’75 Suzuki GT380
I’m a big fan of small to midsize motorcycles for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, they’re fun to ride. Second; they aren’t expensive, either to buy or maintain. Older small motorcycles are the best of all. You can work on them yourself easily (no computer necessary), two strokes are especially easy, parts are still available for most (motorcycle boneyards are a treasure trove of good parts…cheap!) and thanks to the internet you can get help and advice from all over the world regarding your vintage little sled.
Thinking about motorcycle salvage yards, years ago a couple of friends of mine came up with a unique contest between themselves…build a running motorcycle out of nothing but junkyard parts. It was winter and I think there was a fair amount of alcohol involved in conjuring up this idea?! They worked up all the rules including budget, time frame and a judging system. Needless to say, wives and friends just listened and walked away laughing. But, the two friends took on this challenge a bit more seriously than we all thought.
Three months later we were all invited to the unveiling of the ‘Boneyard Specials’. After a good barbeque dinner and some refreshing adult beverages (except for those that were driving or riding…wink,wink…) the time for the unveiling and judging was to begin. Now here was the deal with the contest; the budget was $500, the motorcycle had to run and be roadworthy enough to get registered. Every part had to come from the junkyard…every part. No cheating by buying a complete motorcycle that only needed a couple of things, it had to be built.
When the sheets were lifted from the bikes the silence was deafening. Before us stood a really clean, darn close to stock motorcycle with a current registration. Next to it was ‘Frankenbike’, also with current registration. The ‘proud?’ owners each started their creations, rode them up and down the street then parked them in front of the judges for scrutiny. Judging began by handing out score sheets and refreshing everyone’s Margarita. When Margarita glasses were empty and score sheets filled out the winner was announced. Before I tell you who won, let me tell you the prize…the other guys bike. Along with a beer to cry into. And now ladies and gentlemen, the winner…drum roll here…’Frankenbike’!!!!
‘Frankenbike started life as a Honda CB360. Somehow or another, a Kawasaki KZ400 motor got stuck in the chassis, a Yamaha gas tank of indeterminate origin bolted on, two different mufflers, It was painted in at least four different colors and from there, all I can remember is laughing. So what has this got to do with this nice little motorcycle I found on ebay this morning??? The other bike was a Suzuki GT380.
On ebay is this really clean little GT380. The bike is stone stock, except for a really dumb looking sissybar. The bike looks to be in great condition. Like any old bike it needs a bit of TLC, but by looking at the pics…not much. It’s showing just a little over 6,000 miles on the clock which again, isn’t much. This will be a really great commuter bike, fun for short trips or if you’re into a bit of a project…a really cool little cafe racer. No matter what you make of it, junk the sissy bar. Click on the pics for more.
And one last note, the winner of the contest traded the little Suzuki back to the builder for a six pack of beer.