1981 Suzuki GS 450 Cafe Racer Build Thread

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Iron_HawK, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. jfman

    jfman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,666
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Any updates onh this build?
    #41
  2. HiSPL

    HiSPL Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    College Station, Texas
    #42
  3. Iron_HawK

    Iron_HawK Farkle Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Southern Indiana (Evansville)
    Hey everyone sorry for the delay. I have been very busy with college and work. I have made some progress since I was last on here. But first to address the questions.

    barnabasantioch: I stand corrected my GS is a "T" model. I love the spoked wheels and looking at alot of the older bikes I got lucky and got the spokes instead of the other nasty wheels. Raising the tank on the "T" or "L" should make the bike look much better. I raised the rear of my tank roughly an 1".

    aceinab: I have already taken off the horn with no motivation to put it back on. Over the last 6 years of riding street bikes (since I was 15) I have never used a horn. I would rather address the problem on the street first then blasting off making myself noticeably visibly to whoever just pulled out in front of me. I do not have much use of a horn on a motorcycle. I bought some nice turn signals for the bike but I am actually thinking of leaving them off. This is not my DD, it's my weekend warrior. I'm not all that worried about street legal just that it's a fun bike to ride and enjoy.

    HiSPL: Thanks man, I have done some reading on that site to learn more about the bike. I would love to build a GS inline four down the road.

    Okay now to what I've done since the last posting... along time ago.

    I have welded the rear fender in and welded all the number plate brackets in shown below: (please don't judge the welding, I'm still learning)

    [​IMG]

    I pulled the exhaust off and cleaned it up a tad. I'm not terribly worried about the looks of it since I will be using exhaust wrap around it and eventually building a black tip at the end of each side.

    [​IMG]

    I pulled the engine out and cleaned it up a bit. I still have more cleaning to do on it but for right now I am happy with it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A sneak peak to how the whole engine should turn out:

    [​IMG]

    I have been playing with the foot pegs and rear-sets for a long time trying to come up with a design I liked. Rear-sets are a huge critical part in a custom designed bike which can be used to estimate the amount of work someone put in building the bike. Believe me I played around with the idea of using the stock pegs but I eventually came up with this simple and "industrial" design. It's tuff, rugged, and pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Also notice the rear brake pedal. I'm mighty happy with how it turned out. It's just enough different that it should stand out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's how the bike sits now. Tomorrow I believe I will strip the rest of the bike down to just the frame and begin the dreaded wire brushing of the frame. I've been wanting to buy a cabinet sand blaster but it keeps slowly getting moved down the list of things to buy. I've gotta find a good way to clean this dude up. I should be on here more frequently now that school slowed down a bit and I am home again. Thanks for the interest guys, hope I didn't upset to many people by not updating for a while. Got more pics and progress to come! Thanks again
    #43
  4. Iron_HawK

    Iron_HawK Farkle Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Southern Indiana (Evansville)
    Thought I might also post some pictures of a project I did that I'm not really sure why I built. I've been trying to get better at using the MIG welder so I decided to build something I didn't really care about. This is what I built.... a Big Wheels that a 200lbf 6'4" guy like me can fit in. It's actually fun

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not real sure why I did it but I'm happy with the result. Looks pretty good and has suspension :rofl

    More bike pics tomorrow.

    Thanks again guys
    #44
  5. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,837
    Location:
    Woodland Park, CO
    Nice trike. Not all projects need a purpose. Here's one I did recently.

    [​IMG]
    #45
  6. Iron_HawK

    Iron_HawK Farkle Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Southern Indiana (Evansville)
    Thank goodness I'm not the only one that in mid-project realizes that the project is practically useless haha. That wagon looks sharp. reminds me of an old T-bucket rod.

    Anyone looking at this page should also check out Good Spark Garage these guys are awesome and have some sweet bikes. They helped me with the stickers that will be going on the bike.
    #46
  7. Iron_HawK

    Iron_HawK Farkle Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Southern Indiana (Evansville)
    Got some more stuff done today since it's fall break. I used a break to bend the heel guards. I stripped down the frame and finished all the welding and grinding. I am now looking to either sand blast it myself or pay someone. Since this is a budget build (more out of necessity than desire) I will probably do it myself. I started building a brake light and license plate bracket that I'm not so happy with but I think it will work. I cut the kick stand off so I will only use my center stand. Sparkymoto did it and the bike looks so good with a vertical stance. More pics to come. Sand blasting, priming, and painting the frame is very close and I'm getting those butterflies again.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #47
  8. jfman

    jfman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,666
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I have a 1980 and theres no need to pull the exhaust. If you remove the rear shocks you car raise the swingarm high enough that the axle bolt can come out over the musfflers.
    #48
  9. Nasty20

    Nasty20 n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I really like what you've done, I have the same bike and have a couple quick questions for ya: What kind of wheels are those and where did you get them? Also, are those aftermarket handlebars or the originals turned down? Thanks!
    #49
  10. Iron_HawK

    Iron_HawK Farkle Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Southern Indiana (Evansville)
    The project is coming along well. My funding has came to a halt for the moment so I can't get the frame powdercoated quite yet. It will be soon. This summer the bike WILL be complete. I've had several questions regarding the wheels.. These wheels came with the bike. I did not purchase them seperatly. The spoked wheels are kinda rare on these bikes and I'm super lucky to have them. Thanks again guys. Happy Riding
    #50
  11. Spikus

    Spikus n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1
    Dude, I love your bike build, especially those tires! I have a 79 GS425 (with spoke wheels) that I'm also turning into a cafe racer, and I want slightly wider tires than stock on both the front and back. It looks like that's what you've done with yours. Can you tell me what size they are? After I saw this, I researched those Shinko 712s, and they got rave reviews basically everywhere!

    Once you tell me the sizes of yours, I'm buying a pair!

    Thanks, Scott
    #51
  12. Iron_HawK

    Iron_HawK Farkle Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Southern Indiana (Evansville)
    Thanks Scott I appreciate it! Sorry it's been a while since your post but to answer your questions my tire size is as listed:

    Front: 100/90-19

    Rear: 130/90-17

    The rear is a tad wide but should work and if it doesn't... I'll change things. That's what I love about building this bike, if it doesn't work.... fix it.

    Powdercoating should be done soon on the frame. I can't wait to start putting this bike back together.
    #52
  13. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    828
    Location:
    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    A "tubbed" Radio Flyer!!!

    COOL!

    Now it just needs some "big n littles" to get some rake to it.
    #53
  14. Iron_HawK

    Iron_HawK Farkle Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Southern Indiana (Evansville)
    Well today I got a few quotes for powdercoating. Places around here are quoting $200 - $250 for sandblasting and powdercoating it satin. Right now I shouldn't be spending that money right now. I'm gonna keep trying to find someone to do it for around $100. I don't know how likely it is.

    But I did get some progress going today. I some time away from school and decided to work on the tank. I stripped it all down to bare metal. The whole plan up to this point was to would paint the tank burnt orange. Not anymore... I changed plans to keeping the tank stripped and painting the cowl and fiberglass black. Here's some pictures to keep this thread going :evil

    [​IMG]

    After wire brushing:

    [​IMG]

    Now after some sanding:

    [​IMG]

    Decided to try my hand in pinstriping. I think it looks terrible but it adds to the "vintage" look of the bike. To add to the budget build the pinstripe was done with black $2.13 nail polish. The paint did great other than the fact I used the brush that came with the nail polish kit. To be honest I kind just liked using the brush just for the fact that it adds to the "homemade" build. The girl at Target asked if the nail polish was for me, answered well of course and explained to her I was going to try my hand at pinstriping my motorcycle with it. She laughed and stated that she had never seen a guy so happy to buy nail polish.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope yall like the looks of it. Overall I am very happy with it. I will be clear coating it tomorrow. I'm happy how the bike has changed to this new look. Thanks again for keep looking! and as always let me know what ya think
    #54
  15. M Bouthillette

    M Bouthillette Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    33
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Subscribed !

    This is a great project, it inspires me to try my hand at doing the same. Maybe not now, but I'm definitely looking into this for the coming years. Keep up the good work and thank you for feeding this thread.
    #55
  16. Iron_HawK

    Iron_HawK Farkle Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Southern Indiana (Evansville)
    Thank you! It just takes time. You can do it without spending lots of money and still come up with a nice "custom" bike. What I'm really going for is "barn built". To all it's own but I enjoy seeing what people can do with what they have.

    Okay The bike is going back together... Task #1 is to ride it. I have not powdercoated the frame. Under persuasion of LooseNut I believe I am going to paint the bike... I hate doing things not "right" the first time but painting the bike will keep it under budget. As of this point I have about $275 in the whole bike. If I powdercoat it, it will nearly double the total I've spent on it. With this in mind and some short convincing my next step is to get the bike going to where I can ride it. So It's all going back together. Over the next few months I should be very active on getting this bike together. More pictures soon to come
    #56
  17. Iron_HawK

    Iron_HawK Farkle Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Southern Indiana (Evansville)
    More pictures of this morning's progress before I have to run to school... The motor is a bear to put in yourself but I have the technique down so when it goes together finally I will have it down pat. I'll be wiring it all up soon and hopefully having a video of it running for the first time. Hope yall like what ya see!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I love what is going on here and can't wait to get it running and get the fiberglass work done!
    #57
  18. Ron Bernert

    Ron Bernert hiding in plain sight

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    330
    Location:
    Oxford, Ohio
    The Shinko 130 tire fits on the rear.. Just mounted up one on my Wife's '82. If you're using the stock chainguard, you'll have to make sure it's straight as an arrow and just give it a little clearance where the crown comes very close to it. Nice build!
    #58
  19. Iron_HawK

    Iron_HawK Farkle Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Southern Indiana (Evansville)
    Thanks I appreciate the help. I'm not planning on using the stock chain guard. That's the magic of this rebuild is that if something doesn't fit I'll just fabricate my own clearances. How's your wife like her GS?
    #59
  20. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,505
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    Keep going.:lurk

    I had a shaft drive 450 suzuki automatic years back. It was a great bike.

    I'd like to see the finished product.:gerg
    #60