Talk to me about a 1968 Suzuki T500 Cobra

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by zoo mob, May 26, 2010.

  1. zoo mob

    zoo mob Been here awhile

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    I've got a line on one in original, slightly faded red paint with every single accessory and original part, 11,000 miles and seemingly overall veru good condition. The seat has been recovered, and that seems to be the only bit that has been altered. It has not run in maybe 5 years, but has good compression, electrics etc. Is this something worth using as a rider? I know the basics on these, but how is reliability, and what do these go for on ebay etc. They seem pretty rare and I can't even find any auction results. I'm super excited about the prospect of this, I really like the look of the toaster tank etc.
    #1
  2. healeyblue

    healeyblue Old and Cunning

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    I used to sell Suzuki motorcycles in the late 70s. I have only seen one Cobra...ever. However, it is basically the stone-axe reliable predecessor of the T500 Titan. Nothing could kill these bikes. I have always had an urge to own an old Titan again. They handled pretty well for the time and were quite smooth compared to most British twins of the era.

    Two strokes had quite peaky torque curves but the T500 was actually quite wide (for a two stroke).

    Enjoy!!
    #2
  3. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    #3
  4. zoo mob

    zoo mob Been here awhile

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    Any sense of what these are selling for?
    #4
  5. ken_the_carp

    ken_the_carp Adventurer

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    Lots of information here;

    http://www.ozebook.com/compendium/t500index.htm


    Value? I guess it's how bad someone wants it.


    There is lots of history, in the hands of a madman they could be terrifying.


    Proud owner of 2 Titans, good solid rides, mosquitoes love them.
    :1drink<!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"/> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"/> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"/> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"/> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="_x0000_i1025" type="#_x0000_t75" alt="" style='width:11.25pt; height:11.25pt'> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\kschill\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\01\clip_image001.gif" o:href="http://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider/icon10.gif"/> </v:shape><![endif]--><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->[FONT=&quot]<o:p></o:p>[/FONT]
    #5
  6. old paul

    old paul Been here awhile

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    healeyblue says the Cobra is basically the same as the Titan. I rode a Titan from new and never had an issue. One trip was 4,000 miles in 13 days and during that time I did foul one plug in heavy traffic. Other than that nothing ever happened to it. It was very comfortable, used almost no oil (consumption was less than a friend's Jaguar, which I thought was pretty funny) and turned in a predictable 50mpg. The lack of engine braking was a bit of an issue in the big hills and in south Louisiana in the summer it attracted zillions of love bugs.

    I'd not hesitate to buy one. Good luck.
    #6
  7. Frank06

    Frank06 Been here awhile

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    I got my '73 Titan running after it had sat for ~15 years in a leaky shed (basically the same bike as the Cobra). The PO had evidently drained the carbs as everything was dry (but not rusty.) Add gas, clean points and set timing. Kick bike (the starter not the bike!). Go for ride. Very reliable and a nice old ride.
    #7
  8. barko1

    barko1 barko1

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    They are pretty solid but I wouldn't vote for it as a daily rider just because costs for old parts can be higher. You can still get Suz parts from a dealer, back to about 73, after that it seems to get more difficult. Maybe there are enough Titan parts around that could work. There is likely to be a lot that needs to be done. If it has sat for 5 years then the tank probably needs a going through, fuel lines are likely brittle, no doubt some bolts that won't want to come out. Airfilter may need to be created, of course carbs will need extensive soaking/cleaning, cables could be toast, all fixable. If the cranks seals have gone to heaven then you will need to find some new ones ($150 for my X6) and spilt the cases etc to install. I had a T500 and would like to get another some day. Just got myself a couple of water buffalos. How much do they want for this. It doesn't seem like a big collectable, not running so who knows what lurks in the motor, and it will take some work even if it is basically solid, I'll take it!
    #8
  9. killfile

    killfile 49/50

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    They can go for $8500 fully restored in the US.

    Seat pan is highly prone to rusting all the way through, and they are next to impossible to find replacements.

    Crank seals will most likely need to be redone after sitting for 5 years. After you fix that and confirm the oil lines are running right it should run forever, and actually prefers to be ridden frequently (once a week-ish) to keep the crank seals in good nack.

    I commuted for a few years on a '69 Titan without many issues.

    Here is a great source for info:
    http://www.suzuki2strokes.com/forum/

    Edit: Just realizing this is a bump of an old thread. If I remember correctly zoo picked up the Cobra, but last I heard he was selling it?
    #9
  10. darmst6829

    darmst6829 Been here awhile

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    From what I understand the 1968 model was a hot rod with the later machines becoming detuned for touring. Suzuki made the best two strokes.
    Dave
    #10
  11. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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  12. barko1

    barko1 barko1

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    #12
  13. ADK

    ADK master of the casual pace

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    :eek1 looks low miles. sweet
    #13
  14. barko1

    barko1 barko1

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    Nacht was hiding this model, definitely needs to be ridden more:D
    #14
  15. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    this was at Rhinebeck last weekend. he wanted like $8500 but it was %110 perfect.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    [​IMG]
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  17. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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  18. Scrivens

    Scrivens Been here awhile

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    I owned a Cobra amongst a number of T500s I happily rode for years. The porting was different, as were the carbs, to the first Titan and the power band was narrower and higher and the fuel consumption was heavy. Suzuki fixed all the Cobra's problems in the first Titan - bit like what happened with the original 'Black Bomber' Honda 450 and the next model CB450. I sold mine to a mate who rode it for years and put some huge mileage on it. I think it is still rusting away in his shed. Only major thing to look out for is dry crankcase seals if it hasn't been run for years.

    (Oh, and the seat had a weird matte finish and didn't last long before cracking.)
    #18
  19. zoo mob

    zoo mob Been here awhile

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    I did end up buying the bike this thread was about, it's below, still not sure what I'm going to do with it.

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. Sam Simons

    Sam Simons Been here awhile

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    That T500 & Stinger 125 belong to Paul Miller. Paul is likely the best source here in the US for vintage Suz parts....Certain internal parts are impossible to source nowadays,specifically crank main bearings( fortunately,they are huge and thanks to the CCI ,last almost indefinitely).Cobra 500's had 2mm larger carbs,and a shorter wheelbase,versus the later T500's.......
    #20