A couple of years ago, while attending an urban lawn sale, the questions were asked, do you have any junk bicycles? accordions? motorcycles? No, no, uhhhh.... yes. There was an abandoned Suzuki customizing project that his son had given up on more than a decade before, pushed into the bushes in the bakyard.
Turns out it was a lowly 1982 Suzuki GN400. Not known as one of Suzuki's best efforts, it was a single cylinder, custom styled kickstart-only learner bike. They were cheap but are found with low mileage as the knack of kickstarting a 400cc 4 stroke single does not come easy. We rescued it. After just cleaning the carb, surprisingly, it started and ran pretty well.
The chopper look had to go. Rummaging around the junk, I found a set of shorter T500 forks (same diameter), a GT250 front wheel and a rough XR750 seat/tail. Reorienting the tank mounts fixed the "uphill" look. Some yellow paint.... hmmm... getting there.... some cheap ebay shocks raised the rear...
We flirted with returning it to the road, but we need an ice bike so after an unsuccessful search for an 18" rear wheel, a 16" knobby was acquired and the tires studded up.
Cost so far. shocks $80, tires $100, box of studs $150. Total is under $350. We rode it around and around turning left till we couldn't lift our foot.
It works. Now the tweaking begins.