So about a year and a half ago I bought a 1979 GS425L that was fairly well kept but didn't run. I spent most of this past winter restoring it to factory original with all original NOS replacement parts, Everything worked, everything had "Made in Japan" printed on it and it was beautiful. See:
But it wasn't meant to be. on a short ride one day, the throttle jammed wide open in a low speed turn and before I could react the was on its side, then upside down, then on it's other side... not really sure how it happened. It tore the windshield and blinker off, dented the tank, twisted the handle bars and tore off the gear shift. After that I lost the will to put all the work and part hunting in to make it stock again so I said "SCrew it, I wanted to make a cafe racer so now's the time!"
And that's where the bike is at now. Once the winter hits and the bike isn't going anywhere I'm going to try and figure out how to strip out the battery and make it kick start only which it kind of is anyways since the starter is toast. Then eliminate the airbox and side panels and grind off all the bracketing in that space for the clean racer look. I'm also working on a set of high pipe exhausts for the left side like so: http://img284.imageshack.us/img284/1466/wheels035.jpg
My exhaust will be black powder coat though. I'm also getting a low profile tail light and possible making a short chrome rear fender for that little pop. I'm 50/50 on getting the engine powder coated too but I'm hesitant to tear it apart for that purpose while it's in good working order.
More pictures to come as parts come in!
10-12-2015, 01:30 PM
Wow, It's been a while since I've been here. My build has made a little progress over the past few years. Keeping in mind that I'm a novice when it comes to bike modding, this is a quick run down of whats happened.
The last photo is the bike as it sits now. The seat I fabricated from scratch with fiberglass. I chose to put the covers back on the side because I feel it makes the bike look more stocky and less like it will blow away in the wind as the brat build did. The fairing was actually a gift from my wife who got tired of me complaining about the wind on long rides. I'm not a big fan of how it looks compared to the image above it but it's so much nicer on the highway that I'm keeping it. Once my finances catch up to my ambitions I plan to fit a set of 34mm Mikuni carbs and a good 2 into 1 exhaust for that joyful sound and rearsets. Then I'm calling this bike done. It's my daily commuter and I'm not going to go nuts with it. Instead I'm getting a new bike, probably a 600-750, to make a real speed machine out of.
Oh and if you have sharp eyes you might note the decal on the side covers in the last photo. That IS the Planet Express logo from Futurama except that I've replaced the text with the words " Pocket Rocket". It's sort of a joke with the guys I ride with but it is surprisingly quick and agile for a virtually stock bike but that happens when you strip nearly 80 lbs in weight off of it.
02-27-2019, 02:46 AM
Final form, went scrambler. Welded a hoop into the back of the back of the frame, custom speedo with working gear indicator, relocated ignition to the tank, just in front of the filler cap, enduro style bars, new diamond stitched seat, custom shorty exhaust with heat wrap to hide my ugly welding, new halogen headlight with brush guard, custom front end hybrid between gs550 and gs750 parts. The bike has almost 3 more inches of suspension travel in the front and an extra inch in the back. Rides very much like a dirt bike and is a real pleasure on the terrible roads near where I live.