I find lacing (of the wheel variety) to be quite relaxing ever since I stopped using a dial gauge while constantly fretting about the run out, and started just using an old spoke clamped to the wheel building stand. If it rubs – that spot is wrong, and if it rubs all the way around then you are good. I actually use old two spokes – one to measure the side to side, and one for overall roundness. If it is a new rim, then I protect it from being scratched with a bit of tape. On the Takasago rims there is usually such a large bump where the two ends were butted together at the factory and were welded up, that you never can get the wheel perfectly round anyway and I have been told that the factory tolerance was an 1/8 of an inch in the two axes. which seems like a lot. I don’t know if that is true, but you can get much closer than that just with a old spoke clamped to the side of the stand as an indicator, and when the tire is mounted it all seems to be good.
I’ve also been asked about the torque setting that I use, and to be honest, I’ve never seen one listed by Suzuki for these bikes or anything else from the early 1960’s and 1970’s. I aim for the same ‘ping’ sound when the spokes are tapped with the spoke wrench and have never had an issue.
I do a static balance once the tire (or tyre if you prefer) is mounted, and leave the wheels off the bike over night just in case I’ve pinched a tube and have a slow leak. In truth, since I picked up a Mojolever (just do a search for it with your favourite search tool) and a set of his nylon blocks for my tire change stand, I’ve had much better success with not pinching tubes. The next morning I temporarily fitted the newly re-spoked/re-shod wheels into the frame just so I could more easily move it around. It was a nice day, so I also fitted the tank and frame covers, rolled it outside and took a few photos.
The bike came with the tank and covers freshly painted, and they are similar to a 1974 colour that was offered. The bike is what we call here a ‘Heinz 57’ or a ‘bitsa’: the frame is a 1975, the date coding on the wheel rims would indicate they are from a 1976, the engine is from a 1977, and the headlamp is from a late 1970’s GS400, so using what looks like 1974 colour sort of fits with the theme. 😉