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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 2001 Suzuki Intruder. Took it for a ride a week or so ago, and everything seems fine, aside from I'm still learning how much choke it wants to get started, doesn't always pop off right away. But of course I have no idea how well it was maintained over the years, so I'd like to take it to a local shop for a tune up. I'm thinking change the fluids and filters, check the carb and make sure it's not running too lean or rich. Check the brakes (I think the rear brake pedal has a little more travel than it should), tire wear, new spark plugs, coolant, that kind of stuff. But I really don't know, what all is involved in making sure a bike is in good shape and ready for the road? Is there a standard "tune up" that is common for older bikes, or will I need to specify what I want checked? What's a reasonable price? I used to do simple stuff like oil changes and spark plug wires back in the day, so I have some basic understanding but everything is much more complicated these days.
What are some intelligent questions I could ask the mechanic? I'm willing to pay for a good job but I don't want to get cheated.
 

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Do everything you feel confident in doing before taking it to a dealer and paying them to do the easy things. It will save you some $$$. Also if you are a little hesitant to tackle a job, see if there is a how to Youtube video, or check the Suzuki/Intruder forums for tips and advice.

Tackle one job at a time and it won't be long before everything is done. Good luck with it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, so much for that idea. I live about an hour from any larger city, and about a half hour away from the nearest motorcycle place. Stopped in there today, and was told they were booked out 8-10 weeks. Wouldn't even put me on a waiting list for having my bike seen to. So I'm going to do some research and see if I can't figure out at least how to change the oil and make sure the other fluids are full. Thanks for the reminder on the youtube videos, I know my brother found some really good ones for working on his truck, so hopefully they'll have something on my bike.
 

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Make sure whatever shop you call knows it's a 21 year old motorbike. Many dealers and shops won't work on bikes over 10 years old.

Do as much as you can yourself. In fact, looking at your list, I think you could everything yourself. As far as a "tune-up" list, your owners manual should tell you what needs to be done. If you remove the plugs they should tell you whether the bike is running rich or lean. Add some Marvel Mystery Oil or Seafoam to your next fill up.

If you have the tires replaced, take the wheels off and bring those to the shop. You'll pay heavily for them to remove the wheels. Plus, you probably won't have to wait 8-10 weeks for the tire replacement. I've done tire replacements myself using spoons. Not a big fan.
 

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Figured as much. If OP repeated all that to the shop they assumed he will not pay for what they want to do the work. So they discouraged him and so many shops do that now.
 

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Which larger city? Anywhere near St. Louis?
The dual-carb Intruders need to be synchronized to run smoothly, otherwise, in some rpm ranges, you will feel extra vibration. Also, they don't have a real choke, but starting enrichment, which only functions at, or just slightly above, idle, so you can pull it all the way to start and, if it's really warm, it will let you know by beginning to bog down, My VS800 could use it even in hot weather, if the engine was 'cold', but just for a minute. More than once in cooler weather, I rode off with the 'choke' on, but realized it at the first stop about a mile away.
The 800 has tappets which may need setting, and your clutch and brake fluid probably need flushing and bleeding. The final drive oil should be checked to see if its full. Tire age is another thing to check - find the DOT codes to determine the age. Anything 6 years or older should be replaced, regardless of tread. Air filters, of course, and the filter box drains should be checked. Except for the carb sync and tappets, all these are fairly simple.
 

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Being a 2001 year model I guess it would be a dual carb Intruder. (800 or 1400 model). They need both idle and high-ish speed carburetor synchronization. They also need a person that understands how to deal with the cables and adjusters going from the front semi-downdraft carburetor to the rear side draft carburetor. It might be a good idea to ask the mechanic if he (or she) has ever done one before you drop it on them.

S F
 

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Yeah, sync can be tricky when you're learning as you go. Tank comes off, aux tank hooked up, vacuum gauges attached, then choose the right cables to adjust. Once you have done it, it's just follow the routine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's a VS800GL. I didn't tell the shop anything about it, just told the gal at the counter I was interested in having a tune up done. She immediately said they were booked solid. Tried on a couple of helmets, they don't sell boots, so walked out thinking that was all a big disappointment. Saginaw would be the next larger city that I'm close to, but don't really get over that way very often and not sure what might be available there.
I ordered the Clymer manual and started watching youtube videos and will at least try to get the oil and oil filter changed and clean the air filter. My tire guy is big into motorcycles, so I'll go have a chat with him and have him look at the tires and maybe pick up some advice.
Took it out for the second ride the other day after work. Everything seems fine except that it doesn't like going slow through town. Sort of stumbles and misses a bit trying to stay at 25 mph. But it could also be that I'm still fumbling a bit trying to figure out which gear I should be in for going slowly. And still learning what the bike actually wants with the "choke" setting.
 

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Once it is warm you shouldn't have to use the 'choke' setting. My Yamaha is very cold natured and first starts even in the middle of the summer require the 'choke'.

What gear are you in at 25?
 

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It's a VS800GL ............ She immediately said they were booked solid.
.......... and clean the air filter
A lot of shops won't take a Japanese bike that is 20+ years old. Too many discontinued parts that might crumble when touched.
There are two air filters. One behind the rear cylinder for the rear side draft carburetor and one under the fuel tank for the front carburetor.

S F
 

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You should be in 3rd or 4th at 25mph; 5th is very close to idle rpm, and won't pull from that speed, but, if the road is level and smooth, you can put along at that speed. If you need to accelerate or go up a hill, though, drop to 4th or 3rd, depending on how much power you will need.
 

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If it is running unevenly, like surging, in those gears at 25, the sync is probably the issue, as one cylinder it trying to outrun the other.
 
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