I've built a fair few first bikes for people, it's really exciting to get the opportunity to build something they'll remember forever, something they'll show their Grandkids and tell them 'this was my first beauty'. The first Cafe Racer I ever built was a 1981 Suzuki GS550 (check out the blog here), so I had a nostalgic feeling when a friend of the shop said he had bought a 1983 Suzuki GS650 for his first bike. I was stoked! and then I saw the bike...

Let me give you an idea of the custom modifications this bike had suffered already...

  • 20mm plywood seat pan held down with roofing screws
  • Tail tidy attached to the plywood seat pan
  • An internally rusted CX500 tank poorly fitted to the GS650 frame
  • Custom triple clamp (read- a block of aluminum with 3 holes in it)
  • Wiring that looked like nonna’s kitchen after she cooked pasta

This wasn't going to be easy, but I'm not one to shy away from a challenge.

I'm stoked with how it turned out, and if you'd like to read into the specifics into how I built this black beauty, check out the full build blog here

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