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Old 03-14-2013, 10:24 AM   #1
EXO OP
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Is it worth it?

I got a 1981 Suzuki Gs650gl for free. It needs new case bearings and carb gaskets. Is it worth making it into a bobber or cafe racer? I mean it only needs a few parts but its pretty clean and only has 2,400 original miles. I just don't know if you can lower a shaft drive bike. Any help and insite would be great.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:43 AM   #2
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I'm confused about what you mean by, "is it worth it?" Do you really want a cafe or a bobber? If yes then yes it might be "worth" it. Making it a cafe or bobber will kill any value the bike has though. I'd say don't do it if it's in nice shape at all.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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I want a cafe or bobber I like the styles of both but I don't know what direction to go. I want it to be done right I just can't find anyone who has made these into a cafe or bobber. Also I found struts online could I use those so I don't have to cut my frame and weld it to make it a hard tail.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
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Sometimes free is too much...............

I got one for free once. 6 months & $2000 later I had a bike worth $1000.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:36 PM   #5
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If i do convert it i dont plan on selling it anytime fast. I mean how much could you sell a bone stock 81 gs650 for anyways? i bet not even 500 bucks.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:21 PM   #6
kruzuki
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2400 original miles and 'case bearings' are shot? What up widdat?

Otherwise, I always though a well-sorted GS-L model would make a cool bobber.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
SimpleSimon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAULIBIKER View Post
Sometimes free is too much...............

I got one for free once. 6 months & $2000 later I had a bike worth $1000.
This.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:47 PM   #8
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the guy says case bearings but i dont know till i tear it apart. i have been looking and im leaning towards a bobber.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:47 AM   #9
kellymac530
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Worth it...never.
Building almost any bike into something else is almost never going to be a break even or money maker.
Cutting up any bike, even a free bike will almost always cost you morfe than it will ever be worth.
That said, if it is what you WANT, then, it IS worth it to you.
I build things for ME.I am building a '96 RT into a dual sport/ADV bike. It was worth maybe $4k which is about what I paid for it 10k miles ago. So far I have about $1000 into parts and pieces with a few hundred bucks left to make it what I want. I have alot of time and fabbing involved. I hope to re-coup a few dollars from selling off the tupperware and wheels, forks, shocks, bars....but will no where near cover what I have spent so far.
What will I ever be able to sell it for should I decide to sell it...peanuts, Probably would be better parting it out if I ever want to sell it.
Probably take a $2-3K hit if I decide I do not like it...but I WANT to build it, so it is worth it to me.
Motorcycles in general are almost NEVER a money making deal anyway. We buy them, ride them, sell them for less. It is the gas savings, or the fun factor, stress reliever, head clearing, smile envoking, attitude adjusting that we love about them and are willing to spend the money on.

If you really WANT this bike as a bobber or cafe...then it IS worth it. If it is just something you think you will build and sell...NEVER worth it.
JMHO though.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:43 PM   #10
Pablo83
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If you've been thinking about building a custom bike, it's a great idea to start with a free bike. That way if you get into it an decide it's not for you, you haven't lost a lot of money. Just make sure you get a title before you put any effort into the bike.

Here's my free '86 Honda Rebel 450 (Before):


After - This was my first custom bike build. It took years. I sold it for $2200 and probably had less than $1000 in parts into it.


Here's a $400 bike I got from the pawn shop:


This build took a little less than a year. It's worth a more now than a mint version of the stock bike would be worth.


Here's a $400 '75 CB400F that I bought last fall:




Here's what it looked like a month later (I've had a lot of bike building experience since that Rebel). I sold this one for $2500.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:27 PM   #11
CharlieT
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Now add your cost up for those builds and include labor costs. As with most builds, labor costs will easily and often far exceed parts/supplies.



Nice job on those bikes, BTW.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:29 PM   #12
Pablo83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieT View Post
Now add your cost up for those builds and include labor costs. As with most builds, labor costs will easily and often far exceed parts/supplies.
You're absolutely right.

That last one I made $30/hr which was a goal I was trying to hit, but on the first 5 or 6 bikes I built/restored I probably made $3/hr. I'm just trying to tell the OP that if he wants to know what it's like to build a custom bike, a free bike is the right one to start with.

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Old 03-24-2013, 04:30 PM   #13
baloneyskin daddy
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The smaller Suzook inline 4s had plain bearing cranks.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:40 PM   #14
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The guy says case bearings then says crank bearings. I have the bike now it runs but is kinda doggy when you crack the throttle. and for some reason RPMs just around at idle a little bit. one second they will be low almost low enough to stall out then they jump up pretty good i dont know i have not had time to get into it yet with work and all. im just going to keep it all original for now get all the kinks worked out and ride it for the season back and forth to work then in the winter i will dig into it.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EXO View Post
The guy says case bearings then says crank bearings. I have the bike now it runs but is kinda doggy when you crack the throttle. and for some reason RPMs just around at idle a little bit. one second they will be low almost low enough to stall out then they jump up pretty good i dont know i have not had time to get into it yet with work and all. im just going to keep it all original for now get all the kinks worked out and ride it for the season back and forth to work then in the winter i will dig into it.
I am not the champion of simplicity but, Get it out and ride it for a few hours at high way speeds, you will be surprised at how much the thing will clear out after that.
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