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  1. #1
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    Default Suzuki gs850 build

    Hi all,
    Been cruising the site and planning on building a dirt tracker style street bike this summer, and then this came along. This will be my first build for a street bike, but Ive always had dirtbikes, and building my own honda cr500af right now as well.

    i just picked up a dirt cheap gs850 from some meth heads outside the city I live in. they were desperate and cash talks. so here is what im starting. I plan on keeping a softail, as Im a broke college kid. But it will be getting completely revamped because it looks like a steaming pile right now

    then after some chopping with the sawzall and removing junk that is non essential items, and a few brews later it started looking a little better.

    the hack job straight pipes they did will be getting recut and painted black. Im thinking ill cut them at an angle and bend the tips to flare it out behind the pegs. The stock handlbars are getting swapped later this week for a set of dirtbike bars I have laying around. And the gas tank and fenders, and rims are all going back to flat black, which will be inexpensive and be better than the ugly sparkling paint thats on it now. just ordered some new rubber as well, the ones on there are garbage.

    hopefully ill be done for the most part in a week or two. Does anyone know sites for cheap seat material?? Im cutting the stock seat base and using it because of the existing mounts and just doing an inch of foam.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails gs850 1.jpg   gs850 2.jpg   gs850 3.jpg  
    Last edited by 2WheelEnthusiast; 04-30-2012 at 12:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    The GS850 is rumored to be the strongest engine Suzuki ever made. I've been riding one since I was 18 and it's still my main bike. Crashed it four times and the thing just won't break I'm glad you got one.

    As for seat material, go buy a boat cushion/emergency float and a can of 3M foam adhesive. Gut the boat cushion and you'll find about 12 layers of 1/4" thick closed cell foam. Glue them on top of one another until you have the thickness you want, then sand it to shape with a flapper wheel on a side arm grinder.

    This is how I did mine, and I spent a lot of time looking for sources of closed cell foam. No luck. Then I realized that we use closed cell foam in tons of consumer goods, so I could just buy one of those items and repurpose it.

    Check out my build page if you want to see pics of how I did mine.
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showth...t=12066&page=2

  3. #3
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    thats good to hear, I've heard a lot of good things about the GS series. The 850 has a decent amount of power, combined with good reliability should be a good bike. Do you have any pics of your GS?

  4. #4
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    Mine is the orange one up front. Stock and sexy.

    Photobucket

  5. #5
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    The GS engines are awesome. I've been very pleased with my GS550. The only problems I've had with it have stemmed from neglect from the previous owner.

    www.thegsresources.com is an awesome site for tech info.

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    Ya I have been cruising gsresources.com when I was looking at buying this bike the past few weeks. Loads of technical data and things of that nature. And it looks like the GS850 is a dependable bike with few bugs.

    But, anybody hacking a frame or putting on pods and straight exhaust on their GS gets the cold shoulder over there. They keep their GS's stock in every form, which is the opposite of anything I do with my bikes

  7. #7
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    You get that everywhere. When I started hacking up my LTD some people had shit fits. Made it all the more fun...

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    You won't be disappointed with it. I have 2 GS's, a 450 and a 750 and they have moved my ass many, many miles. The only problems I have ever had so far are of my own making. A suggestion if I may, install an inline fuel filter and keep 1 in your tool bag. The carbs like to be clean! I use seafoam every other tank or so, keeps the floats from sticking, jets clean and will save you some headaches.

  9. #9
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    Im glad to hear it, the last thing I wanted was an unreliable bike. This one will need some tinkering before its done, but its mostly cosmetic. Does anyone know the accepted valve clearances on this bike? Im going to look into it, just to keep my mind at peace, Im a 2 stroke guy, and the thought of blowing up a 4 stroke scares me.

  10. #10
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    Ahh valve clearances...see, one issue I have with the GS is that it uses a shim based valve clearance system, so you don't just turn some screw to adjust them, you need to have, like, a ton of little shims that you stick under the tappets to get the proper clearance. Very dependable design, but very hard to adjust.

    I hear you about hacking up bikes and people having fits. I think if I saw somebody take a stock beauty, and put the saw to it, I'd be a little saddened for sure. Mainly because old bikes are no longer being made, and every nice one that gets cut up will never represent that model in it's true form again. The beauty of jap bikes is that there are ton of basket cases laying around that have been neglected for decades. The thing I love about these crap-heap bikes is that they not only deserve to be chopped, they require it

    Happy hacking.

  11. #11
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    Ya this thing had zero "stock beauty" going on, but thats why i figured i would take an ugly cheap bike and make it into a decent looking cheap rat rod ha. But my tires are supposed to be here today, so hopefully Ill have some more progress pics tonight

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2WheelEnthusiast View Post
    Ya I have been cruising gsresources.com when I was looking at buying this bike the past few weeks. Loads of technical data and things of that nature. And it looks like the GS850 is a dependable bike with few bugs.

    But, anybody hacking a frame or putting on pods and straight exhaust on their GS gets the cold shoulder over there. They keep their GS's stock in every form, which is the opposite of anything I do with my bikes
    Yeah, I avoid those topics over there lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demoto View Post
    Ahh valve clearances...see, one issue I have with the GS is that it uses a shim based valve clearance system, so you don't just turn some screw to adjust them, you need to have, like, a ton of little shims that you stick under the tappets to get the proper clearance. Very dependable design, but very hard to adjust.
    I only had to buy 3 shims when I did my valves a few months back, and it was my 1st time. It was also the bikes 1st time having the valves adjusted and it's got over 20k miles on it. Yeah, the previous owner sucked. And yeah, valve adjustments on the GS can be a PITA. If it's a 16 valve engine, you won't need to buy shims. The 8v use shims, though. 2Wheel, it looks like you've got a rounded valve cover, right? If so, it should be an 8 valve engine which requires shims. Look up the "shim club" on GSResources. They can help you get the shims you need.

  13. #13
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    Ya mine is an 8valve. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping my clearances are in spec. I'm not a fan of shimming, long slow process.

    I'm going back to my old mans shop to work on it tonight, hopefully prep some parts and get atleast one layer of paint. I found a cheap chopper seat for $50 so I might go that route rather than spen time making my own. I want this thing done asap. It's getting nice here in MN so I have an itch to ge some miles on

  14. #14
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    Finally got some new pics to update. Pipes painted high temp. bars, fenders, tank, and rims painted. This weekend getting the new tires on and start reassembly of the bike. Also got my single seat in the mail today. And I made some side covers out of diamond plate and cleaned it up with a wire brush. Still need to make some tabs for it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails photo (3).JPG   photo (2).JPG   photo (4).JPG   photo (5).JPG  

  15. #15
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    That hi temp paint turned out smooth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchoolBully View Post
    That hi temp paint turned out smooth.
    thanks, the funny part is I did it with some 50 cent brushes from a fleet farm store. Just took my time and tried not to put on too much paint so it wouldn't run. I like how it turned out, and I'll be wrapping the headers and painting them the same color so they don't flake. I have yet to find a high temp that can truly last

  17. #17
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    I'm leaning towards VHT paint. Wrapped my exhausts twice and am never totally happy with it. Never looks really black. And I feckin hate working with fibreglass.

  18. #18
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    and I wire brushed the cases and valve covers to shine them up a bit. They were pretty gunky
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails photo (6).JPG   photo (8).JPG  

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchoolBully View Post
    I'm leaning towards VHT paint. Wrapped my exhausts twice and am never totally happy with it. Never looks really black. And I feckin hate working with fibreglass.

    really? Do you have any pics of your pipes? I just googled VHT flameproof and looks like some legit exhaust paint, and if it flakes I may go that route. I just planned on painting the header wrap with the same high temp paint haha

  20. #20
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    [IMG][/IMG]

    the pipes. That is supposedly 'charcoal black'. Did you just use a normal wire brush for the engine? I own a rat , I've accepted that, but I would like to get some of the worst crap off....

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