The photo below is an example of what I hope to end up with as a final product. Suzuki used two reds on what we would call 'J' models. This colour, Candy Bright Red, was used in Japanese domestic market GT750's in the 1971 model year, and another red - Bright Flake Red - was used on their 1972 model with the split head. I prefer the candy and luckily Suzuki also used it on the 1972 and 1974 General Export GT380 so I'm hopeful of getting something I can use for a colour match. The tank striping is the same as used on machines sold in Canada, with the exception having a black stripe down the centre of the top of the tank. For mine, I will likely not bother with the black stripe, but we shall see.
This very tired 1972 GT750 basket case showed up in the back of a pick-up truck parked in a local yard here in Calgary. It was labelled as a Suzuki 1995 GSX600, which was kind of funny - I suspect that was the oldest listing they had for a Suzuki motorcycle in their data base, and they had to call it something ! A few members of the local Calgary chapter of the "Loyal Order of Water Buffalo" rescued it, and now it is its turn to be put back on the road. Most of it is there, but it does have a few problems - the engine isn't stuck but that is about the best that can be said as the rest of it is in pretty rough shape. The mesh grill was a local Calgary dealer install, so it is a local bike and it appears to originally have been gold in colour based on what can be seen under the paint inside the fork ears. The 'butterfly' crash bar was an original factory option
I first put the bike up on my lift and did an assessment and was at least initially pleased with a few things:
- The wheel rims confirm that the bike was built in January of 1972, and both rims appear to be in reasonable shape.
- It was not leaking coolant (I had checked it was good for -40C and so had not been concerned about storing it outside).
- The engine was full of oil, and when I drained it there was no sign of shiny bits which is always reassuring !
- The engine turned over freely, and there were no serious clunks or other noises.
- The transmission shifts through all the gears.
- The chrome on the fork tubes/stanchions seemed to be in good condition.
Naturally there were a few issues. As is often the case, the wiring is a disaster. The front fender is scrap as it has the typical rot at the top in the area of the fork brace (photo below), along with other damage. As well though, someone had done a terrible repair weld at some point in its long distant past on the rear brake pivot which also doubles as the right foot peg support. The end was also badly chewed up, but after an hour of careful working with a file I was able to fit a foot peg, so perhaps the pivot post is salvageable. And there is damage to the top crankcase as seen in the photo to the right below which I think can be repaired.
The next step then is to strip the bike down and see what I really have.