The last time I owned a Suzuki was back in ’87 and it looked like this…
So a little learning curve, I find the easiest way to learn is to get greasy and oily and get the bike apart. As these are used motorcycles (two of them) they have been touched my untold amount of hands – factory, dealerships, pro mechanics, amateur mechanics, owners, friends etc. The big question you should always ask yourself is – did that person(s) have zero distractions when touching the bike…even the factory can make errors.
Easy way to find out is to take it apart as much as you feel comfortable…luckily I feel ok doing this so time to really jump in
after both bikes were stripped I try and do the obvious things first, the known faults, areas of the bike that regardless of what mods you do they will not change, like neck and swingarm bearings, cleaned/ checked/ greased
Brake lines, usually good for around 4 years, stock rubber ones are just average at best, DR riders were doing a deal on Galfer brake lines a while back, buy a front at 20% off and get a rear for free, score…I requested +2″ on the fronts because I’ll be adding risers and steering dampers.
Brake fluid is somewhat hygroscopic (tending to absorb moisture from the air) soa quick rebuild to make sure everything is good and then a full brake fluid flush NOT just a case of drain it out, clean and add new fluid!
I use a Snap-on vacuum bleeder that pulls with the required pressure to get all the bad stuff out and I run thru about an equivalent of a double what the system takes or until the fluid coming thru is crystal clear. The front master cylinder looks like the brake fluid hasn’t ever been touched for a long time if ever.
Next up the famed NSU loose screw issue. When I first read this I found it strange but I read it so many times it was hard to ignore, its a very simple job with the right tool that costs a huge $16.50 the EBC CT024, I have a few of these and they all kind of look the same but believe me they aren’t. The right one makes the clutch pack removal a few minute job
I put the driver on the first allen bolt holding the NSU unit in place and what felt like no pressure it came undone, as I undid it wet blue RTV silicone came out of the hole
I drilled it for safety wire, added some blue Loctite and cleaned the hole and replaced it.
do you see the blue on my finger, someone had used RTV (guessing) to hold it in and as its in a hot area and in oil it never set. It could have worked if the motor had been cold and left open for 24 hours I guess but not the right way to do it…I’d be pointing the finger at one of the numerous Suzuki mechanics that have seen the inside of this thing, clueless!!!
So I thought I’d do a quick video of the next screw I undid and watch this closely if I added any pressure to the handle of the tool you’d see my skin tighten because of excessive grip…IT DOESN’T, if you are putting off checking the NSU screws maybe this will put a fire under your ass…THREE out of FOUR screws were barely snugged tight on both bikes, the tightest of all was the one with RTV, the other 3 didn’t have anything on them.
Loose NSU fasteners VIDEO LINK
if you watched that are saying it looked pretty tight to me, then maybe you should read an article I wrote and watch the test video included – HERE
This is the point I was making about continuity, did the guys phone ring as he was doing this, was he distracted – who knows but he had one job to do and he failed, from this point forward we’ll call the mechanic who worked on this bike Dick Smith, his other inventions didn’t do so good so he became a Suzuki mechanic!!!
4 thoughts on “DR650’s BUILD FOR RTW – PART 1”
Wow that’s a lot of work. I would be afraid to delve that deep into a motorcycle without a lot of back up. The picture of the complete trail bike brings back memories though. A friend of mine had one and I had a Yamaha. That’s a long time ago though. Great post.
the best place to learn about your bike is in the comfort of your garage, make sure you have all the tools so if something does happen on the trail you have the knowledge and are prepared.
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Have new bike and doing as much as I can. Used to do it all when I had a 125cc bike and was a teenager but that’s a long time ago 😂. Enjoy ur travels!
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