Suzuki GT500 wheel swap front & rear
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Suzuki GT500 wheel swap front & rear

This is a discussion on Suzuki GT500 wheel swap front & rear within the Technical forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Hi all, what a great resource this is! Sorry if some of the questions seem a bit dumb but I'm not that technical. I have ...

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Thread: Suzuki GT500 wheel swap front & rear

  1. #1
    Junior Member MalkyB's Avatar
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    Suzuki GT500 wheel swap front & rear

    Hi all, what a great resource this is! Sorry if some of the questions seem a bit dumb but I'm not that technical.

    I have the urge to swap out the front & rear wheels from my GT500 from spoked to alloys but.....what's going to fit?? Anyone done this before???

    It looks as though a GPZ550 may fit 185x19 with 15mm axle but do I have to buy the wheel to find out???? The GPZ is twin disc - do I then have to fit the forks from a GPZ or similar to carry the extra disc and what happens with the speedo drive...is this going to be compatible???

    As for the rear....I just hate drums so would really like a disc back there - not because they work better (anyone ridden a vtwin Tuono will know dragging your feet is better than that disc set up) but I just hate working on drums...!

    Any advice gratefully received

  2. #2
    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    If you want a modern rolling chassis and a Suzuki Titan motor, there comes a point where you might as well start searching for a modern style rolling chassis and just attempt to transplant the two-smoke motor into it.

    Your preference for mags over spokes is um, unusual. I'm pretty sure you can find some mags to fit it if that's what you really want, but don't expect things to be simply bolt on compatible, there are so many variables between bike makes and models for that to be anything more then luck. Normally riders would fit different rims to run better tires, changing the rims to mags that run the same size tires isn't going to buy you much of anything other then the ability to run a tubeless tire slightly easier.

    Drums, discs, brakes are all easy to work on imho, heck there is even a good chance your next car will have a combination rear disc and drum parking brake! Even those are easy to work on :/ you just replace parts. Huge difference between Disc and drum on your bike is going to be switching from cable actuator to hydraulic, neither of your existing brake levers are going to work and your clutch will still be cable actuated, skinny GT500 drum style forks won't work with a twin disc wheel, not only because of clearances but also because they lack mounting points to hold the callipers.

    On a 400 pound motorcycle with ~40 some horses, dual front disc brakes with 4 pot callipers would be slightly over-kill to the extent that a single disc setup would probably perform better, because a single disc would be much lighter and thereby less likely to induce head shake in OEM marginal front forks and frame. Oh and yes, hydraulic disc brakes really do function far superior to single cam cable actuated drum brakes in all conditions, or you must have something wrong with the disc brakes such as air in the hydraulics or grease on the brake pads.

    Best luck with the Titan build

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    Junior Member MalkyB's Avatar
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    Hi TrialsRider - thanks for your reply - it's a GT I'm working on not T500 so as standard has a front disc so that one can be put to bed.

    I did have one of these GTs 79-83 so I do know a fair bit about them but not as far as swapping bits & pieces. If I can get rid of that rear drum the world (mine anyway) will be a sweeter place. The reason I hate drums so much is that I've worked on many a car / bike drum set up. The times I've cut myself, turned the air blue over those internal springs to separate the shoes, tried to remove stuck drums from corroded hubs and got covered in hydraulic fluid is one too many

    A disc is simplicity itself. The early Tuono rear disc I mentioned not working is well known not to work as..... you can never get the air out! Or at least the guy who let me try the bike could never get the air out....along with many others I'd heard.

    As I mentioned the front is disc already so no issues there with levers and the rear - well - the rear lever has been down the road a few times already so is going to need changing. To swap to a disc won't be too tough mounting the hydraulic system but of course I'll need a wheel to take it. The GT is so simple, loads of room under the oil tank (that's leaking) and above the swing arm that's almost certainly a few thousand miles past it's service date.

    I wasn't looking for a direct swap - just something that should fit without too much fangling - and was hoping that someone who's made a switch may give me some pointers.

    As for alloys over spokes it's an eye of the beholder thing. I don't particularly like spokes preferring cleaner lines of alloys - and are easier to clean.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    Hydraulic operated drum brakes :/ what kind of a car are you working on, ya car drums suck to work on, car brakes are rust old dirty pieces of poorly designed pig iron.

    To me alloys vs spokes is a performance thing and not just a looks thing. Spoke rims are serviceable and less prone to complete destruction on severe impact, mags are cheaper to produce and that is why manufacturers love them, although all of my spoke wheels are alloy and not steel rims, always were Akront or DID even if I had to change them. ymmv. My opinion is largely swayed by way too much dirt bike riding, much as your hate for drum brakes comes from cars

    If somebody can't get the air out of their brakes they are bleeding them from the wrong end, air rises. Fill from the bottom, bleed from the top.

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    Junior Member MalkyB's Avatar
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    no more rusty drums for me and don't want to go back. I was working old rusty pieces and now have just aquired an even rustier pile of GT500!

    I totally understand about spokes for you riding over the rough. For me - the roughest I want it to be is the bump going from my garage to the roadway
    TrialsRider likes this.

  7. #6
    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    I like getting as much air as possible over speed bumps myself

  8. #7
    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    The thing to look for in disc brakes is one piston pushing against the other,
    2 piston brakes are easy twice as good as any 1 piston brake,
    4 piston brakes are superlative or somebody doesn't know how to make simple hydraulics work.



    ... I would take One good 4 pot disc brake up front over twin mediocre 1 or 2 pot disc brakes any day.
    Too much unsprung weight disadvantage with twin discs and the wheel don't care if you grab it by one or two places anyway.

    add: Going to a larger axle is as good as putting a fork brace on, either one will lend to a stronger front fork.
    Even better if that axle is a nice titanium one and not a crappy mild steel carriage bolt.
    Last edited by TrialsRider; 07-07-2019 at 07:46 AM.

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