The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle
Lane Pipkin on his Suzuki GT750 LeMans.
Bike: Suzuki GT750 LeMans
Owner: Lane Pipkin
Hometown: Goose Creek, SC
Occupation: Customer Service Engineer (X-ray instruments)
Bio: A motorcycle enthusiast for nearly 40 years, Lane is a fan of old motorcycles and has owned a variety of Japanese hardware. But two-strokes, particularly triples, are his favorite.
Etc.: “I owned a Kawasaki H2 for a couple of years and loved it, but I wanted something a little more reliable. One of my friends owned a ‘72 Suzuki GT750 when they were new, and I remembered it's reliability, so I started looking for one to replace the Kawasaki.”
Lane has owned the stock GT for about four years. It was a two-owner bike his wife found on the Internet that had been parked for about 11 years. “It was rusty, but had never been apart, and it just needed a really good cleaning to get it running again. I’ve put 15 thousand miles on it since then.”
The Suzuki café racer was originally bought as a parts bike about three years ago. “I rebuilt it from the ground up, including the GS wheel conversion with a rear disk brake. The front brake calipers are from a Kawasaki EX500, the master cylinder is from a Honda CBX600, and the taillight is from a Honda VT500 Ascot.”
Overall, Lane has had a good time getting both bikes in running shape and riding them often. Their many good qualities make them classics and still fun to own today. “They're reliable, smooth, comfortable, fast enough to be fun, torquey, and they handle much better than their reputation would lead you to believe. These Suzuki’s are the most over-engineered bikes I have ever seen. They're very tough,” he says.