Suzuki S32-2 Olympian restoration


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Picked up this little gem last summer for $400, including a wisconsin title. It looked like it had potential, and I was pretty excited about it. Prior to picking it up, I had intended to chop it apart and make a little cafe racer. Upon seeing the bike in person, I realized that all the sheet metal was near perfect (ie, no dents). Obviously the paint was bad, but I couldn't bring myself to chop up those beautiful fenders.

here is a pic the day I got it. The bike its a 1966 suzuki S32-2 Olympian. It is a 150cc two stroke twin with pre-mix. At first glance, you almost think it could be a honda baby dream. The frame and fenders and tank look nearly identical.

this bike is pretty simple and the part-count is very low. Within about 30 minutes, I had the bike completely apart.

Before I decided on a restoration, I mocked up the frame and tank to try and decide on a seat plan.

As mentioned previously, I just couldn't bring it upon myself to chop up those badass looking fenders. I mocked up the stock parts. I really like the look of those large, swoopy fenders. There was a tiny little dent on the front fender, but I was able to gently bang it out with a rubber mallet. This was the point where I switched gears and decided on a restoration instead of a custom bike. Notice the wheels- I had the hubs vapor honed and I used brand new rims, spokes and nipples from an eBay vender out of Taiwan. I was a little skeptical, but honestly they turned out really great. The quality on the parts was really good and the price was very good.

my next big hurdle was the gas cap. Those damn gas caps for this bike are impossible to find. I looked everywhere with no luck. So I decided to improvise. I picked up an aftermarket weld-on bung and gas cap setup. The unit that I bought happened to drop right down into the existing gas cap hole and was a snug fit. My welder guy did a great job seamlessly welding the new gas cap and bung into the tank. I wish i had taken a pic after it was welded on , but I didn't

Next pic are some parts waiting to be sent to powder coater. Notice the fork lowers and the rear shock holders. They are originally chrome. I priced out chrome plating these three parts and it was extremely expensive. I decided to have them powder coated in "super chrome" instead. Not exactly original, but saved me $400.

Here are the parts as I received them back from powder coating. I cannot recall the exact price, but it was somewhere around $300 for everything, I think. Notice the "chrome" powder coated parts. Again, not stock but good enough for this build. The blue is very close to stock. It is called paradise shimmer and comes from Prismatic powder. I purposely picked a metallic color that has a nice sparkle in the sun. Once again, not exactly stock. At some point, I had to decide on a budget. Being a small displacement suzuki, it will never really be worth a lot. I just couldn't justify the price of chrome plating and OE paint.

OEM headlight bucket needed to be addressed next. Technically, the stock headlight bucket should be the same color blue as the rest of the bike. This part is plastic, so obviously I could not have it powder coated the same color. Instead, I had it painted black with automative paint. It turned out really nice and looks good with the rest of the bike.

mocking up the bike after I got all the parts back from powder.
The taillight bracket, stand and peg brackets were powder coated black.
The engine cases and jugs were vapor honed.
new replica shocks.
polished up the side pieces on the tank.
New cables, plugs, coils.

i neglected to take any pics of the engine.
That was a royal pain. When I got the bike, I started it up and ran it around the block before I tore it down. It kept popping out of gear, so I made the decision to tear the motor down.

When I got inside, it was a hot mess. Nearly half the gears were stripped. Three of the bushings that hold the transmission gears in place were widened out significantly. I ended up scouring eBay for all these parts. Several different vendors supplied me with new gears, bushings, gaskets, etc. Also threw in new pistons and rings. Put the engine back together after having the cases vapor honed and she started right up. Shift and runs like a champ.
This is how the bike sits now. I rebuilt the wiring harness, sourced a new regulator unit, and sourced new starter brushes from Taiwan.
new front and rear brake pads.
Cleaned up and powder coated the seat pan.
Some people may look at the drag bars and think "those aren't stock". Believe it or not, if you look in the parts diagram for suzuki S-32, you will see that drag bars and shorter cables were a factory option. While these bars aren't genuine OE, they look exactly like the real deal. I think it looks way better than the traditional buckhorn bars.

The bike is done except for the upholstery. I sent the seat pan out to my upholster-er of choice that I use all the time. Honestly, I am getting slightly annoyed at the lack of progress. I lined up this project last September and paid a down payment. I sent the pan the end of November. Its now March and I still have no definite completion date. It needs to be done by May so I can bring it to Brewtown Rumble in Milwaukee. Will update when I finish the bike.

I rode the bike around the block and its a fun little bike. Its fairly quick and lightweight. Can't wait to get it completed.

Mate that's fantastic, awesome result!

I hear ya' on the seat pain too, there's a guy here who does an awesome job but tends to over promise and under deliver on time. My Kat seat took four or five months instead of the two weeks, and the 450 seat took a couple of months instead of a week or so... the problem is his work is so worth the wait!
Beautiful so far. You made a down payment on the seat? You may want to see if you can get over there and retrieve your seat pan.
Beautiful so far. You made a down payment on the seat? You may want to see if you can get over there and retrieve your seat pan.

Yes, $100 downpayment for the seat. I would love to drop by and get the pan back but its on the other side of the country.
Nice work. this thing is rad. If you do sell let me know, if I can swing the $$ this would be a great learner ride for the wife and son.
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