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Thread: Making L versions into non-L, what's to be done?

  1. #11
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    On my GS450L the `T' seat is a direct bolt on which flattens it out a little.
    1980/1981 GS450 Beater
    1977 GS750 - Fixing up to tour on 2017
    1977 CB550F SuperSport

  2. #12
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    Jul 2014
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    Seymour, IN
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    This one started out life as an L.
    http://www.tinshackrestoration.com/2...-before-after/
    Last edited by CrazyCloud; 04-20-2017 at 03:35 PM.
    Regards,
    Jason

    ______________________________________
    1978 Suzuki GS750 EC

  3. #13
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    I will insert my comments in blue.
    Quote Originally Posted by roeme View Post
    I've recently come across an 750L that could potentially serve as a great base for a future project.

    (The 750L appears to be Europe-only?)

    But what does make an L? So far from pictures methinks:

    - Stepped seat - yes
    - Headlight including bracket - yes, smaller and chrome
    - Handlebars - yes, higher, generally more uncomfortable angle
    - Rear tire - most of them had 16" rear, but there were a few exceptions
    - Rear Fenders - yes, chrome steel fenders, but so did the "T" models
    - Rear suspension, or longer forks? (Unclear) - rear suspension is the same. Forks were a touch longer, but only because they were moved behind the axle. Steering angle, rake and trail were virtually unchanged.
    - Frame? (Very unclear on this) - yes, the frame is different

    Reason I'm asking is because if I were to get it, I would make it into something decidedly non-L, more in the vicinity of a café racer. Definitively something that handles more like my 550E, but I'm not sure if it's at all possible. For example, if the rake angle is higher than on the other models (to achieve that "choppery" handling).
    The fuel tanks were smaller and teardrop-shaped. Some had different gauge sets. The rear fender was chrome to give it a finished look, as there was no tail section over it, like on the E and G models. The front fenders were also chrome.

    Performance-wise, the bikes were virtually unchanged. Same engine, same transmission, although there were a couple of ratio changes to compensate for the smaller rear wheel. The forks were pulled back with different triple trees, then the axle was placed ahead of the forks. This let the forks extend below the axle, giving it that "long fork" look that was popular with choppers, but the wheel was in the same place.


    .

    mine: 2000 Honda GoldWing GL1500SE and 1980 GS850G'K' "Junior"
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    #1 son: 1986 Yamaha Venture Royale 1300 and 1982 GS650GL "Rat Bagger"
    #2 son: 1980 GS1000G
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  4. #14
    bwringer's Avatar
    bwringer is offline Forum LongTimer Bard Award Winner
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    To add on to Steve's detailed overview, the seating position on the L models is a little different (mainly, the seat is lower -- the pegs are in pretty much the same place) but the handling is pretty much identical as long as the bike is wearing reasonable handlebars and the suspension has been sorted out. I've ridden G and L models back-to-back several times, and there's little to no mental adjustment needed. Well, you do need to remember to stop for gas a little more often.

    The factory handlebars on "regular" GS models are awful, but the factory bars on "L" models are ridiculous. I'm sort of making the assumption that the bars have been changed to something reasonable, at least on any GS that someone plans to actually, y'know, ride somewhere.
    Last edited by bwringer; 04-21-2017 at 09:14 AM.
    1983 GS850G, Cosmos Blue.
    2002 DL1000 V-Strom, Dark Metallic Space Blue.
    2005 KLR685 - Turd II.2, the ReReTurdening


  5. #15
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    1) Where's all the L-hate? I'm used to seeing L-hate on posts like this and instead there's not only calm L-critique but actual L-love! I'm amazed!
    2) I like the riding position and the original handlebars. I tried other bars and found them uncomfortable. Go figure.
    3) Wow, Steve. You know your stuff!
    4) I do lament the small tank, and I did like the little tail box on the 700E I used to ride, but I still say Color me L.
    "I have come to believe that all life is precious." -- Eastman, TWD6.4

    1983 GS 650GL (my fourth GS) -- 15,500 miles.




  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Sussex Wisconsin
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    My "L" -- Love
    Custom seat (Diamond Seats) - windscreen -small saddlebags (Matuzu)- removable trunk (Shad) -GPS- LED Driving lights on case guards

    Currently in the Stable :
    2002 Honda Goldwing GL1800 Sunburst Pearl Orange
    1983 Suzuki GS850 GL Blue & Black

    " I am never lost until I run out of fuel...until that moment I am EXPLORING."
    - Carl R. Munkwitz

  7. #17
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    Feb 2013
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    Highland New York
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    The usual changes to my "L". Seat and bars.
    1982 GS 550 L

  8. #18
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    Jun 2015
    Location
    Shelby, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkroby View Post
    The usual changes to my "L". Seat and bars.
    That bike actually looks very nice. Puts me in mind of a "T" which I also admire.
    Alan


    Weaned on a '74 450 Honda
    Graduated to an '82 GS850GL
    Now riding an '83 GS1100GL
    Added an '82 GS1100GL

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by roeme View Post
    I've recently come across an 750L that could potentially serve as a great base for a future project.

    (The 750L appears to be Europe-only?)

    But what does make an L? So far from pictures methinks:

    - Stepped seat
    - Headlight including bracket
    - Handlebars
    - Rear tire
    - Rear Fenders
    - Rear suspension, or longer forks? (Unclear)
    - Frame? (Very unclear on this)

    Reason I'm asking is because if I were to get it, I would make it into something decidedly non-L, more in the vicinity of a café racer. Definitively something that handles more like my 550E, but I'm not sure if it's at all possible. For example, if the rake angle is higher than on the other models (to achieve that "choppery" handling).

    Edit: Or the frame geometry is completely different
    This may be functional in case you would change your mind about a bobber.5ebebcf8a9a0706ef29afac69757f0e6.jpg
    Alan


    Weaned on a '74 450 Honda
    Graduated to an '82 GS850GL
    Now riding an '83 GS1100GL
    Added an '82 GS1100GL

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    South Central Kentucky
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    A friend of mine took a 1100L model, with a 7inch slick, a short wheelie bar mild head,porting done by himself. A Maxi-X pipe then finally a V&H megaphone. And he seemed to think that it left harder then his 1100 E model did and there fore had better short times and finally after a few minor chassis changes ran a 9.98 with a stock motor and some 33 smoothbore carbs. Back in 1981 if memory serves me right. He loved that L model and drove it daily. He said it just handled better for him at 135 lbs. and 5'3"
    82 gs1100ez 1168 Wiseco,Web .348 Cams,Falicon Sprockets,Star Racing Ported Head,1mm o/s Stainless Valves,APE Springs,Bronze Guides,etc.APE Billet Tensioner,36CV Carbs,Stage 3 Dynojet,Plenum w/K&N filter,Trued,Welded,Balanced,Crank w/Katana rods & Billet left end, FBG backcut trans, VHR HD Clutch basket,APE nut,VHR High volume oil pump gears,1150 Oil cooler,V&H Megaphone header w/Competition baffle,Dyna S,Coils,Wires,etc.Other misc.mods.

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