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My 1978 Suzuki PE250

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by cdahl383, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    Recently picked up a 1978 Suzuki PE250. It needs some work, but all in all is pretty solid. The coolest part is I used to own the bike years ago! I bought it in 2008, stripped it all down, sandblasted and painted it, redid the brakes, clutch, carb, new tires, and rode the heck out of it for a couple years with my one buddy who also had a 1978 Suzuki RM250 at the time. A couple years later, found out we were having a baby, had no time to ride anymore, nowhere to store the bike, needed some money, so I sold it.

    Fast forward 10 years to now, turns out the guy I sold it to years ago, still had it (he was a friend of my buddy with the RM250). I asked if he wanted to sell it and he said yes, so I bought it back from him 10 years later haha!

    He did some good things with it, like replaced the clutch basket (used to have notches and dragged quite a bit), found a headlight and taillight for it, and had a fresh top end done on it. But he also plasti-dipped the whole thing green, and it turns out the main bearings are shot (up and down crank play, sucking in trans oil, running poorly, etc). So I cleaned it up as best I could and put it back to all yellow and black as God intended it to be, and sent it over to the bike shop near me to have the bottom end redone. Hoping to get it back later this month or early February.

    Anyway, planning to ride it a lot this summer around my house, up north on the trails, and at the ORV park. Always loved riding that bike as I love two strokes (learned to ride on my grandpa's 1980 Kawasaki KE100 many years ago). Looking forward to learning more on here and hopefully get some pointers on restoring/fixing/maintaining my bike!

    Here's some pics from when I had it years ago...

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    #1
    Ironhand, brucifer and mikeysduck like this.
  2. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    Here's some pics from when I bought it a couple months ago...

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    #2
  3. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    Here's some more recent pics before I dropped it off to the shop...

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    #3
    Pezz_gs likes this.
  4. Todd157k

    Todd157k Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3,216
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Nice! Looking forward to you 'new' old riding impressions. I picked up an old XR350 a while back as a "buddy bike" that my son-in-law could ride. I took it out to the desert and was amazed at how well it did. Those old bikes still have life in them.
    #4
    cdahl383 likes this.
  5. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    Sweet! Most definitely, the old bikes are still a lot of fun!
    #5
  6. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    Went through the carb and cleaned it up initially hoping that was why it wasn't running all that great. Turns out it ran the same after I went through the carb though...

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    #6
  7. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    After taking it to the bike shop, the guy found that the kickstarter gear had broken a tooth off. So I found a NOS one on Ebay and picked that up. I also found a nice stock airbox on Ebay as well to replace the basic UNI filter I had hanging off the carb previously. Turns out the airbox even had the filter cage and lid which weren't shown in the pictures.

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    #7
    Pezz_gs likes this.
  8. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    I picked up some reproduction side plastics from DC and have those on the bike currently, but while it was away wanted to see if I could bring the originals back to life. After being spray painted several times and decals put on them, I wasn't sure how they'd turn out. After some work they look much better, but still far from great. They're good enough to keep as spares though.

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    #8
    mrsdnf likes this.
  9. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    Sorry for the pic heavy thread, just very excited to get the bike back up and running again after being without a bike for 10 years.
    #9
    aptbldr likes this.
  10. mikeysduck

    mikeysduck Slow Ride to Nowhere

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,076
    Location:
    Acton Ca.
    We like the pictures.
    #10
    brucifer, mrsdnf and cdahl383 like this.
  11. jbrad5

    jbrad5 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Tasmania
    Bike looks great - any update on the carb rebuild?
    #11
  12. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    I went through the carb, all the jets, needle, float settings are stock which is good. I put it back together but it ran the same. I took it to the bike shop because I found the flywheel had up and down play in it, so the main bearings were toast. It's at the shop right now as splitting the cases and doing bottom end work is beyond my capabilities. Fortunately it has a new top end, so the piston, rings, cylinder, reeds are all good. It just needs new main bearings, crank seals and a few other things.
    #12
    jbrad5 likes this.
  13. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    Picked up a nice clutch assembly off of Ebay the other day for cheap. Clutch basket is in great shape, no notches or grooves on the fingers, etc. Will use some of the parts from that when the bike is put back together.

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    #13
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  14. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    Picked up an odometer and front number plate off of Ebay recently. Sanded down the front number plate. If I can't get the discolorations out I'll just put a fresh coat of paint on it.

    I also talked to the bike shop, the engine is basically back together now, just waiting on one more part to come in. Should be able to pick up the engine and pipe later this week and paint it at home. Planning to do that and give it back to the bike shop on Saturday so he can put it all back together again. In the meantime, he's going to install the new front tire, new front brake cable, check the brakes, and hook up the lights for the headlight and taillight. It's coming together nicely! Should have it back home later this month!

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    #14
    jbrad5 likes this.
  15. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    Got the engine back from the bike shop over the weekend. All new bearings and seals, top end was already like new, replaced a broken kickstarter gear, installed a better clutch basket and springs, and a few other odds and ends. Painted it up over the weekend and will drop it back off to the shop this week so it can all be put back together. Coming along nicely!

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    #15
    brucifer likes this.
  16. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,314
    Location:
    Eureka, Ca.
    Any updates? :ear
    #16
  17. Ironhand

    Ironhand Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    Montpelier, VT
    Love it. My father used to race one of those back in the day. Fond memories...
    #17
    cdahl383 likes this.
  18. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    No updates as of yet. I dropped everything back off at the bike shop a couple weeks ago and haven't heard back yet. He had a couple other parts on order so might be waiting for some final parts to put it all back together again. I'm going to give the shop a call tomorrow just to see what's going on. Not really in a big rush, it's about 18 degrees out here in Michigan and we have several inches of snow on the ground, so I won't be riding anytime soon. I'm hoping to get it back sometime in March.

    I did order a new front fender a couple other things from Vintage Suzuki though. I'm going to see if I can clean up the original fender, but I figured a brand new one would look pretty sharp.

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    #18
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  19. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    Update: Talked to the bike shop the other day. Engine is all back together, back in the frame, runs good, but leaks a little fuel from the carb. The needle and seat are shot. So he ordered a new set for the carb.

    The NOS front brake cable came in that I picked up from Ebay. Dropped that off to him yesterday. Fits perfect, still new in the bag but over 40 years old haha! Brakes all work great, new cables and shoes, etc.

    The headlight is wired up and working well, but apparently there is wiring set up for a high and low beam switch, which I don't have. Found one on Ebay and snagged it. Should arrive early next week sometime. Then he can get that wired up so it works properly.

    The tail light that was on the bike was the wrong one, some sort of Chinese knock off version. Wrong kind of wiring, can't use it. Luckily I found a NOS light on Ebay. It was a little pricey, but it's what I needed. Figured I might as well get it so the bike is complete. That should arrive sometime early next week as well.

    Just a few more things to wrap up and the bike will be done. Should get it back sometime later this month hopefully. It keeps getting pushed back due to parts being ordered or other issues coming up. Glad I dropped it off when I did during winter as spring is almost here now. Can't wait to ride it this spring!
    #19
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  20. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2020
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    Well I still have not gotten the bike back yet. Looks like my last post was prior to the executive order to shut all businesses down due to COVID-19. I got a call from the bike shop yesterday from the owner stating he was finally able to re-open yesterday after being shut down since late March. So he's going to get working on my bike and hopefully have it done by this weekend, or if not by the following weekend. It's very close, so I'm hoping I can get it back this weekend. I'd like to be able to post some pics of it back home and going for a ride, etc. We'll see, fingers crossed!
    #20