The best custom motorcycles have a coherent look—a visual balance and flow that literally stops the traffic. And the modifications should perform on the road as well as in front of the camera. So this bike, a mix of Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki parts from different eras, shouldn’t work. But strangely, it does—and very well too.
The core of this custom is a 1975 Suzuki GT550. It was created by MotoHangar, a Virginia-based workshop run by Pat Jones. Pat wanted to combine the old with the new, with particular attention to the suspension. “The bike handles like a modern sportbike, but with the charm of a vintage two-stroke,” Pat reports. “I wanted a more ‘road worthy’ two-stroke.”
MotoHangar completed the mods entirely in-house, including the paint and graphics. They gave the GT550 a custom subframe, and fitted the tail section from a Kawasaki GPZ. The air-cooled triple is bored .50 over, and has been boosted further with modified Kawasaki H1 expansion chambers. The seat is crafted from elk leather, and sits in a fiberglass seat pan. A Honda headlight sits up front, and the rear suspension is from a Kawasaki ZX-6R. The swingarm is a Suzuki SV650 item, and at the other end are GSX-R forks. It all helps to reduce weight, along with the GSX-R wheels.
The instrumentation is a little more down to earth, with just a tachometer and voltmeter providing information. And the oil reservoir, adding a twist of humor, is a German “Pilot’s Beer” aluminum beer bottle.
This GT550 is one of the most ambitious customs we’ve seen recently, but somehow, Pat Jones has made it work. And I bet it’s a blast to ride, too.
[Spotted on Return of the Cafe Racers.]