GT500 Restoration

T Desire to GT500 Restoration

 I wanted to get my hands on a T500. My Dad rode one when I was a kid and I always loved to ride on the back. After lots of searching I met a guy who was selling a restored one. I went to have a look and it was lovely but way beyond my price range and it did not need anything doing to it. This bloke took me to his house, we made our way through the waist high grass to his back shed where he rolled out an assortment of bike bits and then between an old T250 and a rusty bathtub was this rather neglected GT. He told me the price and I bought it right away. he could not find they key but it was just what I wanted. Hours of work and as  I found out later lots of money, but it is all worth it. .

The motor in the bike I had, had a bent conrod, due to hydraulic lock. The crank had filled with oil after sitting for 12 months. I stripped the whole bike with all nuts and bolts going into labeled ziplock bags (theres a tip you can have for free). I had to use a careful mix of precision work and extreme violence with a hammer and a block of wood to remove the cylinder with the bent conrod. Now has anyone out there tried to located a conrod for a T500. Well you might know how difficult that can be unless you have squillions of dollars, you will end up with a crank worth more than the whole bike. 1 guy in Germany can offer some new ones, and someone in Sydney said they might have one. Still I managed to aquire another bike with a proper GT motor in it so hopefully my troubles would be over! Here is a photo of the beautiful machine.

When I finally kicked it over it fired once and stopped with a mighty clang and a little puff of smoke. The engine would not turn over again, didn’t matter though because I wanted to completely strip it down anyhow. Once I started taking covers off I found it had a set of points and on further investigation it was an old motor from a 72 T and not a proper GT motor. I know now that I should have spotted the closely mounted carbs and lack of electronic bits. But this was my first 500 project and so begins the process of learning about the bikes history and model differences. Where would I have been without Muzzas top site, everything I ever needed at the click of a button.

Maybe it looks like junk but not to any suzi 500 fan. When I opened it up however it was full of water and the crank
rusted and worthless including conrods. Electrics were good and complete. So I bought a complete t500 crank from
the same guy and had the GT end pressed onto it, well almost ready to go. The gears in the second bike were perfect and I couldnt be happier but I noticed a difference in that the gears had slots in them to help them carry oil, very effective as i tipped some oil on them to see. The GT motor also does not have bolts at the bottom of the cranks to drain our the sump, why do this? Hope I dont have an oil leak and bend another conrod.

Another little gem I got off this bike was that funny bolt that the seat clips onto. Any wreck is valuable, dont throw anything away!

The final product….


Cheers Smokey Matt


Author: muzza