Winter Blues Two
1983 Suzuki GR650D History Since November 2008
I only put about 1500 km on it in the 2008 summer, I was busy with house repairs and after a half hour of riding I have to get off and move around and I found the wind against me overbearing.
I drove the bike for about 500 km and then gave it a complete service again as I didn’t know how the past owners treated it and I wanted any impurities in the oils removed. I did the forks at the same time.
The machine worked well except for lack of performance and after a few hundred kilometers there was a very small engine oil leak at the cylinder base, the handle bar rubber mounts were loose and it was overcharging at 18 volts.
In November 2008 I put the bike on the work stand for the needed repairs and servicing.
I made a list if items that needed attention and ordered any parts I thought I would require. I had bought an engine overhaul gasket set during the summer but there were various other items required. I didn’t know what I would find in the engine when I disassembled it so I didn’t order anything for it until after I had the head and cylinders off and inspected all the items.
A pleasant surprise within the engine, all the rings, bores etc were well within the manufacturers specs so no new rings or pistons. After clean up and inspection I lapped the valves, new valve seals and assembled it all with new gaskets and seals. The clean up was torturous as I discovered that the cylinder head is designed with some of the head studs exposed to the elements and they load up with grit that enters the engine base while disassembling the head and cylinder block. I flushed at least a gallon of clean solvent through the base and then engine oil. I must dump the oil after about 10 – 20 km to get rid of any more grit and solvent. I’ll probably do that twice and then again at about 500 km.
I installed Replica Dunstal Reverse Cone flow through mufflers, expecting to do a lot of modifications in the process but it turned out to be a very easy modification and I left the old OEM L/H muffler support attached to the L/H rear footrest bracket for the centre stand to rest against when in the up position.
The factory specs stated that the main jets were 132.5 but mine were 130. I installed 145 jets as a starting point for the easier breathing exhaust. I also installed new needle valves, just because of age.
A new rectifier/regulator and I had to modify the mounting for it.
The fuel tank and handle bars moved too much so I shortened the spacers on the mounts so there’s still some flex but not near as much.
I’ve had it running and it sounds good and charges properly so now all I need is some warm weather and give it a try and probably play with some jetting, and if the performance is enhanced I’ll buy a windshield and keep the machine as every old guy needs a toy.
About the middle of March, 2009 the weather warmed up enough for a ride. I went about 5 km and came back home with the engine having a bad miss. First while it was hot, I drained the engine oil and filter. I reused the filter and installed new oil, started it up and it seemed ok so off I went again. I got about 5 km from home and it was missing badly and then it quit running and then it wouldn’t even start. Shit! After I got the bike back home and up on the bench I found the battery was dead and the charging system had failed. Also one carb had no fuel in it. After a lot of hunting I found out the fuel filter was plugged solidly, a new filter was installed and the tank checked for foreign material of which there was hardly a thing. The rectifier/regulator had failed, but why? I couldn’t find any real abnormalities just hunches. The battery had been over charged so it was probably the culprit, what about the stator? It checked out ok on the bench but was it ok when on the road? I just couldn’t risk it so I replaced the stator, the regulator/ rectifier and the battery. It all seems well. I bought carb tune up/modification kits from MikesXS and have done the modifications recommended to the carbs. I had previously bought a 90 degree long nose snap ring pliers from this site and it was invaluable to doing the carb work. I also geared the final drive ratio down a bit and now have 2.40:1 ratio using 15T x 36T sprockets instead of 2.375:1 ratio using 16T x 38T sprockets.
I’ve had it out for a few km’s, not much as right now I don’t trust it. Is it charging? There’s no warning light or gauges to let me know the condition of the charging system. The fuel system seems ok but I’m not sure the carbs are set ok and I won’t know until the engine and fuel system are properly warmed up. It seems to run nicer the warmer it gets.
I changed the oil once more after about 10 or 15 km and I’m sure the dilution with solvent is very minimal now and should be safe for the engine.
I installed a Datel Digital Voltmeter from www.digitalmeter.com . It’s not an easy install but with perseverance and patience I got it done. I ran a shunt from the lower driving light so it reads that voltage which is exactly 0.7 volts less then what’s at the battery. Next winter I may take the time to wire it directly to the ignition so I get a truer reading but at least I know what’s happening with my charging system now.
The voltmeter paid off as the charging system failed. It was the new rectifier/regulator that became erratic and finally just quit working. I installed yet another new rectifier/regulator and this one has been flawless.
Near the end of the season I noticed the cylinder base was weeping oil again. I pulled the crankcase vent hose off and discovered it had some crud in it again (I had cleaned it last winter) so I cleaned it and cut the bottom off a bit to open it up in an attempt to let anything else pass out during normal ventilation. It seemed to work as the weeping stopped.
I don’t ride it much but like get on it for about a 20km blast on a secondary highway every few days. The sprocket change has given it the capability to reach 160kph and cruse at 110kph nicely.
In early November 2009 the weather warmed up so I took it out for the last in the season ride and then serviced it and parked it for the winter. There’s really nothing needing attention on it so this winter I keep the battery charged and start it about once a month.
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