Geoffrey went to California and worked on some motorcycles with friends from the shop where he learned the trade:
His first project was a 1981 Suzuki GS550 with an engine that snapped it's cam chain. The cases were damaged from the subsequent destruction, so we did an engine swap from a bike with no title that was at the shop.
|Untitled donor bike for our engine swap|
|1981 GS550 - the finished project|
Next up was a 1997 Suzuki TL1000 - it had problems with the fuel injection system and another shop had given up on it. We found some incorrectly routed vacuum lines and adjusted the throttle position sensor and it was good to go. The bike is a beast, tons of torque and probably the fastest bike Geoffrey ever rode.
Next was a 1988 BMW K100. The bike didn't run great at first because of a seized choke mechanism. It also had the absolute most worn down rear brake pads of any bike we've ever seen - the pads were gone and the wear was halfway through the metal backing. Miraculously the rotor was salvageable after some heavy sanding. Geoffrey also did a rear tire change and used the opportunity to perform the infamous final drive spine lube. Now it's ready for another 20,000 miles!
Finally, we pulled out a 1984 Honda XR600 that had been sitting outside for a year. It had an aftermarket flat slide single-carburetor setup, but the carb was totally gunked! The choke plunger was completely seized inside the carb body. After soaking it overnight in the legendary Yamalube carburetor cleaner, it was clean as a whistle. Geoffrey tried futilely to start up this kickstart-only bike, then his old boss showed him a few tricks and it fired right up. It's ready for Baja now!
|Single-carb and aftermarket manifold|
|Choke finally free!|
|1984 Honda XL600 - legendary dual sport amidst resurrection|
Then Geoffrey made a visit to San Jose where he helped out Laurent (a mechanic who has also done some work at Slagheap Cycles) to get a 2005 Ninja 250R running right. The bike had a weird problem: even after thorough carburetor cleaning, it still wouldn't idle properly, on an engine with only 6600 miles that started right up and had plenty of power. After eliminating everything else we could think of, we performed a valve tappet adjustment and found that, even with so few miles on the engine, more than half of the clearances were significantly tighter than spec. So, word of warning, those valve clearances need to be adjusted often! After doing the adjustment and putting everything back together, the bike idled and ran great.