Plain sailing rarely applies to mechanical projects and the big Suzook is determined to chuck another spanner in the works. Good job Wildy' s got plenty more spanners where they came fromº
The anticipation is palpable as Project GSX-R10/11 gets rolled out of the garage looking resplendent in its new clothes. The red, black, white and silver paintwork has certainly lifted the build above average and the whole rebuild has taken less than the 10 weeks d set myself to nish it. Being a project, it' s not 100% complete the small LED indicators are waiting for the arrival of an appropriate adjustable asher unit, the speedo isn' t connected to anything (I lost the wheel-driven cable drive with the switch to the later wheels) and ve yet to check wheel and chain alignment properly. But m itching for the rst ride, so what do you do? thumb the starter and the bike takes just that second longer to re and the idle hunts manically like a South African on a free safari. t' ll clear with a run,º convince myself. But these things rarely do. Helmet on, ease out of the drive and hope for the best. mmediately it feels like it did when bought the original GSX-R1100: hesitant, reluctant, problematical. Damn. ve ridden enough bikes to know this isn' t gonna come good' , with a ride, so limp back to the garage and have a moment. irst guess is that it feels like an electrical problem. stick a temperature gun on each of the header pipes and it' s clear the engine is running cooler on cylinders three and four. Even though know the two coils feed cylinders one and four, and two and three respectively, take the low-tension readings (12V to the coils) and then resistance readings at the spark plug ends. This all checks out (well, they do after chuck my ve-year-old ebay special multimeter in the bin and pony-up for a decent one). As ve new plugs in the bike, ignore thoughts of ECU problems and then turn my attention to the carbs. There were no obvious signs of wear on the needles when had them stripped down so recheck all of the base settings: oat heights, idle mixture screw position, along with whipping the tops off to check diaphragm condition and that the ddly little O-rings are still in place. As part of the teardown ten weeks ago, d set the tappets and compression-tested the engine, so when the bike' s back together and the problem persists, m looking to make the call on the carbs being sufae ciently well worn to need replacing. So, new carbs it is then. The original plan was to t a set of Mikuni RS3 6 at-slides to the bike. Obviously to make it go better, but there' s also mucho pleasure to be had in a bike that rattles like a pissed-off snake at idle. A uick trip to the internet shows me that a bank of carbs (and the extras ll need to t em) comes in around 1500 (£ 900) and it' ll take about two weeks to get em in my paws. Done deal, you' d think? However: ve a known uantity in my 1000 (£ 600) Bandit that' s sitting in the back of the garage. So let' s weigh this up. New carbs with extra chatter-chatter from the slides and a two-week delay, or get the spanners out. Being someone who tries (and sometimes succeeds) not to make the same mistake twice, run the Bandit up and take her for a road-date. want to make sure of this engine' s performance and how it carburates from different rpms. Strong from low to high rpm, crisp response and a uiet gearbox sees me
draining oil a minute after ve nished the ride. The plan is to swap the whole of the electrical system so have a decade-newer wiring loom on the Gixer and a complete swap should mean no more problems. Shouldn' t it? Getting the 1157 cc lump out of the Bandit is pretty straightforward, but putting it into the now 1052cc-less Gixer frame is more of a chore. Physically the same size (save for the removable top breather section), the job is much easier when you can jiggle the bare frame over the engine. Now that my frame is a rolling chassis, need the assistance of my car engine hoist. wince every time the frame' s paint gets scratched add the touch-up to the jobs list! t was obvious from the removal of the old' engine that the oil cooler line pick-ups are different and opt to go with the Bandit 12' s smaller cooler and lines but beneae t by regaining full steering lock in the process. At 00ml, the Bandit engine takes 100ml less oil, so add an oil temp gauge into the dipstick hole; mainly as a precaution, but also it looked waaay cool back in the day. And you should never forget where you' re from, as they say, unless you were born in Luton, like was. With identical mounting points, the engine gets bolted in and it' s now time to assemble the electrical system around it. With different locations for items on the Bandit, the transplanted loom now means that can get all the main electrical components (battery, CDI , starter relay, fuseboard, asher can) under the rider' s seat much neater. With the heart and soul of the Bandit now adorning the Gixer after a two-day turn around, m conae dent
of a successful transplant. Well, that' s that assumption out the window as soon asº The key goes in, the kill-switch is off, butº silence. No click of a solenoid, no fuel being rushed to the carburetors, no igniters igniting. No suck, no sq ueeze, no bang and deae nitely no blow: just profanities from yours truly and a desire to burn the evil witch. diot lights light, but that' s as far as the reworks go. With a bit of searching, it' s clear that the Bandit has a crude (but hey, effective) anti-theft system built in to the ignition. The CDI needs to see a resistance in one of the wires to re. This is to stop the bike being hotwired and my new ignition switch (for a Gixer 11) doesn' t have that function. solder in a resistor that gets the bike running. Praise be to the almighty Lord of Combustion! With a knowingly racy burble emerging from the chrome tip of the oshi race can, m ready for irst Ride' : The Seq uel. let the engine temperature climb as check for leaks: all good. give it a rev and the bike cuts out like an invisible nger has icked the kill switch sharp and nal. start her again and the same thing happens. Bugger, this thing' s cursed. t feels electrical but, as ve swapped the whole system (from battery terminals to handlebar switchgear, m not falling for that trick again. nstead my focus is on the K& N pod lters that adorn the carbs. With tape, start to block off some of the surface area of the lters and the engine cutting out gets less decisive. When had the carbs apart to clean them, some no-doubt-race-mechanic-legend had decided to le the main jet ends so that there are no numbers on them hence haven' t a clue what size they are. All have to go on is that the Bandit was sporting a slip-on, air-box mod (enlarged intake hole) and a K& N panel lter. So decide to reverse engineer the solution by making foam strips that cover the lters and then add disposable paper towels until the engine feels right. up, it might seem weird pulling over and shoving paper towels on your K& Ns, but got it so that the bike pulled hard from idle to high pretty uick. f this was a trackday bike d be crazy to do it this way, but the Bandit engine now has more than enough torq ue to propel me around the countryside at a more than interesting rate of knots! Back home, (literally) line-up a couple of lengths of aluminium and clamp them to the rear wheel. Measuring their gap at the front and rear of the front wheel rim, the result shows that the front is 40mm to the left, which means there' s a 20mm-sized problem. By adjusting the back wheel precisely, get the gap down by 16mm, then hit a home run with a 2mm spacer between the left-hand side swingarm and sprocket carrier spacer. Result. As for the chain run, swap the slightly dished rear sprocket around and then add a 2mm spacer behind the gearbox sprocket. So that' s all my alignments aligned, then. While have the front sprocket cover off, take the opportunity to swap over the GSX-R cover to the Bandit one. d used the Gixer one as it has a pivot for the articulated gear linkage, whereas the Bandit' s gear lever is part of the footrest. Out with the drill, the pivot gets added to the cover. So that' s that, then. With the last minute engine swap it' s taken just a tad over 10 weeks to build myself a keeper. An old school icon that' s been dragged up-to-date with a bit of nip n' tuck, a torq uey mill and killer brakes. Coming soon: the GSX-R10/11/12 road test, and there' s a nal sting in the tail!
She looks the part...
ryin to find out wh at’ s wrong ... wh won’ t it start?
Ch ec king everyth ing in th e arbs.
Battery an now o under th e seat.
nd now wired in.
Resistanc e is futile ...
Carb sorting .
Sod it otor swap!
Key in, ready to o...
Cool levers .
Which would you have?
Bandit 1200 motor in situ: Wildy wants colours to match!
Bandit clocks over GSX-R clocks.
Start this time you swine!
Getting the thing to run right.
Is Wildy clocking her?