The Bike

Suzuki_GSR600_d9-043r

Suzuki GSR600 KG (2006)

I bought the GSR for a little more than £2k in February 2014. It had 28’000 miles but hadn’t got one scratch, gravel chip and had clearly been very well looked after. You can find out why I chose this, of all bikes, for touring on my ‘choosing the bike’ page. I kept it completely stock apart from a few post purchase adaptations:

  • Scottoiler v-system – way more effort than it was worth. These sport bikes have precious few places you can attach a scottoiler at the right angle and the underseat exhaust meant that fitting it under the seat messed up the flow rate, even with the high temp oil. Fitting it was also a nightmare – I’d not sealed the unit properly and drew half a reservoir into my vacuum hose… that’s a fun job to sort out. I bought a second hand touring reservoir to mount behind the number plate but it was compromised somewhere so never actually let oil flow into to the V-System. Learning point: find this out before you spend a day trying to mount it! The oiler managed to keep the chain in reasonable condition, though it did keep emptying in the heat (even at lowest flow rate) and left a number of worrying looking oil patches under my bike from little dribbles it had developed. Unless I’m out in the adventure motorcycling zone I’ll probably not bother with one, opting for spray oil/wax instead.
  • A neat looking radiator protector to keep gravel our of my fins- cost around £60.
  • Stubby levers. I hit a patch of gravel banked over in a corner less than a week from d-day. I managed to hold it at first, but then quickly took a hit from a dry stone wall and dropped the bike. My front brake lever snapped off, my clutch lever snapped in half. Buying the shorter ones might shift more impact to the crash bungs and bar ends that were on the bike when I bought it. Levers were cheap Chinese ones off eBay, but I was suitably impressed.
  • Replacement pillion pegs (again, snapped off in the crash). Getting a replacement ball bearing for the locking mechanism was a bit of a nightmare – a glass bead was used as a substitute for some time.
  • Adjusting the throttle position sensor in a bid to stop it cutting out and minimize the jerkiness at low speeds. I don’t think it worked, I just got used to feathering the clutch at anything less than 10mph.
  • Fitting a car cigarette socket under the seat, to charge my phone and tablet on the move.

If you’re looking to find out more information about the gear I took with me on this trip – click here!

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