Introduction: Gs500 Cafe Racer
The year was 2007, my oldest son was born on the 5th of January and so was this motorcycle, feel free to tell me what was significant to you in the year 2007. After only 8000 or so miles this bike took a turn for the worse and was laid down and the pavement tore through the aluminum cover destroying the stator and the rotor. The Suzuki GS500F was deemed salvage and was put on the auction block. “100 going once 100 going twice sold to the man in the back”. The original plan for this bike was for the cover to be replace and put back up for sale. This may have been a great idea but we will never know.
I was given an opportunity to flip this bike. PIMP my ride!! I wanted to document this process to show you the whole process good and bad and hopefully the good out ways the bad. This bike will not make everyone happy. Trust me I posted some pictures in the GS facebook group to ask for suggestions. ONLY do this if you want to hear the worst of humanity has to offer and have very thick skin. I may have cried myself to sleep a couple times...
Step 1: Donor Bike
Every cafe racer starts with a donor bike, most are really cheap and the major reason for using them. The GS500 is a popular bike and a great first bike so there availability is high.
Step 2: Tear It Down
Demo Day as Chip Gaines would say my son joined me on this step and made it even funner we took everything that was not needed or looked bulky and took it off and put in a pile to sell on ebay.
Step 3: Fit the Seat
With the tank back on i place the seat on as well and mark everything to cut away. No turning back now i also removed the Stator and the regulator and 1 million pieces of magnets from the exploded regulator... So the first thought was that the cover just needed to be replace that was not the case the whole left side of the bike minus the crank had to be replaces.
Step 4: Front Fender
The front fender that came on the bike did not fit the style of the bike and to be honest neither does this one I have ordered a new one but with the current situation with the covid 19 crisis not sure when it will arrive .
so for this i marked out with a sharpie what i wanted the fender to look like and used a jig saw to cut it out it doesn't look terrible but it doesn't look great either.
Step 5: Hide the Electrical Components
I went to a metal distribution site and got some small thin gauge metal since i dont have a welder i was able to do this with rivits and bondo you will see more of this in the future steps.
i just place the metal where i wanted it and traced it out with a sharpie.
Using a grinder with cutting wheel cut out the shape i was going for.
Then using a grinding wheel i shaved off all the sharp edges
Step 6: Side Covers
the solid metal was to much for me so I made these using the same process but this time I used some decorative metal mesh. then painted it black.
Step 7: Fabricating the Tail End
The suzuki gs 500 frame is square tubing all the seat hoops are round tubing so this was a process especially with out a welder. I was able to gind a neighbor in to do some tack welds but he was not the greatest so hello bondo.
- I clamped everything into place and took it to my friends house to tack weld it into place i used a riviting gun to hold it in place and well.
- i then put multiple thin layers of bondo and sanded smooth this took 3 days to complete lot of work next time will pay to have it welded professionally but all in all I am pleased with the final result
- i added a video showing this more in detail
Step 8: Add Accessories
These add up fast 30 here and 30 there I added new headlight, seat, tail pipe, led lights, exhaust wrap, mirrors and tail light hoop. And of course these came in 1 box at a time driving my wife nuts.
Step 9: Color Choose and Powder Coating
This really made the bike pop and stand out. I put a vote on Instagram and facebook and the overwhelming winner was the yellow.
Step 10: Fix Mechanical Issues
I replace the stator and cover as well as the rotor. clean the carbs but it still wasn't running right so I bought a rebuild kit for the carburetors. I also had to replace the front breaks system.
Step 11: Enjoy!
Knowing that I save this bike from the scrap heap brings me joy I know its not perfect but its perfect to me! Wow that sounded cheesy but after spending this amount of time on one project and putting so much into it I feel cheesy about it! So thank you for taking the time to look at it!
Second Prize in the
Motor Vehicle Contest