Friday, July 30, 2010

Missing clutch plate bolts

As previously mentioned, I am missing a couple bolts from the clutch plate cover. Here is a picture of the exact location:

My poor camera's minimum focal length made it tough to get a crisp shot of it but this should suffice. The manuals I have do not indicate what the specs are for these bolts but I have some calls in and feel free to comment if you have thoughts.

Spider update: bike has been sitting for a week and there seems to be only 1 spider left. I think one more vacuum session should finish them off.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cleanup Continues

As promised, here are some pics of the bike the day I brought it home.

The next pic kind of shows a 3/4 view. I think the bike must have been dropped on its left side since the ball is missing on the clutch and the left side of the engine is a bit pocked up.

From this angle the bike actually looks pretty good... almost shiny!

I'm not sure if the angle is off a bit or the pipes are actually different heights. It may not matter if they're off a bit, though, since the left side pipe has what appears to be a poorly welded hole that is now a rusted out hole.

I did some major cosmetic cleanup and pretty much got all the cobwebs out of the crevasses and also removed the tail section down to the frame. I realize that this is not how the standard maintenance regimen would go but it seems like making sure I don't get tagged by a spider reaching into the bike seems like a priority.

I am now kind of stuck until the manual shows up but here are some more current pics and an addendum to the list of known issues:

  • ball end missing on the clutch lever
  • hole in the left exhaust pipe (pipes look to be conjoined somehow which probably means having to replace the entire assembly)
  • the clutch cover plate appears to be missing the two lowest screws

Speedo, reading 31,480. The ignition is just for show!

Here's the pocked left side of the engine case:

This is the new rear end. I think that with a new seat and maybe an integrated brake light, license plate holder would help with the whole cafe racer look.

So far there are a few good things about the bike (aside from the bargain basement price):

  • Hasn't leaked anything onto the garage floor. Either everything is dry inside or the seals are all pretty good
  • Gas tank is dry as a bone. Again, if I'm lucky it got drained before getting mothballed instead of having to degunk everything.
  • Looks pretty badass already. while not exactly comparing apples to apples, it seems to be 6" - 8" taller than the GZ250 I have been riding around and if restored to full working order should provide much better commute capabilities.
  • Almost no rust. Certainly living in Cali for 30 years is better than the northeast or many parts of the land but so far the frame and engine components seem to be in reasonable shape. That may change when I start trying to take parts off and find that the bolts are rusted into a single blob but who knows.

New Project - Update

Checked in on the bike this morning and there don't seem to be any new spider webs. Best case is that I got them all, worst case is that the are now hiding everywhere, just waiting for me.

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Project

Last week I found a bike on craigslist which appeared to be in reasonable condition and also in my budget (< $200) which is a highly unprobable combination so I had to jump at the opportunity to get it. I ended up paying $150 for the bike and borrowed a car/trailer to go pick it up (what a deal!). In the listing it looked like this:

When I went to pick it up with my buddy Dave and my two nephews it appeared to be in approximately the same condition so I made the deal. We dragged it home and due to company I left it sit for a week. Last night I finally had a chance to take another look and was fairly surprised (and panicked) when I found a black widow in a full web on the bike. I crushed that one and another I found and vacuumed up as many of the males and spider webs as I could find. I think I got everybody but wonder if any escaped into the garage, doh! Apparently there was a catch after all.

I am hoping this is a summer rehab project but at the rate I get free time and depending on the state of the bike itself it could take much longer. More pictures are forthcoming but here is my current list of known issues:

  • no paperwork, title, registration or anything. the bike is pretty much a ghost in the system which could cost some scratch later when it is road-worthy.
  • hasn't been run in about two years
  • seat not attached
  • gas tank is from a different suzuki bike (the original came with it but it is rusted out and would need to be restored by someone)
  • no front brakes (wtf!?!?)
  • flat tires (probably dry rotted but I haven't really checked yet)
  • no ignition (previous owner just taped the the wires together)
  • sheared bolt fell off when I was trying to wipe off the cobwebs (not sure what this is from but drilling out the hole and re-tapping looks to be in my future)

Overall they are all addressable issues and the frame seems square so maybe this could work out after all. From what I have seen the bike itself is fairly rare since it was not a big seller in the US. It also has been mentioned as fairly advanced for 1980, easy to work on and in general a very solid bike so I'm hopeful things will work out eventually. I think ideally I will convert it to a \cafe racer with a new set of handlebars and maybe rims eventually. Getting the original gas tank restored would be awesome but seems a long time off right now. We'll see what happens. So far I have taken off the plastics, cleaned it up a little and ordered a Clymer manual from which should show up late next week.