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‘No.7’ Suzuki T500 Road Racer – Weberwerks


Posted on March 15, 2017 by Andrew in Classic, Racer. 50 comments

Written by Justin Weber.

It all started in the last ten minutes of a Saturday afternoon showing of Little Fauss and big Halsy. The sound of a 2-stroke road bike and that bubbly vintage road race fairing. Then a quick glance at Airtech streamlining for some more inspiration. Yes.

A well-timed search on Craigslist and there it was; a rough 1975 Suzuki T500. At first it was going to be a fun little bike build, and then I would sell it for a couple of bucks. But the deeper it got, the more I realized I was building my dream vintage road race bike. The Weberworks ‘No.7.’

After a total strip down, the Airtech bodywork fitting started and being molded off a TR500 race bike there was much fiddling to do. With no existing attachments to start with, custom mounts were made for the tank and fairing, and a frame for the seat and oil tank. Suzuki’s 1970s frame construction left much to be desired; it was stick welded and crooked.

After much grinding and cleaning, I added a seat hoop and diagonal frame stiffeners à la the original TR500, and it was ready for powder coating. Sticking with a blue and yellow Suzuki theme, a metallic blue flake was chosen for frame. After throwing around ideas with Paul Miller, he painted up the vintage-feeling stripes and swooping lines.

Since it was already a nicely running bike as purchased, new pod filters and some Jemco pipes were modified to fit the tight bodywork. After a bit of jetting, work the engine was done. I chose to clean and polish as many of the original parts as possible to keep the character of a 40-year-old bike. And where it wasn’t possible, as many NOS parts were used as possible to keep an authentic factory feel.

Then my girlfriend created a elegantly simple leather seat. To contrast all the blue and white, gold anodized rims were custom punched and laced. This era of racer should have a big set of 4LS front brakes, but what came on the bike was a set of old-school Betor forks from an unknown dirt bike. Needless to say, they stayed.

It was all built in my garage with no drill press, band saw or vise. Many little hand-cut and neatly filed bits are hidden everywhere. In the end, all the hard work is payed off with that sweet smell of castor oil and the wonderful sound that only a 2-stroke can produce. With a wide power band and a very ‘laid out’ riding position, carving up the hills of Portland on this Suzuki racer brings on a huge smile. I can almost see Barry Sheene just around the next corner.

Weberwerks | Photos by Anthony Scott ]








  • John in Pollock

    Two 2 strokes in two days? I KNEW this was going to be a good week.

  • John in Pollock

    Woah- Built in a garage with not even a vise?! That’s incredible. Nice job.

    Give me your address- I’ll send you a vise, and I even got a spare drill press you can have.

    • Erica Johnson

      Builders name is Justin Weber, @weberwerks

    • Eric

      Very classy, John. Justin, this is one of the sweetest race replicas I’ve seen in a long time. Keep up the good work!

  • Anthony, you knocked it out of the park fella. Love the colours, fairing and the fact you did it without a garage full of tools. Something the mere mortals among us can aspire to.

    • Erica Johnson

      The builders name is Justin Weber. Apparently he was left out of the article by Pipeburn, but they are editing it and will repost.

      Instagram @weberwerks

      • Thank you Erica. I was puzzled about that. Good that you straightened that out.

    • Don Arnold

      Exactly, I love bikes that make you want to pick up a hacksaw and wade right in. I added some frame bracing to my old triple Kawi, laced up some gold rims myself, but now I feel inadequate. Airtech to the rescue!

      • Hey Don go for that Airtech solution! Perfect for your triple Kawi and lots of fun the moment it arrives in a box on your front porch. I’m thinking of doing the same style as Justin did here for my XS650 Yamaha.

  • now that’s fun looking !

  • Keith Schiffner

    Well done, where’d you relocate the oil tank?

    • Drue Zehler

      Looks like behind the seat

      • Keith Schiffner

        yes, after I posted and a day or so later was looking again and …boy is my face red. For some reason the photo of the oil cap looked like the fuel tank for me.

  • Erica Johnson

    Trying to give the builder credit here, as Pipeburn mistakenly left out any mention of his name.

    Justin Weber @weberwerks

    He’s the best!

  • adsfasdfasdfa

    who’s the builder?

    • Erica Johnson

      Justin Weber out of Portland Oregon.

      Instagram @weberwerks

  • Buck Harness

    I’ve seen this in person. Whoever built it did a great job. I hope his name is mentioned at some point.

    • Erica Johnson

      The builders name is Justin Weber. Pipeburn mistakenly left his name out of the article. You can find him on Instagram @weberwerks

      Thanks!

  • Jim Stuart

    His name is Justin Weber. His name is Justin Weber. FYI if you’e ever in Portland don’t drink the soup if staying in a hotel and treat all servers with respect.

    • Our bad. Fixed now.

      • Justin Weber

        Thanks Andrew!!!

        • So sorry, man. 😳

        • Keith Schiffner

          good build man, dang good build. Did you by any chance do the mod to the transmission case…with the dam.

          • Justin Weber

            the motor is a 75′, done at the factory!

          • Keith Schiffner

            I still have the bike I learned on… ’73 T500. It does need the dam built. Been in parts since the 80’s (coned out #1 spit the skirt and kept running) It’s been a cash and finding a shop to do the Cyl/heads to spec that held me up.

      • Jim Stuart

        Andrew, you didn’t by any chance get an assignment to start a fight with a complete stranger today?

        • It even says ‘WEBERWORKS’ on the fairing. I’m an idiot. Note to all budding wordpress owners – don’t post when you are tired. 😭

          • Jim Stuart

            “Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.” –Tyler Durden

          • I’m still an idiot.

  • Correction: Massive apologies to Justin Weber at @Weberwerks. Totally my fault. The bike was shot and given to us by Anthony from Enginethusiast and it’s a dead ringer for an Enginethusiast build. I should have checked. Definitely not Enginethusiats trying to claim anyone else’s work. Sorry for any concern caused. All fixed now. As you were…

  • Leon

    Can your girlfriend make me a seat?

  • Oh, the controversy!

  • Don Arnold

    This is my definition of a cafe racer: Cheap, simple, powerful, flat-out gorgeous. And it even has period aftermarket forks. If not Betors, Cerianis would do.

  • Guzzto

    I can smell it just looking at the pictures, so very nice.

  • the watcher

    Magnificent! And​ a real “built not bought” affair to boot. To quote Month Python; “You lucky, lucky bastard!”

  • Let’s give Andrew a round of applause for eating that screw-up with dignity and humility.
    No harm done Andrew. In fact Justin is probably having a good chuckle about the whole thing. Onwards and upwards!!!

  • Steve Gernhoefer

    Wow that is sex on wheels lots of subtle touches adding up to an awesome build I would love to throw a leg over that bike

  • Robert Minor

    Gorgeous!!

  • Duke Fan

    Now you guys are sharing the good stuff with us!!

  • guvnor67

    As soon as I saw Suzuki, and that lucky number 7, my memories raced back to watching Barry Sheene all those years ago. This bike takes brilliant and emotional to a whole new level. Such a superbly executed build. Oh my.

  • Martyn Serginson

    A truly, truly gorgeous, well thought out piece of work.
    Perfectly executed – everything flows together beautifully and the blue paint with gold rims looks stunning.

  • Bill Kindratiuk

    I don’t usually comment ,but i certainly have to with this one.
    I’ve always been a fan of the Titan even though I rode RDs back then.
    This has got to be one of the best builds I have seen in years and to top it off all home built with basic hand tools and lots of skill.
    Awesome and thanks for sharing it with us!!!

  • Charlie Allnut

    Looks oh so sweet! But the electronics had better be updated. It would still look as sweet while pushing it home, just not as much fun as when riding it out.