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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone :)
Ok so here is what we have to start with ... 1978 Suzuki GS550.
Here is a pic from the day we brought her home


What do you think? good starter??? not going too crazy on this one as its our first. So far we've taken her apart and are currently working to bring the luster and sparkle back into her life. 30 years of Joy rides on a spring day have taken there toll on her and she's been in need of some good old fashion TLC! She's at the right house for a rescue. So our adventure begins...
 

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Welcome Athena,
The question is what do you want her to be? A vintage superbike of the era would be cool. Superbike bars, decent shocks, cut down seat, cool paint (Yosh blue and white), Quarter fairing. That would be nice. Classic Cafe? Alloy rims? Glass seat and fenders? Decide what you want and go after it.
I raced one of those once in the early 80s. The non folding footpegs really suck. They can drag hard.
Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's Nice.. is it yours???

.... kind of something like that... she's all in parts now.. will be working to clean up the frame and swing arm before sending it to get powder coated... going with a nice black... however will add color to break it up a bit. Chop off the end of the frame and mod the seat by using a shorter "L" shape seat (Ordered today)and will modify the tail plastic to fit the new set up. going to mod the airbox and the battery location will move a bit. Carbs are getting reworked now. Next on the list will be the forks. A first over general cleaning has been given to the entire bike in full.. as we take things apart we give everything a cleaning. we will repeat the cleaning until we have the 30 years of build up removed. We have a pretty good idea where to go with most things. Our only real concern are the wheels... not really sure what to do here. I like the lace wheels.. yet we know nothing about them :( So we are doing a full all out research to find out who knows what and what the best choices are based on look, quailty, and durability. :) That's certainly our main stumbling block at this moment. The day we brought home the bike we ordered the clubman bars and as everyone has their own view on things and I respect that very much... I just wasn't crazy the way they looked on this bike... and to ride her with them.. was different to me as I've only been a Solo rider for a few years now and my experiance was Honda CBR650 and now my Honda VFR 800. I found this odd because I loved the way they looked on other bikes ... so now we have our second pair which will be in over the next day or so.

Anyway... enough rambling... anyone have any good advice on wheels??? Once we get the wheels questions resolved then we will move to the shock.... I love Ohilns they look so nice.. yet I'm not sure where to come up with ones for her.. then again.. Haven't really gotten that far into her.

As we are new.. I welcome any comments or suggestions and certainly advise :)
I've been around bikes my entire life.. same for my partner.. He grew up on Motorcycles and has had many over the years. So we are simply new to building a cafe bike :) Bikes in general.. I'm learning and my partner knows far more than I do... so I simply pester him with so many questions ;) hehe
Thanks!!! :)
~Athena~
 

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Athena,
How much money do you want to spend? Since you are willing to spend $500 on Ohlins shocks, then I would order heavy guage stainless spokes and alloy rims from Buchanan's and lace them up to the stock hubs. You will need to choose rims sizes and I recommend either 18" or 17" front and rear. I got my Ohlins from Randy at Framecrafters.net, but I am sure there are more local dealers to you. The picture drgonzo posted is a Wes Cooley, Yoshimura Superbike. That is the look I was suggesting. Your seat ideas should work with that look. I would go for clip-ons and the ones Champ sells here would be very period looking.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey thanks for the reply!.... Well... the Ohlins is certainly in the air depends on how the budget works. I'm on ebay selling what I can from the atic :) to get extra $$. However I do like the Ohlins look. after my post the partner brought up Buchanan's...(and exactly what you suggested on the stainless) so I'll be checking them out today. As for finding things in the local area... not always the best prices I hate to say. My partner has a 2000 Suzuki TL1000R which he has made so many mods to over the past year and made the bike just looks soo sexy and those mods taught us that prices are often better online or off forums such as this one where you have like minded people trying to accomplish a great looking bike or faster... or cleaner.. depending on what mods your doing and what the end result grants you.

Well I have to say Wes has a GREAT looking bike!

I thank you again for the reply as now I'm off to search and read on the sites you mentioned :)

Yeppiee
~Athena~
 

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That's a good bike to start with as it is a standard model. Those are always easier to cafe and less expensive than converting a cruiser model. Doesn't take much to get a nice cafe/race bike look out of those. Just depends how much time,effort and money you want to invest in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice VERY nice!

Ok... The things I have QUICKLY learned !! :)
Yes... we got a wonderful deal on this little girl and our plans certainly have not changed.

HOWEVER.... we are putting things on a much slower pace!! as we find that the things we want to do will end up costing more $ than origionally planned and as this time of year things get SUPER busy in our schedule.. time to work on her has been reduced :( :(


Right now we have everything apart....engine out.... she's in bits and pcs.
Our paint guy is WAY behind and says its going to take him a lot longer than planned as he is now really behind.

Cost to get the wheels wasn't anticipated :) my error ahh.... the things I learn!

Shocks... again more than I planned ... mainly because I want them to be functional and have a sweet sexy look.... again more $ :( ahh.. ( I really had no clue)

so this leads me to the main questions for some of you that may have been through this before.

What are the main things I need to do to preserve the engine at this point??
Do I need to any type of special treatment or anything???

Keep in mind carbs are out getting reworked and the engine is currently on a mobile storage cart :) .. makes it easier for me to push around for proper cleaning. ... and I'll let you know that I have all holes covered to prevent anything foreign getting into the engine.

(** note ** from a womans point the best possible tool or "stuff" is a straight from the kitchen for me GLAD CLING WRAP.. yes I said it... Glad cling wrap... go ahead and laugh if you must... HOWEVER I find it works wonders.. you can use it to hold wires together when cleaning... keep water and odd stuff out of places it should be... etc.. haven't tried it you should.... I use the wrap along with hose clamps on round things... wire ends I bundle up nice and wrap wrap and when ready its SUPER easy to remove!... We found this by my constant use in the kitchen and when my guy needed something to cover wires and such to prevent things from getting where they shouldn't I went to the kitchen and grabbed it.. he LOVED the stuff and said "GOOD IDEA") ... so this is my helpful item to keep things from getting into the engine :) :) :) :)

so the engine has been out for about a week.... now that our plans are going to slow down and draw out does anyone know of anything special I need to do ??

thanks in advance!! :)
~Athena
 

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heh, nice bike, looks like a big brother of my suzuki. Can you take a pic of the frame? I also have a plan to put it together in no time, but learned that its inposible if not doin it profesionally. list is goin longer everytime I look it it. but I can see the line thanks god. Now that you have all the time, you can measure engine parts and order more things heh;)bearings, seals..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OH.. taking it apart was a pure HOOT for me.. not so much for the guy as he got a little ticked dealing with the engine as I watched from the observation tower :)(j/k)

and "the List" oh man it keeps growning and well.. ok we hit the cut off point. We already know what we want for the next project so enough is enough. :)

I'll get you a picture of the frame posted up tonight when I get home
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here is the best pic I have at the moment... haven't taken any of the frame alone... I will just too dark out now :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
so the engine has been out for a bit so...... now that our plans are going to slow down and draw out does anyone know of anything special I need to do to preserve the engine at this point??
Do I need to any type of special treatment or anything???
 
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