Chris' GS650E Cafe Racer
By Anthony van Someren - 21 Aug 13
We get more than a few red-framed, silver tanked, mid-sized, shed-built cafe racers here on The Bike Shed, but they never fail to pull a crowd online, or in the flesh. It's a formula that just looks right and takes us back to simpler times, where bike parts were raw metal and if anything needed painting (only for protection from the elements, of course) it had to be a colour that implied speed. This lovely build is a mid-eighties Suzuki GS650E and was put together by Chris who now lives in near Hinckley in Leicester, and was purposely built to resemble an old-school Triton-style cafe racer. "I used to own a GS650E back in 1985 when I lived in Freeport in the Bahamas; a black one bought from Ft Lauderdale. I was looking for a cafe racer project and when this one came up in bike trader I went to look at it in Evesham and made an offer." "It was a runner with some MOT left. I knew that what I wanted was a red frame and something to resemble a Triton. My only concept was a photo in a classic bike book. I made a point of not looking at Cafe web sites so that I could not be influenced by others. Hence I decided to keep a front and rear fenders." "The frame needed the usual de-lugging so out came my angle grinder. I almost think that was one of the best bits for me, besides the finished item. The tank ended up needing some work, hot dipping and some spot welding. The colour I chose is like alloy in the sun. I did the prep for my friend to spray." "I always wanted wire spoked wheels and managed to get a good price on some Borranis, although they took some polishing. Yes, I used stainless spokes. The rear light and indicators are LED. The front lamp is a 5.3/4 bates. I went to Predator for the stainless exhaust, but didn't like the modern end-can they use, so I put this reverse cone on. It sounds good, and yes, a little loud." The bike has GS750 and GT750 hubs, a GS100 rear fender, while the front was modified with an angle grinder. It uses a TL1000 clutch bracket, GSXR600 brake bracket to allow for adjustable levers. Honda race lines are used on the rear master cylinder. The clocks have also been lowered for a flatter look across the top of the bike. The leather tank strap is actually a guitar strap from ebay. The foot pegs have been replaced but kept in the same position for comfort. The alu chain guard is hand made. At first Chris experimented with pod style air filters and different jetting, but he didn't want to mess around with the complexities of a stage 3 tuning kit, so decided instead to modify the existing air box and put the original jets back in, and he's happy with how she's running, although there may be more work to do there as the bike hasn't been ridden in anger yet. All we can say is that it's a lovely looking Shed build that deserves a little time under the spot light. Thanks to Chris for sharing. Please do post in the comments area below once you've given her some stick and tell us how she rides.