Suzuki 650BTS - Another LS650 S40 Savage build? Why?

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by pekingduck, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    Why another Suzuki S40 LS650 Savage Roadster build? Because I want a small, nimble, light, electric start, big bore Japanese single. Air cooled, twin-shock, steel frame, more GB500 than XR650R.

    LS650/S40/Savages have a decent motor in a cramped riding position. Honest low tech, low rpm chuggers that go pack-pack-pack when gassed. I want a stock looking standard - not a choppa/bobba/cafe/scrambler that's worse than a stock bike. No non-functional butt-jewelry.

    I want to make a bike Better Than Stock. Hence Suzuki 650BTS

    Kudos to RYCA for giving a decent and plentiful bike a second life. They proved it can be safely modified and largely improved. I like their Scrambler a lot, and will build mine similarly, but hopefully better. Here is RYCA's Scrambler:

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    #1
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  2. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    I like it. Those are great looking engines and every time I see one I think it's a shame it's stuck in a cruiser.

    :lurk
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  3. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    There is a Japan-only model, the Tempter 400. It is handsome, nice tank and 4 shoe front brake, but really long for some reason. Looks like you could put 2 engines in there. I could live with that. ST400 2.jpg
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  4. Kai Ju

    Kai Ju Long timer

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    Your first post shows a 650 with chain drive. Is that a conversion of sorts or was it manufactured with chain drive. Even though belt is more efficient, chain just looks so much better, especially on a Scrambler.
    BTW, I like your BTS model designation. A man after my own heart.
    That Japan only Tempter is a good looking bike. I wonder if Suzuki could have sold a few of those in the 650 displacement.
    Would be nice if you could get one of those tanks for your build.

    Subscribed.
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  5. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    I ordered some 18T/47T JT sprockets, for a little taller gearing than stock, but could only get them in a 530. Should have ordered a 520 or 525 C/S sprocket and turned the rear sprocket down. The Tempter tank would not fit this frame - it is a weird frame that invites modifications. Got to re-angle the steering head and somehow move the shock mounts up, and brace the swingarm pivot upwards. I can't imagine a weirder frame design. The swingarm pivots are outside the frame.
    frame 10.jpg
    #5
  6. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    As a longtime member of the local BSA Club (but never owning a BSA), I figured putting another motor into a BSA was okay, hence a BaStArd Scrambler. The BSA 441 Victor looks handsome, and I knew it would fit, but then what do I have? A real Bastard? I even made a tank logo for it!

    BSA_650 Victor_.jpg Untitled.png
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  7. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    A few...probably right.
    Considering they were only able to sell a few of the vx800, which is a bored 750 motor in a naked standard, with shaft drive.
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  8. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    The VX800 was a great bike , looked good, did everything well, like a Hawk GT with shaft drive for normal-sized people. Don't know how they managed to make it 35 pounds heavier than an Intruder though.
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  9. Kai Ju

    Kai Ju Long timer

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    That BaStArd looks like a hoot to ride. How come I've never seen that one in the flesh ?
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  10. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I really like it, and if I hadn't bought a fully legal/registered bike already, I would have gone that way. Getting something CHP inspected and registered is becoming a pain.
    Also, the BSA Club recently decided not to allow Japanese-engined bikes on their dual-sport rides. Seems that on their last couple rides, they had some breakdowns, slowing down the Brit-bike riders! Go figure!
    #10
  11. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    Probably that stiff as a rail frame, and those cast wheels, instead of spokes..and the exhaust would be my guess.
    Might find out, trying to source early intruder exhaust, to replace the banged up pipes and cans I bought mine with.
    I did a sweet 600 miles on my vx yesterday, discounting the one heavy rain shower on Raton Pass coming back from SE Colorado.
    #11
  12. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    Just purchased a 2001 Suzuki 650 as a donor bike. Undamaged, 4400 miles, new battery, but with a leaky head gasket or plug and a dirty carb, licensed and currently registered for $1000. It's almost too nice to modify but I already transferred into my name and insured it, so I'm all in.

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  13. daywalker69

    daywalker69 Adventurer

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    That Victor special savage looks brilliant
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  14. ADVBedouin

    ADVBedouin fly pelican!

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    RYCA did a really nice job with the styling of that bike...funny thing is what we now call scramblers are simply what handsome bikes used to look like before they became complex & overweight.

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  15. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    So true. That Scrambler looks really friendly and inviting to me, makes me want to just throw a leg over it and ride into the hills, or just run errands with it. Like an old Honda SL125.
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  16. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    Thanks, I agree it's quite handsome, and I haven't completely ruled out building a Victor 650, but right now its only a Photoshop.
    A couple years ago, I bought a Suzuki TU250X with a little dent in the tank. I had some old tank badges lying around, and a Triumph badge would cover most of the dent. Then I found more Triumph parts things that I could use and soon, I had a stock looking 250 Tiger Cub with electric start and fuel injection.
    It was a wonderful little bike, I had so much fun on it, to the point I wasn't riding anything else. A bit more power was all it needed, as 75 was maximum speed, and just a little incline would slow me down. Some people loved it, some hated it. I figured the 650 Savage would be a nice solution.

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  17. ADVBedouin

    ADVBedouin fly pelican!

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    Just happened to find you a clean used s40 locally, but I imagine a wrecked donor bike is much more cost effective.
    https://santamaria.craigslist.org/mcy/d/suzuki-boulevard-ladies/6234164777.html
    And not to discourage an RYCA build, but a stock DR650 is also a good platform because of its robust design & offroad chops, not to mention avoiding the kit cost...understood that it may not be the styling you're after.

    IMG_4827.jpg
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  18. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    I have been looking for a while and prices are all over the board - they often appear for under $1500, as mine was.
    I agree the DR650s are the best 650 enduro out there (from Japan), but it's too tall for me. Like any enduro, I have to stand on the left peg to swing a leg over it. (30" inseam and in my 60s). Plus, it would be taking a great bike, cutting down the suspension travel, and making it worse than stock, not BTS. The Savage is the other way, needs more suspension travel, more room, less ugly.
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  19. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

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    Maybe RYCA (or someone) could make a kit converting the 750/800 Intruder/S50 into something more practical.
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  20. ADVBedouin

    ADVBedouin fly pelican!

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    Agreed on all points...the DR650 can be lowered 40mm simply via factory settings (no cutting) & still handle very well, & another 25mm could be cut out of the stock seat's middle section...but I get it..that may still not be enough of a height drop...I'm looking forward to seeing your S40 build.
    #20
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