Suzuki GS850 Cafe Racer by Mr. Swallow Customs

Suzuki GS850 Cafe Racer

We’ve been enjoying profiling some of the Suzuki GS Series customs coming out of various shops, starting with the GS550 tracker we recently featured. Today, we have a stunning GS850 cafe racer by Sebastien Joigne of Mr. Swallow Customs, located in Normandy.

The GS850 was introduced in 1979 to capture the touring market. It was only offered as a shaft-drive, and it has long been regarded one of the most reliable tourers ever built. The bike offered 77 horsepower and weighed 557 pounds, and while this power-to-weight ratio might not seem ideal, a variety of test riders found the handling and performance to be surprisingly good.

GS850 Custom

Of course, Sebastien of Mr. Swallow Customs had big plans for this 1981 GS850G, and his execution was superb. We’ll let him give you the details below.

A “Brutal Chic” GS850:  In the Builder’s Words

I bought the bike last march, put in my shed and thinking about what to do, started to disassemble it…after few days the idea was here, something like “brutal chic.” A compact bike, nervous, short with good sound but in a classical suit…

I’ve change the rear wheel, tank, rear pegs, cut the fork, new shock absorbers, breaks, rings, tachymeter, seat….every thing is made by me, nothing from external builder.


GS850 Cafe

I’ve purposed this bike for the Verona exhibition in January, means that a lot of work is at the program.  For the moment I’m an individual builder, but I’m opening my official shed in January, located in Normandy and hope that it will work!

Given the lines and detail of this build, we think Mr. Swallow Customs is here to stay, and we can’t wait to see what Sebastien does next!

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Suzuki GS850G Custom


  1. Where is the battery mounted on the cafe racer

  2. What tank did you use?

  3. Does this bike have a right side? Pictures of the right side would be great! Very nice Build!!

  4. Peter Kirby

    Hey, we are building an gs 850 g cafe racer. What size and make fuel tank is on the Suzuki GS850 Cafe Racer By Mr Swallow

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