Itching to ride in the middle of winter

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It’s 60 degrees today! In February! If that’s the case, then I want to put my Suzuki together and take her out. Poor Flo (she’s an ’83 GS550) has been holed up in the garage all winter. On the other hand the streets are a wreck. When the sun shines through the trees, the shadows hide potholes. And they’re huge! A bit terrifying.

Besides that, the last time I rode Flo the battery exploded on the highway and I had to push her home when she stalled at a traffic light. Fortunately, she shut down only a few blocks away from home.

The battery had exploded because whoever worked on this bike in the past didn’t know that the ground wire on the regulator needed to be ground. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the ground wire was disconnected until the battery exploded on me. Grounding this wire is necessary, in case you didn’t know, so that the overcharge from the alternator doesn’t go into the battery, but into the bike frame. The ground wire from the regulator basically acts as a shunt.

The other thing about this GS550 is that the battery that fits this bike is a Yuasa wet battery. Unless I was looking at the wrong sources, nobody makes a sealed battery this size and shape. I didn’t want to use a sulfuric acid battery, so I ended up buying a Westco SVG. In order to get it to fit the bike, I had to remold the battery box.

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