Possible Project Bike - Suzuki T350 - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 5-14-2019, 4:01 PM Thread Starter
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Possible Project Bike - Suzuki T350

So I have an opportunity to pick up a project bike for my second bike. A Suzuki T350.

I don't have any information on the bike as of yet. It has been sitting in my Uncle's basement and he unfortunately is in pretty bad shape health wise. When my dad and I were out there a few weekends ago grabbing his mail, I spotted it in the basement and asked how much he wants for it...and he offered to let me borrow the trailer and take it away!

What I know: They made them about 5 years from 68-72. They are 2 strokes, but you don't mix the gas separately which helps with oil consumption. Parts are out there but aren't exactly plentiful.

While it's not exactly a barn find, the bike is not in perfect condition either. I would love the opinion of some more experienced riders here. I am mechanically inclined, but no professional either. Is this going to be too big of a project for my first?

https://classic-motorbikes.net/suzuki-t350-rebel/

Edit: I have to imagine it will just need a full tune up and hoses and the consumables replaced to get it running. Structurally it is all there, and I didnt spot too much rust either.

The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. -H.S.T

Last edited by TDiddlez; 5-14-2019 at 4:03 PM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 5-15-2019, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDiddlez View Post
So I have an opportunity to pick up a project bike for my second bike. A Suzuki T350.


What I know: They made them about 5 years from 68-72. They are 2 strokes, but you don't mix the gas separately which helps with oil consumption. Parts are out there but aren't exactly plentiful.

Is this going to be too big of a project for my first?



Edit: I have to imagine it will just need a full tune up and hoses and the consumables replaced to get it running. Structurally it is all there, and I didnt spot too much rust either.

Depends greatly on what kind of project you intend it to be. It's a two stroke so mechanically, it is less complicated than an EX. At least, with regard to the engine.



Two strokes, if you are unfamiliar with them can land you on your head. Easily. They're not particularly unreliable or anything but the power is limited to a narrow band on the tach. You'll have nearly no thrust below that point and then sudden acceleration that you'd better be prepared for.



Then there's the oil. You have to have either a pre-mix of fuel and oil in the correct ratio, or an auto-injector that injects the correct amount of oil into the fuel as it enters the carburetor.



There is no oil in the crankcase because the transfer ports are at the bottom of the cylinder. Hence, you have to have lubrication of the cylinder walls or the engine will seize.



Then, there's the brakes. Or rather, the vague approximation of them. The bike you're taking on is from an era when braking was not highly evolved on production bikes. All things to keep in mind.



Is it too much for you? Again, that depends on what you intend this project to be. If you just want to get it running and ride it on occasion, then I'd say you aren't taking on too much.



Even if the engine is currently seized it isn't too big of deal to get it going again. The engines are dead simple to work on.



If you intend more than that....like a full restoration...that might be a bit over your head but not so far that you couldn't do it with a bit of professional help in places. All I got man.........sean
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My garage: 2000.5 Aprilia Mille R, 2000 Ducati 996, 1994 EX500 basket case, 1993 Ducati 900 SS, 2004 Suzuki GSXR600, 1992 GSXR750 oil boiler, 1983 Suzuki XN-85 Turbo
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 5-16-2019, 4:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Apriliarider View Post
Depends greatly on what kind of project you intend it to be. It's a two stroke so mechanically, it is less complicated than an EX. At least, with regard to the engine.



Two strokes, if you are unfamiliar with them can land you on your head. Easily. They're not particularly unreliable or anything but the power is limited to a narrow band on the tach. You'll have nearly no thrust below that point and then sudden acceleration that you'd better be prepared for.
Riding 2T dirt bikes my whole life has given me some preparation here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Apriliarider View Post
Then there's the oil. You have to have either a pre-mix of fuel and oil in the correct ratio, or an auto-injector that injects the correct amount of oil into the fuel as it enters the carburetor.



There is no oil in the crankcase because the transfer ports are at the bottom of the cylinder. Hence, you have to have lubrication of the cylinder walls or the engine will seize.

I believe this is oil injected which means slightly less hassle here. This cylinder wall thing is type of stuff I have no idea about tho. Dispite riding them my whole life, my dad has spoiled me and always kept our bikes well maintained.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Apriliarider View Post
Then, there's the brakes. Or rather, the vague approximation of them. The bike you're taking on is from an era when braking was not highly evolved on production bikes. All things to keep in mind.
Ugh yes...those drum brakes are a turn off...but that's what it was in that era.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apriliarider View Post
Is it too much for you? Again, that depends on what you intend this project to be. If you just want to get it running and ride it on occasion, then I'd say you aren't taking on too much.



Even if the engine is currently seized it isn't too big of deal to get it going again. The engines are dead simple to work on.



If you intend more than that....like a full restoration...that might be a bit over your head but not so far that you couldn't do it with a bit of professional help in places. All I got man.........sean

Awesome man, this was the type of insight I was looking for. I am not sure why but I was looking at it like I had to have this thing shining and running like a dream, but in reality I can just start slow, get it running, use it as an occasional toy around town...then if I want to dive deeper and go for a restoration piece, the option is always there.

The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. -H.S.T
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 5-17-2019, 10:37 AM
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"Edit: I have to imagine it will just need a full tune up and hoses and the consumables replaced to get it running. Structurally it is all there, and I didnt spot too much rust either."


If it has been sitting for more than a year, it will need a LOT more than a "tune up" and new hoses.
You can make this thing a reliable runner BUT it will take some work and money.

Just dragging out the shed, getting it running and hoping for the best isn't really a viable plan.







Decide what you want to do with the thing FIRST.
If you want to keep it and make a reliable bike out of it:
You are going to need to replace the main seals... no actually ALL the seals.
It WILL need new rings, at minimum.
You need someone that knows what they're doing to look at the crank, to check the main and big end bearings (sitting still is bad for bearings. This thing has a roller bearing bottom end)
Forget about the oil pump till you get it running well on premix. Use LOTS of oil in a new motor, with a slow break in. At least 5 heat cycles before you start hooning the thing.
You're going to need a leak down test rig. (After you put the motor back together it a good idea to test the seals. The cases, after you have blocked the openings, should hold 7psi air pressure for 7 minutes).


Meticulously clean the carbs.
Clean the tank. (I would pickle it and coat it... but then that's me).
New wheel bearings
new brakes shoes and hardware (Drum brake usually work pretty well if they are set up correctly. I race bikes with drum brakes)


I suggest you do absolutely nothing to the bike till you get the motor basically sorted.


I have been riding, racing, building two stroke racers for 45 years.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 5-17-2019, 3:27 PM
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I think this would be a great project bike in honor of your uncle. If it ran when parked, that is a very good sign. It would start with cleaning the carbs, flushing the gas tank, new plugs, adjusting the points/timing, and replacing fuel and oil lines, lubing all cables and lever pivots - all the small stuff. Make sure the oil pump is pumping and there is no blockage anywhere in the system. Low compression might be stuck rings, but a two-week or so soak with Marvel, Seafoam penetrating oil or similar would help. Easier than a tear down. With compression, fuel and spark, if it is still hard to start, it might be bad crank seals - a hassle but doable.



Tires (and tubes) are rotten - they were not great when new, but thanks to the 3rd world and it billions of small bikes, lots of good retro-sized tires are available. Batteries you can get on Amazon. Look for the GS (Yuasa subsidiary) brand. These are very uncommon bikes, but not unheard of.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 5-17-2019, 11:53 PM
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Whether or not this project is too much for you depends largely on the condition of the bike and your level of determination. IMO, one quick indicator is the condition of the fork tubes. If they're more than very lightly rusted then moisture has wreaked havoc throughout, making restoration a lot more involved. Of course, if you can turn the engine over, that's a big plus.

As already been mentioned, with a two stroke that old and sitting so long, the crankcase seals are probably done, and a two stroke won't run if the crankcase doesn't seal, or it'll run really poorly. You've gotten solid advice here from other members as to how to get started.

If it's not trashed, it already has three of the important qualifications to be considered a worthwhile project;
1) It's a bike an older relative rode when he was younger.
2) It's free
3) While by today's standards it's lacking in road manners, it would be still be a fun bike in it's own way, especially if you grew up on two-poppers, and I guarantee it'll draw interest whenever you park it somewhere.

If you're still trying to decide whether to get your hands dirty with it, I would research to see if there's any support or info on those old Suzooks.

On second thought, don't, because we'll probably end up losing you to some vintage two stroke forum
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 5-18-2019, 6:36 PM
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Let's see if this pans out. Odd that the bike was only 315cc - a rather large deficit in comparison to contemporary bikes. Suzuki did not really develop the bike much further, as they had the 4-stroke line in mind (introduced 1977).
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1987 EX500-A1<br />K&N/Dynojet kit<br />Webcam 245 cams<br />Cobra F1 slip-ons<br />3rd airbox snorkel<br />Tapered rollers<br />Prog. Springs<br />Russell braided line<br />Galfer pads<br />Avon Super Venoms
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 5-20-2019, 4:22 PM Thread Starter
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Dang you guys rock! Don't worry, I will never be too far away from here. Some great advice here so far for sure.

All in all I again have no idea how long it sat, or when was the last time it ran was. In the end, it's something I have mulled around, and my thoughts keep coming back to wanting to fix it up. Sure it may end up being a lot more work than I originally anticipated, but I think it would be well worth it when it's all said and done.

Next step is to make some time and get the thing in my garage for a closer inspection. Hopefully I can get update to y'all before too long!

The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. -H.S.T
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 5-20-2019, 7:33 PM
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Looking forward to it!
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