1979 Suzuki 450
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1979 Suzuki 450

This is a discussion on 1979 Suzuki 450 within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; hello and thanks for your replies ahead of time. Im thinking about getting stared with my first cafe racer project. The bike im looking at ...

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Thread: 1979 Suzuki 450

  1. #1
    motoarch's Avatar
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    1979 Suzuki 450

    hello and thanks for your replies ahead of time. Im thinking about getting stared with my first cafe racer project. The bike im looking at is as noted in the suject line. My question is; is this an ok bike to start with. A guy I work with has it sitting in his garage and will part with it for $450, he tells me it just had the carbs done and runs well. I havent looked at it yet but im not to worried about how it looks since i plan to strip it to the frame and rebuild just about everything anyway.

    thanks agian for your input

  2. #2
    Administrator borzwazie's Avatar
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    do you mean a gs450? a good bike, but:

    how much? does it have a title? does it have good compression? is it inspected and on the road? does everything work?

  3. #3
    motoarch's Avatar
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    yes its a gs450, i didnt ask about the title yet but in CT i only need a legit bill of sale if its more then 10 years old, it is registered and on the road but that doesnt nessassarly mean it would still pass an inspection today, i dont know if everything works since i havent seen it in person yet but ill be sure to check before buying anything.

    About the compression, is there an easy way to test this? Do I remove a spark plug and use a gauge in the head to do this? Thanks for bringing up this question I didnt even think about it.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Strip it to the frame huh? Do you even own tools?

    I can understand about not caring about the cosmetics but just to let you know as a newbie, you do all your mods with the bike assembled and running.

    "taking it down to the frame" is really only for cosmetics and for Television chopper builders to make what they do more dynamic than it really is. In truth if you are really building a proper stripped down street bike with racing influence you will probably build this bike 2 or 3 times as you strip small sections of it down to do custom work, rebuild, test it, strip it down again...you get the idea.

    My advice, run the bike as she came for the rest of the summer. Ride it and get to know it and what it needs, and what you need out of it. I think what will surprise you is how much the project will change around what you need to get out of the bike.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  6. #5
    motoarch's Avatar
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    I do own tools and I have resonable amount of mechanical experiance though I have never done a compression test. This is not a first bike either (just my first pass at a vintage bike), it would be my fourth including my current daily commuter ('99 Speed Triple). I do all my own work on my bikes. The reason for striping the frame is to be able to properly clean and powder coat the it and any other parts. Im more interested in the process and the project then anything else. I can understand if you think that makes me a poser or if its not in the spirt of what you guys are about but give me a chance maybe after I get into it I'll come around and understande where your coming from. I can see what you mean by doing things 2 or 3 or even more times before I get it right though, maybe worry more about running it around to see how it feels change some things learn about the bike then if i feel commited enough to an idea strip the frame and engine to do a major cleaning and coating.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    now that is more of an introduction!

    every newbie gets a little shit....it is not personal, basically triggered by newbie cliche's like "gonna strip it to the frame", "how do I pound knee dents", or something to that effect. It doesn't help if in your first post you don't really intorduce yourself or tell us anything about you.

    On the subject of "powdercoat" - well are you going to show it or are you going to ride it?

    the UPs of powdercoat:
    - Durable
    - hard shine that is easy to maintain
    - does not easily discolor or stain

    The Downs of powdercoat:
    - if you chip it you can't touch it up
    - hides rust
    - when it goes bad it flakes off.
    - you have to strip EVERYTHING off the frame to do it
    - some areas it costs a fortune (in NY a powdercoated frame is near $500).
    - when it goes bad it flakes off in huge chunks.

    If you are building a show bike to parade from parking lot to parking lot powdercoat it. If you want to actually ride the thing, get yourself a couple cans of rustoleum "stops rust", some sand paper, and go to work. Certain parts, like wheels, make sense to powdercoat but, doing the whole frame rarely does not because of the amount of pre and post prep work for what is essentially a medicore finish.

    Let me give you the newbie old bike primer:

    - old bikes are not like new bikes. They are complicated in that they are simpler. if your new bike goes bad you usually replace a system (ie fuel pump, throttle body, sensor, etc). On an old bike if the petcock goes bad you rebuild it, same with the carbs, most shoips won't touch it and you have to rely on 2 or 3 manuals and outdated advice from oldtimers.

    - On the subject of a compression test. You will need a compression tester which is a gauge that screws into the spark plug hole. Try to get one with the same plug thread as the bike, otherwise you will need to make one out of an old plug and some rubber hose. DOn't try to force the CT bung in there because if you strip that spark plug thread that motor has to come apart. Warm the bike up to operating temp. Install the compression tester in the number one cylinder. Crank it over a bunch of times. note reading (it should be over 100 psi). Remove tester, put plug back in and repeat the process on cylinder #2. note pressue and compare it to cylinder #1. the two cylinder should be within 10% of each other (e.g. 100 psi in #1 and 110 psi in # 2 is good). If one cylinder is severly low, pour a little oil in the cylinder, turn it over without the plug in so you don't hyrdo lock it, and then take another reading. If the PSI increases considerably then the rings in that cylinder are shit.

    the nice part about the gs450 twin is that the later gs500 engines will bolt in and they made those bikes until the early 2000s, so if the motor is junk, offer to haul the bike away for peanuts and go get your self a gs500 mill and build a mini hotrod.

    - On the subject of titles: it is ALWAYS more work to register a bike without title than it is with title, regardless of state. Plus it insures that the bike you are getting is not stolen. If he is selling without a title, that is a major negitation point and really unless it is british or super rare should not be anywhere near $1000 running or not. You may think it is a non issue in CT , but let me tell you, if it is anywhere near the headache that it is to register a pre 1973 titleless vehicle in NY you will wish the seller had just kicked you in the nuts instead.

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  8. #7
    motoarch's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the tips. Looks like I have a lot to learn and will probably make a lot of mistakes before I get things right. Theres a lot in your last post for me to chew on but Im happy to hear this will be an ok bike to introduce myself to caferacers. I do want to have the bike streetable so I'll have to rethink my additude toward this bike resotation and modification.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    making mistakes is what it is all about. if we didn't make them there would be nothing bike related to talk about on the internet.

    basically, attack the bike with a plan and you will get it done a lot quicker and easier than you could have imagined. the projects that never get completed are the ones where a tank and a seat just get thrown at the bike and the builder doesn't really know where to go next. Having the bike near running during the buildup means that if you get frustrated or stumped, you can throw it back together and go for a ride and remind yourself and get back on track.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  10. #9
    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    Couple of things:

    Compression Test - make sure you hold the throttle fully open when you crank the motor to get an accurate reading.

    GS500 motors - I don't believe they will fit a GS450 frame because the exhaust ports are straighter and foul the downtubes.

    Other than that, Geeto has hit the nail on the head.

  11. #10
    Moderator joe c's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by hillsy

    Couple of things:

    Compression Test - make sure you hold the throttle fully open when you crank the motor to get an accurate reading.

    glad you caught that.

    good comp should probably be up around the 160 or higher mark. bad com would be down around the 110-120 mark. dont run the motor, just turn it over. so, hit the kill switch, or pull the coil wire.

    remember, powder coating is nice, but paint is easily removable with thinner, and retouchable. p-coat is not. on a frame, you better get everything right before you start powder coating. the new coatings available are spectacular. and someone who knows what they are doing can do a really kick ass job. and you will rub through it with a boot, o pants leg eventually. something to keep in mind.



    not a pretty boy honda rider... i\'m fag on a TTR

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