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Sal_the_man

Sal's GS500 Thread

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FUDGESICLES


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My bike completely died on me. Setting the petcock to reserve did jack squat despite gas being in the tank. And I did not have towing service. Fortunately my good friend Alireza saved the night by driving me to and from Rockville as we waited for a tow truck. While waiting, we took up on the initiative of buying a jerry can and filling it with more fuel...and VOILA IT STARTED! :D


Called off the tow truck and rode home scott-free. But as I stopped in front of the garage the bike was idling at 4000RPM and backfiring at initial throttle applications. Hmm, something is amiss here.


Mysterious photo...GS500 is marred by carburetor black magic


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Next weekend called up my friend Paul who traveled with his buddy from Silver Spring to my place of residence. A few more incidents of the bike dying, presumably, from fuel starvation didn't cut the pizza slices for me. Started taking the bike apart and what do you know...the airbox isn't connected to the carbs, carb vent hose is pinched, fuel lines reversed, fuel mixture screw needs to be adjusted. Holy smokes batman, who would have guessed these were the culprits!


Running very lean. Needed to be adjusted


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Addressed all the issues. Went out for lunch, and rode back home smiling like a fool riding the redline. Ah felt good for the GS to be back on its feet!


Quickly erasing those memories was the start of the fall semester. That first week was characterized by beautiful, sunny commutes to Baltimore. Not only was it exciting to ride the bike to school but also to meet other riders on campus. Even some of my professors ride ^____^




Posted this picture on reddit which seemed to be very popular in r/motorcycles. First day of school and I'm part of this line-up on campus.


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The week was going well and nothing could get me more excited for a Friday ride...


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But on my way back I noticed something. Hmm...what the...why am I not getting power in 6th gear? 5th gear...? 4th seems slower too. Can't be good. Tried to ignore these symptoms until I took the exit for my house. The dead powerband at 6000+ RPM then gave way to a death rattle from the engine...


Oh fu...ohhhhh noooo.


The red oil light came on as I approached my house. My instincts flared and the goosebumps sensed an engine knock. Playing it off as a chain tensioner or the GS hungry for some action was just delaying the inevitable reveal.




Dropped the oil pan...and...well...


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Confirmed. Friendly down. Crankshaft main bearing was toast.

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Had a nice group ride yesterday. Started in Rockville, passed through Sugar Loaf Mountain, and finished with roads near VA on 17. Weather was perfect.


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I'll update when I have the chance.

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Are you familiar with the seven stages of grief? Well let's walk through them together:


1. Shock and Denial - Unbelievable Sal. UNBELIEVABLE. I can't believe you've blown your motor IN JUST A MONTH! This is number two, What is wrong with you man??


2. Pain and Guilt - Why couldn't you just check the oil?? You lazy imbecile it was just a matter of checking the dipstick YOU DIPSTICK!!


3. Anger and Bargaining - For once in my life can you stop BREAKING STUFF!? Seriously! The I30, the MR2, and now the motorbike! You...you...Barbarian!


4. Depression - Well looks like you're out of a ride once again. Don't know whether I want to keep it now. All the work, money, time that will go into buying another motor. Not sure if I have the patience to deal with this nonsense once more...


5. The Upward Turn - Come on Sal the man! It's just a motor. You've been through too many obstacles to ditch this project. It's just a matter of finding a motor and swapping it in. Well, if you can swap it in.


6. Reconstuction - Let's stumble through craigslist, forums, ebay these next few weeks. It's a cheap bike and you'll find the one motor.


7. Hope - Be patient. It'll work out mang.


NSFL, The gory pictures. The crankshaft bearings were toast no doubt about it:


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And so the search began at the start of September. Not surprisingly there were an abundant amount of motors for sale on Ebay and Craigslist. But most were overpriced or had shady histories behind them. It was a frustrating time and one that shaked my faith in resurrecting the old boy. Episodes of depression would inundate me as a motorcyclist would pass me by on the commutes. Or when I'd see a family of motorcycles coalescing in their designated parking lots. The feeling of active brotherhood was out of grasp when I'd explain "I have a GS500 at home but it needs a new motor." A statement that would slice the spirit every time it was sorrowfully shared.


However, one day there was an ebay listing for a 92 GS500 motor with 7707 miles on it. It looked beaten up cosmetically but the seller, revered with high approval ratings, swore to its solid mechanical condition. Its price of $300 was met with my offer of $220. I was not expecting him to accept my lowball offer but to my astonishment he did! Oh what? He'll take $220? Holy smokes I have a motor!! FRICKIN' A dude! :woohoo:


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Its home is a four hour pilgrimage away from my city. And that distance qualified for a shipping price I did not want to pay for. So being a man on a mission, I saddled up in the Benz strapped with $220 and some change for tolls. And away we went to explore the western wilderness.


My destination seemed to be a place that offered more to sell than just used GS500 motors, if you know what I mean. The sights only lowered my expectations of what I was purchasing. But the ratings proved to be true and the seller was an upright gent (I recommend buying GS500 parts from him and he has plenty). The GS motor greeted me inside his shed of parts and my eyes glowed with this diamond of a deal. Money was exchanged, hands were met, and the powerplant was whisked away in a grassroots fashion. A new chapter was going to be written.


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Swap, swap, engine swap time! For two weeks the motor hid behind the GS and fueled the fantasy of riding the steed again. And on that one fateful Saturday, my friends Dave and Max came over to help, the service manual was consulted like the bible on a sunday, and 6 hours of labor ensued. The bike was under the knife. Here are some pictures my friend took of the job.


Swapping sockets for each task


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Kudos to Mr. Haynes for his clear and concise instructions


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Dave and I at work


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Losing hair


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Finally removed the motor! Such a satisfying feeling.


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Getting desperate. Out with the old, in with the new.


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Astounded by how difficult it was to get a motor IN than OUT


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Glamour photo


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Once we installed the motor David and Max had to left to their commitments and the job became a one-man party. The rents came home to a garage colored by motorcycle guts which prompted their disapproval and exclamations of "karma for buying a bike." But who was doing all the work? Who was spending the time and effort in resuscitating this being? With every turn of the socket wrench my moral was raised. Every tightened bolt strengthened my confidence in fighting the odds. Proving the once bleak circumstances wrong.


And so at the sixth hour of that last Saturday of October the bike was assembled. Harnesses were scanned for solid connections, hoses were glanced over, and the GS was primed to start. And when the ignition button was nervously pressed...the GS awoke from its two-month coma with an enthusiastic roar. The bellow of the unfiltered carbs declared its presence in the neighborhood once again.



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To finish the swap, a JT 15-tooth front sprocket, OEM is 16-tooth, and bar end mirrors were ordered as upgrades. The sprocket made the GS more enthusiastic with a shorter final drive. And the bar-end mirrors removed the stock mirrors from the field of view, making the bike feel more taut.


Winter weather strolled in by November with temperatures being a chilly 30-40 degrees. Some people throw in the towel declaring the end of the season. But my youth defied the cold and bundled up for the rides that followed. A decision that catalyzed my bond with the GS and love for riding.


Photo heavy below


College Park Tuning's Annual Catoctin Cruise - Plan on hosting for riders this summer


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Max taking the GS for a stroll.


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Pit stop


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Looking cooltastic for the camera


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Friday stroll through Germantown and Poolesville. Love exploring


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Approval while being a millenial


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Maximillion being a straight up G


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Serene


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Selfie


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Thursday in College Park


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Bikes and Grass


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Convinced me to go off-road, then Max became stuck in the mud. Lifted it out and became filthy dirty. Thanks bruh


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Earning his stripes


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Every mile on the bike further kindles my affinity for riding. And slowly I drift away from automotive scene. The eyes absorb the countryside beauty, the heart beats to the tempo of combustion, and friendships mold into a brotherhood. Rides become stories to chat about with company. And they lead to discussion for trips to Toronto, Pikes Peak, and beyond.


The GS will most certainly see Summit Point and cross state lines. Oh, and that 12K redline will be visited regularly.


As if it isn't already...

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Is Maximillion his real name? lol

 

I like the poetic thing you got going there at the end. :)

 

I believe it is. And why thank you ma'am

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Disclaimer: This is a write-up of a cruise I did on New Years Eve.


Part I. Decisions, decisions...


After exhausting gnasher ammo in Gears of War 3 and failing to make podium in Forza 4 (thanks SR20DET), I explored the internet for local riding roads in the DMV area. Winter break released the shackles of academia but there was a physical yearning to see beyond a digital Nurburgring.


Stumbled upon Motorcycle Roads | Motorcycle Roads and Rides | MotorcycleRoads.com that Tuesday night and fancied a route from Leesburg to Antietam National Park. Stamped Thursday, New Years Eve, as the ride date.


Command+Shift+3 gents


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Pacenotes were scribbled and the event was set. Initially this was going to be a solo mission, but decided it was a great opportunity to make new friends. So a Facebook post was made, Miro shot me a PM, and a man-date was set for 1030 hours. It was going to be a good time, no homo.


_________________________________


Part II. Rise and shine, the A/F is fine (meh, lean).


Winter weather didn't stop me from putting 3000 miles under the GS's three months of running. But it did school me on bundling up. Here's what works for me.


Head: Balaclava, Helmet

Hands: "Head" liner, Fieldsheer Summer gloves

Torso: Under Armor, T-shirt, Perforated Leather Jacket, Nursing home windbreaker

Legs: Thermal, leather pants, Burton snowboard socks

Shoes: Boots


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An attractive male


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Le pacenotes


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Dried mangos and drinks were thrown into the backpack and away the GS whisked its masked rider.


Upon arrival at the Giant in Leesburg, I spotted a Royal Enfield and its owner anticipating something in the parking lot. Hands were shook, greetings were exchanged, and our purpose broke the ice that would otherwise exist.


Miro and I briefly talked about our backgrounds. Our familiarity with the area. The GS, Enfield, and our history on two wheels.


The Suzuki was red, the sky was blue, the Royal was green, and so were our wallets too. The 500s fired up and the expedition began.


Rally Point


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Perspectives matter


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Green machine, an identical rhyme


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Part III. Vivacious views, vulgar vrooms, tea.


I perceive that when people hear the word "motorcycle" they naturally assume the need for speed and its rudimentary associations. But the 45-mile trek reminded us of riding's core fundamental. The wind slithering through zippers, feeling the physics of hairpins, and being inundated with nature in the nude. It was about living in the moment and absorbing the beauty that surrounds you. Only miles from your couch. And the two of you thundering down, owning, this journey. Your masculinity is not questioned.


Below are some photos of the roads we traveled in VA, WV, and MD. But we didn't take pics of every moment YA FREE LOADERS!



One from the GoPro


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(Miro) Crossing the Shenandoah River


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(Miro) Traffic lights


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(Miro) Outskirts of the park


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Extremely useful tank bag


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My hand slipped, I swear


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Once we reached sharpsburg, I decided that a break was needed to snack and chit chat. Although we were content with Costco's finest bananas and trail mix, Miro fancied some tea to which I concurred. Low and behold we find a Persian tea shop Shahanzadeh's in this small country town. Figures.


Miro's Russian fireball and my white chocolate mousse tea were excellent. But moreso, it was a time to befriend each other. Discussing about bikes, ethnic customs while chewing mangos and cashews. A unique moment.


Here we were. A Czech, a Pakistani, sitting in a Persian restaurant, served by a Puerto Rican, while next to significant land in america's civil war. Syntax nightmare yes I know, but a testament to what "Freedom" morphed to become.



(Miro) the tea room


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Tea


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Miro unpictured and I take a picture


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Back into the groove:





(Miro) Back on the road:


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(Miro) Antietam


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Part IV. Sightseeing Antietam


Antietam. A pivotal battle in America's civil war theatre. The last piece of land over 22,000 would set foot on. The sights were awe-inspiring and the hills were characterized by luscious curves. But it was an ironic quality to the amount of lives that perished in the bloody conflict. Our destination left us with a deep respect for those who perished.


The visitor center guides were amicable and enthusiastic to discuss its significance. Even better, they provided us a self drive around tour which we did on our bikes. An awesome way to engage history.


Parked


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Miro reading information


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The Enfield owner walking towards the monument


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Information


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Other personnel


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List of KIA


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Various cannons used in the battle


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Tower overlook


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Dedicated to officer KIA


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"Bloody Lane"


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Motorcycles. Favorite picture of the trip


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Miroslav the suave. Another rhyme.


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Alas, reader, the trip arrived at its conclusion. I had a date with an electrician at 3:00PM so 2:00PM marked both of our departures. Manshakes were exchanged once again, plans for the Wednesday meets were discussed, and the GS belched at 9K RPM to pedestrians. (Psh, what a show off)


______________________


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Motorcycles. They convince you to share 45 miles with another rider. Forge friendships. Interact with the world around you. Move, excite, live. And that's exactly what we did New Years Eve. Live an ordinary thursday seeing the tri-state beauty and sharing it with a splendid gentlemen. 'Til next time.

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'The Suzuki was red, the sky was blue, the Royal was green, and so were our wallets too. ' This made me chuckle. :lol:

 

The Royal is not greeeeeeeeeen. Or is it.

 

Sounds like a fun trip.

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