Author Topic: Recommended Carburetor Parts  (Read 416 times)

Offline MaxD

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Recommended Carburetor Parts
« on: May 02, 2020, 06:21:52 PM »
Hello All:

Looks like I am at least needing a good carburetor cleaning and perhaps some new carb parts in my 2001 GS500.   

Is it recommended here to buy a carb rebuild kit and have everything, or just buy selected parts? 

Can I get a recommendation on the best sources of parts?

Offline The Buddha

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Re: Recommended Carburetor Parts
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2020, 09:28:56 AM »
Find out which o rings are bad. Most "rebuild kits" do more harm than good and have so many many extra unneeded and useless parts.
If you need a float gasket - you're better off buying a "rebuild" kit but only use what you need. The rest of the crap doesn't wear, or is simply not even required. Like they have a stock size pilot and main - and WTF, we toss the stock ones and jet to +1 on a all stock bike. They also send you air screw, air screw spring - These don't ever go bad, and if someone screwed the air screw in too tight, the part that gets damaged is the aluminum carb body, not the hard steel screw, and get this they have an air screw cap - Like WTF -0 we drill this crap out and toss the shavings, why do we need this again ????

So find what is bad. Be gentle with the float gasket, I have used 3m purple gasket maker to save many a gasket.

Cool.
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Offline MaxD

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Re: Recommended Carburetor Parts
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2020, 11:04:45 AM »
OK, thanks.  Unless advised otherwise, I am going to take that to mean pre-buying new Suzuki OEM o-rings and float gaskets before the tear down, then soaking the metal parts in carb cleaner over night before reinstalling.  Other parts to be bought only if it seems they are damaged. 

I guess while the tank is off I should check and possibly reshim the valves.  I've never done it, but I have a shim kit and the special tool is on the way.   

The carb cleaning by the shop in 2016 was $265, and I did not have them do the valves because that was even more.  That first total service including mounting new tires I provided to replace the 15 year old original tires was $1017.  It was about $250 for the Bridgestone BT45's, and $55 for a new battery.  So, my "like new" $2200 old GS500 really cost about $3500.  In comparison to another good option, it's about $4k to $5k for an excellent recent CB500X with fuel injection, water cooling, less maintenance, a little better mileage and power, and light offroad ability. 

Making the decision to take this on myself rather than pay the shop is making me feel almost like a real motorcycle guy.  But, it seems like you have to if you don't want to be kicking yourself over the cost of owning even a small simple bike.  It's actually not such a good deal compared to an economy car, since the tires and maintenance are about twice the per mile cost, and you only make out on fuel and liability insurance costs.  But, it's much better than a big bike.  My dentist has $20k in his Harley, and I cannot see that it really does anything that a middleweight twin does not do as well for one quarter the cost.       
« Last Edit: May 03, 2020, 12:36:56 PM by MaxD »

Offline Bluesmudge

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Re: Recommended Carburetor Parts
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2020, 11:43:48 AM »
OK, thanks.  Unless advised otherwise, I am going to take that to mean pre-buying new Suzuki OEM o-rings and float gaskets before the tear down, then soaking the metal parts in carb cleaner over night before reinstalling.  Other parts to be bought only if it seems they are damaged. 

I guess while the tank is off I should check and possibly reshim the valves.  I've never done it, but I have a shim kit and the special tool is on the way.   

The carb cleaning by the shop in 2016 was $265, and I did not have them do the valves because that was even more.  That first total service including mounting new tires I provided to replace the 15 year old original tires was $1017.  It was about $250 for the Bridgestone BT45's, and $55 for a new battery.  So, my "like new" $2200 old GS500 really cost about $3500.  In comparison to another good option, it's about $4k to $5k for an excellent recent CB500X with fuel injection, water cooling, less maintenance, a little better mileage and power, and light offroad ability. 

Making the decision to take this on myself rather than pay the shop is making me feel almost like a real motorcycle guy.  But, it seems like you have to if you don't want to be kicking yourself over the cost of owning even a small simple bike.  It's actually not such a good deal compared to an economy car, since the tires and maintenance are about twice the per mile cost, and you only make out on fuel and liability insurance costs.  But, it's much better than a big bike.  My dentist has $20k in his Harley, and I cannot see that it really does anything that a middleweight twin does not do as well for one quarter the cost.     

Yes, OEM parts whenever you can. However, the nice thing about a rebuild kit is you don't have to wait for parts to come. Since I don't like waiting for parts (and I forget how to put things back together if I wait too long), on a recent non-GS motorcycle I rebuilt the carbs for I pre-purchased a rebuild kit and a variety of Mikuni jets to try. Its a little more expensive that way but much nicer when you sit down to mess with the carbs. Also have your carb cleaner, something to brush out the jets (there are specialized tools for this for like $15 or use small wire and compressed air), and toothbrushes etc ready to go. Don't get carb cleaner near any rubber parts.

If you have the tools, including metric feeler gauges, and Haynes or Clymer repair manual, its really easy to check the valves. Much harder to actually change the shims if they need it until you figure out how to use that stupid shim removal tool. Took me way too long to get the hang of it. Then that is also easy. Especially once you collect enough random sizes of valve shims to do it in one sitting. If your bike has less than 10k miles on it, the valves are probably still in spec.

Btw, from a practical standpoint, the GS500 can do everything that Harley can do and more. But try riding the Harley and you will see the appeal. Its a feeling the GS can't match. Is it worth the money? Probably not but its a really nice motorcycle. Ford doesn't sell a $90k Lincoln Navigator because it makes any practical sense. Just buy a $1k 1999 Suzuki Esteem wagon. Goes everywhere the Lincoln can go for 1/90th the price.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 11:49:53 AM by Bluesmudge »

Offline MaxD

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Re: Recommended Carburetor Parts
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2020, 01:20:34 PM »
Blue, thanks for the very useful info.  Based on your advice to have proper tools available, I ordered this $10 carb tool cleaning kit from Amazon.  It gets 4.5 stars in 273 reviews. 

https://www.amazon.com/Carburetor-Cleaner-Cleaning-Brushes-Small/dp/B075J7M7B4/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=carburetor+cleaning+tool&qid=1588622116&sr=8-6

Since the only criticism of the above is that the orifice cleaners are too big for some of the smaller carb jets, I also order the below $9 orifice cleaning set.  4.5 out of 5 stars on this set also. 

https://www.amazon.com/ALLY-Tools-Professional-Oxy-Acetylene-Carburetors/dp/B01GRAFHPO/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Orifice+cleaning+tool&qid=1588622456&s=hi&sr=1-1

I understand the appeal of a machine like the Harley.  In addition to lower maintenance effort, the higher appeal factor is part of why I was thinking of switching to a CB500X or an SV650 (2007 forward have fuel injection).  They also have a ton of aftermarket customization gear available for them so that you can more easily enjoy spiffing them up a bit.   

But in truth, I don't really need either the higher power of the SV650 or the modest off road adventure bike ability of the CB500X.  Nor do I need the higher insurance cost.  I was just checking that, and I actually have full coverage on my GS500 for $77 per year (same price as liability only).  Liability only is still $77 on a CB500X , but full coverage for a 2015 is about $500/year.  That has to factor in. 

And, I don't care if the other riders or the ladies think I've got a cool motorcycle (my wife is great, but she thinks any motorcycle is foolish to own because of the risk, and she won't get on one).  I rode a 90cc Honda Passport when I was in college, having to live on $311 per month GI Bill money and my part time minimum wage job.  The really "stealth cool" thing about it was I could park it in the bicycle rack next to the engineering building, since it looked just like a moped.  That saved me a lot of long walks from the parking lot, while getting 90 mpg and paying near zero for insurance. 

Offline The Buddha

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Re: Recommended Carburetor Parts
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2020, 03:39:28 PM »
The SV's from 03 on have FI. The SV's from 08 on are garbage - they still have FI but they are the gheydius version, with a steel frame and more rustable Chinese parts.
Your best bet is either the SV 03-07 - go to buy a bike with a magnet - mandatory these days LOL. Or oddly the ER650 kawi - which did have a steel frame all the way across but IMHO parallel twin beats a V in complexity - the first valve adjustment on an SV will send you crying to mommy.
In fact the CB650 is a great bike, but it is a 4 cyl, I know someone who has 70K+ on a 2015 first year - which ever year that was.

Cool.
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Offline MaxD

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Re: Recommended Carburetor Parts
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2020, 04:50:32 PM »
Buddha, I was mistaken on the year the SV650 got fuel injection, and you are correct it was 2003.  The below confirms that, and also that 2003 was the year they introduced the aluminum frame--370 lb empty weight is lighter than the GS500.  It is odd that they later went back to a heavier steel frame when there were no problems that I ever heard of reported on the aluminum. 

https://www.cycleworld.com/sport-rider/cult-personality-2003-suzuki-sv650-first-ride/

Two years ago my insurance agent quoted me $197 per year for full coverage on a 2007 SV650.  Nearly 3X the GS500, but still a good deal compared to most bikes.

However, once I have that GS500 carb cleaning skill under my belt, I won't have any good reason to change bikes.  I may keep it till I'm too old to ride. 

« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 05:05:13 PM by MaxD »

Offline Bluesmudge

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Re: Recommended Carburetor Parts
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2020, 04:58:09 PM »
'03 - '07 SV will probably be the highest value motorcycle ever produced. It even had an LED tail light when nobody was doing that yet. Only faults were suspension and lack of ABS but you have to give somewhere for the price. Its just such a good bike.

They probably went back to steel because its cheaper to produce. Steel frames can be great (especially if you want to ride outside of the USA and might need an emergency frame repair. Try finding an aluminum welder in rural Mexico) but then with steel you have to watch out for paint quality because steel rusts. Suzuki has never been known for paint quality.

Offline MaxD

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Re: Recommended Carburetor Parts
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2020, 10:11:55 PM »
If I had been shopping more carefully, I probably would have bought a 2003-2007 SV650 instead of the GS500, for which I just stumbled on a good deal not really understanding what a fine bike it is. The SV650 does seem to deliver a near optimum package for the price, with very thoughtful design, such as the gas tank rotating up so you don't even have to remove it for some of the maintenance.  But, I take seriously what Buddha said about the extra trouble of adjusting the 4 valves per cylinder on the SV650. 

The CB500X appears to be another outstanding light middleweight (16k mile valve adjust interval, ABS option, nothing but very positive reviews), but the insurance on a CB500X is running 10% of the bike's value per year.  So, except for those finicky carbs (which I will take better care of, and soon learn to deal with efficiently), I'm happy with the GS500, and will probably stick with it.  For the limited miles I am able to ride, I really cannot justify swapping it out, and having to pay higher insurance cost.   

The paint on my particular GS500 is holding up perfectly at 19 years old.  But, it is low mileage, lives in Texas where the roads are seldom salted, and has always been garaged.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 10:16:39 PM by MaxD »

Offline Bluesmudge

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Re: Recommended Carburetor Parts
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2020, 10:51:37 PM »
The CB500x and CB500F are the closes motorcycle currently sold to the GS500. Suzuki really needs to come out with something similar and stop resting on the SV650 and Vstrom 650 to fill out its entire middle-weight lineup. Something for $4,500 that isn't a retro 250 or a retro dual sport 200.

Its been so long since we saw anything revolutionary from Suzuki. Meanwhile Honda is churning out amazing engineering every year. I can't decide if Suzuki has big stuff just around the corner or if they are in survival mode.

I sat on a CB500x at a dealership and really wanted to pull the trigger, but my GS and I have 45,000 more miles to share first. And I just really want Suzuki to put out a new bike that speaks to me. I'm willing to wait another model year or two. If the SV650 engine is still the only Suzuki option at that point, then its Honda or an electric for me.

Btw, a CB500x has a full service/valve check at 600 miles. One reason to purchase a lightly used one that has had the break-in service or look to the NC700 bikes with 8,500 miles oil change intervals.

« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 10:59:44 PM by Bluesmudge »

Offline The Buddha

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Re: Recommended Carburetor Parts
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2020, 07:05:03 AM »
The fact that honda is making the current GS500E and F and likely the stepping stones to those in the 300's and they're likely making a 700 and a 1100 and adding an ADV series - 4 motors, 3 frames+1 styling = 16 parallel twins. WTF ???

V twins are stupid. Making more displacement completely alters a frame so much that the SV 1000 and the SV650 have only similar looking frames - far too many mounting point differences. Good for me (I have a 1000) the 1000 isn't a bigger SV650, its actually a detuned TL1000 - bloody heck the TL was the first SV - they had to get away from the TL name after that stupid lawsuit about the rotary rear shock.

Yea the first gen SV was carb, but the TL was FI. I suspect the SV was rushed to the market, and dropped in as a SV not a TL650 and the first gen SV and TL-S frames had like 3500 welds in a hand made aluminum trellis frame. Have you seen one of those polished ??? utterly eye popping. In fact I've seen one where someone painted all the tube sections black and left the welds as the original aluminum, another awesome mod. Those tube sections had mandrel drawn lines so they took paint rather well even if you just painted them with nearly no prep. Better that way, the cadmium protected the aluminum.

Anyway I need to take a closer look at the Hondas - I believe the 300 and 500 use the same frame, but did they stuff a 700 and a 1100 in that same frame ? How the heck parallel twins are great but its still limited by space etc etc, it aint magic, its just more freedom than Vtwin.

Suzuki invented the concept and just screwed themselves soundly.

Cool.
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Offline MaxD

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Re: Recommended Carburetor Parts
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2020, 12:19:02 PM »
Triumph seemed to start this practical parallel twin concept in the 1930's with the 500cc Speed Twin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triumph_Speed_Twin).  But, Honda brought it to a higher level with the CB77, AKA "305 Dream" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_CB77).  My father had one of these from the late 60's to late 70's, and it was his baby.  He rode it to work every day for 10 years, and spent most weekends working on it.  This then led to the CB400, CB450, and CB500.  Suzuki followed suit with the GS450 and GS500, seemingly reaching the peak of that architecture.   

Honda has been more successful in cars than Suzuki, and this probably generates the cash flow that supports the engineering allowing Honda to do so well in their recent motorcycle designs.  They seem to have set a new standard with the modern water cooled, fuel injected CB500. 

Suzuki has done some good car work, though.  My wife had a 1992 Geo Metro, which was a rebadged Suzuki.  That was an amazingly reliable car that we kept for 100k miles with no repairs ever needed.  The little 3 cylinder 1 liter engine was developed under a consortium of companies funded by the Japanese government for their microcars.  It is so reliable and with such a solid power to weight ratio that that it is highly sought after today for use in small kitbuilt aircraft.  The Suzuki Samurai and Sidekick were nice lightweight 4 wheel drive vehicles.  The main reason I got a Jeep Wrangler instead is more parts and modification availability. 

But, Honda is an engineering juggernaut.  It seems Suzuki has only been able to beat them in carefully selected spots.  Suzuki does not seem to want to compete with them in the modern 500cc space, where it would be very hard to get strong sales against the CB500.  They have found a nice niche in the budget 650cc space with their nice V-twins, offering about 50% more horsepower than the CB500. 

 

Offline The Buddha

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Re: Recommended Carburetor Parts
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2020, 04:28:50 PM »
Suzuki invented the naked with perimeter frame. Ducati's Monster improved on that with the trellis - of course Bandit 4/6/11 etc kept the naked perimeter frame idea going.
Cool.
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