Tony Fitz Restoration



My love affair with the Suzuki GT250 came as a wet behind the ears, fresh off the moped 17 year old, I just had to have the fastest thing I could get me hands on, so off I went to James of Grays Suzuki dealership, dragged me Dad along with me to stand guarantor for me and promptly signed on the dotted line, committing meself to pay 45.00 a month for the next three years to some finance company or another, little did I know at the time that eighteen months later the ol' bike would be caned, dropped and sold leaving me to still pay the finance totalling 1170.00.


I never really got over the buzz of riding the X7, whilst all my mates were on RD250's or GT250's, the X7 I had left 'em all for dead, the first time I hit a ton on her (according to the speedo) I pulled away from the toll booth at the Dartford Tunnel coming northbound after paying my 20p at about midnight and just caned her through every gear. Just about halfway through the pipe as it starts to rise into Essex I looked down at the speedo and it was bang on 100 MPH, but hey! this was 1980, no speed cameras, no Q.E.2 bridge, and the ol' bill were still busy pounding the beat. Fortunately I never got nicked on her but my pal Gary managed to get me an endorsement and a 40.00 fine doing 50 in a 30, he told the ol' bill he was me because he wasn't insured to ride it. You could do that sort of thing in 1980 because you didn't need a full bike licence then, the X7 changed all that forever.....................So, for the next 20 odd years I was X7 less, I have had RD's, CB400's and 750's, a GT380 etc. but I just had to have another X7, now that I am a responsible adult !
So, on December 31st 2003 I purchased "WUNTUN" from a guy in Southend for 250.00, she was in a million bits at the time, the frame had been powder coated and the front end had been built, but the rest still had to be done.


  Now I can't take all the credit for building "WUNTUN", I was fortunate in being able to enlist the help of Rick to help me in the task and we set about getting the top end of the engine rebuilt with new rings and gaskets, and getting the black paint onto the rear wheel, the front wheel had already been done, the wheels were originally red as standard, but my first X7's wheels were black so black it was gonna be. As you can see in the pic, the front end was complete, and the rear mudguard and fittings were on, but the shocks were in a bit of a state, they had to go !!  

  Once the rear wheel was painted and polished, she was rolling, I had a good set of shocks to put on her, although not standard, they have stabilised the back end better than the standard shocks in my opinion, the X7 was always prone  to a bit of back end wobble in corners. So, the engine was undergoing surgery, and the tank and side panels needed paint. There is s man who lives in the North at a place called Wingate in County Durham called Peter Scott and he is a wizard with a spry gun, I purchased new decals and sent Peter the paintwork, in my opinion he done a first class job at a very reasonable price.


  The engine casings had already been stripped of their original grey dreary paint, so we set about polishing the clutch cover and the flywheel casing, and getting the pistons and barrels on, the pistons are .75 oversize indicating that she has been rebored at some point. We fitted her with a new set of rings, the bores themselves look as good as new, as do the crankcase oil seals which are a very common failure on the X7. Once the cylinder head was in place fitting the engine into the frame was easy, it is held by 4 long bolts running through the frame at the front and the back of the engine. I bought a seat from a guy on e-bay although it looks good, the base is rotten and will be replaced when the right part becomes available.


  Wit the engine in, the carbs fitted and the throttle working, the next step was to get the electrics working. When I bought her the guy had a good second hand loom to fit making wiring the ol' girl pretty easy and painless, not for me but for Rick, as wiring is not my strong point. With all the electrics coming to life, we could now see the progress being made. I started to rebuild the front brake calliper and managed to shear the bleed nipple off. I bought a second hand calliper for 25.00 and instead of painting it, I polished it, again not standard, but effective and in keeping with the rest of the rebuild, I could now smell the M.O.T station, I just hope she starts....




At last the paint job arrived back from Pete, I set about getting the tank sealed on the inside with pet seal, Pete had had to do a fair repair on the bottom of the tank which was littered with pin holes and rust. Finally she was looking as she should, the only thing missing now were the exhaust down pipes which were at the chrome platers in Benfleet, although they took  six weeks to do, they have come out well, the cost of 45.00 including a CB400 chain guard was wellimages/tony11.jpg (29262 bytes) reasonable. Pete has done an excellent job with the decals as well. 


After a fair bit of tinkering and cursing and depleting the local ozone layer we got her running pretty roughly, the reason we found was because she had 105 jets in and was over fuelling, a standard set of jets cured the problem immediately, aimages/tony1.jpg (24153 bytes) new set of plugs and off to the MOT station where she passed first time on Sep 15th 2004.

    She isn't completely standard......... She isn't a concourse example..........but, she is a good looking X7, that's still on the road at nearly 30 years old and she is mine.........  


Special thanks go to;

Slick Bloke, Peter Scott, Chris Pryke and Bikeybird.



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