As bikes go, Andy Jones’s GT750 is a bit of a tarts handbag. The paint and chrome work is both gaudy and loud, but there can be no question that it has all been assembled and finished to the very highest of standards and with great enthusiasm. Andy’s sense of humour is without question, his sense of history is just as strong too, but he simply didn’t want to create yet another mint, standard kettle. To this end the latest machine to emerge form his workshop is every bit kettle looking, and as such instantly recognisable, it is only when the dust settles that the joke finally kicks in. Just about every aspect of this GT has been molested all in the name of just being plain different.
The attention to detail is staggering, almost as if Andy is trying to show us what he is capable of and yet he has nothing to gain from this and his assurances that it has all been done just because he wanted too are totally believable. Quite strange for such a show bike however is the way the GT performs and is allowed to by its owner. No constraints were placed on me before or during the test and I think I could have done what I like with the bike, Andy just loved watching his machine in action and likewise the GT lapped it up too. It is quite weird but after a short while the never ending orange and chrome grows on you and doesn’t seem to be so outlandish, in fact your mind adjusts to cope with it, other vehicles begin to look down right plain by comparison.
In use this GT feels so much stronger than a standard machine, it has a substantial feel to it as well, as if the whole plot has been beefed up in every imaginable area. This is justified when a detail look around is taken, the forks and swing arm do not normally belong here and yet are in keeping with the intended image so must be right. The engine too appears to be performing rather well just because it has been groomed and polished as there are few go faster goodies evident and yet power is strong as is torque.
The staccato cackle from each of the three separate micron pipes eventually melts into a unified tone once all of the throats have cleared. Pottering around is easy despite the pre-conceptions of early 70’s two strokes however, getting on the gas again does create a blue cloud the size of a small village. Pulling from low down, in a manner akin to a medium size four stroke, the GT really does carburate well, no doubt largely due to the use of new components throughout the fuelling system but also a product of Andy’s attention to detail in every aspect of the project. This is extended to the cycle parts making the whole feel as one, the brakes are stupendous making the front end as powerful as any modern machine and yet the rest of the bike isn’t humbled by this authority. Instead the weight of the bike keeps it in check, while the rear end is suitably up rated too with a heftier swing arm that irons out the wallows comfortably.
The end result is a perfectly usable and functional bike that could be put into service on a daily basis and yet still knock em dead at any custom show at the weekend. This is no small feat especially for a machine well into its 30’s.
The GT is many things, not least a statement by Andy about his current thinking and the next machine he builds will quite possibly be completely different. You never quite know with him though, this machine has evolved way beyond the logical and yet makes perfect sense now we see it in the flesh.
Chromageddon, Andy’s tale
The transformation of my mainly standard gold GT750A, as seen in the August 05 CMM into Chromageddon took place for a variety of reasons;
1] Most kettles are standard.
2] Coz I can
3] More gold A models were appearing especially the one Rod Gibson did in CMM where the owner had taken him a piccy of my bike asking Rod to reproduce the same.
4] Obtaining a set of hand made metal side panels
What most people who see the bike need to know is that its all been done a little bit tongue in cheek, although the end result I’m glad to say has been very well received by nearly all who have encountered it, and it has been carried out to show standard with a high regard for attention to detail. It’s an excellent advert for the marque and the kettle club and shows an alternative to the many standard kettles that staff the ranks of the club.
Whilst the tank, panels and various other parts were away at the chromers, one of my biggest problems was deciding what colour I was going to use.
It had to;
1, go with chrome
2, be a colour that a kettle never came in and
3, be eye catching.
I had thought of met purple for a while but it was really a KH colour and being sworn enemies of all kettles we couldn’t have that. Orange was decided on, but then which Orange? Ford came to the rescue when I saw one of the new Focus ST cars, in a great pearlescent Orange, a quick trip to the local Ford dealers to blag a colour card and it was decided.
The next biggest problem was trying to find someone willing to paint a chrome tank and panels, a lot of firms I tried were non to keen. In the end by chance I was put on to Ian Jones of Autocrash, who agreed to take on the tank, panels and wheels I had spoken a couple of times on the phone, he lived nice and close only a few miles away. I went up one evening to show him what I wanted, he opened his front door, and I recognised him immediately as an old AMCA motocross sparring partner, we used to be in the same club, but I had hung up my riding boots back in 1999. Ian did a terrific job, his only stipulation was I had to mask up the wheels, which incidentally turned out to be a 4 hour job.
Whilst various parts were farmed out, I had EBC Brakes make me some special order front discs, they used kettle centres milled down and then fitted with VFR rotors so they would fit between my Pretech 6 pots. The calipers were originally intended for a GSX750 and were by far my best eBay buy at £76 for the pair, which by luck bolted straight onto my kettle forks, the only problem was they were red. Niphos to the rescue again, they stripped and polished them, Bandit master cylinder, Goodridge hoses, progressive front springs and a micron fork brace finish off the very effective front end, I was locking the front wheel into the Mallory hairpin. The back end has a box section Dresda swing arm fitted with Hagon shocks and standard GS750 alloy rear wheel and brakes, obviously all chromed and polished, a chromed rear sprocket transmits the power via o ring chain.
Whilst surfing the web for a painter i found Mark of Dragon seating who converted my seat to my design exactly, having to get the orange vinyl from Germany, its got a gel pad and extra foam for added comfort as these 2/4 type seats were like sitting on a park bench, it wasn’t cheap but its an excellent job and as with everything, you get what you pay for. All the colour coded decals and clock faces were done by Imageworks who again did a brilliant job and pandered to my every request, coolant hoses were special order Samco ones, Taylor plug leads, the radiator end caps are nos K model items, and I made the grill myself, clear front indicator lenses from eBay and Powerbronze supplied the fly screen which although small is very effective above 70. I modded the dash with led lights and polished alloy, you can hardly see the join where I cut the clocks open and the chrome covers are another eBay purchase
The engine is standard, I have never delved into it as for the last 5 years it has been faultless, although it is of unknown history and mileage. The carbs have been ultrasonically cleaned by club member Tim “ace venturi” Harwood, who now has a small business going cleaning and refurbishing carbs, and new internals fitted with up rated jetting for the Micron spannies, again purchased from another club member. A Neutronics ignition and NGK R type plugs finish off the engine department and she was running as sweet as a nut. It was dynoed in August and is 64bhp at the back wheel, and will pull past the red in top gear, indicating a highly illegal 130mph, this was of course seen on a track day (and a photo shoot, CP).
When it was completed in May this year only a very few club members had been sent progress pix, I didn’t want to stray to far from the basic form, with monoshocking/ single sided swing arm, USD forks, modern wheels etc, and used mainly period parts. I class it as more of a non standard or custom rather than a special. It was given its kettle club grand unveiling at the club stand at the Knebworth bike show, after much mickey taking, Chromeaggedon was very well received from the boys, it went on to win best Suzuki in show which I was chuffed with. The bike, although very shiney, is used and sees around 1500 miles a year, it does go out in the rain and is ridden hard. It has been on the track twice this year at the 1000 classics at Mallory, it also won best modern bike at the festival. I also rode it at another track day at Cadwell in September, where the tyres got suitably shredded. I almost wore a hole in the side of my other spannies, and the tacho needle was rarely out of the red, after 6 madcap sessions with 5 other kettles plus a ruck of other 70s bikes.
I must thank all the lads in the kettle club who have helped with parts and advice. after 5 great years as a member of the club, I put myself forward and became the deputy chairman this summer, I cant recommend it highly enough if you have or are thinking of buying a kettle, its got to be your first port of call, I have had some brilliant times and have made some true friends, this will now give me a chance to put something back into the club, which i wish now I had joined sooner, i hope my drive and enthusiasm for anything kettle related will help the club grow .
Is it finished? I thought it was until another club member mentioned that he had a set of CMA 3 spoke alloys in his garage; I had been after a set for about 4 years so its receiving a different set of wheels over the winter. I have been well bitten by the track days I have been on, and although she handles and goes well, there is always the nagging doubt that there is a chance it will get binned, so I am now building a track based kettle to keep chromey company, complete with modern running gear, warm engine, race pipes etc etc, so watch this space.
Suzuki GT750 Special Gallery
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