Dagger Cycles GS500
By Ross Sharp - 05 Mar 15
Roberto and Paolino of Dagger Cycles graduated pretty swiftly from barn find builds to more modern projects utilising the now ubiquitous Triumph Bonneville and Scrambler. Harking back to their roots, the guys from Biella in the foothills of the Italian Alps, were presented with this 1984 GS500 by owner Nicholas. Thankfully regular maintenance ensured that the years had been kind to the Suzuki and the condition belied three decades of use. Nicholas wanted a distinctly urban custom, with café and retro eighties styling influences. To set the visual ball rolling an Emigo headlight cowl was freed of its screen part and painted matt black, immediately deviating from the traditional brat look of tiny headlight and stripped-out cockpit. Ah, what do I know? The dash is stripped-out with a mini all-in-one speedo in place to placate excitable Carabinieri. Stock bars have been powdered coated and flipped upsidedown for a hunkered, racy position. Whilst the powder man was doing his thing a host of other parts were given a coating; foot and hand controls, fork legs, wheels etc. To contrast all that black, the jewel in the crown, Suzuki's fine half-litre four-banger received the attention of Scotch Brite pads, and a whole lot of elbow grease, to give a clean, brushed look. The zorsts didn't escape and were given the dark powder treatment, including the new megaphone mufflers. A good service and tune-up was all that was required to keep the engine on-song. Rear shocks are 2" longer than standard and uprated, in case Nicholas is transporting a sturdy pillion. Classic style Continental tyres suit the slightly post-apocolytic look and thankfully do not seek to offer adhesion off-road. Fork gaiters keep blingy chrome out of sight and give the front end a chunkier feel, in balance with the fairing. The fuel tank and side panels were first treated to a good, thick base of deep gloss black, before the Dagger Cycles "Black Rising Sun" logo added contrast by way of matt black and grey lettering. Nicholas is a tattoo artist and has been heavily influenced by Japanese Irezumi style of ink, and initiated the rising sun design. The two-up friendly seat pan and upholstery was taken care of in the workshop, and the chopped subframe rails now house mini indicators. The licence plate, footpegs and mudguard brackets are also Roberto and Paolino's handiwork. There's good reason to use plenty of black, in different textures; it works. Nicholas is super pleased with his new ride and will no doubt be waxing lyrical about Roberto & Paulino's efforts to anyone who'll listen. Not that his customers can really go anywhere. To keep up with their next build, check out the Dagger Cycles Facebook page.