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SUZUKI DR125SE Restoration

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Our prayers continue for the families affected by the terrible tragedy in Connecticut…

Never look a gift horse in the mouth.”

Yes. I have heard this old adage many times. I have a received a two-wheel “Gift Horse”. I am not only going to look in it’s rather rusty mouth, I am going to completely disassemble it, have the frame and all painted parts bead-blasted, prime and paint the “tins” (Yes. I have watched OCC a few times) replace the bits that we cannot refresh and in the end – ride away on a fine little enduro motorcycle. I hope a few of you will follow along. I also hope any of you who have experience with a rebuild like mine will share knowledge and encouragement. Help me prove to Lucy I am not “crazy”.  ;O)

From whence it came…

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It was a little difficult for two of us to hoist the 300 pound bike up onto the rear rack of my Land Rover, but with only one pinched finger, we succeeded. The donor site was only a few miles from O.O.C. so we made it home in short order. Upon arriving my wife posed a very logical question “How are we going to get that thing on the ground?” (She emphasized the word “Thing”) It was painfully obvious that the removal may prove even more of a challenge than the installation. Suddenly, I was assaulted by a very scary thought. Dare I mention it to Lucy? “How about I drive under the limb of the Banyan tree, hook up my come-along and lower it with that?” Her expression changed several times – rapidly – between “Are you crazy” and “That might actually work.”…

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It only took a few minutes and the little bike was safely on the ground. After a bit of stomping on and toeing the shifter, I found neutral, in the very dry transmission and rolled her into my “Shop” (crowded, messy, carport). One of my concerns was the possible difficulty in finding the parts I would need for the restoration. I found out about a Suzuki motorcycle expert, located in Grants Pass, Oregon and gave them a call. Turns out Jesse, of “Kientech Engineering” was exactly the Suzuki “Yoda” that I needed. I sent him an email containing detailed “Before” photographs and followed up with a very informative phone call. I am confident that with Jessee’s guidance and the parts his company sells this little Enduro bike will be on the trails again soon…

I ordered a shop manual and added a few tools that Jesse suggested. I am going to post follow-up “Progress” posts for anyone who is interested in motorcycles, or just wants to see if I can actually do it…

Official "BEFORE" photo...

Official “BEFORE” photo…

I have spent around six total hours on the tear down. I am carefully marking all wiring terminations and carefully storing individual small parts in zip-lock freezer bags. Shown below is a photo as the bike stands today. Lots more to come. Stay tuned…

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Cheers, Spokesman Dave

“Poppy. What do you want for Christmas?”

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My answer to this question was wrong…

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From left to right: Grandsons – Julian, David and Kaden

 

When my eight year old grandson, Kaden Armstrong, asked me the question, I did not give sufficient thought to my answer. He was quite disappointed with my response. “Nothing” I replied “I have everything I want.” I realized – too late – that this would make no sense to an eight year old boy. Truth is.. he probably wanted to buy me a gift and really wanted to know. (I later mentioned; Old Spice Cologne and socks. Not very exciting but true.) He continued to probe. His next question was “Wouldn’t you like a knife or sumthin?” I did no better as our conversation continued. As I prepared to say goodbye, Kaden chimed in “Hey Poppy! You didn’t ask me what I want for Christmas.” Damn. another fatal mistake… Last year I asked for an egg-beater. He asked “What’s that?”

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My Christmas list…

I thought about this, long after my conversation with Kaden ended. What does happen to our “Christmas List” as we get older? I can remember as if it was yesterday, instead of sixty years ago, sitting around our big kitchen table with my brother and sister, writing our Christmas lists. Our mom was always right nearby, to help us with our spelling and to offer suggestions. “Mom how do you spell Erector Set?” Our young minds were filled to overflowing with great expectations. How wonderful. All we had to do was think of the items we wanted most, write them down – in a letter to Santa – be continually well-behaved and PRESTO! On Christmas morning, most of the items would appear, gaily wrapped, under our Christmas tree. Boy-O-boy. That Santa Claus, what a great guy… Little did we know, how our parents struggled to find the money, do the shopping and then wrap and hide the wonderful gifts until the special morning. I remember most of all, how much less we wanted back then. We didn’t have a television to cram all the latest gadgets and geegaws down our young throats. There weren’t billions of dollars spent marketing toys – mostly made in foreign countries – into our very impressionable minds. we were satisfied with “One” special toy and a stocking full of surprises. I can still remember how thrilled I was to receive a little bag of “Cat’s Eye” marbles. I loved the paper kite and the roller skates that never stayed clamped on my Red Ball Jet sneakers. “Don’t lose that key David. Here let me put it on a string and you can hang it around your neck.” I think every kid in the fourth grade, had a skate key dangling under his T-shirt. They were simpler times. We believed in Santa Claus because the evidence was unmistakeable. We dismissed with great disdain any “Big Kid” that foolishly tried to tell us “There ain’t no Santa.”…

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Truth is – there will always be a Santa Claus…

We still make Christmas lists. Difference is, it is a list beginning with how much we “Can” spend this year and what we want to send, or give and to whom. Everyone has to live within their “Budget” some – not ours – are quite large. We have enough to live the lifestyle we enjoy, but frivolous expenditures are not in the cards, Christmas, or otherwise. We don’t need to make our own lists because we truly have everything we need and want. The old proverb is true; “The more you know, the less you need.” We must know a LOT.

I really do understand the confusion in Kaden’s mind, created by my saying “I don’t want anything.” My mission will be to help him understand what a wonderful condition that is… Thank you Lord for my many, many, “gifts.”

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