Suzuki SV650 Riders Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This thread originally was posted over at EX500.com, figured I'd re-post it here as it may be of general interest. The first post is dated August 21, 2011, so the entire project took a little less than a year. Here's where it started:

So four or five years back my niece bought a used EX500 for commuting while at Cal Poly. This is what it looked like on day 1:


The bike had been road surfed on both sides, the tank was bashed in in a couple of places, and it was generally pretty filthy all around. She rode it for a year or so, then the starter went out. I got her dad to bring it up to me, and I spent a week or so going through it and addressing a few issues:


Replaed the age-cracked rubber brake line with a braided steel unit from a Triumph Bonneville. Replaced the worn-out brake pads with some EBC pieces. Replaced the mostly-missing air filter with a new one. Cleaned the carbs (there was a bunch of rust in 'em) and installed an in-line fuel filter. Pulled the dents out of the tank, applied Bondo and levelled things out. Etched the inside with phosphoric acid and lined it with Kreem- no more rust, period. Installed a new starter and did a bunch of general clean-up on the poor thing. Cosmetically it was, uh, challenged, and she didn't have the budget for a decent paint job. So I got a little mini-roller and coated the whole damned thing with silver hammertone paint, since it is reasonably fuel-proof and durable. She rode it for a few more years, but then ended up moving a few times, and the EX ended up in her dad's garage. She called me one day and asked if I was interested in it. Who am I to turn down a project bike?
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
August 23rd, 2011:

As mentioned earlier, the bike is in my brother's garage, some 60 miles from where I live. I was hoping to ride it back to my place to work on it, but it turns out this would be a bad idea. First off, the tires are pretty old and show a good deal of sidewall cracking. This ususally means that the rubber is age-hardened, giving the tires all of the traction characteristics of kiln-dried oak. Then my brother pointed out that the valve stems were similarly cracking. He grabbed one and pushed it to one side, whereupon it sheared off, instantly deflating the tire. Definitely not going to be riding this thing home.

So I started pulling off parts...


Cleaned up the front wheel and removed the brake disc. The rotor is supposed to be 4.5mm thick, at minimum. This one mic'd out at 3.77mm. Now Galfer makes a nice floating disc for the 2nd generation EX500s, but for the 1st gen bikes only a solid disc. Oddly, it sells for only $10 less than the floating disc
Fortunately, I scored a really great deal on the last one available through Amazon, getting it for $60 less than list price.


Both the brake master cylinder and front caliper were leaking. I pulled the cap off of the master cylinder to re-fill it with fluid while trying to determine which of the two was bad (all I knew was "the front brake doesn't work"). Once I found out both were shot I put the cap back on, barely tightening the two screws that secure it. Pulled both the master cylinder and caliper and took them home to rebuild. Went to pull the cap off of the master cylinder and the screws wouldn't budge. Ended up pulling the piston out and backfilling the reservoir with PB Blaster, which always works. Except this time. Even drilled the screws out, thinking this might help- ended up snapping off an Allen wrench in one of them (!) before giving up and oredering a master cylinder from an '04 EX250 off of Ebay. $26 shipped ,in perfect shape, including the brake lever


Fortunately, the caliper rebuild went considerably easier. The caliper itself was pretty buggered up, so I gave it a coat of hammertone paint (my favorite cheap solution) because it is durable and fuel proof:

 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
August 23, 2011:

The wheels were quite a mess. Not sure what inspired the folks at Kawasaki to put white wheels on a chain-driven bike. Now I did have an 86 EX250 that had white wheels as well, but at least those oval-sectioned hollow spokes were reasonably easy to clean. These things have more nooks and crannies than an English muffin. Got them reasonably clean using Meguiars Mag Wheel Cleaner, but still they were pretty well dinged up. Went to the local car parts store thinking I'd get some Dupli-Color engine enamel- the stuff is pretty tough, lays down nicely, and is reasonably fuel-proof. While I was deciding what color to go with I noticed that Dupli-Color also makes a spray paint that's specifically formulated for use on wheels- claims to be impervious to brake dust and chipping. What the heck, it's only a buck more than the engine enamel...

Before:


After:


Have to say I'm very pleased with the results. Following the instructions (two light coats followed by a heavier wet coat) gave a very nice finish- difficult to tell it isn't factory. Now if that darn brake rotor would only show up, I could get the wheels back onthe bike...

Oh, yeah- one last thing. Went with a set of Pirelli MT 75s in the stock size (100/80 up front and 120/80 out back). I understand these things are reasonably sticky and work well in the wet. Figured for $15 more than a set of Korean rim protectors I couldn't go wrong...
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
September 5th, 2011:

Got my younger brother to give me a ride out to my older brother's house where the Ninjette is parked. Dragged along the refurbished wheels, new disc, new battery, and a bunch of tools. Got everything reassembled only to discover that nothing happened when the starter button was pressed. Older brother (the firmware genius) traced it down to a bad starter switch. Disassembled the right side pod to discover burnt contacts and one of the pivots broken off of the starter button or switch or whatever you want to call it. Three minutes later older bro had drilled out the lever and installed a tiny metric screw to replace the missing pivot. Perfect fix!

Bike up and running and now in my garage:




Lots of work to do to make it right. It'll eventually be a streetfighter but first I want to get things working as they should. The suspension is flaccid, and the rear end in particular is terrible with essentially no damping and a too-soft spring. There's a fix for that on the bench:



More to follow...
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
September 19th, 2011:

Got a few more things done:
Scored an almost-new 2nd gen SV650 shock. It's a tad longer than the stock EX500 unit, and the spring rate, at 430 lbs/in is considerably stiffer (ideal for a rider in the 180-210 pond range, I'm told).

You do have to do a bit of modification to make this fit. First the eye is sized for a 10mm bolt, while the EX500 uses a 12mm top mount bolt. Some folks have driven out the rubber mount and replaced it with one salvaged from an EX500 shock. I went the lazy route and just drilled it out to 31/64" (.484"). The remaining metal is about 1mm thick, should be OK considering the loads imposed.

On the other end, the EX500 clevis again uses a 12mm bolt, compared to the SV650's 10mm bolt. Again, I drilled out a clearance hole (31/64") on one side, and drilled and tapped the other end M12 x 1.25

The SV shock has a raised collar on the threaded side. If you punch this out to 12mm the remaining metal is pretty thin, so I just filed it down to nearly flush and used a lock nut on it:

Finally, the SV650 shock's clevis is a tad narrower than the EX500's. Had to spread the clevis by approximately .015". This was easily accomplished using some threaded rod stock and a couple of nuts and washers. Spread it just enough to fit onto the lower shock linkage, it does so without dragging or binding.
This was a relatively easy and inexpensive modification. The back end no longer pogos and doesn't bottom on potholes. A vast improvement for a small outlay of money and time. But it REALLY makes the front suspension's shortcomings even more apparent...
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
September 19, 2011. Footnote- FOG is a senior member over at EX500 .com His name is an acronym for either "Fast Old Guy" or "F***ing Old Guy"- a bit of a curmudgeon but a metallurgist and and engineer and a successful EX500 racer/team manager. Mostly a wealth of really useful knowledge:

Meanwhile, up front...
I used the wonderfully effective FOG method of removing the fork cap retaining clips:

Measured how far the stock springs stuck out of the fork tubes, for future referece. About .280" or 7mm:

Calculated how much spring I wanted to remove, then did so with a Dremel tool and a reinforced cutoff wheel. I don't bother with the cheaper unreinforced wheels, as they tend to fail catastrophically with the tiniest bit of side loading. Spring Rate and Length calculation is easy and straightforward:
Original Length X Original Rate = New Length X New Rate
So
New Rate = (Original Length X Original Rate) / New Length
In this case the spring started out at 21.125" long and I calculated the rate (measuring spring deflection for a number of known loads) to be .56kg/mm. Hacking off 5 inches of spring yielded a rate of .76kg/mm, in the ballpark for a 170 pound rider.

Cleaned up and ground down the ends of the springs:

Used 3/4" I.D. Schedule 40 plastic pipe for spacers and a 3/8" washer. The pipe and washer both mic'd out around 1.1" in diameter, which is close to the springs' O.D.

A pipe cutter makes for accurate, nicely squared-off cuts:

Regarding the length of the spacer. Before cutting the springs I had 40mm of sag with my 170 lb carcass on board. The intended rider weighs 200 lbs. Since I cut off 5 inches of spring I decided to start with 5 inch spacers. When everything was said and done I ended up with 25mm of sag (which makes perfect sense, considering that the shortened springs are now stiffer). Will have to check sag with the 200 lb rider on the bike, and adjust preload accordingly.
Install the fork oil with the springs out and the fork tubes collapsed. Start with 5 inches of air gap (fork oil level is 5 inches below the top of the tube). I used 15W fork oil which should be good for this stiffer rate of spring.
When reassembling, set both tubes to the same height above the top of the triple clamp. I couldn't find a spec'd out figure for this setting, so I went with .600 inches as the recesses in the clip-ons are .650" deep;

I also bent one end of each of the retainers so that removal would be easier next time:

The results are just shy of miraculous. Instead of a mushy front end that dives like a spooked trout every time the brakes are applied, I've got a firm-but-supple ride that tracks MUCH better and gives FAR better feedback. As an added bonus the increased ride height means the side stand is no longer too long- before, the bike stood almost completely upright on the side stand, and would tip over easily. I highly recommend this upgrade.
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
September 25, 2011:

So now that I've raised the ride height by stiffening/preloading the front and installing a stiffer/longer shock out back, the center stand no longer holds the rear wheel off the deck. The suspension is actually a bit compressed with the bike on the center stand. What to do?
I wanted to just weld a piece of 1/4" plate to the bottom of the center stand feet. But the sheet metal there is pretty thin- trying to weld a thicker piece to it is asking to just burn through the thin base metal. So I cut some 1" X 1 1/2" pieces of 1/8" thick steel sheet, bent them to fit the contour of the bottom of the center stand feet, and brazed them in place:

Cleaned up the excess brass with a coarse file:

Cut some 3/4" X 1 1/2" pieces of 1/8" steel and cut some grooves in them with a ball end mill:

Welded the grooved plates to the brazed base plates, cleaned things up with a file, and painted the whole piece black:


Now the rear wheel sits a bit off the deck:

 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
September 26, 2011:

So I wanted to do something about that lawn mower exhaust note, but on a budget. So I picked up a pair of Emgo Shorty Megaphones. Had heard them on a couple of YouTube videos. Knew they'd be loud, but had also heard that they'd benefit from some proper re-packing.

Boy, they weren't kidding:

Mufflers came packed with about 1/4 inch of fiberglass that looked like it had been peeled from a roll of attic insulation.

Shifted it forward to where the muffler body tapers down.

Got some proper packing material (had a bunch of it left over from a 2Bros repack kit I had laying around). That and some masking tape is all you'll need.

Wrapped and taped. Stuff the insert into place and secure with the three sheet metal screws (which will inevitably be replaced with pop rivets or rivnuts) and you're back in business.

The verdict? These suckers are LOUD! Bike runs great but I end up short shifting through the neighborhood just to be halfway considerate. Oddly, they seem to get quieter as the revs rise. Am hoping that the masking tape will loosen up with use and let the packing expand a bit, hopefully doing a better job of reducing the bark. You want bang-for-the-buck in a loud exhaust this is the way to go. You want something civil, look elsewhere. But it does sound badass...
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
February 6, 2012:

So the fairing was pretty messed up- cracked in a number of places, and just plain butt-ugly with 43 acres of hammertone paint. Time to start cutting and fabricating...

Start with some angle brackets from the hardware store:


Fabricate some braces from steel stock:


The idea is to make a mount for the stock instrument cluster, and have it bolt to the front of the upper triple clamp. The triangular pieces will add stiffness:



Cut up the fairing mount, leaving just the instrument cluster mount. Fitted things up and then started welding:





Coated with grey hammertone and bolted to the upper tiple clamp:


Instrument cluster in place:


Could stop here and go with a streetfighter look, but there's more stuff on the way...
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
February 16, 2012:

Since this bike is headed in the streetfighter direction, I decided to run an Emgo Viper 1/4 fairing. I like the retro look, I've run these on a number of different bikes and they work well in terms of wind protection without helmet-rattling turbulence, and they're dirt cheap ($74 delivered from Niche Cycle Supply). The fairing showed up in just a few days, but I needed to do some modifications.

With the cheap Emgo headlight brackets I was running, the headlight sat too close to the instrument cluster, meaning the instrument cluster interfered with the fairing. Rather than cut up the fairing (possibly making it less rigid) I decided to make new headlight brackets:

Fabbed these from 1/8" aluminum stock and some .030" X .750" stainless strap. Made the loops for the fork legs a bit oversized and lined the insides with adhesive-backed closed cell foam from the home insulation aisle at the hardware store.

The hardware that comes with the fairing is pretty much junk:

So I replaced most of it with stainless steel button head cap screws, and modified the brackets to be a litle cleaner:


Fitted up the fairing- no more crashing into the instrument cluster:


More photos to come...
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
February 17, 2012:

Mounted up:




Yes, I'm going to get rid of that ugly Emgo sticker

 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
March 14, 2012:

Heading deeper into streetfighter territory... Decided to shorten the seat to a solo saddle. Will eventually trim the subframe to match.
Start by pulling the 9,783 staples that secure the upholstery to the seat base:

Be careful what you cut. There are columns on the seat base where it rides on the subframe. You want to keep these, along with the blade-like pieces that provide lateral support:

Once I figured where to cut the seat base I marked for the cut, leaving material that will continue the lip that runs around the seat base:

From there I used a heat gun to bend the pieces, and a modified soldering iron to weld the plastic:


Cut the seat foam to match the base. Next stop, the upholstery shop:
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
March 26, 2012:

Cut some pieces of square-section steel tubing (about 5/8") from some scrap I had laying around. Measured the angle between the subframe's upper and lower rails at 16 degrees, used a Bridgeport mill to cut them at that angle. Short side is 1" long:

They inserted nicely between the frame rails:

Took a propane torch and wire brush to the frame to clean things up:

Welded 'em in and hacked off the rest:

Will have to weld in a cross brace, but for now this is how things are looking:
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
April 2, 2012:

Cut a tail light mount from some scrap 1/8" steel plate I had laying around. Yeah, having a Bridgeport mill to use is handy, but this could be done with a drill, hack saw, file, and some patience and elbow grease:

Welded it in place and took the grinder to it. Want this to be nice and clean:

Pretty happy with how nicely the stock tail light fits up, and follows the lines of the subframe:


Am also happy with how nice and tight this is looking. Somehow reminds me of a bulldog:

Maybe that's what I should call this thing...
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
May 2, 2012: Footnote- at this point I've made a deal to build this bike for a friend and co-worker who is looking for a first motorcycle. Figure the EX500 is pretty much the ideal beginner bike, and with all of the bodywork off, pretty much perfect for the newbie drop which is almost inevitable.

More details... seat mounting tabs and turn signal mounts:

Fabricated from scrap sheet stock I had laying around. Nothing sophisticated here, just some bending and drilling and grinding.

Welded in place:


Drilled some holes in some 1" sheet stock, welded nuts in place, and pop riveted them to the seat pan. Now the seat bolts to the frame from the underside:


Building this bike for a good friend, his brother-in-law has an upholstery shop, which is where the seat is now. Will have to wait for it to come back & see how he's chosen to finish it.
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
May 14, 2012:

Drilled and tapped the bar weights for an M8 X 1.25 bolt, and got the seat back from the upholstery shop. This thing is starting to take shape. Only a few details left- the front turn signals and some sort of license plate mount.

I love how narrow and compact this bike is.






This is turning out better than I'd imagined.
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
May 21, 2012:

More details... the license plate mount. Ended up just welding a small tab to one of the left side passenger peg struts. Cut the existing license plate light from its wiring and used it to power a pair of LED bolts. Made some angled standoffs so the lighted bolts cast their light more directly onto the plate:




Next (and hopefully final) step: front turn signals.
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
May 29, 2012:

Quieting things down a tad...
Those Emgo "mufflers" are, uh, how do I say this... LOUD!! Seeing as how the inserts are basically straight-through and 2 inches in diameter, I decided to neck them down a bit. Started by cutting a series of slots that run lengthwise down the perforated tube:

Ran a piece of schedule 80 1" tubing down the middle, and then reduced the diameter using hose clamps. The tubing is actually 1.35" in diameter so the ID of the perforated tube is close to that. This is also close to the ID of the stock head pipes:

Welded the joints where they overlapped. A spot welder would come in really handy here, as my MIG welder isn't really the best tool for welding thin sheet metal:

Re-wrapped the reduced inserts with fiberglass and re-installed them:

This actually made a difference. They're still loud, but not painfully so. And the exhaust note has less of a sharp bark to it, and is now a tad more mellow.
 

·
Hall Monitor
Joined
·
2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
July 10, 2012:

Last little bit: Cut a couple of rectangles from steel flat stock, drilled a couple of holes in them, and welded them to the instrument cluster mount. Now I've got front turn signals:


This finishes this project, so I'll leave you with some final shots:





Not sure who the old fart is:


It's been fun!
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top