Old Shcool Japanese Chopper Projects

by Ryan DeGagne
(Chesapeake, VA, usa)

suzuki bobber mock up

suzuki bobber mock up

The projects I am working on now is a 1983 suzuki gr650 tempter bobber, a 1981 suzuki gs650l custom (my first bike and a never-ending project), and a 1971 honda cb500 powered (at the moment), and a 1979 yamaha. And last but not least a wheelchair accessible hondamatic 750 trike. This project should have been completed by feb 1 09 but has not even been started yet. I cant wait to destroy that ugly side car!

I hope to have the 83 tempter finished by march. I would like to show it at the VA Beach bike week and hopefully sell it this spring to begin another project.

My 1981 gs650 has been seen all over New England. It gets a complete makeover every year, and even though I added over 100 lbs of weight while doing custom work, this shaft driven sled will do over 130mph! Not bad for an ugly brick.

The Yama-Honda will probably become a drag racer. Some day the dinosaur 1971 cb550 will be replaced with a turbo charged goldwing, but right now it sits amid a pile of handlebars, sissy bars, tires, and windjammer fairings in the shed.

My Name is Ryan DeGagne. I am an experienced welder and fabricator, artist, and I graduated from the M.T.T.I. motorcycle/powersports program in early 2008. I lived in fall river Mass, and worked for Windmill Cycles in Dartmouth, Mass, until I was laid off in the winter due to the struggling economy. I Moved to Chesapeake Va. (where I grew up) And now plan to make the East Coast the frontline for my assault on the custom motorcycle world. At 22 years old, I realize I have a lot of dues left unpaid, But I am determined to Make a name for myself, or die trying.

Everyone wants a custom American V-twin, but if you have read this far then you know that old school jap's is where its at. And I'm not just talking your standard Cafe Racer here either. I'm Talking about BANG for your BUCK one-offs that anyone can appreciate.

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Sep 20, 2013
wow just dug this up
by: Ryan DeGagne

I google-searched "jap chopper" while sitting on the commode and this familiar picture popped up. Kinda blew my mind i dont remember this. The hondamatic sidecar to trike never got finished %100 because the shop went under... shame because i was really looking foreward to building a bunch of these... the suzuki 650gr650 tempter was sold for about $300 profit after 2 years (pictured above) and im glad to say i have found another almost identical and its a work in progress. Gonna be a speed machine i hope and a touch sportier. Currently working on a yamaha virago xv750 1981 going for a redneck-steampunk build theme and having alot of fun with it. Just excited to find this picture after 4the years! Time flys...

Jun 26, 2009
way cool
by: kennyst

that jap chopper is way cool ididnot khowof any suzuki 650s chopper where out there thanks 4 restoreing my faith ihave a 650 iam choppin now

Jan 26, 2009
Did you say Sidecar???
by: Anonymous

Hey Ryan,
Gotta agree, the old Jap Scrap Rice Rockets are appreciating these days. Old 70's and 80's jap bikes are still available cheap, even free sometimes, but they are getting popular. Best we accumulate as many as we possibly can right now!

What is your definition of an "ugly sidecar"? I need sidecar parts, can you contact me before destroying it? rider75@telus.net

Brent in Canada
'76 KZ750 B1 Twin cafe bike
'83 CM250 Custom bobber project
'77 KZ650 Four custom (parts bike w. motor and NOS plumbed head))

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