The Suzuki GS550 is quickly gaining respect as a custom platform. The GS series was the first of Suzuki’s four-stroke machines. The GS550 proved itself an “excellent mountain road darter,” while being capable of outrunning both the CB550F and Suzuki’s own two-stroke GT550 in the quarter mile.
Enter twin brothers Jimmy and Mick of Kaspeed Custom Motorcycles, who build bikes with their father, Karsten, out of their workshop in Saxony, Germany. The family certainly has the pedigree to succeed in this industry. Both brothers have technical jobs in the automotive industry, and their father has been passionate about bikes since the 70s.
Below, we get the full story on this beautiful GS550 brat bike — the first to come out of their new workshop!
Suzuki GS550 Brat: In the Builder’s Words
(Words by Kaspeed Moto. Highlights by us.)
Today I want to introduce you to our latest bike – a brat style 1980 Suzuki GS 550. My name is Jimmy, and with my twin brother Mick and our dad Karsten, we are building bikes in our workshop named Kaspeed Custom Motorcycles, or Kaspeed Moto as the shorter version. We are from the State of Saxony in Germany. My dad’s passion for motorcycles started in the 1970s and when me and my brother finally got our bike license the passion started again.
Now this is the first bike we built under our Kaspeed Moto brand in our new workshop – we are doing most of the work in-house, including welding and painting. I’m a professional car painter and automotive engineer with motorsport experience while my brother is a technical modeler in the car design industry.
We were lucky enough to find a GS550 with spoked wheels and in all around good conditions as a base for the build and style we envisioned. The bike is a complete custom brat style build. Our goal was to create a retro style with a lightweight feel but still creating a bolder look than the original without adding too much color to the bike.
For this we focused on a mostly black bike with polished chrome and aluminium parts. The brown leather details on the seat, the gas cap cover and grips stand out for a retro look. The Audi RS6 nardo grey tank gives the bike the wanted modern but old school look. This is also emphasized by the new electronic components like lights, blinkers, tachometer and switches.
The boldness is created by the black painting of the engine block, forks, triple clamps, frame and springs. The fork boots and headlight grill add to this style as well. The bike is fully road-legal in Germany, where the regulations are pretty tight. You can read about all the modifications in the included list below.
Of course you can read more about us, our professional backgrounds, and about the bike on our website kaspeed-moto.com.
Cheers from Germany,
Custom GS550: Full Specs
• Custom fabricated rear frame hoop
• Cleaned out frame and electronic boxes placed under the seat
• Relocated ignition switch in the frame triangle
• SUZUKI VX 800 dampers
• Lightweight lithium-ion battery under the seat
• New brat style seat with custom upholstery
• Gas cap cover was covered with the same leather as the seat
• cone air filters and bigger main jets in the ultrasonic cleaned and rebuilt carbs
• LSL handlebar + fitting rubber grips
• LSL fluid reservoirs
• SUZUKI SV 650 front brake calipers and handlebar switches plus adapted choke and new levers
• Acewell tachometer located where the ignition switch was sitting
• Black painted engine housing, forks, triple clamps, frame and springs
• In-house professional paint job for the tank in Audi RS6 Nardo grey
• Aluminium fenders and custom mounting
• New matte black retro front blinkers and headlight with added mesh grill
• New black tail light and black Motogadget m-blaze pin bilkers on the custom stainless steel licence plate holder
• Polished wheels and exhaust
• Fork boots installed
• Metzeler tires