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Long time lurker, finally getting around to posting my GL project.
I do not recall what exact build I saw that made me want a GL500, but I do love monoshock bikes, and twin motors (v, parallel, etc). It may have been something BBCR Engineering did. Either way, I browsed craigslist and facebook and came across one that had Montana plates (I am in Minnesota), was dirty, neglected, had a crap flame paint job, but impossibly clean tank and most importantly, cheap ($300) with a promise that yes it runs.
With a title in my grubby hand, I tore the back end off and tossed everything that I knew I wouldnt be using. Dont worry, there wasnt anything of value - it was all broken stuff.
Apparently I didnt take any pictures, or if I did, I cannot find them.
As projects do, it then sat until late 2019, when I was looking for a distraction from my problematic Sportster chopper project.
I then powder blasted the worst of the grime off and sprayed some of the parts with plasti-dip before I committed to a paint scheme. Is all black and rust a paint scheme?
Another forum member that is in the area took a peek at the timing chain and gave it a once over helping me understand some of the finer points of the final drive and issues this family of motor have.
I cleaned and rebuilt the carbs and starter motor, and have since heard it run on a couple squirts of starter fluid.
I also tossed on a different, more sporty, if ancient GSXR front end I got from a guy for $50

Progress so far:
Cleaned motor and frame.
Cleaned and rebuilt carbs and starter motor
Used Methyl Salicylate (oil of wintergreen) to resurrect the manifolds and all vent and gas hoses (yes it really works, and well!)
Removed back end fender seats lights, airbox, h-box, radiator shroud, front end.
Swapped in a ducati showa shock that has the same dia eyes, but is about 1/2-3/4" shorter eye-eye (off SB 848/1098/1198)
Swapped in a 1985 GSXR front end with modified top clamp for riser clamps and tracker bars.
Cheap LED baja bar light (no high beam)
Pod filters.

Working on seat and mounts, muffler/exhaust layout and then battery mount (Shorai), wiring and electronics tuck, oil change, new tires, front brake rebuild, etc.

Anyway, here are some pictures of it as it sits now. I will try to do some more progress stuff but It is likely I will just post some finished shots and video.

Here you can see the crappy blue flame paint on the tank (ignore the XS 650 project in foreground).
198684


Testing the baja LED headlight

198687


And getting ready to create mounts for the seat. More likely be doing my own custom seat from the original passenger seat pan and a harley rear fender part, but this doesnt look too bad imo.

198688

198689
 

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Looks good. Probably should swap out that rear tire before you drive on the road:D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Looks good. Probably should swap out that rear tire before you drive on the road:D
Haha yea I have never worn a tire down this far and it is scary to think what other kinda of risks the previous owner took... Like not changing oil for thousands of miles?

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Discussion Starter #5
Did the shorter shock lower the rear and if so, how much? I’m trying to lower my gl500I
Thanks so much
riderbob
Yes it dropped it a bit. It is 1/2-3/4" shorter shock but I also am using shorter forks and didn't take any measurement before

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What shock did you pick for the single shock to hold weight option gonn! Be a super bike setup keep pics c9ming please!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
as I said in the main post:
ducati showa shock that has the same dia eyes, but is about 1/2-3/4" shorter eye-eye (off SB 848/1098/1198)
What shock did you pick for the single shock to hold weight option gonn! Be a super bike setup keep pics c9ming please!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I finally got new tires mounted (shinko tourmaster 120/90-18 front 140/90-16 rear) so I can work on final height and angle of tank and seat. Understatement of 2020: "I am psyched how this is turning out". Also got a new toy to build the seat.


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Rather than modify the stock GL tank (with a hammer, or cut weld), I decided to get a Benelli copycat tank. The stock GL tank interference would severely limit my turning radius (GSXR fork offset is significantly less than stock). Also got a CB900 wheel and dug out an old Nissin caliper to convert the rear to disk brake.
Question for you all: since the rear wheel is static, there isn't any reason for an axle mounted caliper - would it be a bad idea to weld the brake caliper mount directly to the swingarm? Or rather, weld on a mount to bolt the caliper to...


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as I said in the main post:
ducati showa shock that has the same dia eyes, but is about 1/2-3/4" shorter eye-eye (off SB 848/1098/1198)
The ratio of the linkage is 2.5 to 1, so your total lowering is 1 1/4" to 1 7/8". Does the Duc shock have 1/2" to 3/4" less travel than stock? If not, will the suspension bottom out before the tire contacts your subframe/seat?

Randall

P.S. I'll be interested to watch your rear brake conversion. I have a CB900 wheel for a "someday" option.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The ratio of the linkage is 2.5 to 1, so your total lowering is 1 1/4" to 1 7/8". Does the Duc shock have 1/2" to 3/4" less travel than stock? If not, will the suspension bottom out before the tire contacts your subframe/seat?

Randall

P.S. I'll be interested to watch your rear brake conversion. I have a CB900 wheel for a "someday" option.
@Randall-in-Mpls
Fair points and good to know the ratio. The Duc shock seems a lot stiffer, but I haven't looked it up or done any testing. I have switched it back to the air can for mocking up since my second to last post. I want to raise the back end up as much as possible while maintaining the lines and stock shock mounts (for now). I think I am going to leave the suspension alone and worry about that later when the air can fails or the ride is not what I want. Even then, I may just make an adapter for another shock instead of modify the frame or linkages.
The cb900 wheel should be pretty easy once I get some shim tubing from @murrayf and determine the brake mount.

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P.S. I'll be interested to watch your rear brake conversion. I have a CB900 wheel for a "someday" option.
I just realized that we discussed this conversion last fall, so you've seen this wheel.
I don't see why the caliper couldn't be mounted to the swing arm, as long as you can get the alignment correct. That's an advantage of the axle mount.

Randall
 

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I just realized that we discussed this conversion last fall, so you've seen this wheel.
I don't see why the caliper couldn't be mounted to the swing arm, as long as you can get the alignment correct. That's an advantage of the axle mount.

Randall
Ah yes, I feel like I may have discounted the idea and leaned towards the goldwing wheel for some reason (spokes? Wider rim?) When we spoke. I guess I would ultimately prefer the wider rim of the goldwing wheel. You are welcome to come over and check it out when I get a little further! I get what you are saying about alignment, that could be tricky but I have patience and very motivated to get it right. Getting so close to finishing this project up!

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this is on my gl650 and has been for about 6 hard years lol im getting ready to do some work and clean it all up
im using a brembo 13 mm brake master i had a 17 mm one and it was to much with the dual cali0per and pedal length
im using teh stock pedal so ithas a lot of leverage the 13mm is perfect its a little ugly right now
201419


i used the stock 900 caliper mount by just bushing it and modified teh cb900 strut to fit the gl swing arm all in all a few hours work
with fitting the master and welding the mounting plate for it on and hooking it to the stock brake pedal
have fun stay safe
 
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