It’s not unusual for car guys to transition to motorcycle customization: after all, the skills required are similar. Johnny Nguyen proves that theory—he’s worked on cars most of his life, but lately he’s been building some pretty slick bikes.
Johnny operates Upcycle Motor Garage as a one-man-band out of his workshop in Anaheim, California. This stripped-down 1981 Suzuki GS650 GL is his latest work, and it’s a total product of its environment.
Built as a personal project rather than on commission, Johnny’s concept was pretty straightforward. “I wanted a fun and aggressive bike to ride up and down the SoCal coastline,” he explains. So it’s no surprise that the Suzuki now has a strong two-wheeled hot rod vibe going on.
As donors go, the GS650 GL is as quirky as they come. Like many manufacturers at the time, Suzuki took a mid-sized UJM (the GS650), and chopper-fied it. So
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