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 GRM+ Memberand 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 GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/4/19 12:35 a.m.

Loving the Gsxr! Twin headlights ftw.

2002colossalfailure Reader
9/16/19 11:49 a.m.

Finally got the bike rolling this weekend, just tooling around in a parking lot but it shifted and the clutch was fine.  My problem is the front brakes.  When I got the bike I sent both the clutch and front brake master cylinder/lever assemblies to a shop for a rebuild since they'd been dry for 10 years or more.  Same thing with the calipers.  Well, the clutch bled and firmed up nicely but the front brakes did not.  I noticed some fluid weeping out around the lever pivot and figured the rebuild was defective and in fact the shop informed me that after removing the original internals and cleaning everything they re-assembled with the same parts since they looked fine.  They took the master cylinder back and installed new internals but the result was the same and I think my master cylinder is somehow damaged and won't seal.  If I pump the lever 5 or 6 times I can get it to firm up partially and the calipers squeeze the rotors but pressure is quickly lost.  No other leaks are evident another in the lines, banjos or the calipers.  

I'm going to remove the lever and get a closer look to see if I can spot the location of the leak.

crankwalk GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/16/19 4:32 p.m.

Is it the right master? My 93 gsxr had a Kawasaki unit on it that physically fit and bolted up but had internals that made my brakes scarily touchy. Factory one popped on and it was good again.

2002colossalfailure Reader
10/8/19 5:17 p.m.

I've still not been able to firm up the front brakes.  I vacuum bleed them and see no air in the system but the lever stays soft.  If I pump it 5 or 10 times it will firm up a little and actuate the calipers but them the lever softens back up almost immediately.  I see no leaks at any of the connections or at either of the calipers.  No puddles on the ground either.  The master cylinder internals are new and the shop which did the work did the clutch master as well and that's working fine.  Any suggestions on what to test next?  I'd like to get them working before the bike goes into storage for the winter.  The front brakes have one line from the master cylinder to a distribution block from which two lines exit, one for each caliper.  The symptoms make me suspect there is air in the system but darned if I can find it.  Plus if air can get in I'd suspect fluid can get out and I'm unable to find evidence of that either.

Guidance appreciated!



stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
10/8/19 5:50 p.m.

I forget - did the GSXR have an anti-drive front brake?  If so, that feature may be complicating the bleeding process.

2002colossalfailure Reader
10/8/19 6:59 p.m.

In fact the front suspension does have an anti-dive feature.  You can see one on the leading edge of the fork in the picture above.  My assumption is it manages the flow of fork oil and is independent of the braking system, but maybe I'm wrong about that.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
10/8/19 8:42 p.m.

You probably have a very small leak at one of the joints.  I had the same problem with my bike, rebuilt the rear MC/caliper, filled, bled, etc., could not get a pedal.  Finally when I pumped it up real hard and held it there, I found a tiny wetness area at the joint of the hose  to the metal line.  Put a new copper crush washer in, bled it and it's good.

jfryjfry Dork
10/12/19 7:08 a.m.

I have found on more than one of my bikes that when i quickly work the lever in the first inch or so of lever travel, (like 5x second for 20 seconds) I get little bubbles that work themselves out of the master and into the reservoir.  

2002colossalfailure Reader
11/23/19 3:31 p.m.

Took your advice and replaced all the crush washers plus I reverse bled the front brakes. there is a lot of travel until the lever firms up and I can take it all the way to the bar but it is holding pressure.  Perhaps I need a master cylinder.

759NRNG (Forum Partidario)
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) UltraDork
5/12/20 3:14 p.m.

Update ???? WFH and taking a GRM forum break and found this.....

759NRNG (Forum Partidario)
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) UltraDork
5/18/20 8:41 p.m.

Are things OK??? 

mr2s2000elise SuperDork
5/18/20 9:18 p.m.

Nice bike.


I thought my 97 SRAD 750 was a classic! Bought it divorce sale back in the day, for $3800. Had 31K miles. Has 98K miles now. I was riding mine 20k miles a year. 

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