Suzuki T500 Cafe Racer by Motorcycle Mania Chicago


We love the smell of two-strokes in the morning–or any time, really–especially if they are 70s street screamers. Enter the Suzuki T500, one of the lesser-known oil-smokers of era. Marketed as the Cobra or Titan, the T500 was the largest two-stroke twin introduced since before WWII.  The air-cooled parallel twin produced 46 horsepower–11 more than the Yamaha RD400–and the bike weighed 412 pounds. Fuel mileage was not particularly good, but the bike was praised for good handling and low-end power.  Time has shown the bike to be near bulletproof, and of course there’s the fun of having a relatively rare engine configuration.

Enter Angel of Motorcycle Mania Chicago, who built the 1975 Suzuki T500 cafe racer you see here. His family-owned shop, located at 3714 N. Cicero Avenue in Chicago, has been in business for more than 13 years. They pride themselves on caring for their customers’ bikes as if they were their own, and that’s not all:

“We are well trained in the art of repair (and Jedi mind tricks)”

We think any Jedi knight would feel at home on this street demon.

Suzuki Titan Cafe Racer


The base is a 1975 T500 Titan that has been built from the ground up. Angel rebuilt the top end and ported the heads, then installed a pair of Mikuni carburetors and Jemco expansion chambers. Dyna coils and NGK boots keep the bike sparking.

Next up was the front end. Angel adapted a pair of ’06 GSX-R inverted forks, with double-disc brakes and a three-spoke front mag. The oil tank is a custom piece. Angel fabricated the seat pan, then installed a cafe seat from Hotwing Glass, mounting an LED brake light underneath the cowl.


The electronics panel was custom-fabbed. One of the most striking aspects of this build is the metal flake paint, which recalls the 1970s in all of their sparkling, smoking glory. That job went to Kona Chris, who got his start as a wall muralist. Later, someone asked him to custom-paint their snowmobile helmet, and the wheels started rolling.



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One Comment

  1. Beautiful bike. 2 strokes rule the universe!

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