Swiss SR42A Resurrection
Came across this bike on the Swiss ebay equivilent -

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It was sold by a small garage. The ad said they'd taken it in as part exchange and just wanted rid of it. They could start it with a spare battery but that was as far as they would go. They showed me it running, but as the battery they used was too big for the bike they couldn't put the seat on and let me have a quick ride.

I paid about £650 for it, so there was little financial risk for me as I'd probably get most of that back breaking it should I have bought a lemon.

Anyway, it's a SR42A from 1990. It's only done 30,000km, and most of that was almost certainly early in its life as the rear tyre (a michelin) has plenty of tread on it yet is 21 years old!

The front (a Continental) is only 14 years old.

Its last Swiss MOT ran out two years ago. Swiss MOT's last 2 years so it was last tested in 2018. Swiss MOT's are done by the council and are pretty strict so it was definitely in reasonable condition then.

I have reason to believe it hasn't been stood for 2-3 years though. Its last owner lived in the Alps close to Italy. My guess is he ran it on private land after the MOT expired as the tank is damaged yet there isn't much corrosion on it, so I don't think it was done more than 2 years ago. Also, the brakes are not binding and have firm pedal/lever. The battery is flat, but it's a 6 year old battery anyway. This is just me guessing though.

There is corrosion on the lower part of the frame and the swing arm.
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The rear suspension is also corroding up.
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The foot pedals and pegs and the side stand are all corroded. The side stand is pretty stiff.
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The exhaust is also corroding. I'm not sure if it's already been welded?
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Just pushing it around the brakes seem ok, but I haven't ridden it yet so they may need stripping.
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The right fuel tank will need some treatment.
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My plan is to put a new battery in it (I've ordered a Motobatt) and take it for a quick spin just to see the obvious problem with it. I'll then decide how far (or not) I want to go in getting it road worthy. My philosophy with the bike is I don't mind it looking a bit tatty and worn, but I want the corrosion treated and it to be in good condition as regards brakes, suspension, engine, tyres, drivetrain.

So I plan to treat the corrosion as best I can without removing the engine, stripping it and getting it repainted. I like the existing colours so I'm going to order some new paint from a firm in Germany. The frame is 28W. I don't know what the code for the red is, or the swing arm. Any ideas?

I will remove all the suspension and get it properly sorted. Same with the brakes depending on what they look like.

I'm not sure what to do with the fuel tank. I like the graphics, don't mind the dent and scrapes, but I don't want it to corrode. I think I'll touch up what I can and then spray the area with a clear plastidip. Maybe I will later find a matching tank.

I think I'll just paint the exhaust. All exhausts have to be type approved in Switzerland so a new can would be maybe EUR 350, which is too much.

The chain is likely +20 years old and I have no idea how +20 year old O rings behave, so I will likely replace it and the sprokets. Maybe also the cush drive rubbers.

I will give the engine a big service, including the balancer chain tension. Here's a strange thing though. The registration document has power at 29kw, which is < 40bhp. Doing a bit of research this was the case with all Swiss DR800's. On the German forum no one seems clear if: -

a) This was a paper de-rate and actually they're just the same as the German bikes.
b) They run exhaust gas recirculation to do this, and it's really easy to unplug it.
c) There's a throttle stop in the carburetor.
d) A combination of b and c.

Either way I certainly plan on taking my full quota of bhp!

Anyway, I'll keep you posted with how I get on with it. Next update will be when the new battery arrives. Any of you guys have some help and advice it would be gratefully received.
Looks good ,a great project
I had exactly same model 25 years ago!
Cleaning and washing makes miracles, white frame is sensitive for colors (corrosion) but I believe it’s just surface corrosion. Spray can painting for pegs, side stand and swing arm (matt black, grey) and maybe matt lack to protect your paintings.
Few years back I restored some Goldwing plastics, found a paint shop who prepares paint to match the bike, into spray cans. Matched very nice.
Right, I`ll try and answer your questions.
Firstly, get a genuine manual as you can`t do anything properly without the Holy Book at hand.
Your colour is Marble Italian Red. Paint code 28V.
They used the same paint code on the GSXF600, RF600 and Bandit 600 to name a few  so you should be able to get it matched up.
Right, your lack of bhp is not due to any of your suggestions but down to restricted carbs
On the side of your carbs you should see 45B30 faintly etched, which tells you it`s a Swiss model.
You need to change the needle from a 5E69 3rd clip to a 5E53 3rd clip
You also need to change the pilot jet from a 37.5 to a 40
This will give you the full monty ie 54 bhp though 45 at the back wheel is about right.
Essentially, they fitted a fat carb needle to restrict fuel flow that`s all
While you are in the carbs change the needle valve O ring as they are prone to drying out and allowing fuel to fill up the crankcases
Be warned, getting the carbs on and off is an absolute swine as the carb/airbox rubber gets rock hard and the secret is to immerse it in boiling water for a few minutes to get it pliable enough to refit
That should keep you busy for a while  Smile
BigBob, you know more about the Swiss bikes than the Swiss on the German board! Huh

You seem a real DR nerd

I mean this as a compliment. Big Grin 

Thanks for the info, I will check it out.
Defo do the chain and sprockets! My mates snapped the other day due to age and no lubing. The chains are quite small for so much torque.

If the cush drive rubbers wear out it gets really jerky. Worth replacing but expensive from suzuki. Wedging inner tube works.

If the clutch is sticky its probably the cable...I just spray WD40 down it. Bob soaks it in oil which is probably better!

New brake fluid and pads worked wonders for me and is less work than stripping!

Try and use decent carb Bob says they are a bugger to remove so don't wanna do it too often!
From 1994 Suzuki used a 525 chain and will retro fit onto the 1990 model
Thanks for the advice guys. I will definitely get the 525 chain and will be careful about carb suppliers. If you know a good one please let me know. It's very unlikely I'll be able to source carb parts locally anyway.

The new battery is taking longer than I'd hoped to arrive. I have 3 other bikes but none of their batteries would fit so I rigged up a temporary solution just so I could check out the bike.

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Took it for a quick spin up a local farm road. All the electrics were fine. Seemed to fuel ok, although it does smell of petrol. Revs ok and makes power. Changed gears fine. Suspension still had damping. Rear brake wasn't great. Front brake was worse and after a fairly short distance made groaning sounds when used, so I think that'll need a refurb.

Otherwise nothing really to report, so now I'll start dismantling it and ordering parts, confident in the knowledge that I've got a runner.

One other thing, it was fun to ride even though I struggle a bit with the height of it - I'm 5' 6'.
I use for OEM carb parts. Super expensive though. Depends how much needs replacing. Most of the bits are probably fine after a clean.

I have had some bad experiences with cheap rebuild kits...heads getting chewed up as the metal is so soft etc...

Hessler is in Germany and is great for good quality bits. Not much cheaper though.

That's a lot of bike for the money! If you are doing the balancer tension it is worth doing the valve clearances when the crank case cover is removed. You need to turn the engine over for valves and that little plug on the left hand crank case is probably seized Smile
Yes, I've seen both of those websites. cmsnl is very technical!

Good shout on the valve clearances. I have read up on that plug and will try and get it replaced with the later one with the hex head. 

Frustrating getting paint. I'm beginning to think I just paint the whole frame as best I can with an off the shelf white. The existing white is badly faded anyway so probably won't match the new paint if I just touch it up. I only need the red to touch up the tank so may just treat the rust with jenolite and then spray over with a clear plastidip for the moment. I can get the proper red at some stage in the future, or find a replacement tank.

I've ordered a chain and sprocket set - an AFAM A525XRR - 15T/47T - 116L used on the later DR800's.

Also ordered most of the service parts.

I've chosen Mitas EO7 tyres after reading some good reviews here and elsewhere. It's unlikely to do much if any off-roading so I didn't want anything too extreme.

I think I'll need new pistons for the front caliper. I'd like to order genuine Suzuki ones but all the suppliers seem to have it out of stock, which is a bit annoying. I'll take it apart and have a look before I try and order though.

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