Photos after total ground-up restoration Aug 2000-Sept 2001 :
Engine overhaul (rebore to 2nd (1.0) overdimension, new pistons/rings, new crank balanced, almost entire engine internals replaced), Newtronic optical ignition, new coils, expansion tank, new seat by Eldorado in Australia, repainted frame, new front fender+front part of rear fender, emblems, new rear lamp assembly, new original exhaust system, repainted side covers, lamp bucket and brackets, numerous other parts replaced. Only deviation from originality is it has Akront alloy rims and modern Bridgestone tyres + the replica seat.
See this page for the detailed 'Restoration Log'.
Final reassembly done, September 08 2001.
Photos after restoration 'Phase 1' Aug 1999-July 2000 :
First picture after restoration "Phase 1" July 2000, garden flowers compete for attention.
More pictures here !
Photos with other environments as background will arrive in due time.
Before restoration (1999 sales photos by previous owner).
I became the owner on August 26, '99. This is the first version of the GT750, the 1972 'J' model. (Serial no
'GT750-31225', only 27 more 'J's made following this one). This bike was first sold/registered in Sweden early
1973. The GT750 J features a 67 hp 750cc 3-cyl water cooled two-stroke engine. The engine firing impulses corresponds
to that of a 6-cyl 4-stroke so this engine type runs very smoothly when in good tune. Visually if you meet one
on the road, these bikes are distinguished by the characteristic water cooling radiator in front of the engine.
If one runs ahead of you on the road a smell of three 250cc 2-stroke engines and possibly some bluish 2-stroke
smoke may be noticeable. There is a cooling fan behind the radiator which kicks in at random occasions. It is never
needed. The engine has electric start. The GT750 is commonly referred to as the 'Water Buffalo' (U.S) 'Wasserbüffel'
(Germany), 'Vattenbuffeln' (Sweden), 'The Kettle' or Water Bottle' (Britain), 'Vannbuss' (Norwegian!) or 'waterbucket'
(Australia). In advertising it was also named the 'LeMans' in the U.S. This machine type was known for the wide
power band/low end torque allowing exceptional acceleration performance from low revs, similar in characteristics
to the triple 2-stroke air cooled Kawasaki H2 750 (Mach IV) but more 'civilised'. It was more popular as a touring
bike than a stop light racer due to weight/dimensions, but it can be a performer. The main flaw of the J series
is the brakes are no match for the acceleration capability and weight
(507lbs dry/230kg) (front dual drum brake, the 1973 K model had dual front
discs) so some caution is required in order to stay alive. The engine of this one is still healthy and the bike
as bought was very original part from a few details, still had original paint layers. The model is a fine example
of the Japanese design of bikes of the early 70's, I especially like the more spectacular paint scheme of the 'J'
and 'K' models which I worshipped reading bike magazines back in 1972-73 when I was 14 years old. See picture below
of the actual magazine which I suspect was the source of my interest..
The four small pictures above show the bike as purchased 990825 (sales pictures from previous owner). It had several non-original details there and I got really interesting in trying to find the vital parts for bringing it back to original appearance. I've been more successful in collecting the vital parts than I first anticipated (short rear fender,rear lamp assembly,orig seat, horn, emblems and much more). This has only been possible thanks to the Internet, all you GT enthusiasts out there, and the dealers specializing in parts for this type of bike.
the actual magazine ad that had a lasting impact on me back when I was 14 years old...
(Suzuki GT750 2-page ad in swedish bike magazine 'MC-Nytt' No.5, 1972 ! )
Before I bought the bike I checked on the Internet what info existed on this model and was happy to find a certain culture, clubs and dealers actively supporting the model. This is definitely not the case with all brands and models of this age ! I went ahead and was able to bring this wonder home after a 700 mile trip in a pickup truck.. Life was indeed wonderful. Bike was rideable but when the initial hypnosis had faded I began to notice all that could be improved. It showed a need for the replacement of certain worn parts that affected handling, the exhaust had rattling metal garbage inside, and I saw potential for some cosmethic restoration. The engine seemed rock solid part from a rattling starter clutch so the cost of restoring the bike would be reasonable. At first I expected 'only a few parts would be needed' but over time this developed into something else.. I've been surprised to find most of the parts have been possible to find in new or good condition. This model is becoming a collector item so rare parts are expensive.
(C)2000 Gunnar Forsgren, All Rights Reserved