Suzuki GR650 Scrambler by Cool Kid Customs

Suzuki GR650 Tempter Scrambler

Retro-styled runabout from The Netherlands…

The Suzuki GR650 “Tempter” was an air-cooled parallel twin that drew comparison to the British twins of yore. The bike was relatively lightweight, with a low center of gravity. Reviewers praised the GR650’s torque, tossable nature, and stone-ax reliability.

Suzuki GR650 Tempter Scrambler

Enter Michel Szozda of Cool Kid Customs — based in Haarlem, outside Amsterdam. Michel had long wanted to use the Tempter as a project base. The client had originally wanted a Yamaha XT500, but the lovable 500cc thumper just didn’t have the highway chops he needed for long-range cruising. The GR650 proved a great alternative, serving as the platform for a 70s-inspired retro scrambler.

Below, we get the full story on the build.

Suzuki Tempter Scrambler:  Builder Interview

Suzuki GR650 Tempter Scrambler

– Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

I’m Michel Szozda owner of Cool Kid Customs stationed in Haarlem (near Amsterdam) in The Netherlands.

Suzuki GR650 Tempter Scrambler

– What’s the make model and year of the bike?

It’s a Suzuki GR650 Tempter 1983

– Why was this bike built?

The customer wanted a Yamaha XT500, but it was too slow to drive it on the highway. I always wanted to use, a GR650 as base for a project, so we decided to use this 2 cylinder 650cc Suzuki and turn it into a 70’s looking offroad/scrambler bike.

Suzuki GR650 Tempter Scrambler

– What custom work was done to the bike?

Rebuild the frame, rebuild the wheels and changed the wheel size, used a Honda tank, handmade 2in1 exhaust, raised aluminum fenders, custom leather seat, nice retro paint job, waterproof box for the pod filters, and lots more.

Suzuki GR650 Tempter Scrambler

– How would you classify this bike?

Retro Scrambler

Suzuki GR650 Tempter Scrambler

– Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

Painted the tank myself. Very happy with the end result

Suzuki GR650 Tempter Scrambler

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  1. When I see a scrambler with chopped off fenders like this (or worse, no front fender), I have to question the intended use of the bike. Apparently it will only ever be ridden on dry pavement as these fenders would be useless in wet and muddy or even dusty or gravelly conditions. For me the total impracticality of the fenders quickly turns me off, no matter how nice the rest of the build. Do any of these scrambler builders actually ride off-road?

    • I don’t know. Personally, I run a fairly minimal front fender on my Sportster — the size of this bike’s, if not smaller — and it works great in wet/muddy/dusty conditions. Have thousands of miles with that fender and never felt the need for a bigger one. I think most of these scramblers serve as a fun all-arounders rather than hardcore off-roaders. And the fenders are typically customer preference, not builder choice.

      • Michael Ritzker

        I am with Jack on this one, sorry. But maybe the sportster fender is closer to the tire, making it more effective. On the Suzuki the rear is not too bad, but the front is disproportionately cropped. The leading edge should be longer the trailing portion. This is because the road spray from the front tire emits from about 1:00 point of the circumference and blows rearward from that point. So no fender, it goes up and back and then the wind sends it smack dab into the face of the rider. Go to the airtech website and check out the vintage off road stuff they have. I have a Maico pattern in carbon fibre on my BSA B50- custom street scrambler and it looks gorgeous and works a treat.

        • Ah, that’s a good point about the height of the fender. My Sportster’s fender, while stubby, runs very low to the tire.

          Your BSA sounds awesome! Any photos of it online?

    • Back in the day before the DT1 when we built dirt bikes out of street bikes. Chopped and bobbed fenders were all the rage. Low fenders were OK for dry climates but here in the NW where rain and mud are all too common, you raised the fender as high as possible. You obviously never experienced the joy of having your front tire come to a standstill due to mud build up between fender and tire. Trust me it ain’t pretty, I have the scare to prove my point. A splattered dirt bike with mud and dirt is proof of the bikes intended purpose. And a badge of honor.

  2. Beautiful!I think that light weight with
    decent power is the way to go,especially for us old guys!

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