CHOP CULT HOME
Email Password
Search
  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    13

    Default Help: How can I lower a Suzuki GS550?

    As the title says, I want to lower my 1981(or 82) GS550. I figured I can probably cut some foam out the seat or change the spings/shocks, but I wanted to know if there was any other ways to go about lowering it on the cheap.

    In the garage, we have a GS750 which sits at a great height for me (Im about 5'8"), yet the GS550 is a good 2 maybe 3 inches higher. Ive already adjusted the coils to their lowest setting but it still feels a bit too high.

    If you guys need any specific pictures, let me know and Ill take them.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Jetblack
    Guest

    Default

    Well, you have the main two covered... switching out to shorter shocks, 450 rebel and Suzi Savage shocks may fit and are about 10" eye to eye... if you want shocks other wise you could strut or turn it into a rigid and go with a sprung seat or ride it with no rear suspension. I have Spitfire shock/struts on my current build they are 10" eye to eye strut like but have a bit of give too.

    Stock foam is really thick so chopping a few inches off of that as mentioned can really help too, or getting a premade or fabbing up another seat if you don't wanna shave the stocker. If your frame basket isn't sitting level you can also lower your forks to lower the inseam height at the front of the seat.

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    711

    Default

    I could barely get my feet on the ground when I first got my KZ750. Here's what I did to it. Now granted, I was going for that "slammed" look, I don't know if you are or not...

    Switched out the rear shocks, like you mentioned. The KZ shocks were an easy 13", I put on some sweet covered vintage Bridgestone things - which just happened to fit perfectly - that were about 10". That was a huge help.

    Ditched the OEM seat, also like you mentioned.

    Shortened the front forks. I don't know about Suzie forks, but on the Kaw I was able to take them apart from the top and remove a 2.5 inch metal spacer from the tops of the springs. So right off the bat that dropped the front another 2.5 in. Then in addition to that, I also loosened the triple tree clamps and slid the fork tubes up another half inch (the latter is a great and easy way to determine what height you like).

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    566

    Default

    Mine's a 79.

    I used 12mm to 14mm box-end Craftsman wrenches on each side (it's been four years as my daily and distance driver...they're plenty strong enough) and put a slim, sprung, homemade single seat on it. You'll have to ditch the fender, etc. down to bare rubber to get it that low. But even on the stock seat, it'll feel like you're ass to ankles compared to stock.

    I'll try to find a recent pic in profile for ya.
    Last edited by Niner; 05-01-2013 at 5:54 PM.

  5. #5
    Junior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Thanks for all the tips, I appreciate them. I believe the previous owner said something (in the past before I had gotten the bike) that he had raised the front forks with Im guessing spacers. So that will need some attention later but I figure lowering the back slightly is priority.

    Down the line I plan on getting rid of the shock/spring and make it ridged with a single seat and spring. But for now and the foreseeable future I plan on keeping it relatively stock due to cash flow.

    Now, some of you guys mentioned replacing the springs, how much do you expect that to cost or will that just vary so greatly? I dont care if they are new or 30 y/o, dont care how they look as long as it works and creates a decent ride height for me. Also, since Im broke af until I get my next job, would it be worth (and safe enough) to maybe cut some of the coils off the spring in an attempt to lower it?

  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1,308

    Default

    Had the same problem with my kz1000, could barely touch the ground when I picked it up.

    First think I did was trim about two inches of the foam on the stock seat, helped some.

    Wanted some shorter shocks but was broke as all hell so I just cut the coils on the stock ones. Took about an inch and a half off. I didn't regret it, but definitely made the handling suck and I bounced all over the place.

    Next I just made a new seat with just a steal pan. Planned on lining it with maybe a half inch of foam but just blew the bitch up so not sure if that'll be happening.

    With all that done I finally go nice and low with it to where my knees where bent and could stand flatfooted.

    My next step was just making some struts which is easy enough anyway and costs practically nothing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    566

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Korova View Post
    Down the line I plan on getting rid of the shock/spring and make it ridged with a single seat and spring. But for now and the foreseeable future I plan on keeping it relatively stock due to cash flow.

    This was the day after I got it. All I used to lower it was a pair of scrap angle irons w holes drilled in them. They were free.

    Not much to look at, but my feet could touch the ground!

  8. #8
    Junior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    13

    Default

    A quick update, the springs on the GS750 and they are roughly 1 1/2" smaller than mine on the 550. Mine practically look like something off a dirt bike! After realizing that I searched online for some alternatives and came up with this store but Im kind of overwhelmed. Cant really say what Im looking at besides "this one is larger". Any recommendations on that site or perhaps from another?

    link here http://www.partsnmore.com/parts/suzuki/gs550/?filters[category]=chassis&filters[price]=100

  9. #9
    Jetblack
    Guest

    Default

    Well, measure what you have eye to eye, write down this number we'll call this A.
    Put a max load on it compressing the shock as far as it goes measure the eye call this B.
    Measure the gap between the tire and rear fender unloaded call this C.

    Subtract measurement C from B then subtract that result from A.

    That should give you the safe distance for the new shock without bottoming out. Of course Kawasaki for some reason gives you an ass load of rear wheel travel... like they expect you to jump trees with it or something.

    If you don't want to calculate, of all the Kawasaki bikes I have ever read of people going with shorter shocks 10" from eye(shock mounting hole) center to eye center seems to be the magic number.

  10. #10
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,913

    Default

    Flip your swing arm over
    Relocate the upper shock mounts forward
    Find shorter springs or cut yours
    Strut it
    Hardtail that bitch

  11. #11
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sky View Post
    Flip your swing arm over
    Relocate the upper shock mounts forward
    Find shorter springs or cut yours
    Strut it
    Hardtail that bitch
    I second the hardtail. Lots of work but it's worth it. I messed around keeping the shocks on mine but ended up hard tailing it anyway.

  12. #12
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenmachine View Post
    I second the hardtail. Lots of work but it's worth it. I messed around keeping the shocks on mine but ended up hard tailing it anyway.
    I am working on hard tailing mine right now. Mine is a about 3.5-4 inches from the ground. You can go as low as you want when you do a custom hardtail.

  13. #13

    Default

    Any advice you guys could give I would really appreciate it I have a Suzuki gs850 I'm having the same problem I'm 5"9 and I can barely touch the ground

  14. #14
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    901

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchet54 View Post
    I could barely get my feet on the ground when I first got my KZ750. Here's what I did to it. Now granted, I was going for that "slammed" look, I don't know if you are or not...

    Switched out the rear shocks, like you mentioned. The KZ shocks were an easy 13", I put on some sweet covered vintage Bridgestone things - which just happened to fit perfectly - that were about 10". That was a huge help.

    Ditched the OEM seat, also like you mentioned.

    Shortened the front forks. I don't know about Suzie forks, but on the Kaw I was able to take them apart from the top and remove a 2.5 inch metal spacer from the tops of the springs. So right off the bat that dropped the front another 2.5 in. Then in addition to that, I also loosened the triple tree clamps and slid the fork tubes up another half inch (the latter is a great and easy way to determine what height you like).
    To lower front forks on a stock bike just loosen the triple clamp bolts and the fork tube can be raised in the triple clamp an inch two. No cutting, and the suspension still works like it should.

Share This



Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in