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This morning I took all the body panels off. I'm giving them a thin coat of glazing before I prime them, because it's painted plastic and I want to make sure it'll stick.

I replaced the front brakes entirely: from master cylinder to calipers. (She's got dual-disc front brakes. I like that.) Then I replaced the brake fluid inside. This involves topping up the reservoir then bleeding it out on each side, several times.

The gas tank has been coated inside, by a white milky plastic called Kreem. That stuff is noxious as hell to pour and slosh around, because the solvents in it can dissolve paint.

Now all I need to do is go to Lowe's to buy some sandpaper, nuts, and bolts, because I need to sand down all that glazing putty and because there were some nuts and bolts missing from the panels when I removed them.

Later this week, it'll be time to paint, then the gas tank can be mounted and I can finish tuning it up.
Jardine header and muffler installed. I had to walk to Lowe's for some longer header bolts.

Now these new spark plugs don't fit into either of the "spark plug sockets" that were included with the "Motorcyclist's Tool Kit". So there's another trip I've got to take. But I've spent most of the day outside. I'll wait till the sun goes down.

I removed the old rusty Supertrapp exhaust pipes and muffler, and I'm taking a break before going out there to install the new Jardine parts.

There was some reluctance from the lower bolt of the #1 header, and it took a lot of persuasion from the Vise-Grip. My inner voice was being a little jerk and telling me it wasn't going to happen, I was going to have to cut it off, I was stupid for even attempting this, and so forth. But I'm sweat-soaked, dirty, and feeling good about my prospects.
How could I have let the bike sit so long?
Well, I was depressed.
Didn't I know that the bike would keep me from being depressed?
Why didn't I do something, then?
Because I was depressed.
That doesn't make sense.
It doesn't have to.
Well, that was a relaxing day off. Finally. I managed to heal up and I'm doing much better now.

Tom was available to come over today, so we dusted off the motorcycle. I learned all about the Mikuni BS32SS carburetor, through a quadruple process of disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly. Unfortunately, there were factory seals in place that will need to be drilled out, and I have no drill. It still doesn't run well, but now it runs with stock carbs. I'm in Parts Limbo, where the store has my money but the parts I need are... somewhere...

The time had come to remind me of why I'm doing all this. This bike is more than a concept or a goal. It needs to work, so I can have more jobs available to me. Just like I thought, now that there's hope of getting it going, I'm inspired again.
Carburetors have been shipped! Thank god. New front brake assembly is coming in the mail too, and that's good.

What I need to do now is paint the bike. Right now it's a faded red. I want it to match my blue helmet. So, breaking that down, I need to take off the fenders, disassemble the tail section, and remove the side covers. (The tank's already off.) Then I need some spray cans of rust-converting primer for the tank, plastic primer for the rest of it, and then the spray paint itself, along with some sandpaper and tack cloth.

I'd rather do this myself to save money. Besides, if I do a bad job, I'll be able to do it again next time, and only pay for another few cans of paint.

Also, I need to score a small plug-in battery charger and an impact driver.
Oh, the guy with the carburetors got back to me with pictures and a fair asking price. I'm waiting for him to give me a quote on shipping.

They're clogged up with yesteryear's gasoline, but solvent is cheap and compressed air is too.
Today was super cool.

I'd been talking to people on The GS Resources, a web forum for the Suzuki GS model motorcycles. One of the forum regulars, Tom MLC, offered to come by and take a look at the bike. Today was the big day.

I cleared out the garage, pushed the bike in, and set up a workbench. At 11, a beautiful GS1100 bike rolled into the driveway and Tom dismounted. We introduced ourselves and got to work.

I told him I didn't have a gas tank, but he had the solution: siphon hoses and an 'auxiliary gas tank' that hung from a hook and had a flexible hose to run to the bike. Taking some gas from his tank, he filled this up and we gave my bike some fuel.

We found out that the previous owner had modified her, removing the 32mm stock CV carburetors and fitting a rack of 40mm carbs from an 84-86 GSX-R. (Good call, [livejournal.com profile] futcion!) These would have been great to work with, if we had any idea how to adjust them. They seemed to be controlled with vacuum fittings, half of which had fallen off, and Tom convinced me that I needed to put stock carbs back on.

The choke cable had been removed entirely, so we were all holding on to something while we tried to get it to start: clutch, switches, choke bar, throttle. Finally he sprayed a bit of carb cleaner into each intake, and we got her started.

Then he brought out the compression gauge, and found the next modification: off-spec spark plugs, too small for Tom's tools to reach. I asked [livejournal.com profile] indicoyote for a ride to Pep Boys and Tom stayed in our garage, making some phone calls. Armed with the correct socket, we went back and pulled the spark plugs so that we could test compression. (160, 160, 155, 150 psi; very good)

Ken, another forum member, rolled up on his bike while Tom and I were puzzling over how to fix the carbs. Tom introduced us and mentioned that Ken's bike used to be an old basket case like mine, and with the forum's advice and Tom's hands-on assistance, Ken had made it into a machine to be proud of.

We discussed my next steps. They mentioned that my Supertrapp exhaust and Mikuni 40mm carbs were worth some money, so I should sell them and use the proceeds to fund the restoration. The brakes need to be rebuilt, the hoses need replacing, the gas tank needs a float so it can send a reading to a gas gauge, and the whole thing needs a coat of paint. Surprisingly, the battery is fine. They mentioned some other things to think about, like polishing the engine covers, or replacing the Phillips-head case screws with stainless steel Allen-head bolts.

Tom had brought the rest of his arsenal of tools to check out the rest of the bike, but we couldn't get it running without having our hand on some sort of control, so until I get a working set of carbs, we can't tune her up.

They left after that, offering to return as time permitted. I have a shopping list and some web sites to check. I'm a lot more confident about this. And I'm completely floored that these guys were so nice. I've only had that kind of trust and openness from furries.
I find myself being rather alarmingly blithe about my life. I have to care, I have to give a damn, I have to be an active participant. If I'm not, then it's not really my life, is it?

Restoring the bike forces me to care, by putting everything on the line. If I do a poor job, I'm putting the bike in jeopardy -- which places my life in jeopardy.

I am not suicidal.

I love my life.

And I will put my hands on every piece of metal in this bike. I will find the essential good which hides in this pile of junk, and sculpt it into a working whole. My hands, my choices will bring immediate and causative results. I have committed myself, and I dare not fail.

This is what "Live to Ride - Ride to Live" means.
So Budget upgraded me to a 24-foot box truck since the one they had for me didn't start...

and it had a hydraulic lift gate on the back.

It made things so much easier, and yes, the GS750 is mine. It's in pieces, but it's mine.

Of course, driving the giant truck that just barely fit into the lane, in high crosswinds, made it a real jaw-clencher of a ride, but hey, I'm just that good. And I managed to muscle the thing out of the truck and up the driveway.

Brakes on front and back need work, thankfully they're both disc so I can get to them easily.
Paint is flaking off.
Headlight needs to be attached.
Gauges are sun-faded.
It's rusty.
But he started it up with a spare gas tank, so I know it runs.

I'm going to hurt tomorrow, but I got myself a project now. :D
I've rented a moving truck to get the GS750. Whether I buy it or not, I've committed my Saturday, as well as the truck fees and fuel.

From what the seller told me, the front brakes need to be redone, and the fairing and body panels need to be mounted. I can do that myself.

The previous post asking for ride assistance has been deleted.


Joe Engledow

September 2016

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