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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! Glad to find a very knowledgeable group.
I recently acquired an 83 Suzuki gs850gl that I want to turn into my first cafe racer.
This model came with quite a few extras that I do not desire on my final build. ( fuel gauge, gear number indicator)
Would it be wiser to take down the entire harness and rewire just the essentials or leave the existing wiring and just take away what I don't need?
 

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( fuel gauge, gear number indicator) sounds like pretty cool stuff to me, aren't you going to ride it ?:I that stuff comes in handy.
btw I love the front fender, but the fuel tank is hideous ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Not my first bike. So will not be learning. The picture is the bike when I bought it. Have lots of plans ;)
 

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When I took off the tank the plugs look almost melted. So I'm thinking I might need to just trash the harness anyways. First project so a little overwhelmed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Eventually. My first thoughts were handle bars and a new tank. It has dual front disc brakes and disc rear with shaft drive so it really is pretty performance oriented already.
 

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If this is your first cafe racer build I would suggest don't touch this one it is perfectly good as it is, get barn find bike and work on it, you will learn more on a shitty bike than you will on this. Use this as your daily rider. you will be pissed if you take this bike apart and have nothing to ride in the meantime. Trust me!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Too late :)
Thanks Harvey. I agree with you Harvey but I got lucky with this find and just had the vision as soon as I laid eyes on her
 

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With wiring looms it's best to use the OEM ones if you can. If you have a problem with it trace the issue and fix it. Suzuki wiring from this era can be a bit crusty all round. Once you have a loom that's working well then you can remove the parts of it you are not going to use. Wiring up a complete bike is not really that easy to do right, if you've never done it before. It's common for the big plugs going from the regulator and alternator to corrode, create resistance and cook or melt and their wiring. GS Suzukis all need the special wiring mod to make the alternator better regulated. GS forums would have all the details on how to do it.

That tank is not so ugly. It's mainly the angle it's mounted at. I've seen tanks just like this mounted at a different angles and they look fine.

Gear indicators are a bit useless and hard to see in sunlight. Most bike fuel gauges of this era are a fairly pointless: they are just plain inaccurate. I see why you want to ditch them. I've done the same on other model Suzukis.

You haven't really said what you want to do with this bike, but it's not really a bike to put clip-ons or clubman bars on. It would end up pretty strange and heavy to steer.

GS850Ls are fast enough and very smooth, but they are not ideal to make look like a café racer.

Why have you taken the carbs off?

Danger, is my business.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You haven't really said what you want to do with this bike, but it's not really a bike to put clip-ons or clubman bars on. It would end up pretty strange and heavy to steer.

GS850Ls are fast enough and very smooth, but they are not ideal to make look like a café racer.

Why have you taken the carbs off?

Danger, is my business.
I took the carbs off with the intention of replacing the intake boots. Which had some kind of sealant on it when I bought it.

I was really looking at putting on some clip-ons, love the look and it really says cafe to me, but you are saying the bike is too big for that?
 

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You have no plan for this bike and don't say handlebars and cafe seat, the bike was running and rid-able before tear down. I would reconsider your approach.
 

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Here's the rub, the bike was designed to ride like a cruiser, it's low in the rear, jacked up in the front, slightly raked, the rear tire is squat and suspension on both ends is enough to move it out of the showroom. If you alter it to be a more forward riding bias motorcycle and manage to make it go faster, you will find its stock rubber very lacking with good tires difficult to source in cruiser tire sizes, suspension will be prone to plow and wallow in the fast sweepers, and being a hefty traverse I-4 … are you familiar with what frame flex and dragging hard parts in corners feels like ?
This could be a very exciting motorcycle to ride. :rolleyes:
 

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If that bike says "cafe" to you, maybe you misunderstood and it was telling you it was hungry.

Seriously, that bike is not a great starting point for that kind of build. It is not impossible, but you are handicapped from the start. The frame geometry is wrong, the shaft drive is a minus in the performance department, it is heavy....even for a GS. It is a good bike, don't get me wrong....it is just more suited for touring, than performance. It was a smaller alternative to the GL1000 Goldwing.
 

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I took the carbs off with the intention of replacing the intake boots. Which had some kind of sealant on it when I bought it.

I was really looking at putting on some clip-ons, love the look and it really says cafe to me, but you are saying the bike is too big for that?
Almost everything about this bike is anti-café racer. It's too heavy and the steering geometry is too "cruiser dumpy" to fit bars any lower that superbike type bars. It's too heavy for short stumpy bars. Period.

It would make a good standard or bobber type custom. It's not really café racer material.

This is not the bike to strip everything off to make a café racer. It's a bike to go and ride across the state in a day in comfort. I like GS850s, but its never going to be sporty or a café racer.

A first model GS550/750 is a bike that is about four times better to make into a café racer. You would end up with a bike that is good to ride, and good to look at.

Danger, is my business.
 
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