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’01 Suzuki GS500 – Ellaspede 007

Posted on April 2, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 66 comments

Consider if you will this mental image. Pipeburn, instead of being the super amazing blog that it currently is, is magically transformed into a warehouse. And not just any warehouse, but one that contains each and every bike that we have ever featured in these here virtual pages in the iron. Now place yourself at the open doors of this warehouse with the world’s biggest baddest, most power gun. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, it’s a phased plasma rifle in the 40 Watt range. You let rip, and almost instantly the brute power of the gun begins to tear the bikes to shreds. Firestones by the ton are ripped from arsehole to breakfast time. The pipewrap flies up into the air like streamers at a Macy’s Day parade. But you know the one bike bit you’d see nary hide nor hair of in all this supersonic chaos? The one major component that features heavily on a vast majority of bikes built since the early 80s but is rare as hen’s teeth around these parts? For those of you shouting “beam frames” at the top of you exhaust-infected lungs, congrats. You’ve just won yourselves a case of beer. Off the top of my head the only other bike in recent memory that featured a beam frame was Tyler Mill’s Honda VTR. Unfortunately the prize beer is make-believe, just like the warehouse and the gun. But that shouldn’t bother someone with an imagination as powerful as yours so sit down, crack open an invisible cold one, and enjoy the beam-framed splendor of Ellaspede’s superb Suzuki GS500.

“This Suzuki was built for Tristan Schultz a local Gold Coast designer as his daily rider,” says Ellaspede’s Leo Yip. “Tristan rode in on a fairly pedestrian looking GS500 boasting a custom dolphin sticker. Armed with an array of inspirational images and strong idea of what he wanted we sat down and collaborated to create Ellaspede’s 007.”

“The design intent of 007 was to develop a classic looking bike with the reliability of a modern motorcycle. Tristan specified that he wanted to retain certain aspects of the GS500 and not completely reinvent the wheel, so we tried to highlight particular elements and pare back others.”


“a fairly pedestrian looking GS500
boasting a custom dolphin sticker”


“Some of the bike’s less obvious features include a custom Ellaspede seat, slimed down dash lights and a very meaty sounding exhaust.”

As a footnote, I think that this is also the first GS500 that we’ve featured here as well. Horay for a custom builder who doesn’t limit themselves to a tiny cross-section of the planet’s bikes but instead welcomes the unpopular and unloved into their open arms. It’s like the United Nations of custom bikes aroud here, I tell you. More, please.

  • GuitarSlinger

    Love the ” Twilight Zone ” intro to the article . The Bike ? Not so much . Nothing wrong with it mind you . It just doesn’t really hit me 

    • Isambard

      I agree that this isn’t anything super special, buti have a soft spot for Gs500s. I rode one from Chicago to Key West and back via back roads – about 3200 miles. It was my first bike and I didn’t understand why all the bikers I met along the way thought I was crazy. Now I have a bigger, more expensive bike I can see where they were coming from, but I’ll always have a soft spot for the GS500 because of the great time I had on that trip. This seems like a decent, cheap attempt to give it a little style. It probably isn’t worth any more work.

  • Paddy

    Love it! A semi-modern cafe that combines reliability with a personal touch. Reminds me of this GS500 that’s one of my favourite conversions. Every time I see a stock GS500 I want to buy it and do something to give it some character. Well done!

    • Tom

      Hey Paddy, can you tell me where did you find that picture of the gs500…
      the best conversion that I’ve ever seen.
      Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Zombiejaime

    Well, I hope they wiped it off after they slimed the dash… Seriously though, that looks pretty cool for a dime a dozen bike.

  • Stephen Bacon

    +1 on giving the “customizing love” to the generally unloved bikes. This one looks really well done: a rider’s bike not a impractical show piece – and super clean. Suzuki should take a look at this styling.

  • Nice, clean bike. Subtle often works. A modern classic. 007 sounds like a misnomer.

    “…slimed down dash lights…” Uh, does the slime make it faster?

  • Rob Love

    is it just me, or do the studio shots have too much contrast between the white background and black bike?  i can’t really distinguish a lot of the bike, because it just seems like a lump of blackness.  and i am using a pretty new computer monitor…

  • Richard Brandt

    Hey, I used that taillight too!

    Very nice stuff on this one. I agree that the shots make it difficult to see details – but I really like the stripe on the tank. And the seat. Also the reverse megaphones. Hell, the whole thing’s beautiful.

  • tmcsp

    Awesome bike. I dig it quite a bit. Love the look of a beam frame!

    Only thing I would change is the bars, my back hurt just looking at the riding position. I think a set of silver anodized renthal steet handle bars would look great, but also make it much better to ride.

    With the exception of the bars this thing is perfect. I love it. Wish the studio shots revealed a bit more! I wanna see all of this thing.

    • The bike rides actually quite comfortably with the ace bars. When we built the seat in, it dropped down about an inch from original rider position, which meant my back doesn’t bend as much as it used to when the original seat was still on it with ace bars. So, riding my 100km commute back and forth almost everyday, neither my wrists nor my back get sore. 

  • vachequipis

    Congratulations for turning the dullest of dull dishwater hacks into a more interesting bike. I guess we will be seeing more and more beam framers in the future as economic custom projects, now that even super slug cx500’s seem to rising in value. I would be happy to commute on this bike, with higher bars as has been said, but thats just coz I am starting to feel my age!

  • nice, clean and functional.! a bike you can ride and legally register! 

  • Order6t6

    Cool looking, but if I remember right, that bike couldn’t get out of it’s own way.  It was constantly coming in last on all comparisons with ex-500’s and FZ400’s.

    • AlwaysOnTwo

      Actually I think your memory is fading or at the very least tainted.  The GS500 was not the standout of the displacement crowd, but you are comparing I4’s to an I2.  This was a daily driver/city and hiway comfortable bike versus balls to the walls rpm/gearing acceleration.  It was a much more competent ride for anyone wishing to get around quickly, not the quickest while feathering the clutch in traffic.

      It’s really too bad that soo many well educated bike riders like yourself don’t have a phu*n clue as to why a particular machine has attributes other than fast and furious.

      Ask your gal friend about it.  I’m guessin she’s into less than a quick ride that goes nowhere while you’re racin faster than the little blue pill can cope with your fascination about yourself.  

      Speed kills.  Go faster.

  • Yirg

    Yes! Can we have making unusual customs out of usual bikes?
    I also dig on having pics with a rider for scale, position, etc. It’s cool.

  • Vanvelzen146

    Nice Modern Day Cafe Racer !

    • AlwaysOnTwo

      Do you know what a Cafe~ Racer is??  I”m, guessing NOT!  But, prove me wrong with your expansive knowledge.  What specific attributes of this abomination qualify as a Cafe~ Racer?  When has a Cafe~ Racer had a Bannana Seat?  When has a Cafe~Racer had a center stand?  When does a Cafe~ Racer have hose clamps on the muffler instead of muffler clamps? For gawdphuckinsakes!

      I’m not dissin you dude, I’m givin you a chance to get an ed-u-a KA-tion before some shit-for-brained “custom builder” rips you off.

  • Car2nst

    Look-A bike that runs and someone riding it! Refreshing to see a custom made out of everyday material, not another concept/glob/doesnt actually run bike. Nice, clean job!

    • AlwaysOnTwo

      Nice, Clean, Job??  Care to look at that vipers nest of wiring and cables in the front end view?  Hell, if just getting it down the road for a photo shoot will light your fire, jump on the Fat and Ugly Harley forum.

      Got your point, but this is a POS.  Doesn’t matter if it runs down the road, an F-150 should do it a favor and go for the grill kill shot. Hard enough so the so-called builders feel it back to Grandma’s first menstrual cycle. 

      The bike as a build has potential, the builders lack skill.

      • ran

        No, they lack funds.  What would you pay someone to do a custom job on a gs500? Not more than a couple of grand I’m guessing. This bike is not an indication of the quality of work this builder is capable of, merely what they can do for a few dollars in under a week I assume. I mean, do you know how long it takes to clean up the wiring harness on a late-model Jap bike? Time is money, and no one wants to spend time on a gs500.

  • Cliff Overton

    I love this bike because it is showing me that we can do something with an ordinary bike that looks great and starts to bridge the gap between cafe racer and street fighter. I have saved the photos and will use them for inspiration when I get stuck into my 88 VFR750 in an attempt to create a similar look.

  • AlwaysOnTwo

    Let’s say something nice about this bike.  Let’s see, cafe racer/street fighter, so we need to keep the center stand?  Check.  Add bar-end mirrors and don’t bother to grind down the stock mirror pedestals? Check.  Rip off all plastic and uncover the headlight mount, but don’t bother to fill-weld and smooth the empty holes?  Ditto rear seat subframe. Check.  Keep stock headers and hold on a muffler with a hose clamp?  Oh, definitely a nice touch, Check.  Cafe racer/street fighter with a saddle/buddy seat and passenger pegs?  Check.  Ya’know, there are probably a lot more nice things I could say about this bike, but I’m already bored looking at it.

    • AlwaysOnTwo

      Oh, Hey @Andrew:disqus   about that intro…

      You did mean a 40 GIGAWATT plasma rifle, right?  I mean a 40 watt anything won’t cut through rice paper in a hot sauna.  Hell, I brew my espresso with a 20KW multi-phase wave shifting electron beam powered Kitchen Aid Pro Coffee Pot Extreme and flush my toilet with a 10 megaton velocity stacked worm-hole filament powered (here’s your chance to reply re: U’r full of shi*) Galactic Johnny Boy.

      To purge the imaginary PipeBurn warehouse (and oh so glad it ain’t necessary) of all the treasures of miscreant mopeds, customs without a cause, and just plain badly done monstrosities would be a sin.  Cause to get to this featured example of total lacking skills of craftsmanship and forethought would also obliterate the many tidy and tight examples of skill.  Wouldn’t want that.  And it would take, oh I dunno, at least the combined power of a major Goa’old system lord’s entire fleet just to parse out the wondrous moped flotsam before we ever got to this treasured piece of craftsmanship.

      Now Iamgonna be real heartbroken if you don’t give me one of your gifted one liners to let me know how insensitive I am, how crass and uncaring for others, and how I don’t play nicey with the little kids that throw stones first.  ‘Course, you might just beam on in to the truth of my particular vein of comedy and comment.  After all, it ain’t bad for your clicks.  Some people come here for sumthin that has nuthin to do with you’re clever intros.

      Peace, out.

      • 40 Gigawatt? WRONG.

      • BTW – this “badly done monstrosity” had just cracked 200 Facebook likes, making it one of the most popular bikes of 2012.

        How you like it now?

        • Andrew – would you please dispose of AOT. His puffed up overstuffed ramblings don’t exemplify what an enthusiast should be.

  • revdub

    Pretty dang cool.

  • getitdone

    One of the fellas in the shop has a fresh road rashed gs 500 and yes I did send him the photos for direction, very cool build of a not so cool stock machine.. Nice work. 

    • AlwaysOnTwo

      I’m thinking that you like the impression, not the execution.  Hopefully.  Go up two comments and get a grip on taking in the final product as a result of you expending hard earned dollars and being exposed to the critical eye of real bikers.

      Aside from my previous comments, look at the head-on front view.  What a ghastly example of crap.  Cables run amok, the throttle pull cable bent over the top of the brake line and the return cable below, the total lack of coherent CLEAN.

      You don’t pay for that.  You laugh at it, or be laughed at.

      The concept of strip-and-clean modifying is great, but don’t get blinded by the light of imagination.  Get real.  If I paid someone for this “work” I’d first kickem in the balls and then cancel the check and then come back and kickem in the balls again.

      Best of luck, do it better than this.

      • 2wheeledkeystofreedom

        Hi AlwaysOnTwo, I am curious as to your nature of criticism and your wealth of refined taste. While I also don’t like pigeon-hole style and this is not a cafe-racer in the traditional sense, one must realise that there is a beginning to all movements like these (custom classic bikes). As you are obviously critical of craftsmanship and taste I am really interested to see what you, yourself have produced. If you are up to the challenge, could you post a link in comment to this and I will be very happy to find that your talent is as good as your  criticism.

        I can always appreciate when people take the time and effort to do a build and when they are willing to make something unique from a boring but functional bike. Credit to these guys, even if this is not to my taste.

        Thanks AlwaysOnTwo, I’m eager to see what you have produced 🙂

        • David

          Great call, I would also love to see what he rides.

          • AlwaysOnTwo

            See above.

        • Ditto. Oh, wait. He’s too busy schooling everyone else to actually build one of his own. lol.

        • AlwaysOnTwo

          @2wheeledkeytofreedom and @3d4caf2bc390d6b35b25b690dba72751:disqus Oh, you guys are the proof in the pudding.  True keyboard lurkers without a clue.  A blog groupie.

          If you had ever paid attention in the past few years on this blog, you’d know what I ride, what I build, and why I hate cheezy damn customs that aren’t customs at all…but hacks.

          IF you got out from behind the closet doors and the monitor glow, you would have been at Daytona just three weeks ago and you might have been in the EBR pit when the new 1090RS Composite Frame bike was rolled out.  I was reeeaaally hard to see ’cause the ALWAYSONTWO emblem on my shirt is only in two inch high letters.

          Or you might have seen me and my ride at any of the VMax throw downs.  Hard to miss the only Razzberry Metallic color shift to Pearl Blue machine at any of the entire meets.  It’s my color. I mix it, I own it. I don’t sell it. One of a frckin kind.

          And let me clue you in about taste.  When a builder features a bike for public appraisal, he/she ought to put the very best effort forward.  Cutting corners, doing it “on the cheap”, ain’t cool.  Not going back and fixing poor paint or botched welding ain’t cool.  Using hose clamps instead of full face muffler clamps just screams DUMB! and they don’t know how to source parts. Leaving OEM peg mounts, mirror pedestals and other assorted debris on a custom bike is NOT custom work. Dropping the bars and then leaving a rat’s nest of cables and wires around the headlight bucket shows nothing but lack of skill. It’s redneck garage on a budget.  Am I gettin the message through?  A pretty jpg does not a custom make.

          If a prospective customer (they all get referred or they don’t even get into my shop) says anything like “can you do it for this price?” or “I don’t wanna spend..” etc, etc, I always have one very clear response…do it yourself or take it somewhere else.

          If you want to see what I produce, you need to come to the table with bike and cash in hand.  ‘Cause I’m not one of these wannabe hacks that needs to have ANY blog using my work to make a buck from their $’s for click site sponsors and there is a waiting line 9 months deep.

          And I just checked…you aren’t on the list.

  • Ken

    Beautiful and simple. I want one. If someone were to take this bike and develop a "cafe racer conversion kit" for beam frame bikes from it they'd make a lot of money.

  • micahshaw

     its a GS500- no need to get yer feathers the end of the day who really gives a rats ass ?

  • bigmattie

    AlwaysOnTwo – why so much hate, why so much anger? Would you like a hug to make your day better ? (Hang on, on second thoughts, don’t bother typing an answer that)

    Ellaspede – nice job – I’m ripping off that tasty little cross tank white on black stripe idea for a scrambler I’m building, just so you know you’ve inspired me to theft.

    Tristan – ride the arse off this little budget-friendly- blaster and love every minute of it.

    • Davidabl2

      So, there’s gonna be a “sows-ear-to-silk purse” department @ Pipeburn…Well I for one am OK with that.
      No rare and exotic bikes are harmed and that’s a GoodThing

      I’d think that Purists would be less likely to be offended if something like this is called a ” Neo-Cafe”

    • I’m thinking Always was bullied by a GS rider in his youth. And quite badly, it would seem…

      As for his bike, I think we’ve asked and got an answer before. Standard V-Max isn’t it, Always?

      •  HAHAHA!

      • AlwaysOnTwo

        Oh, my dear   @Andrew …even if it were “stock”, it would still be a VMax.  But you damn well know that it’s sportin a 100Hp juice pack and a ton of serious mods from previous posts.  And it’s the fourth in a series.  Go back and learn up from my reply to @2wheeledkeytofreedom .  If you ever get off that Gawd forsaken barren strip of sand you call home (got to admit, ya got some hard bod babes there, wonder what they do with all the girly boys around) maybe we can take in Daytona or BikeToberFest  or just visit with some of the local steel bending talent in the Tampa Bay/Gold Coast area that you have never even heard of.

        Course, you’d have to get out of your comfort zone of moped mods, hacks for cheap and Custom’s For Homer mindset.  But hey, I got time, fly on in to TPA and post your arrival flight.  Nancy’s Limos will give you a lift.  Bring camera.  Bring staff.  Bring cash cause I don’t lift my skirt for free.

      • AlwaysOnTwo

        And @Andrew, thanks for bringing up that painful memory.  It’s difficult to deal with, as I was just 7 y/o and it was also the girl next door that blew by my Cushman on the way to school and waved me the favored finger to get out of the way.  Guess I’ll never get over that fat unwholesome looking BeeAtch.  Now I’ve got to swallow another oz of ’39 Macallan and try not to dream….

      • Once again, AOT is all blow and no show. On the one hand he knocks a blog for trying to pay for itself then goes on about breaking out your wallet because his stuff is so awesome you can’t see it for free. HA! I think he’s right, Andrew. He’s just too cool for this site, so maybe he should just go find his peers somewhere else.

    • bigmattie, Yes I do mate, ride it, love it, use it all day, its an everyday bike using an everyday budget made to look less than ‘everyday’. It’s a great riding position now too.  

  • Gringo

    The GS’s were always the last bike I would consider buying. They scream bland commuter. This is no doubt a nice clean build, but if you’re a stickler for aesthetic design and vision (always on two) you wouldn’t build a GS. These guys did, they made it look good, and more power to them. This isn’t an owner build. Ellespede are doing what every poster here dreams of, opening a shop and building customs. Even if they turn out shit, they’re still worlds ahead of those dreamers left behind.

    Nice clean build. I’m glad it’s up on pipeburn, cos now I’ll never look at a GS the same again.

    Way to educate…

    • AlwaysOnTwo

      Clean??  Would you PuLeAsE look at that head-on photo of the headlight/bars/snake nest of cables and wires.  

      Look, more power to ANY wrenchhead that wants to post an open for business sign and go slumin for business.  But look, if yur gonna charge for makin changes to the ride, whatever frickin brand and model it is, you  owe it to yourself and the guy paying the freight to do a better job than the 16 y/o kid takin a High School shop class.  C’mon.  There’s no praise for doing things half-assed.

      Water pasting a damn logo on the swingarm when the build has a frkin hose clamp on the muffler is pure lame.  Really?  You’d pay someone to use a $0.50 hose clamp instead of a real full face wrap around motorcycle clamp that costs 75 cents more??

      If you think this is an education, just wait till you ride up to the local piss and brew to show off your custom bike build with a hose clamp on the muffler.  Bring a cup, not the kind that holds coffee, cause the other riders are going to feed your nuts to the laugh bin shredder.  

      • Bullshit. No one is going to care, much less laugh. You’ll get some guys checking it out because you did your own thing. Only fool who’d be standing there laughing would be Always On Two.

  • Cool idea. I think I’m going to save some money and use hose clamps.

  • After more than a few warnings, we’ve just given AOT a forced break from comments for a while. Let’s hope he cools down a little and can come back with a bit more positivity in his comments…

    • Thank you. Only thing that gets me is if this guy is as great as his says (which I doubt,) why not offer constructive criticism and help. Only a lame ass loser wants to try and lord it over others.

      • glenn

        Thanks Andrew!

  • Spreadthecheese

    kudos for doing it with a different bike.
    i gotta say its got potential……. i think for a custom build shop its abit of a let down (unless the budget was 1000bucks)…..i have to agree on the wiring/front end, it looks horrible in the front view……. new slimmer dash lights look good….
    why not at least paint/polish/powdercoat the wheels, swingarm, fork lowers and bottom triple clamp???
    it looks half done in my opinion.

    imagine this thing with some custom 17″ spoked motard rims……that would be the tits

    if this was done by a back yarder ide give them a congrats and pat on the back…..
    the fact that its done by a shop/business kinda makes me go hmmmmm….

    not trying to upset….
    just giving my 2c

  • Woodie

    I ride a GS500, and have done for the last 6-7 years. I have a very soft spot for anyone who does something different with the little Beasties.. I’ve seen ’em fightered, seen ’em ratted but I think that is a nice subtle Cafe. I must agree with some of the guys though some laced (spoked) rims would really finish one off.

    I certainly wouldn’t use the Ace Bars as it would do my back in on anything other than a quick blast but putting street bars or renthals on would put it back as more of a 2fighetr than a cafe racer..

    P.S. can we have some clearer studio shots, this isn’t the first photo shoot where I’ve had to fiddle with the contrasts to see any detail on a bike

  • Janus Motorcycles

    It’s gotten very hard to build a nice cafe bike and have it be even slightly ground breaking, or fresh. First thing I thought when I saw this build was, wow, that’s different. Maybe there are some details that some people will quibble over, but I really like the concept as a whole; using the GS500, not going overboard, and then adding that subtle, understatement that Ellaspede has pioneered… I think its great. Well done.

  • Crowebm

    Great looking GS! I like this build, it’s simple yet effective. Style, reliability, simplicity and ride-ability merged into one.
    Pour enough money, hours and design into any custom and you should have something either eye-popping or slick; this build achieves both and does it with minimal effort. Bravo!

  • daz

    liking the look, im doing something similar to that to my gs, but on a budget so doubt itll look that swish

  • Amazing GS500 Versión!

  • antelopeDAZ

    as someone who has done a gs500 cafe racer ive got massive respect to these lads, its no easy job, and takes a lot of commitment, love mine and wouldnt change it for the world

  • Popssss

    I love what you’ve done…the GS is a great bike, and fit the nimble character of the cafe style.

    I think any parallel twin would work, and this goes to prove that point.

    I’ve been interested in doing this with a GS500, so good to you or making it happen.

    Enjoy the ride.

  • Anoop Bhat

    I like this. I have a GS500 with the same handle bars but mine are upright. Maybe my handle bars are on wrong? When i say upright, i mean rotate the handle bars 90 deg towards the rider. I always thought something was weird about them.

  • justin

    where did ya get that rear fender?

  • Augusto

    Awesome. Its not a pure blood desing but its got the cafe racer taste. Great bike.

  • Johnny rockett

    There’s always someone in cyberspace with a Napoleon complex. It’s easy to shoot shot from behind a keyboard. Some people really need to get out there and try it for themselves. Only those who have built anything custom will appreciate the subtle little things that took this commuter to semi-cool status. Yes we all know a GS500 is a utilitarian commuter bike, but there are followers to every bike. Look at those utilitarian cb360’s now ? Hmmmmmm.

  • SuzukiGS550

    does anyone know what brand the seat ? i’ve been looking my ass off searching voor this kind of seat for a gs500 thankyou 🙂

  • Michael

    I’m looking to do a similar project with my 2001 gs500
    I’m fairly new to motorcycles so I was wondering if anyone could share some tips or information about the recommended muffler, mounting the cafe seat, ect…..?