VJ23 Update 15/11/2014
A years riding
It took a few months to get the bike to actually start. It involved fixing a bent float in the right carb, that was firing fuel neat out of one of the pipes! Then I got the front cylinder replated because it was just not starting. It cured it. Apparently I had it rebored many years ago to the widest diameter bore. It's mentioned in the VJ23 workshop manual. Langcourts have the correct diameter and bored to those dimensions which allowed the bike to fire up nicely. After a summer of riding the bike, which was wonderful I decided to get the rear cylinder rebored to the correct diameter and hopefully gain some power.
I fitted the bike with as much titanium parts as I could. Nearly all the fasteners are titanium which means a reduction in revolving mass from bolts like the sprocket bolts but also a reduction in unsprung weight. They all shine out brilliantly from the bike.
VJ23 Update 29/12/2013
Cleaned and installed carbs
After trying unsuccessfully to start the bike I realised I hadn't cleaned the carbs in years. So took them out, gave them a partial strip down and put them in the ultrasonic cleaner
I used an ice cream tub with GUNK in it and placed that in the water bath. The water transfers the sound to the tub of gunk.
It worked quite well and I reassembled the carbs. One of the jets seemed quite badly discoloured and unreadable so I put 155 size jets back in the carbs to take it back to factory default.
I cave the outside of the carbs a rub down with Autosol metal polish and greased the linkage between the carbs as well as the cables and throttle grip. There was a big improvement in the feel.
VJ23 Update 22/12/2013
Spliced a little box of tricks to convert my kmh speedo to MPH and, ahem, allow the bike to go beyond 112mph. Jap market only vehicles are restricted to 112mph maximum. I wouldn't dream of going over 112mph
VJ23 Update 18/12/2013
Things of quality are expensive. We all understand that and this tool is good quality, but £90!!! That's a lot of money.
I bought a copy part from Ebay but when I tried taking the big nut off the bike the replica swingarm nut tool wasn't deep enough. Not even half an hour on the lathe drilling the centre out made it deep enough. I also had to file down the sticking out bits because they just didn't fit the nut at all.
So the genuine Suzuki part is worth it, kind of.
Not really! I've modelled the tool in CAD and will have a run of 100 made in stainless steel if the price is right. The poorly designed one on Ebay sells for £10 which I'm not sure I can match in price but his doesn't work so is useless. Mine will be exact and I think I can sell an exact replica of the Suzuki tool for £20 and hopefully less.
I'm not sure why Suzuki would charge so much for a tool. It was made in Germany so no import duty is part of the price. Maybe they're so expensive to make bike owners take their bikes to garages that have all the tooling.
VJ23 Update 17/11/2013
Fitting a helicoil
After knackering a pozi head bolt it needed drilling out, but the drill bit veered off so I had to use a helicoil insert to remedy the problem.
The drill bit that comes with the M6 helicoil insert.
The tap that comes with the helicoil kit. It's about 7mm. I used it in the chuck of a drill press to keep alignment and turned the chuck by hand.
Putting the helicoil in. It's basically a spring with a bit sticking across at the bottom so the tool can hold onto it. When it's in the bit at the bottom snaps off.
New titanium allen screws fitted, so they'll actually come out in future. Total time taken was about half an hour. Quite chuffed, with the spruced up barrel. They're at £400 each new.
VJ23 Update 9/11/2013
Changing knackered spigots
The water in the radiator and hoses of my motorbike is always rusty brown and can't be doing theradiator any good, so I bought some fancy anodised aluminium spigots
I got them at The Tuning Works website http://www.thetuningworks.co.uk
Bent and rusted spigot. Pops out now and then which is really bad if it chucks the water while out on a bike ride. Luckily its only done that in the garage.
Took ages to figure out a technique of removing the spigots. Vegetable oil helped loosen up the rust. Barrels are difficult to hold still with their weird shape so bolted it to a steel bar and held that in a workmate
Knackered steel spigot
New anodised aluminium spigot, press fitted in.
VJ23 Update 2/11/2013
It's been a while since jotting down the adventures with the bike. So here's an update, and hopefully I'll keep them regular.
It's been several years since riding my VJ23. Work went crazy a few years ago, then when it went bust I was laid off. I did freelance work which involved long hours and had a baby boy which was the best thing ever, but in that time the bike sat in the garage gathering dust.
But that's about to change. Over the summer I bought a load of genuine plastics to replace the now tatty 15 year old plastics on the bike. The nose fairing had to be made by Suzuki specially as they no longer had any spares in stock.
I bought an Asgard bike shed to keep it in good condition after the current rebuild. The shed is galvanised steel with a strong set of doors. Took about 4 hours to build and guaranteed for 10 years.
This is one of the things I noticed recently. The Rubber intakes have got cracks in them. They've perished over the years. There didn't seem to be cracks going right through the rubber, but any air leak would make the bike perform really badly. To the right of the picture are brand new intakes that I fitted today. I also checked the standard reed valves which were fine.
Getting to anything is difficult unless you have small hands. Here's a picture of an extension bar used to get at one of intake bolts
I really wish I didn't fit purple bolts to my engine casings. They just don't look right, or more like tacky. The bolts I have manufactured in titanium look much nicer,and there's less worry about rounding off the thread.
RGV250SP (VJ23 A)
Here is my RGV250SP
I've had it since 1998 and even though it has been completely unreliable up until the last few years and very expensive I don't think I'll ever be without it. That said, with the internet maturing since the 1990s parts and information have been easier to get hold of.
Over the coming pages I'll talk about everything I've learnt about this model, what goes wrong with it, how to fix it and where to get parts for this bike.
The SP was made for the Japanese market but some made it abroad as grey imports or I believe a de restricted official export to Macau and Hong Kong. Apparently a lot of the de restricted ones were bought on the Japanese dockside to use for racing.
To be honest I've found in restricted form it's a bit slow and can be out accelerated by a Bandit 600. With the race pipes and de-restricted CDI though the bike will keep up with Ducati's GSXR1000 and Fireblades. I know this as I've done it, even with a half melted rear piston, which I found out about later.
There are two colour types:
The F9J colours