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T500 - tough to start

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by MeltingDOg, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    This is actually leading on from a tangent in another thread so I thought I would post it in the right thread and get some more responses and opinions.

    I bought a 71 Suzuki T500 on the weekend. Great, well restored bike with only 1000ks on the rebuilt engine. Only issue is it is really, really tough to start and cuts out every now and then - usually at low revs or idle.

    At first I thought it was the plugs - either the wrong ones fitted or too much carbon building up on them (its a 2 stroke). But it does indeed have the correct plugs and I have limited the oil intake (to the amount indicated in the manuel) to no avail.

    Would anyone know whats going on? My suspicions are the battery, which is new brand new. Anyone else had any issues like this before?

  2. Why do you suspect the battery?
    Does it labour when trying to start, e.g. Raah Raah Raaah rather than RaRaRaRa?
  3. No when it actually starts its fine. But sometimes it will cut out whilst your riding.

    I suspect the battery as, well, I dont know what else to suspect... Maybe the alternator?
  4. Alright different issue then, it is more likely to be a fault with the cutout circuit. I don't know the model but lots of bikes have cutouts if the sidestand is down. Sometimes that switch is faulty and will open with vibration when riding. Worth checking.

    If it cranks OK and the battery remains charged when you do ride then battery and alternator are unlikely to be the issue.
  5. Scratch that I found a wiring diagram and it doesn't have a side stand cut out. At least the 1968 version didn't. Scan the wiring diagram from your manual and post it up.

    Maybe a loose connection then, check all the connections.
  6. It maybe... A strange things is the indicators dont work if your at low revs. I thought it was an idiosyncrasy of the older bike but maybe it is just the battery and alternator.

    The kill switch is new - parts from a modern bike - and there is no kill switch on the stand with this one.
  7. Ok, measure the voltage across the battery at idle. Low voltage will mean the indicators may not operate. Then measure the voltage with it reving at cruise revs.

    When you say it cuts out when riding, does it happen when cruising along or when you stop for traffic etc.
  8. What type of reeds does it have? I'd check they are not damaged and functioning correctly for a start.
    Does the choke have any effect when trying to start, or even while the bike is running?
  9. Thanks! Ill do that. Going to borrow a voltmeter off a mate and test both the battery and alternator.

    It usually cuts out at the lights, but more recently when I've actually been cruising (at maybe 50kph).
  10. Ok, if it was at lights I would suspect a tuning issue but random cutouts are probably electrical. Good luck. :)
  11. Thanks Chris! Much appreciated
  12. No worries, they are a dying breed the big two strokers. Glad to see you are still actively riding one. :)
  13. I'm pretty sure the 500 Suzuki doesn't have reeds.

    Being an old Suzuki, I'd be squinting suspiciously at the rec/reg and maybe the alternator, given that the indicators failing to work would indicate low voltage.
  14. Rode one around Tassie back in the <cough>0s

    In it's day it went like stink, but brakes and suspension were a tad ordinary.
  15. Latest is I'm thinking it's the generator.

    Would anyone know if generators for Suzukis of this era (70s) are interchangeable?
  16. Can't speak for the T500 specifically but Suzuki in the 70s were generally quite well behaved about parts interchangeability.

    Check out the rec/reg first though before spending any effort/money on more major components. Rec/regs are often quite interchangeable, not only within manufacturers' ranges but outside as well. When I were a lad, the standard fix for Suzuki 4-stroke rec/reg problems was to bung in the more robust unit from a CB250/400T/N, thus improving reliability and providing those otherwise meritless Hondas with a purpose in their sad existence :D.

    If it does turn out to be the alternator, there are companies around who can rewind them properly (links have appeared on NR but I can't remember where) which would be a far better option than relying on 30-40 year old Suzuki stuff.
  17. Agree completely Pat - no reeds back then - I think it was kawasaki that started the reed valve for two strokes.

    Have a look at your starting technique as well. Don't just kick wildly and expect it to start. Make sure your points and timing are spot on.

    And never twist the throttle when kicking. If it's flooded, open the throttle wide to clear it out.
  18. This is a good point. All my strokers (none of which have been T/GT Suzis mind) have required a particular starting technique. Get it right and they've gone 1st or 2nd kick. Get it wrong and it would stay wrong until you'd either left the bike for a few hours or fired it up with a bump start.

    The general principle that they all seemed to respond to was to tickle the carb (yes, I am that old, or at least the bike designs I rode in my youth were) or apply the choke, give it a couple of kicks with the igniton off to fill the crankcase and transfer ports, then knock the choke off, switch on and give it a good, smooth kick over the full length of travel of the kickstart. At no time was any additional throttle needed. Using any before it fired was generally a guarantee that you'd need to bump start if you wanted to get home today.

    It does seem to be a two stroke thing 'cos even today I find with my brushcutter and chainsaw the little buggers start more easily if I just use the choke to get an initial rich charge into the engine but actually try to fire the thing with the lever off.
  19. I suspect that Pat and I may have had a similar range of bikes over the years.

    I always found two-strokes harder to start than four-strokes, mostly because of the risk of flooding them. The worst was my Bultaco Metralla, second worst was a Lambretta scooter!

    There's some info available at http://home1.stofanet.dk/optik/suzuki/index-3gb.htm which may be useful.
  20. Thanks for the advice guys.

    Yeah, a lot of people have suggested it just my 'technique' at starting the bike. Its the first kick starter I've owned so I wouldnt be surprised if Im doing something wrong.

    As for the cut outs - would this have something to do with the Voltage Regulator perhaps?