I decided to start a project that I am hoping will allow me to gain some more skills, be creative, and have some fun without worrying about deadlines, money or what anyone thinks.
I had acquired an 82 Suzuki shaft driven motorcycle a few years ago and it had been sitting in my garage awaiting some inspiration on my part. The bike had been sitting for a few years under a tarp, in a back yard, so it was going to need some work to get it running again.
Exposure to time and the elements had left their mark, but once it was stripped down to basically a rolling chassis, and the engine still intact, it didn’t look so bad. So I called my buddy Chris to come by on Saturday, to lend his 2 cents, and see what we could do with it. The goal was to get the engine out, and at least come up with a basic plan for the frame.
After removing the rear wheel and shaft drive and a few hours of debating back and forth, I took a portable band saw and chopped the frame where the backbone met the rails for the seat and rear fender. Using some scrap tubing, welding wire, and even some electrical conduit, Chris and I spent the next few hours holding them up to the frame, making bends, sitting on the skeleton and trying to figure out how to make the design flow and just simply, look good and be a functional ride. I decided to keep the rear swing arm with the shaft drive, and a curved set of rails that will house the seat pan will swoop down from the backbone and up. In theory, it will look like the rider is suspended over the rear wheel, yet tucked down into the bike.
The 27-year-old engine put up a good fight and was the victor on that day. Extremely rusted bolts on the engine mounts, attempting to remove some heat shrink wrap around the carbs, stripped screws, and the like, and the engine remains in the frame, but not for long.