YOUR STALLED PROJECTS RESTARTED Andy Bailey’s ’Busa was his pride and joy – and still will be after Gary and Al give him a few pointers on recommissioning it after a protracted lay-up. This should be a pretty straightforward fettle...
NEW SERIES where PS rides to the rescue of stalled projects
Back in the early part of the 21st century,andy Bailey had a rare old time on his 1999 Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa. Bought in 2002 when the bike was three years and 16,000 miles old for £4400, Andy toured on his hypersports beast and otherwise revelled in the mix of brutal power with almost incongruous civility that an early ’Busa offers.
By the end of the decade the ups and downs of working life meant that Andy didn’t have the cash to keep the Hayabusa running and with 23,000 miles on the clock, it was parked up.wisely he decided to hang onto the machine that had been his dream bike until such time as he was ready to recommission it.which brings us to Hertfordshire, where Yorkshireman Andy now lives, to assess what he needs to do to to return his pride-and-joy to the road.
“I don’t want to simply fire it up and
risk causing a load of damage,” says Andy. “Anyhow it’s a little away from that in any case.”
Fortunately Suzuki nut and PS mechanical consultant Gary Hurd is on hand to allay Andy’s fears and offer a plan of attack to recommission the ’Busa with minimal fuss, pain and cost. Gary worked on Gen 1 ’Busas when they were new and first impressions of Andy’s bike are good. “I was expecting something much worse than this,” he says. Although his expert eye is immediately drawn to a problem, easily spotted as the petrol tank is currently off of the bike.
“The first generation bikes have these external fuel pumps where later bikes had them inside the tank,” says Gary. “The fuel
pipes perish and are often kinked when people take the tank off and on.” As if to prove his point, the end of the return pipe breaks off in his hand. “Replace these with genuine Suzuki and you’ll want to refit the metal spiral protectors that go over the pipes too,” says G.
While he’s in that general area, he also points to the exit pipe of the crankcase breather tank. “When the bike’s running again, this should be drained every week. Otherwise its contents get sucked into the airbox where they clog the air filter, the bike runs rich and the bores are washed out by fuel,” advises G.
Andy has a replacement fuel tank for the bike, the original having got into a poor state through internal corrosion. “The first generation ones are almost impossible to find now,” says Andy. “Especially at reasonable money. I got this one years ago from a guy who was building a special.
I paid £200 and got a nearly new shock thrown in too.”
Gary’s assessment continues and he notes that Andy’s bike has had the recall mods done that the first bikes were subject to. Key among these were the fitting of a hydraulic camchain tensioner and additional supports for the rear subframe. Some early ’Busas suffered cracked subframes, especially when the standard silencers were replaced by race cans – the stock mufflers and their hangers are in fact key to the integrity of the rear. As well as the warranty brackets,andy has stayed standard with the silencers so there will be no issues there.
“JUST THINK OF INJECTORS AS ELECTRONIC CARBS WHICH, UNLIKE CARBS, DON’T SIT AND ROT IN DEGRADING PETROL”
Mice love airboxes and there’s no shortage of rodents on the farm Andy lives on. Gary unscrews the airbox lid and finds that the aftermarket K&N air filter is intact and there is no evidence of nesting small creatures. “Do I need to remove and clean the injectors?” asks Andy, “that’s one of the questions I’m unsure of and it has been holding me back.”
Gary’s response is reassuring: “Just think of injectors as electronic carbs which, unlike
carbs, don’t sit rotting in degrading petrol. However do get the airbox up and check their vacuum pipes as any damage to these can cause lean running and false sensor readings.while you’re there, swap the spark plugs for the new ones you have.a few drops of two-stroke oil down each bore won’t hurt ahead of the first fire-up.”
There can be clutch issues on Hayabusas that have stood.the plates in the back torque-limiting clutch can corrode together.
However putting the bike in gear, then having Al pull the lever in while Gary spins the wheel reveals all to be well here. “Another benefit of dry storage,” notes Gary. “No need to have the plates out.” The other clutch issue is the possibility of a leaking slave seal as this is bombarded by muck from the chain. “Clean the slave and look out for leaks after you’ve changed the fluid,” counsels G. “Do the brake fluid too – I see you already have braided hoses – and I would think about replacing those notorious Tokico six-piston front calipers with four-pot Nissins from a 1200 Bandit.” Al suggests that the Tokicos might be recoverable with a service and new seals and/or pistons. Issues with these calipers are often down to the fact that the piston bores aren’t anodised, having been machined after the caliper halves were finished. Regular maintenance keeps the Tokicos right and Andy might save some money and conserve originality here. Forks seals seem good and a smear of rubber grease around them will help prevent tears when they start moving again.
While we’re looking around that area,al has an unpleasant flashback when he spots a Tomahawk remould on the rear wheel. Well past its sell-by date in any case,andy
wonders if the Bridgestone BT56 he’s been hanging on to as a replacement is still good. A production date of week 34 of 2013 puts it a little past its recommended shelf life. The concensus is that a big powerful bike like the ’Busa demands a set of fresh, recent rubber – not forgetting new valves too.
The final drive chain looks good.andy did once have a chain let go but miraculously the crankcases survived the trauma – they usually don’t.
Gary suggests stripping and greasing the rear linkage but he says the swingarm’s roller bearings will be fine although the head bearings will doubtless benefit from some grease, the cursory amount they will have received at the factory now certainly hard or departed.while chassis lubrication is being considered, all hand and foot control pivots will function better after attention. Throttle cables could use a decent squirt of light oil too.
Gary is surprised and pleased to see that none of the wiring has been messed with, especially up front. Many owners concluded that the original block connectors weren’t up to it and chopped them out for even less useful replacements. “Open the blocks up and spray the connectors with Servisol Super 10,” is the advice.
All that done,andy will then have to change the oil and filter.a quality battery is essential on a Hayabusa to prevent it kicking back and damaging the starter clutch. G says to change the coolant only after the bike has been started a time or two and it can be seen there are no leaks.
Gary’s thorough analysis has been a boost for Andy. “I’m ready to attack it head on now,” he says. “The little things add up to stop you doing any of them.with the bike partially stripped down, access is easy too.”
We leave Andy with a to-do list and a promise to be back in touch directly to check on progress.
Fuel pipe routing often the cause of most Hayabusa running problems. Replace these
Subframe mod has been properly carried out
Aftermarket K&N in good order and good to go
He’s got plenty of space to work in. Nice and airy
Those head bearings will be well overdue a grease
Sensible to swap these six-pots for Nissin fours
Nothing that a squirt of Servisol spray can’t fix