1983 Suzuki GS450TX Cafe Racer Project
December 4, 2012 - San Diego, CA
I've wanted to build a Cafe Racer for a while now so when a friend of mine mentioned that I could have the 1983 Suzuki GS450TX that had been gathering dust in his garage for free, I knew it was the right candidate. Despite sitting for seven years, the Suzuki was in pretty great shape; completely stock OEM parts with only 1,500 miles on it and no rust. The only thing really wrong with it was that it was missing exhaust.
Of course it didn't take long for me to dive right in. The day I got it home, it came apart. I started by cleaning out the carburetor and actually managed to get the bike running. All it took was some YAMAHA Carburetor Cleaner and some Emgo Pod Filters. I actually really recommend the YAMAHA Carb Cleaner. It's been a staple of mine for over eight years and it's still some of the best stuff that I've ever used.
The next step in was to get some exhaust on it. To keep it clean and simple, it got a MAC 2 into 1 Exhaust. Was a pretty easy install and definitely fits the visual theme.
Next, the Cafe Racer project bike got some BikeMaster Clubman Handlebars along with some Dynastar "58" Series Fork Boots to give the whole front end that vintage racer style. Another option was to throw on some clip-on handlebars, but I really liked how inexpensive and easy the BikeMaster Clubman Bars are.
The seat is a huge part of what makes a bike a cafe racer and the couch of a stock seat that was on it just wasn't going to cut it, which meant hitting up eBay to find a new one. Once that finally arrived, I cut the rear frame of the bike with a metal grinder and mounted the seat pan, which is how it currently stands.
So far, all of the changes have made a huge difference, but there's still a laundry list of things to still be done:
Finish the wiring and getting it hidden under the seat and swing arm
Replace the stock headlight and taillight
Mount some new blinkers
Throw on new tires (it currently has some cheap motorcycle tires)
Replace the motorcycle chain
Upholster the new seat
Install new motorcycle brakes
It's definitely a work in progress but after six months of working on it, I'd have to say that I'm pretty excited about how well it's going. With all of the major stuff done, I'm looking forward to picking up some fun motorcycle accessories and maybe grabbing a new motorcycle jacket to match. More updates to come.