Tell us a little about yourself and why you decided to build a RYCA.
If it has two wheels I want to ride it. If it's gas powered... I really want to ride it. A close friend and I picked up some ratty '65 Honda Superhawks and we thought they would be a good cafe project. They were too far gone for a restoration. While we were in Daytona at bike week we stopped to see a presentation about cafe racer builds by Mason Orr. He put your website on the screen and we thought, cool a big single. I was on the phone to you guys that week.
How did you find your Suzuki? What year model? What shape was it in?
Spending some quality time on Craigslist, I must have called on 12-15 LS-650's and looked at five or six. I found a sweet 1997 two owner with 14K miles in great condition about 20 miles from my house. I never let on that I was going to disembowel his first bike.
Tell us about any mods or upgrades you did to your bike.
The engine on the bike is stock except for the kit supplied carb changes. I did go with the Progressive front spring upgrade and I'm glad I did. I rode the Savage for about 800 miles before I tore it down for the CS-1 build. The Progressive upgrade was worth the effort and cost. I could feel the difference. I'm not sure if I really want to change anything in the future. It is that good as it is.
How long have you been riding? What other bikes do you own?
My first bike was a used '72 CB350 in 1979. I rode that to death. Currently I have a real eclectic collection of bikes. I own Honda twins, a Derbi, Aermacchi Harleys, a vintage BMW thumper, vintage Vespas and my newest project, a '74 Ironhead. The CS-1 is my favorite ride these days. I took a 250 mile day trip up the coast of Maine a few weeks ago on the Ryca. So sweet in the Rt. 1a curves and everybody wants to know what it is when you stop. I drew a small crowd at Laconia this year when I parked it on the Weirs.
What's your occupation?
I am an IT Professional by day but I spend my evenings and weekends in the shop. It's a great place to turn up the music and relax. I learn a lot working on the bikes in my little shop. When I wear that out a bit and I need a change I go ride.
What advice would you give to future RYCA builders?
Steal, borrow or beg. When and wherever I stop, I get the questions. I constantly hear, "Oh if I only had the cash...". A CS-1 is so reachable by most people. Let your motivation drive you. Build one by any means possible. You will not be disappointed. Build it on the porch, the basement, your living room. Do it.
What was the best thing about building the bike?
The best moment was when I started to turn the corner and began to put the pieces on. After cutting, dismantling, labeling, swearing and staring, you realize you are at that point where you turn back toward the end. And the finish ends at a totally different place from where you started. The best thing was the first ride. I put a vid on YouTube of my first ride. I had just finished tuning the carb and tore outta the driveway. No helmet. No glasses. 8 pounds of air in the back tire! That was an awesome moment. The vid now has over 125,000 hits. Proof that people want to learn more about the CS-1 and cafe bikes.
Tell us about any problems you had and how you solved them.
The only thing I can remember that took some thought was running the wiring harness under the tank and getting the electrics squared away under the seat. But I took my time and did some trial and error and it worked out beautifully. I highly recommend the custom braided line for the front brake. It really cleans up the front.
Anything else you want to add?
I am very happy with the outcome of the build. Shit, I'm crazy about this bike and love to ride it. I was very impressed with the components too. The rearset bracket, the battery box, tank fab and all the fine details that Ryca put into the kit like hardware and lighting. I spent only about 50 hours on this. I've always said, I live life with no regrets but honestly, now, I may have one regret. I wish the CS-1 was my first bike in 1979! My life would be different.
Thanks Sean, fantastic looking bike. We liked the color so much, we stole it for one of our own builds!
See more customer builds in the Customer Gallery.