View Full Version : GS500 Hardtail Sort Of Chop/Bob/Molested Bike Thing

07-08-2017, 3:28 PM
So here we are again, another bike project, and a happy west country Pattman. Time to fabricate!! Well, once the ring roller turns up and I've cleared my garage of all the crap I accumulate.

Back ground story of (theres always a background story); saw it for a bargain price, whipped it round the block and bought it to commute to work. I wasn't a massive fan of the GS once I took it out properly, its small (I'm touching 6'4), my legs cramp up, it lacks any sort of soul, is to quiet, handles ok but not great, brakes work to an extent, god awful three spoke alloy wheels and it looks like a typical 90's midlife crisis bike... but good enough for a hardtail, was the thoughts running through my head as I just about touched a ton flat out over the top of the scenic Mendip hills, sporting a piss pot with my chin bouncing off the fuel tank. Yeah, this project would work I thought and then somehow I managed to be chased by the resident pissed off satan loving goats through Cheddar Gorge... as you do...

I then need to be more mobile with work so back to my van being stuck in traffic but blasting Motörhead very loud, a small compromise, and the bike gets sacrificed to be molested by an angle grinder wielding mad man.

So here it is as standard as it left the factory apart from some adjustable levers.

Updates to follow... if the goats don't get me.

07-09-2017, 7:17 AM
Subbed and watching.

07-13-2017, 3:29 PM
Ring roller finally turned up after the delivery guy decided he'd rather have it in the back of his truck for two days... asswipe. But its here, assembled and ready to go. Had to do a bit of minor adjustment to the dies though as they where either to big or to small, typical metric/imperial compatibility issues.

Former met grinder, former had a bit of weight loss surgery and now everything works as it should.

And my lad made sure the ring roller was up to task.

Bench building next, jig making then tear down time.

07-16-2017, 10:20 AM
Finally made the top of the bench that I'd had cut and waiting to weld together for the last two years. Still contemplating making a height adjustable base or to just have it one height. I'll see what stock I've got left.


And the steering neck holder made from box section I've had lying about for over three years, about time it earned its keep.


07-16-2017, 10:29 AM
Carrying on...


M16 threaded bar, it'll be plenty strong enough to do what I want it to. I'll make some cones to centre the steering neck solid and make it a lot easier to work on.

The jig can go to 33 degrees but with a little grind it'll go more. About right for what I want anyway. I've found another GS500 frame to chop up to salvage the steering neck from to make the frame so I can still bat the crap out of this one for the time being.

Rear frame jig to make to take the spindle mounts and sort out the height of the bench so its level then work can start on the frame.

08-20-2017, 2:24 PM
Finally had some time to do some more. Not much but chopped the steering neck from the frame and made some centre adaptors for the jig to mount the neck.





09-17-2017, 10:41 PM
I have a similar GS. I'm going to mod it some day and maybe this would be one option.
At the moment GS is a Flat Tracker. Pics can be seen in my pic folder.
Is your project has progressed or the goats has caught you?

09-25-2017, 1:34 PM
Getting there and the goats haven't got me yet, little buggers! Bench is up, axle plates made and jig is in place. Bench has been laser levelled in and bolted down so all measurements can be taken of off it for reference and making sure everything is true and straight. Heights have all be worked out, 6" from bottom rails to ground as the exhausts are going to be run under the frame and side exiting through a muffler box. The heights of the axle plates and headstock have been lowered accordingly so the bench is at frame rail height so everything can sit straight on it. Everything has been centred so it should be plain sailing, hopefully.


All the steel is here for the frame and I've got some sheet steel waiting to be made into a fuel tank and battery box etc. Need to find or make a seat, headlight, electric box, fuse holder and sissy bar for camping gear. Build time, at last.

09-25-2017, 10:24 PM
Looking good, keep on rocking;)

09-28-2017, 5:19 PM
Went for a ride to the last RBL bike night of the year, was a good turn out. Had fun dodging the goats and now deer chucked in the mix through the gorge on the way home....

Front down tube notched, tacked, straightened and welded, lower rails bent and notched to the down tube ready for rear ends to be bent and notched for the axle plates. All good fun.


09-30-2017, 12:01 PM
Carrying on, blasting out rock and blues in the garage, had an epiphany of what to do with the top tube.... *I didn't really, it*sounded good though. *Formers worked ok with a bit of brute force keeping it straight. *Need to come up with a name for it now, its getting to the point where it should have one. *Bits of shit welded together just doesn't really have the ring to it. *Anyway, pictures and more pictures.

Frame rails cut, notched and channelled for the down tube and axle plates


I worked a length of tubing through a ring roller making the constant curve, offered up before notching


After notching and tacked



Welded in with a crossmember taking the end to the frame rails, i'll gusset this later on to make sure the bastard is solid


With a cross member to keep the shape and deter distortion, also gives a nice shape for the fuel tank I'll make later on. *The lower rail is on a backwards fall so giving the tank a natural flow to the right place. *Forward thinking or what mother fucker!


The rear frame rails will be something like this. *I'm planing on taking the seat down as far as possible so your low to the ground but as the bike will only be roughly 400mm wide and 6" off the ground, leaning through the*corner*will be easy, hopefully.


I'm liking where this bike is going and the shape its taking, probably the best looking one so far. *I want to change the wheels though, looking at Kawasaki 8-9 spoke *mag*wheels instead of the three spoke things, I'll see how it looks when they are on, with good tyres its purely for looks.

10-01-2017, 5:24 PM
Nice quiet weekend rocking out in the garage building a bike frame, bliss. *Frame is all but complete, some brackets / gussets*(oh matron!) to make and weld in, engine mounts, exhaust mounts, tank mounts, battery box, electrics box, rear brake torsion arm and loads of other stuff I've probably forgotten.

Rear wheel is in for now, need to make some cross members for the mud guard to fix to and figure out where the indicators and associated cables are running. *I've got a plan for the brake light to make it a bit different but inconspicuous.... now thats got you thinking hasn't it....

Rear frame rails cut and welded in place, cross members yet to go in


GS getting dismantled. *Now the problem here is that the exhaust studs are fucked, big time. *Looks like its weld a nut on the end and try to get them out that way but the heads are rusted to shit and falling apart. *May drill them out and try the lock nut approach on the studs.


Rear wheel in and spaced roughly enough with what I had to hand. *Think I'll be going for either straight bars or mini Z bars depending if I get them made or I make them.


Had to have a go making bike noises, its compulsory you know, everyones got to make a twat out of them selves at some point and I'm the master.

10-01-2017, 6:57 PM
What kind of a gas tank are you planning on running????

10-02-2017, 11:52 AM
I'm making one to go in the gap between the top tube and cross rail, probably come out near to the width of the engine

10-27-2017, 1:32 PM
Three hours. Three f*****g hours to get two exhaust headers off thanks to two rusted bolts sheering off and having to be drilled out. But they are off and the engine can come out at last. Just as well I'm making a new pair from the header back as the mi section is rusted to hell and fell apart when I took it off literally snapping in half.
When the engines out I can get it aligned with the rear wheel, mounts made and bolted in, petrol tank can be mocked up with loads of cardboard, electrics box etc etc, the list goes on and on......

11-05-2017, 5:56 AM
Nice work! Can I ask what gauge the tubing is?

11-17-2017, 1:43 PM
looks great and interesting

12-22-2017, 11:45 AM
Tubing is 26.9 x 3.6 CDS, down tube is 42.4 x 4 CDS

Small update. Been busy with my business with the run up to Christmas so haven't had a lot of free time to get on with the build. I've managed an odd couple of hours here and there, mainly trying to remove a snapped engine mount bolt. Resulting in hours of shouting at it, welding on nuts, blow torching, squirting penetrating oil like a teenager with a porn mag and the good old fashioned drill the fecker out.


And the end result


But I did manage to align and mount the engine, just the top rear engine mount to sort out which will have to be removable for the engine to come out.


Soon to start on mocking up the exhausts and templating for the fuel tank.

12-28-2017, 5:46 PM
Manifolds. *Every bike needs them and being an awkward sort of muppet I am in using a single VM38 I needed to make one.before fabing the rear engine mount. *My pipe bender crinkles the hell out of thin wall pipe so I ordered a couple of mandrel 45 bends from 42.5 x 1.5 steel tubing and where delivered the next day before Christmas but I've been either to pissed, to stuffed or*building lego with my kids*to go out to the garage. *I think I had more fun than they did, parents prerogative.

So, I marked it out on the bench as a plan so I could keep everything near enough parallel and its easier to mark the cut lines.


Aforementioned bend


Bend met the angle grinder


And the other bend felt left out so I chopped his ass off too


Part welded ready for the inlet tube


Inlet tube tacked*and soon to be shortened to suit


The tubing is slightly bigger than the original carb outlet so I stuck the rubber manifolds on the lathe and the internal ridge down*to suit the tubing


Manifold plate for the VM to bolt to


Plate welded to the manifold


Carb bolted on and mounted to the bike




The carb has a choke lever assembly (enricher rather than a choke but same principle - I almost sounded like I know what I'm on about)*built into it so theres no need for a choke cable, the carb cable will be running into the carb via a 90 bend to miss the tank and not screw the cable and as the carb has an internal slide spring there is no need for a return cable. *Now thats out the way its the rear engine mount then frame is almost done bar a couple of gussets, foot pegs and side stand. *As soon as thats done the forks can go on and fab up for exhausts can begin.

12-29-2017, 5:18 PM
Finally, the pain in the ass top rear mount is fabbed and fitted apart from a couple of gussets.

Made some sleeves for the bolts through the frame



Now the sleeves come into use



Welded and fitted



Now what to do next on the massive list of stuff to do....

12-30-2017, 4:13 PM
Got the forks off the old bike and onto the new frame*to decide on a number of parts I need to make and what I can't make and need to order. *Mainly to decide on the seating position and foot peg position.

Theres a choice of two foot positions really. *Either


Or like this


The way the gear rotation works with the box means the foot control will need to be on a double joint if I use fowards so it'll need a bearing mount as well as a new clamp for the gear shaft, but it was the most comfortable position. *I need to get the mudguard sorted as that pretty much dictates what size seat, shape of seat and how it gets mounted - either solid or sprung.

Fuel tank and*new cables for the clutch and throttle to make, electrics to alter, handlebars to either make or buy depending on the style and price, electrics box, battery tray or box, coil housing, indicators, sissy*bar for carrying gear to rallies, the list goes on and then theres the paint; sprayed or powder coat, colour, finish....

01-07-2018, 1:40 PM
Well, as with all good plans I didn't get as much time as I thought. *But*I've got the tank sorted apart from the fuel tap is 1/2" BSP not metric and being a sunday nowhere is open to pick a tap up. *I ordered tap so it should be here sometime soon to finish it off and pressure test it. *

The many uses of cardboard packaging, cheers amazon.



Welded*the seams on the inside as well as the outside so shouldn't have a problem with it holding pressure and not leaking.

Trial fit.


Got a weld in filler neck and cap from Cycle Haven with breathable cap thats was sitting pretty in the cupboard for a while so worked it into use.




Seat base and handlebars next, unless the mudguards turns up soon then it'll be 'guard, seat, handlebars and sissy bar.

Ticking stuff off the list, slowly but surely.

01-16-2018, 3:21 PM
Got the petcock fitted and pressure tested to a degree. *Two pin hole air leaks thats been plugged and holding a nice bit of pressure after realising, like an idiot, the sound of air coming out is the breather in the cap. *Plugged that and all is good. *Mounting points still to be decided and sealed to stop it rusting on the inside.

Mudguard turned up, an actual metal one this time, that came from a bike of some description, but its, well was,*huge. *220mm internal width that needed to be reduced to 150mm to have any chance of fitting the 130 tyre thats nearer 140.* *Bonus is the mounting holes to the back that will be utilised again with some yet to be made brackets.



And after meeting the angle grinder and welder.


Still needs a bit of work as its not the shape of the wheel or I may leave it seeing as the rest of the bike is not exactly in keeping with the norm.



Once thats fitted properly I'll see what to do with the seat.

01-24-2018, 7:17 AM
Interesting. Nice work.

01-24-2018, 5:59 PM
I was going to reshape the mudguard so I*smashed the hell out of it with a hammer*and*it looked exactly the same as it started so I just fitted it as it was. *12mm steel bar and more tedious lathe work to make the sleeves.

Without the use of a*pipe bender small enough to take 12mm tubing I improvised with some bits of tubing and a vice. *The mudguard had some handy pre taped M8 bolt holes and not one to miss an opportunity they where quickly used.





With the same bar I made the sissy bar which will later take the number plate, brake light and indicators.

Stuck the bar in the vice and pulled like a mofo until I got the desired shape.



Now I can finally work out the seat position and make it then once fitted I can sort out the foot controls and associated linkages, brake line and wiring for the brake light.

01-25-2018, 7:33 AM
Looks pretty awesome so far.

02-28-2018, 1:09 PM
Finally got round to sorting the chain but my precise measuring was a bit out by two links and as usual when trying to find the chain splitter you cant, its disappeared only to reappear when you've taken alternative routes and sorted the issue anyway.
The offering two links removed with the grinder


And the chain as good as fitted


Then I sort of started the seat, well, I say started, more like looked at it and thought about it and looked some more until I decided to make a chain tensioner instead. *I bought a rubber thing off of eBay made for crossers and time will tell if its up to the task or if I'll end up using something else.

I tried utilising the original arm support and*spring set up that came with the rubber thing but without making something completely overly complicated it wouldn't work. *So I offered it up to near enough the position needed.


Used some 3.5mm box steel left over from about four years ago... never throw any steel away... you'll always use it eventually...


Cut the steel to size, got the flap disc on it to get rid of the surface rust, marked it out, drilled some holes, holes turned to slots to take an M8 bolt, rounded the plate where it meets the tube frame and rounded the tops.


Sleeved the rubber thing with some more of the M8 sleeve I made from 12mm bar on the lathe a while ago, few washers and bolts ready to be cut to length, welder out*and buzzed it on in a different place to start with *but it works better here than there.


"What about the seat!" *I hear you cry in much disgust...*and my amusement... Its coming along, I have actually started it but you'll have to wait for the pics

02-28-2018, 6:20 PM
Trying to work out how to mount this seat is a bit like being pissed and screwing the crazy bird everyone avoids. *It looks and feels good at the time but you come to regret it very quickly when the consequences of your actions bits you in the ass...

So I've got some three inch chrome springs to mount the seat on to take up some of the road blemishes and huge caverns the council call pot holes, nice and easy, just need to make a mount with a spring clip and jobs a good 'un. *The hinge on the other hand needed a bit of titivating to make it not wobble and twist but still let the seat pivot in the up and down motion, which is always handy, being a seat n all.

So I started off with some 130mm sections of 12mm bar thats now being used pretty much everywhere on this bike, stuck it in the lathe and reamed the end down to 25x8mm


Threaded the end to M8 x 1.25, would of been a lot easier if I had some decent cutting dies, something else to add to the shopping list.


And utilised some M8 tie rod ends.


Another piece of sleeve and just like that, one weldable hinge where you can tighten the bolt and the seat will still move as freely as an illegal crossing the*border.


So what about the seat I hear you cry..... or maybe not then....*

300mm lengths of yet more 12mm bar bent to shape.


And as far as I got this evening, bar roughly in place, ends need shaping to fit together nicely for welding and some more cross bracing needed for the rest of it. *I may not even bother covering the seat but create a web effect with the bar and weld it all up. *We'll see what happens.


03-02-2018, 6:26 PM
Snow called work off for the end of the week... never mind, more time for seat building

I got so carried away I didn't take any pics of the in progress build so you'll have to make do with the sort of finished then mounted pics. *It changed shape a bit as it went along but it seems to work*pretty well.



For the shape and angle it sits on the bike its pretty comfy as it is but thats mainly due to my fat arse.



Now thats sorted within reason, It'll be foot peg position and associated brackets*and foot controls.


the seat is*sitting a bit higher than originally planned but suits me alright. *May drop it down on smaller springs, I'll see what its like when its on the road.

03-05-2018, 6:14 PM
Well, had a look again, still didn't like it so it went. *I shall be chopping and rebuilding a little 125 commuter after this so its been put aside for that, not to be wasteful and all that.

So, the seat decision was again in disarray, as was and is much of the build, so I do like most people do... bend some tube.


Getting the hang of the ring roller at last


Then worked out what I was going to do with the tube after staring at it for a bit longer than was probably helpful. *Chopped out the curved*tube, noted and profiled the rolled tube to make the seat frame


Used a bit more to make the back arch and something to stop me sliding off the back of the seat pad


Welded it on


Just the actual seat pan to make for the foam to stick to and be covered in most likely leather.

Then made some tank mounts



I seem to have an attachment to 12mm bar now, seeing as its used everywhere. *Perhaps I should name the bike 12mm, that'll confuse some people.

Trial fit for my ample arse, wedges in there fine


More things ticked off the list that I keep adding more things*to... I can*see this being one of those*never ending project bike builds...

03-06-2018, 10:36 AM
I can*see this being one of those*never ending project bike builds...
Aren't they all?
I'm following this here, and on OSS, and it's inspirational mate. Great to see you continually making stuff, I wish I had the same drive and impetus for my XS...

03-15-2018, 12:05 AM
Holy shit, this might be one of my favorite builds to date. Love the work put into it and the direction you're going.

03-20-2018, 5:58 PM
Couple of little bits sorted, in-between the snow, dodging d**kheads who cant drive for sh*t and trying not to freeze my balls off in the garage.

Stripped the rear brake off the old frame and fitted it in place, the old torque arm wasn't long enough so I chopped the ends off and used the same 20mm square tubing to create a new one but with a bit of a bend, thanks to a four foot piece of tubing.



Made a bracket and welded that to the frame and now the rear brake is sorted apart from a hose once the foot pegs are fitted in place


For the foot pegs and levers I was going to make some from scratch but seeing as there was nothing wrong with the originals, the pegs are on their own bootable backing plate*and everything worked it should before disassembling for chopping I'm going to use them instead.

I cut the mounts*from 12mm plate and pre drilled it ready to be tapped to M8, same as originally used. *The only bit I need to make or modify is the gear pedal as it was mounted directly to gearbox shaft, meaning I need a link arm and*a couple of threaded rose joints.


Once thats sorted its mainly gussets, electrics box, battery tray or box, sort out where the wiring will run and hide as much as possible, decide on indicators, switch gear.......

03-24-2018, 4:28 PM
As Judas Priest sing: Breaking the*Law breaking the LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWW!!!!!!!

Well, wrong sort of braking but near enough. *They are sort of important though for the idiots who don't look where they are pointing the steel killing machine. *Unless your Steve McQueen, then you don't need brakes. *F*cking legend.

So, brakes it was along with foot pegs and associated bracketry and linkages. *First order was the mounts. *Had some new taps arrive, just as well as I snapped the last M8 on another job. *With that sorted the holes in the foot mounts where taped,*some tubing notched and cut to length. *I'll make some flanges to weld in to hold it all nicely later on.


Bolted the foot peg plates to them and tacked it in place at 34.6 degrees. *Not for any particular reason but thats what the angle finder said it was, and now you dont need to wonder no more. *Your welcome.


I chopped the master cylinder mount from the foot mount as it wouldn't work where it was, hitting the engine casing, so I'll mount that on the frame later.


So, now its a bit later... master cylinder getting positioned for mounting


The foot brake lever wasn't the right angle to reach easily for use so I cut and widened the gap, bending the peg closer to my foot and ease of reach.


Got the master cylinder mounted then the associated linkages. *Roughly a 2-1 lever action from the rod to the cylinder giving a small amount foot travel to a twice*of cylinder travel making for a nice easy braking feel. *Used some M10 threaded bar, turned down to M8 and threaded to take the tie rod ends.


Then after various attempts at the gear linkage I*got it working spot on. *Some more M10 threaded bar turned down to M8 and threaded for the tie rod ends. *I'll probably switch out the threaded bar for some normal 12mm*bar later on.*


Tomorrow it may be exhausts or it may be side stand and coil mounts and what ever else I can think of.

03-25-2018, 4:08 PM
Well the exhausts won the toss*of what to do today, apart from they needed making I also kept on falling over the headers. *I had various designs for the exhausts batting round my head, most of which where pretty ridiculous,*but ended up going with the initial idea of under the engine.

Utilising the original end can


Chopped the end off...*these stock exhausts are so restrictive


Marked out for the new length


And ended up with this after smashing what was left of*the baffles out


End cap positioned, new length loud stubby empty can


End welded on


Had to lengthen the headers and change the angle of the exhausts so they met in the right place



End can ready for mating to the headers


(in the voice of David Attenborough)*Mating successful, there should be a new breed of end cans arriving in about 9 months


And as it sits on the bike now. *I'll make a proper spacer for the hanger rather than a couple of bolts



Just shy of 2" of road clearance so should be ok, only sparks will tell

07-13-2018, 1:11 AM
Updates, dude, updates!!!!!!!!

07-22-2018, 1:52 PM
After having way to much fun on my VS1400, I thought it was time to do a bit more on the GS project. Had a bit of a dodgy back as well so Ive altered the seating position a bit to ease the sciatica.

I bent a couple of rails up to lift the seat height to a more comfortable and manageable height and in doing so its giving me somewhere to make an electrics box incorporated into the seat.


Then it was time to make yet another random bodged up tool for bending tubing for the exhausts to replace the piece of god awful crap I made before. *Grabbed a bargain die from eBay, made a former and slung together the rest from bits lying around the garage.



And it even worked like it was meant to!! *


Bent with an offset for the side exit... note the right exhausts about 2" shorter than the left... thats what happens when you get cocky with the new toy...


And rectified with a 2" section welded in. *All thats needed is a slight adjustment on the angle to get it to follow the bottom rail a bit better. *Apart from that it worked pretty well and was almost a one piece bent exhaust.



So electrics box next, then seat pan and what ever else it needs

07-29-2018, 3:55 PM
Doggin' on, as you do.....

Plenty of things crossed off the list today. *Exhausts have been bent a small bit to bring them inline with the frame rails


Welded a plate under the tank to mount the coils and help with the throttle / clutch cable routing


Utilising the last bit of 12mm bar I had bored out before, it was drilled through the frame rail to make part of the manifold support utilising some threaded bar and nuts, one drilled out and one stock to secure the bolt.


I had a brake light and number plate holder hanging around for a while so I used that welded onto the sissy bar


Then it was seat fabrication. *Any excuse to get*the plasma cutter out.... but don't cut over plastic saw horses.... they melt in a fraction of *a second. *Bit of 2mm sheet steel*


Profiled to the frame rails


Configuring the back panel





Welded in a bit of bar around the radius to strengthen the upstand


And cut some upholsterers foam ready for a leather seat cover that I've yet to decide on... but its going to be black.... no hipster shit yourself colour seat here


Sorted out some cable for the clutch and brass nipples to suit from a kit I bought a couple of years ago. *All in all this kit has done three bikes with both clutch and throttle cables.


Throttle cable with the smallest nipple possible to suit the VM carb.


VM's have got an internal spring so only need one throttle cable, no need for return cable


From past experience working with VM's, its easier to clamp the cable with the spring tight to get the cable located in the slide



Cable fed through the cable guide


Spring in place


And fully assembled ready to go


Might even get the bike sorted for paint before christmas at this rate but I wouldn't hold your breath*

08-03-2018, 4:25 AM
Man I love seeing shit like this being built in a small garage! Pretty work dude