Africa Blog

The Ride to Half a Million Miles

Preparing the GS

  I knew that the first week in March was the deadline to having the GS ready.   And I knew that I had plenty of time yet to work on the motorbike but, like clock work,  these plans have a mind of their own! 

    Sometime back in January I took the bike out for a ride,  a couple of hundred miles to burn out the old fuel.  Everything was going get for most of the ride when suddenly the GS started to run rough followed by a power lose.   This was very odd,  as if I were running out of fuel.  So I pulled over to the side of the road, and lucky for me that I had relocated the fuel filter to the outside of the fuel tank  making  the filter easy to get to.  When I pulled the filter out,  all this gunk came out!  So for the next 100 miles I had to stop about every 20 miles, clear the fuel filter to get home.

    About a week later I finally had time to check the bike.  I found that this time the bike wouldn't even start!. So here I go, pulling the fuel tank apart, pulling the fuel pump out and what I discovered was that the protective lining in the tank had come apart creating rusty nasty gunk which killed my fuel pump and fuel filter.

   Off I send the tank to my friend Rick's paint and body shop, where they have had good success in re-coating the insides of the fuel tanks.   This process did take time,  about 3 weeks as the remains of the old lining had to be removed.

   In the mean time I ordered a new fuel pump and need parts.  Once I had everything back from Ricks  I reinstalled everything.   Along the way I replaced items such as the battery, changed the oils, and filters.  Adjusted the valves, replaced spark plus. and replaced the throttle and clutch cables.   With all these new items and the GS started running rough.   I know my GS very well and I could tell something was just not right.  The idle was high and rough.  To put pressure on me was the fact that I was running out of time. After about 3 days of re-thinking and re-checking all the settings I finally started looking towards the left throttle body.  What had me looking here was that the left side was not responding to any adjustments I made.  I check the cost of a new throttle body and it was a whopping $580.  This was a part I couldn't just order to " see what happens " and even worse the clock was ticking.  So started  looking for a used one hoping to find one for my year model (1995)  which were different from all the other year!  Bingo,  I found one and my eyes popped out of my head as the price was $58!!!  I ordered  and got the part as fast as I could.  And Bingo again,  as I pulled off the old throttle body I found that it was indeed bad,  something had happen to it that was keeping it from closing properly.   Once I got everything back in order, my trusty GS started and was idling as smooth as glass again!! 

    The left throttle body is the original one that came from the factory,  it did have 490,000 miles one it.  I guess they just don't make things to last anymore!!