Suzuki GS550E '78

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
Been on this forum for some time, not had the balls to upload anything as there are some top guys on here and this is my first foray into modifying.
I bought the GS from Ebay for £400 from an old guy in Exeter (UK) who buys up duffers, rebuilds and sells on for fun. He said he'd made a loss on this bike but was happy that he had some funds/space for his project. It was a good runner, needed a bit of work for MOT test, but I was happy. It has been my intension to have an older bike for some time as a lot of my friends have velos, guzzis, panthers, nortons and triumphs. I can't afford any of those, so looked into something Japanese. My first ever 'proper bike' was a GT200 X5 in 1992 so though a Suzuki would have some nostalgia for me.
Picture shows bike as I bought it.
 

Attachments

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
First thing I did was remove the high bars, at the time I had some MX renthals lying about so I put them on. My friend wanted the seat cowl so I took it off as I didn't want it anyway.
 

Attachments

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
The clutch was really heavy, so it was stripped and checked for warping, all ok, pushrod was ok, cable was new. Turns out the springs are heavy duty, replaced by PO. I onlt put three of the six back in, now I have a usable clutch, and it doesn't slip, surprisingly.
 

Attachments

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
Rear caliper was seized, after boiling a pot for 5 minutes and a squirt of WD40, the pistons popped out no problem. I cleaned all the flaking paint off it too.
 

Attachments

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
The bike came with Hesketh V1000 gauges. I really like them and my mates say they are quite querky as Hesketh are well sought after and expensive bikes. They don't really fit into my 'vision' for the bike so they may have to go eventually. Been offered a Smiths 3" speedo which is proper vintage from a 50's Brit bike (he doesn't know which), but I don't think the ratios will work and it has a dent in the chrome surround. I am still considering it.
 

Attachments

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
Also during this time, have replaced the headlight mounts, the indicators, front brake master cylinder, throttle and grips. It now has clip ons from a BMW R60, they were a bit short so I put 5cm long bar ends into them. You can also see I have added a mirror and cut down the front mud guard. The front disks have been drilled with 16 8mm holes either side. these were cleaned up with wire wheel before drilling. You can see this better on the above pic.
 

Attachments

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
I replaced the starter/kill switch to the top yoke using a MX switch I had. Cleans up the bars too. I lowered the gauges. The forks look really lowered, but the PO had put fork extenders on them. I shall return them to stock asap. Forks are only 4cm lower in the yokes. Still handles really well, despite the changes to the front.
 

Attachments

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
Bought this seat, my first attempt at making a fibreglass seat following Lossa Engineerings method failed miserably and cost me about £40 in resin and fibre, so I thought I would save myself the trouble and cost and got this one.
It is really for a Honda so the mounting points dont match up. This is my next job, moving the battery under the seat hump and creating brackets to fix the seat to the frame.
 

Attachments

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
As she stands at the moment. Really lovely to ride, put 600 miles on her since I got her. I am going to paint the tank in cream and metallic red with rattle cans as I know I can do a decent job with them. But seat needs sorting first.
 

Attachments

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
Sorted out the seat brackets now, they just need tidying. Going to weld the steel parts together, pop-rivet the alu to the steel and it should be a bit lower to the seat base which will make the lines look a bit better.
I wanted to keep the original pivots and locking point for ease, Yes I know it adds weight, but I figure I may as well! The seat is a heck of a lot lighter than the original, so the brackets don't add much extra.
 

Attachments

danejurrous

New Member
Nice looking bike, always good to see other zooks on here! Like what you have done to it so far. As for the white walls it's up to you if you like them do it. Personally I wouldn't, I am not much for white walls on anything other than old rat rods but that is just my 2 cents.

I am surprised your clutch is not slipping with only 3 springs in there. I had to go to the high strength springs on my 750 because I would grab some throttle and would rev but would not accelerate. I assume the PO had put them on your bike, very common on the old GS's. Keep up the good work!
 

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
White walls? No go! Thanks for the input. ;)
My previous attempt at the rear mudguard/light/reg plate was a bit rushed and tbh illegal in the UK as white light was showing from the back. I fabricated a bracket from some aluminium plate and sprayed it black. It now holds the light in a better position. When I cut the front mud guard I have a bit left that I thought would do for the rear, which is what I have done. I think it is a vast improvement. At some point I will be cutting the frame rails, it won't stick out so far and will hide the plastic part of the mud guard.
 

Attachments

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
Re: Suzuki GS550E '78 Rear Wheel

Stripped off and painted my rear wheel to match the front. I used plasicote on the wheels. I have used it before on my R6 wheels and it is very durable. Drilled out some holes in the disk and wire brushed the loose pain off. I like the look of the bare steel so I won't be painting the centre. Rear Caliper has seized again so just stripped down and will get new seals for it. Changing oil and plugs whist off the road. Plus having a go at adjusting the clutch to see if I can get it any lighter by re-routing the cable and adjusting the 'adjusters'.
 

Attachments

SeanGSUK

Strength is measured in tolerance, not mass
Re: Suzuki GS550E '78 Tank Painted

Finished laying down the paint on my tank. It is cream and pearlescent red. Just needs rubbing down and clear coating. Side covers will be just in the red. Just done with rattle cans and elbow grease. I may run some black stripes next to the red, as in the mock-up, what do you guys think?
 

Attachments

Top Bottom