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Author Topic: Suzuki GS 550 E first timer cafe racer build UK  (Read 17092 times)

Offline stevogs550

  • Posts: 55
Re: Suzuki GS 550 E first timer cafe racer build UK
« Reply #60 on: Jul 12, 2018, 15:46:12 »
I've already fitted modern levers and led bits n bobs. So I decided to go for a more modern twist all round. I fitted an halo / projector headlight in a 5.75" headlight shell. Painted satin black with left-over wheel spray.
I then fitted RFY shocks. These are a massive improvement over the tired Koni shocks I had on. And it lifted the rear about an inch. They are fairly cheap but I'd say really good quality. I had read a few bad comments about them but for an old heavy gs550 I think they're great!
I also got some gum grips.
« Last Edit: Jul 12, 2018, 15:49:25 by stevogs550 »

Offline stevogs550

  • Posts: 55
Re: Suzuki GS 550 E first timer cafe racer build UK
« Reply #61 on: Jul 12, 2018, 15:56:08 »
I've added very small black brake reservoirs. I had an issue with the old reservoir hoses sweating. So I made sure I got good quality hose. I went for clear hose to act like a window because the mini reservoirs don't have windows.

Offline stevogs550

  • Posts: 55
Re: Suzuki GS 550 E first timer cafe racer build UK
« Reply #62 on: Jul 12, 2018, 16:12:41 »
I've now wired up new switches. Finally getting rid of the cheap plastic switch gear on the left.
I found momentary buttons that are part of the brake/clutch lever bracket. These are for horn and starter. Then two sets of two on-off buttons for indicators, headlight and high beam.
So the halo comes on with ignition and then a switch for dip and high beams.
I've also fitted a digital speedo that has revs in it too. I prefer the single clock. It's just a cheap chinese clock so I can decide if I like the digital style. I like it, so I might get a good quality one sometime in the future!

Offline stevogs550

  • Posts: 55
Re: Suzuki GS 550 E first timer cafe racer build UK
« Reply #63 on: Jul 12, 2018, 16:44:47 »
I'll add some pics of the switches at the weekend.
My current project is converting to spoked wheels... now i finally sprayed my wheels!
I found a gs1000 rear wheel with rear disc brake. So I don't have to convert to drum brake. I'd rather keep my new drilled disc! Found on eBay, the seller had a few blurred photos of it so I asked about the condition on the chrome rim (I thought I could re-spoke it relatively cheaply but re-chroming would be expensive!) He said the chrome was in great shape. It wasn't!!! It had been roughly sanded down on one side! Annoying coz I still want the gs1000 wheel but should've paid a bit less for it!
Postman just delivered the front wheel I found. Hopefully I will be able to make it fit! It's a '74 GT750 front wheel. Apparently they're all tapped for twin discs anyway coz I want to keep the twin discs (UK standard on the gs when US still had single discs I think). This is in goid condition.
So I'm trying to sand and polish out the deep rough sanding on the rear wheel. It won't be mirror finish chrome but hopefully decent enough.
I think I've got to change the front calipers because the gs550 calipers will touch the spokes. I'll double check this weekend.
Can anyone confirm the front caliper issue?

Offline stevogs550

  • Posts: 55
Re: Suzuki GS 550 E first timer cafe racer build UK
« Reply #64 on: Jul 14, 2018, 17:01:41 »
Handlebar switches...
« Last Edit: Jul 14, 2018, 17:29:39 by stevogs550 »

Offline stevogs550

  • Posts: 55
Re: Suzuki GS 550 E first timer cafe racer build UK
« Reply #65 on: Jul 14, 2018, 17:15:55 »
I fitted the gt750 '74 spoked front wheel today. It slotted straight in with no modifications from the standard alloy/mag gs550 wheel  :D Same size bearings/axle. Same width hub.
Even more suprising was that the calipers fit fine too! I had read that I'd need gs1000 calipers to clear the spokes. But that wasn't the case.
I'll need a new tube and tyre though.

Offline stevogs550

  • Posts: 55
Re: Suzuki GS 550 E first timer cafe racer build UK
« Reply #66 on: Jul 14, 2018, 17:27:35 »
The rear gs1000 spoked wheel needs new bearings to go in. The standard gs1000 has a 20mm axle. My Gs550 has a 17mm axle.
I thought about converting to the 20mm axel (I've got the 20mm axle, spacers and rear caliper bracket that all came with the set of wheels i bought locally for 15 - I was told they were gs550 wheel but I realise today they must be gs750 or 1000 because of the axel size. I just wanted the drilled discs) but the 20mm axle is quite a bit longer than my gs550 17mm axle. So I guess whatever bike the wheels came from (650, 750, 1000?) also has a wider swingarm.
So to cut a long story, long  ::) ... I'm getting 17mm bearings to put in.

Offline Nust

  • Posts: 19
Re: Suzuki GS 550 E first timer cafe racer build UK
« Reply #67 on: Jul 16, 2018, 09:57:18 »
Love that frame colour!  Bikes looking great.  Are you going to run spokes on the rear also? 


I just located a 78 550 myself that i'm considering picking up for a build.  That axle info is helpful, thanks.

Offline stevogs550

  • Posts: 55
Re: Suzuki GS 550 E first timer cafe racer build UK
« Reply #68 on: Jul 16, 2018, 16:03:30 »
Love that frame colour!  Bikes looking great.  Are you going to run spokes on the rear also? 


I just located a 78 550 myself that i'm considering picking up for a build.  That axle info is helpful, thanks.

Thanks! The whole bike was that colour when I bought it. I'm not that keen on it really! Ha! I was thinking gloss grey frame with gloss navy blue tank and seat unit. Maybe a winter project.

Yeah the rear gs1000 wheel I found is spoked with disc. So I can still run the rear disc and not need to convert to drum.
The bearing outer diameter and width is the same (47mm x 14mm) so you can change the bearings to fit your standard axle and disc bracket etc.
I roughly measured the hub width and it seems the same. So it should slot straight in when I put the 17mm inside diameter bearings in.
I need to re-spoke it and put a new tyre on too.

Offline Nust

  • Posts: 19
Re: Suzuki GS 550 E first timer cafe racer build UK
« Reply #69 on: Jul 17, 2018, 07:22:02 »
A grey frame with blue tank and tail would be a sharp look.  If you don't have another one to ride anything that keeps it off the road for an extended period of time should probably be a winter project IMO lol.