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That’s Mister Chalet to you ....
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I like the new guy.

But fixed your post below.

I am not versed in the GSX-R history quite yet, but I couldn't agree more, and that is why I am doing it. It's the generation of bikes I was hoping to one day have in my garage for a good old fashioned project.

The guys on the Ninja forums know since I've been there a long time, but for me it is all about the process. Nothing is more satisfying than doing superb work, and having a superb result. Hoping to keep this around basically forever as a gem as it gets older, but I absolutely intend on really riding the absolute crap out of this bike.

Just new enough that its got the right tech, features, and design, but just old enough to be cool and unique, and even cooler that it will be in great shape soon enough! Really cannot wait to get the mechanical stuff sorted, and then to paint it up my way and really polish it up. Really interesting to see how things and layouts have changed since 2004 and nowadays. I had a brand new ZX-6R 2 years ago that I actually crashed because of some damned gravel on the road, but working on that bike was a totally different story from this K4. So cool to see how some things are just tried and true.

That, and I haven't had a big bike without modern tech on it, so I am looking forward to learning those finer parts of control and skill on the track.

More to come, hopefully today is the day the engine fires up again! We shall see how far I can get in the garage after work.

-Mike
I wonder what it's like going from a bike with all the nannies to an old school bike? After a lifetime of riding, the transition to wheelie control, traction control, ABS etc.... on my Tuono RF Factory was a bit weird. After a few months, I just got used to pinning the throttle and dumping the clutch anywhere, pulling big wheelies on the highway etc... (which I never used to do before that bike).

If I hit the track on my K6 1K again, I'd be worried that I've lost some finesse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Well I am a firm believer in starting small, and I've still got the ninja 300 I bought when I got into this about 4 years ago, and I've put over 40k miles on it, and a crap load of track days. Absolutely worth every penny and every ride on that bike. It does have ABS, which is nice since I take it to work and such, but obviously nothing else. I think all the practice put in there will lend well to transitioning to the old school bike, I don't think I have any bad tendencies that will bite me bad with the K4. I am to the point on track where the ABS is just starting to interfere with my riding.

The ZX-6R did the same thing to me Skid, when I first got on it I didn't really know what to expect so off I went. And of course a few days in I had to turn all the stuff off to see what would happen, and it definitely shocked me how much power it was cutting all the time. ABS on that machine wasn't really invasive, but the TC even in A mode was a bit invasive even just on twisty roads.

So I am excited to get the real raw experience, to make maybe a newer and more advanced bike down the road that much more appreciable.

Plus, all my rider buddies all had bikes of this age, and I'm hyped to see what it's all about.

-Mike
 

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The 300 is a greatbike to start on. And wringing that thing out on the track will help when you take the 750 out. I think the 750 is the perfect track bike. Especially for our tracks around here. I top out righrt at the end of Pacific straight. And the Ridge, You wont even get into 6th gear there, if they are running the chicane. So a big bike does you no good.
 

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That’s Mister Chalet to you ....
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One of my all-time favorite trackday videos is a guy on a Ninja 250 riding Laguna Seca being reeled-in by big bikes on the straights, then catching-up and passing ALL of 'em in the turns over and over and over lmao.

.... I think the 750 is the perfect track bike.....
My first trackdays were on a bike I won't admit I ever rode on the track... don't ask. But my riding buddy suggested I try his beat-up track whore (K4 750, coincidentally) and it was a complete game changer for me. One afternoon on that bike was the catalyst - I immediately set out to buy my first GSX-R (it's when I signed-up here, to boot).
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
The 300 is indeed an awesome weapon at the Ridge. The cornering speed and technical track make it an epic machine to ride there. I did try it at Pacific and it was painfully slow. Got my absolute head blown off by liter bikes in the super long straight. I will definitely have to see how the K4 does on the Ridge though.

Cool story how you came to be on the forum Skid. I was actually introduced to GSX-R's from a buddy in Arizona who had a thousand, and he let me rip it through our favorite canyon. What a monster. His was a little sketch but man, it just always was up and ready to pull.

My roommate actually found this K4 on FB, and actually loaned me the cash to just go pick it up. Such a coincidence. But the more I read about the bike, the more glad I am I ended up with this model. I think I will have loads of fun on this, and it'll be interesting to compare "characters" between this and the Kawasakis I've had.

Anyhow, progress update on the bike today!
I was setting out to get the motor running today, and that I did! Double primed it, and it fired right up! Electrical issues are completely resolved, dash works, lights work, no FI codes or sensor issues! Pretty stoked about that!

I did notice that when the bike is coming out of cold start, the idle RPM would fluctuate up and down pretty rapidly, maybe 50 RPM. And I could see the secondary throttle valves dancing open and closed slightly, along with the idle RPM fluctuation. When I blipped the throttle, secondary plate moved as expected. Is this normal? Does it just smooth out once the bike warms, or could this just be because I ran it with no airbox, and it has a weird exhaust and no tune? Seemed to idle and blip just fine, sharp response on the throttle and no bogging or anything like that.

Otherwise, it is now time to start the money deleting and fixing of things! I won't really be able to ride it until it is all fixed, so I will probably start work on the peripherals and do the engine last. But before I stitch this all up, I need to actually route and secure the engine harness into the bike properly. Kinda had it just sitting on the frame just to test run the bike.

Pic from today after it ran and started a few times.
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Can't wait to work on the motor though, it will be so satisfying to put in fresh parts, get rid of all the terrible RTV, and clean in all the crevices.

-Mike
 

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Dreaming of buttsecks for years...
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Sort of normal. The STPS is set based on a voltage differential. So it's probably just barely above at one point and just barely below at the other. So the STVA just bounces between those two. I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Cool, yeah makes sense. I will evaluate again after getting the airbox back on with a fresh filter, and after a TB sync as well. Many steps in the making! Thanks!

-Mike
 

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Taught Goatsee everything he "knows"
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I am not versed in the GSX-R history quite yet, but I couldn't agree more, and that is why I am doing it. It's the generation of bikes I was hoping to one day have in my garage for a good old fashioned project.

The guys on the Ninja forums know since I've been there a long time, but for me it is all about the process. Nothing is more satisfying than doing superb work, and having a superb result. Hoping to keep this around basically forever as a gem as it gets older, but I absolutely intend on really riding the absolute crap out of this bike.

Just new enough that its got the right tech, features, and design, but just old enough to be cool and unique, and even cooler that it will be in great shape soon enough! Really cannot wait to get the mechanical stuff sorted, and then to paint it up my way and really polish it up. Really interesting to see how things and layouts have changed since 2004 and nowadays. I had a brand new ZX-6R 2 years ago that I actually crashed being an idiot, but working on that bike was a totally different story from this K4. So cool to see how some things are just tried and true.

That, and I haven't had a big bike without modern tech on it, so I am looking forward to learning those finer parts of control and skill on the track.

More to come, hopefully today is the day the engine fires up again! We shall see how far I can get in the garage after work.

-Mike
Yeah gixxers are generally easier to work on. Or at least they were. Cant speak for the newer bikes post 2010. Havent touched one. I still have my K4. Back in 08 when I got it, a buddy also had a 04 CBR600. It was a bit of a pain by comparison to work on.

The K4/K5 600/750 and K5/K6 1000 are the sweet spot before power modes, cats and O2s for emissions, and eventually ABS and TC became standard, and bikes got heavier. Theyre the last of the fully analog and raw GSXRS.

The lopey idle you mentioned is probably due to the exhaust. Like was mentioned its normal and nothing serious. These bikes are known for it with an aftermarket can. My bike began doing it when I installed a yoshi can. It goes away once the bike is warm. Was told on here at the time that its normal and can be fixed or reduced by raising the idle a little. Or a tune for the exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Really good to know - and only reaffirms my conjecture from before, that the more I learn about this bike, the more glad I am I got this model.

Yeah uhg, I really want to get rid of this Voodoo system. I would feel terrible even just riding around the block testing things or burping coolant in the garage. At idle it's about as loud as my Subaru at WOT... Lol.

I absolutely plan on getting a tune for this bike once all the mechanical stuff is dealt with. I really want a stock header with just a slip on, and probably with a dB killer. Guess I'll have to do some ebay hunting for that stuff, uhg. Or I wish I could just trade someone the Voodoo system for a stock system. I'll have to look around. I literally cringe when it starts up lol. I can't believe people ride things around like that, but of course to each their own. Personally, I only want to hear the motor when I give it throttle, not when I am idling or cruising at low RPM.

Seems most Ebay headers and mufflers are in pretty rough condition too, lots of rust or dents. Lame.

-Mike
 

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Taught Goatsee everything he "knows"
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12,658 Posts
Really good to know - and only reaffirms my conjecture from before, that the more I learn about this bike, the more glad I am I got this model.

Yeah uhg, I really want to get rid of this Voodoo system. I would feel terrible even just riding around the block testing things or burping coolant in the garage. At idle it's about as loud as my Subaru at WOT... Lol.

I absolutely plan on getting a tune for this bike once all the mechanical stuff is dealt with. I really want a stock header with just a slip on, and probably with a dB killer. Guess I'll have to do some ebay hunting for that stuff, uhg. Or I wish I could just trade someone the Voodoo system for a stock system. I'll have to look around. I literally cringe when it starts up lol. I can't believe people ride things around like that, but of course to each their own. Personally, I only want to hear the motor when I give it throttle, not when I am idling or cruising at low RPM.

Seems most Ebay headers and mufflers are in pretty rough condition too, lots of rust or dents. Lame.

-Mike
Kind of surprised youre having a hard time finding clean stock headers. I know the bikes are approaching 20 years now, but I still occasionally see clean parts for the '80s gixxers surface, so somethings got to be out there. The forum is definitely not what it used to be a decade ago. Someone would've offered you a set of stock unmolested headers by now or pointed you to some. Try some searching some facebook groups. Thats pretty much where everything went when forums dried up.

If you're trying to stay period correct with your build, you cant go wrong with a Yoshi RS3 can. It looks and sounds good and its not obnoxious. They came in stainless, carbon fibre, and titanium and could be ordered in round or tri oval shape. So plenty of options. If they no longer make them, they were very popular, so finding one used shouldn't be hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Thanks for the tips! Yeah man, I would have thought someone would be practically giving away fresh ish stock headers when I bought the bike. But after looking for just a few minutes, it's harder than I originally thought to find them. Even the ebay ones I can find are in mediocre condition, and literally across the country or out of the country or something similar. Ain't tryna pay $100 to ship a rusted, dented set of headers across the world.

Someone in my home state of WA has to have some stock 750 headers laying around. And IIRC the titanium K5 1000 header fits as well? One of the thousand headers fits... Even more options then. What the heck lol someone has to have one in a shed within driving distance.

I'll keep digging on more platforms...

I will also have to check out the RS3 can you mentioned. Sounds exactly up my alley. Not super attached to the era, but I just want something that runs decent and doesn't sound terrible around town.

Even my local bike dyno guy said its been extremely hard finding good exhausts and parts for exhausts around lately. Real bummer. The exhaust is probably literally my biggest financial hurdle to making this ridable. Maybe someone will buy the Voodoo system off me to dampen the cost.

Either way, progress! I was able to wrap up the front main harness yesterday. Came out wonderful, looks much better than stock, and will be much cleaner. Crappy pic from the bench.
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Fun times. I gotta reassemble the front fairing unit and polish out some scratches in the headlight, and maybe do some plastic repairs, and it can go back on! Also ordered a fresh air and breather filter, and a bunch of gaskets for engine covers. All the poorly done black RTV sealant is coming off ASAP.

Fun times! Appreciate the feedback guys.

-Mike
 

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Taught Goatsee everything he "knows"
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I forget what years, but yes 1000 headers will work. Some digging on the forums may clear it up. Theres a wealth of info on here. Just covered in a bit of dust now haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Man yeah, there are a million posts about header compatibility, and literally almost every single post or reply says a different thing about compatibility. Uhg. Lol. Lame.

-Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Actually thought I had more pictures as of recent, but yes the project has been moving forward as fast as disposable income is being made! Let me see what pictures I can attach on mobile...

Anyway, update as of today, about 3 months in.
  • intake camshafts had a bit of pitting, so I found some low miles camshafts on ebay, and they look pretty good. Cleaned them up real good, and they should work great.
  • got the terrible Amazon special stator cover off, and got a woodcraft stator cover with gold slider plate to match the rest of the bike. Pending install since the oem hardware was missing...
  • got the starter and idler gear covers off, woodcraft idler cover on hand. Again, pending oem installation hardware.
  • clutch cover and starter clutch cover had paint literally falling off, so I sent them in to get sand blasted so I can paint them up. Have to install a new oil viewing window after painting as well, that is on the way.
  • took out the forks and rear shock, and dropped them off at the locally recommended race suspension shop, that'll probably be a few weeks until completion of the rebuild and new oil.
  • rebuilt the rear brake caliper and 1/2 of the fronts. New seals, clean pistons, totally clean. Still just gotta do the last caliper.
  • wheels, brake rotors, sprocket, and grease seals off. Rotors are fubar'd, wheel bearings are crunchy, but the wheels look good. Going to have them sand blasted and powder coated at next opportunity.
  • rebuilt rear brake master cylinder
  • cleaned, greased, and reinstalled rearsets.
  • got a used exhaust header pipe set on ebay, they look really good. Grinding and polishing away the rust and corrosion, should be perfect.
  • cleaned the magnesium cylinder head cover, and cleaned the Reed valves in my ultrasonic. Look brand new!
  • valve Clearance inspection with the old worn camshafts was actually almost all in spec, and based on how it looked, looked like it hadn't been adjusted in 40k+ miles. Amazing how well built these Suzuki engines are. Doing the adjustment with the new camshafts though. Had to order some extra shims for my kit...
  • got a key blank, need to duplicate the one key I have.
  • got the water pump off, cleaned and polished the exterior of it. Washed it up real good, and oiled the engine side of the shaft. New mounting o ring on the way.
  • oil cooler off as well, new gasket on the way.
  • lots of engine exterior cleaning, part of the reason why I took off all those parts even though they weren't leaking. Needs to be clean so I can see potentially new leaks after I am done.


And much much more. Been super busy with work and just doing things to the bike here and there. Pics to be uploaded soon...
Thanks for the lasting interest! It's coming along as planned! Hoping to be starting to ride in late fall.

-Mike
 

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Very clean. I can’t believe that’s the same bike from the first posts.

Is that how you get OEM rearsets to stay fixed for supporting the bike on stands…. flip them upside down?
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Ah, that's an old trick haha. Indeed, just take the peg out and flip it. Works better after doing rearsets upgrade, with the fixed solid pegs.

All the work I'm doing I'm very meticulous about. If it doesn't look almost new when it's done, I didn't do it right, or the part was too far gone to be restored.

Think I've decided I'm going to vinyl wrap the fairings too. Cheaper than painting, and less painful when it slides across the track into the mud one day.

Really excited to get the rear swingarm off and all the pivots. Those are usually horrendous, so scrubbing those all down and re packing them with grease is going to be so great.

Stay tuned!
-Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Small update!

Was out of town for a bit, but luckily a bunch of parts arrived while I was gone. Sorry for not a bunch of pictures, but here are a few. Things recently completed:
  • Local shop highly recommended by multiple people has completed my forks and shock rebuild. I didn't have the special tools required to do these parts, so I just had them do it. Stock oil weights, new seals, a clean up, and they said my bushings were still good. I'm going to do a final scrub down on these parts just to make them shine, and get the last little bits of grunge off of them.
  • Another local shop by me sand blasted a few engine covers I had. They had damaged paint or other problems, and paint remover didn't get off all the crud, so they blasted them for me so that I can paint them up with PJ-1 engine black. I didn't want to bother with powder coating or cerakote, wasn't really worth it since one day this bike might be sliding down turn 3 on my favorite track, lol. PJ-1 ought to do the trick and make it look reasonably good. I am going to mask up the parts hopefully today, and set up a paint spot.
  • Got the swingarm off, after obtaining the special castle socket for the hinge nut. Cleaned the whole swingarm up with some simple green and brushes and rags, looks much better. Looks like previous owner had scratched up the swingarm here and there, and used black paint to cover up the scratches. Kinda lame up close, so maybe I will find a way to clean it up, but I don't think I want to strip and re-paint the swingarm. Maybe I can get protective vinyl decals or something to clean up the look of it. Also got all the roller bearing races out, cleaned, and cleaned the rollers themselves. Repacked with grease. I am going to reassemble the swingarm pivot to see if there is any play or slop in the rear suspension, and then replace bearings as necessary. Some of the bearing races look scuffed, but I can't feel any damage on them whatsoever. If they prove to be worn, I will replace them though. None of the roller bearings were dried out or un-greased, so that is good.
  • Got my Woodcraft Stator cover installed properly with a new gasket and 1207B sealant. Some of the OEM bolts I bought new for this installation were actually too long, and wouldn't screw in all the way when putting the new cover on. I measured the hole depths, and the threads weren't gummed up or anything, the holes were just actually too short. Maybe there was a mistake in the drawing, or the Woodcraft cover just needed shorter bolts compared to the stock cover. Either way, had a million engine cover bolts floating around, so I just used other OEM shorter ones of the same spec to install, and it fit perfectly.
  • Got the crap tires, wheel bearings, and rotors off the wheels. The wheels look good, but have some scratches and stuff on them that hopefully the powder coat shop can clean up or will not show up after they are done. I may try and polish out some of the scuffing on the wheels before I hand them over to the shop. My plan is to make the wheels gold or bronze. Either gold like the calipers, or bronze like Ducati wheels. Not sure!
  • Got a new thermostat because the old one seemed to have a hard time opening when I tested it, and figured I want the motor running at the correct temperature, so $40 is worth that. Installed, cleaned up the thermostat cover/fitting, resurfaced the gasket surface, and got a new air bleeder gasket as well. Looks good!
  • Cleaned up the oil cooler and put a new oil filter on. The cooler was gross, and the mounting area for both items was disgusting, so I cleaned up those areas super well with a toothbrush and degreaser for a while before reinstalling the parts, and I put a new O-ring on the cooler for good measure. Looks great!
  • Got all the rear suspension components out, and in the process of cleaning and re-greasing. Again, some roller bearings have minor wear, I need to assess if the wear is excessive after reassembling the parts. If they can move or jiggle at all after being fully tightened down, I will order replacement parts. But if it goes back together and moves smoothly and has no play or slop, I will probably leave it for the time being.
  • Valve clearance inspection and adjustment is complete, with new camshafts I got used online in better shape than the ones the motor came with. The old camshafts had pretty bad pitting on the lobes, and these new ones I got also have some pitting on the same lobes as the old ones, but way less. I will run these camshafts for probably an oil-change's worth of miles, and then pop the cylinder head cover off again to visually inspect the lobe tips and buckets to make sure no excessive wear is being accrued.

I want to at least inspect and grease the head bearings, but I don't currently have a way to hoist up the front of the bike without loading the head bearings. I want to do it now, since I have everything off the bike, but I don't have the tools to replace the bearings if I get in there and find it is damaged. So I might just have to take it to a shop for that one, and just have them install AllBalls tapered rollers in there and call it good.


I still need to buy a few parts, but most of the rest is just labor. Here's approximately what I still need to purchase:
  • muffler and bracket (thinking yoshi TRS, since it's available and probably the most quiet aftermarket muffler out there)
  • brake rotors front and rear (thinking Galfers, since there isn't much other options available anymore)
  • wheel bearings set
  • steel brake lines (Probably spiegler lines, I use them on my Ninja and they have been good. Maybe Galfer though)
  • Brembo 19RCS Master cylinder/lever
  • grips
  • tires (thinking michelin Road 6 since I need to get a bunch of miles on the bike, and Fall is coming)
  • brake pads (thinking EBC EPFA front, and HH rear)
  • battery
  • headlight/turn signal bulbs, and any wiring pieces
  • new screen mesh for the intake ducts, one of them is missing the screen.
  • aftermarket windscreen
  • chain and sprocket set (thinking DID VX3 525, JT steel sprockets, stock gearing)
  • seat material
  • fluids, any other bits to get it running

The plan is to get it running and verify that it is reliable, probably catch a few things that are worn or need adjustment after getting it running and get those fixed. Then, I will take it back to the suspension shop for a free sag and dampening adjustment since I did the parts service there, and then take it to the dyno shop and get an ECU flash and tune.

Pics from recent things.
Thanks for reading folks.
-Mike
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