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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:18 am 
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To the on ramp

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:14 am
Posts: 289
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500
Figured I would share some pics of my ongoing restoration process. I wasn't sure whether I should post this under restorations or customs. Technically, this isn't a true restoration. Where possible, I tried to keep things stock. Unfortunately this bike has proven somewhat difficult to find parts for.

Picked it up from a guy for $400. It was somewhat of a mess, but seemed to look decent enough. Unknown whether it ran or not. Metal parts seemed fairly dent free. And it came with a title.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:22 am 
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To the on ramp

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:14 am
Posts: 289
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500
my initial goal was to make it into a race replica similar to the bridgestone bike pictured here.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:24 am 
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To the on ramp

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:14 am
Posts: 289
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500
after some careful thought and inspection, it turned out that this S32 was actually pretty nice. All the sheet metal parts were very good condition. There were some small dents here and there, but I quickly discovered that I could tap them out. After a couple hours of work, the bodywork looked great, so I changed my mind and decided to do a restoration instead.

Here are a couple pics after my initial teardown and inspection.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:45 am 
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To the on ramp

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:14 am
Posts: 289
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500
after I got the bike home, I worked on it for a couple hours, hooked up a battery and it started right up. Seemed to run decently enough. Cylinder compression was within spec. I figured I lucked out on this one--- until I attempted to drive it. It wouldn't shift into gears. When I finally got it into gear, it would slip out of gear. Decided to open up the crankcase....


Well that was a surprise! literally all the gears and bushings were shot. They were stripped pretty badly. In addition, the brass bushings that keep the gears lined up inside crankcase were all widened out inside, resulting in way too much play!. So I went to ebay and literally purchased an entire new transmission- Mostly used but also several NOS parts. Even the shift forks were shot, so i picked up a pair of new ones in package.

I wish I would have taken pics, but I didn't unfortunately. Even the clutch mechanism was cracked and broken. see pic. that cost a pretty penny to source a NOS one of these.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:50 am 
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To the on ramp

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:14 am
Posts: 289
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500
tried out a new guy for vapor honing. I would say he did an "OK" job, not great. Typically I use the guy in Arizona but I didn't want to ship an entire motor to him. This guy was local, and somewhat newer to the scene. He was pretty cheap and it turned out decent enough.

First pic is obviously the "after" pic and the remaining are the "Before" pics.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:54 am 
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To the on ramp

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:14 am
Posts: 289
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500
last update for today:

took the wheels apart and had the hubs vapor blasted. Then picked up two sets of laces from a vendor in Thailand. I was a little skeptical of doing this, but they were shipped promptly and were very high quality. This was my first time lacing wheels and it went pretty well. For budget reasons, I elected to NOT replace the rims. They were pretty decent without much corrosion. Overall, I think they turned out really nice.

Before and after shots.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:28 pm 
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To the on ramp

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:14 am
Posts: 289
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500
I am a big fan of power coating. There are literally thousands of colors, textures, metallics, metal flakes, etc. Not to mention it is much cheaper and more durable than paint.
I have a great painter that I use, but he is incredibly expensive. Therefore, I try to powder coat whenever possible. In order to powder coat, you need to have dent free bodywork/ tanks. This isn't always easy.

I spent some time getting some of the tiny dents out of the front fender and fork covers. after that, I sent the parts to a local powder coater. I picked a light blue color that almost exactly matches the stock blue. To kick it up a little bit, I had him do a tiny bit of metal flake in the powder. It is extremely subtle, but adds a nice detail to the overall look. I also had him powder coat the center stand, seat pan and taillight bracket black, and the fork lowers and upper triple tree in chrome. Total cost was $360 for everything including frame, fenders, gas tank, fork covers, fork lowers, center stand, seat pan, taillight bracket, foot rest brackets, swingarm, triple trees and several small brackets.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:30 pm 
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To the on ramp

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:14 am
Posts: 289
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500
sorry, this is a little out of order but i forgot to post a pic of mockup prior to powder coating. This pic is what caused me to change my plans and do a restoration instead of a race bike. Initially I was going to ditch the front fender and fork covers in favor or a more spartan look. But damn, that front fender is cool, and I was able to get the small dents out of it.

The swingarm was pretty beat up and bent. Also was missing the chain tensioner adjustment tabs. Picked up a swingarm on ebay.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:36 pm 
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To the on ramp

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:14 am
Posts: 289
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500
Finally, this is how the bike sits today. I got the engine installed. Carbs were rebuilt. Wiring harness completely rebuilt.
I am using EMGO shocks, Duro tires.

The starter dynamo didn't work, so i took a chance and replaced the brushes for $20. Hooked everything up and the starter fired the bike up within a couple seconds. The bike runs really well. I took it around the block and she shifts perfectly.

Only two more things until I am done:

1) headlight bucket needs to get painted. I decided to paint it black since it would be very difficult and expensive to try and have it painted to match the blue powder coated parts. I have to find someone to paint it- otherwise I may try rattle can myself with some 2K clear from a can.

2) upholstery needs to be done. My upholstery lady in Utah is incredibly good and she is in high demand. Unfortunately, I didn't time it very well. I waited to contact her, and now I have to wait a couple months. Looks like this bike won't get ridden until next spring.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:56 pm 
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On the street

Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:34 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Mesa, Arizona, USA
Country: USA
Bikes owned: GT380
So glad you chose restoration. Great work!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:16 pm 
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To the on ramp

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:14 am
Posts: 289
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500
spray painted the headlight bucket today and got that installed.
Only thing left to do is upholstery once my upholsterer gets some free time.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:01 am 
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World Superbike
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:50 am
Posts: 2258
Location: The Republic of South Yorkshire
Country: England
Bikes owned: 2 x GT550s GT750, T200, TC200
Superb resto. They can be a pain, but you certainly came through just fine. Another one saved from the tinworm.

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But I'm quite certain that what you thought you understood wasn't what I actually meant.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:59 am 
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To the on ramp

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:14 am
Posts: 289
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500
thanks. One of the biggest pains with this bike- there is no parts diagram anywhere for the early S32 models. Only diagrams out there are for 1968 and later. Mine is 1966

Complicating that, I think suzuki must have raided the parts bin for my in-between year. Mine is supposedly an all-original 1966 but it clearly has the earlier 1965 front fender. Some of the parts appeared to have been painted red underneath the blue as well. According to the original owner, it was not repainted so I wonder if suzuki resprayed some of the parts prior to assembly because they had leftovers from the 1965 models which were different.

Also, they must have changed the exhaust at some point. Some pics of S32's show an exhaust like mine where it tapers to a point at the tail end. Other pics out there show a flared out exhaust tip. My left header was dented so I ordered a replacement on ebay- it was a totally different diameter than mine. I contacted the seller and his headers went with the flared out exhaust style, which appears to be later. There is about a 1/4" different in header ID between the two.

When I cracked open the crankcase, I also noticed that the gears and some of the bushings looked different on mine versus what the parts diagram for 1968 showed. Anyway, I am done and it was a fun build, but there were some challenges along the way.


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