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Old 29-10-18, 06:31 AM   #1
mister c
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Default Suzuki X5 long term project

Well, here we go, time to bore you all rigid with one of my infamous rebuild threads.
So, way back in the day, I was a snotty nosed 16 year old that had always been around motorbikes & had big plans of owning my own one day. I wasn't going to have a moped like my mates so started to save up the deposit for a Suzuki X7 250.

Christmas 1978 and, with the money from Christmas as well as the small amount I'd saved, I walked into Websters Motorcycles in Crewe with the hope of buying a new X7. Reality struck when the owner told me that I didn't have enough money & that the insurance would be over £100 TPFT (I was earning £25 a week then). They did have an alternative, it was £100 cheaper at £675 & the insurance was a lot cheaper, so, deposit put down, HP documents signed, enter into my life, a blue Suzuki X5 200 Reg number SMB163V.
I had to wait 3 months before I could pick her up, so spent every day walking past the showroom looking at my new bike in the window until, on 2nd March 1979 I walked in, picked up the keys & rode off into the sunset. No CBT, no training, just get on & ride off. This started my proper love affair with motorcycling.


Fast forward nearly 40 years & I saw an advert on Ebay, a 1979 Suzuki GT200 in pieces for £350, which didn't sell. I made contact with the owner & secured the deal for £300 & collected it a few days later from Lancashire.



It came in handy being in pieces, it fitted straight into the back of the car , but I was taking a massive risk because I couldn't tell if everything was there



To be continued...............

Last edited by mister c; 29-10-18 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 29-10-18, 07:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Suzuki X5 long term project

Yay! I have so missed your build threads Col, looking forward to seeing this progress.
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Old 29-10-18, 07:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Suzuki X5 long term project

Not boring Col, build threads are great
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Old 29-10-18, 07:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Suzuki X5 long term project

Looking forward to this Thanks Col
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Old 29-10-18, 10:07 AM   #5
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Subscribed : )
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Old 29-10-18, 10:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Suzuki X5 long term project

I'm guessing you have two bikes there, or at least most of a second one, judging by the three clocks, four fork lowers (but only three stanchions?), four side panels, two engines, four downtubes... Sounds like the sort of fun I wish I had the nouse to have a go at.

Keep us posted Col as so many of us older farts on here remember those little 2-smokes with misty eyes.
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Old 29-10-18, 11:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Suzuki X5 long term project

looking forward to this one
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Old 29-10-18, 09:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Suzuki X5 long term project

Cheers people. Here's the next installment.


Once I got the bits home I was like a kid with a new toy. I hadn't felt so excited about a project as with this one, so I started to sift through all of the boxes of parts to see what I had.
As Sir trev says there were loads of parts, three full engines in various states of disrepair, fork legs, wheels, downpipes, the list went on. One thing that was missing was virtually every nut & bolt, DOH! Luckily the larger engine & wheel bolts were there, so it was just the smaller fixings, which were going to be replaced with stainless items anyway. I sifted through the parts, finding the best items & started to put the jigsaw together with 2nd hand bolts that have been kept from previous rebuilds to see if I had a full bike, which I had.






So now the real rebuild starts.

1st things 1st. I stripped her back down, bagged up all of the large bolts & springs & took them to the local platers for zinc plating. While they were away, the frame was taken for powder coating & I scoured Ebay for stainless bolts & found a company called Kay's Fasteners that sold stainless flange bolts & nuts, which looked far better than standard, so ordered a selection of sizes.
While I was waiting for the big bits to be done, I ordered new swinging arm bushes, rear shock nuts & rear brake torque arm bolts direct from Suzuki, boy, they know how to charge!
1st to be done was the plating, so that was taken into the shed until the frame arrived.



After a couple of weeks of waiting, I rang the powder coaters to see if the frame had been done "Sorry mate, forgot to call you, yes it's done". So off I trundled & collected the frame, swing arm & stands



So, we have a frame, a load of plated bolts & springs & new headrace bearings, it would be rude not to put the jigsaw bits back together.






Next on the agenda were the wheels. Being honest they weren't in too bad a condition, but it still took over 2 hours of wire wool & Autosol to get each wheel lookng something like. Once I'd cleaned them I sat down, very patiently & painted the insides black.



I had about 3 sets of forks, but each set of stanctions were quite badly rusted, so started to look at rechroming. I found a company about 4 miles from me, but they wanted to charge £165, which I thought was a little steep. Somebody on the X5 Facebook page said that they had used GS125 stanctions in their x5 lowers. I found a set on Ebay for 70 quid, they were in exceptional condition, so bought them, stripped & cleaned the fork legs, fitted new seals & fitted the forks to the bike. This is where the next problem occured. As I tightened the right fork leg, the bottom yoke decided to break. It turned out that there was a crack in it that I hadn't seen. Luckily I had another one, so cleaned it, sprayed it black & fitted it back on the frame. Job done.



Other things that got the clean & paint attention were the clocks, & rear end, it's starting to look like a motorbike now.










I turned my attention to the engine. I had 3 engines in bits, so tried to find the best parts to build one good base to start with. I cleaned & sprayed the crankcase covers & put the bottom end together. All of the top ends were in a bit of a state with oversize pistons between .5 & 1mm, not too good to be honest as I wanted to have them rebored to be as good as new.
Luckily a friend of mine contacted me & said that his mate had a fully rebuilt engine that I could have for £100. I bit his hand off & said yes.

Unfortunately, when i came to strip the engine, it was in quite a mess. The only plus point was that it was still on standard size barrels & pistons. I told my mate who said that his mate would take £50 for it. Sold!
I sent the barrels away to Grampian motors for a rebore. They had a week's turnaround & use decent, Japanese oversize pistons. They did a great job.









So, we now have a rolling chassis with a bottom end of an engine all looking rather nice.
Next step will be to start on the smaller, more niggly bits that take the time & money.

Last edited by mister c; 29-10-18 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 29-10-18, 11:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Suzuki X5 long term project

Well done Col, this is looking really good already.
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Old 30-10-18, 06:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Suzuki X5 long term project

Quote:
Originally Posted by garynortheast View Post
Well done Col, this is looking really good already.
Cheers Gary
Front brake lever was the next on the agenda. I ordered a new seal kit, stripped the master cylinder, cleaned it & rebuilt it.






Another part that was missing was the headlamp, so ordered one off Ebay, it's a pattern 7" unit which looks identical to the original, but has the benefit of an H4 fitting, so It'll be a lot brighter if I ever ride it at night (which I doubt).





I cleaned up the sprocket drive & rear brake cover & fitted those to the rear wheel, then onto the bike. I'm trying not to polish things too much as I want the bike to be as close to standard as possible.



The single front disc was looking a bit sad, so I cleaned the surface rust with fine wire wool, then painted the centre black. I've used the original bolts to fix it to the front wheel, but will buy some genuine ones once I fit the tyres. The front caliper was a bit more involved, so I'll leave that for another day.








So, we now have a rolling chassis, I brought her out into the yard to get a couple of decent pictures of the progress. I used to have a cheap Chinese phone, so apologies for the quality of the pictures so far.





Cleaned the 2 stroke oil container as best as I could, but it still has a red tint to it, so will have to do. I'm going to run the bike on premix anyway, so it's surplus to requirements anyway.



Next to get the treatment was the wiring harness. Both of the ones I had were in quite a bad way & I did think about re wiring the whole bike from scratch, but opted to strip the best of the 2 down & recover it with non adhesive tape & fix any problems as I went. I hate electrics, but it has to be done.






Wednesday morning & the postman came knocking...... Ooh, barrels & pistons have been returned from Grampian. I was like a 4 year old at Christmas with bits of cardboard & paper being excitedly ripped apart to see what sort of job they had done. I wasn't disappointed, I would certainly recommend them to anybody. The barrels have been honed to perfection & the pistons look gorgeous, so time to go & fit them with my newly purchased gasket set.



I also stripped one of the 3 sets of carbs down, threw them in my ultrasonic cleaner to get them as clean as possible & get rid of any old petrol that might be blocking any channels. So, we are ready for an engine rebuild



This is where I encountered another problem. I have 4 crankshafts, 3 of which have a noisy centre bearing, so chose number 4. The problem was that this one would only turn 180 degrees then tighten up. I was trying to see what the problem was & could only think that the crank was bent. I tried it in another crankcase with the same problem, so I was now in a quandry as I wanted to see if the engine would run. I chose the best crank of the other 3 & continued with the rebuild. The nice thing with 2 strokes is that it only takes about an hour to remove & strip an engine, so I'll send the crank to Grampian for a rebuild later.



I fitted new side decals to the engine, then the airbox & the rusty silencers.
It's time to see if the old girl fires into life. I checked the coils, we had a spark, so fitted the tank, poured in some 2 stroke & used an old kickstart & after the 4th kcik, she fired into life! She sounds nice, but needs the carbs setting up, which will be done when I rebuild the motor again. At least I know that I have a runner, I'm like a pig in muck.
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Error: If you cannot see this video, then either YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed to play it.




Last edited by mister c; 30-10-18 at 06:41 AM.
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