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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
T8erbug's GS750 Cafe Racer

I was planning on doing the bike all on my own with no help from the internet world but as I come closer to throwing on the forks, choosing different wheels, axles, and possibly a different swingarm I realize I will need the help and opinions of others to assure the bike comes out working like it should. So let me get you up to speed. Bought the bike from a guy out in Salt Lake. Rode it home so it passed the first test. He had aspired to make it a cafe bike so a few things were already taken off the bike (indicators, seat, misc small items). The carb had air cleaners so that was nice. SO I have started the breakdown of the bike and chopped into the frame. My main focus right now is the tank and you will see why. Feel free to ask whatever and I will fill you in.
 

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Good on ya for buying a running bike, did it have a title? That's a big one where I'm from (WI).

Pics are always fun to look at.

Also another good on ya for buying an old Suzuki (that is contingent on you making it better than it was originally and keeping it on the road).
 

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Hey thanks guys! Getting the title was a hastle. I bought it with the understanding I could get it from the original owner because the guy I bought it from didn't ever get the title. I managed to track the owner down and get the title after a few weeks of prodding (he lost it and didn't want to have to apply for a new one). I have had my hand at flipping cars for a few years now. I usually do them with my own selfish desires in mind (minor performance and body mods) but they have all sold for more than I was into them and I get plenty of miles enjoying them so it's been a rewarding hobby. This is my fourth bike. I figured it's time to get unique and make something good/old better! Like I said this is my first time in any bike forum so I am just learning how to post photos. I recently uploaded them onto an image host so hopefully I will have a couple pics up by days end!
 

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So here she is. This is the photo I saw online when I found it and knew I had to have it. Slightly torn down but they were things that would be removed anyway. It just seemed to have a good base form for a sporty four cylinder cafe. So I bought it and my love for the GS family has been growing ever since. More pics coming
 

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1) cafe is not a noun unless you are talking about a place to drink coffee and eat little sandwiches.

2) build is not an adjective or a noun. Project is.

3) current pics? The words "chopped into the frame" worries me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

The first thing I did was start the tear down process.

I did like the tank but the more I looked at it, then at other bikes I decided the tank needed changing in order to achieve the look I'm going for. (new cap and internals, knee indents, and a more flat/streamline look)

Drew up some lines and roughly figured how much I wanted to section out
 

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Discussion Starter #8

Ok here it is after I sectioned out everything. Looks a lot leaner and ready to go fast. I also want to lengthen it 2.5 inches not only for the look of it but it should make up the difference in volume loss due to the knee indents and sectioning.

a quick test fit looked pretty good. I hadn't welded the tank at this point. If you look at the front of the tank you can see there is a gap about .25 inch in the top and bottom of the tank. Because I am adding length to the tank I figured the best route to go is to cut it down the middle of the tank where it's dimensions change the least, then moving the top part of the tank closer to the front so they match up. Doing this retains the majority of the factory shape in the front and saves me from having to stretch and shape metal to make it all fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
From the beginning I knew I wanted an old bike and wanted to make it better. I am not a purist when it comes to cafe racers so I hope I don't offend anyone. I see a cafe racer as a bike that started out good, got lower, meaner, faster, better handling characteristics, and lightened up as much as possible (minus or plus a few things). That being said I was not opposed to putting the technology of today on a bike of yesterday. I bought a 2001 GSXR fork for it because it offered a good track record and was still RSD not to mention I got a good deal on some GSXR brakes as well (two birds with one stone!). I just think USD forks kind of distract from the nostalgic look. As far as the rear suspension goes I will put new shocks on the rear but stick with the dual shock set-up, again to keep the nostalgic look.

 

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Discussion Starter #10


Using paint I came up with a quick little rendering of what I'd like the bike to look like for the most part. Not exact but it gives me a good idea of what I'm shooting for. Stretched tank, lower front end, 4-1 exhaust, and custom tail/seat. Everything else is subject to change
 

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I don't think there are such a thing as cafe purists, we just don't like stupid. Seems like you have a grasp on what you are doing (ie you are actually sectioning the metal instead of bashing knee dents in with a hammer).

Before you commit to the shape of the tank narrowing try to mockup your bar, seat, and foot position (rearsets man, no stock pegs). Race tanks were 5 gallons for a reason - go for that, don't just make up for lost capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok we're getter closer to where the bike currently sits! Here is where the frame is at the moment.

The rear is cut to about the distance I want, cut off passenger pegs, took off exhaust, and misc. detabbing

This is the tank to about the length I want. Sorry I couldn't get it propped up into position any better but I figured you would get the picture
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Now you're up to speed on the frame! Apologies for my longwindedness haha.

Here is where a good portion of the work is taking place. I live in a college town at an apartment complex so this garage is cozy but it will do. I also take a street rod technologies class at the local university on the side so that is where all the welding and metal shaping takes place.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey thanks Geeto67! Yeah rearsets all the way. I had to cut out and take away all the bulky rider and passenger pegs first but I think I should be good to go now. I did quite a few test fits before I came up with the tank shape. As for where my rearsets will go I figured I would put them roughly where the passenger pegs were (a little lower and forward from there). I found a set I like and will prob build a bolt on bracket for them that way in the unfortunate case I ever lay it down I will be able to replace them without having to reweld on the frame. Five gallons eh? I will go for it! Hopefully with some of the stuff I do under the tank I will pick up a little more fuel capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I am fabbing majority of my parts. Tail, seat, brackets, etc will be done by me. It's mostly about cost. If I can save a buck, learn something, and/or get better quality original parts I will do it myself. I am not opposed to buying parts if it saves me time/money and doesn't take away from the originality of the bike though.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Alright here is the tank as of today. It took me FOReeeeveeeerrr to square the tank up so I could make accurate/good cuts.

Here are the knee indents all cut out

WISH I HAD A LASER STRAIGHT LINE haha

In this pic you can see where the fuel shut off bolts in. Chances are it will interfere with the knee indents and because the tank will lean slightly forward on the finished bike I will probably just move it forward a little to a wider portion of the tank

Also today I cut the ingnition mounting gear off the top triple clamp just because A) The old Suzuki one won't fit and isn't worth the major modification to make it look like it belonged B) The clamp looks a LOT cleaner without the ignition switch there and it can easily be relocated. Now just some minor grinding/sanding and she will be ready to paint back up

 

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I'm liking this one. I especially like the work on the fuel tank. The way you are sectioning and then adding material in the right places, that's how my friend Paul did my tank. It took hours and hours of cutting, measuring, fitting, and welding.
quote:Originally posted by T8erbug

I see a cafe racer as a bike that started out good, got lower, meaner, faster, better handling characteristics, and lightened up as much as possible (minus or plus a few things).
Yep, all except the part about "lower".
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I guess I just assumed most bikes' handling is enhanced by a nice little lowering job.. Center of gravity being lower and all that jazz. Thanks for the props though! You have any pics of your tank?
 
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