Scott Red­mond on what lies be­neath when he strips his bike.

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CONTENTS -

Get­ting un­der the skin of a bike will al­ways re­veal things that you were bliss­fully un­aware of. My Suzuki GSX-R750WT is no ex­cep­tion to this un­writ­ten rule, bug­ger! I know that my bike hasn’t had the eas­i­est of lives, a dented frame and var­i­ous track day stick­ers are the most ob­vi­ous out­ward in­di­ca­tors that this Suzuki hasn’t led a pam­pered life, that’s ex­actly why it ap­pealed to me when I set out to find my­self a project. What more would I learn about my bike once I had taken its clothes off? Start­ing at the front I took the fair­ing off: the fas­ten­ers were all stan­dard Suzuki items and came un­done with no is­sues. I took the sides off first, the right-hand fair­ing was the bet­ter one out of the pair of pan­els. The left-hand side wasn’t too bad, just a few deep scratches here and there. The top fair­ing was where my spir­its took a dip, the cowling it­self is pretty de­cent, it’s even still fit­ted with a gen­uine Suzuki screen (pretty good go­ing when you con­sider how low they are) plus the urges that most GSX-R own­ers have to chuck them away and fit any­thing from dou­ble bub­ble style screens, through to irid­ium fin­ished ones. Call me old fash­ioned but I’m not a fan of ei­ther way to waste your money. Now, where was I? Oh yes, that top fair­ing. With all of the fas­ten­ers de­tached the cowling was ready for re­moval; there was no need to dis­con­nect the head­lamp wiring – that wasn’t con­nected. On each side of the up­per cowl are car­bon-look air in­takes, they are there to force fresh air into the air-box, it’s what gives the SRAD (Suzuki Ram Air Di­rect) its iden­tity and name… Those 1990s ram-air claims al­ways seemed a bit of a stretch of the facts to me. I mean, to be fair the fresh air can’t re­ally go any­where else in­stead of into the throats of the pair of plas­tic tubes, even if the talk was of the pres­sure mak­ing the power creep up at higher speeds. Sadly, both of these were poorly fit­ted, one side even lacked the clumsy rub­ber boots that help to con­nect it to the fair­ing and the frame. It wasn’t down to me tak­ing off the low­ers ei­ther: it had been like this for ages by the look of it. The con­ver­sa­tion with the guy who I had bought it from re­played in my head, es­pe­cially the bit where he’d told me how well set-up this bike was. Per­haps ill-fit­ting in­takes add power and make the bike faster? With­out any ram air ac­tion my SRAD is ac­tu­ally just SAD. And yes, that’s sad but true. This un­happy theme con­tin­ued, with the top fair­ing off I no­ticed that the mounts to the head­light were both miss­ing, a re­sult of an ac­ci­dent more than likely. The tank came off with no prob­lems, and the one area where I might have dis­cov­ered more un­hap­pi­ness was a pleas­ant sur­prise. The en­gine bay was very clean, al­most too clean! De­spite hav­ing a nose around there wasn’t any­thing too un­to­ward to re­port. Be­fore tak­ing the seat unit off I took a look in the air-box, again it was all ship shape, a fresh K&N look­ing back at me, which was nice. The seat unit then came off in one piece, a few of the mounts have bro­ken over the years, noth­ing overly sur­pris­ing

there. The last piece of body­work to come off was the front mud­guard; this can of­ten be a painful chore, with road crud seiz­ing the bolts in place, but ap­proach­ing the four Allen screws with a more pos­i­tive mind­set was re­warded as they all spun out with no swear words ut­tered by my good self. My Suzuki GSX-R750WT ‘SAD’ was now naked. Tak­ing a closer look at my body­work was what I did next. One of the rea­sons I bought this very bike was be­cause I re­ally like the golden colours, hav­ing looked at it up close I’m torn on how to move for­ward. There’s no point get­ting the im­per­fec­tions re­painted, be­sides that’s what stick­ers were made for, to hide tell-tale scuffs. Thing is, I don’t re­ally like stick­ers on my bikes. I feel that I need to do some­thing about the paint; that scuffed up fuel tank re­ally both­ers me. Your av­er­age re­spray these days will set you back hun­dreds of pounds, then there’s graphics to be pur­chased. There is an­other way, that is to buy pat­tern fair­ings: but that won’t solve the tank woes. I’ve even ex­plored those Chi­nese body kits, you get a full fair­ing, mud­guard and seat pan­els, they cost around £400 ac­cord­ing to my ebay re­search, and you can even pick from a va­ri­ety of colour op­tions. Some are based on orig­i­nal colours for the GSX-R750WT, oth­ers are clones of race team colours. Again, these kits don’t in­clude a so­lu­tion to cheer up a scruffy tank, so it’s not re­ally help­ing to solve my prob­lem. The only av­enue left to ex­plore is to look for de­cent used parts. From where I’m sit­ting that’s look­ing like my best op­tion. I can prob­a­bly get away with buy­ing one fair­ing side and a bet­ter tank, there’s plenty of used parts out there, just not too many in my colour. I feel a wait­ing game com­ing on, that or give in and fall in love with stick­ers!

Project Suzuki GSXR750WT SRAD part 4

Sticker hints to bike’s past.

Ram-air duct not seal­ing!

The SRAD’S bits and body­work laid bare. What does it re­veal?

The front fen­der was an easy off...

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