It’s easy to lose sight of one of the crucial elements of building and riding custom bikes: fun. This little Suzuki GN scrambler promises a huge dose of pure, full-throttle entertainment. “A purpose-built fun machine.”
The Suzuki GN250 has been used by postal services, riding schools, and commuters across the globe. The air-cooled single produces 22 horsepower, with a weight of 284 pounds. The bike has a reputation for being unkillable, but the factory “mini-cruiser” styling and ergonomics leave much to be desired.
Enter Tom Gilroy of Purpose Built Moto, who started his business in 2015 to design, build, and sell parts for custom bikes. You can see many of those parts on this GN250 scrambler, which Tom built for one of his first clients, who wanted to rip around the backroads and dirt tracks of Australia’s Gold Coast. Says Tom:
“Nick [the client] just wanted something ultimately fun, I kind of worked toward a big boy’s pit bike or minibike you could hit the streets on.”
A big boy’s pit bike sounds like a dream to us. Below, we interview Tom for the full story on the build.
Suzuki GN250 Scrambler: Builder Interview
(Highlights by us.)
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I have been building bikes forever and a day. I started on a farm in QLD, where I always had a shed full of old dirt bikes to tinker with.
Purpose Built Moto was started in 2015. Originally it was to design, manufacture, and sell parts for custom bikes — a lot of which you can see on the GN250. I quickly found out there was more demand for me to build bikes than I expected, so I started doing that as well.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Suzuki GN250 1983
• Why was this bike built?
The owner Nick was one of my first customers. He bought the GN for $400 as a project to fix up for his first bike. He had no experience working on bikes but was keen to learn. During the whole build Nick would come over and help out with bits and pieces on the bike, as I taught him the ins and outs of owning, building, and taking care of his pride and joy.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Nick had no real direction to give me other than he wanted to hit some dirt tracks with it as we have a lot of nice back roads on the Gold Coast. So I set out to make a functional Scrambler that had elements of both shiny show-pony bikes and adventure-ready . Nick just wanted something ultimately fun, I kind of worked toward a big boy’s pit bike or minibike you could hit the streets on.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The GN250 was delivered with a welded on Hard tail and a subframe that was hacked away.
The mods completed were:
- Lifted rear suspension
- Extended subframe with a slight angle up
- Re-laced the wheels with S/S spokes, cherry red hubs and gun metal rims (showpony)
- Custom fibreglassed seat pan finished in a cherry Leather with black detail (showpony)
- Re-sprayed tank and fairings in gunmetal grey with cherry red detail (showpony)
- After hours Chopper tail light with Purpose Built Moto LED indicators
- Custom Scrambler headlight plate with Super Bright LEDs finished in raw brushed stainless steel (adventure ready)
- Purpose Built Moto High Ball Muffler finished in Brushed Stainless (adventure ready)
- Re-purposed Pro Taper Mini Bike Bars with Purpose Built Moto switches (adventure ready)
- Hand made stainless steel mesh mud guards and side covers (adventure ready)
- Heidenau K60 Scout tyres (adventure ready)
• How would you classify this bike?
I call it a scrambler to fit it in a category, but I you could call it 100 other things depending how you look at it. When it comes down to it, its just a purpose built fun machine, capable of doing exactly what the owner wanted it to.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
We prototyped a lot of parts on this build, including the Muffler and Headlight plate, both of which will be listed for sale on the website soon. Also it was the first time I’ve had to re-laced a wheel so that was a good learning curve.
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