested.

Hoping to get it out on the gravel and dirt yet this year to see how it handles off the pavement, but on road it's just fine.

Here are a couple non-professional shots of the non-professionally built bike :)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Sep 14, 2016, 11:51:24
Nortish, go accept your BOTM nomination.

Cheers

Maritime
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: sbruton on Sep 14, 2016, 12:37:43
Very well done.  Congratulations.

If my SR250 turns out half as nice I will be very pleased.

Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 14, 2016, 12:39:52
Northish, go accept your BOTM nomination.

 :D
Wow, thank you!  That's a big honor, Maritime.  If they had a blushing emoticon I'd be all over that right now.  I'm over the moon just to be nominated  :)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 14, 2016, 13:19:10
A few posts back I said I'd list out the parts used to help any future builders so here we go:
PartDescriptionVendor
Frame Tube1" OD Upswept   Dime City Cycles
Frame Slugs1" Long, .075" OD x .900 OD   Dime City Cycles
Headlight5-3/4" SATIN BLACK RETRO STYLE HALO HEADLIGHT ASSEMBLYDime City Cycles
MufflerMatte Black 12" Shorty Muffler   Dime City Cycles
Muffler PackingHigh Density Fiberglass Muffler PackingDime City Cycles
GripsOury Road Grips - BlackDime City Cycles
Left-hand ControlsBlack Left Side Center Push Cancelling Turn Signal, Headlight & Horn Handlebar Control SwitchDime City Cycles
Right-hand ControlsSimple & Clean Start and Stop Control Switch for 7/8" HandlebarsDime City Cycles
Brake Lever w/ MasterRetro 7/8" Nissin Hydraulic Front Brake Master Cylinder - (Black Electroplate, 14mm Piston)Dime City Cycles
Tail LightFlexible LED Integrated Tail Light / IndicatorsDime City Cycles
Clutch LeverSatin Black GP Style Clutch Lever & Black PerchDime City Cycles
ThrottleSatin Black OEM Style Single/Dual Throttle Assembly for 7/8" HandlebarsDime City Cycles
Brake Line   Goodridge Shawdow Stainless Steel Universal Brake LineDime City Cycles
Banjo Bolt10MM X 1.25 Black Brake Banjo BoltDime City Cycles
Banjo FittingGoodridge 45 Degree Polished Stainless Steel 10mm Banjo FittingDime City Cycles
Banjo FittingGoodridge Straight Polished Stainless Steel 10mm Banjo FittingDime City Cycles
Throttle CableKawasaki Throttle Cable - (Fits: KZ550C, KZ650D/H, & KZ1000B/G)Dime City Cycles
Banjo Bolt10MM X 1.00 Black Brake Banjo BoltDime City Cycles
Flasher RelaySparck Moto Universal Two Pin Flasher RelayDime City Cycles
HornSmall Gloss Black 12v HornDime City Cycles
Fuel Filter1/4" Retro Glass & Chrome Inline Fuel FilterDime City Cycles
Fuel Filter ReplacementRetro Glass & Chrome Inline Fuel Filter Replacement Element   Dime City Cycles
Fuel Line1/4" Clear Fuel LineDime City Cycles
Fuel Line Clamps1/4" Fuel Line Clamps - (5/16" Line)Dime City Cycles
Carb Rebuild KitO-rings, Intake Hex Bolts, Intake O-ringsCycle O-rings
Engine SS Bolt SetBolt Set GS450 LT LX LZ 80-82Z1 Enterprises
Connector2 Pin Connector for Clutch LeverCycle Terminal
License Plate MountCognito Moto Strut Mount License Plate Bracket   Cognito Moto
Carb Jet Needle ShimsNeedle shim most Keihin 0125A2M3.2 009-396 10 pack   Jets-R-Us
Carb Main JetsGENUINE Mikuni main jet size 135 ( N102.221)Jets-R-Us
Carb Main JetsGENUINE Mikuni main jet size 137.5 ( N102.221)Jets-R-Us
Carb Main JetsGENUINE Mikuni main jet size 140 ( N102.221)Jets-R-Us
Carb Main JetsGENUINE Mikuni main jet size 142.5 ( N102.221)Jets-R-Us
Carb Main JetsGENUINE Mikuni main jet size 145 ( N102.221)Jets-R-Us
Carb Main JetsGENUINE Mikuni main jet size 147.5 ( N102.221)Jets-R-Us
Carb Pilot JetsGENUINE Mikuni jet size 20 ( VM22/210)Jets-R-Us
Carb Pilot JetsGENUINE Mikuni jet size 22.5 ( VM22/210)   Jets-R-Us
Rear ShocksT-SH-22AS4-Tec Adjustable Damping Alloy Remote Reservoir Shocks for Suzuki GS450TEC Bike Parts
Misc. OEM Suzuki Hardware01550-10557, 08321-0110A, 09145-10002, etc.Charparral Racing
Wire14 Gauge GXL WireWire Barn
Fuse Holder20 AMP Fuse Holder   Wire Barn
Fuses20 AMP Fuses 5 PackWire Barn
Air FiltersK&N RU-1822Summit Racing
ChainSunstar Sprockets SS530RDG-110 - Sunstar RDG DualGuard Sealed Motorcycle ChainsSummit Racing
Air Filters SocksOuterwears Pre Filter Company 20-1558-01Summit Racing
Shock BootsDaystar MX MX00480BK - Daystar MX Fork BootsPowersports Place
Paint & PrimerSpray paints and primersHome Depot, Menards, ACE, etc.
Front Wheel BearingsAll Balls Front or Rear Wheel Bearing and Seal Kit - 25-1147Dennis Kirk
Rear Wheel BearingsAll Balls Rear Wheel Bearing and Seal Kit - 25-1236Dennis Kirk
HandlebarsMoose 7/8 in. Black XC Carbon Steel Handlebars - 0601-1797   Dennis Kirk
HeaderMAC 2-1 Exhaust 8030103 Black/ChromeDennis Kirk
Handlebar RisersPowerMadd 1" Bar Risers - 45301Dennis Kirk
Brake FluidDOT 4 Brake FluidDennis Kirk
Handlebar FoamMoose Stealth Mini Crossbar Pad - 0603-0619Dennis Kirk
OilLucas Oil 10W-40 Standard Oil - 10767   Dennis Kirk
Oil FilterK & N Performance Gold Oil Filter - KN-133Dennis Kirk
Spark PlugsNGK B8ESDennis Kirk
Lithium Ion BatteryShorai Xtreme-Rate 12-Volt LiFePO4 LFX14L2Dennis Kirk
Regulator/RectifierRicks Motorsport Electrics Regulator/Rectifier - 10-202Dennis Kirk
Wire12" Switch to Starter Cable 6 Ga (1 MIN)Del City
Wire20" Switch to Starter Cable, 6 Ga (1 MIN)Del City
Wire Connectors2-1 Multi-Wire Shrink Tube Butt Connector, 16-14 Ga (10 MIN)Del City
Wire ConnectorsMulti-Stud Ring Terminal, 16-14 Ga (10 MIN)Del City
Wire ConnectorsFemale Shrink Tube Bullet Terminal, .156", 16-14 Ga (10 MIN)Del City
Wire ConnectorsMale Shrink Tube Bullet Terminal, .156", 16-14 Ga (10 MIN)Del City
Wire ConnectorsHeat Shrink Push-on Terminal, Female, .250", 16-14 Ga (10 MIN)Del City
Wire ConnectorsHeat Shrink Push-on Terminal, Male, .250", 16-14 Ga (10 MIN)Del City
Heat Shrink Tubing4 ft. Black Dual Wall Shrink Tubing, 1/4" (1 MIN)Del City
Heat Shrink Tubing4 ft. Black Dual Wall Shrink Tubing, 3/8" (1 MIN)Del City
Carb Hex BoltsM5 - 0.80x16Bolt Depot
Carb Hex BoltsM4 - 0.70x12Bolt Depot
Carb Hex BoltsM6 - 1.00x12Bolt Depot
Front Inner TubeHeavy DutyBob's Cycle (LBS)
Rear Inner TubeStandardBob's Cycle (LBS)
Rear Wheel17x2.15eBay
Front Wheel18x1.80   eBay
SeatBlack Tracker Cafe Racer White Edge Seat For Honda CB200 CB350 CB400 500 CustomeBay
EmblemBlack raised Suzuki emblemeBay
Headlight MountsBillet Aluminum Headlight BracketseBay
Gauge Mount7/8'' 1'' Motorcycle Handlebar Mount Phone Holder For iPhone 5S 6S Samsung BlackeBay
Front Turn SignalsLED 39-43mm Motorcycle Fork Turn Signal/Running / Marker Light Kit   eBay
Chain Rivet ToolDeluxe Chain Breaker Kit Cutter Rivet Tool 520/525/530/630 Pitch ATV MotorcycleeBay
Repair ManualClymer Repair Manual M372amazon.com
Front TireIRC GP-110 Dual Sport Rear Tire 4.10S-18amazon.com
Rear TireIRC GP-110 Dual Sport Rear Tire 4.60S-17amazon.com
GaugeKoso BA038000 DB-03R Multifunction Gaugeamazon.com
Mirror MountEMGO 10MM MIRROR BRACKET 7/8 INCH BLACKamazon.com
Breather FilterSpectre Performance 3991 Black 9mm Breather Filteramazon.com
Carb BalancerVacuum Carburetor Synchronizer Carb Sync Gauge 2 Cylinderamazon.com
LED License Plate BoltsRupse 2* White LED Motorcycle, Car License Plate Screw Blot Lightamazon.com
MirrorsEmgo 20-64580 Black Left/Right Side Replacement Mirror for Enduroamazon.com


Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Sep 14, 2016, 13:20:35
Wow, nice job. I never keep that good of track of parts etc.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: canyoncarver on Sep 14, 2016, 13:21:13
I wouldn't want my wife to know.    Hell, I wouldn't want to know..... 
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 14, 2016, 13:27:43
Wow, nice job. I never keep that good of track of parts etc.
Yeah... I'm sure I'll start slipping now that I've got my first build out of the way...  Kind of like most of the pictures are of the first born...
p.s. I'll accept the nomination a.s.a.p., just wanted to try to get one good picture outside of my yard and garage yet :)

I wouldn't want my wife to know.    Hell, I wouldn't want to know..... 
Ha!  I am definitely over my original budget, but it helps not being married just yet ;)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Sep 14, 2016, 13:34:14
My CX build I know is under 1000 because someone else was buying all the parts and told me, otherwise I have to kind of guess.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 15, 2016, 10:50:59
My CX build I know is under 1000 because someone else was buying all the parts and told me, otherwise I have to kind of guess.
Being under $1000 is doing pretty darn good!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 15, 2016, 10:55:02
Here's a walk-around of the bike I took yesterday evening on a ride with the finished bike.  The weather was absolutely perfect... 72°F and sunny with light wind.  Not too many of those days in MN.

https://youtu.be/k7FytKk5_3w
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: kosmoto on Sep 15, 2016, 11:51:57
Great thread and a beautiful bike!  Makes me want to build a scrambler soon.  Did you use a spreadsheet to keep track of the parts and sources?  My wife has been bugging me to do that for a while now so I can appreciate the amount I'm spending.  It would also be handy when you liked a part or a vendor and want to buy the same thing again.

Whereabouts are you in MN?  I'm born and raised there and lived there (Minneapolis and later Chanhassen) until I was 38.  My folks and lots of family/friends are still there.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 15, 2016, 12:50:52
Great thread and a beautiful bike!  Makes me want to build a scrambler soon.  Did you use a spreadsheet to keep track of the parts and sources?  My wife has been bugging me to do that for a while now so I can appreciate the amount I'm spending.  It would also be handy when you liked a part or a vendor and want to buy the same thing again.

Whereabouts are you in MN?  I'm born and raised there and lived there (Minneapolis and later Chanhassen) until I was 38.  My folks and lots of family/friends are still there.

Hey kosmoto!  Thank you for the kind words and congrats on your Nom for BOTM as well!  I have been tracking all my parts because there got to be so many and I originally had a budget, but soon fell in love with the bike and the direction of the build so didn't want to skimp too much and regret things later.

I lived in Minneapolis downtown near Hennepin Ave temporarily while being relocated by work, but have since gotten a house over in Saint Paul.  Was just in Chanhassen earlier this month for the Cars N' Coffee event as a matter of fact.  Small world :)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Sep 15, 2016, 13:25:44
Being under $1000 is doing pretty darn good!

There is no labour in that number LOL. I wanted to go more tracker than I did but the bike at the time was for someone else, when it needs new tires it will get the tracker treatment.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 22, 2016, 20:13:46
Wanted to get these slightly fancier shots of the bike added to the thread for completeness.

It really is a fun bike on the gravel!  I think I will forever have a soft spot for air-cooled, light and simple 2 cylinder bikes.

_Northish
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: NoRiders on Sep 22, 2016, 20:32:45
Such a good looking bike, like it should've left the factory like it, if you get what I mean.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: djmaynard on Sep 23, 2016, 07:15:31
Those were great shots! Beauty!


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Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Oct 02, 2016, 22:05:52
Such a good looking bike, like it should've left the factory like it, if you get what I mean.
I definitely get what you mean!  I'm glad you think so as that was my hope for this bike.

Those were great shots! Beauty!

Thanks djmaynard!

And thanks to all who got out and voted for October's BOTM.  It's easy to do and can mean so much to the community.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: NoRiders on Oct 03, 2016, 04:38:44
Congrats on your BOTM nomination - the win was a bonus I reckon  :D
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: sacruickshank on Dec 04, 2016, 19:08:38
Northish ... i"m sure this has already been said in the thread, but thank you for documenting this. I recently snagged an '83 GS450L and will borrow from your thread shamelessly as I bring this bike back to respectability. The PO painted the tank and fenders a decent white, but the engine is a sketchy mix of the original metal and inconsistent black spray with no masking.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Dec 05, 2016, 10:19:01
Northish ... i"m sure this has already been said in the thread, but thank you for documenting this. I recently snagged an '83 GS450L and will borrow from your thread shamelessly as I bring this bike back to respectability. The PO painted the tank and fenders a decent white, but the engine is a sketchy mix of the original metal and inconsistent black spray with no masking.

Hey sacruickshank - Glad you found the build info helpful; also glad to hear someone else is turning a GS450 into something they can be proud of!  No shame in not reinventing the wheel; I'm sure you'll be adding your own ideas and flair.  Let me know if something I did was unclear or lacking in detail and I'll try to add some detail.  Best of luck and have fun with it!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Feb 24, 2017, 12:36:52
While waiting patiently for warmer weather to reach the north, I've made a few more purchases to take care of a few things I wanted to do last year but ran out of time for.

First things are new fork springs and oil.  The front end was a bit soft and I was bottoming out on moderate bumps.  I went with 10W oil and set the level at 140 mm (from the top of the forks with springs out and forks compressed.) 

When I pulled the original springs out I was surprised to see that they already had a progressive wind to them, so maybe they were an aftermarket spring already?  The new Progressive springs I put in seemed to be made with thicker metal so I'm hoping they are firmer than what was in there.  I'll be curious to see.  I may need to do some work with the preload spacer and oil level depending on how they feel.  More to come on this once I can get out and ride.

I also got a Koso narrow-band A/F ratio meter that was on sale.  I'm hoping to use that to make sure my carb tuning is in fact good.  I'll be wiring that in at some point and welding in the sensor port.  I'll post an update once it's installed.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: ApriliaBill on Feb 24, 2017, 13:15:57
Wanted to get these slightly fancier shots of the bike added to the thread for completeness.

It really is a fun bike on the gravel!  I think I will forever have a soft spot for air-cooled, light and simple 2 cylinder bikes.

_Northish

 You took a horrible looking bike (never a fan a the L models) and turned it into something anybody would be proud to own. Great job....
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: locul on Feb 24, 2017, 14:22:23
Nice work.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: troyholder437 on Feb 28, 2017, 10:12:39
Glad you like that gauge - It's pretty awesome.  It can learn gear position and I've got a cylinder head temp. sensor feeding into it.  Since I've messed with the wheels and diameters it gives me a lot flexibility.  It's pretty compact which was my biggest draw.  I've mounted it with a modified aluminum cell phone mount which worked out great.
 
And you are correct, I got that tail light from DCC.  You can find it a fair bit cheaper elsewhere but I like to support the U.S. retailers.
If you don't mind, where's you pick that up? And how much mulllllaaaaa?

Sent from my K88 using DO THE TON mobile app (http://'https://siteowners.tapatalk.com/byo/displayAndDownloadByoApp?rid=89466')

Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: troyholder437 on Feb 28, 2017, 10:13:05
Glad you like that gauge - It's pretty awesome.  It can learn gear position and I've got a cylinder head temp. sensor feeding into it.  Since I've messed with the wheels and diameters it gives me a lot flexibility.  It's pretty compact which was my biggest draw.  I've mounted it with a modified aluminum cell phone mount which worked out great.
 
And you are correct, I got that tail light from DCC.  You can find it a fair bit cheaper elsewhere but I like to support the U.S. retailers.
I should read it before I reply nvm😂

Sent from my K88 using DO THE TON mobile app (http://'https://siteowners.tapatalk.com/byo/displayAndDownloadByoApp?rid=89466')

Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Mar 02, 2017, 09:33:50
You took a horrible looking bike (never a fan a the L models) and turned it into something anybody would be proud to own. Great job....

Nice work.

Thanks guys, I appreciate that.  Even though it was my first build I knew that I'd have to try pretty hard to make it look worse than it already did ;)  Can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can get it out and get the air/fuel ratio gauge going to optimize the tuning.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Mar 14, 2017, 09:23:06
Was able to get the O2 sensor bung welded into the exhaust without too much trouble.  The probe is a narrowband but the unit will read 12.2 - 17.2 so I think that will be fine.  The unit is a Koso Mini 3 Narrowband A/R Meter if interested.

My worries are this, however.  The instructions call for the probe to be installed ~20 cm from the exhaust port, but I wasn't real excited about having an O2 probe sticking out in the open right behind the front tire and on only one of the headers.  So, it currently will be mounted about 50 cm from the exhaust ports where the two headers join up.  I'm assuming the 20 cm recommendation is because the probe isn't heated, so will need the heat of the exhaust gases to get up to operating temp.  My hope is that it will still get hot enough further down the pipes, just may take longer to get up to temp.

Next I'll need to take the tank off and get back into the loom I made to wire it up.  Waiting for warmer weather to do that :)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: trek97 on Mar 19, 2017, 07:09:06
Im interested to see how your O2 setup works out. 
Mine are wideband Lambda units which are heated.  Installed about the halfway point, on a 2x2 exhaust set up on 76 CB360.  Thus completely isolated from one another.  Unlike your 2x1 system mixing gases. 
Wondering how much that will affect the reading.
I think the biggest concern to watch for is leaks in the exhaust system.  If it can get any fresh air in at all will give false results.

I love mine.  I couldnt have tuned her as easily/accurately without it.

Keep up the good work.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: trek97 on Mar 19, 2017, 07:35:30
Also, I had the single sensor setup and just grew tired of swapping it from side to side, to check performance of each carb.  Thats why I went a picked up the duel sensor unit.

Now considering installing the old single sensor unit on my bmw triple w 3x1 exhaust.

OH am most importantly, its a bunch of fun to watch the gauge as you ride...keep your eyes on the road!!!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Mar 23, 2017, 12:14:23
Also, I had the single sensor setup and just grew tired of swapping it from side to side, to check performance of each carb. 

Hey trek97 - Thanks for passing on your experiences with AF measurements.  After reading your exhaust leak comment I went back and re-tightened the headers to make sure they were well seated.

Would you mind telling me how much of a difference you found between your two carbs?  I'm trying to gauge how much of a risk I'm taking by not reading both carbs individually.  My thoughts were that the carbs have been rebuilt with new o-rings and all jets and settings to be identical, and then they were synchronized at idle and high throttle.  And I should be able to tell with plug readings if there are any major problems between the two carbs.

Currently, my AF system is just about fully installed.  The O2 sensor is installed and the unit has been wired into the bike's loom.  Now I need to rebuild the carbs again to clean out last year's gas that seems to have plugged something up as I'm getting pretty bad rev hang at part throttle.  A bummer, and probably should have just drained everything before parking it, but I tried going with fuel stabilizer.  Still learning...
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: trek97 on Mar 23, 2017, 20:00:21
I have no idea about Suzuki carbs.  Only the bastards that come stock on 360s.

The only reason for checking both carbs individually is setting up A/F mix at idle.  (for fastest idle speed)  So you know both carbs are performing at their peak.  Basically making the most power along w best fuel economy.  Without going too lean.  Air cooled engines require a bit richer mix, the richness helps to keep the engine from overheating during extended idling periods.  Stuck at railroad crossings etc...

I found on my bike 12.8 to 1 gives me the best performance at idle.

So, I shoot for 12.8 as the minimum throughout the rpm range while cruising.  I would like to see mid 13's to 1 on WOT.  But cant hit that due to limitations of needle size availability.  And I dont have the proper equipment to make my own needles.  Otherwise I would try.

If I do jet her to accelerate leaner.  I find she occasionally wants to die during deceleration from higher rpm to a complete stop.
 
You will find, when rolling off throttle this closes the butterflies and she cant get any fuel through high rpm jets, making it crazy lean.  Mine gets upwards of a 21 to 1 mix.

thus if I could make a leaner needle for WOT I could install richer low rpm jetting and she would be able to recover quicker.

This is what causes the exhaust "popping" during decel.  Its a lean condition.

AND, you would be a very lucky dude if your carbs were able to simply match A/F mix adjustment and have them both running the same mix at idle.  They are crazy touchy adjustments on my bike.  As little as a 16th of a turn can be enough to make a big difference between set up properly or not.  I have a sickness, a lot of guys dont need that type of accuracy to be perfectly happy w a decent running machine.   ;D  As a lot of guys know its hard to keep a 360 running period.

You may find your A/F idle mix adjusters land in different spots.  (number of turns in or out) as long as both are giving the max idle speed.  It dont matter if they match turns.  Its performance your looking for.  And a difference may be that the PO had tuned one in too hard, messing up the seat a bit.  Therefore it would allow for more or less air or fuel at the same # of turns as the other carb.

At this time I have no idea the number of turns my A/F mix adj needles are set.  I just know they are both operating at perfect 12.8 to 1 mix.

I hope this helps a bit and keep me posted on your results. 

 

 

Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: trek97 on Mar 23, 2017, 20:15:36
Also dont make any adjustment unless your machine is at full operating temp.  If you cant ride it, it will need like 10-15 full minutes idling.  Atleast. 

The head and carb manifolds must be hot for fuel to atomize properly.  Otherwise, atomized fuel will re-condense to back liquid state between carbs and cylinders.  Screwing up your readings and adjustments.

I also park it on the center stand and shove a 2x4 under front tire to level the thing.

AND make sure your float levels are matching dead nuts perfect.

LOL is my sickness showing yet?    ::)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: trek97 on Mar 23, 2017, 20:31:07
And one more thing.

You will find that even the air temp/weather and altitude will affect the A/F mix adjustments.

This is the reason the engineers made the A/F mix adj external for quick and easy tuning on the go.

If you leave home at 5am and temp is 65f.  Mix can change that same afternoon when its 90f.  So, you can adj for that.

I dont mess w all that.  I made my system easily removable and just check it a couple times a season to make sure everything is healthy.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Mar 24, 2017, 09:25:50
LOL is my sickness showing yet?    ::)

You sound about particular as I am so I appreciate the insight and experiences.  My bike ran fine enough once I had rebuilt, re-jetted, re-leveled, and synchronized everything but the engineer in me knows that it can probably tuned a little better yet. 

All the tuning I did last fall was qualitative  (plug color, sound, butt dyno) so it'll be good I think to have some quantitative info (A/F #'s) to tune a bit further with.

It's supposed to get up to 51°F here tomorrow so maybe I can take a break from my house project to make sure my A/F unit is working properly.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Mar 29, 2017, 09:17:25
Finally got some time to tear down the carbs fully after finding that the bike wasn't running quite right after winter storage.

Found that one of the mixture o-rings had been smooshed and split into 3 pieces, probably my fault when I had replaced it last year.  So, more o-rings ordered from cycleorings.com.  I'm hoping that's the reason for it rev-hanging like crazy.

I had picked up an ultrasonic cleaner this winter, so at least I got a chance to use it again.  All the carb pieces got a bath in ChemDip and then 15 minutes in the ultrasonic spa.  The bath got pretty murky so it seemed to do a pretty good job.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: trek97 on Mar 30, 2017, 05:37:22
Wow, very nice.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on May 02, 2017, 09:37:56
Was able to get out for the first decent ride of the year and really test the state of the carb tuning with the A/F meter.  Two big observations from a couple hours of riding - The carbs are a bit lean in the mid-range and a bit rich on full-throttle.  At cruising speed (~3.5k rpm) I'd see an A/F around 16.1 and temps would start to climb.  The lowest the Koso gauge will read is 12.2 and at full throttle the A/F was dipping below the minimum reading of the meter.

Regarding my worries about the O2 sensor placement being too far away from the exhaust ports was somewhat valid.  The sensor won't get hot enough to give a decent A/F reading until you're up and moving.  It doesn't look like it'll give me an idle measurement but I think I'll live.

So, I've got a little more tuning to do.  I'll have to see if I can slide another washer under the Jet Needle to richen out the mid range and then I may drop the Main Jet from 137.5 to 135.

Overall still really happy with the bike.  The fork rebuild with Progressive springs is really nice.  It wasn't bottoming out on big bumps like it had been prior.  Wasn't able to get out on the gravel back roads on this ride as was with a good friend on a CBR600rr and they said absolutely not!
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: trek97 on May 02, 2017, 21:30:02
(http://www.dotheton.com/gallery/11494-200816163635.png)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Jul 11, 2017, 13:33:19
Had a very cool experience with the bike this summer.  Decided to see what the Rockers Spring Social was about in Minneapolis.  I had heard about it from a co-worker who said it was a neat cafe style gathering, so rode the bike there. 

Wasn't planning on entering it into the show (I'm kind of shy), but the gate attendant said I really should give it a shot.  Well, turns out it got the most votes for "Best Japanese" bike so boy did I get caught off guard.   :o  They had me hop on the stage and say a few words about the bike.  There was some disbelief when I said it was my first bike and that all the paint came out of rattle cans in the backyard, so I guess that's about the best outcome I could have imagined for this little GS-L.  :P  The trophy was really unique... hand-made out of old bike parts.  It evens spins around on bearings.  Someone put some time into them.

A few pictures from the event to share.  You might be able to see a few subtle changes I've made since last posting that include new mirrors, footpegs, and I've got the A/F gauge mounted.

Cheers,
Northish
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: trek97 on Jul 11, 2017, 14:05:50
Really cool bud.   8)
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Maritime on Jul 11, 2017, 14:06:48
Good on you for the win. One of may favorite bikes to come out of here lately as well. Cheers

Maritime
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: rxp1476 on Aug 15, 2017, 21:44:26
I know this thread is a couple months old now but, Awsome build.
I started a simular conversion on a 1980 GS450.

Thanks for sharing
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Aug 23, 2017, 10:00:00
I know this thread is a couple months old now but, Awsome build.
I started a simular conversion on a 1980 GS450.

Thanks for the kind words and glad to hear you're tackling the GS450.  Which version GS are you working on?
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: scramblerguy on Sep 02, 2017, 10:57:59
Thanks for sharing all your experience! I'm building a scrambler on a GS450S and I'm wondering how come you started with such big main jets as 145? My original main jets were 117,5 - that seems like a huge jump up to start with.
The current carb settings are:
Mixture screw - 2.75 turns out
Pilot jet - 22.5
Float height - 22.4 mm
Jet needle - plastic spacer removed, one 0.5 mm washer in its place
Main jet - 137.5
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 05, 2017, 11:18:38
Thanks for sharing all your experience! I'm building a scrambler on a GS450S and I'm wondering how come you started with such big main jets as 145? My original main jets were 117,5 - that seems like a huge jump up to start with.

Hey scramblerguy - glad you found my ramblings a bit helpful.  I started at 145 on the mains based on other builders' information they posted.  I was using K&N pods and a more free-flowing exhaust so figured I'd be pretty lean if I didn't make a big jump.  My stock main jet on my "L" model was 115 so it was a huge jump but after reading other ppl's experiences I decided to get some jets centered around the low 140's.  I've been pretty happy with the 137.5 so far with my intake and exhaust set up.  I see an A/F of around 11 to 13 when running on the mains.  Hope that helps.
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Riverduk on Sep 10, 2017, 09:35:25
Hey Northish,

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your build, also very encouraged to have a go myself, I have a '88 GS 450 E, different tank / seat and side covers but basically the same bike. I have been trying to find something a little different to have a go at and have just started looking at scramblers when I found this blog. Congrats on your prize win at the bike show, well deserved, your bike has a very professional look to it so I can understand your pride in your first build. I also appreciate the amount of time you took to record, not only the build but also all of the additional info to help other builders on their journey to a successful build, cheers, Ross
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: themountain on Sep 11, 2017, 20:35:26
I really enjoyed reading your "ramblings" :D 
I will soon start a gs250 and I really hope the outcome will be half as good as yours!
Mayor kudos for your first build...its amazing!

Cheers from cold Lima/Peru
Andy
Title: Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
Post by: Northish on Sep 19, 2017, 17:51:48
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your build, also very encouraged to have a go myself, I have a '88 GS 450 E, different tank / seat and side covers but basically the same bike. I have been trying to find something a little different to have a go at and have just started looking at scramblers when I found this blog.

Riverduk - thanks for saying Hi!  Glad you found all the notes helpful; that was my hope.  Also glad to hear from another GS450 guy.  I hope your build goes well for you; riding the finished bike is great, but the build is the most memorable part.  Best of luck; hope to see your build on DTT!

I really enjoyed reading your "ramblings" :D 
I will soon start a gs250 and I really hope the outcome will be half as good as yours!
Mayor kudos for your first build...its amazing!

Cheers from cold Lima/Peru
Andy

Thanks man; glad to hear from someone all the way in Peru!  A GS250 has to be so light and nimble!  Let me know if you have questions on something; I'm no expert but I'd be happy to try to help.  Get that project rolling!
P.S. My name is Andy too