Suzuki GSX-R1000 Basic Maintenance

Overcome with sunshine and blue-sky induced enthusiasm, albeit a little later than I would have hoped, I've started my crusade of motorcycle rejuvenation. I pledge to all the little jobs I've previously ignored, overlooked and bodged in my three years of Suzuki GSX-R1000 ownership. Yes, I realize most do this maintenance stuff during the raining season, but until recently the motorcycle was my only form of transport.

There is a problem, though. I'm no mechanic. I can do basic work, but I don't have the knowledge to attempt bigger jobs. I don't want to find myself halfway into a double-shark sprocket job only to hear a 'ping' which turns out to be the critical retaining pin making a bid for freedom. So, when I was offered the chance to spend a day at big bike garage learning from the people who know what they doing. I jumped at the chance. I won't bore you with my voyage of discovery and stupid questions.

We addressed the following problems on my motorcycle;

Brake levers

Having swapped from 'hideous' anodized blue levers back to the standard OEM fitments, there was a grating feel to the lever action. All of which was entirely down to a lack of copper grease on the pivot point. A few slaps of copper grease and it was good as new.

Fork Legs

On newer motorcycles with upside-down forks this isn't as much of a problem – but RWU fork sliders are exposed to more road grime causing pitting, especially around the hard-to-reach rear of the forks. Once the hard chrome outer layer is corroded the steel begins to rust, leaving microscopic-but-sharp shards to hack away at the soft fork seal. If you catch it before it's too late, you can clean them off and stay on top of maintenance – but if it's too far gone you've got two-choices: 1) smooth the rust patches down with emery paper, if done regularly it'll protect the seals, but won't look very neat or 2) you can take the forks off, and send them away to be sanded and re-chromed.

Chain Adjusters

The nut-and-bolt adjusters need to be cleaned and lubricated after heavy weather or they'll seize within days. The only way to get them out is to heat the surrounding area, then you can replace the nuts and bolts with stainless steel items. All you need is 2x M8 45mm bolts (10mm head) and 2x M8 nuts (12mm head) – which only cost a few Baht at the local metal.


The left footpeg assembly contains a perforated washer between the gear lever and peg – which fills up with crud and begins to stick. Every time you shift gear, the lever transfers some of its force to the peg, which in turn begins to unscrew. As a result, the linkage isn't quite aligned, and neither are the selection dogs in the box. After each shift they don't properly engage and disengage – rounding off the edges of the selector forks. Left unchecked, your gearbox will eat itself within six months, and will need replacing – very expensive. But, there's a simple fix – remove the heel plate and tighten the MB cap head bolt keeping the footpeg on. Then clean and flush the whole assembly with WD40.
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