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1980 GS550E - Cafe build

2325 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  rich46
I’m new to the forum and these bikes in general. Just picked up a ‘80 GS550E with 15k for $300. Looking to turn it into a cafe bike. I can do some mechanic work and have an idea of what I want to do but with little direction. Anyone who has started a build from an old worn bike have any guidance on where to start first? Plan to make it a project that’ll take some time. Any help is appreciated thank you!
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Here's a link to my '79 GS750E. It was a track bike that I made street legal. It's the easiest direction to go with what you've got.

Here's what I'd do if I were you:
-Full service according to the clymer manual/factory manual (Especially valve clearances)
-New braided steel brake lines
-New All Balls wheel bearings
-New tires ( I like Avon Roadriders, but there's a lot of good ones out there)
-New All Balls stem bearings
-Progressive front springs with heavier fork oil
-Fork brace
-Progressive or Hagon rear shocks
-Stock Carbs and airbox
-Muffled/baffled exhaust
-New throttle and clutch cables
-Dyna coils and ignition
-Superbike Bars
-New chain and sprockets

That will get you a bike that will run circles around a stock version... after that you could look at some spicier things like smoothbore carbs, box swingarm, cartridge emulators in the front forks etc.
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