Custom 1979 Suzuki GS550 Cafe Racer Is a Reborn Retro Beauty We Can’t Get Enough Of

Custom 1979 Suzuki GS550 11 photos
Photo: Zbigniew Szych
Custom 1979 Suzuki GS550Custom 1979 Suzuki GS550Custom 1979 Suzuki GS550Custom 1979 Suzuki GS550Custom 1979 Suzuki GS550Custom 1979 Suzuki GS550Custom 1979 Suzuki GS550Custom 1979 Suzuki GS550Custom 1979 Suzuki GS550Custom 1979 Suzuki GS550
With its reduced weight and sporty stance, we bet this GS550 is an absolute blast to ride on the twisties.
Under the leadership of Sylwester Mateusiak, the Polish motorcycle doctors at Eastern Spirit Garage (ESG) have been involved in a multitude of extraordinary projects over the years. One such exploit can be viewed in the photos above, but the bike – a tastefully caffeinated Suzuki GS550 – isn't among ESG’s recent builds.

Although this endeavor took place several years ago (in 2016), we still feel obliged to look back and admire how Sylwester’s crew tackled the lengthy transformation process. They kicked things off with a beat-up 1979 model of Suzuki’s range, knowing from the very beginning that it was to become a snazzy cafe racer with revitalized powertrain hardware, overhauled running gear, and looks to die for.

Once the vintage donor had been dismantled, Eastern Spirit’s bright minds busied themselves with some frame surgery. They reworked the GS550’s subframe in order to radically tighten up its rear proportions and achieve the desired cafe appearance at the back. Atop the modded skeleton sits a handmade tail section perfectly fit for the chosen theme.

Peek right ahead of this unit, and you’ll be greeted by a custom solo saddle enveloped in elegant black upholstery. The Poles kept the UJM’s stock fuel tank in play, but they’ve stripped it of the original paint, filler cap, and Suzuki badges. Emblems depicting ESG’s logo can now be found on the flanks, and there’s an aftermarket filler cap placed up top.

In addition, Sylwester and his specialists added knee indentations to round everything out center-stage, then they’ve finished off the bodywork-related mods with bespoke fenders at both ends. As far as the machine’s powertrain is concerned, Eastern Spirit performed a complete rebuild with fresh bearings, piston rings, and gaskets.

New wiring and a modern electronic ignition were also on the menu, along with premium air filters, overhauled carbs, and a tailor-made exhaust system. Next, Sir Mateusiak’s moto connoisseurs decided to address the suspension sector, installing youthful fork springs at the front and the repurposed shocks of a Triumph Bonneville at the opposite pole.

For a much-needed dose of additional stopping power, the bike received floating brake discs from a newer GS model and Tokico calipers donated by a Kawasaki ZZR600. In terms of ergonomics, we find custom-built rearsets and clip-on handlebars, which are in turn equipped with bar-end mirrors, discreet switchgear, and shiny control levers.

Aside from these goodies, the cockpit area is also home to an MMB speedometer that keeps things looking nice and tidy. Finally, it came time to give this stunning one-off a suitable color scheme, consisting of a light blue base and black accents on the bodywork. The rest of the motorcycle is, for the most part, murdered-out to really make that blue finish pop.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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