Ron Erickson’s 1978 Suzuki GS1000E
Durant, Oklahoma’s Ron Erickson isn’t much of a brand guy. He doesn’t bleed red for Honda and hasn’t sold his soul to Harley-Davidson. He started out at five years old with a 3.5 horsepower Briggs & Stratton minibike from Sears and has owned 20 motorcycles since, including seven Harleys, four BMWs, three Triumphs, three Hondas, one Yamaha, a Moto Guzzi, a Ducati and now a Suzuki.
The 1978 Suzuki GS1000E was in rough shape and not running when he found it. He knows nothing about the bike’s backstory other than he now feels he paid way too much for it ($1000). A glass manufacturer, Erickson, 52, said the Suzuki was his first real build where he did more than bolt on new parts and accessories. But, he didn’t originally set out to take on the project himself.
At first, he approached a shop in Dallas to build him a scrambler/café on a $9000 budget. After six months, nothing had happened so he decided to build it on his own. “I am very aware of my limitations so I farmed out anything I wasn't comfortable with,” he said.
Erickson sent the motor to a Dallas shop for a rebuild, a big bore kit, high temp powder coat, carb cleaning and re-installing into the frame. Erickson modified the frame on his own, specifically shortening the tail and removing the passenger peg mounts. He also added bracing and drilled holes. The most difficult task was the rear cowl fabrication to mimic the original 1000E. “It was a challenge because of because of the different angle as you move to the back and still try to keep it flat and straight.”
Erickson started the build in August 2016 and finished in March, working mostly nights and weekends. He’s still making tweaks. While he used lots of DCC parts on his ‘zook, it was the MotoGadget line that gave him the look he wanted. (There are 55 MotoGadget parts in the Dime City store).
“That was key to the look I wanted, which is really clean.”
MotoGadget goods include:
- Keyless starter
- Blaze and button turn signals
- 3-button switches
- Wiring harness
Erickson also bought the DCC headlight mount, “so that even the silver of the forks don't show.”
Other DCC parts:
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