Suzuki GT250 restoration project

Suzuki GT250 – Part 3

Suzuki GT250 brake caliper partsThe box of brake components I blagged on ebay came the other day so I set about checking out exactly what I had, I was rather chuffed. There were enough parts to build 3 good front calipers and 2 master cylinders with a few bits left over. I have built up one caliper for my own use and will buy 2 further service kits so I can build the other 2 calipers and sell them as refurbished items. They go for big money now due to the rarity so I should come out well on top of that little deal, the box of parts came to just under 80 quid.

I now have a fairly large pile of bits that have been cleaned, fixed and fettled ready to go back on the bike. I have been able to save the exhausts although they are not perfect and I would like a pair of decent expansion chambers on there one day so they will do for now. They took an awful lot of cleaning and polishing to make them look respectable.

The frame was taken all the way back to bare metal, it is generally in very good shape with just a few areas of minor pitting – it is straight, which is the most important thing.

The stands and yokes were given the same treatment, the latter have been refitted, I will refit the stands soon. The forks cleaned up really nicely, as did the ally engine covers. The bike was missing the ram air covers when I got it, I found a decentish pair on ebay and after polishing they look fine, they still need the rubber grommets, which I have not been able to source yet.

The replacement clutch cover has arrived, as has the new gasket so I am nearly ready to put the engine back together. While it was apart I stripped the clutch down as any bike sat this long is bound to have plates stuck together. Sure enough this one had several plates stuck together and would never have worked if I had put it back together as it was. Fortunately all the plates were well within tolerance so I just needed to split them apart, clean them and oil them before putting it all back together, everything else looks fine in there.

Suzuki GT250 wheelThe front and back wheels are both beyond saving, which is a shame as they are originals. I am still looking at options as genuine wheels are about 300 quid a pair in only fair condition. After 45 years there are not many left. I can buy new, non genuine rims at about £140 the pair and new spokes at about the same again, the hubs are fine and will clean up well. The challenge being that any savvy buyer seeing non original rims will probably have a fit and need resuscitating. The third option is a rechrome, this is possibly the most expensive option due to the labour but may be the best one. I will look in to this a bit further before committing.  I can’t wait for this pandemic to be over so the jumbles start up again, I am having withdrawal symptoms.

As both stands got painted at the same time as the frame I reassembled them with nicely cleaned up nuts and bolts. Pretty straightforward but it felt rather good putting something back together for a change. While I was at it I popped the rear brake stay on as well.

I reassembled the repaired tacho and instrument pack, all the components got checked and cleaned and a new set of bulbs replaced the old bulbs, half of which were blown anyway. I have a very large stock of NOS bulbs in dozens of types and sizes, fortunately I had quite a few of the correct type so that was a no cost exercise.

Another thing that cost very little other than time was the cleaning up of the engine. It took many hours to get it looking how I wanted it and quite a bit in the way of cleaning and polishing materials. The replacement clutch cover came so that got polished, as did the two covers on the other side of the engine, the oil pump overs and the ram air covers. It all looks rather splendid now, the cleaned up carbs were reinstalled as it’s much easier to push them on now rather than when the engine is in the frame. There is a short length of pipe that joins the two fuel inlets together so that went on at this point – a new piece of tubing being used. I have to look in to the oil piping – there are two small inlets on the carbs, nothing was connected to them when I got the bike but I am assuming this is where the oil is introduced.

Suzuki GT250 rear mudguardI am still shocked, surprised and often horrified when I look for any parts for this bike – the prices are stratospheric with people asking ridiculous sums of money for even rusty and crusty crap that should really be in the bin. One such part is the rear mudguard, which has not been available new for over 30 years and is a part that suffers from rust and general wear and tear. The one on my bike is made up of two pieces of indeterminate origin and it’s way beyond use or restoration. On searching for an alternative a chap on one of the Suzuki forums suggested a guard from the botty end of a Royal Enfield 500 Bullet. He has used one on his rebuild and although it needs some holes drilling and has a couple that won’t be needed it looks mighty fine and will be a lot better looking than any 45 year old one that is likely to come along. I have ordered one from India for under 60 quid although I wouldn’t be surprised if I get hit for import taxes, either way it’s still a good way around the problem. The only original one I have seen was fairly nasty and the seller wanted nigh on 300 quid for it – bugger that for a game of soldiers!

Suzuki GT250 carbBit of an update on the carb situation – it looks like the carbs on mine are not the originals as the oil inlet pipes were never fitted or needed on the GT. Suzuki had gone for a force fed system that pushed oil into the engine at 4 points so it was not necessary to put 2 stroke in to the fuel supply. The idea was that loads of 2 strokes used to seize when people came down from high speed by just shutting the throttle. When oil is supplied with the fuel if you shut off the fuel you shut off the oil. What was happening is that people would get up to 90MPH plus then shut the throttle and coast, which was killing engines. What Suzuki cleverly did was use the engine driven pump to continue supplying the engine with lube regardless of the throttle position. I guess I just need to blank the ends of the inlet pipes on my carbs so they are not pulling air in and upsetting the mixture.

Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.

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