The Bandit is alive!

So the other supercool bike thing I did this weekend was to get the Bandit up and running on its own two wheels once again.

It had been sitting in the garage, both at my old apartment and at our new house, waiting for me to get around to powdercoating the GSX-R750 wheel that I’d found for it on ebay. In the meantime, it developed a lung infection: sputtery brown smoke at wide open throttle.

I decided that it was better to have a project bike that ran while I procrastinated powdercoating the wheel, so I took the stock forks to Aftershocks last week and got them all fixed up. On Saturday, I reinstalled them along with the stock wheel.

It was so cool to see that bike running around again. I took it around the block — no further, because I’ve misplaced both mirrors and the fork brace. They have to be in one of the five million boxes in the garage. It ran pretty well, considering that I last rode it in February 2003.

Peter and I are having a friendly disagreement on the cause of the brown exhaust. He claims it’s burning oil; I think it’s a fuel condition. It idles perfectly and only starts farting out smoke when I whack open the throttle. It also ran fine before we loaded it into a truck and moved it across town. To me, this points to a clogged main jet.

This isn’t to say that it’s not also burning oil; that wouldn’t surprise me at all. But I still think the brown smoke is fuel-related. I’ll pull the carbs this week and clean them up and see what happens.

Meanwhile, Peter has been going nuts with the $2.50 Rustoleum rattle cans of candy apple red paint. He started in on one of the rear cowl plastic pieces last night, and it looks really good already. We have no idea what color we’ll end up with for the bike, but while the frame is still (mostly) red, we figured we’d redo the plastics in red for the time being.

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