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26,142 Posts broke the cardnal rule about beginners and motor bought a bike (turd...whatever) in the worst condition for a beginner possible. I hope you don't have any delusions about riding the thing this year. There is so much important stuff missing too that I can only guess you bought someone else's parts bike (seriously: the carbs, the heads, parts of the wiring harness - you need these things!!!) The only consolation is I hope it was free or close too. If you are new to this, always buy the best bike possible for the money. These are old bikes anyway so there will always be stuff to fix. Get us some pics of any spare parts you got with it - but my best advice is to part it out on ebay, take the money you make from it, and buy something that is at the very least complete. This is the wrong project for a beginner.

That being said GT550s are awsome bikes, I really like them. I have seen some nice running GT550s sell for a couple o' hundred bucks (ratty looking but running) so if you want to stick with this kind of bike then it should not be hard to find a running one cheap. Of all the two stroke bikes out there suzuiks are the better ones for beginners.

Check out the suzuki two stroke message board, if anybody can answer the multitude of newbie questions you are going to have about this specific bike it is going to be these guys:

Paul Miller Motorcycles will have all the parts you can get for this bike (suzuki surprising still has a lot of stuff for it).

Also Bill Bune ( is awsome at crank rebuilding which by the looks of things you are going to need. He also does awsome work in boring. I just got my T500 pistons and crank back from him a couple of months back and I am super happy.

Ok so where to start? Here is my suggested game plan:

It is a two stroke so start with the motor. Does the one in the frame turn over? (do the pistons move when you kick start it?) Does the spare motor? The first thing to go on these and the most expensive is the crank seals, but before you worry about them see if you even have a good bottom end. Either way you are going to need the crank rebuilt but the difference is whether you need bottom end bearings also. If you have a motor that turns over you are going to need to seal it up (I don't see this happening on the one in the bike, but maybe the spare engine) and leak down test the crank seals (move the piston to the bottom of the travel and pump 5 psi into the engine through the spark plug hole and see how slow or fast it leaks out - fast and the seals are shot). If you need a crank it will probably cost in the neighborhood of $300 to rebuild not counting shipping and parts. Send that off an turn your attention to the frame.

If there are mods you want to do (custom seat, low bars), now is the time to figure those out because the bike is grungy and you don't want to be ruining a freshly painted frame with any welding. If you are wanting to run bars any lower than drag bars now is the time to figure out rearsets.

Japanese bikes are built in sub assemblies and I like to focus on rebuilding the sub assemblies first because when it comes time to paint and reassemble the frame you can get it back up on wheels quick so as not to scar the paint.

Take the swingarm off the bike at the pivot and restore the swingarm, wheels, etc. Do the same with the front by removing the whole front end at the neck.

Clean everything, repaint as you go.

· Registered
26,142 Posts
A couple more questions:

1 - did you get a title for this bike?

2 - what exactly is your budget?

3 - What is your mechanical expirence?

4 - are you an engineering student of some kind?

If I sounded overly critical before it be because, well it sounds like you have no mechanical expirence, you did no research, and just bought the first thing that came along. There are plenty of pie eyed kids who get into this hobby with way too much ambition and way too little ability and a good chunk of them then leave the hobby frustrated and end up dumping bikes cheap. That isn't good for the hobby at all because it doesn't grow. On the up side if you stick with it you will have done something that few actually in this hobby can lay claim to. The time to ask if this was a good bike or a good project is before you bought it...not after.

But there are some delusions you are going to need to get over:

1 - this is not the cheaper way. In the end you will have spent more on this bike than if you bought two in good shape. In many ways this is a form of old bike financing, where you also get a lesson out of it so it has its advantages over buy a new bike and financing that. Chances are though if you are a college student, you probably won't have enough to dump into this bike till you are out of college and have a job. $200 is not a great price, not a bad price either but I have sold suzuki two strokes in better condition for the same money.

2 - This is not a fast process. You are looking at 1 year if you are efficient, 2-3 if you have to learn the basics of working on stuff. This is also a frustrating process as there will be times where you can't go any further and will have to depend on someone else. As a newbie too, be prepared to be ripped off by shops, eat a lot of shit from more expirenced wrenches, make a ton of mistakes, give up on it twice, and basically earn your stripes.

3 - find a mentor. Someone who works on old bikes who can help you understand the process (another person in the hobby not a shop). I will outright say I would not have the confidence to work on suzuki two strokes if it werent from Diamondj (Jim) on the suzuki board and this board. I have learned so much from him working on this stuff with me.

Forgot to add - pipes are really important to this bike as GT550 pipes are really expensive when you find a usable set. Also on two strokes the pipe is actually part of the engine's exhaust and intake timing so it isn't like you can just make a set of straight pipes for it.

Edited by - Geeto67 on May 14 2007 10:25:13 AM

· Registered
26,142 Posts
I am not sure but I think there are one or two members of STOGI (Suzuki Two Stroke Owners Group International) that may live in maryland, you can find out through the suzuki two stroke board or through

Before going any further I would have one of those guys take a look at the bike and see if it is worse or better than it looks in person.

we still haven't seen any pics of the other parts so no idea if you can swap motors.

If I were closer I would try to help you out but maryland is too far a drive from nyc.

...beat up his girlfriend....heheheheeeeee (you guys are sick, extremely funny, but sick).

· Registered
26,142 Posts
Well since im already completely screwed according to you inspiring gentlemen, I guess i'm jus gonna have to learn from this one, i would appreciate any help that i can get from you guys, like i said i stay right down in Upper Marlboro. I'm gonna post another picture of the spare engine and carbs, and air filter that i have probably tomarrow. From there, i don't kno??

SPEED!!! My new anit-drug
You are not completely screwed...just you learning curve is really really really steep right now. The one advantage to bikes is that you can basically churn out an entire bike in the same amount of time it takes to do one major component on a car. However, patience is a virtue with this project as is determination.

The problem with a newbie tackeling a project like this is that there are all sorts of general mechanics knowledge that the manual doesn't tell you. For instance stuck screws are better off being extracted with an impact driver than sheer force and a philips head screwdriver, or that screws going into aluminum should be snugged tight not tightened down with all the force you can muster, or that steel and aluminum corrode when they are in contact (dissimilar metal corrosion), or that anti-seize is a good thing to put on every fastner. Right off the bat I would say shop around for a fastener kit that replaces all your philips screws with stainless allen head fastners, makes life much easier.

Another hurdle is going to be tools, and no way around it you are going to make a considerable investment here. You cannot do this project without:

- A troque Wrench
- Feeler Gauges
- Impact driver
- A good complete set of metric spanners (wrenches) and sockets
- wire brush
- dial caliper
- elbow grease.

The reason I asked if you were an engineering student is that the Mech E guys usually have access to the coolest stuff and a good deal of them are hotrodders. At my college they were fond of building racing buggies (although we were no where near the desert) and legends cars (motorcycle powered race cars), which means that they had a bitchin welder, plus access to platers and painters, metal shops, and a full machine shop.

Another problem you are going to run into is that many shops will not deal with this kind of bike. You are going to need to find someone local to you who can help you when you get stuck. Look for a VJMC chapter in your area: I don;t know who is closer to you but these are the regional reps in your area:

Tim McDowell
11788 Stonegate Lane
Columbia MD 21044
[email protected]

Kenny Haines
116 Grace Croft Drive
Havre de Grace MD 21078
[email protected]

Dan Gray
13568 Coach Lamp Lane
Silver Spring MD 20906
[email protected]

try contacting one of them and see if there are any suzuki two stroke enthuasists in your neck of the woods who wouldn't mind helping you out since you are a newbie. You'll be surprised to see how people in motorcycles all stick together.

I'd happily help out but I am too far away.
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