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Old 07-22-2014, 03:10 PM   #1
Tinker1980 OP
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Tinker's Intruder project -or- "Does this thing even run?"

I recently acquired a 1994 1400cc Suzuki Intruder. The wife's cousin had it, and had another, newer example of the same bike. He wanted a 4 wheeler, I wanted something I could perhaps fix up, and ride to work when I wasn't in the mood to cause trouble on my DR650.

So, I traded a well loved and good running Yamaha Raptor 350 for this.... thing.



Nice from afar, but far from nice. It would at first, kinda, sorta, run on one cylinder. After finding out that no, that's not the air filter cover, or the carb, that is actually the HORN, I pulled the seat and tank off, and saw the most horrible thing ever. Who down at Suzuki decided to install the carbs in such a fashion? One is on it's side, the other is tucked in under, well, everything. A fuel pump (!!) feeds fuel to the rear carb, and a line goes from the rear carb to the front carb. So... I gathered up my very best bad language, pulled the carbs off, and did some cleaning. The pilot jet in the front carb was partially blocked, the rear carb both pilot and main were completely closed off. With the compressed air, carb cleaner, torch tip cleaners, I managed to get everything clean as a whistle. After more language I'd not want my daughter to hear, I had everything installed, routed, and forced back into holes they shouldn't fit in. Plugged the box for the ignition in (It's bolted to the bottom of the seat) twisted the key, pushed the button... and holy crap it started.

FFS this thing is loud. Shined a light in the mufflers, to find out they aren't mufflers. Glad I don't have any neighbors, although people were likely calling in noise complaints in the small town ten miles to the west. It popped when it was idling. It popped again. It let off a few good loud bangs. I climbed aboard, and went down the road. I came back. I shut it off, and pulled the seat and tank again. Yup - the choke cable for the rear carb wasn't seated, meaning the rear carb was always on choke. I got that back where it should be, and went for another ride.

I've never had a big bike. Biggest bike I've owned was a 750 Vulcan. For the last three years, I've been riding 650 thumpers.. a KLR, and then a DR. When I got it all the way off the clutch, I cautiously accelerated in first gear, then went to second and grabbed a big handful. It sputtered on the rear cylinder, and then commenced to roar off down the deserted backroad, all the while scaring the hell out of me. It all but lifted the front tire and threw me at the scenery. Wasn't expecting that.

Carbs need to be sync'ed, and tires need to be replaced. Could use new clutch springs. Other than that, seems like the bike is going to work out. Decent brakes. Doesn't corner as well as the DR650. Sucks in the dirt too. It was much more comfortable for the 30 mile ride into work however.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:40 PM   #2
nbsdave
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doesn't look bad at all from here
actually kinda cool
good luck with what's ahead
might look into baffles for the pipes or case lots of ear plugs for the neighbors
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:01 PM   #3
Tinker1980 OP
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Originally Posted by nbsdave View Post
doesn't look bad at all from here
actually kinda cool
good luck with what's ahead
might look into baffles for the pipes or case lots of ear plugs for the neighbors

Thankfully, my neighbors are quite far away. And if the dude down the road can have a dozen Min Pin's, I can have a loud motorcycle for a few weeks.

I have the capacity to build my own mufflers, and I may do this. I could make some nice stainless ones.

I think the very slight hesitation I have now may be due to a fouled plug. How long did it sit in a dead cylinder?
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:34 AM   #4
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you might enjoy it.

I have a 2002 Suzuki intruder LC1500 that I just took on a trip through southern Colorado. I had a great time and will be posting a bride report soon. There are a lot of aftermarket and stock items to customize that bike. Check out intruder alert forums for lots of good ideas and GMan industries has lots of stuff for the 1500 LC intruders. I would assume he has stuff for the 1400s.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:21 AM   #5
Tinker1980 OP
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I have a 2002 Suzuki intruder LC1500 that I just took on a trip through southern Colorado. I had a great time and will be posting a bride report soon. There are a lot of aftermarket and stock items to customize that bike. Check out intruder alert forums for lots of good ideas and GMan industries has lots of stuff for the 1500 LC intruders. I would assume he has stuff for the 1400s.
I'm working on a set of straight handlebars for it right now. Found a good looking piece of 1" OD .065" wall 304 stainless tubing. The stock handlebars have me leaning too far back, and I like to make things for my bikes. Makes it actually unique, as opposed to going and picking your parts off the shelf at the H-D dealer.

GMan has a few things for it. I'm probably going to get a GMan battery for it. I will also be getting a larger tank in the future. First things first, however - The back tire is pretty bald, and the front one is pretty dry-rotted. It would be my luck as I wrestled this thing around a corner that the front tire would fail. After the tires, It's battery and clutch spring time, and after that... who knows? The gentleman I got the bike from, as I may have mentioned, has another 1400 intruder, about ten years newer and 6,000 less miles. He seemed somewhat surprised that the "Spare Parts" is now running better than his bike.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:04 AM   #6
mrbreeze
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I have always like the 1400 Intruder, but I would not want to work on one. I had the chance to test ride one. Can you say "frame flex"?
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:56 AM   #7
GDI
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"Designer springs" are the hot ticket for those clutch springs--inquire at Intruder Alert. . . .

I had a '97 for 2 years. It was great fun when it was running right, but a major PITA to work on. I was *so* glad when it was gone! Feeding that big, thirsty motor from such a tiny lil' gas tank is more work than I wanted on a regular basis.

My advice is to get an aftermarket filter on the fuel line if you ever get it running right. By then you'll never want to touch those carbs again!

Quote:
Can you same "frame flex"?
That was not my experience. . . . I always felt like she handled pretty well for what she was. No complaints in that department whatsoever!?!

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Old 07-23-2014, 01:10 PM   #8
Alexander B
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Suzuki managed to build a very narrow bike, even if it was "full size" back in its day. I am still amazed by how slim they feel once you sit down - even my smallish Honda Shadow Spirit 750 feels more substantial.

Keep posting!
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:07 PM   #9
Tinker1980 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDI View Post

My advice is to get an aftermarket filter on the fuel line if you ever get it running right. By then you'll never want to touch those carbs again!

That was not my experience. . . . I always felt like she handled pretty well for what she was. No complaints in that department whatsoever!?!

GDI
One of the first things I do with a new-to-me motorcycle is check to see if it has fuel filters - and put one there if it doesn't. Looks like I have two lines from the tank that feed into a petcock on the frame - only place I have to put filters is right under that tank, in those two lines.

I don't know if it's frame flex that makes it hard to corner, or the fact that it weighs 600 pounds... to me, it feels like a cruiser when you try to turn it.

I've been lurking around Intruder Alert and have picked up some pretty good info on this bike. Kinetic Playground in Tulsa says they can sync the carbs for $95, which is very tempting. It seems that once you have them synced, they should stay that way... but I'm not sure, since they are linked by a cable instead of being side-by-side.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:58 AM   #10
GDI
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Well, my frustration with the Intruder goes like this. . . .

I bought the bike with aftermarket exhaust on it--a very loud aftermarket exhaust--which I was not particularly fond of. On top of that it hadn't been re-jetted properly. Oh, it ran OK, but it ran real hot. Not Harley-hot apparently, but hot enough to turn synthetic oil black within a few hundred miles. So, I pulled the carbs to rejet and get things cleaned up in there. It needed work as the bike was subjected to some benign neglect before I got it. The front air filter had deteriorated to dust and filled the carb with foam bits and dirt, so it needed to be done anyway.

Rejetting took a couple of tries. Did I mention that the petcock leaked? I was too lazy or ignorant to drain all gas from the tank. I tried to get by with setting a partially-empty tank on blocks so that gas wasn't running out of the petcock, but ended up with gas leaking out of the filler destroying the paint! After a couple of tries, I did get the thing running a bit cooler as documented by my home-made oil-filler temp gauge, and the fact that the oil wasn't turning completely black any more. So, it was time to sync those carbs. I used the cheap-ass home-made manometer, and tried to adjust the cables. It turns out the "locks" such as they are on the Intruder are made of cheese!



I ended up making my own "nut" to fix the d@mned thing so I wouldn't have to buy a new cable



Still syncing is made nearly impossible due to the way the carbs are shoe-horned into the frame, the cables are so cheap, etc. Working on the Intruder has been my worst wrenching experience by far. . . .

Eventually the bike was running good--paint was nasty under the cap, but not particularly noticeable--so it was time to ride. A friend and I go out on a multi-day ride and at one point in the trip we get between towns and I'm low on fuel. I was on reserve and at something like 126 miles (I don't remember details too clearly), but there didn't seem to be any big towns nearby. He's got plenty of range (had BMW tourer), so he scouts around for a gas station that I can get to. He finds a repair shop in some tiny town w/ a fuel pump from the 70s(?). Anyway, I filled up and everything was fine until the next day when it stalled out as I was rolling up to a stop sign. . . .

I figure that station had bad gas being out in the middle of nowhere and not really set up to sell gas. By that time I was so tired of the ridiculous carbs, tiny tank, kinked-up fuel lines shielded from the heat of the engine, loud-@$$ piples, etc. that I just couldn't find the stamina to pull it all apart again and work on it. It would only stall intermittently, so I rode it that way for the rest of the summer and sold it in the fall. I've read other folks stories that suggest the carbs have some particularly small passages that get plugged up easily. . . . That doesn't make a lot of sense to me considering this is a bike w/ big jugs, but I've never had carb problems with any of my other carbed bikes like I did with this one. Maybe I'm not much of a wrench?




Overall, I had that Intruder set-up to be the most comfortable cruiser I've ever had. I loved the torque of the engine, but maintenance, the tiny tank, and poor fuel mileage was a deal-killer for me. I've since bought a '99 Honda Shadow 1100 Spirit which is a lot more boring, but reliable as an anvil. It just doesn't seem to be quite as comfortable, and it doesn't have the same power that the Intruder had, but wrenching on it is a dream compared to that damned Suzuki. . . . Getting 50mpgs out of it is a small comfort.

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Old 07-24-2014, 08:18 AM   #11
GDI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker1980 View Post
I don't know if it's frame flex that makes it hard to corner, or the fact that it weighs 600 pounds... to me, it feels like a cruiser when you try to turn it.
Put some mini-apes on there. That'll get you some leverage. Don't be afraid to lean 'er over a little. With good tires on she'll hold the road.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker1980 View Post
Kinetic Playground in Tulsa says they can sync the carbs for $95, which is very tempting. It seems that once you have them synced, they should stay that way... but I'm not sure, since they are linked by a cable instead of being side-by-side.
That's the worst design ever. Between the separate choke cables, throttle cables, sync cables, fuel lines, etc. under that tiny, little tank, it's just a nightmare to work on. I don't think I ever did remove the carbs all the way because there was always something that I didn't want to pull off. . . . Plus any time you work on it you're pulling on those cables and twisting things around--likely your sync ain't gonna be the same as before you started. And, it's done that way for some screwy aesthetic! It's a motorcycle for cryin' out loud. It can have various bits out in the open where you can adjust them!

My '99 Shadow has two carbs that are linked the same way that everyone else has done it since forever. Syncing the carbs on that bike is a breeze by comparison.

GDI
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:22 AM   #12
kraven
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One thing that the Intruder line taught Suzasaki is that if you're going to make a Sportster competitor, you better not just build a cheap crapbox.

One of the great things about the XL bikes is that they're easy to service.

Notice that the later Boulevards are all built more user friendly for service work, including the C or M50's and 90's that basically replaced the S-bikes (Intruders).

They're neat to look at and interesting bikes to ride, but those details are devil ridden.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:34 PM   #13
foxtrapper
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Sounds like they borrowed every bad idea Yamaha came up with on their Virago models.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:25 PM   #14
Tinker1980 OP
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To me, it appears that Suzuki really did tour an Isuzu plant when designing the 1400 Intruder. As most of you are probably fortunate enough to never have owned an Isuzu, you likely don't know that they would never put one thing in the way of a part that needs to be removed/maintained when they could put seven things in the way, they use only the finest garbage scrap aluminum and the shittiest steel when making castings or screws, And they won't set timing gears up in a manner anyone is familiar with, they'd rather set it up in such a fashion that you'd have to turn the engine around six times to get it back to it's original position.

What I'm saying, is yup, the bike is a pain in the ass to work on. But I've had worse. *I* used to own an Isuzu Trooper.

Right now, I'm working on handlebars for it. I've got the stainless tubing cut, angled, and Tig'ed back together with only one small burn on my hand to show for it.



I'm off for the next six days, which will give me plenty of time to cut the holes for the wiring, pull the wiring for the switchgear all the way back out of the F**king headlight for some reason, and put it back together. I'm thinking either polishing the bar, or putting a scalloped pattern on it with a grinder and clearcoating it. It will be a surprise for all of us.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GDI View Post
I've read other folks stories that suggest the carbs have some particularly small passages that get plugged up easily. . . .

GDI
A co-worker has that same bike... He is constantly fucking with the carbs on it. He says if he rides it every day its fine, if he lets it sit fora few days the carbs plug up
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