Bought A Bike Older Than Me!

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TGladders
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:28 pm
Location: Rugby

Bought A Bike Older Than Me!

Postby TGladders » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:56 pm

Hello chaps, I've been a member of the forum for a couple of months now and thought it was time I introduced myself!

So, I'm Tom, 25, Yorkshire born, mechanical engineer. My old man is also on this forum, hes the real reason why I own this bloody thing as I've grown up surrounded by incredible sounding bikes (350lc's RD400's etc) and wanted one for myself. He's got a GT750B (amongst other things) and I've just bought a GT550L (US). The plan is to get out on some dad and lad road trips when it's done! :D I also have a 600 hornet for when I don't want to call the RAC, and some sh*tbox Honda PC50 pedal and pop death trap.

Onto the bike, its a 1974 GT550 L, US import from Minnesota. Landed in the UK in Jan and I'm currently going through the process of getting it registered. It seems to be fairly complete, not seized, and very very green. I'm looking forward to getting this bike on the road for a ride. The collection of parts has already started and I met friendly chap called Dave in Pelsall that sold me a lovely Piper 3-1 exhaust! So big thanks there.

My dads showing me the ropes with this build so we've been doing most of the work together so far - the barrels came off at a couple of weekends a go revealing a rusty crank- damn - so that's now in chesterfield being rebuilt. The casings will go off for vapour blasting and then rebuild in a few weeks.

-- For now this bike isn't undergoing a full resto, I just want to get it running nice and ride it! Eventually it will undergo a nut and bolt, but not yet. --

I am in need of a few parts, so I'll post some more comments in this thread later with what I'm looking for, and just some general advice. I'd be very grateful of anything that you've got to offer, particularly tips and tricks on how to do certain things when I get to it.

Cheers, Tom

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1974 GT550L
1976 PC50
2009 Hornet

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Alan H
Posts: 10216
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:38 am
Location: Wombwell, Republic of South Yorkshire

Re: Bought A Bike Older Than Me!

Postby Alan H » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:23 pm

Welcome to the asylum Tom. Are you still hiding somewhere in God's County or emigrated to a lesser place?
I'm just on with a rebuild and my 3rd 550 resto, so there's plenty on here if you need advice or parts.
Just do a search (top left 'quick links') and type in '550' or whatever you need info on.
My rebuilds are 'slow starting', 'Earwig' and 'Yeti' - explanations why on the threads.
Proof that four strokes are over complicated

barney01
Posts: 2673
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:33 pm
Location: Prestatyn.Wales

Re: Bought A Bike Older Than Me!

Postby barney01 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:44 pm

Welcome to the forum Tom. :D also to the growing herd of 550's on here. Any help or parts required just shout up!
NO SMOKE .......NO POKE

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Harrymail
Posts: 501
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:35 pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Bought A Bike Older Than Me!

Postby Harrymail » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:42 pm

Welcome to another 550 owner Tom :)
1977 GT550A Black
2002 Fazer 600 Silver
1968 BSA Bantam Red

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slosher
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:55 pm
Location: WALSALL UK

Re: Bought A Bike Older Than Me!

Postby slosher » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:45 pm

Welcome aboard Tom my that's a fine looking 550 :) that looks a good buy mate better than you described it to me ;)

Cheers Dave
GT750L
GT550L
TL1000 97s
T140V
Loctite Trained Engineer :lol:(since having the Bonnie)

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TGladders
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:28 pm
Location: Rugby

Re: Bought A Bike Older Than Me!

Postby TGladders » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:21 am

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome!

I'm in Warwickshire now Al, but I get back to Sheffield frequently to top my accent up :D

Good job you had that Piper for sale Dave as the factory pipes disintegrated when I took them off :lol:
1974 GT550L
1976 PC50
2009 Hornet

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yeadon_m
Posts: 7312
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:10 am
Location: Canterbury Kent

Re: Bought A Bike Older Than Me!

Postby yeadon_m » Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:37 am

Welcome to 550 land. Fantastic bikes, all the GT triples, I’ve one of each, though I didn’t do so well in the 550 top end & am still working out what do with it. It’s got NOS centre pipes & it sounds brilliant!
In yours, a really nice example. Not been taken to bits is a huge positive.
Your cylinders, unlike my UK 550B with nikasil-plated bores, are conventional iron liners in alloy block. So if you need a rebore, there are v good aftermarket pistons & you can get quality reboring done everywhere p.
-you’ve got rare plug cap rubber grommets in your Ram Air covers. Take care of them, hard to get at any price!
-carb throttle arms are easy to snap & are furiously expensive to replace. When you get round to dismantling the carbs, please undo the 8mm clamp bolts and never, ever prise the clamp ends with a slim driver. Don’t ask me how I know.
-boots on those throttle arms & especially throttle rods (verticals going to slides) degrade horribly & turn into black gloop. The only thing I’ve found dissolves the gloop, and that’s carb cleaner. Physically scrape off as much of it as you can before starting to clean.
If you’ve got more than one key, if a lock has been replaced usually, I can help you with a lock set recoding service, just PM me.
I’ve also got a brand new genuine set of rims front & rear for the 550/750, together with full sets of stainless spokes/nipples, if you were thinking of a wheel rebuild. They’re not cheap & I never got around to doing it.
Cheers,
Mike

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TGladders
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:28 pm
Location: Rugby

Re: Bought A Bike Older Than Me!

Postby TGladders » Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:23 pm

Mike, thanks for the info that's great!

The bike is totally original, its never been stripped. All the bolts are stamped with the Suzuki 'S', and the key is the same for all the locks. Although there is only one key so I need to get another one cut.

Those pesky clamps you've mentioned, well all mine are snapped. They look like they've been left over tightened. But, easy to fix with the TIG welder fortunately, I'll post some pics of the repair
1974 GT550L
1976 PC50
2009 Hornet

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TGladders
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:28 pm
Location: Rugby

Re: Bought A Bike Older Than Me!

Postby TGladders » Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:26 pm

Carb Clamp Repair

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1974 GT550L
1976 PC50
2009 Hornet

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itsnotateapot
Posts: 962
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:09 pm
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Bought A Bike Older Than Me!

Postby itsnotateapot » Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:46 pm

nice repair job there, by the way your finger nails are way to clean to be working on bikes. :)
SUZUKI GT750 L 8-)
SUZUKI T500 M 8-)
SUZUKI GT185 K 8-)
Suzuki T500 Cobra 8-) 8-)


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