It should be noted here that Suzuki used the same steering stem widths and steering assembly bearings in all of their sport series motorcycles in 1993. Hindsight being 20/20 it would have made more sense to use a 1993 (or similar year) GSX-R front end which, assuming the lower triple clamp isn’t significantly thicker than the GS500, would likely have allowed me to simply press the stock GS500 steering stem into the GSX-R triple clamps.
Reassembly begins at the triple clamps using fresh bearings, grease, and dust seals. Then tighten the upper retaining bolt to spec and check everything for free range of motion. In my case the steering stops on the lower triple clamp interfered with the bike’s frame so I ground them down to allow for a better turning radius. Next I slid the fork tubes into the clamps, making sure they were equally spaced, tightened the pinch bolts, and installed the clip-ons. Now attach the wheel, making sure the direction of the tire rotation is correct and bolt up the brakes and fender.
At this point I ran into some more challenges. The later model front axle is significantly thicker than the stock GS500 piece, so the mechanical speedometer drive is not compatible. There are reasonably priced aftermarket solutions, or with more modern technology you could mount an iPod or smartphone with a GPS speedometer app. Again, in hindsight it would have been simple to adapt if I’d used an older GSX-R front end.