Sunday, July 17, 2011

1993 Suzuki JR50 restoration

About a year and a half ago, I bought a 1993 Suzuki JR50 for the kids. It was well worn, and had been suffering from obvious neglect for some time. However, the bike was complete and the engine would start, but it ran like shit. I brought it home for $250 and figured I could make it look nice and get it running properly for maybe another $250 in parts and repairs. 

I bought new tires & tubes, replaced some broken and missing spokes in the rear wheel, removed and capped off the oil injector (never trust those things -- better to mix the gas for 2-stroke engines), repaired the kill switch, new chain, replaced a bunch of missing and/or stripped bolts, and some other small stuff. Then I painted all of the plastics, and the engine.  I cleaned out the carb and made a few little adjustments, but I couldn't manage to get the thing to run properly. It always seemed like it was starving for gas. I looked into buying a few bits for the carb... then I found brand new carbs available on eBay for $50. That was a no-brainer.  I had it shipped to Ogdensburg and drove there today to pick up the new carb (along with some other stuff I ordered online).  All, told I spent less than $200 to restore this little bike, including the brand new carb.

I took the carb out of the box: 100% identical to the OEM carb that was on the bike.  I simply removed the old carb (about 2 minutes of work) and bolted the new one on (about 3 minutes of work by the time I hooked up the throttle cable).  I turned on the fuel petcock and kicked it over 3 times before it fired up.  The bike runs like a dream, and I didn't even have to adjust so much as the idle screw.

Gonna take my 8-year-old daughter to a gravel pit tomorrow for her first riding lesson. Two weeks ago I bought her a helment, and elbow and knee pads.

The day I brought it home 

Stripping it down

The finished product.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

525>520 chain conversion, sprockets, bearings and Shinko 705 tires

I bought a few things recently and just got around to installing it all. My old 525 chain and sprockets had about 25,000 Kms and were beginning to show signs of wear. Knowing it would soon be time to replace the it, I've been neglecting the chain drive gear.

I decided to go with a 520 conversion mostly because 520 chains are much easier to come by, and the sprocket selection (for different gearing) offers far more choices. The only difference between the 525 and 520 chains is that the 520 is slighly narrower. The links are the same length, just thinner rollers. I went with a medium quality DID 520V O-ring chain. These sell for about $75 in the US ($99 here in Canada). And 520 sprockets are cheap, only $20 for a front, and $33 for a rear.

Two new sets of CR10E spark plugs
rear brake rotor from eBay - $49
Suzuki OEM clutch cable
DID 520V chain (to replace the existing 525 chain)
JT 14 & 15-tooth 520 front sprockets
JT 43-tooth 520 rear sprocket
Polisport RMZ250 fork guards

new cush drive bearings
new bearing seal
new rear sprocket bolts

I cleaned up the cush drive with a wire wheel on my Makita driver/drill

New rear sprocket installed with shiny new bolts

Used my Dewalt 5" angle grinder to remove the old 525 chain's master link

I also installed new wheel bearings and cleaned up the cush drive rubbers

New rotor installed using shiny new bolts

Use the Dewalt angle grinder again on the new chain to remove 10 links.
10 links equals 10 pins. Gotta be much more careful on the new chain.

The master link for the new 520 chain is the c-clip variety. Some
say the rivet type master links are safer, but it's extremely rare for
the c-clips to fall off. Use the packet of grease provided in the
box with the chain.

c-clip installed.

When using a c-clip master link, I like to finish it with 
a blob of brightly coloured silicone. This helps to make
sure the c-clip doesn't fall off, plus the visual of seeing
the bright red link is quick to spot. If you don't see it,
then there could be trouble.

Shinko 705 front, size 90/90-21"
These $69 tires will serve as my asphalt rubber.
Much better than wearing down my Michelin T63 knobbies
riding back and forth to work in the city. With two sets of wheels,
swapping between street tires and knobbies will take 30 minutes.

Shinko 705 rear, size 130/80-17"
This is a really meaty tire, yet very quiet on the road
compared to the Michelin knobbies.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Riding with intravenous pumps

A couple of photos from a recent ride with the ManyPause gang... I wore my twin intravenous pumps and bags of antibiotics.  The good news is that I am no longer receiving antibiotics intravenously... pill form oral antibiotics now. The PICC line remains in my arm as a precaution just in case the infection returns. If everything is all clear when I finish the pills in 2 weeks, then they'll remove the PICC from my arm.

Showing the boys how the PICC line in my arm connects to the 
pair of vinyl tubes that are taped to my body, under my gear/clothes 
and down into a pair of fanny packs around my waist, where they 
are connected to a pair of battery operated pumps.

The PICC runs inside the vein in my bicep, then up my shoulder and into a giant artery inside my chest, next to my heart. This way, the toxic antibiotics are less likely to cause damage to the veins (because the size of the vein in your chest is much larger and flows much more blood than the smaller veins in your arm).

Here you can see the two blue fanny packs that hold the 
bags of intravenous antibiotics and the electronic pumps.

What the fuck? Are you really gonna ride with that shit plugged into 
your arm? Seriously?

Here's what the setup looks like when not tucked neatly into 
the fanny packs. I tape the clear vinyl tubing to my body, under my shirt -- 
much like an FBI informant who wears a wire.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Shinko 705 tires

Well, I finally managed to ditch the double-pumper intravenous system that had been connected to my arm for the last 2 1/2 weeks. The doctor has got me on oral antibiotics for 14 days, and he expects the infection should be completely gone by then. Let's hope so.

So, while I'm enjoying some sick leave from the office, I've been trying to get a few little jobs done around the house ... and not wanting to neglect the bike, I finally installed the Shinko 705 tires I purchased a couple of months ago.  I have a spare set of wheels for the bike, so my intention has always been to have one set of wheels with dirt tires, and another set of wheels with street tires. 

So, with the Michelin T63 knobbies already mounted on the other set, I pulled off the worn out T63 from my spare rear wheel, and a cracked Michelin Star Cross MS3 motocross tire from my spare front wheel. Then I installed two new MSR heavy duty tubes and the new Shinko tires.  I also had a new rotor for the rear wheel as the spare I had purchased from eBay had none. I bought an eBay special for $49 and that included shipping. Looks to be decent quality but time will tell. I also picked up OEM bolts from the dealer to install the rotor.

Shinko 705 rear, with a new $49 brake rotor from eBay

Shinko 705 front mounted on the RMZ wheel.