Suzuki GSX400F Cafe Racer by TH Custom Build Cycles

Date posted on April 6, 2020
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This is one of the retro classic-styled builds from TH Custom Build Cycles based in Cordova, Cebu. The base bike for this Café Racer project is the Suzuki GSX400F.

Suzuki GSX models were the evolution of the GS series of two-valve-per-cylinder air and oil-cooled four-stroke motorcycles. The first four-valve engines were produced for the 1980 model, but retained the “GS” designation for the US and Canadian markets until the release of the GSX-R models in 1986 (1985 outside the US). These GSX engines were based on Suzuki’s “TSCC” (Twin-Swirl Combustion Chamber) engine design, and shared little with previous two-valve models. In 1999, only for the Asian market, the sport-touring Thunder GS 250 emerged subsequently to be given the designation GSX in 2001. By 2005, that was then completely discontinued. The Suzuki Katana had the same “TSCC” engine design but with the designation of GSX-S. Although, that had little in common with the more modern GSX-F Katanas which are, like the previous model “Thunder”, are classified as sport-touring bikes.

The bike was built by Ricardo “Titing” Tampus Jr. and Roger Tampus of TH Custom Build Cycles. They have been mainstays in the yearly InsideRACING Visayas Bikefest in Cebu. TH Custom Build Cycles was established back in 2000 by its owner Mr. Ricardo “Titing” A. Tampus Jr., the ever humble but highly skilled motorcycle builder based in Cordova, Cebu. Sir Titing does all the engine work, paint job, metal fabrication and electrical wiring. He is a 3rd generation mechanic and motorcycle builder. For this build project he did this in collaboration with his brother Roger Tampus who helped him with the engine rebuild and conditioning. The project almost took a year to complete due to the availability of parts. They also made changes to the original plan for the bike concerning its angle and paint scheme.

The bike sports a Benelli Mojave gas tank. The whole rear end of the bike was custom-modified from a dual suspension to a mono-shock suspension with parts taken from a donor bike. The front suspension is stock but lowered to match the rear horizontal alignment. The rear end of the chassis was totally rebuilt and simplified into a Café Racer type tail end. The rear chassis sports an integrated LED tail light system which also functions as turn signals. It also features a custom-made rear seat cowl done by hand by TH Custom Build Cycles. It also sports a custom-made diamond pattern leather seat and custom-made leather saddle bag.

The tank and the body were custom-painted with pearl maroon color and the engine, chassis and the rest of the bike was painted in matte black. The owner wanted the bike to look rustic and aged hence the semi “scruffy” look. The bike also features high-performance free flow air filters to boost performance. The THCBC crew also custom-built the bike’s exhaust system starting with custom-made exhaust headers finished with M4 bullet type high-performance free flow canister. The bike also has an upgraded brake system starting with the dual Tokico calipers and disk rotors. It also features classic-styled LED headlights with custom-made mounts and retro classic hand grips. The bike has bar end side mirrors paired with bar end LED turn signals. The THCBC Crew went to great lengths to rewire the whole bike as you can observe you cannot see any clutter of electrical wires. All of it was integrated inside the chassis making the bike more streamlined.

“I would like to thank my brother Roger Tampus for helping me on the engine rebuild and conditioning. Thank you to Nonie Perez for assisting throughout the process of customization. Shoutout to Maximo Nuñez Baguio, the previous owner of the bike. Thank you to all of our family, friends and customers who have always supported TH Custom Build Cycles. Thank you so much InsideRACING Magazine for featuring our latest Café Racer project,” said Sir Titing.

Parts and Accessories Used:
Benelli Mojave gas tank
Custom-modified dual suspension to a mono-shock rear suspension
Stock lowered front suspension
Custom-modified (Café Racer type) chassis integrated LED tail light system with built in turn signals
Custom-made rear seat cowl
Custom-made diamond pattern leather seat
Custom-made leather saddle bag
Custom-painted tank and body (pearl maroon)
High-performance free flow air filters
Custom-built exhaust system (headers and M4 bullet type canister)
Dual Tokico calipers and disk rotors
Classic-styled LED headlights with custom-made mounts
Retro classic hand grips
Bar end side mirrors paired with bar end LED turn signals

This was published in InsideRACING Magazine’s Volume 17 Number 12 issue