The stock riding position on the Suzuki GS500 is pretty upright, reflecting the bike’s modest origins. After upgrading my 1993 GS500’s front and rear suspension with GSX-R parts I set out to raise the Suzuki’s pegs – and my feet up away from the pavement in preparation for some knee dragging action.
The performance aftermarket does not shine brightly on the lowly Suzuki GS500, but I didn’t need to rummage too deeply into the GSX-R parts bin to discover that similar vintage Suzuki GSX-R 600 rearsets fit the GS500 with minimal modification. Later experimentation also revealed that contemporary Honda CBR 900RR rearsets also work well and offer an even more aggressive riding position. The pair that ended up staying on my bike were purple anodized aluminum aftermarket rearsets for a CBR. I got an amazing deal on them, slightly used. Used bright purple parts don’t sell well, go figure!
For both the GSX-R and CBR rearsets I needed to drill out one of the mounting holes to be able to match the frame mounting holes for both bolts. That offset hole will no longer accept the factory hardware, so I used new grade 8 socket head cap bolts to secure the brackets to the GS500 frame. In either case the stock GS500 master cylinder bolts right onto the rearset bracket without modification, though you may need to trim the plunger on the master cylinder to work with the new brake pedal. Be careful not to gall any threads.
I found the repositioned peg to feel awkward with the old pedal. I opted to adapt the shift pedal and linkage from the donor bike. This does require a little bit of problem solving. The linkage interfered with the center stand, which forced the decision to remove it – which knocked about twelve pounds off the bike as a nice bonus. I also found that the splined end link that connects to the shift shaft in the transmission did not match the GS500’s splined shaft. My solution was to cut down the GS500’s original shift pedal to create an end link. I then drilled a hole in the new link and purchased a small heim joint to connect them.
As should be expected whenever retrofitting parts onto a project that were never meant to be there, be careful to ensure everything functions properly when you’re done. Altering rearsets potentially means changing shifter and brake linkage, as well as the brake light circuit. You may also find it necessary to make a number of adjustments. Be careful out there, and put some cool stuff together!
Check out the rest of our GS500 project posts!