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’78 Suzuki GT 250

Posted on May 25, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 48 comments

Gandhi was a patient man. His commitment to non-violence saw him wait almost 50 years for freedom only to die less than 6 months after India was finally granted independence from British rule. Buddha is said to have once meditated under a bodhi tree for 49 straight days until he claimed to have attained enlightenment. And the Bible’s Job refused to give up even after his family and life was taken away from him. Then there’s the story of one David Ottesen, a man who’s patience makes Job look like Russell Crowe. See dear readers, I promised good David a post on Pipeburn very soon after I shot the beautiful bike you see before you last Christmas. And I promised, and I promised… Soon, summer became Autumn, and the leaves fell from the trees, but did I do anything? Oh no, still I procrastinated and never made good on my empty words. But David never gave up. He persisted until the sheer weight of guilt began to crush me like a millstone. Then, and only then he told me that he planned to sell the bike. And the guilt became too much to bare. David, I’m truly sorry; anyone wanna buy a bike?

And the award for most pieces of wood to get a bike upright goes to…

Finally, here’s Dave. “I don’t know how many times, when looking at the bikes in Pipeburn, I’ve thought to myself “gees I’d love to have a go at building something like that”. Well, it just so happens about a year ago I was at a mate’s place and he had a 1978 Suzuki GT 250 sitting under a tarp. The bike had only done low kilometres and was in good original condition.  He said he’d never get around to restoring it and agreed to let me take it off his hands.”

“Here was my opportunity to build my first custom bike. It took me a year of “working” (or should I say “a year of fun”) building this bike. This is a brief rundown on the build. I stripped the bike down in one afternoon. I had the frame in front of me, a 4 inch grinder in one hand and a beer in the other (great combination, alcohol and grinders!!) I then proceeded to remove all the unnecessary bits – centre stand, battery brackets, steering lock and anything else that would reduce the weight of the bike. The next day I put all the weight back on by bracing the frame.”

Made in Italy. And Japan. And Picton

“I stripped the wheels painted the rims and spokes, polished the hubs and then rebuilt them. All paint work is with rattle can, bar the tank which I left as is. The motor had great compression so I just changed the gearbox oil. I know a lot of people say the seals go hard with age but it runs fine and when running it is not burning any of the gearbox oil. The tank is Benelli Mojave NOS, the seat base is from Prixhistoric fibreglass from Philip Island, the gauges, stacks and brake linkage I acquired from Dime City Cycles USA. The oil tank is a fuel tank from an early Australian Victor lawn mower, the tail light from an Austin Healey Sprite. The rear sets I made from 10mm aluminium plate, using the original rear foot pegs.”

“I sold all bits left over from the build on EBay to a guy from Canberra. When he came to pick them up, we got to talking and it turned out that he had drawings for expansion chambers for an X6 road racer (late 60s 250 Suzuki Hustler.) He later emailed these drawings to me. So, with half a sheet of .9mm cold rolled sheet steel and heaps and heaps (!) of cutting, rolling and welding, I had a set of chambers!”

The Benelli tank. Is there anything it can’t do?

“The big day came to start it up. A mate from down the road was there along with my wife and son, they all stood watching as I fired it up, it started! (after swapping spark plug leads to the correct plugs) I’m thinking, boy that’s a little loud, I look up and my mate is grinning and nodding with approval my son blocking his ears and my wife yelling ‘is that legal?’”

Dave’s misses where the tax disc used to be. On my bike, I have a picture of your mother…“I have built this bike for me, it’s my interpretation of a café racer, yeah I know it looks a lot like other café racers and I know I will get done for noise eventually but that’s what I believe café racers are all about, looking, sounding and sometimes smelling a little different from everything else.”

As mentioned, in the 6 months since Dave wrote those words, he’s decided to sell the bike to fund his next project. How could you get your stinky little hands on such a sweet build, I hear you ask? It’s easy, just click here for the eBay auction that could change your biking life. And remember, auctions require patience – just don’t wait half a year to make a bid. Ahem.

  • Barf

    oh yeah. i want me some of that.

  • arnold

    Thank you master I see enlightenment, and it is not for me. Excellent effort.

  • Pp

    i dig it! minus the 360 logo on the tank.

  • SmokeyTheBear

    All this talk about that sensual tuned 2 stroke sound and no video? You’ve given me horrific blue balls. Shame on you.

  • GuitarSlinger

    Its …………. ok . Nothing much wrong with it …. but then again .. nothing any too exciting or interesting about it either . Just ………… ok 

    So either I’m getting a bit cynical/ burned out on the whole Cafe Racer schtick …… or this is just another in and amongst the  multitude of  ….. SSDD….. thats been flooding the internet/print  of late 

    • Manuel Rodriguez.

      You do seem a bit burnt out. You need a vacation. You could try to not post anything for some time and see if that helps dig up some creative inspirational and insightful writing. Some new perspectives that will help you shake the negativity and help to encourage other folks to post what they like about the bike without getting a debbie downer rebutal from the old gut slinger. Har de har har…….

      • GuitarSlinger

        Jeeze …. pardon me for living . As well as for having a discerning eye and the willingness to call it like it is .  Make a couple of negative comments after a slew of positive ones and everybody’s a critic . And this one’s not even that critical ! 

        Gee maybe everybody’d prefer I put on my New Age Happy 😮 Guy face and compliment every Tom , Dick and Harry for whatever pile of dreck they decide to foist off on the general public ? 

        Well ….. that aint a gonna happen ! Good is Good , Mediocre is Mediocre and Bad is … well …. very bad … and I simply have ZERO tolerance for bad ( and mediocre ) being flaunted to the public eye under the pretense of being good . 

        I calls em like I see’s em and if everyone here wants me gone because of that … just say the word ……. 

        • I think you just need to judge them relative to the builder(s). I think one could be more critical of a professional shop as opposed to this guy who did a garage build. Money, skill, talent, time, experience…all play a role in how a bike turns out. I get a kick out of your snarky remarks, so you may go right ahead and post what you like. Sometimes you just come off as being the be all and end all of bike building. (I have called down the thunder, so get ready for the BOOM!)

          • Please guys, keep it friendly…

          • Creatureparty

            Fight! Fight! Fight…. to keep the peace

        • clyde

           here’s the Word mud slinger. Read enough of your egotistic arrogant crap

        • Dunny063

          Get a life mate , who are you the michael angelo of bike building ? I would like to see hand build a set of expansion chambers from a flat piece of steel ?

  • Powow

    another great amateur effort.  I know you’ll find an appreciative buyer.
    nice job!

  • Bhupi

    Its “Gandhi” not “Ghandi” … 🙂

    • $30724656

      Technically it’s गांधी but the accepted Romanization is Gandhi.

  • The oil tank’s great. I’ve been trying to find something similar for my 2t but can only find huge 3 or 4 quart tanks meant for harleys.

  • HandsomeDan

    The bike is sweet, but Comic Sans for the listing? blech.

  • $30724656

    It’s great to see a  2T Cafe Racer done so well although I’m pretty much over the Benelli/Montgomery Wards  Mojave gas tank. Also open expansion chambers are just not acceptable there’s absolutely no reason not to put some kind of a silencer on those stingers to take a little of the bark out of the exhaust note. And thank you to everyone who resisted the temptation to use the term 2-smokes in their comments.

  • Apparently nobody here has ever heard a two stroke or a two stroke twin no less with open chambers! I doubt this bike could be ridden on a public road anywhere on earth.

    Hey! Let’s add a little bit of tubing to the sidestand and swap the clutch lever and left switch around ay?

    Nice concept though.

    • Your eyes spot all the details which can be improved. I really like this way of approaching a project.
      And I really like the story behind this home-made bike !
      Only the video is missing…

    • arnold

      I have and much prefer it , because of its rareity, to the open four stroke blat that I hear all week and twice as much on the weekends. Silencers indeed. I think that the only step you need to take to full Political correctness is to drink your tea with your pinky fully extended.

  • I like it. It’s a good example of a garage built resurrection. Some quirkiness here and there, but that’s to the builder’s liking, so whatever. Building your own chambers is cool (I haven’t done it yet.)

  • revdub

    Sweet little bike. I can smell the two stroke now.

    • I can SEE it now. But not the bike… it seems to be hidden in a cloud of blue smoke. Oh, hang on.

  • Dave

    Andrew, thanks for the post, not sure I want to sell it now it looks so good!!!!.
    Side stand has been rectified and it now has a hugger over the back wheel. My
    wife was 17, when the photo of her drying the dishes was taken. It’s
    funny, I seen to do all the dishes now. Love all the

    • Colin Boucher

      hay Dave are you still around? building a GT at moment buddy do you still happen to have those plans for the expansion chamber?

  • My X7 is way cooler.

    • You think?

    • russelllowe

      I wrote an X7 off when I was 20. Pretty much that was the coolest thing about it.

    • I think the pipes need to be a little closer to the bike.

    • Creatureparty

      your butt is too big

    • I’ve got the thing back together with the standard pipes at the moment, need to get round to chopping up and welding those chambers and have a set of rearsets and some 32mm flatslides to graft on. It’s got Konis, an early VFR400 caliper, been bored to 283cc, carbon reeds, race ported, rebuilt crankshaft, braced frame, 45hp at wheel etc etc.

      • Hater

         shut up dumbass his bike is way cooler

    • its got a big ass

  • russelllowe

    What a beautiful little bike. Those Benelli tanks are golden; one of the great shapes.

    • No, I’d say that tank was more yellow.


    Not much on Two strokes anymore, but would like to have it in my office. nice looking bike.  ..Z

    • A prison cell does not constitute an office. Well, depending on your business I suppose. lol

    • If your office is …the road, that’s cool.
      Otherwise bikes ment to be ridden, all the bikes…
      Miniatures are for the office.

  • Classick_moto

    great job! love the oil tank!

  • Yeah this bike is really great..

  • Shadow81

    Nice one David! The roads will never be the same again with this bumble bee tearing up the bitumen! The woman in the photo looks like someone I know 😉

  • It sold for $4,700AU 

  • Tam6

    Great looking bike! The builder should be proud. Only thing I would change is to add a longer kick stand (so you don’t have to carry around half a house to park it) and get rid of the bar clamps. Creative use of them to mount the turn signals sure, but it would look so much cleaner with them sliced off, and the signals mounted on the forks.

    Other than that, I think it’s fantastic.

  • pretty sick idea for the disc tax! 

  • SD

    Hi,great job, shame the engine top end is earlly 1970s,not even roadworthy,as 4 cruising on the freeways,forget it it will seize ?,esspecially with ram tubes,hope its been jetted 2 suit chambers, all the other, Unroad worthy mods,good luck,PS,part it out,before a L plater,decides to use it ,SD

  • Martin Crooks

    Very good 🙂