The 1981 Suzuki GS650L saw its first sunlight since I brought it home in April and its first ride in a few years according to the previous owner. Didn’t stray too far from home on the maiden voyage and it’s not registered yet either, so I put about 9 miles on the odometer on the quiet roads around my house. Here is a recap of what has been done since April:
- Found keys.
- Valves adjusted.
- Dipped and rebuilt the carburetors with new o-rings.
- New o-rings for the intake boots.
- AGM battery installed.
- Replaced spark plug boots.
- Oil & filter change.
- Vacuum synchronized the carburetors.
- New fuel petcock and gaskets on the fuel tank.
- Replaced the front and rear tires.
- Solved a wiring issue with the right turn signals.
- Dismantled, cleaned, and reassembled all brake system components.
- Corrected intermittent front brake light issue with brake switch cleaning.
Overall, for the first ride, I would say that things went well and the engine runs strong, but there are a few more things that I will need to look into.
First, although the motorcycle idled very consistently at 1,100 rpm in all of the time that I was working on it, later in the ride the idle seemed to be creeping up towards 1,500 rpm. After shutting down in the driveway at home and restarting to put it back in the shed, the idle was at 1,100 rpm again.
Second, the front shocks and steering probably need to be looked at. I didn’t replace the fork fluid before the first ride and they seemed very soft. Low speed handling was also a bit vague. Could be just different geometry than I am used to. Handling felt good and responsive at speed, but I don’t think I went above 40 mph. The Dyna Beads worked fine too in that speed range.
Third, the brakes seem a bit weak, but I don’t know if that is just how they always were. Maybe a bit more bleeding to see if they get stronger. No issues stopping on this ride, but an emergency stop might be different. Some stopping tests in an empty parking lot will be in order.
The last item I already new about and that is the kill switch which hopefully just needs some cleaning to work consistently. I am sure that it is pretty dirty inside since it is adjacent to the front brake light switch that also needed cleaning to work consistently.
Probably should look into getting the bike insured and registered so that I can work out the kinks on the road.