Author Topic: My First Build :1978/81 Suzuki GS 550 E/T Cafe Racer  (Read 907 times)

Offline AdamInMO

  • Posts: 5
My First Build :1978/81 Suzuki GS 550 E/T Cafe Racer
« on: Apr 14, 2017, 13:25:46 »
H everyone. Long time lurker, first time poster. Just bought a Frankenstein Suzuki GS550 that has a '78 frame, but parts from various versions of the GS550 up through 81, including the E and T. Around 8000 original miles and runs like a dream. I'm taking a lot of inspiration from...

this thread


(I hate that YouTube forces embedding of videos.)

Image of the bike as I bought it is attached below.

First thing I did was take off the 13" stock stocks and put 10" shocks, as I'm average height at 5'7" but with a VERY short inseam of around 28". I'm about to reduce the height in front the same way he did in his videos, removing the insert, cutting the spring, and cutting the tube. Pictures forthcoming.

To do list for the bike is to...

  • swap the seat for a cafe racer style seat (especially since the existing tail light now touches the rear wheel after changing my shocks)
  • add tail lights and turn signals (previous owner left the wiring but removed the actual fixtures)
  • sand, paint, and prime the tank and front fender (paint style will be similar to FTB's, but a matte or satin black primary, and possibly high gloss red striping) I am keeping the original tank, as I sort of like it's profile
  • Clubman-style handlebars. I like the looks of the clip-ons, but I want something a bit more upright
  • replace the exhaust with something that doesn't flare out. I'm not sure why that looks so goofy to me, but it does. I want a straight exhaust, even if its large with some extra baffling and noise-cancelling.
  • when I switch to new tires soon, I'll switch to spoked wheels
  • EVENTUALLY I'd like the bike torn down to have the frame and wheels powdercoated
« Last Edit: Apr 14, 2017, 13:45:34 by AdamInMO »

Offline AdamInMO

  • Posts: 5
Re: My First Build :1978/81 Suzuki GS 550 E/T Cafe Racer
« Reply #1 on: Apr 17, 2017, 12:31:58 »
Spent some time this weekend working on the new rear shocks. The original OEM shocks came with the bushings permanently installed in the shock assembly, but I needed the metal insert out of the center, so I took a hand torch and melted the rubber on the original bushings, and beat the inserts out with a hammer. Then, I put them inside the newer (and smaller) rubber for the new shocks, and used a wooden mallet to beat the new bushing assembly into the new shocks. No pictures of this process as it is pretty self explanatory, but if anyone has questions about this process, let me know.

Supposed to rain all week, so next weekend I will be shorting the front forks, insert, and springs. I won't be doing pictures of that either because both of the resources in my first post document that FAR better than I can.

Offline _Scotty_

  • Posts: 15
Re: My First Build :1978/81 Suzuki GS 550 E/T Cafe Racer
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 17:51:06 »
1982 Suzuki GS650 mutated Brat Tracker