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1980 GS550E - Cafe build

2317 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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These earlier GSes look so much better than the 83 and later bikes that I used to race. To me the teardrop style tanks are the best looking on any brand. My 83 and later 550E and ES had one glaring deficiency, carburation! Because of the way the frame was designed they essentially had two carbs instead of 4. They were oval shaped and each contained two carbs in a single housing. More power is made on most motors by getting more fuel and air into the motor and more exhaust out. Never got much more out of the motor but they were fine handling bike that had very good brakes. I still have a bunch of parts and a couple parts bikes that I would be glad to part with.
I used a cable driven tach from a 450 Suzuki for years. Was able to use the gauge mounting bracket from the same bike and place the tach in the middle. Just happened that the mounting hole spacing was the same between the tach and speedo as the mounting holes for each gauge. Bolted right onto my GS 550E.
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