2002colossalfailure Reader
8/10/19 4:21 p.m.

Back in 1987 when my service and college buddy and I were young and reckless living in the Las Vegas valley we were sport bike nuts.  This past April I traveled down to San Antonio to rent Harley's with him and ride the hill country for a couple of days.

Heavy bikes these Street Glides.  

Not really my style, but I'm glad I gave it a try.  Nice and smooth when cruising, ungainly at low speeds or stopped.  Finding neutral is a chore too.

While I was there we did a full fluids change on his '08 Kawsaki Concours.  Nice bike, but it's been languishing and needed some attention.  The number of pieces and parts on this bike is staggering, just removing the outer skin requires a lot of time and effort, packaging is extremely tight.

Under a sheet in the corner of his garage sat the Suzuki he bought new in 1987 and hadn't started since 2001.  I noticed it was really started to crumble.

It looks better in the pic than it does in person.  So feeling the need to save this thing I had it shipped up to my location in Michigan and started the process of getting it running again.  First step was to assess the condition of the fuel system (tank and carbs).  Unfortunately the tank was really bad.

This was only a portion of what I dumped out of the tank.  there were two places where it had rusted through as well.  I soldered up the holes, treated the tank with some toilet boil cleaner than used the POR-15 tank lining system to try and salvage it.  So far so good, it's been holding fuel for 2 months now with no leaks.

The carbs were not so easily dealt with.

These are Mikuni 36 RS carbs, a common upgrade in the day.  Unfortunately there were glued together and when I finally found a rebuild kit (in Germany)  the parts and labor added up to over $600.  But, with a new petcock and fuel lines installed the bike started, idled and revved.  Music.

With that phase over and additional work and cost now justified the driveline was next.  I have everything but a few front sprocket parts and it can be reassembled.  New tires are on too.

I love new tires...

Lately I've been working on the hydraulics and ignition.  I installed a new ignition module today and got the front calipers and both master cylinders rebuilt. Then I de-rusted the gas cap.  I think it's salvageable, although very pitted.

For fun I've been taking out my 2011 Honda CBR250r to track days at Grattan and Gingerman.  

The saying about riding a slow bike fast vs a fast bike slow is so true.  Over the winter I'm going to put some clip-ons and rearset brackets on this thing to improve the riding position.  Already installed pre-load adjustable fork caps and 15w oil to improve the front suspension.  It reminds me of my 1986 VF500F Interceptor.

More when my next box of parts arrives.




stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/10/19 4:28 p.m.

Those first generation GSX-R bikes are fast becomng collectible, good score.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
8/10/19 5:47 p.m.


escort1991 Reader
8/10/19 9:36 p.m.

That’s frame design is so clean. Makes me want to start working on my 1993 GSXR750 again that’s sitting in the corner. 


You going to keep it stock or do a USD fork conversion?

doc_speeder HalfDork
8/11/19 6:50 p.m.

One of my good friends had an '86 GSXR 1100.  I've wanted one ever since, although I think I would prefer the next gen with the USD forks and legendary 1127cc engine.


Yours is beautiful, thank you for saving it!

2002colossalfailure Reader
8/11/19 7:17 p.m.

The plan is to keep it as it was ridden when new expect for the initial modificaitons which were a pipe, carbs, turn signals, ignition trigger and a 530 chain/sprocket swap.  The stock 532 is really expensive.


2002colossalfailure Reader
8/19/19 11:40 a.m.

The master cylinders were rebuilt and installed them over the weekend along with new grips and a new ignition.  The front calipers are rebuilt too but I'm waiting on pads before re-installing them.  I'm also waiting on a few driveline parts.  With those, I can install the new chain, bleed the clutch and be pretty close to a road test.

mfennell Reader
8/19/19 3:52 p.m.

I love these bikes.  I raced an '87 GSXR750 for a couple years.  My old racing buddy got his hands on one and built it up with period performance parts.  Brought it to the track once for a test-n-tune and to give the tires the proper appearance, then put it on a raised platform above his living room!

2002colossalfailure Reader
8/23/19 11:53 a.m.

Got the driveline back together along with the shifter and the left caliper has new pads in it.  After I get the right side on I'll be ready to add fluid, do a bleed and hopefully get her rolling under her own power.

Drilling holes in the foot controls was a thing to do back then.  Regretting it now.

Had one setback, while installing the front sprocket the bolt that caps the sprocket nut sheared in half.  I must have bottomed it or something.  Wont' hamper a gentle road test but before the bike is ridden in anger again I have to extract the broken half of the bolt from the output shaft.  

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/23/19 1:13 p.m.
2002colossalfailure said:

Drilling holes in the foot controls was a thing to do back then.  Regretting it now.  

Whoever did the work was pretty random in their hole placement.

2002colossalfailure Reader
8/27/19 11:32 a.m.

A enthusiastic young man with a drill in one hand and the part in the other. 

Last night I bled the clutch and got it moving, I can roll the bike with it in gear and the clutch disengaged.  A minor triumph.  Also tensioned the drive chain.  Before the end of the weekend I want to have the front brakes back in working order so I can run it around the parking lot under it's own power and break the cycle of disuse this thing suffered.  Then bleed the rear brake, route and tie up the carb vent lines and do something with the gas line routing.  It's not ideal. 

With the end of the season in sight I've got one more track day on the Honda cbr250r then I think I'll sell it.  Next season I want to do a few multi-day tours so a different machine is necessary, at least for me. 


2002colossalfailure Reader
8/29/19 7:48 p.m.

Bad luck today.  Brake lever would not firm up and I found the master cylinder was leaking.  Back to the shop it goes....

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/29/19 8:05 p.m.

Keep at it. The ride will be worth it. 

crankwalk SuperDork
9/4/19 12:35 a.m.

Loving the Gsxr! Twin headlights ftw.

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