Cafe Racer Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys long time no posting for me on here.
As a bit of background i have been on here and discussed various projects of mine including a 53 triumph thunderbird (sprunghub) restoration and a restomod cbx550 (i went from the F2 variant and went naked with that as per the non faired F)
In my stable currently I have the following
-the afformentioned triumph thunderbird for those slow sunny sunday rides and shows.
-my 2002 zrx1200r eddie lawson rep with 88000 on the clock. Still going strong and is my long distance muscle bike.
-2018 sv650 as an everyday hack/commuter
-2017 Street triple RS my go fast around corners bike.

This leaves me with a gap of no current project and not having a nice little bar hopper (but still with improved performance)

This brings me on to my latest purchase. A 1987 gsx550. It was an ebay find, nice and cheap at £700. It came with a fresh MOT and 26000 on the clock.
Got it bought and rode it home. The bike rides great pulls strong in every gear and everything works.
Done a compression test and all cylinders are fairly even and over 145psi. So all in all a good buy.
I rode the bike around for a few weeks and decided what i did and didn't like and formulated a plan from there.

What i like
-The lightness of the bike something i hope to add to further
-How it goes. These little middleweights of the late 80s have a great amount of power for their cc size that didn't overpower the chassis like some of their bigger cc siblings. Im happy with the amount of ponies at the moment but we will see.
-How the bike feels nimble on initial turn in.

What i dont like
-The odd size wheels (16 front and 18 rear) really limits the choice of decent radial rubber
-The anti dive on the forks feels horrible mid corner and blunts feedback plus i dont really feel the anti dive feature really working.
-The rear shock feels tired and under damped. Age plus the absence of any adjustability obviously isnt great.
-The sea of plastic on the bike that is largely cracked in various places especially around the mounting points. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but i think its on the wrong side of ugly.
-suzuki charging circuits. I haven't owned an 80s suzuki yet that hasn't tried to fry the battery.

The plan (some things are already underway)
-Change the complete front end. I have opted for the early gsx600 front end. This pushes the fork diameter up to 41mm and gets rid of the crappy antidive
-fully rebuild the above with racetech cartridge emulators and ohlins springs.
-The above will also mean the front brakes will go from 260mm discs with 2 pistons too 290mm discs with 4 piston calipers. Coupled with sintered pads and braided lines should stop the bike fairly well.
-The 17 wheels from an early gsx600. Both 2.5 x17 front 3.0 x17 rear.
-Custom made rear shock by Wilbers. As built for mine and the bikes weight it will also need to be a custom length. Going to 17" in the front and rear means i will effectively be raising the front and lowering the rear, increasing rake and trail accordingly. The additional length of the custom shock will bring the measurement back to stock, where the bike handles nicely already.
-full electrical overhaul with a decent mosfet reg/rec and LiOn battery. Yes you guessed it with a motogadget unit. Im happy to explain my reasoning behind this as i have built traditional and motogadget systems from scratch and know the advantages that the these systems bring. One of thise dont knock until you have tried it things.
-i will be sorting the ergos by using rearsets with the standard gsx600 above the triple clip ons.

Thats pretty much it. In regards to the styling it will be single seat. I will be using the original rear fairing and bringing it forward And narrowing it. The seat will have at least the standard amount of foam for comfort.

I will get pictures up and an update shortly. Of where im at as some of the above plans are already in motion.

Feel free to tell me if i have any holes in my olan that are glaringly obviouse or any questions you might have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Your plan is perfect except that even with all those nice motorcycles you still don't have a dirt bike.
Do you know what, greenlane riding in gbe uk is getting more and more legislated against.
Its something that I need to remedy and experience before iys outlawed for future generations
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Right as i mentioned i have already started working on the bike.
I purchased the front end from a gsx600.
I took measurements from both the standard front end and the new forks.

The offset at 35mm and form length were identical.

I measured the satndard rake and trail. Then swapped out the front end (bearings and stem length are the same making it a straight swap)

Once on i double checked by installing the standard 16" front wheel and double checked the rake and trail. The numbers came back the same.

Nothing is shiny yet as the bike will be built in its entirety before being stripped and prepped for final assembly.

Once rebuilt these will be installed with ohlins springs and racetech cartridge emulators.
As you can see i have also fitted the standard clipons from the gsx600

I also made an extra plate for the for brace the standard peice of plate steel had loads of flex. I made another plate out of scrap 5mm aluminium and added it on top of the steel plate. It has added a huge amount of rigidity for zero cost.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,986 Posts
Wow that fork seal sure does look like it is in upside down, what does the other side look like? If you see steel spring I'm thinking that is going to be on the oil side not the water & dirt side. Or does it just look that way in those photos?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
I agree, those seals look upside down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Those are the old seals. Good spot in their orientation. I stripped them quick to check the bodies for wearing oval. If you're interested my bore gauge only measured 0.2 mm of wear
All seals and bushes will be replaced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Hi guys long time no posting for me on here.
As a bit of background i have been on here and discussed various projects of mine including a 53 triumph thunderbird (sprunghub) restoration and a restomod cbx550 (i went from the F2 variant and went naked with that as per the non faired F)
In my stable currently I have the following
-the afformentioned triumph thunderbird for those slow sunny sunday rides and shows.
-my 2002 zrx1200r eddie lawson rep with 88000 on the clock. Still going strong and is my long distance muscle bike.
-2018 sv650 as an everyday hack/commuter
-2017 Street triple RS my go fast around corners bike.

This leaves me with a gap of no current project and not having a nice little bar hopper (but still with improved performance)

This brings me on to my latest purchase. A 1987 gsx550. It was an ebay find, nice and cheap at £700. It came with a fresh MOT and 26000 on the clock.
Got it bought and rode it home. The bike rides great pulls strong in every gear and everything works.
Done a compression test and all cylinders are fairly even and over 145psi. So all in all a good buy.
I rode the bike around for a few weeks and decided what i did and didn't like and formulated a plan from there.

What i like
-The lightness of the bike something i hope to add to further
-How it goes. These little middleweights of the late 80s have a great amount of power for their cc size that didn't overpower the chassis like some of their bigger cc siblings. Im happy with the amount of ponies at the moment but we will see.
-How the bike feels nimble on initial turn in.

What i dont like
-The odd size wheels (16 front and 18 rear) really limits the choice of decent radial rubber
-The anti dive on the forks feels horrible mid corner and blunts feedback plus i dont really feel the anti dive feature really working.
-The rear shock feels tired and under damped. Age plus the absence of any adjustability obviously isnt great.
-The sea of plastic on the bike that is largely cracked in various places especially around the mounting points. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but i think its on the wrong side of ugly.
-suzuki charging circuits. I haven't owned an 80s suzuki yet that hasn't tried to fry the battery.

The plan (some things are already underway)
-Change the complete front end. I have opted for the early gsx600 front end. This pushes the fork diameter up to 41mm and gets rid of the crappy antidive
-fully rebuild the above with racetech cartridge emulators and ohlins springs.
-The above will also mean the front brakes will go from 260mm discs with 2 pistons too 290mm discs with 4 piston calipers. Coupled with sintered pads and braided lines should stop the bike fairly well.
-The 17 wheels from an early gsx600. Both 2.5 x17 front 3.0 x17 rear.
-Custom made rear shock by Wilbers. As built for mine and the bikes weight it will also need to be a custom length. Going to 17" in the front and rear means i will effectively be raising the front and lowering the rear, increasing rake and trail accordingly. The additional length of the custom shock will bring the measurement back to stock, where the bike handles nicely already.
-full electrical overhaul with a decent mosfet reg/rec and LiOn battery. Yes you guessed it with a motogadget unit. Im happy to explain my reasoning behind this as i have built traditional and motogadget systems from scratch and know the advantages that the these systems bring. One of thise dont knock until you have tried it things.
-i will be sorting the ergos by using rearsets with the standard gsx600 above the triple clip ons.

Thats pretty much it. In regards to the styling it will be single seat. I will be using the original rear fairing and bringing it forward And narrowing it. The seat will have at least the standard amount of foam for comfort.

I will get pictures up and an update shortly. Of where im at as some of the above plans are already in motion.

Feel free to tell me if i have any holes in my olan that are glaringly obviouse or any questions you might have.
Hi Miniman, I thought I'd share my '83 550 I modified many years ago. Maybe, it will inspire you?
103457
103458
103459
103460
1983 Suzuki GS550ES 2.jpg
1983 Suzuki GS550ES 8.jpg
1983 Suzuki GS550ES 29.jpg
1983 Suzuki GS550ES 43.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Its a shame my fairings didn't look like that or they would have stayed.
What front end is that? SV650?
Also another question. I am going down the route of machining a hub carrier and wheel slightly in order to get a 17x3 in the rear from a gsx600.
What did you do a straight swap or did you have to get creative for that rear wheel install?
Thanks for sharing 👍
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
i was meaning the 17", they're very narrow for radials. although continental are making some that go on things like guzzi v7 i know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
i was meaning the 17", they're very narrow for radials. although continental are making some that go on things like guzzi v7 i know.
Yeah i have had a look there are some about. The limited selection is better than zero for the stock wheels.
Some of the lower cc sports bikes aren't far off the sizes i need. I will have to play off some tyre sizes within the safe limits of what i can mount on the rims.
For example the radial rubber available in cross sectional area is available for the rim but the profile is shorter than what would have been standard on the gsx600.

In this case it will all come down to getting the rear shock built around the changes in geometry that these things bring to pull the numbers (rake and trail) back to very near stock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I have used rosso 2s before and liked them and they are available in the correct cross section but a reduced profile of 70 from the standard 80.
Although that reduced measurement may help with tyre clearance of the 600 rim and tyre combo in the 550 swing arm.

Edit: i can also get Michelin power RS rhbbers which are another favourite
 

Attachments

1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top