Sportston GT380M Special

Photos and progress of your restorations, even bikes you had but no longer own.

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sportston
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Sportston GT380M Special

Post by sportston »

I finally decided to post a few pics of my own resto project, "The Sportston Special". It still isn't finished and is a little dusty from being in the garage for so long, so you have to use your imagination as to what the finished product will be like, for now.
It started life as 1975 GT380M. It came into my ownership about 6 years ago, at which point I it stripped it entirely and proceeded to restore it. My plan was simple; do what it needs to get it looking half decent and usable. At the time I had little dough and didn't plan a full-on nut and bolt resto... The plan changed!
It now has had a full engine restoration. Rebore, pistons, crank, rods, the works!
Here she is.
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Now the eagle-eyed amongst you may notice it is not completely original. I didn't want it to be. I originally wanted to make it better and perhaps the way Suzuki should have done if they wanted to give Kawasaki and Yamaha a decent run for their money. But I got a bit carried away and saw some lovely billet levers and a set of Jota replica bars and so-on. So things have somewhat run away from the original design brief.
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Notice the folding footpegs. Made by welding a set of Yamaha pegs to a GT380 set.
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YSS gas shocks with progressive springs and universal aluminium chainguard (much lighter than the standard steel lump). Higgspeed pipe (the other two are in the garage. I will fit them later once I have finished using the centre-stand)
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Semi-reconditioned clocks with new gear position indicator. Adjustable Jota bars (absolutely rubbish quality, bought on ebay. Might replace them or modify them). All switchgear fully reconditioned. Grip Puppies may look a bit naff but, I have problems with an RSI in my hands, so they are a necessity.
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Sexy billet levers
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Home-modified fork-brace originally intended for a honda. Fork dust seals from Yamaha.
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Modified Norton aluminium mudguard mounts with universal aluminium mudguard.
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GS400/GT380 hybrid fork stanchions with progressive springs and modified rebound damping. You may note that the forks are the wrong way round, this is a deliberate improvement so that the caliper is behind the fork. Stainless Suzuki disc drilled for extra cooling. GS750 caliper and braided hose. GS alloy wheels. Note that even the disc bolts and locking tabs are stainless (thanks go to Ian Beardsley at https://www.astrax.co.uk/for many of the custom stainless parts throughout the bike).
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Titanium wrap on header to keep engine cooler. Pipes are stainless. Chrome-plated steel universal engine crash bars.
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Preload adjusters on front forks.
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New coils with custom copper-core HT leads designed for use in all weathers.
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GS400 rear wheel. Custom seat, with stainless base, designed to work with GS400 tailpiece. Not my finest creation but it will be usable for now. I had to make it shorter than I would like, in order to clear the luggage rack when hinged open.
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Side-panels and tailpiece in the process of being prepped for painting.
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Modern charging regulator rectifier with new crimped and soldered connections on the entire loom to match. Stainless hinge pins on seat.

True puritans may tut with annoyance at a few parts that don't match and that are not genuine Suzuki but I have built this bike to be used in all weathers as my daily commuter. Thus compromises had to be made in the interests of safety, durability, usability and affordability.
"Where is the fuel tank?" I hear you ask. It is being repaired after the shot-blasters blew a hole in it. Grrr.
Further pics will be added once I have made more progress.
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by titan performance »

Very nice resto work so far. I like the stainless bits and pieces, and changing out the wheels and fenders. Your bike is going to look great once completed. As you say, the bars aren't the best, and it's just my taste, but the master cylinder and levers are a little too flash. I'm a fan of the resto mod. When I built my own 500, it was to create the bike I would have loved to have owned back in the seventies, but had neither the imagination or the cash to create it.
Keeping old 2 strokes alive !
sportston
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by sportston »

titan performance wrote:As you say, the bars aren't the best, and it's just my taste, but the master cylinder and levers are a little too flash.
Yes they don't suit the bike so well, I agree. I did have a different set on that looked more of the period, but I found they didn't suit my aged hands (too much of a stretch for stubby arthritic fingers). The shape and adjustability on the new ones is ideal for me to use. Its a pity the others were not, as they looked perfect for a 1970s bike.
Glad you noticed the rear fender too. Forgot to mention that. It is a lot lighter than the standard item and won't rust.
Some parts are missing, such as the kickstart, brake pedal and brake arm. They are away being re-chromed.
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by CFS »

Nice looking restoration. Mine took 15 years and it's still not finished. As you said the dough is short and parts aren't cheap - but then what is!
Who cares what the purists say as long as you like the end product that's all that counts.
I like the levers where did you get them and were they an easy fit?

Keep the posts coming showing how it's progressing.

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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by jabcb »

Looking good. :up:

How good is the cornering clearance at the side stand?
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by joolstacho »

Nice job, well done so far. (Headers are guaranteed to rust in no time with the wraps - or are they SS?)
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by Zunspec4 »

A very nice build, sportston :up:

Cheers Geoff
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Alan H
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by Alan H »

Very nice. I like the idea of 'what it could have been' and did a 550 in a similar way.
Looking forward to seeing the finished bike at the rally in June!!
Think of how stupid the average person is, then realise that half of them are more stupid than that.
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tz375
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by tz375 »

Nice work. Pity about that pipe wrap which keeps heat in the pipes and may cause the motor to overheat - or at least run hotter than it needs to.
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by Craig380 »

Looking very nice - I'd like to hear how those Higgspeed pipes sound with the end cans, compared with their original design.
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Alan H
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by Alan H »

Typically, higgies are loud!
Think of how stupid the average person is, then realise that half of them are more stupid than that.
sportston
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by sportston »

tz375 wrote:Nice work. Pity about that pipe wrap which keeps heat in the pipes and may cause the motor to overheat - or at least run hotter than it needs to.
Hmmm. Really? I didn't know that. I thought it might keep the hot air from blowing back to the cooling fins and thus make the engine run cooler.
In answer to previous questions:-
Yes the headers are stainless. In the light of TZ's information about the engine getting hotter with wrap on them, I might remove the wrap and attempt to buff the mandrel marks out of them.
Cornering clearance on the side stand? I have no idea. I have not checked, but I don't think it will be too bad for commuter riding. The centre stand will be removed once the other pipes and rear brake is completed, so that won't get in the way of the ground when leaning over.
The levers were an ebay buy from some guy who didn't use them on his own build. No idea who made them. They fitted easily.
And yes they certainly are loud. I might baffle them slightly. I have a lovely neighbour (Martin) who helps me make the odd custom part and is to thank for a few of the stainless bits that I could not source elsewhere. Thank you Martin!
And thanks for the kind words and motivation from you guys on here.
I had a bit of a blow when I damaged some of the newly painted bits recently. Damn clumsy oaf, I knocked the bench over! Otherwise I would be showing you some shiny blue paintwork. So back to the prepwork again when I get back from Scotland.
Not sure if I will get it done in time for June though, so unless I get lucky I might have to miss the Yorkshire run. :( I guess there is always next year.
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Alan H
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by Alan H »

Sh1t happens. We all understand that, so even if there's marked paint, still come along.
Think of how stupid the average person is, then realise that half of them are more stupid than that.
sportston
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by sportston »

Thanks Alan, but I meant it might not have the other bits done in time too. I have a lot to juggle at the moment, including house hunting in Scotland. Spoke to wife about it and she wasn't over-keen on taking the financial hit of a weekend away either. But I definitely want to come next year, with or without the wife's approval. It sounds like a great weekend and I know I'd love it, especially if steam trains are involved!
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Alan H
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Re: Sportston GT380M Special

Post by Alan H »

We'll see how this one goes first!
We can always arrange something at short notice should there be a heatwave!
There again, if it's popular, anything could happen!
Think of how stupid the average person is, then realise that half of them are more stupid than that.
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