Monday, March 31, 2008

Exhaust Time

From the first day I dragged this bike home I dreamed of having an aftermarket exhaust. I just love the way a '70s bike looks with a 4:1 header and megga. While I had hopes of finding a vintage Bassani or Yoshimura pipe, I wasn't able to find a good one for a reasonable price. The occasional Kerker came up, but usually the cheaper one - not the performance-oriented "K-line" header.

Jardine recently stopped making their exhaust, leaving Mac and Vance & Hines the only existing manufacturers of exhausts for the old Suzuki. Mac leaves a lot to be desired in finish and overall quality, so V&H it was for me. Free shipping and a serious discount didn't hurt.

The pipe went on easy and fit well - I used more fancy stainless hardware with plenty of anti-seize. It took about 50 pounds of real weight off the bike, but about 1000 pounds of visual weight. Of course since I didn't buy new exhaust gaskets it leaked a little around one of the flanges - nothing another $10 won't solve.

With new gaskets, it ran great and sounded really good. The stock exhaust was pathetically silent. I screwed the fuel screws out 1/2 a turn (to 1 1/2 out) and the air screws out 1/2 turn to get the idle back into range. It was a little lean at first so I went with V&H's recommendations, replaced the jets with 117.5s and pulled the lid off the airbox. It seems OK, maybe a little lean still but it's hard to tell. I don't plan to spend much time getting the jetting tuned in since it's easier to just get pod filters and a Dynojet kit. Or get some VM29 smoothbores.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Racing GS Sighting

This weekend I went to a benefit show/party for the Cretins M.C. here in LA. It was a good time, the beer & barbeque were flowing and the bands were loud. Some cool bikes there, including my friend Rick's CB450 vintage racer that's really close to being done. Check out the pictures at my Picasa site here.

Anyway, this one really caught my attention - it's a GS1000E vintage race bike called "The Ratzuki" by it's owner, Scott Fabbro.

The patina is intentional - he was tired of the attitude of the vintage racing establishment and wanted to prove a point with a bike that was really, really stock and really, really fast. Apparently they didn't take kindly to his other bike, a GS750 with a GS1000 motor and 17-inch wheels. While the 750 was a true vintage race bike with history, the vintage racers didn't like that it was so modified.

The Ratzuki has Lester 18-inch mags to run better tires (and because the stockers are heavy as anchors), drilled brake rotors, a Yoshimura pipe (a RARE piece) and 29mm Mikuni smoothbores. Otherwise it's stock, as amazing as that sounds. It may look like a refugee from the barn, but it sure sounds great.

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Parts Stash!

Last week I was browsing for motorcycle stuff in the Recycler and I found an ad that read "Suzuki GS1000 Wiseco Pistons, $225, other parts too". I called, and the seller was in Santa Clarita, so I took a trip up there on Saturday. He was a cool guy, and had a lot more stuff than was in the ad, including a set of clean carbs, mirrors, GS1100 aluminum swingarm, GS1100G cylinders and head, the Wiseco Pistons w/Cometic head gasket, and most importantly, an NOS front fender!

I laid down $260 and walked away with the whole pile. Some of this stuff I'll sell on eBay since I don't need it, but the Wiseco Pistons and GS1100G head will eventually find their way onto this motor. He had an amazing GS1000E of his own - bought in the 80s from the original owner who modified it with period parts. I didn't get any pictures, but it has a strengthened frame, 1100cc kit, cams, 33mm smoothbores, Kerker pipe, powder coated GS1100 swingarm, CB750F front fender and a bunch more amazing period mods. A beautilful and fast bike!

The NOS fender went straight on as soon as I got home. Wow, it really makes the front end of the bike look classy! Check back for more as I consider a new engine build to make use of the Wisecos.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Carbs Again, Minor Cosmetics & Speedo Cable

I've been putting the miles on the bike and it's been great. I've done some minor housekeeping recently, though. It ran great, but I noticed that the #2 cylinder was weak at idle - pulling the plug wire had no effect on the engine's running, but it did smooth out under load and at high speed. I suspected there was some grit in the idle jet, so I pulled the carbs again and gave them a good going-through.

The idle jets seemed OK, but there was a hint of dirt in the offending cylinder. I put the carbs back together with some polished stainless screws. After putting them back on, the engine idles much better than before, so that seems to have cured the problem. I've yet to put many miles on it, but it ran very well in the driveway.

I also swapped over the GS1000 emblem on the right sidecover from my parts bike. It's not perfect, but at least I have two matching emblems now. Also, the speedo was a little "jumpy" at low speeds so I bought a new Motion Pro cable. It seems to have cured it.

And for a touch of "bling" I put some stainless allen bolts on the handlebar clamps.