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Chain mail GSR750

2016 Suzuki GSR 750Q: Good day sir… I have a 2016 Suzuki GSR 750, blue and white (the love of my life). It only has 10,650km on the clock and still has the original back tyre and sprockets.

I service the bike myself, every 5,000km. My question is though, do I need to adjust the timing chain, or does it have an automatic tensioner?

Your answer will be appreciated….

Johan Korf (Maintenance Supervisor).

A: Well your job title tells us how well your ‘love’ is looked after, which is good to hear.

The GSR tensioner is indeed an automatic component and never needs to be touched, because it isn’t a serviceable component. If the bike has frequent oil changes at 5,000km, which you do anyway, the tensioner will last for many years and at least 50-60-70-80 thousand kilometers, if not more.

So don’t worry about that and go and have some beers…


SUZUKI 1982 gs1000Q: Morning guys. I own a 1982 Suzuki GS1000, unfortunately it’s the one with the shaft drive and I’m still looking for the chain drive version if anyone has one?

Anyway, the bike gets serviced by myself seeing as it’s not hard to do, and it’s ran perfectly until the last few weeks. The problem is when I try to pull away from the lights. The bike has become very ‘flat’ and takes ages to get the revs up and running.

I’ve taken the carbs off and cleaned them, which is a right ‘pain’ due to the old and stiff air box and the rubber parts around them. I’ve also changed the plugs and the fuel tap seems to be working correctly. So obviously the question is – do you have any idea what it could be because its more irritating than the UK’s Brexit farce, which I’m sure Bill Hunter will agree with?

Timothy Collins

A: Well, you’ll be pleased to know that ‘we’ know exactly what the problem is with your GS1000, and it is carb related. Also, you’ll be very pleased to know that you wont have to take the air box off again to fix it.

Simply remove the petrol tank and take off the four tops seen on top of the carbs, exposing the rubber diaphragms. One, or all of them, will be cracked or perished because of the age of your bike. These will cause the internal slides to lift incorrectly causing the mentioned flat spot when accelerating. These can be ordered from your Suzuki dealer, or they can backorder them for you. Just slip them it, when acquired, and the bike will once again feel like it did in the eighties?


Z1R KAWASAKIQ: Well hello and thanks for the best site in SA. I also understand that you guys are quite good with classic bikes, hence this mail.

I’ve just bought an old 1978 Kawasaki Z1R, which I’ve restored to near perfect condition, including brand new Bridgestone tyres, with the correct sizes from the Kawasaki manual.

The bike runs sweet but once I get above 150/160kmh the bike weaves quite badly. I’ve tried everything from tyre pressures to lowering, and raising, the front end by ‘slipping’ the forks through the front triple-clamps – but the problem remains.

So, do you informative guys have any answer to this, or, what I could I try next?

Lenny Collins

A: We presume that wheel bearings, head bearings, swing-arm bearings, chain alignment and the like are all correct seeing as you’ve fully restored the bike. The new Bridgestone tyres are the correct size so that’s not the problem, but we know what is.

During the late 70s not much attention was paid to aerodynamics on road-based motorcycles, especially the Z1R with its huge ‘bikini’ fairing. Believe it or not this is the problem. Do yourself a favour and take it off, exposing all your clocks and stuff, and go for a ride. Problem cured Lenny….

It’s just something you’ll have to live with because Bill used to own one and discovered the same problem, and cure…

Barrel lift?

Q: I’ve just acquired an old Suzuki RM250 two-stroke, which is an air-cooled model. I only paid a 4k for the thing and I’m not even sure what I’m going to do with it, and I think it’s from the late eighties.

Besides that I’m sure it’ll be fun to ride and I’ll probably hurt myself. But the reason I’m writing is that a guy told me to fit three to four base gaskets under the barrel to improve performance. So, quite simply, is this true because it’s easy to do on these old engines, and will it affect reliability? Just wondering….


A: This has been done for years on many two-stroke engines, and all it does is to raise the transfer ports and exhaust port by a few millimeters, depending on how ‘high’ you lift the barrel.

What this tends to do is increase top end power, sometimes? But the trade off is it makes the engine more ‘peaky’ at the top end and therefore you’ll get a loss of bottom end power. It will also lower the compression ratio and squish band, which isn’t a good thing either.

So it all depends on the type of riding. Personally I’d leave it alone because Suzuki knows what they’re doing better than the ‘guy’ in the pub. Shouldn’t affect reliability though, if you fancy fiddling around.










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