We’re thrilled to present The Warlock, a 1972 Suzuki GT550 built by Rich Page of Widow Maker Cycles in Draper, Utah. We’ve always been suckers for 70s two-stroke triples, blue-smoking screamers such as the one feared and revered in Hunter S. Thompson’s “Song of the Sausage Creature“:
“I still feel a shudder in my spine every time I see a picture of a Vincent Black Shadow, or when I walk into a public restroom and hear crippled men whispering about the terrifying Kawasaki Triple.”
From the second we laid eyes on this middleweight ex-drag bike, we knew we had to feature it. There’s nothing quite so sexy as those two-stroke expansion chambers, and the build truly complements the original lines of the bike while modernizing the performance and handling.
The Build Story
Here are the specs in Rich’s own words:
- I bought from the original owner who used to drag race it.
- Bike was in fantastic condition. All original paint.
- It came with the original motor as a spare.
- I started this build with putting the original motor back in. I then went to suspension up-grades.
- The front end & rear end are off a 1986 GSXR750. Quite a bit of fabrication went into Monoshocking the GT.
- I shortened the rear frame & had a hoop forged from solid steel done by @HandbuiltIndustries.
- Fabricated a custom seat pan & seat.
- Expansion chambers are from Jemco.
GT550 Cafe Racers and Customs
The GT550, produced from 1972-1977, was part of Suzuki’s GT Series, which included the GT380 (“Sebring”), GT550 (“Indy”), and GT750 (“LeMans”). The two smaller displacement bikes were air-cooled with Suzuki’s Ram Air system, and the GT550 made 49 horsepower and 43 ft/lb of torque. Dry weight was 418 pounds. The liquid-cooled GT750 seems to be more popular for restorers and custom-builders, possibly because the GT550 has no GP racing pedigree–at a displacement of 543cc, it was simply to large to compete in the 500cc class. That said, the bikes that slip through the cracks of history are often the most interesting when reborn in the shops of visionary builders like Rich Page–at least in our opinion.
By far, the most well-known GT550 build in recent years–and really the only other of major note besides The Warlock–is “Honduki,” a ’75 GT550 cafe racer built by Motorhanger of Vienna, Virginia. The bike is a true Frankenstein, constructed out of various Suzuki and Kawasaki donors, but in the best way possible. Both BikeExif and ROTCR covered the bike in 2011, and it’s still a head-turner these years later. The Warlock makes an interesting complement, with its emphasis on the original paint and lines of the bike.
Follow the Builder
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- Photography by Jun Song (@nostalgia_memoir)