1977 Suzuki GS550
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1977 Suzuki GS550

This is a discussion on 1977 Suzuki GS550 within the Project Builds forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I am a new member to this forum but I was following other projects for a long time. I started the project about 1,5 year ...

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Thread: 1977 Suzuki GS550

  1. #1
    Member Pawulon's Avatar
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    1977 Suzuki GS550

    I am a new member to this forum but I was following other projects for a long time. I started the project about 1,5 year ago. I bought this bike just after my knee surgery as a winter project. Now I know I was naive thinking that I will finish it in less than 6 months. Good think is that it was quite cheap and the most important it was running. I have never ridden on this but my friend take a test ride for me to check if it's feel properly. It seems that everything works so I checked parts availability and decided to buy it. That is my first project and I used to watch shows on discovery channel so as soon as I get it in my garage I started to strip it down. The plan was simple: clean it up, make a cool looking seat, put some pods (it looks cool) and of course it should look like cafe motorcycle so clubman handlebar is a must. Hopefully I didn't strip it down to bare frame and thanks to Sabre Cafe youtube channel I started to study this forum. Soon I realized that my plan was actually to make my bike ride worse and I focused on how to make it better. I have to warn you at the beginning that this project is moving slow mainly because to lack of money at the moment.
    This is how bike looked when I picked it up:
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    The front brakes were poor when I got the bike and when I took the pistons from calipers it was rusty. I couldn't find new pistons so I decided to make a front brake upgrade: on thegsresurces.com I found a thread about brake upgrade so I followed that direction and get cbr 600 f3 rotors, I bought sv650 callipers and bandit 600 master cylinder. I had to redrill the rotors and get spacers fabricated cause cbr rotors are 4 milimeters higher than stock rotors and I wanted to have rotors in the same distance from wheel and forks as the original ones. It took some time to set everything up and get measurements. My new calipers had diferent mounting than my original one so I had to make a adapter. First I cutted my adapter from aluminium 5 mm thick plate to see if I have a good shape (it wasn't...) Next attepmt I decided to print on my friends homemade 3d printer. That was a cheap way to check if my design gives me clearances I need.
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    After taking all measurements I finnaly ordered aluminium adapters
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    These are made from 15mm thick aluminium plate. Calculations suggested that 8 mm plate should be enough but because it is a braking system I decided to go thicker. I will probably blame me for adding a lot of weight on the fork. My new braking system weight about the same as my old one but my new rotors are much lighter so I saved a rotating weight which I belive will improve the steering. (correct me if I am wrong)
    I am satisfied how this mod worked but now I would consider making a front end swap instead of making this brake conversion, that could be better choice but on the other hand I really like this spoked wheels (I know alloys are better but spokes really looks good).
    After brake upgrade I moved on to the engine. I started from taking carbs out and check them. It was in a good shape inside only from the outside it looked dirty so I cleaned them up and puted them back together with new gaskets.
    I didn't want to take the engine out of the frame at the beginning but after cheching valve clearance and changing spark plugs, it turns out that one of the previous owners broke the spark plug thread so I had to take out the cylinder head. The head was glued to the cylinder and it was impossible to take it off with engine in the frame so I took it out and disassembled. There was no clearance on 4 valves so I am not sure if the head is in good condition. I tested it for leaks and two cylinders has a little leak on the valves. It is my first build so I have a lot of worries one of them is camshaft bearings or lack of them. This is how looks the place where camshaft seats:
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    Could you tell me if I should be worried abotu these wear which can be seen on the right part of the picture?

    I will move on with my build and I will post the progress and I will ask more specific questions.
    Does anyone have recomendations what mods or things should I consider to make my bike run and handle better than it was? I appreciate any advice.
    I don't want to build an ultimate racing machine because I don't want to compete with it but I would like to get it to track on a weekends and enjoy it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member o1marc's Avatar
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    Why is it that new members come on here and say "I've been watching and reading on this forum for a couple of years and I finally am posting my build from what I learned here" and then make a list of all the dumb things we've been saying all along not to do. Just WTF were they reading for the last few years?
    www.CreativeCandy.org

    I carry a gun because I'm too young to die, too old to take an ass whooping, and a cop is too heavy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member caferocket686's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
    Why is it that new members come on here and say "I've been watching and reading on this forum for a couple of years and I finally am posting my build from what I learned here" and then make a list of all the dumb things we've been saying all along not to do. Just WTF were they reading for the last few years?
    Maybe you should read it again before jumping up the guys ass. It sounds to me like English is his second language and he did all of the fucking up before he discovered this site. After discovering the site through a SabreCafe video and doing a lot of reading, he realized he fucked up and is trying to seek the proper way to move forward from here on out. Am I wrong?
    kerosene likes this.
    01 MZ Skorpion (No, it's not stock. It was originally designed in England, has a Japanese motor, is built with Italian components, but it's German)
    03 Kawasaki KX250 (Braaap!)
    73 Yamaha RD350/R5

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  5. #4
    Senior Member caferocket686's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pawulon View Post
    Could you tell me if I should be worried abotu these wear which can be seen on the right part of the picture?
    Looks ok but it's hard to tell from a picture. Use a green Scotch-Brite pad to buff out the visible marks and then take another look. If the scratches are deep enough that the green pad won't clean them up, there's still a chance that it will function ok. It just depends on tolerances and the reason why there's scratches in the first place. Check the cam shaft and it's tolerances as well. Mine looked worse than yours and here's what it looked like after the machinist polished out the scratches.


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    01 MZ Skorpion (No, it's not stock. It was originally designed in England, has a Japanese motor, is built with Italian components, but it's German)
    03 Kawasaki KX250 (Braaap!)
    73 Yamaha RD350/R5

  6. #5
    Senior Member o1marc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caferocket686 View Post
    Maybe you should read it again before jumping up the guys ass. It sounds to me like English is his second language and he did all of the fucking up before he discovered this site. After discovering the site through a SabreCafe video and doing a lot of reading, he realized he fucked up and is trying to seek the proper way to move forward from here on out. Am I wrong?
    Maybe you should read my post again and see where I mention him specifically. His initial comments are what are a norm here it seems for noobies. At least this guy figured it out.
    www.CreativeCandy.org

    I carry a gun because I'm too young to die, too old to take an ass whooping, and a cop is too heavy.

  7. #6
    Member Pawulon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caferocket686 View Post
    It sounds to me like English is his second language and he did all of the fucking up before he discovered this site. After discovering the site through a SabreCafe video and doing a lot of reading, he realized he fucked up and is trying to seek the proper way to move forward from here on out. Am I wrong?
    Thanks for the understanding. I thought that on this forum everyone gets sarcasm, next time I will try to not use it.

    I want to make it the proper way, that's why it takes me so long. I will get my head to the machinist any way cause it needs new spark plug thread (I could use a helicoil and repair it myself but I don't trust it)

    To makes my sarcasm straight I will explain my new plan:
    - 4-1 exhaust with stock airbox and a rejet if needed. (Exhaust system I bought is dedicated to my model and producer claim that it only needs adjustments on the carbs)
    - some mx handlebar (I don't have any rear sets that needs to be installed if I want to put lower handlebar or clipons)
    -new chain and final drive gears(that which came with the bike looks like they have never been changed)
    -new tires
    -675 cc conversion(i started to collect all the parts I need but it will take a while. Gs650 were not so popular so it is very hard to find all the parts)
    -new bearings (wheels and steering)
    -progressive springs? (Is it worth it? These are not expensive but I don't know if changing one component in the suspension won't affect others? Do I need to change dumping force?)
    -I have some Koni shocks which are not stock and I don't have any idea how to chech if its good or not. Any suggestion?

    I think thats the plan for right now. (But the plan is flexible so if I will get any smart advice what to do and why I will consider any changes)

  8. #7
    Senior Member caferocket686's Avatar
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    o1marc,

    Whatever! Just answer the guys questions or shut the fuck up. We already know there is a bunch of unwanted activity here. Half of it comes from noobs who ask dumb questions or think their opinion should count, and the other half from regulars bitching and complaining about the website. Go somewhere else unless you have some positive and/or constructive input. The message relayed in your post, vague as it is apparently , has been regurgitated thousands of times here. We get it. You are tired on noobs and young egos. Now drop it already and stop polluting the threads.
    Last edited by caferocket686; 10-06-2014 at 01:32 AM.
    01 MZ Skorpion (No, it's not stock. It was originally designed in England, has a Japanese motor, is built with Italian components, but it's German)
    03 Kawasaki KX250 (Braaap!)
    73 Yamaha RD350/R5

  9. #8
    Member Pawulon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
    l Just WTF were they reading for the last few years?
    To be honest I started to read more about motorcycles not long before I bought one, and there is that thing with open internet where everyone can post what they want so you have to dig through a whole of things that are just crap and if you are lucky you find out it is crap fast, but some people say their crap in the inteligent way so it is well hidden and for newbie it is hard to filter that crap.
    caferocket686 likes this.

  10. #9
    Banned Witworth's Avatar
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    " Soon I realized that my plan was actually to make my bike ride worse and I focused on how to make it better. "

    You are not an idiot, stay around.

    Danger, is my business.

  11. #10
    Member Pawulon's Avatar
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    Just a quick update.
    I finally managed some free time to take measurements and I got some good and some bad news.
    Good:
    - Valves and valve springs are far away from service limit

    Bad:
    - These Koni springs which came with the bike are 35mm shorter than stock ones, so there comes the question what to buy? New shocks are very expensive, but I thought about buying used shocks from some newer bike and rebuild them? What do you recommend?
    - Exhaust valves seems a little loose in the valve guide. I am sure I can feel play and it seems play is to big. I think this can be beyond limits, I need to get some gauge to measure that. I read that gs550 engine used to have problems with valve guides and it was recommended to change them for stronger one, but this sounds expensive to me and I am not sure if I gonna find someone who would make this properly.

    What mods should I do with the head while it is off?

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