I am 27, and live 30 minutes outside the downtown core of Toronto Canada. I’ve been wanting a rigid bobber style bike for quite some time now and pretty much did not want an old Yamaha XS 650 style bobber because most of the ones I seen were in very rough shape and I wasn’t prepared to build one from scratch because I just do not have the resources to do that in my own garage. So when I did a search on Google I typed in bobber, and RYCA was the very first web link that came to the computer screen. So I clicked it, saw it, and immediately was sold on the product after browsing on the website. It was perfect! A bolt on kit with basic tools and a guide for the amateur bike builder like myself.
How did you find your Suzuki? What year model? What shape was it in?
After reading some of the other feature builds I thought finding a Suzuki was going to be harder than I thought, but really I think I just got lucky because I saw a few on Kijiji and I called a few people but nothing serious because these bikes tend to me a bit more expensive here in Toronto to what I’ve noticed. Then one came for sale, so I called the guy and it was the first one I went to go look at. It was in pretty good shape over all, a 2008 s40 model with 6200 miles on it (roughly 10,000km) and he was asking $2300 for it, I picked it up for $1900 so it worked out great.
Did you sell the take-off parts? How much did you get?
I have not yet sold my take off parts, I have them organized on my basement floor but I plan on taking some pictures to see what I can try and sell. Not much of a high demand to sell savage/s40 parts LOL.
Tell us about any mods or upgrades you did to your bike.
I pretty much just stuck to the RYCA build and followed the guideline. I did do the clutch mod and thanks Casey for the help on that one, I also put some signals on the bottom part of the hard tail so the bike is more visible at night, bought some bullet style signals and wired the signal lights to act as day time running lights and of course they still get used as turning signals. I also used the RYCA front fender, I cut it to shorten the look of the fender, and I then got a friend to weld the end peace back on so the fender looks like it was never touched.
How long have you been riding? What other bikes do you own?
This is my first street bike; I have been riding motocross bikes since I was in my late teens. I thought it was time for a change and I wanted something different. So over the winter I and a group of friends got our learners permit and then did the course to get our license in the spring. Now we all ride together and it’s been a blast so far. I sold my Suzuki RM 125 two stroke, got good money for it, turned that cash around and bought my donor bike. I also have a small Honda CRF 50 that I also built. It’s suited for an adult rider and it’s more of a parking lot bike; it has mini supermoto tires, a bigger 125cc engine and has a bunch of stunt parts on it to do wheelies and other tricks. It’s fun but since I got the bobber on the road it’s just sitting in the corner of the garage.
What's your occupation?
I work for a hospital in the Toronto area, my occupation is heating and air conditioning and I take care of the maintenance and work alongside with a team of people.
What advice would you give to future RYCA builders?
Like others have said, Take your time. It’s not a race and make it your own. Stare at it, get ideas, think about it when you’re not working on it, and talk to your bike buddies about it. If you need help with something or need information don’t be a hero, ask for help with that certain thing you need help on and don’t forget to mark all your wires and tag and take pictures of anything that you think you may forget. It was such a fun project to do and the payoff was worth it. You get to ride something that you built. When you see the transformation even though you see the pictures you’re still blown away when you did it yourself. Also when you’re redoing all the electrical don’t cut corners, do it right! the one thing I always say is never cut corners in electrical because it will come back in the end and bite you in the a**.
What was the best thing about building the bike?
Just being in the garage. Listening to my tunes, drinking a beer, or a coffee and zoning everything else out. I would be working and wouldn’t even notice the time passing. The end result was the best part though. When you see it finally all put together you just want to start it and blast it down the street.
Tell us about any problems you had and how you solved them.
I had some issues for a while. Initially I thought I was chasing carb/fuel issues I did message Ryan a few times, and by the way RYCA was fantastic on customer service. Prompt emails and fast service. Anyways my bike would just idol but I couldn’t ride it down the drive way. It would just cut out and stall. Turned out my voltage regulator was faulty. I did order a new one, put it in, started it up and ran like a dream. Also I put my decomp switch on backwards at first. A quick email to Ryan again solved that issue fast. One other thing, lock tight everything, I didn’t lock tight my first decomp switch and it flew off during a test run and I couldn’t find it. Ryan had to send me a new one, sorry about that guys, it shouldn’t fly off anymore.
Anything else you want to add?
Just want to say thank you to RYCA motors. You guys managed to build a great product and give it back to the bike guys and girls. They make the build as easy as possible for you, marking every nut and bolt for you and tell you what they are for. I told myself if I was going to get a street bike I wanted something different and not just a standard bike that I would get rid of after one season. The 650 cc has plenty of power and torque to boot around town in and it has such a unique sound and thump. People stop me at the lights all the time to ask me what my bike is. That feeling alone when someone else notices what you did to a savage/s40 is the best part. One guy in an 18 wheeler at the stop lights told me that’s the way they should have come from the factory. If you’re into that then these bike kits are for you, regardless what style bike you’re into they all look great. The thought of building a CS-1 has come to my mind a few times already. I guess I will just wait and see what happens. For now take care :)
Awesome, thanks for the in-depth answers! Great looking bobber, and good advice for aspiring builders.