ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/23/16 8:55 a.m.

Since I have a big family and a small budget, I needed a big boring vehicle in the form of a Yukon XL and a cheap project so I had been tossing the prospect of building a motorcycle from the ground up using junkyard parts. A supermoto was the original goal but any decent frame I could find cheap/free would do and I'd slowly gather the parts one by one.

I get a text not long after my plan was hatched about a free "early 80's Suzuki GS 750" if I want it!

Hell yes! It was later said it had a sissy bar and a highway bar and pegs (meaning cruiser "L" model most likely). Didn't matter, free is free. So without the details of how it got into my shed, here is how it looked in my driveway:

[URL=http://s265.photobucket.com/user/derekrichardson/media/IMG_4718.jpg.html][/URL]

Turned out to be an 850L owned by a now 80 year old gentleman. His son, obviously a swell guy, was looking to give it to someone who would be able to get it on the road again. That's where I came in with much thanks to my friends for making it possible.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/23/16 8:57 a.m.

First to go was the huge, ugly rack and the highway bar:

[URL=http://s265.photobucket.com/user/derekrichardson/media/IMG_4740.jpg.html][/URL]

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/23/16 8:59 a.m.

"It ran when we put it in here 10 years ago".

I have no reason to disbelieve that. It's just that those 10 years do a number on a gas tank:

[URL=http://s265.photobucket.com/user/derekrichardson/media/IMG_4723.jpg.html][/URL]

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/23/16 9:06 a.m.

The seat is in need of some surgery. I made a really nice seat, well I drew a really nice seat and a really nice upholsterer made it from my drawings for my CB-750 so that's coming.

This won't be a cafe build per se. Mostly because I hate trends and "cultures" and certainly don't need anyone telling me I need to follow the rules and get approval of the forum members.

Until I clean out that tank and the carbs, I'll be subtracting parts from the bike more than adding.

Thinking about gloss black wheels and lower fork tubes and maybe wrapping the pipes. I've seen these engines painted black and I like the look but I'm all set with the total flat-black nightmares I've seen on the roads so who knows.

The idea is to ride it and modify as I go. But I need to hear it run first. And to do that, in need time to get out there.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 HalfDork
12/23/16 1:28 p.m.

These are great bikes! I had a 1979 GS750E with a Kerker exhaust, Progressive shocks, a GS1000 front end conversion, the Concours front brake swap, and a few other fun bits. Gauges swapped for a Trailtech Vapor setup. Tons of fun, and a bulletproof engine. Heavy, though. I wouldn't mind having another some day.

Check out thegsresources.com; tons of info over there. I'm not on much anymore since I sold mine, but there were a bunch of old timers with a ton of good info, and some guys with a lot of performance information if you proved that you at least searched a little for information first, haha.

Shortly before I sold mine:

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
12/23/16 2:12 p.m.

The 850 was a good bike, although a little on the portly side. The shaft drive was nice, no chain to fool with. One of my friends bought one back when they were new, I rode it quite a bit. Have to admit I was never a fan of the L cruiser bikes, but it sounds like you're dealing with those cosmetics. Those high rise handlebars have to go.

gearheadE30 wrote: These are great bikes! I had a 1979 GS750E

I had a '79 GS 750E as well, same color as yours. Loved that bike. If I were smart I would have kept that one and not bought all the bikes I've had since. I rode that thing all over the country (including a couple trips to Yellowstone and Glacier parks) without any issues.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/23/16 4:01 p.m.

I was hoping the free bike was going to be a non-L but it wasn't meant to be.

The bike you posted is about exactly what I was looking for.

Then the L grew on me and has continued to. I guess because I already owned and modified a '74 CB 750 and the sportier non-L model GS's remind me so much of those (Not that that's a bad thing though).

And again, it's free and I wanted a project so I'm very excited about this. My feeling is that after this whole "Christmas thing" everyone's talking about is over, more work and more updates will follow.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/23/16 4:39 p.m.

This is what she must've looked like way back when I was still wearing parachute pants and Ferrari sunglasses:

[URL=http://s265.photobucket.com/user/derekrichardson/media/IMG_4726_1.png.html][/URL]

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 HalfDork
12/24/16 4:46 p.m.

Cool, looks like a fun project, and you can't beat the price! I've always loved the look of a painted-black inline four with the aluminum peeking through on the edges of the cooling fins. It might have something to do with the era in which I reached an impressionable age. I think it could be a good look on this bike!

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/30/16 10:57 a.m.

Tank and seat off. Tank is getting cleaned and derustified.

[URL=http://s265.photobucket.com/user/derekrichardson/media/IMG_4820.jpg.html][/URL]

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/30/16 11:05 a.m.

Two helpers pouring in the vinegar. (Redhead suggested we dip some fries in there!)

[URL=http://s265.photobucket.com/user/derekrichardson/media/IMG_4818.jpg.html][/URL]

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/30/16 11:07 a.m.

After dumping old gas out, pouring a degreaser in, washing and rinsing then the vinegar, we already see clean metal as opposed to the before picture.

[URL=http://s265.photobucket.com/user/derekrichardson/media/IMG_4821.jpg.html][/URL]

[URL=http://s265.photobucket.com/user/derekrichardson/media/IMG_4723.jpg.html][/URL]

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/30/16 11:11 a.m.

No real rust to speak of on the bike but somehow the seatpan isn't doing too well. Thinking I'm going to trim off the rotted lip completely and end up with a "flat" seatpan.

[URL=http://s265.photobucket.com/user/derekrichardson/media/IMG_4825.jpg.html][/URL]

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 HalfDork
12/30/16 11:32 a.m.

Seatpan rust is common, fwiw - if the bike sits outside, the seat foam will absorb water and hold it against the metal, creating a great place for rust to start.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/30/16 11:47 a.m.

In reply to gearheadE30:

Yeah, I assumed the foam was soaked at some point. The good news in that's about the only rust save for inside the tank.

physician
physician Reader
12/31/16 10:42 a.m.

Cool! I love bike buildings for cheap! I love old bikes. Do you have any pictures of what you are aiming at look? I have a (i think) 84 gs 550 (the one with a mono shock) parts bike if you need any of it.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/31/16 11:46 a.m.

In reply to physician:

I think "street-tracker" is a better look and less played out than cafe-racer. So something along these lines but not necessarily sticking to the strict guidelines of anything but my own mind:

[URL=http://s265.photobucket.com/user/derekrichardson/media/IMG_4803.jpg.html][/URL]

That seat looks like what mine will look like after a cut the original seat pan down and shave the original seat foam down.

And I've used those motocross style bars on a CB-750 and I loved 'em so I'd expect those in the future.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
12/31/16 11:52 a.m.

In reply to physician:

Thanks for the offer! I'm in MA. If I think of anything I might need, I'll certainly ask, thanks again!

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
1/19/17 8:50 a.m.

Moved to the Sprockets forum.

gixxeR
gixxeR New Reader
1/19/17 2:07 p.m.

In reply to ebonyandivory:

Yikes, ten years never looked so good

gixxeR
gixxeR New Reader
1/19/17 2:10 p.m.

I'll bet before it was put up for those ten years it wasn't rode too often either. The inside of that tank was scary.

gixxeR
gixxeR New Reader
1/19/17 2:14 p.m.
ae86andkp61 wrote: Cool, looks like a fun project, and you can't beat the price! I've always loved the look of a painted-black inline four with the aluminum peeking through on the edges of the cooling fins. It might have something to do with the era in which I reached an impressionable age. I think it could be a good look on this bike!
gixxeR
gixxeR New Reader
1/19/17 2:16 p.m.

I like those headers. What did you use?

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
1/19/17 5:53 p.m.
gixxeR wrote: I'll bet before it was put up for those ten years it wasn't rode too often either. The inside of that tank was scary.

But just look what a little work and some white vinegar can do:

[URL=http://s265.photobucket.com/user/derekrichardson/media/IMG_4981_1.jpg.html][/URL]

gixxeR
gixxeR New Reader
1/20/17 3:58 a.m.

I'm a big fan of the cafe racer look but the "street tracker" photo looks uniquely aggressive

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