Suzuki GZ 125 Marauder – Louis special conversion
When a little 20-year-old cruiser from Suzuki is converted into a snazzy custom bobber in just five days, you know the Louis apprentices have been at work again. A spectacular conversion!
Apprentice bike 2017
A year after the major success that was the Yamaha XV 125, in December 2017, a new team of apprentices pounced on a Suzuki GZ 125 Marauder that was still technically in tact in order to construct a new special bike in line with their own vision, and test out their own customisation skills. Our creative youngsters found that the Marauder was ideally suited to a classic bobber look thanks to the small spoke wheels. Along with a flat, wide set of handlebars, short minimalist mudguards and a solo seat, the bike was to receive a new colour scheme with cream shades. Wider Bridgestone E-Max tyres made for a corpulent, muscular look.
Suzuki GZ 125 Marauder
– before the conversion
Firstly, the machine was largely dismantled. The tank and mudguards ended up on the workbench, the front mudguard was covered symmetrically with adhesive tape to be shortened, then brought into shape with a saw and file. The saw was also used on the rear frame of which only two short open tubes were left over.
After sanding back, degreasing and priming, the tank, front fender and side cover received fresh, white paint from a spray can. While the paint was drying, the apprentices set to work on the chassis.
Short shock absorbers now give the machine a more compact look, and flat black drag bar handlebars emphasise the overall low-profile line ideally. CNC-machined hand levers, aluminium bar-end mirrors and elegant custom footrests provide the 125 cc motorcycle with luxurious details.
Before the wheels find their way back onto the chassis with the new, hand-fitted tyres, the brand inscriptions are accentuated with a white coloured pen. And lo and behold – the new bike already has a lot more character.
Then it's time to turn our attention to the electrics. A bright yet classically shaped LED headlight and new LED turn signals are carefully connected to the cabling with durably crimped Japanese connectors. The rear turn signals with integrated tail lights fit perfectly into the short open tubes of the tail frame. A suitable flasher unit provides the correct flashing frequency.
The team decides on an aluminium mudguard for the tail to emphasise the vintage look. It is fitted to the swing arm 2 cm above the tyre with a round brace.
The bobber is already clearly recognisable as such, but our conversion team is not yet completely satisfied. They would like to equip the bike with a real leather saddle but the time frame does not allow it. So the original black seat is painted with Foliatec seat paint. The result is surprisingly good – it is almost impossible to tell the new finish from through-coloured vinyl. The handles also receive a shower of paint in the same shade. As a final touch, the tank sides are painted in the same light brown with the help of a template and special flexible painter's adhesive tape.
But our young designers are still missing that special something – maybe a little black in the engine area would make the bike look a bit more interesting. So the valve cover and side cover are painted black. The heat wrap tape on the manifold has to be natural for that vintage appearance – and then best of all really spectacular straight away: the two parallel wound, differently coloured tapes make for a lot of work but look mightily impressive.
After 5 intensive days of work, the finished mini bobber rolls off the motorcycle hoist and the team of apprentices enthusiastically take laps around the yard. And the discussions already begin as to everything that could have been changed, but we find the results achieved with the work really great.
The conversion shown is a display piece – if you are intending to reproduce it at home, you should take into account that many universal parts would of course have to be adapted and modified. Accessories, such as shorter shock absorbers, the exhaust and wide tyres require individual test centre approval and may be problematic.
All parts at a glance – To offer a quick overview, we have provided a summary of all products installed on this machine.