1980 GS450 "Sport". The grandaddy to the GS500.....Done!

Started by Big Rich, May 18, 2013, 08:37:22 PM

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Big Rich

I know that the other Suzuki twins are usually neglected here, but I have some time on my hands. Besides, this 450 has more 500 parts than people realize (and will eventually have a 500 motor as well!). I bought it last September or so from a Craigslist ad. It didn't have any pictures and was only listed for $250...... and not running. Being the Sport model, I felt obligated to check it out. And here's what I found:



The seller was extremely honest about any issues, and it was mostly complete (what WAS missing was easy to replace / getting replaced anyway). I didn't argue about the price at all, and drove the truck out a week later to pick it up. After getting it home I sorted thru all the boxes of parts and found all the important stuff: turn signals, factory bar end mirrors, stock grips, fairing and glass, etc:



The stock front wheel is only 1.6" wide, and the tire is skinny as well (3.00"*18"). The seller threw in a wheel from a GN400 that was identical other than the width - 1.85". Not a big deal to me since I planned on mounting a 19" front wheel and tire.



More updates throughout the night.....
83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

Hooked up a battery and the electrical system stands a chance:



Although I knew it had a bad stator, and it was missing coils. I stole some coils from my GR, and got the motor to fire up. Onto the front end...... the original had 33mm forks, an 18" wheel, and a single caliper brake. I swapped a GR650 front end that I had laying around and got a 19" wheel and 35mm forks (never mind that knobby tire):



Back to the motor - the entire thing had 30 years of crust on it. After pulling off the top end I saw the original cross hatch pattern on the walls. Figured the odometer was right at 5900 miles.

83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

The frame was sandblasted and painted since the motor was out. Once the motor was clean again, back in the frame it went:



Oil pump screen was removed and cleaned:



New clutch plates soaking before installation:



Stator from a GS500 bolted right in to replace the non functional stocker:



Three of the six clutch springs were replaced with aftermarket springs. Here's a comparison of stock vs new:



Everything bolted back together nicely :

83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

One thing that always bothered me on these 450's was the exhaust: they put the mufflers right inline with the rear axle. To mess with the rear wheel, you either had to drop the exhaust or unbolt the shocks to lower the swingarm:



I employed some friends to come out to do some welding for me:



And had some shorter reverse megaphones installed:



83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

Ordered a 19" wheel off of eBay:



And installed new bearings:



Cleaned both front and rear wheels, then painted with orange Metalcast paint:



Front tire mounted up (Shinko 712, 100/90-19):



And the rear tire mounted (also Shinko 712, but 100/90-18):

83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

Started putting the rest of the bike together:



Replaced the stock R/R with one from a GS500 (since the stator is also from a 500, it wired right in):



The single fuse on the 450's is a glass one, so I replaced it with the common mini blade type:



Wiring checks out so far.....:

83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

Another problem: the plastic frame cover on the left hand side was cracked near the mounting peg:



So I cut a small piece of aluminum in a square-ish shape:



And riveted it on each side of the crack:

83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

I didn't feel like dealing with the 33 year old original carbs, so I bought some first generation GS500 carbs. They have the same spacing as the originals, but were literally 3 pounds lighter:



All I needed to do was get a GS500 throttle cable and a K&N lunchbox filter (and proper jets) and they were good to go.
83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

As much as I hate the look of them, crash bars are very practical. Found a decent set on eBay so I snatched them up (ignore the cable in the pic):



There was some surface rust around the edges, so I sandblasted the rust and chrome off:



Painted with black appliance epoxy and installed:



83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

Had to buy a new petcock for the tank, as the original was leaking (imagine that.....):



And around this time is when I pulled the dual disc front end off of my GR650:



How it sat at the time.....:

83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

Got to take it out for it's first shake down run:



Universal frame clamps:



And universal saddle bag supports:

83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

Got a GREAT deal on some Hagon shocks (over $100 off):



Mounted up an auxiliary running light as well. It's on a relay in line with the low beam, and has a very flat beam (mostly just so cagers notice me):



Between the auxiliary light, and the GS500 headlight, it puts out a good bit of light. The stock headlight is a 35w (?) sealed beam light.....that didn't work when I got the bike.

83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

If you look at my first post in this thread, you'll see the quarter fairing already had been sanded down to primer / fiberglass. I was making a trip to West Virginia in the middle of April and wanted to use the fairing, so it got a quick spray of appliance epoxy:



Right before said trip to WV:



The previous owner called me up and said he found some other parts for the 450 and asked if I wanted them. Of course I did! Included were the original keys (I had a spare key that didn't always work properly):



Got around to painting the stock GS450 tining cover. Same orange Metalcast to match the wheels:



83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

Bought a new fender on eBay to replace the ragged one I was using:



Which I quickly drilled to install a fender extension from.....guess what? A GS500:



The reverse megaphone mufflers were pretty loud for long term highway use, so I found some old baffles from a GR:



And after they were welded in, I painted the end caps in flat black:



83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

That's the summary of the past work since I bought the bike. Just about everything had been cleaned up and replaced, but there are still plans for the future.....

In the process now of installing GS500F turn signals. The originals are HUGE! Here are some comparison pics:




Before:



And after:

83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

This week I've been working on the paint. The original paint looked pretty good, but it did have its share of scratches (after 33 years, you gotta expect some flaws). Plus, I wanted to paint the quarter fairing with the same red paint to match everything else.

Here is the tank when I started stripping it:



After 3 coats of aircraft stripper, and a light sandblasting under the tunnel to take care of some surface rust:



Completely clean steel underneath it all. Etching primer sprayed:



Wet sanded, then sprayed metallic primer:



Wet sanded again, and the metallic red was sprayed:



Going to start spraying clear coat soon - hopefully over the next couple days.
83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

Big Rich

Just wanted to add: I got a great deal on a rear spoked hub. I already had the front wheel and tires, so I laced and trued a rear hoop. I plan on using these to go to Mid Ohio in July, but it's also nice to have a set of wheels ready to go "just in case".



I think that's it for updates for now......
83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

jacob92icu

I love old cafe racing type bikes, really cool project. Ever think of some more aggressive handlebars? Keep up the good work!  :thumb:
I am into buying bikes that people have given up on and fixing them up!

RIP Patrick Lajko, I miss you man.

Big Rich

Thanks Jacob! I have thought about them, actually. I ditched the stock bars for the current Superbike bars so I got a little more drop and less pull. The next step down are drag bars, then clubmans. Without rearsets, clubmans and clipons are out of the question. So maybe drag bars once I get everything else done.....

And besides, I have clipons and rearsets on my GR650 - that bike forces you in that position anyway. :)
83 GR650 (riding / rolling project)

It's opener there in the wide open air...

rowbvp


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