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Suzuki GSX250 streetfighter/cafe racer

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by Fitty, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. A mate and I bought a 1984 Suzuki GSX250 when we were 18 or 19, and it's been sitting in the garage ever since. It's not an especially desirable or pretty bike, but I've never done a bike build before, so I've decided to do a ground up restoration/rebuild and hopefully learn a thing or two along the way.

    My basic plan is to get down to the frame, re-paint it, then re-fit everything, servicing or replacing things as I go along (preferably the former; I'm not looking to spend much money on it). This is the bike I'm starting with:


    And this is something like what I want to end up with:


    Suggestions and questions are welcome. I'll update the thread with pictures as I go along.

  2. My mate and I did a bit tonight and got to this stage:

  3. Mate am doing the same thing with the same bike, managed to pick up an old rusty beast for $200, have stripped it down to the frame and will gradually build it back up to something respectable. Ive set myself a budget of an additional $2000 to get it to run, ive already chewed through $121.95 buying some miscellaneous bits and pieces like pod filters, carbie cleaner, inox spray, battery, paint stripper, electrical tape. Luckily im heading to Vietnam in 2 weeks so i am going to get some cheap parts while i am there.

    Any progress on your build?
  4. I made the mistake of telling everyone about the fun bit, before I started the hard bit. Still sitting in a pile in the garage, although I'm planning to get it started again, soon.
  5. The gsx 250 wasn't a bad bike, the problem is it was really a 400 with only 250cc capacity.
  6. My initial plan was to sort it out and make a decision about swapping in a bigger engine at a later date... I'm going to clean the garage out tonight and see about getting cracking on this again.
  7. If you just turn the bars upside down you will get a cafe look without having to go for clip ons
  8. I was trying to figure out where you got clip ons from, then I remembered the pics above. I'll flip the 'bars, I'm not looking to break the bank on this one.

    I was inspired by re-finding this thread and had a good crack at getting started again today. I threw out all the crap I won't be using and got everything ready for blasting. Hopefully get that sorted next weekend.

    edit: Did a bit more today, and I've decided I'm going to need a stand for the frame - bending over all day isn't much fun. My basic plan at this stage is to put everything back together, figure out exactly what I'm going to need to buy and/or change, then rip it down, blast, paint and re-fit (sounds so easy when I say it like that).
  9. I knocked up a plan of what the frame stand will look like. The stand on the left has two bits of hollow round bar that'll be welded to the frame, and they'll fit where the centre stand should go. The stand on the right will feed through the steering head - I'll have to weld something to hold the steering head at the right height.

    The plan is to knock this up on Saturday, so hopefully I'll have a few more photos up on Sunday evening showing some progress!

  10. easy way to hold the steering head is a hole in the stand with a bolt/rod through it that the headstock rests on.
  11. Yeah, good idea, but unfortunately, the underside of the head stem is such that it won't rest well on anything. It would also be a bit more unstable in the end, I think.

    I cut and ground all the components of the frame and here they are below. Cutting and grinding is nearing the extent of my metal working skills, so it's ready for welding tomorrow by someone with a bit more ability than me.

  12. Ok, so the frame was welded up today. The finished product:



    I spent about half an hour getting the engine bolted in - lining up all those mounting bolts is a bit of a prick by yourself. So this is where I'm up to now:


    I hope to get a lot more done this weekend, although Sunday is supposed to be sunny so I'll probably take the opportunity to go for a ride. I was lucky enough to snag a free tank from @ziggy8 (see this thread), which I plan to cut in half and use as a rear cowl, which will hopefully end up looking something like that on a Norton Manx. Once I've got everything I'm keeping bolted on, I can start playing around with the modified bits to sort it all out. I also seem to have misplaced my airbox, so it looks like the old zook might get a pod filter.
  13. Well I put the carburetors back on, and I've just dummy fitted a few other parts to keep them out of the way:


    I've now found the prodigal airbox, but I'm still tossing up whether the looks of pod filters are worth the trouble of all the work that goes with them. Has anyone done pod filters on a 250 before? What were the issues you ran into and would you do it again? At any rate, should be easy enough to knock up something to make to this:


    The last thing I want to do before I get everything sent off for blasting and painting is to figure out what I'm going to do with the seat. I've now decided that the easiest thing is going to be to buy a universal fit seat I like and to use that. I'm thinking something along the lines of this seat.

    Thoughts on the seat? Has anyone else tried fitting one of these universal units? The eBay seller also supplies clamps so that you don't have to drill/cut into your frame, but I think I'll probably just weld some new tabs on.
  14. It looks a little like the Suzuki frame slopes up a bit at the rear? The frame rails or brackets would need to support the seat base somehow, so I would think you will need to match that up?

    I wonder how much stuff on this would be cross compatable with T250/T500's? Wire wheels for instance? heaps of T250's end up as classic race bikes so there would be plenty of long tanks, seat units, fairings etc out there for them...
  15. I put a set on my revolting CB400N. Did it "properly" by sticking a Ledar kit in the carbs, along with bigger jets.

    It ran rich as f#*k and would cut out in the rain until I made some covers for the pods. Some juggling with the jetting would probably have got it largely sorted but by that time I was so pissed off with the bike's design and materials inadequacies that I couldn't be arsed. Besides, the crank exploded (again) a couple of months later so I chucked the whole thing in a skip and walked away without looking back.

    Given a bike that was worth the effort, yes I'd put pods on again if I was looking to ditch the airbox for whatever reason, but I wouldn't have it as a primary goal.
  16. [MENTION=34033]Ged[/MENTION], the stand is actually on a bit of an angle, the rear doesn't slope significantly. I'm not interested in fairings, but the spoked wheels might look good, I'll check it out.

    [MENTION=22378]PatB[/MENTION], I was afraid that would be the case. This bike is my first project, and it's obviously not a classic by any stretch. If it's going to be that much trouble, I reckon I'll retain the airbox. It's reasonably ugly, but it'll do.
  17. Hey mate,
    Wouldn't mind coming over and having a look sometime. looks like you've done a bit since we last talked. also if you need help doing CAD i do alot for my job.
  18. Yeah, CAD stuff might come in useful. You can do the CAD, Dad can do the CNC ;)

    Let me know if you've got a free night this week to come and check it out.
  19. Yeah sounds good. Custom CNC'd pieces are awesome.
    I'm free tomorrow after work. Just let me know.
  20. [MENTION=24315]oohsam[/MENTION] has inspired me in his GS1100 thread and I think I'm going to replace all the electrical components in the old zook and make a new wiring harness... either that or buy a new one.

    Is there anything I need to look out for when I'm sourcing a replacement reg/rec and ignition coils, or will anything from a modern 250 do?