Use your illusion: creating the perfect Suzuki GS500 Cafe Racer and fooling the eyes of the beholder!
Turning a standard Suzuki GS500 bike can prove to be a challenging prospect. In fact, any modern bike can put any bike builder’s patience and creativity to the limit but H2 Moto has shown the rest of the world that these are obstacles you can overcome if you have the right attitude and creativity to pursue the project.
Choosing to create a Suzuki GS500 cafe racer has its unique pros and cons.
For starters, you have a cheap, economical, and practical bike as your base platform but on the other hand, it has unique design features that don’t exactly make it a good candidate to turn into a cafe racer.
Still, that has not deterred a lot of owners from trying to turn their bike into a Suzuki GS500 cafe racer. There have been a number of projects out there with varying degrees of success when it comes to this bike.
None of them have come close to H2 Moto’s impressive Suzuki GS500 cafe racer project.
H2 Moto owner, Bruno Oliviera has put everything on the line for this bike just to make sure that the owner who commissioned the project, Celso Reis, is satisfied.
Building the GS500 cafe racer
One of the main identifying features of a cafe racer is the way everything lines up. There has to be a semblance of a parallel line from the frame to the ground.
For the GS500, that is going to prove to be the most challenging aspect of the build.
You see, there is a clear diagonal structure built into the exposed portion of the frame.
Since it is an integral part of the frame, you can’t just cut out and weld another portion back in. Doing so would seriously impact the entire frame’s integrity in a negative way.
Bruno Oliviera overcame this by simply using camouflage techniques. He essentially hid that portion out in plain sight by painting the entire GS500 cafe racer black. To further deceive the onlooker’s eyes, he used the front fairing to cut through the line and give the bike a more pronounced appearance of a straight line from front to back.
H2 Moto further modified the rear area of the bike by cutting out the mono-shock assembly and replacing it with a tubular assembly that could fit dual shocks.
This move was able to compensate for the ultra-modern look of the rear and turned it into a more period-correct look for cafe racers. This also brought the rear down a couple of notches and helped it achieve a more retro stance.
To complete the look, the rear seat was replaced with a slimmer, lower profile seat which you’d find on most cafe racers and decked out with Italian leather to maintain the overall beauty and elegance of the bike.
This lined everything up correctly allowing the GS500 to assume the classic cafe racer profile everyone is trying to achieve on modern bike projects.
Additional touches that really helped to add up to complete the look were changing the handlebars and mounting side mirrors to the ends.
This GS500 cafe racer project proves that anything is possible if you allow your imagination and creativity to take over and use the power of illusion to create a truly stunning cafe racer!
Base Bike for this project: the SUZUKI GS500 (1989-2008)
|Manufacturer||Suzuki Motor Corporation|
|Also called||GS500E |
|Production||1989–2012 (GS500 / GS500E) |
|Assembly||Japan 1988-2003 |
Gijón, Spain 2004-2013
Pereira, Colombia 2014
|Class||Naked bike (GS500 / GS500E) |
Lightweight Sport bike (GS500F)
|Engine||487 cc (29.7 cu in), 4-stroke, air‑cooled parallel twin, DOHC, |
2 valves per cylinder
|Bore / stroke||74.0 mm × 56.6 mm (2.91 in × 2.23 in)|
|Compression ratio||9.0 : 1|
|Top speed||185 km/h (115 mph) |
159 km/h (99 mph)
169 km/h (105 mph)
|Power||51.3 hp (38.3 kW) @ 9500 rpm (claimed) |
38.1–40.5 hp (28.4–30.2 kW) (rear wheel)
|Torque||30.4 lb·ft (41.2 N·m) @ 7500 rpm (claimed) |
25.6–26.7 lb·ft (34.7–36.2 N·m) (rear wheel)
|Ignition type||Transistorized electronic ignition|
|Frame type||Duplex cradle|
|Suspension||F: Telescopic, spring preload-adjustable |
R: Link type, spring preload-adjustable
|Brakes||F: Disc, twin-piston caliper |
R: Disc, single-piston caliper
|Tires||F: 110/70-17, R: 130/70-17|
|Rake, trail||25° 30′, 95 mm (3.7 in)|
|Wheelbase||1,405 mm (55.3 in)|
|Dimensions||L: 2,080 mm (82 in) |
W: 800 mm (31 in)
H: 1,060 mm (42 in) (GS500),
1,150 mm (45 in) (GS500F)
|Seat height||790 mm (31 in)|
|Weight||169 kg (373 lb) (GS500E) |
174 kg (384 lb) (GS500)
180 kg (400 lb) 184 kg (405 lb)(GS500F) (dry)
193 kg (425 lb) (GS500)
199 kg (439 lb) 201 kg (443 lb)(GS500F) (wet)
|Fuel capacity||17.0 l (3.7 imp gal; 4.5 US gal) |
20.0 l (4.4 imp gal; 5.3 US gal) (2001—)
|Fuel consumption||56.3 mpg-US (4.18 L/100 km; 67.6 mpg-imp)|