The front wheel I wanted to use on the 1973 GT750 project had good chrome, but a big flat spot on one side of it, so I was faced with either living with it or changing it out. I hadn’t done a spoked wheel rebuild before, but based on comments from other folks on the Sundial board, it didn’t seem that hard if you took your time so I decided to give it a try. I had picked up a wheel stand from Harbor Freight on one of trips into Montana more to be used for balancing, but of course also perfectly suited for wheel building. It turned out to be not hard at all – I had a spare rim that was in good shape that I’d been saving for some time, and I picked up a set of the correct spokes from GW Cycle World here in Calgary. They had 1 1/2 sets, and offered me a deal to take the lot pretty much at Thailand prices so it was an easy decision.
Obviously I needed tires as well, but I wanted something that resembled what came with the bike originally both in tread pattern and profile. That meant trying to locate ‘inch’ measure tires, rather than metric, but pretty well all you can buy these days is metric measure tires. After some internet searching and discussion with a couple of the folks here in Calgary who also wanted ‘original look’ tires for their older Suzuki’s, I imported six sets (so a dozen tires in total) of IRC GS-11 AW front and rear tires from Dennis Kirk in the USA. These are inch size and so are the correct profile, and also very close to original in the tread appearance. The landed cost after duty and taxes was $78.47 per tire which I thought was quite reasonable. The only down side is that now I’m on the Dennis Kirk junk email list, but I suppose I can live with that.
My ‘partners’ were pleased to get their ‘old style’ tires, but they also had access to a proper motorcycle tire changer – I didn’t and so used the plastic bag trick to put mine on. It worked quite well – recommended !