Sardinian workshop builds a burly shaft-drive café…
The Suzuki GS850 combined a bored-out version of the GS750 inline four, the shaft drive from the GS1100, and naked styling reminiscent of the 70s superbikes. While it wasn’t as fast as some of the pure sporting machines of the era, the 78-hp GS could hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and tick off 12-second quarter-mile times at the drag strip. It could also keep up when things got twisty:
“The GS850 is more than an undressed tourer. It handles as well as all but the most dedicated of sport bikes. It steers with precision, stability, and confidence.” —Motorcyclist, 1983
What’s more, the GS850 developed a reputation for bulletproof reliability. Says one owner who’s owned his GS850 for 20 years, racking up 88,000 miles:
“If you maintain it, it will probably outlive you. Probably the most reliable bike on the planet.” —Cycle Insider
Our new friend Massimiliano Satta is the founder of MCafeGarage, a combined workshop / clubhouse in Cagliari — the capital city of Sardinia. He opened the shop about five years ago in order to share his passion with others:
“My works are my masterpieces. I seek perfection by creating as much as possible with my hands without using technological machinery.”
In 2019, a friend commissioned him to customized his ’82 Suzuki GS850. Massimiliano said the vision for the build didn’t come right away — they wanted to avoid doing something they’d seen before.
“A ‘big’ and elegant cafe racer was to be born. It was supposed to shine with lots of mirror-polished steel but no chrome.”
The result is one of the most striking GS builds we’ve ever seen — a burly yet classic cafe racer with some lovely details, including the midnight blue frame, burgundy saddle, and 4-2-4 exhaust that “releases quite a melody,” says Massimiliano.
Suzuki GS850 Cafe Racer: In the Builder’s Words…
My name is Massimiliano and about five years ago I founded MCafeGarage, a garage / workshop with a clubhouse area where I can share my passion with everyone. My works are my masterpieces. I seek perfection by creating as much as possible with my hands without using technological machinery.
In 2019, a dear friend and fan came to visit me and offered me a job on his 1982 Suzuki GS850. It was not easy to find the right idea for this bike right away, and the risk of doing something we had already seen was very possible. He let me do it! A “big” and elegant cafe racer was to be born. It was supposed to shine with lots of mirror-polished steel but no chrome.
The front end has been completely modified — now it is fitted with an upside-down fork from a Suzuki GSX750. Steering yokes cut from Ergal (7075 aluminium alloy) and mirror polished.
Spoked front rim and analog / digital instrumentation. Radial front brake pump and aeronautical braided hoses.
In the rear area of the bike, the frame has been completely rebuilt to give it a new, more compact and sporty line.
The saddle, the knobs, the compartment under the saddle, and the ignition switch were made in collaboration with L.R. Leather of Como…the TOP!
To maintain the “thick” line set by the large tank, I have built a new 4-2-4 exhaust that releases quite a melody! The rear wheel has been modified by inserting two stainless steel lenses, naturally mirror polished by hand.
A particularity of my bikes is the color of the frame, because it is the one that has received the most modifications and deserves to be shown and therefore will no longer be black.
The bike was painted in metallic midnight blue, gray like the beautiful 4-cylinder engine, and burgundy like the saddle and all the other leather inserts.
I have ridden this bike several times on the streets of the south coast of Sardinia and it is beautiful and very comfortable despite the sporty position.
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