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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up another project bike, its been sitting for at least 10 years untouched in a house garage. The original owner bought it, rode it for a year or two, then up and died. It sat where he left it until last week. I spotted the ad in a local free paper and took the ride to go look at it. The price was very right, and it came home with me.
Cosmetically, its not bad, there's a lot of light surface rust on some of the chrome and a ton of cheap add on bits all over the bike, including a pair of unknown brand drag pipes with no baffles.

Its my first newer Suzuki, a 2005 model.

Does anyone have any opinions on these? I'm assuming its basically just a renamed 1400 Intruder with some minor changes?
Does anyone have one with drag pipes? How do you access the rear brake reservoir with the header pipe passing so close to it? There's a chrome cover on the brake reservoir but you can't remove it with the header in place. I guess to check the brake fluid the header has to come off? How about heat transfer to the reservoir?

I've had it running on car cleaner shot right into the carbs so I know it'll run, but the carbs, tank, and petcocks are all gummed up. I've got the tank soaking half full of carb cleaner hoping to melt down some of the solidified gas.

I was suprised to see how much rust there was on the chrome bits, even the factory chrome. The bike was in an attached garage and nearly all the chrome has some degree of surface rust or even some pitting.
So far the bars, forks, and shocks have cleaned up perfect, the rear shock mounts or handles are pretty well rusted on the inside, but the outer chrome cleaned right up. The head covers cleaned right up, and the headlight ring came up like new as well. The big challenge is the spokes, they're covered in light rust, but the rims are aluminum, which will limit what I can use on the spokes.

Were the rims on these polished or just plain aluminum? They don't look like they were ever polished, they look more like plain bare extruded aluminum to me? I've seen a few older Intruders with rims that looked like chrome, but I'm not sure if these are the same rims on the Boulevard model?
 

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I have always had good luck with NeverDul.
 

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Suzuki just renamed the Intruders to Boulevards, and changed the labels; basic model number is still VS1400.
The rims should be polished and clear-coated aluminum; the clear coat should resist what you use on the spokes, but test first, of course. Unfortunately, the chrome from Suzuki isn't the best, and if not kept up, will show rust spotting. Don't forget to flush the clutch and brake hydraulic fluid; should be done every two years, minimum. I'll have to consult the service manual about the rear reservoir access.
 

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2003 Suzuki Intruder 1400
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Rims on an S83 Boulevard are chromed not polished. I don't even think they're aluminum. I have the 03 when it was still called the Intruder. Same exact bike. Very torquey, and a very affordable 88" Dyna or maybe 1200 Sporty clone. If it has aftermarket pipes, check the jet sizes when you tear down for cleaning and make sure they've been upgraded.

Berryman's Chem Dip is my GO TO for carbs that have been sitting for an extended period. Do a FULL disassembly. Do NOT dip any plastic or rubber bits. Leave the parts in overnight and they'll be nearly perfect the next day. Depending on how gnarly, you might just go ahead and replace the jets in general, even with the same size. Jets are cheap, and don't always clean out after sitting for a decade (especially pilot/slow speed jets). You'll have to research what size is stock so you'll know what size to upgrade to (or if they have been already), mine came w/ V&H pipes and already jetted up, so I haven't had my carbs out yet thankfully.

I put a slipstreamer Enterprise II windshield on mine, thinking about doing panniers/saddlebags and an aux fuel tank. The stock tank is only ~3 to 3.5 gallons depending on how brave you are after switching to reserve. Mine goes 100 to 110 miles before needing to switch over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The rims on this are definitely aluminum, I don't see any sign of chrome. They look like the extruded aluminum on a storm door, sort of a dull silver color. The spokes are chrome plated, the hubs are steel but painted argent silver.

I've got two 5 gallon buckets of old Hydroseal carb cleaner in the garage here, I ladled about 2 gallons into the fuel tank on the bench to try and melt out all the gunk in the bottom of the tank. The petcock is likely toast, so I just ordered a new one.
I only paid $400 for the bike, and its got super low miles on it. I figured if nothing else I can part it out but its not that bad overall, it just needs the carbs cleaned up and a lot of rust cleaned off. Plus put all the OEM parts back on it.
I wish I had the OEM exhaust, it was likely removed when it was new, who knows what the guy did with it.
I'm not sure what the pipes are on it now, I'm thinking Cobra, judging by the quality of the other chrome bits, he likely bought the cheapest he could find. I took off chrome plastic hand grips, chrome plastic bat wing mirrors, a tiny chrome tinted windshield that was all cracked and split, and cheap chrome headlight housing. I had the OEM mirrors, handgrips, bar ends, and headlight and bezel. There's still a ton of bolt on bits all over the bike, most it is just chrome plastic, a few pieces look like they may have been meant as heat shields for the exhaust. Both pipes have surface rust around the clamps at the heads, and the rear pipe is pressed against the rear brake reservoir. There's a chrome cover in there but its out of place and pinned down by the header. Both pipes have to come off to be cleaned up, I'm thinking they did something to tuck that pipe in closer and now its blocking access to the brake reservoir, I can't imagine any header being designed in a way that requires you to remove the exhaust or any part of it to check the brake fluid.

What is the deal with the clutch in these things? I can't push it forward in gear without the rear tire dragging or trying to turn the motor over, but I can push it in reverse? Does this thing have some sort of one way clutch in there? I've already had it running long enough on carb spray to know the clutch works and grabs, but I'm a bit concerned about being able to roll it backwards in any gear without the clutch pulled in. When I bought it, the battery was dead and not easy to get to, so to make sure it wasn't stuck, I put it in 5th gear and pushed it to make sure the motor turned over. It took all my weight on the seat to stop the tire from sliding as I let out the clutch rolling down the woman's driveway. It turned over, but it must have some pretty serious compression. My last bike, I could pop it in fourth and give it a push and it started right up if the battery died. I even did that with my old Goldwing years ago.

The battery location is interesting, I guess I'm going to have to add a pigtail for charging this thing, getting at the battery is a down right pain.

How much ground clearance should there be below the battery box? I had a tough time getting it in my trailer, the battery box and foot pegs hit hard coming up the ramp on my 6x12 trailer, with no one on the bike. There's no way I could ever ride it into the trailer. I turned the shocks all the way up and it made little difference.
I'm 350 lbs, 6ft 3in tall, the bike feels like its bottomed out with me on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have always had good luck with NeverDul.
What I'm dealing with on this one is likely beyond NeverDul, I'm likely going to start with some brass or copper wool with some oil, then onto some Mother's polish and wax.
A lot of the rusty bits will likely need to be removed and soaked clean, I've had good luck with EvapORust from Harbor Freight, about four hours soaking and most rust is gone without any chrome or metal damage.

I'm wondering if it would hurt the rear shocks to soak them in the stuff? I suppose they're water proof? The stuff is non corrosive and water based. (After Hurricane Sandy hit the shore areas here I was given a hand full of rifles that had been submerged in saltwater in the tidal surge, they were seized up tight and covered in rust. I removed the wood, and soaked the guns whole, it removes bluing, but it freed up every last one of them and I was able to bring each one back to near perfect condition.).
I'm thinking of knocking the wheel bearings out and soaking each wheel whole? It would sure beat polishing the rust off of 72 spokes and two hubs.

Overall, the bike looks good from about 10 ft away, its things like rust in the heads of all the allen bolts, and rust inside the oil cooler cover, and on the top end of the header pipes that stands out. The bars and forks cleaned right up with some bronze wool and Marvel oil.
 

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2003 Suzuki Intruder 1400
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The rear hub in particular on mine is definitely aluminum. The rims themselves are chromed on mine. I don't know if they changed it for '05 when they switched the name. They are also pretty heavy for aluminum, but I haven't tried to stick a magnet on 'em either.

You can probably find OEM exhaust for it for cheap on Ebay, or I found the V&H equivalent to what I have for ~$230 in nice looking shape. Engine/chassis-wise that bike hasn't changed much (or at all) since 1986/7 (whatever year it was introduced). They just switched to a 5 speed transmission (from a 4) in 1996. So outside of the gearbox pretty much all the parts interchange.

From sitting so long you'll want to make sure the fuel pump still works correctly. It should have a "prime" function; put it in neutral, turn the key on but do NOT grab the clutch lever. When you hit the starter button you should hear the fuel pump try to fill the carbs, but the engine shouldn't turn over. It's when you grab the clutch lever is when the engine should kick over.

There isn't a lot of ground clearance, especially at the battery box. there's a weird floor joint in my parking garage that I have to make sure I'm going straight over because it will scrape if I'm leaned at all. I know my '03 does NOT have a slipper clutch. Nothing says the PO didn't add one, but I don't think it's factory equipped that way. My guess is that everything is kinda sticky from sitting that long and it's just not fully engaging. Get some heat/fresh oil in that crankcase and I bet it acts better.

Speaking of fresh oil, I would definitely get that changed before running the engine very long at all. The front cylinder is air cooled, but the rear is oil cooled. 10+ year old oil of unknown providence is going to be dodgy at best...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I already changed the oil, I put some 10w40 I had in there for now.

I'm not sure what you mean by a slipper clutch?

When I roll it forward in gear, I'm up against engine compression. I've run the engine a bit on spray, enough to know it sounds ok but certainly not enough to get it hot. I did that before I bought it as well.
A guy at one dealer I stopped at said these have something in the clutch to prevent engine braking, he didn't seem too alarmed that it freewheeled in reverse.
I just can't picture what they did to make that happen other than maybe a roller sprag or ratchet of some sort?
When I roll the bike backwards in gear, I can feel resistance, then it lets go, sort of a slip, grab type of feeling accompanied by a light clicking sound.
When I had it running, I could tell the clutch grabs and moves the bike because when I first started it, I stalled it letting out the clutch feeling to see which gear it was in.
It will run if I put gas in the carbs but the idle is erratic. The fuel pump is working, but I bought a new one just to be safe. I also bought both petcocks, some spare exhaust gaskets, and a pair of new Dunlop 404 tires for it.

I didn't think of doing the magnet check, so I just ran out there and tried it. The rims are definitely not magnetic, They are a dull, extruded aluminum looking rim with big chunky looking chrome spokes. The front hub is all steel, its got rust coming through the paint on the one flange. My guess someone was using wire wheel cleaner to clean the spokes and stripped the hub paint off. The fender has a few spots on it as well from the same type of chemical etching. The rear hub looks like it may be aluminum where the spokes attach but steel in the center where the splines are. Its hard to tell since its all painted silver like the front hub. I couldn't get a magnet in there to test it without it grabbing the spokes or the steel parts.

Did someone make aftermarket wheels for these or did they just switch to aluminum rims?
The bike has under 5k on it, so most all I'm dealing with is sitting damage and a pile of cheap parts the original owner hung on it.
The one mirror fell apart on the ride home in the trailer, it was a 5/16" shaft with a plastic bat wing shaped mirror head, even the mirror was plastic. Everything had these bright yellow price tags or inventory tags on it. The handgrips were huge plastic things with some sort of heater built in, the heater wires were cut off by the cheap plastic cruise control he added between the pod and the grip. The guy duct taped the old sleeve and shoved the grips in place, both slipped easily.
He had those flashing LED lights on the valve stems, there's nothing like adding all that weight to a wheel either. Both of those broke off the instant I touched them. Each one had 5 357 watch batteries in it, a 12 led ring, and a tiny circuit board. They're in the trash now.
He had cheap chrome plated aluminum bat wings attached to the rear engine mount, they were eaten away pretty bad from corrosion, but worse yet, they made the engine mount bolts too short. The bolts were only grabbing by one or two threads.
The mini windshield wrapped around the headlight and covered only the speedo and stood up about 5 inches or so above that. It was all split from age. It was zip tied to the forks and had two metal brackets with velcro wraps around the handle bars. It too is in the trash. The entire headlight bucket and rim were chrome plastic, the rim had a huge molded in chrome brow on top and an elongate section below the light. The thing was cracked, split, and had no high/lo beam. The original wiring was wrapped up in a ball and stuffed behind the light, with only two wires going to the light itself.
Again, that thing is in the trash, and the original light is back on the bike. I can't imagine someone thought that thing looked good. I guess the fact that it had a ring of cheap LED's around the outside made it look cool?
The guy had stick on LED light strips under the tank, around the sissy bar, and under the rear fender, none had any wires going to them, so I have no idea what they were there for. They hit the can just as fast.

So far I've been lucky in that he didn't drill any holes or ruin any parts of the bike itself adding on that junk.
He also removed all the emblems and glued on cheap Harley emblems to the tank. The tank emblems are aluminum and from the 50's, he had those on with double sided foam tape.
The dealer told me that the original Boulevard emblems are not available, so unless I find a set somewhere, its going to be without any Suzuki badges for the rest of its life.
The exhaust is loud, way too loud to get away with around here. Especially if I decide to keep this thing and end up coming home late at night. The woman next door to me would flip as her house, and bedroom is close to my driveway.
I don't mind it being heard but the way it is now is just too loud.
Judging by the way the exhaust was adjusted and mounted, I highly doubt if the jets were changed. When I asked around at a dealer one day trying to find out what jets should be in the carb, they weren't sure, I was told the Boulevard models had different carbs and they didn't see many of them. Since the air boxes were all still perfectly intact, my guess is that guy was never in there. If he had been, I'd have found missing screws, clamps, etc. Nearly all visible hardware has those cheap plastic chrome caps glued on top, even recessed Allen bolts and such. He just stuck the chrome cap over those bolts with two face tape, even on the engine. It looked ridiculous. The tech at the dealer said that re-jetting wasn't a good idea on these bikes, they felt it did more harm than good.
My goal is to just find the stock exhaust and put back to the way it was. It will likely run better that way and be alot easier on my ears.
I've had a few bikes with drag pipes in the past, they never seem to work out was well power wise on the road as you would think, they just make it louder and kill the mid range power. Besides the fact these drag pipes will require constant polishing to keep the rust off them.

The hard part will likely be finding all the little brackets and hardware to remount the factory pipes, I don't see any of it here.

What's hardest to understand is that the original owner likely did this to the bike in the first year or two of its life.
 

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The exhaust should not be so near the rear brake reservoir; I suspect the headers were replaced with the other pipes. Look at the photos at this site, and you will see a semi-triangular chrome piece above the muffler on the RH side: https://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/big-twin-rumble-suzuki-1400-intruder-vs1400

There is a release mechanism in the transmission, which is active when you use too much engine braking, and allows the rear wheel to turn faster. See parts 8, 9, and 10 on this: https://www.partsoutlaw.com/oemparts/a/suz/506b59daf8700235b87674a7/secondary-drive-gear
Although, I don't believe it would release by just pushing the bike backwards, but you never know. It is more likely the plates are sticking a bit from sitting, or the clutch is not fully released (or a bit of both); that doesn't explain the release when backing it up.

With both the 800 and 1400 Intruders, changing the pipes usually has minimal effect on mixture; I know, for certain, that the 800 went more to the rich side, which was good, as they are lean from the factory. It is when you mess with the air boxes and air cleaners that jetting becomes a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The exhaust should not be so near the rear brake reservoir; I suspect the headers were replaced with the other pipes. Look at the photos at this site, and you will see a semi-triangular chrome piece above the muffler on the RH side: https://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/big-twin-rumble-suzuki-1400-intruder-vs1400

There is a release mechanism in the transmission, which is active when you use too much engine braking, and allows the rear wheel to turn faster. See parts 8, 9, and 10 on this: https://www.partsoutlaw.com/oemparts/a/suz/506b59daf8700235b87674a7/secondary-drive-gear
Although, I don't believe it would release by just pushing the bike backwards, but you never know. It is more likely the plates are sticking a bit from sitting, or the clutch is not fully released (or a bit of both); that doesn't explain the release when backing it up.

With both the 800 and 1400 Intruders, changing the pipes usually has minimal effect on mixture; I know, for certain, that the 800 went more to the rich side, which was good, as they are lean from the factory. It is when you mess with the air boxes and air cleaners that jetting becomes a problem.
This bike has drag pipes, most likely from Cobra. The rear pipe comes from the left side to the right side behind the rear cylinder, it turns right at the rear reservoir nearly touching it. There's a slip joint just below the carb, its barely engaged enough to hole the pipes together, so there's no way to fudge any more clearance. That triangle piece of chrome is smashed against the reservoir by the rear pipe, its even turned blue like the top of the headers. Part of the issue is that there's a leg shield on the pipe there as well, its got a hose clamp that falls right against the rear of that shield. The shield is unbolted but not moveable. its pinned tight by the header.


The clutch don't slip going forward, and I had it running today on a fuel bottle hooked to the carbs, it goes through the gears and feels fine just putting around and down the road a bit here. The seat was just sitting in place so I didn't get stupid with it. The carbs still have to come apart but they work well enough to run the bike and see that the trans shifts and the clutch don't slip. But yet I can roll it backwards in any gear with the clutch out.
I can feel resistance going backward, but it sort of feels like I'm turning something spring loaded. The motor never moves, not even a twitch in any gear pushing backward. It takes some effort but not so much I'm straining. I thought at first I was in neutral and the brakes were dragging but when I put the clutch in it rolled freely. I was backing the bike up so I had room to turn the motor over in the seller's garage. I got on the bike, rocked it back and forth so i could hear and feel each gear engage, I kicked it up into 2nd, rocked it fore and aft and felt the compression forward as the wheel slid an inch, then when I rocked it back again against compression, it just rolled back, it does the same in every gear. Today I even tried to see if it would slip by taking off in 3rd and lugging it into 4th but it won't slip. It seems to have engine braking when its running, I can hear it as I decel but like I said, I only went a 1/8 mile each way out of my driveway since I only had a couple pints of fuel in a bottle hanging from the bars on a hook.
The fuel pump works, both air filter elements were turned into greasy dust. I was running it with empty air boxes.

I have to find a stock system for this, I don't mind loud but this is too loud. I've got a pair of long baffles that came with it, I may try them but that will likely just hurt the performance more.
 

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There are other pipes that cross over between the battery box and transmission, so both are on the right. The ones you have are just not right, IMO. Or, they were installed incorrectly; I'd have to see them to know which it is.

So, if you have it in gear with the engine stopped, and the clutch disengaged, you can feel a lot of drag when pushing it forwards, and less pushing it backwards. That's what I think you said. There will be a small amount of drag in this condition when cold, less when fully warm, if the clutch is fully disengaged, which is normal for a wet clutch. With the clutch engaged, you shouldn't be able to move the bike in either direction when it is in gear. If you can roll it backwards while in gear, with the clutch released, something odd is happening.

BTW, my link to the secondary drive gear just shows how the gears are held together with spring pressure. The cams that releases the clutch with too much engine braking are 16 and 17 on the clutch diagram: https://www.partsoutlaw.com/oemparts/a/suz/506b59daf8700235b87674a5/clutch
Note that it is a one-way device that only activates when the wheel tries to turn the engine; turning the wheel backwards should not force it to release the clutch. I'm starting to think there is something odd in the drive line, after the clutch.
 

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I can check on the behavior of the driveline on mine once I get it to my new house (moved ~3 weeks ago and the bike is still at my old neighbor's place - wife's grandparents). Once I get back to it I can check if my driveline has the same behavior, but I don't think so. If the engine is off the rear wheel on mine will not move in either direction beyond a little bit of gear lash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just tried it again, I pulled the bike out in the driveway, with me sitting on the bike, in any gear, I can freely roll the bike backwards with my hand off the clutch lever. I cannot roll it forward without sliding the rear tire. If I put it in fifth, I can bounce on the seat and get the motor to turn over using my weight for more traction.
When it rolls backwards, its sort of a slip, grab feeling. At first I thought I may have been just turning the motor backwards and that was why it rolled easier but its too easy to be compression. (It sort of feels like rolling a bike with a warped brake rotor). In neutral, it rolls completely free in either direction.
I started it up, still on a portable fuel tank, and really tried to see if the clutch would slip but it stalls the motor in all gears and even lugging it in 3rd or 4th won't slip the clutch. The clutch function riding it feels totally normal. I even have engine braking at the lower speeds I've tried so far. (Keep in mind the bike is still apart, the seat is only resting on the frame and I've got a porta-tank hanging by a hook on the handlebars).

Now, something I did notice is that after its been running, if I push it backward in gear, it won't move at first when I first shut it off, but if I keep pressure on it, it seems to release and then roll backwards. It will roll backwards until the engine is started again. If I let it sit, after shutting it off, even overnight, it still won't roll back without the initial resistance, then it 'let's go' and will roll backwards with the slip/drag feeling. Its as if I'm purging fluid from somewhere when I first try to push it backwards, once it relieves the pressure, it moves almost freely in reverse. It really feels like the clutch has some sort of one way clutch?

In reality, if I hadn't tried rocking it to see if all the gears engaged that day when I first looked at it, I would have never noticed this at all. Never in normal use would I push a bike backwards in gear but the fact that it does roll backwards not forward makes me wonder what's going on, even if it is normal.
 

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I've got an 05 Boulevard VS1400 as well. I just went out and tried mine, in gear, clutch released, I cannot move it forward but I can roll it backwards in all gears. I does like you described, at first it won't move, then it sort of pops free and rolls backward with sort of a lump-lump feel. I thought maybe the engine was turning in reverse with the decompression lever on but its not turning the motor, what ever slips in in the trans or final drive. After running the engine, it goes back to not rolling in either direction until I persist a bit and it starts to roll backwards. Like you described, it will not roll in forward, the tire will drag before the motor will turn over.

I went next door to a buddies place, he's got an 01 Intruder, his bike will not roll backward in any gear, ever.
I've ridden his bike before and compared it to mine and its very different. His feels a lot different even when you shift it, his seems to just fall into the next gear while mine has always needed a firm lift of the foot. His has a lot more miles though, mine has about 600 miles on it, his has close to 20k.

As to your early post about your wheels, mine has extruded alloy wheels, not chrome, only my spokes are chrome, the front hub is steel painted silver, the rear hub is aluminum with a steel center. My spokes are chrome plated.

In comparison to my buddies 2001, there's a lot of differences, the rims/wheels are the first I see, the top section of the forks and the handle bars are different. His has buckhorn style bars and a riser, mine has one piece drag bars, his seat is two pieces with no back rest, mine is one piece with a back rest with a storage box inside the back rest, and his oil cooler cover is also a bit different.
My wheels have bare aluminum flat sided rims with dimpled spoke holes, his has rounded edge steel rims.
After buying my bike this winter, I've noticed these a bit more and I was looking at one the other day, which the guy said was a 2007 model, and its rims were similar to mine but chrome plated or polished. He said his rims were steel. His had a different seat again, his was smooth, all one piece with no grab strap. Mine is one piece, smooth on the sides with a passenger grab strap and a diamond texture on top. The older bikes has more of a pillow looking type seat, made to look more like leather, while the newer models were just a one piece vinyl box style seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This bike takes a firm hit of my foot to shift, its a bit stiff but its likely a combination of not being used in years and maybe not being broken in yet.
Like I said, the clutch doesn't slip under power, so I'm not too concerned. Someone mentioned to me that maybe its a function meant to prevent downshifting to a lower gear and over-revving the motor?
I sort of wish they did these twins more like HD with a single carb though, it would have been far easier to work on. Getting at the carbs on this is way too much work.
I'm having my doubts about how long I'll keep this one already.
 

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This bike takes a firm hit of my foot to shift, its a bit stiff but its likely a combination of not being used in years and maybe not being broken in yet.
Like I said, the clutch doesn't slip under power, so I'm not too concerned. Someone mentioned to me that maybe its a function meant to prevent downshifting to a lower gear and over-revving the motor?
I sort of wish they did these twins more like HD with a single carb though, it would have been far easier to work on. Getting at the carbs on this is way too much work.
I'm having my doubts about how long I'll keep this one already.
That's one reason I like a heal shifter as well. It then is almost like stomping on the shifter to make it shift, even though you don't actually stomp. But it sure looks and sorta feels like it. You may change your mind if you put a few thousand miles on it or a full season. But if in your heart of hearts you want a Harley, then nothing will do until you have one. Been there, won't go back. But I got my Harley fix if you would.:grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've owned a lot of different bikes over the years, including HD but they weren't my favorite. I just like the simplicity when it comes to working on them compared to the other V twins out there.
In reality, a V twin isn't my first choice. I only bought this one because I got it cheap.
I also prefer air cooled to water cooled, its just one less thing to go wrong with age.
Of all my bikes, my favorites have been my 1980 CX500 Honda, my 1981 Honda CB900C, a 1982 Suzuki GS1000, and a 1974 Moto Guzzi 850T. The CX500 was a great around town bike lot of torque and enough power to do the job, I bought it for a few hundred bucks at an estate sale and kept it for 8 years, the 81 CB900C came from a junkyard, it was rough with almost 20K on it with lots of rust but it ran down the road better than any of my other bikes and the 10 speeds made it even more interesting. The GS1000 was a good bike all around, it was easy to work on, had gobs of power and was pretty comfortable. The all around favorite had to be the MG 850T, it had all the pluses that the CX500 Honda had but it was air cooled with a bit more power. The 850T was 10 years old when I got it in '84, it was imported here from Italy by its original owner and was like brand new when I got it. I ran it for about 40,000 miles before selling it after buying a Goldwing real cheap, but I regretted selling it almost right away.

I liked the few HD's I had but got tired of the V twin shakes pretty fast. They were never my only bike at the time and I found that they got the least use. I gravitated toward the smaller, more nimble bikes that would start right up and go, every HD I had was a bit cold hearted and needed to warm up a bit more, that combined with the roughness of the engines they just got used less. They also cost me more in insurance to own.

I've also owned a few sport bikes, but they were more or less for those days that I just wanted to cut loose a bit but I got over that pretty quick too. I'd still take one if a deal turned up but I'm pickier about buying that type of bike because they tend to be more abused.
 

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Im not clear on whether this is a carbed or an injected bike.
This thing has basically sat for 15 years.
I would expect seals & orings starting to fail.
They fail sittin in a baggie on a dark shelf.
Of COURSE they will start going funky in a garage.

About that chrome.
My previous bikes all had factory chrome and it was a total pain to keep it up.
I always lost that battle on the rusty chrome.

My 900 had a "blacked out" engine and it was MUCH easier to keep it looking good.
Well, except for that factory chrome dome on top of the carbs.
In a fit of rage, I sent them out to a shop and had them powder coated solid black.
It turned out so well, that when I tackle the 750, Ill START the carb overhaul by powder coating THEM too.
It came to a bit over $10 per dome. TOTALLY worth it.

Regarding YOUR rusty chrome:
Do you want to spend all your time polishing it? Or would you rather RIDE the thing?
A powder coat shop can be your friend....
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Its got two carburetors.

I'll deal with things like seals and such as they need to be dealt with I guess.

The rusty bits are mostly things that aren't chrome plated, just plain steel. There are chrome acorn nuts with plain steel washers underneath that rusted.
The rear shock mount/grab handle is rusted on the inside, and it shows through the shock mount area. I currently have both off the bike and soaking in EvapOrust.
The lower handle bar clamp is chrome plated aluminum, its all bubbled up and blistered with the chrome peeling off it. Nothing else in the area is rusty, just that one part. Its part of the handlebar riser. Things like the fork tubes, cylinder head covers and bars all cleaned up with just polish. The wheels will be a challenge in that I'll have to remove the tires to clean the spokes and I can't use regular chrome cleaner since the rims are aluminum.
Why they're aluminum is still up for debate, it seems these should have Chrome steel wheels but these are definitely aluminum with chrome plated spokes, a silver painted hubs.

I think if the spokes didn't come up good enough to pass for chrome, I'd just wipe them down with alcohol and spray paint them silver or black and leave the rims aluminum. If they're really bad, they may need to be replaced. One spoke looks like the chrome is peeling or swollen a bit.
The chrome in general is **** on this thing. And from what I've seen, its a pretty common problem with Suzuki in general, especially in a shore area.

I want to removed the rust for preservation purposes as much as for appearance. Rust left unchecked will no doubt become a bigger problem down the road.

Finding bikes around here that aren't rusty seems to be a big problem, I've looked at 30 or so bikes so far this year and every last one had rust issues.
I'm sure a good bit of it is how people treat their bikes.
I've owned motorcycles since I was a kid, they got stored in the garage or shed, out of the weather, if it got wet, you dried it off and gave it a coat of wax and oiled anything that needed oil. I'm finding bikes with rusted frames, rusted exhaust, rusty chrome, rusted bolts on the engine, and rust in the fuel tanks. Many are only a few years old. Its hard to tell a flood bike here from just a bike that's been neglected and stored outdoors all year.
 

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2003 Suzuki Intruder 1400
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I did finally 1: get my bike to my new house
AND
2: check the whole "roll it backward" thing. And I don't know how hard you're pushing it, but it will NOT roll backward in gear. I get ~4ish inches of overall movement due to gear/driveline lash, and then hard stop.
Mine is a 2003 1400, still called "Intruder" for reference.

The P.O. did a few mods like V&H pipes and carb jets. I do not know if I have the original clutch springs or not (beefier clutch springs are a popular mod) - but I would be surprised if they are not as it has < 20k miles still.

Was able to ride to work the last 2 days finally, so yay me!
 
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