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...

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Contents - BY PS’S EXPERTS Words: Alan See­ley | Pic­tures: Jason Critchell

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.


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

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