The “Tin Shack Special” is on Pipeburn!


Very cool! The guys at, one of the premier websites showcasing some of the worlds coolest cafe racer, custom and classic motorcycles, decided that the Tin Shack Special deserved a feature on their website. Pretty exciting to see the Special tossed in among some of the nicest custom bikes in the world! A huge thanks to Pipeburn. com!

The link:




12 Replies to “The “Tin Shack Special” is on Pipeburn!”

  1. Colby,

    Is the Suzuki 79′ “Tin Shack Special” for sale?

    Please let me know, if so what are you asking? I am interested in buying, what a great build, its got great character.

    From Boston,

    Brian Walker

  2. Hi Brian,
    The “Special” will be for sale soon. The bike was completed late last fall and I’ve only logged about 50 chilly miles. I want to put 200 or so hard miles on the bike before selling………..experience tells that there are usually a few “ghosts in the machine” when dealing with custom vehicles of any type. As soon as I’m happy with the bike, and had some fun, it’ll go on the block.
    Thanks for the compliment and interest,

  3. Great use of an ‘L’ model suzuki. Been wanting to do a cafe job on mine. Can you give me some ideas or pics on how you went about reworking the ‘Backbone’ of the frame to get a tank to fit on there? Love the look of the Benelli tank. Thanks

  4. Hi Patrick,
    Thanks for the comments, glad you like the bike! I’ve been asked this same question by a few people, and most thought it would be easier to cut the tank up, but I disagree. Cutting out the tunnels of these old tanks (which are getting more and more difficult to find in good shape) and re-working them just opens you up to a lot of potential frustration……pinhole leaks, weld slag left in the tank that can make it to the carbs, introducing that much heat to these old tanks can result in metal fatigue and cracking, etc., etc……you get the picture.
    Re-working the backbone on these old frames is quite easy. To fit the Benelli tank the two exterior frame hoops needed to be cut out and lowered. One thing to remember before cutting your frame up is to be sure to maintain your alignment, make one cut at a time, cut and miter your tubes, and tack them in before cutting more frame out. On the 750L frame I extended the main backbone of the frame to meet the top of what you might call the subframe, or where the nose of the seat sits……..doing this kept everything straight, and provided added strength that Suzuki left out. Once the extended backbone was welded in place I cut the side hoops out (it’s the high arc of these outer hoops that interfere with the Benelli tank sitting level). More tubing was cut, mitered, and tacked in………..the straight tubes lower the high points of the outer frame hoops by about two inches. I also added a couple of short tubes to create a trellis (a’la Ducati) between the new outer hoop tubes and the original backbone to add even more strength. I would also recommend using a tig welder for the job if available, mig will work fine, but the tig will introduce less heat into the old frame and the welds require no grinding (less heat again). Hope this helps, there are a few photos of the re-worked frame under the Motorcycles / 1979 Suzuki GS 750L tab on the main page. If you would like additional photos just drop me a note and I’ll be glad to email some to you.

  5. Hey Colby
    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my comment and thanks for the info.
    I will chat with you(if that’s ok) in regards to my build as soon as I jump into it. Was going to do a bobber style but your bike has pushed me to the cafe side.
    If you happen to come across a Benelli tank email me. Def going to be on the lookout for one.

  6. Hi Patrick,
    You’re very welcome. I’m glad the “Special” put you over the cafe edge………although there are some very cool bobbers out there too. Please feel free to contact me any time, glad to assist where ever I can.
    You should create a saved search on EBAY for a Benelli tank. Looks like they’re getting a little pricey ($300 – $650), but at least there are still some nice ones out there. The real concern is to get one that’s not rusted up inside……..scratches and dings on the outside are easy to clean up, interior tank rust is just a nightmare to deal with. If I come across a nice one I’ll send you a note.
    Thanks again & keep me posted,

  7. Say I saw your bike on the web and I must say…damn cool machine.I just picked up a 79 GS L and am in the process.I wanted to use as many reworked stock components as possible, and then I saw the way that pipe fits that chassis.Looks mean. I had one on a CB that I built a while back.I was wondering what the jetting looked like on your Mikunis to run that set up.Ill be watching your builds in the future.Great work cats.

  8. Thanks very much for the kind words. I have all the jetting records in the shop (not there at the moment), I’ll get them tomorrow and send an email with the specifics. The pipe is cool and fit very well…’s nice that someone is still making pipes for these old bikes. If you want black, order now……it took a very long time to get once ordered from Mac, they had plenty of chrome, no black…..I’m guessing they’re geared toward doing everything in chrome, or maybe I just hit a production cycle when everything was being chrome dipped.

  9. Beautiful bike! I recently got my first street bike, a 1981 GS750L. I am starting the cafe transformation when I get home from college in a month. Which model of Tarozzi rearsets did you use, and did you have to make any major modifications? My bike doesn’t have a kick starter, so that wouldn’t get in the way. Also, did you shorten the clutch cable yourself or buy a shorter one?
    Thank you!

  10. I used the model 19 Tarozzi rear sets from Fast from the Past……..nice stuff and no modifications were necessary. I did shorten the clutch cable, but had Motion Pro make one for me…… my opinion that’s the only way to go, high quality, no failures, and quick turn-around. Good luck with the build!

  11. Hi Colby! Awesome job on the gs750L keep doing what you do best restoring great motor vehicle, I have a question I just bought a 78 gs750e, my goal is create something similar to you gs 750L, where should I get most of the parts for this build, thanks in advence for your advise.

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