Bikes | Features | Events | Books | Tech | Magazine | About | Messages | Classified | Links

more bike profiles...

Bike Profile - Posted Thursday 5th April 2012

Suzuki GS1000 Winter Project
Home -> Bikes -> Road Tests and Profiles ->

Duncan Cooper wants to sell his GS1000. First he has to make it look presentable again...

I've got a 1979 Suzuki GS1000 that hasn't been out of the shed for about seven years or so. I could really do with getting it back on the road and selling it. I've been through this process with the thou' before but once I had it cleaned up and running well I thought; 'Humm, that's a nice looking bike, I don't want to sell it after all,' and it went back in the shed for another seven years. This time I must be strong and actually sell the thing, even though it's the second bike I ever owned.

Suzuki GS1000. I remember when tese were 'Awesome'... The GS1000 pushed out into the sunlight for the first time in about seven years. Doesn't look too bad from a distance does it?

I pushed the thou' out of the shed and stood it blinking in the sunlight. From a distance it didn't look too bad at all, but wiping off the worst of the dust revealed that the paint on the tank hadn't lasted all that well, and had cracked and split. I did the paintwork myself with rattle cans from Halfords a few years before the bike went into the shed so I was more exasperated than horrified. If I'd painted it before then I could do it again, but when I fix things I expect them to stay fixed, so wasn't best pleased that the paint hadn't lasted better.

There was rust under the paint, causing it to crack and flake off. This shows just how hard it is to get every last trace of corrosion off steel once it's started to rust, because I really did try very hard and it had looked perfectly clean before I started to paint all those years ago. (I sprayed it in my bedroom at my parents' house. Looking back I'm slightly surprised I didn't die. Well ventilated area? Pah!)

Some rust bubbles, yesterday... A closer look at the tank showed that it'd need more than a wipe over with a damp cloth before I could put the bike up for sale. I put this paint on, with spray cans, about ten years ago and went back to bare metal but there must still have been microscopic traces of rust left. These had grown over time and started to shrug off the paint.
Classic Suzukis on

This time (like last time) I started by cleaning off the old paint and filler (also known as 'bog' to those of you who like to be 'down' with the paint-shop kids) with a combination of chemical stripper, various steel brushes fitted to an angle grinder and abrasive paper. I got the steel to look sparkling and clean but I'm no longer young and innocent in the insidious ways of rust - I knew microscopic particles would still be hiding on the surface, waiting to grow and spread. Clearly I needed to do something extra this time, and that was to be the application of a coat of rust killing paint before I applied any other layers. Seems obvious now, but first time round I was young and innocent, remember.

Mmmmm, Chocolate... This time round I've started with a layer of rust killing paint that will, hopefully, stabilise the steel surface and keep the tank free from rust for much longer.

There seem to be several colours of rust killing undercoat. The one I used on the frame of my BMW was pink and this one turned out to be chocolate brown. Once sprayed, the tank looked like an ideal Easter gift for any motorcyclist. Humm, chocolate… But it wasn't actually chocolate so I moved on to filling the dents that a third of a century had left in the tank. Strictly I think filler should go straight onto metal, but then the minute rust traces under the filler wouldn't be neutralised and could cause problems in the future. Anyway, I made my choice and I (or whoever buys the bike) will have to live with the consequences.

Next I shall be rubbing down the paint and patches of filler and putting on the next coat of paint - high-build primer I think.


Like this page? Share it with these buttons:


Random Stuff on Right Now...

Bikes | Features | Events | Books | Tech | Magazine | About | Messages | Classified | Links

More Bike Profiles...

RedLeg Interactive Media

© 2016 The Cosmic Bike Co. Ltd / Redleg Interactive Media

You may download pages from this site for your private use. No other reproduction, re-publication, re-transmission or other re-distribution of any part of this site in any medium is permitted except with the written consent of the copyright owner or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.