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bringing a stroker out of storage? Update - RG500 is alive!

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by jbonevia, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Hi guys,

    I'm about to get my hands on a 2-stroke road bike that has been sitting untouched for over 12 months. Prior to that it was ridden only occasionally.

    Before i start it up for the first time i was going to do the following things:

    - change transmission oil
    - new 2 stroke oil
    - fresh petrol

    - check tank for rust or sediment, put a fuel filter inline if any found.
    - check plugs and replace if dirty or worn
    - check air filters and replace if dirty
    - visually inspect bike to ensure no major oil leaks or fuel leaking from the carbs.

    Should i also while the plugs are out put a bit of 2 stroke oil in each cylinder and turn the engine over a few times? Or should i just kick it over a few times before turning the iginition on?

    Any other suggestions?
  2. Sounds like you've got it (nearly) all covered.
    I'd check battery level and charge it for a bit too.

    Adding oil in the cylinders is a good thing but dont put in lots, and get ready for big clouds of smoke when she NINGS into life.
  3. Drain and remove float-bowls, they may well have "varnish-looking residue in them"! a real bummer if it gets in your jets!
    As for the stuff you have covered! well done!
    I would also check for strength of spark with a plug resting on the head, so you can verify you indeed have a good spark!

    Good Luck
  4. Sounds like we could use you out at the farm :wink:

    Many a bike improperly ressurected...with the appropriate fist-shaking after! I couldn't think of anything else except maybe checking the brakes to see if they need bleeding - it'd be nasty to take it for a fang only to find out you've got no means of stopping :shock:
  5. Re: bringing a stroker out of storage?

    You would fit an extra fuel strainer?

    You are aware that a paper-type filtering element as used in car fuel filters is completely unsuitable for a gravity-fed system, as almost all m/bikes are?

    A paper-element fuel filter in a gravity-fed engine will usuually not pass enough fuel quickly enough, even on a 250 fourstroke. = fuel starvation = lean mixture = melted pistons or broken rings.


    Trevor G
  6. Thanks guys for the input - all duly noted.

    Well she lives!

    She's a Suzuki RG500, July 1985 model, (i have pics in one of my other posts).

    Got her this afternoon and pulled the fairings and tank off for a general inspection.

    I noticed when pulling the belly pan off, a small amount of coolant had pooled in there, not a good sign. I had a good look at the radiator and hoses and although i cannot pinpoint the leak i noticed a general 'wetness' around the base of the radiator, so it might need to come off for a flush and pressure test somewhere.

    There is a lot of dirt and grime on the engine that will need to be degreased and cleaned before i will know if there are any other leaks.

    The battery was flat so i put that on the charger for a couple of hours and it came back to life so hopefully it will be OK. While the battery was out i cleaned all the terminals with sandpaper so they were nice and bright.

    The tyre pressures are very low, 10psi in the front and 18psi in the back, they will need pumping up straight away.

    The air filters are uni-filter socks, they need cleaning and re-oiling but will do for now.

    The gearbox oil I didnt check because i wasnt sure how without consulting the manual - there wasnt a glass inspection port :)roll: no excuse i know!), but i bought some oil today and will change it tomorrow.

    The previous owner had drained the tank and and a quick visual inspection confirmed it was relatively clean inside. The carbs had been drained as well which was a good thing. The fuel lines also looked relatively good, still flexible and not perished at all.

    I put the tank back on and put in a couple of litres of petrol, checked the oil resevoir had plenty of two stroke in it then turned the fuel tap onto reserve.

    I then had a good look over the carbs and fuel lines again to make sure nothing was leaking, and lo and behold there was a steady drip, drip, drip from around the fuel tap.

    Fuel tap back off and pull the tank off again, time for a closer look at the fuel tap. It's mounted directly to the bottom of the tank and has two main lines that run out and down to the two banks of carbs on each side of the engine, but there was also a third smaller outlet that someone at some stage in the past had blocked off with a small rubber cap and a clamp. I'm guessing that the rubber cap probably wasnt fuel rated as it was perished and split in several places.

    So it's off to the local supercrap for a short length of fuel line (i had to buy a metre :mad:). Used a 5cm length, screwed a large bolt into one end of the hose and clamped the other end to the unknown outlet on the fuel tap, not pretty but it will do for now until i find out what is supposed to be there.

    Now that the leak is fixed (and i'm glad it wasnt the seals in the fuel tap itself), the tank goes back on and I check again for leaks, none present.

    Rather than pull the plugs out, i thought i would give it a go without worrying about checking the spark or putting oil in the cylinders, i figured if she doesnt start i can start diagnosing from there. I kicked her over about 10-15 times with the fuel on but the ignition off, just to get some fuel/oil mixture circulating through the engine. Plenty of compression felt via the kick starter which was a good sign.

    Ignition on - check, Fuel on - check, choke on - check (but the lever seems hard to move, mental note to check and lubricate the cable). Kick - kick - kick - kick, nothing. At this stage my little west highland terrier is going nuts, barking and biting my shoe every time my foot comes down as i kick the bike over, pick her up, carry her inside and lock the door, then back to the bike. I notice that the choke has gone off by itself so i pull it back on and hold it there with one hand. Kick - kick - kick, zing! She's alive :grin: :grin: :grin:!

    I've forgotten what a two stroke bike sounds like as it's been probably 8 or so years since i've owned one (a rg250) and the sound of the rg500 at idle is exciting, it's a raw powerful noise, 4 angry cylinders all working together and belching 2 stroke smoke out of 4 exhaust pipes.

    While i am standing there listening to it run, i notice a few things - 1. the engine sounds pretty good, no deathly knocks or unusual rattles, 2. it's loud enough to have angry neighbours knocking on our door and 3. the backyard is quickly filling with smoke :eek:!

    Time to take her for a quick ride (how could i resist!), the local servo is about 500m down the road so chuck my helmet on and roll her out onto the street. A quick couple of kicks and she fires to life again, put her in first and away we go. First thing i notice is that the clutch is grabbing even when the lever is fully in, will need some adjustment there. Second thing i notice is the huge plumes of smoke following me down the road. I turn the corner and see two girls waiting at the bus stop, they dont hide their amusement at this smoke belching noise making machine zinging past them and i cant hold back a smile even though they cant see my face with my helmet on.

    The smoke plumes follow me in reducing quantities pretty much all the way to the servo, where i pump up the tires and put a tenner of fresh unleaded into her. Taking off from the servo and the smoke has abated into socially acceptable amounts although i'm still noticing some funny looks from people walking as i go past.

    Now i'm a bit more comfortable on the bike i notice a couple more problems, the indicators have a reluctance to work at all, the speedo isnt working and the tacho isnt working, seems she has some electrical gremlins to find.

    Decide to take the long way home from the servo which essentially means a circuit where i dont have to turn at any intersections so i dont have to use my non-working indicators.

    Come to the final long straight before i get back home and cant resist opening her up a little. Holy crap does this bike go! Once the rev's build it just pulls and pulls and trust me i didnt get anywhere near redline - and oh wait - the tacho does work! It starts at 3000rpm on the dial and i wasnt revving it enough before!

    I pull back into the driveway at home and switch her off a happy man, and go inside to have a beer to celebrate!

    She has plenty of things that need attending to but which I can work on in my own time:

    - Brake light doesnt work from front brake lever (suspect switch)
    - Indicators not working (hopefully something simple)
    - Speedo not working (need to check speedo drive and cable)
    - Brakes not the best (will change fluid and bleed)
    - Clutch needs adjusting (may need new cable)
    - Small coolant leak (needs further investigation)
    - Air filters need cleaning
    - Gearbox oil needs chaning (will do tomorrow)
    - Clutch cable needs checking (and all other cables)
    - Need to check condition of chain & sprockets

    Hmm i think thats it - sorry for the very long post!
  7. Good luck with the bike, they are pretty rare and expensive these days :-O
    :LOL: @ Tacho.
  8. Excellent choice of hoonbox. ;-)

    That third line to the fuel tap is most probably the vacuum feed for the fuel tap. It would have gone to a spot on the inlet manifold/spigot for one of thje carbs.

    You need a new diaphragm in the tap, or you could leave it as it is, but it will only work while on the pri position, unless someone removed the diaphragm spring from inside the tap.

    All the best

    Trevor G
  9. Man I am jealous. I want a go on one of these crazy 500 2 strokes!
  10. Nice find bloke :grin: :grin: I have very fond memories of thrashing round on a mates RG400 (Jap spec). I can still remember the light as a feather feeling & also that awesome feeling of pure acceleration as she comes onto the pipes & starts squirming around & laying blackies as you power out of a corner :grin: :grin: :grin: The skinny tyres don't help much there :grin: Still have yet to find anything as raw & involving to ride. And damn I miss that smell of synthetic 2 stroke oil lingering after coming back from a fang :cool: :cool:
  11. Great read and congtats on getting her going :cool:

    All the best in getting the little things tidied up
  12. Keep it coming, mate.
  13. wont be long now, just waiting for the bodywork to be finished and i'll post up some more updates :)
  14. cool mate . keep em comming . love it baby :p
  15. Given that it's been sitting in one spot with flat tyres for 12 months, I'd inspect them carefully for fractures and check that the rubber hasn't gone hard.

    I am really fcuking jelous of you. Sounds like a fantastic project toy. :)