The Van Van - '73 Suzuki RV125 "tracker"

adventurco

Nick Ol' Eye
DTT BOTM WINNER
After getting the oil lines bled and all that fun stuff, I rolled her outside for the first start. Put entirely too much fuel in the tank before checking that the float valve and petcock were working. Last time I'll make that mistake. On the bright side, uncured Duplicolor engine enamel AND Rustoleum Appliance epoxy are both fuel resistant, which was surprising. Ended up with about a pint of fuel pissing out of the petcock all over the motor and walkway. Not sure what the deal is as I rebuilt the petcock. Going to pull it off and test it on the bench before I put any more fuel in the tank.

I actually managed to get her running after a few attempts. Since the petcock and float were both malfunctioning, it flooded out and died pretty quick. But I heard it run for a good 10 seconds, so there's that!

However, during this series of mishaps I discovered that the kickstarter gear is completely botched. The ratcheting mechanism only grabs about 10% of the time. So you can kick it over a couple times then bust your shin open when it doesn't engage. Awesome. I ordered a new assembly and annoyingly pulled the motor out to prepare to split the cases again.



On the plus side, this motor takes about 20 minutes to pull and it only weighs about 25 lbs, so it could be worse.
 

crazypj

Split personality, I fake being smart
You sure it isn't just the drag spring on kickstart? very unusual for the gears to be trashed unless teeth are broken off
 

adventurco

Nick Ol' Eye
DTT BOTM WINNER
crazypj said:
You sure it isn't just the drag spring on kickstart? very unusual for the gears to be trashed unless teeth are broken off
I'm not sure what it is exactly. Its probably the spring or a worn mechanism. The gear looked fine to the untrained eye when I put it back together. Either way, all that stuff happens between the crankcase halves, so they have to be split to assess the problem.
 

Jimbonaut

Well-Known Member
DTT SUPPORTER
Getting close man, bet you're jonesing to get this thing mobile...

Just watched a couple of vids of 70's Van Van's doing laps of people's yards, wow these things look like a ton of fun. Saw the 2018 model at the moto show this weekend which I'm sure is also loads of fun, but yours has it licked. Hope you're on the road soon mate
 

1fasgsxr

Active Member
I just did a similar thing...dump a gallon of fuel in it to see if its leaking at the pump...yup its leaking :mad:
 

crazypj

Split personality, I fake being smart
The gears can 'look' completely worn out but still work , the internal springs always look OK(it's obvious when they are broken) but can be completely worn out.
 

Jimbonaut

Well-Known Member
DTT SUPPORTER
I can't decide if I like the left side of the crankcase more or the right.

It's a split decision.

Thanks, I'll be here all week.
 

adventurco

Nick Ol' Eye
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: The Van Van - '73 Suzuki RV125 "tracker"

This little bugger is what’s giving me an issue. I ordered a spare gear set and it’s worn as well. Got a NOS pawl coming end of the week.
 

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trek97

No Custom Title
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: The Van Van - '73 Suzuki RV125 "tracker"

advCo said:
Got a NOS pawl coming end of the week.
Sometimes NOS the best way to go. Be done and forgotten.
 

crazypj

Split personality, I fake being smart
I don't think I've ever seen pawls as messed up as those?
Usually people lose them.
Maybe they were fitted wrong as there are 'left' and 'right' offsets for the pressure springs (&plungers) behind them
 

adventurco

Nick Ol' Eye
DTT BOTM WINNER
Over the weekend I decided to get this thing buttoned back up. Space is at a premium in the shop and I needed this motor off the bench. I installed a new set of points and while doing so, found a short in the wire going from the primary coil winding on the magneto to the condenser. I soldered a new piece of wire with insulation in place and installed everything.

Got the motor back in, cleaned up the needle and seat and replaced the petcock gasket to rid the bike of any fuel leaks. Runs like a dream. Still looking have a couple of odds and ends to finish up but now its time to break in the rings and enjoy this little monster.











 

adventurco

Nick Ol' Eye
DTT BOTM WINNER
And then shortly thereafter I decided to explore the pits in the new construction area of our neighborhood.

Did some muddin'


Climbed the hill


Probably the best terrain to test this thing out


Before a bath


This thing is an absolute blast to ride. With about 7 psi in the tires it was conquering 12-16" deep ruts without hesitation.

And the tires are surprisingly smooth on the asphalt.
 

Jimbonaut

Well-Known Member
DTT SUPPORTER
Proof, if any more were needed, that the more green in this world the better.

Congrats man, mud-caked tires never looked so good.
 

mortoto

Member
awesome job Nick. just imagine how good it would be if you could let the tires down and pump them back up while out and about ::)
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
Just think, that thing was just a crusty carcass with a hole in the case that just sat in my barn only a year ago.
 

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