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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Stunning Conversion of Suzuki Single by Australian Customizer


We saw this beautiful conversion of a Suzuki DRZ400 over on The Bike Shed this morning.  You can find all of the details there, but we had to pass on these photos to our readers.

Starting with a 2009 Suzuki DRZ400E, Brisbane, Australia-based Ellaspede has created this classic looking, street-legal single.  A DRZ400 is a great place to start for a number of reasons, including the fact that there are plenty available in the used market, and engine performance is excellent for the displacement (even allowing reasonable power for interstate cruising).

We don’t have a quoted figure for curb weight, but we would be surprised if this Ellaspede “EB588” weighs in at much more than 300 pounds.




See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Gutterslob says:

    Dual pipes on a single? Other than that, great job. Extra props for not ruining it with “cafe racer” bars like many of the custom hipster-builders do these days.

  2. Fizzer says:

    Wow, interesting. If my 400E proves to be difficult to offload for a lighter offroad scoot, this might be an idea…

    Knowing this engine, it’d be a hoot at non-highway speeds in such a setup.

  3. Doc says:

    There are some details I would change but love the concept.

  4. Cyclemotorist says:

    I love it. However I would go with a single silencer.

  5. Norm G. says:

    yes, it’s channelling a Ducati Scrambler.

  6. Gary says:

    Hmmmm, guess I’m in the minority. Don’t like it, wouldn’t buy it. Apparently, I am not a big fan whatsoever of custom bikes like this. Many say they would want this, but if it were available from the OEM’s, I really doubt it would sell much. Clumsy looking front tire, too little rear fender, too short front fender, generic headlight. Nope, not for me. JMHO

    • Bob says:

      I wouldn’t buy it either. That’s the kind of bike you build, and build it I would except I’d use a DR650.

  7. Martin B says:

    Was a time Suzuki was ahead of the curve in styling and trends. They lost a lot of momentum when they pulled out of the US market until old stock had sold. But this looks like a Japan only special edition, as they still sometimes do. I go onto the Jp websites to keep up. This is a beautiful bike, and looks very street worthy.

  8. pushrod pete says:

    I love it. It’s an “honest” design in that it’s not trying to look aircooled or anything its not. The radiator’s a radiator, the airbox is an airbox. Nice elegant simplicity.

    My only concern is that if it WAS done by an OEM it’d come in at $15k, wouldn’t sell, and then the marketing geniuses would conclude no one wants ‘standard’ motorcycles….

    • Pacer says:

      I agree. If manufacturers took note, and made it with the same spirit it would sell. Wait until Husqvarna brings their singles to market. I think they are going to be cool. Problem is that the Husky’s will be priced at a premium. Suzuki could come in with something like this and undercut them.

  9. Grover says:

    Just goes to show that you can pretty much take any bike and turn into something more desirable.

  10. Frank says:

    Jonathan…the kickstand? … Really? The bike looks like it was designed for show first and foremost, and not to be used as a practical day to day bike. Since everything else looks as if meticulous attention has been paid to this build,I’m pretty sure the designer realizes that for practical purposes the stand would need to be changed out. Practically in not usually the first consideration with most custom builds.
    Beautifully done bike…

    • Scott says:

      The kickstand is fine. The block under it is an old photographer’s tool that’s been used for decades to make it easier to get side shots.

      I guess it’s pretty hard to nit-pick a bike this cool, so you REALLY have to stretch…

  11. Jonathan says:

    really?…if the builder is so great,,,,why is he using the stock Kickstand ?,,,which in this case is WAY too short to hold the bike upright,,,,,hence the big piece of metal under the stand.
    stock DRZ ‘s have a very short ratio 5 speed transmission, and weak front brake….these bikes were originally designed for the dirt…and worked fine in THAT environment . Mine ,makes a lousy street bike.

    • dino says:

      it looks like they used to the block to keep the bike more vertical than normal, so it looks better in photos.. It does look like a big block there, but I’m sure with all the mods they did, I don’t think they overlooked the kickstand.
      Again, with the mods, they likely changed the gearing and brakes for better street use. I would assume this as they used two exhaust pipes (for a single cylinder engine), which usually indicates the builder wanted symmetry, and went to extra lengths to make that. So they were looking at the details.
      I think it is a nice example of what COULD be done, not that they are going to mass produce these.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      It’s obviously not the stock kickstand. Think about it… If you lower a DRZ, the stock kickstand would be too long, not too short. As already stated, the block is there to keep the bike vertical for photography.

  12. T. Formberg says:

    Is that the air filter in yellow? If so, I’d hate to ride that puppy on any wet or filthy streets…but that probably isn’t the air filter, is it? If it is, it sure needs a rear fender back there.

  13. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    Brilliant. wouldn’t change a thing!

    • WSHart says:

      I’d change out those wheels for something that doesn’t need tubes. Otherwise, bazinga!

      • todd says:

        Man, I’ve probably put over 200,000 miles on tubed motorcycle tires. The only time I had a problem was when running old non-DOT knobbies on the highway. I think the extra heat and flexing around wore a hole in the tube. I fixed that by running a heavier tube. On the other hand, I had a six inch nail go through my tubeless tire once. Nothing I could do to fix that other than replace the whole tire.

        I think the whole tubed vs. tubeless debate is… way over blown.

        • peter h says:

          got a 4″ screw in my tubeless rear. Deflated slowly giving me plenty of warning, pulled screw, put in plug, inflated, and on the road in 30 minutes (my first plug job). That’s the advantage.
          Off-road has specific challenges , but on-road – tubeless.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I agree. I’ve seen enough irreparable flats to tubeless tues/wheels off road that tubes are the way I prefer to roll in the dirt. On street bikes, I much prefer tubeless.

  14. CrazyJoe says:

    Husky making the Vitpilen with a 701 engine. Don’t they have a 350 lying around? Wish honda wound split the difference with its 500. Nah, more the plastic, more the seat hieght Eye-gore. More the track days. Less the gas tank seam. Fools, imbeciles, monkies.

    Sorry I just saw a not so old Aprilia Tuono. Not a pretty sight with its now opaque headlights spray can paint job. Sad sight indeed. No substitute for metal and glass.

  15. RD350 says:

    YES! I love this bike.

  16. jabe says:

    In a word, beautiful.

  17. joe b says:

    The Japanese had street tracker bikes, for sale from manufacturers, around 2000. that is just catching on here (this one looks like all the rest), is a day late and dollar short.

  18. bmbktmracer says:

    Finally! Glossy paint and a front fender! Hallelujah! Nice! I’d lose the shark fin on the rear disk, but other than that it’s super cool.

  19. The Spaceman says:

    I must be seeing things because I swear the photos show exhausts on both sides of the bike. It’s a single, isn’t it? I guess symmetry has its place.

    Where’d he get that color-matched air filter pod? That’s sick as hell. And where’d he put the battery? I don’t see a kickstarter, so there must be one somewhere.

    That company that does the cafe racer kits for Suzuki Savages should talk to this guy.

    • joe b says:

      Many bikes have twin exhausts, with single cyl. CRF450 Honda for one. Electric start. Kick start shaft plugged, is obvious, stock.

    • Fivespeed302 says:

      All the Moto3 bikes are thumpers and all have dual exhaust.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I must be seeing things because I swear the photos show exhausts on both sides of the bike. It’s a single, isn’t it? I guess symmetry has its place.”

      Yosh actually produces (or produced) a dual pipe system for a few years back during the brief resurgence of Supermoto. and of course, there’s the whole economic angle to consider. I mean why sell an enthusiast only 1 canister, when you can sell him 2 at twice the price…? 🙂

  20. jim says:

    Like to that in a DR650 in stead, get rid of the radiators and have a bit more piston.

  21. Jeremy in TX says:

    Nailed it! This thing looks fantastic, classic and modern all the same time. Time to scan craigslist for a used DR-Z400 and a 7-inch angle grinder.

  22. Gary says:

    Oh how I wish an OEM would grace us with such inspired designs.

  23. Provologna says:

    Fuel tank possibly from a blue, late 60s, Suzuki TS400 2S single dual purpose?

    “…A set of Excel 19” front and rear rims were laced up to the stock hubs with some Mitas H18 street legal flat track tyres completing the wheel setup…”

    OK, one of you British history nuts fill us in. The old Norton 750s came w/19″ F/R. What’s up with that particular combination? I know of no other USA-sold bike w/19” rear (Triumph Bonne, maybe?)

    The F/R wheel diameter symmetry plus that extra radius of “air” between the rear hub and rim looks fantastic. I suspect the symmetry increase eye appeal.

    19″ front for a dual sport seems like reasonable compromise, splitting the difference between 17″ street and 21″ dirt. My 2000 R1150GS had 19″ front, but 590 lb wet is not an off road machine compared to this Suzuki beauty.

    • Old Dirt Guy says:

      Dirt track bikes have run 19s front and rear forever. Motocross bikes have run a slightly narrower 19 inch wheel for a couple of decades or so. Why you don’t get street bikes using this practice is beyond me. Dirt track bikes can rock paved surfaces pretty hard using dirt track tires, which come in a number of compounds.

      • Dave says:

        I’m guessing a combination of desired saddle height, suspension travel, and ever wider rear tires (going wider means going taller, too) drive the standard 17″ size. When tires were narrower, we used to see 18’s more.

        This bike looks great. Kinda like a lighter Ducati Scrambler.

    • Larry K says:

      Triumph Trident had 19 rear, not the 650/500’s. One possible advantage is the same size tires and the effect on handling, Guzzi (and others) also used same size f/r. I’m no engineer, but have wondered about the big difference in tire width and profiles on modern bikes. (190/120 or larger differences) Obviously works, but I don’t know how. A pair of 4:10/19 K81’s feels fine in any event. At least at any semi-reasonable street riding.

  24. Curly says:

    Yowza! That looks just like a motorcycle. Could use a bit more fender and probably some extra seat padding but that’s nice.

  25. Provologna says:

    Rarely do these custom guys nail so many little details, while keeping the overall look intact. This guy nailed it. The shapes and mix of color, alloy, and black is nigh perfect.

    If this was an OEM bike you’d not find one on the showroom floor because they’d all be gone.

    Good question! From what bike is that fuel tank?

    Let’s email the builder and request a Kick Start campaign for major required parts.

  26. Tim says:

    I’m trying to place what bike that tank came from. Looks a bit like a vintage Yamaha, but the website indicates it was a vintage Suzuki tank. Does anyone know the model that it probably came from?

    Well executed bike indeed.

  27. Don says:

    How many people had a DRZ400 in their garage (including me) and never this bike when they looked?

  28. motocephalic says:

    I love that this bike is so light. No frills just raw fun.

  29. Dale says:

    Wow. Fantastic. Bike of the year. A work of art.