Seeking Opinions....GS450 Suzuki

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by lake_harley, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    I recently did some trading of a couple Kawasaki 175s for this bike

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    1981 Suzuki GS450T. The bike is pretty complete (headlight was removed when I took the picture), had compression, usual surface rust, shifts through the gears seemingly OK, blah, blah.....about what you'd expect for a neglected but not really abused bike of this age. Did some tinkering with it and finally discovered it didn't have spark because the "ignitor Box" was missing. No big deal I thought until I priced new and eBay parts. While I was considering my options I was talking with a friend who ended up having this

    [​IMG]

    Amazing...it's even another '81 but better yet it's a "E" model which to me is more appealing as a sportier looking bike. It has 70,000+ miles on it (yeah, that many) and is quite complete, but maybe slightly rougher than the "T" model.

    The "T" has a clear title, but the "E" has a tainted title that I'm planning to send out of state to clear it from penalties that would be assessed in Missouri.

    I'm not sure what I want to do with the bikes. Put the ignitor box in the "T", fix what's wrong and ride it as-is? Put the low mileage engine in the "E" and enjoy the sportier bike (providing the title "cleans up" nicely), and then sell off or part out the "T" bike? Get both running and sell one, and if "yes" which one? Strip the "E" bike of it's igniter box, do some ADV mods to the "T" bike and sell off the "E"? There's probably other scenarios that exist, but I'm open to suggestions of a potential direction.

    I don't think these bikes have any particular high value as collector bikes, but they should be worth $700-1,000 each if they're running nicely, cleaned up well and have a decent battery and tires. I probably have $500-600 in the pair of them and that's putting value on the work I did on the 175 Kawasakis I used in the trade. Actual out of pocket $$ is much less.

    The suggestion box is open. I'll probably use this thread to follow through on whatever becomes of the bikes.

    Thanks

    Lynn
    #1
  2. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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    Congratulations! Before you know it, they'll breed in the garage, and you'll have 8 GS450's.:lol3

    I would try to get the T (for Traditional or Triumph) running first. If you do, and like the E styling better, just transfer the bodywork over to the T. Easier to deal with on the paperwork, etc. It's fair to say the DMV doesn't care what tank, fenders and seat your bike has. With 70k miles, you'd have a hard time getting even $400 for the E, even if it ran like a Swiss watch, IMHO. I'd just use the E as a parts bike. How many miles on Mr. T?
    #2
  3. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    Thanks. 7K and change on the T. I've thought of that route, switching the tank, seat, etc.. The frames are somewhat different in terms of brackets and mounts. I do fabrication work so moving brackets from one frame to the other or duplicating them isn't a biggie, but was hoping to go a simple route. Do-able, and possible, not my favorite option, but still an option.

    I agree, there's probably not a lot of value in a bike like the E with 70K.

    Lynn
    #3
  4. zap2504

    zap2504 Dave E.

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    +2 on swapping the TCI from the E to the T to get it up and running. Keep working on the E's title. If it clears, look for a low-mileage donor L model (lots and lots of them) to get the engine/TCI. The L doesn't even need to have a clear title.

    If the E title doesn't clear out, the major value is in the tank, seat, tail, sidepanels. These are always being sought for cafe projects.
    #4
  5. Iron_HawK

    Iron_HawK Farkle Enthusiast

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    Im building a GS450 cafe and the from what I can tell almost everything is interchangeable. If you have the time / desire I would highly recommend doing a complete rebuild on just one. It looks like you have enough parts to complete 1 bike easily. But IMO it would be hard to rebuild / restore a bike just to make a few extra bucks. If it were me, I'd rebuild one. The bike is super easy to work on. If your just looking for $$$ just part out the tank, fenders, seat, and other misc parts. That's just my $0.02 but its cool to see more GS's out there. Good Luck!
    #5
  6. TonyKZ1

    TonyKZ1 Been here awhile

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    Congrats on the "new to you" bikes. I kinda like the GS450's too. Not sure what I'd do, probably like others have already said I'd get the "T" model running first, and then goto work on the "E" model.
    Tony
    #6
  7. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    I had a GS450A years back. Pawn shop purchase for $500.00. Great little bike...shaft drive, oil cooler....it moved right along. The 2 speed auto transmission was different. Hell, I even rode it out on the desert trails a few times.
    My wife loved riding it since there was no clutch.
    #7
  8. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Best prices I've found on parts is at Boulevard Suzuki online. Check out thegsresources..com for the best source of information on these bikes.
    #8
  9. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    Thanks, to all for input. Also....on thegsresources, I've already been there and it seems a wealth of knowledge. One question on their site though...why do the postings appear so that the most recent posting is on page 1 and on the top? Seems odd to have to go the bottom of the last page to find the OP. Did I miss a page layout option?

    Seems the popular opinion is to get the T running with the donated ignitor box off the E for now and do some riding. I know I have a few other issues to deal with on the T, along with the usual tire replacement, but it seems a proper start.

    My idea for getting the title for the E cleaned up seems to have merit, after a conversation with a friend in another state that has less "picky" titling procedures. I plan to proceed with my plan; perfectly legal, but maybe a bit unconventional.

    I don't know exactly when I'll get started on the T. I should finish up getting my project bike R75/6 BMW back on the road (it's close) and repair an oil leak on the 944 Porsche I bought from my son. I must have a soft spot for mutts.

    If there are other ideas for the direction with these two bikes, the suggestion box is still open.

    Lynn
    #9
  10. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    There is a setting on the forum for how you receive messages. Can't remember where is it, but poke around and you'll find it.
    #10
  11. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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