Bad vibrations.

1981 Suzuki GSX1100Q: I have a very clean 1981 Suzuki GSX1100, the one with the silver/blue tank colours. I’ve owned it for over tens years and use it daily to go to work and, enjoy weekend runs with the wife happily sitting on the back.

It has always been serviced and taken care of and has just over 81,000km on the clocks. However, recently it has started to vibrate badly on idle and seems to be a bit ‘juddery’ when I let the clutch out and pull off.

I’ve already taken out all of the clutch plates and springs, which all seem to be fine with plenty of ‘meat’ left on the friction plates in particular. The springs aren’t broken either and seem to have all the same tension on each.

So if you could pass on any advice to point me in the right direction I would be very grateful. I do know Bill used to drag race with these engines so he might be the one to ask?  Looking forward to your answer…

Peter Stoffard.

A:  I would say the problem still lies within the clutch, or basket to be more precise, and you’ll have to go back inside the motor to investigate further.

Take out the plates and centre hub and you’ll see a large nut (32mm), which is what you’ll need to remove. You don’t really need any special tools, just put into gear and hold down the rear brake, which should stop the clutch basket from rotating, then undo the nut after bending back the tab-washer.

Once the basket is in your hands look at the back-plate and damper springs, these normally cause this issue. The springs are too soft from stock and go ‘slack’, which can cause the back-plate to crack, causing vibration. If it has broken some pieces might be in the sump, so you’ll have to clean them out and make sure you find ALL the pieces.

The best thing is to replace the back-plate and springs with a heavy-duty conversion. Randburg Motorcycles in Jo’burg can assist with this and then your bike will last forever, and probably longer than you will.

Bill Hunter










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