You ungrateful little…
Editor hands his sorted GSX-R to art editor, who immediately breaks it. That’s gratitude for you
2017 SUZUKI GSX-R1000R AUSTIN SMITH
THE FIRST TWO days on Chris’s hand-me-down GSX-R were great: since my 2017 Super Duke GT was returned, I’ve been riding my 1997 VFR750 hack. I’ll never knock it, but it always feels so flat and uninspiring after just about every test bike I’ve ridden. Remember that picture of Trev Franklin riding one in a flat cap with a pipe on the go? The old Honda does that to you – I end up plodding along, the enjoyment of being on a bike ebbing away.
His Suzuki snapped me out of it just as I was contemplating IAM courses and lobbying my councillor for lower speed limits... The buzzing, snarling Suzuki is firm, sharp and exciting, even on wet roads. Everything is so direct, I was much more confident in the crap conditions. My squidgy old Honda leaves the exact grip available in some doubt, but the GSX-R, on Bridgestone S21s, is sticking to the road and letting you know it’s OK. It’s nice to have the comfort of the electronics, but it hasn’t intervened with traction control or ABS yet.
It was all going great, until I wheeled it out and turned it on to ride to work a few mornings later. The dash lit up, the fuel pump whirred... fuel jetted out both sides of the bike, down the cases and over my feet. I turned it back off, and took a look for anything obvious, but it was coming from within the bowels of the bike. Pushed for time, I had to put it away, discard my unleaded-soaked gear and take the car.
I didn’t feel confident poking around under the tank on someone else’s bike in my unlit shed, so Whitey (who’ll do anything for a fiver – anything...) fetched and ran his experienced, bony fingers over it.
As it happens, I could have done it – lifting the tank only requires two trim panels and the seat off to allow the tank to pivot up on its rear mount. Speculation was rife: a forgotten clip on a fuel hose, or a pressurised line split, or the short, hard to fit top injector feed not quite fitted properly, were all suggested as the cause.
As it turned out, it was simple human error at the last service. The main feed from the fuel pump has a dry-break type fitting, and the plastic clips hadn’t been engaged properly – it can only have been held in place by the interference between the two parts. The pressure from the pump had taken a while to eventually push the tube off, allowing the pump to spray freely under the tank. Whitey refitted it, and triple checked the clips have retained their integrity (they have), and that there’s no way another component could press on them and allow them to slip off (there isn’t).
Simple human error: a fate that befell the GSX-R a second time, when I went to move the bike and forgot the disc lock I’d fitted. So I’ve carefully superglued the broken chips of mudguard back on. Sorry Chris, I promise to look after it better now (know what a P45 is? You soon will – CN).
‘I’ve carefully superglued the broken chips of front mudguard back on’
Middle-aged man in flap causes disc lock ding Fuel pump was pissing unleaded all over the cases, like a tiny plastic racehorse. Plastic securing clips were undamaged MONTH TEN