I recently received another small batch of headstock or VIN labels from Jerry Ure in the USA (contact details are on my web site in the ‘Sources’ section and I believe he also sells on eBay – just do a search for ‘headtube tag’ or seller ‘jure’). I’ve ordered from him a couple of times previously and the quality is excellent and the cost is quite reasonable.
The headstock labels for Canada and the USA look the same, with the only ‘Canadian’ part being an additional Canada Transport ‘923’ label (later ones were stickers) that was usually attached below the VIN label. I’ve included a photo of the 923 label below. I have not had these 923 labels reproduced, but may do so in the future. The post 1971 Suzuki headstock labels in North America differ from most of the Suzuki VIN labels globally in not including the engine serial number, although they do include a month of manufacture. 1971 and earlier headstock labels (and they were not always on the headstock) look much the same as the ones used elsewhere around the globe and have both the frame and engine number.
Looking at the GT750 specifically, the 1972 headstock label lists lower weights than the 1973 and later versions (a GAWR of 847 lbs verses 884 lbs), possibly because of the addition of the twin front disc brake rotors, and the additional stiffening that was added in the rear of the frame by the swing arm and just behind the radiator. As well, the early labels were an anodised aluminium plate that was riveted to the headstock. These plates often do not survive, and in fact I am missing one completely, so I am considering making a small aluminium plate, attaching the new label Jerry has provided me to that, and then can rivet the new plate to the headstock. Finding the correct small brass push rivets is a bit of a pain and by the end of the 1972 model production these VIN labels were just aluminium foil labels anyway, so I may not bother. I like it to look correct, but I admit that I’m not obsessive. 😉
I have two consecutively numbered 1972 models, and so had Jerry make me a pair of new labels for them. He includes the serial numbers in the labels if you want that, so they are not stamped like the originals which is fine. You’ll also note the shape changed between the 1972/1973 labels and the later ones as they moved from being a ‘vertical’ style to a more horizontal format.
So I’m all set and just have to get down to the shop so I can get them installed ! The actual frame number of course is stamped into the frame, so all I have to worry about is sticking the right label on the right bike ! I also ordered a new label for the 1975 GT380 I’m refurbishing so that is now good to go also and can be seen in the top of the photo above.
The fun continues ! 😎