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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, this is my 1973 Suzuki TC125. This bike is very sentimental to me, my grandfather purchased it as a left over in 1974. My father and uncle rode it around our farm for a handful of years "scouting crops" and all kinds of other things of the like. It had sat for 30ish years before I found it in the corner of the shed when I was 15 and started to have an interest in motorcycles. So my father and I started turning some wrenches and got it running, if you could call it that.. I learned how to use a clutch and shift on a bike that wouldn't idle, had quite a learning curve..




I cleaned it up, rebuilt the top end, started running premix (yamalube & Av gas!!), cobbled parts from eBay to get the lights working and kazaam I had a street bike at 16!! I rode it all around my hometown in the summers until graduation when I bought a 92' Yamaha Seca II 600. And upon getting a bike that would do more than 55mph completely wrapped out and with marginal reliability, the TC was sent back to the shed.

Fast forward to 2012. I am 3 years out of college, have a garage, and disposable income. One weekend helping dad planting I found the TC back in the same corner of the shed I did almost 10 years ago.



I talked my dad into coming down for a cookout memorial day and bringing me the TC along with a few other goodies from the farm that were no longer in use.




This is the beginning of a major tear down. I have 10 more years of motorcycle knowledge that I can apply to giving this baby what it really needs.


Day 1 tear down.


The tank had premix in it since 2004. Whoops! Now it is a rusty mess inside, either need to coat or eBay a different one.


The kick starter has always been a pain on this bike. It only catches on the bottom 1/3rd of the stroke so I assume there are damaged gears, teeth or something of the like in the mechanism somewhere.


Fast forward a touch and I've pulled the bars/controls, headlight, front fender, air box & side panels and a few others odds and ends. This is one of my first mock-ups of what I would like it to come together as. I want a lower set of bars, this was a shovel I had laying in the garage.



Trying to decide on whether to go for more of a cafe look or a flat track look.. Hmm ideas are percolating



About to pull the forks here, yes I am using the torch as a counter weight to get the front end off the ground. Thanks gramps for teaching me to use what you have at you disposal!



Headlights ears are pretty nasty, I have a set off a TS that are a few inches shorter (brings the headlamp closer to the trees) and the chrome is nearly perfect on I will be using.



Just pulled the forks out..



Forks and all remaining body work free. Oh yeah along with the entire wiring harness, took a bunch of pics there but theyre not very exciting..



Inspecting my oil pump. I did run premix after discovering the line to the pump was gunked up, was told to disconnect the pump but with no idea of how to do this I did not. It was ridiculously easy to remove it and wish I would've done this years ago. I will test it to see if it works, it seems to spin freely and looks to be in good condition seeing how it was connected with no oil going to it for a summer or so.



Battery box is toast. Too much battery acid saw this guy. Fleabay'ing to the rescue!!



This is what 40 year old "chain lube." Just from knowing him, I am quite sure my grandfather used old motor oil as chain lube.



Preparing to remove clutch cable.



Motor free of frame.



Rear wheel & brake drum. Shoes look good, only 11k miles on the clock.





Rear wheel cleaning. Using aluminum foil to remove rust/oxidation. This works amazing!!! The wheel looks brand new after some serious elbow grease and lots of foil.



 

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How do you use aluminum foil to clean a wheel? That's a new one on me.
 

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First I was watching this on my mobile phone and then I said...whoah! This needs to be watched on the computer. It's awesome. Please don't forget to upload photos time to time. Can't wait for the next set of photos. Good Job.
 

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I love this stuff. Subscribed.

I have a dream of locating a decent '73-'75 TS185 to restore and ride. It's the first motorcycle I ever rode on, and the only one I can remember my dad having.
 

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Very nice! I like the 5.0 hidden in the pics too ;-)
I'll be following the thread so I can keep up with your progress.
 

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Awesome I love builds where old motorcycles are brought back to life :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Commence motor de-gunking!!









After lots of simple green, hot soapy water and a stiff nylon brush:







 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the encouragement guys, I put this up on 2strokeworld.com but practically got no responses b/c it should be called RD350world.com..

Its coming along nicely, completely apart now. Waiting to get the frame, swing arm, and a few other pieces sand blasted. I would like to have the cylinder & jug blasted, I think I should have the blaster use walnut? Any advice here would be helpful.

I would like to have them blasted, paint them black, then file/sand the edges of the fins. Just trying to figure out whether I need to polish them before painting or just exactly what the best way to do this would be.

I am taking the motor up north to a buddy this weekend for us to split the cases to investigate/replace the damaged kick start pawls, and possibly/most likely the oil seals and crank bearings.
 

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Cafe racer or flat tracker? Neither. It's a dirt bike. The frame geometry, wheel size, even the shape of the seat and gas tank define it for what it is. I can just about guarantee you that if you modify it in any way that can't be reversed, in a few years you'll be kicking yourself and wishing you still had that bike that you so treasured in your youth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The cases had been the bane of my existence for a week or so.. I started removing the oxidation with a scotch brite pad, and it worked but holy cow it sucked.





This was after who-knows how many hours of going to town on the magneto cover, but it turned out quite well. BUT I still have to to the clutch cover, ARGHHH!!



This is where some #2 steel wool in my kitchen sink full of hot soapy water came into play. This worked awesome!! They turned out great, all I need to do is hit them with some mothers and they will be good to go!

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Bmetz99, I agree completely and should've been more clear initially. I have no metal working skills or amibitions for this build, I am going to be using mostly factory or aftermarket parts to build this into what I think would make it look less like a highway bar having, huge mirror rocking, 70's eyesore.

I plan to run a flatter set of bars, possibly one bar end mirror, no turn signals, no front fender, same wheels & tires (love the look of the tires despite the dry rotting), same paint & graphics on the tank, either the side panels painted to match or custom build number plates instead.

Now one area I am on the fence about is the rear fender, it cleaned up so good I would hate not to use is and place one of these in the middle of it, potentially behind the frame hoop:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/251071112874?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

I just dont know about the lines of this fender sweeping down, and especially without a front fender it may look awkward.. Not really sure yet, honestly I feel like I will just have to put it together and see what it looks like in person..


Or the TS 125/185's had a flatter more MX style fender that I could see giving it more of a flat track look:
http://classic-motorbikes.net/images/gallery/ts185.jpg

Any thoughts here would be appreicated, for a 24 y/o dude I have absolutely no idea how to run photoshop and only have a few renditions going in my head which is not very visually pleasing for the SVR crowd..
 

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Awesome! Thanks so much for posting this evn_05, and please keep the pics coming!


Cafe racer or flat tracker? Neither. It's a dirt bike. The frame geometry, wheel size, even the shape of the seat and gas tank define it for what it is. I can just about guarantee you that if you modify it in any way that can't be reversed, in a few years you'll be kicking yourself and wishing you still had that bike that you so treasured in your youth.
^^^ I agree with this x1000. A nice full restore to bone stock would be beautiful and pay homage to Gramps too.
 

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Awesome project, it looks great. Hearing about you changing the tank when it looks in nice condition makes me sad. I think you'd regret it down the line if you didn't leave it alone. They don't make em like that anymore :p
 

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I really like what you are doing. I think it would look really cool if you sort of combined it into a dirtbike/flattracker --- one thing I think it needs, before the rear fender, is a solo seat, then you can figure out your fender around that.
 
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