As Spannerman has revealed elsewhere in this issue, both of us had to finish preparing our bikes at Broadford on the Saturday, while Editor ‘Snag’ was happily circulating on his lovely Norton Commando.
Working on the bikes in the pit garages in the company of fellow enthusiasts was actually heaps better than doing the solo shift in the shed at home. There was a bit of lending, a bit of borrowing and much banter about the job in hand. It was all good.
A couple of dodgy connections in the wiring were located and sorted and all the electricals then got the big tick with the exception of the turn indicators. But who needs those on the track?
With the plugs removed, I squirted a bit of oil into both bores before kicking it over a few times to make sure it wasn’t going to be started dry.
With the plugs cleaned and refitted and fuel in the tank it was time to ask the question of the lovely old bike. After two or three prods on the kick-starter on full choke she answered clearly and convincingly, firing up easily and sounding strong – and immediately starting to fill the shed with clouds of blue smoke.
Out of consideration I completed the warm-up outside.
The really reassuring thing was the lack of piston noise. The top-end is in really good shape. And it turned out that the indicators work perfectly. They’re wired to operate only when the engine is running.
A couple of sessions on the track confirmed that there are no mechanical gremlins. The clutch, gearbox and brakes are fine. The engine will respond well to some finessing of the ignition and carbs. There’s not a lot of damping in either the front or rear suspension, though. I’ll be working on that in the coming weeks.
At the end of the day I was a happy Suzuki T500 owner. The bike had proved to be in better shape overall than I expected. Keep an eye out for further progress in coming issues.