1973 GT750 – Grills and Forks

The chrome that I had done at Alberta Plating for my 1973 GT750 project bike turned out really well, but not completely without  issues. The small screws that hold on the front fender stays were a disappointment as when I went to install them there were two issues: the threads had been chromed so the nuts would not fit the threads, plus when I tried to use a die to clean up the threads, the chrome finish ‘popped’ off of the heads of the small screws. Possibly a better job could have been done – I’m not an expert in the plating business, but of course the original ones were chromed so I know it is possible to do it well. In the end, rather than get fussed with it and as everything else had turned out well I just swapped out the screws for stainless steel.

For the radiator, I wanted something more than just the stock look available in 1972/973. In 1974 a plastic grill that covered the entire front and sides of the radiator was introduced – for the 1973 model year, Suzuki went to chromed radiator plastic end caps (in 1972 these were painted to match the tank) but the face of the rad looked pretty bare. I managed to track down an OEM accessory grill (part number 94960-31000) which was offered by Suzuki for the 1972/1973 GT750 model years from Reiner Schneider in Germany which arrived very quickly and looks really nice. Reiner has probably one of the largest collections of NOS Suzuki parts on the planet – recommended.

The other thing I was thinking about was suspension. I wanted to retain the original look of the rear shocks which was not a problem – I bought a set from Reproduction Decals which look very nice – in point of fact they probably look much better than they actually work, and for serious riding I suspect they will be borderline useless, but it is the right original look (tall upper cap) which is what I wanted.! The front forks were another matter – from the factory, the area under the fork ears was not chromed so over the years, water accumulation at the lower end of the fork ear leads to severe pitting of the fork tube. In my case, several of the corrosion pits were almost half the depth of the fork tube wall, which I wasn’t happy with. Fork tubes are available from Frank’s Maintenance and Engineering in the USA for about $300 a pair with shipping. I was planning to order these when another option presented itself. The local Buffalo guru (Fred) came across a supplier in Japan (Cruzinimage_co) offering replacement fork tubes and he bought a set – looking at them, they appear to be perfect and cost about $80 a pair. Yes they are probably made in China, and yes its possible that the steel is of poor quality, but they do look pretty good being chromed the full length and they measure exactly the same as the originals. I bought two sets as I will want a pair for the 1972 I’ll be doing next winter – for the amount of use they are likely to get, they will do just fine. I have also bought gasket sets and clutch plates from the same outfit previously – I actually like the gasket sets better than the Athena kits available from PartsnMore and other places as these ones are more complete. Recommended.

Below is a shot of the OEM radiator grill from Reiner, the middle photo shows the pitting on one of the front fork tubes, and below that you can see the new fork tube along side one of the four old ones I had available (yes it is also bent as well as pitted !). Just ‘click’ on any image to see a larger version.



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