Monday, July 20, 2009

1987 Suzuki Savage LS650 project

This was the very first bike I owned, bought used about 8years ago. This is basically what a new one would used to look like.

Now imagine it much older, faded maroon paint, and a 5'11" tall guy with pretty long legs riding it. Not the most comfortable bike. I really dispise pull back bars. Originally I was going to put some drag bars on it which I had already purhased, but those will no longer be of any use. I do have 4" risers I'm using but I am going to add some apes. Most likely 12" apes. I'm not going to go into my image of what I want the bike to be, I'll just take you thru my path of doing what I think would look best. So far I have replaced the head gasket since the old was leaking a bit. I thought this was part of my backfire problem when I shut the bike off. After some research I found this was untrue and the bike is known for doing this. Since changing the head gasket this bike has been sitting for 2 years. I have it all in parts right now. Both seats removed will not get put back on. I have a better idea in mind. I bought a used Harley pipe known to fit on the end of the existing exhaust. Front fender was taken off to be painted, however I decided its never going back on either. Air shroud gone, and instead I'm putting in a cone shaped K & N type filter. Also the sissy bar is never going back on either. After some searching I'm going to have to rejet now. After some careful searching for parts I found a old school looking chopper type tail light.

I'm trying to make the bike very bare bones. Like an old school bobber. Recently deciding to remove the front fender completely I thought doing some work on the rear fender would be a great idea. I've looked all over the place for old school bobbers so I could figure out what I want mine to look like. Finally with an idea, I drew the pattern on the fender.

This is the very back of the rear fender. As you can see I'm cutting quite a bit off (about 8 inches on the top and much more on the sides. Its looks much to square from the picture, but seeing it in person with the curves looked pretty damn good. I wanted to make sure I cut the holes that are in there, completely out. Those were for the sissy bar I believe.

Threw around ideas in my head about how to cut this and with what. I visioned what would happen with each and the potential issues. Next I knew I had to cut the sides first up to where it starts the cross cut on the middle and then stop. From there cut straight up to remove the triangle scrap and cut it straight across the center.

Once the left side had the triangle scrap gone, it was time to do the same thing on the right side.

Once that was done, cutting the center would be a piece of cake.

Next was to remove that awful looking bar that you see in the picture above. I believe this is what the rear seat attached too. Its been so long since dismantling the bike so stuff is still a little fuzzy. This was spot welded, and done very well. I knew it would be difficult to not damage the fender if I was not very careful. I decided to use an electric grinder.

Finally was able to remove the bar itself with only the base pieces still attached.

I used the grinder to get them smooth. The tail light is going to be covering this area, so I was not completely worried if it was not perfect. I knew I would have to use some fill in. I can do so before I'm ready to paint.

I finished by filing every that was cut. Remove all sharp edges. Then painted all raw metal so it wouldn't rust. I'm far from ready to paint. I figured out where I wanted the tail light placement based not only by where the fender would sit on the bike but using the wiring hole. There is a grommet that actually goes into the hole that I will replace once the fender is all painted. Once placement was good, I drilled the holes for the tail light.

So far so good. Everything came out perfect and exactly how I envisioned it would look. I think the next step the foot pegs. There is only 1 set of forward controls I have seen for this bike and it is well over the $600 range. That is a bit insane for me. I do not like the standard ugly pegs. I really need something that will fit the look of the bike. Going to do some more research.


  1. Interesting post, bro. Very cool to see you tear in to that bike with reckless abandon. I have a lot of respect for bikers that are wired that way. I look forward to viewing the bike in it's old-school bobber finale.



  2. Loved the, I need another project bike!