Suzuki TR500 Cafe


New Member
I "finished" this build recently and had a build thread on the Sundial board. Thought I'd share some pics and details here as well. There are a ton of cool builds on this board to keep me inspired for the next one.

I started this one with the intent to race it. It is modeled after a replica Suzuki TR500 race bike like you might see back in the early 70's on the track. After completing the build, i decided to make it street legal just because i loved riding it so much. Here are some of the early stage pics....will post more later.

Starting point was a $300 ebay special that ran:

Frame mods underway with all the extra tabs removed and additional bracing added:

Early stage of the fiberglass rear fender that i made up using foam shaped and sanded to the shape of the frame before laying the fiberglass. This is my first ever try at fiberglass...will be doing more in the future.

These are the rearset mounting tabs that I tack welded to the frame:
Here's another update on the build.

The motor out and in the process of a rebuild:

The rear fender has been rough trimmed to allow clearance for the chain and I am trying to figure out how to mount my seat with a trick integrated oil tank.

Made up some aluminum brackets to mount the seat:

Layed the body work up against the bike just to get a visual for how it might look:
Here are a few more pics of the build in progress

The rearset mount....I started out with 1/4 thick aluminum plate and mounted a set of MotoBits rearsets. The motobits rearsets are real nice quality and have a ton of adjustment options.

The cable stop added that i bought from here and the chamber is mounted as well.

This is the mount after adding lightening holes. I don't access to any machines, so I did all the cuts with a jig saw and metal blade and the lightening holes with 3 different sized hole bits. The 3 hole design kind of looks like some of the yamaha peg mounts from their old mid 70's 2 stroke bikes.

Here is a full shot of the Jemco race pipes. These things look and sound sweet.

Here is the rear gas tank mount from looking underneath. I used a piece a straight bar and welded is across the rear frame loop. Then, I cut up a piece of aluminum, shaped and bent it to what you see here. Then i attached it using rivets. The strap is an eom tank strap still available from yamaha. I like the look of it.

Here is the top side view

This is a shot of the new steering stops i welded in using 1/4 inch angel iron after removing the origonal stops. The origonals allowed for too much steer angel and allowed the clip on's to hit the tank.

More to come soon...
Here are a few more pics for anyone following along:
The fender after I smoothed it out and mounted using 5mm stainless screws tapped into the frame tube.

Here is a shot of the body work all mounted. The fairing brackets were taken from a Honda CR750 fairing bracket set that I had and cut/welded to work with the this bike. This pic also shows the wheels and tires. I had the wheels made up by eastern Wheels which is no longer in business, but they did a great job. The tires are racing dunlops from TA Baker.

The early version of my triple tree and dash.

I put new swing arm bronze bushings, had to ream the ID to mkae them fit right.

Painted the engine cases with PJ engine paint in aluminum along with a couple coats of clear.
Another update for those following along:

Getting ready for the fork re-build. I used aftermarket springs from YSS that were longer by 5 inches and lost the 5 inch spacer that came with stock springs. The results worked really well, especially given the fact that there are no aftermarket springs specific to this bike.

Pic as a roller with the powder coated frame and swing arm.

Made up a CDI mount out of aluminum and mounted to the frame upside down to help clear under the tank.

The front rotor was surface ground by a guy on ebay that was offering the service. The rotor was already drilled. I also put race compound pads in the rebuilt caliper...HUGE improvement over stock pads!!!!!!!

Parts ready for clutch assembly. I cross referenced Barnett clutch parts from the RM250 and found they also would fit the GT500 clutch. Once again, found aftermarket parts for the bike that were not part of any application chart....I like the hunt for this stuff.

more to come soon....
Love what you're doing here. And its a 500cc two-stroke twin. Yes please. That thing is going to be a blast to ride! :) Awesome build.
Great Job worldcafe. Glad you posted it on my Sundial Site. Look forward to when you get it done and ride it.
zooke581 said:
Great Job worldcafe. Glad you posted it on my Sundial Site. Look forward to when you get it done and ride it.

Thanks Sundial signon is CJF. You, Teazer and a bunch of other guys on that board have helped me out along the way with this build. Very cool and knowledgable folks especially with the suzuki 2 strokes.

This build is basically 95% complete except for a few things I am working on this winter. I'm giving the cliff notes version of the build condensing 1.5 years work (new baby arrived mid build) into a few posts here for anyone interested in following along. I love to see other builds in progress, so i thought i'd share the wealth here as well.
Dale said:
Love what you're doing here. And its a 500cc two-stroke twin. Yes please. That thing is going to be a blast to ride! :) Awesome build.

Thanks for the kind feedback...I gotta say that this is the most fun I have had riding a bike since I started riding at 17 years old. I am hooked on 2 strokes.
Chris, Good to see you and that great looking bike over here. BTW, what is that shapely looking tank?
Hey Richard....good to be here. Love whats goin on over here with all the different builds. That tank is a sexy Italian version of the TR500 road racer tank (not for everybody, but i really like it). Those Italians sure know how to build some good looking stuff. The manufacturer is It doesn't show on the site, but they manufacture the tank.
Here's another update....

I picked up a NOS clutch disk carrier. I the old one had big worn notches in it that couldn't be repaired. This one is nice and smooth for good snag free clutch action.

The bottom end engine rebuild underway. I had the crank rebuilt at Bill Bunne, replaced two trans bearings, new clutch plates, basket and springs along with new cylinder studs and rubber bushings for the engine mounts. Bunne does good work, reasonable price and is quick to turn things around.

I rebuilt the ignition coils using new ones from the dealer and some new wiring. Here is a before and after pic without the lighting coils attached. I added those later when i decided to make the bike road legal....more to come on that....

Pic with the engine in. These engines are so damn light, easy to rebuild and easy to put back in. Nothing like trying to get my CB750 engine back in. I polished the engine covers and added some lightening holes. This pic also shows the NOS KONI shocks I picked up on ebay. They were made for the bmw r60 and the springs ended up being too stiff for the weight of my bike. I'm not sure of the weight, but it is a lot lighter than the BMW. I ended up putting the springs back up on ebay and got a new set of lighter springs from IKON to put on the shocks...problem solved.
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