Saturday, May 4, 2019

Back On The Road — Suzuki GS550E

From a parts bike, to potential mileage muncher.
It was a little cheapie, bought unseen on eBay. My famed acquaintance Bryan picked it up for me, and even delivered it to the door... I swear legends are made of less. Pretty sure he's dying to ride it too.

It wasn't pretty, but he's a mate. The GS was also rough, no plugs in the engine, the carbs in a box and broken, but with seven years of TLC, dedication and, pure laziness, it's back on the road.

Considering the massive oil leak when the engine was first turned over, the fact that the bores were left exposed for however long, and the carbs had been left off too, it's incredible how good this thing goes and sounds. 

I put a cam chain on it, adjusted valve clearances, new coils, plugs, points and condensers and it runs like a bought one.

With a first test run (shakedown) a few nights ago, I discovered I need to fix a few things:

1) The gear lever circlip fell off and the lever nearly went astray. Luckily the foot peg bracket just held it in place.
2) The clutch slips slightly under load, heavy-duty springs are on the way. 
The lever itself feels so light, it's hard to pull away from standstill — definitely needs more pressure.
3) The seat is too low, and too firm, but the cover itself is still pliable and soft. I assumed somebody had cut away the original foam for a shorter rider, but maybe it's sunk over the years. I've ordered a section of gel to go into the seat for a little more height and comfort.

In fairness, it goes very well. I'll get some of these little jobs done and keep you all posted. Never done a gel seat conversion so looking forward to that. This is how it looks now — not immaculate, but definitely useable.

I'll clean up and paint the exhaust as and when, but for now need to get some miles on it. Hopefully the gel will arrive this week so I can sort that out.

More soon...

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