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Old 24th September 2021, 15:42   #1
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Default My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100

Apologies at the onset for the writing style. I wrote a 2000 word essay on this before the page got reloaded for some reason, so this second attempt may not be as good as the first.

I moved to Bangalore earlier this year for college and decided to get myself my own motorcycle. I didn't have the need for one though, I live within a walking distance of 5 minutes from my college, and almost everything I need is a minute away from my place. However, I missed riding a motorbike, and although the occasional scooters and motorbikes I rented gave me a fun experience, I really wanted to have my own one in this new city. I took one look at my savings account and dived into OLX.

I wanted something within my very modest budget of Rs. 20,000. Beggars can't be choosers, however, I did have a set of requirements that the bike had to fulfill:
  • It had to be a manual motorcycle, an automatic scooter just wouldn't cut it for me. Back home in Calcutta, I'd just replaced my 2015 Honda Shine with a 2020 TVS Ntorq Race Edition for my dad, and irrespective of how smart, peppy, feature-loaded, and cool the scooter was, it was no match to the Shine when it came to riding feel, at least to my eyes
  • It had to be something that was retro and iconic
  • I really really wanted a 2 stroke, but I didn't eliminate 4 strokes that fulfilled the other criteria

I eventually narrowed it down to the first generation Hero Honda CBZ, the Hero Honda Karizma/R, the Bajaj Pulsar Classic 150/180, and the Suzuki Samurai. Bangalore being Bangalore, I couldn't even dare to look at the Yamaha RXs since they were trading hands at atleast triple my budget, if not more.

Days went by, and my search yielded no fruit. All the bikes I came across were either overpriced, or in an extremely shabby condition, or had incomplete paperwork. They were not even worth visiting and checking out.

One fine day, I came across an ad for a 2001 Suzuki Max 100. The pictures looked okay, and the ad mentioned the paperwork to be in order. I gave a call to the seller (it was a dealer), and went to see the bike that evening. My first impressions were:
  • The bike had FC valid till March 2022, which was honestly all that I wanted. Insurance and PUC were pending, though
  • It was a single owner bike
  • It had the original Mikuni carburetor
  • There were dents on the fuel tank, a dent on the exhaust shield, and a rather large cut in the seat cover. No visible rust
  • The indicators were from some modern bike
  • It ran in a straight line, stopped in a straight line
  • The bike would shut off at idle, which again didn't seem to be a big deal

I negotiated a little on the price, signed the documents, and rode her home. I was happy and extremely nervous at the same time. Every time I slowed down, I had to keep on revving the bike in order to keep the engine running. I hoped to myself that I hadn't made a big mistake.

Being new to the city, I had no information on skilled two-stroke mechanics here. The few that I came across on Team-BHP were all located far from my place. I took the bike to a garage in my neighbourhood and asked the mechanic to set the idle. While he did that, I also decided to give the bike a complete stripdown service, since I didn't have any info on when and how it was last serviced. Seeing the bike getting stripped eliminated the main fear from my mind: the chassis was completely rust-free.

The final bill I received from the mechanic had the following in it:
  • Engine Oil- Rs. 350
  • Front and Rear brake shoes- Rs. 175+170
  • Sprocket Rubber- Rs. 180
  • Wheel Bearing*2- Rs. 330
  • Sprocket Bearing- Rs. 220
  • Air Filter- Rs. 80
  • Manifold Rubber- 150
  • Gearbox Sprocket- Rs. 180
  • Front Brake Shoe- Rs. 175
  • Gearbox Sprocket Lock- Rs. 20
  • Tank Rubber- Rs. 45
  • Clutch Cable- Rs. 95
  • Samurai Muffler- Rs. 250
  • Spark Plug- Rs. 100
  • Glasswool- Rs. 150
  • Labour+Washing= Rs. 650+100
Total: Rs. 3,245

I went home and got a new insurance policy from Acko for Rs. 932. When I received the bike the next day, it felt way smoother, stopped better, and looked like a million bucks. Time for some pictures:

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-1.jpeg
The first time I saw the bike

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-2.jpeg
The dent on the exhaust and the fuel tank

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-3.jpg
Me taking a test ride

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-5.jpg
Dropping it off at the mechanic's place

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-6.jpg
Completely stripped down

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-7.jpg
The original Mikuni carburetor

The next set of pictures were taken after I got her back from the service and took her for a spin around my area:

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-8.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-9.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-10.jpg
Getting a PUC test done later that night

My first visit to the petrol pump to get a PUC wasn't as good as I'd hoped it to be. It was at night so I'd ridden with the headlamp on. I then filled petrol worth Rs. 360, 2T oil worth Rs. 40 and then proceeded to the PUC stall. There, the bike just wouldn't fire up even after using the choke. I tried everything, I switched the fuel tap to reserve, took a 5 min break, and nothing would work. Then I noticed the headlight switch was in the on position. Turned it off, gave it one kick, and the bike fired up immediately. In the process, I'd managed to blow out the headlight. Got the PUC done, and came back home.

Next day I bought a headlight bulb and took it to my mechanic to have the bulb replaced. The old bulb wasn't blown, which is odd, but the headlight worked with the new bulb. Weird. We realized it was a wiring issue and left it to be sorted out at a later date. The headlight blew up again later that night, and I decided to fix it in the next month when I'd have money again.

I rode the bike like that for a month, and finally got the electricals sorted yesterday. The bike originally came without a battery, so I decided to add a battery to the system in the hope that it'd be more reliable going forward. It costed me an arm and a leg, but I guess that's fine. This time, the bill consisted of the following parts:
  • Samurai Wiring Kit- Rs. 420
  • Samurai LH Switchgear- Rs. 490
  • Samurai RH Switchgear- Rs. 200
  • Samurai RR Unit- Rs. 240
  • Amaron Pro Rider 2.5Ah Battery- Rs. 850
  • Battery clamp and belt- Rs. 100
  • Samurai yoke and levers- Rs. 220
  • Samurai Lock Set- Rs. 780
  • Samurai Choke Cable- Rs. 50
  • RX100 lever adjusters- Rs. 40
  • Samurai Accelerator Cable- Rs. 140
  • Front Brake Cable- Rs. 135
  • Flasher- Rs. 110
  • Fiem Mirrors for RX100- Rs. 240 for a pair
  • Swiss Round Indicators- Rs. 380 for a set of 4
  • Labour- Rs. 750
Total: Rs. 5,240

All lights and electricals work now, and the throttle feels way more eager, thanks to the new throttle cable. I've penned down my likes and dislikes in the following post.

Last edited by boniver : 24th September 2021 at 17:07.
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Old 24th September 2021, 16:03   #2
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Default Likes and Dislikes

What I like:
  • Looks. I've always been a sucker for retro-looking bikes, and this one fits the bill perfectly
  • Power. It isn't half as powerful as the other bikes out on the road today and isn't even as powerful as my erstwhile Shine, but believe me when I say this, it is an absolute hoot to ride
  • Seat space. The flat seat ensures the availability of an enormous amount of space. Reminds me of my dad's old HH CD Sleek, which could carry 4 of us comfortably.

What I don't like
  • Absence of a fuel gauge. I'm new to the world of old bikes without fuel gauges, so I'm still trying to adapt myself.
  • Stability. The bike is stable as long as I don't have anyone heavy sitting at the rear. In those events, the nose tends to lift up every time I'm on the throttle.
  • The dearth of skilled mechanics near me. Rectifying this would probably involve me getting to know more people who are into two-strokes and taking their suggestions, but no luck so far.

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-1.jpg

Special thanks to prathiik, who has been of a lot of help and continues to be so; Mr. Boss, who was very prompt in clearing my doubts whenever I had any, and my friend Rishav Saha, who took quite a few of the photographs used in this thread.

Last edited by boniver : 24th September 2021 at 20:46.
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Old 24th September 2021, 16:19   #3
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Default Walkaround

Some shots of the bike clicked today morning:
My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-2.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-3.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-4.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-5.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-6.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-7.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-8.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-9.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-10.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-11.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-12.jpg

I find the bike very pleasing to look at. If we could travel back 10 years in time, my guess would be that people wouldn't even turn to look at this bike, but that is not the case today. I see many people turning around to look at the bike when I pass them, and that makes me quite happy. I have plans to add a rear carrier to enhance the looks. Now if only I knew where to find one.
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Old 24th September 2021, 16:40   #4
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Default Close-ups

Here are some close-ups of the bike:

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-1.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-2.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-3.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-4.jpg
Swiss round indicators for the Samurai

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-4a.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-5.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-6.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-7.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-8.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-9.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-10.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-11.jpg
TVS badging on the engine oil cap

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-12.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-13.jpg
Ind-Suzuki badging on the rear mudflap

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-14.jpg
The cockpit

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-15.jpg
Very simple instrument console. Just shows the speed and distance travelled.

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-16.jpg
Have covered 300 kms in the past one month that I've had her for, all in Bangalore city.

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-17.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-18.jpg
Fiem mirrors for the RX100

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-19.jpg
LH switchgear for the Samurai. The original metal switchgear set of the Max100 has been preserved at home.

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-20.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-21.jpg
RH switchgear for the Samurai.

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-22.jpg

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-23.jpg

Last edited by boniver : 24th September 2021 at 16:42.
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Old 24th September 2021, 17:04   #5
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Default Am I happy?

I haven't really written much of a "review" on this bike, because there's not much to talk about. I've finally gotten everything on the bike to work, and it runs and sounds great. The throttle is crisp, the braking is exactly what I would expect from a 20-year-old bike, and I do not have to think twice before picking up the keys and going on a 50 kilometre ride. The Suzuki Max100 is supposed to be very fuel efficient, but since I don't use it daily, I guess I'd be happy with anything over 20 kmpl. I did a full tank exactly 200 kilometres ago, and I can still see petrol towards the top of the tank, so I guess I don't have anything to worry about in that respect.

These bikes are really easy to steal, so I do make sure to not leave it outside a market or in an unguarded place. So far, I've only taken it to places that have private parking lots, or to shops where I can see the bike from inside.

I've had quite a few people ask me why I decided to buy a 2 stroke that's not a Yamaha. "But dude, it won't even appreciate in value over time", said one of them. I scratch my head and move on to other topics.

I bought a 2 stroke because I've always wanted to own one, and it feels great to have one as my first bike ever. I look at motorcycles as objects that leave a smile smeared on my face whenever I ride them, and this bike has left no stone unturned in doing that.

Anyway, I've rambled on for long enough. I'd be very happy if fellow members could give me their tips, opinions, or anything that would help me in my journey in this new world of two-strokes. I'd also be glad to connect with other two-stroke owners in and around my city, so I could learn more about these fascinating machines, and maybe even ride together.

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-1.jpg
Until next time!

Last edited by boniver : 24th September 2021 at 20:53.
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Old 25th September 2021, 06:57   #6
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Default Re: My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Motorcycle section. Thanks for sharing!

Going to our homepage today
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Old 25th September 2021, 07:29   #7
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Default Re: Am I happy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boniver View Post
Apologies at the onset for the writing style
Congratulations, @boniver, on acquiring a simple straightforward machine.

Lesson no.1 - never start your post, essay, speech with an apology.

Quote:
I had to keep on revving the bike in order to keep the engine running. I hoped to myself that I hadn't made a big mistake.
Certainly not - the good thing about these bikes is they're easy to fix; "current", air and fuel should all be right - that's all.

Quote:
Absence of a fuel gauge[/b]. I'm new to the world of old bikes without fuel gauges, so I'm still trying to adapt myself
Not here - my tryst with 2 wheelers started in the 80s when we had the fuel cock with main and reserve. You'll get used to it quick, and won't even feel the need for a gauge.

Quote:
These bikes are really easy to steal
True - but again, this is not a sought after bike. Had it been the RX100, I agree with your concern.

Quote:
I've always been a sucker for retro-looking bikes, and this one fits the bill perfectly. I find the bike very pleasing to look at
Absolutely true - this is one ageless wonder with pleasing looks. The IND-Suzuki AX100 was the first "Japanese collaboration" bike to be launched in India in 1984. The Hero Honda CD100, Yamaha RX100 and the Kawasaki Bajaj KB100 followed. The AX100, though 2 stroke, would please owners with fuel efficiency of even upwards of 55kmpl. Here's a shot of the trendsetter.

My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100-indsuzuki_ax100.jpg
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Old 25th September 2021, 07:44   #8
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Default Re: My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100

Quote:
Originally Posted by boniver View Post
I see many people turning around to look at the bike when I pass them, and that makes me quite happy.
True, I would too, the moment I hear any two stroke exhaust.
I had a short ride with the Max 100 in college, it was light, efficient and highly flickable. Yes the rear pillion just throws it off balance but that's expected. Surprisingly that bike also used to stall at idle and I had to keep the revs up at idling, seems like a feature to me then

Quote:
Originally Posted by boniver View Post
I bought a 2 stroke because I've always wanted to own one, and it feels great to have one as my first bike ever. I look at motorcycles as objects that leave a smile smeared on my face whenever I ride them, and this bike has left no stone unturned in doing that.
Well said and Enjoy the two stroked glory.
Its a must have experience if you can.

Have Fun
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Old 25th September 2021, 07:50   #9
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Default Re: My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100

Thanks Boniver for this wonderful little write up about a bike that was part of the good old days of simple utilitarian bikes. We had a Kawasaki KB 100 back in the days and I learnt to ride a bike in that. A Yezdi never cut ice with me and neither the Vespa generated any excitement. The exhaust note of a two-stroke engine is something we used to crush on and it reminds of us of the time when riding a bike or driving a car was pure unbridled joy.

Hope you enjoy the bike for as long as you can and since you are studying, I am sure this much loved bike would grab as much attention as a Triumph would without hampering your studies that is
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Old 25th September 2021, 09:58   #10
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Default Re: My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100

That was an excellent write-up Boniver on one really underrated 2 - Stroke bike. I'm in your same boat, currently in college and busy restoring a 1990 KB100.

I'm sure you will have a lot of fun riding this bike and wish you many happy future miles on this bike.

Last edited by TorqueMonster : 25th September 2021 at 09:59. Reason: Grammar
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Old 25th September 2021, 10:04   #11
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Default Re: My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100

Congratulations on the acquisition + restoration. The bike has its ancestry in the Samurai and the IND-Suzuki / TVS-Suzuki motorcycles in the 90s that competed with the RX100. My father's best friend had the Ind-Suzuki, which he used to keep with my dad for safe-keeping & regular running while he was overseas. So I used to get to ride pillion as a child on it. What a smooth engine that had. One of the smoothest 2strokers. I liked it so much even as a child - and have such memories of that Suzuki, that I didn't think about anything else but the GS150R when I was looking for a sufficiently powerful city bike. Still maintain it in prestine condition of course.

Wish you a happy ownership. Do go with a DIY regime if you like. Its fun maintaining own motorcycles.

A suggestion - please at the earliest install front crash-guard pipe on the bike. It seems currently has nothing to protect your knees and legs in the event of a slide etc. You'll get them pretty cheap in any local spares / accessory market. Happy revving!
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Old 25th September 2021, 10:30   #12
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Default Re: My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100

Many congratulations on your ride!

It looks pleasant in that bottle green shade.

I really appreciate the importance given to the Helmet, in the photoshoot.
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Old 25th September 2021, 10:39   #13
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Default Re: My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100

Simple, utilitarian and largely reliable these bikes put so many on the road when they came out. Congratulations on going ahead with a two stroke bike ignoring the voices around you. Best wishes in finding a good mechanic.
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Old 25th September 2021, 11:01   #14
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Default Re: My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100

boniver, congratulations on your Suzuki Max100. I was very pleasantly surprised see a new thread on a very under rated classic. I really enjoyed reading your posts and seeing the cost the spares. Parts for the modern bikes cost an arm and a leg when compared to these two strokers. For a city like Bangalore, a two stroker is a perfect bike and your Max100 will take you everywhere that you want to go.

If you want motorcycle parts like a carrier, just head to JC Road and ask around. You will find stores easily.

Which part of Bangalore do you stay in? Other TBHPians can suggest good 2 stroke garages in your area. I used to stay around Koramangala and I took my bikes to Raymond (Ray's Tuning Garage), where there always used to be a lot of two strokers.
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Old 25th September 2021, 14:41   #15
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Default Re: My first motorcycle | 2001 Suzuki Max 100

Looks smart although I would remove the Saree guard as it is aesthetically unpleasing and adds weight. Please polish the paint followed by a coat of wax and see the colour bling.
There is this thing about 2-strokes that gets you addicted to them and its the raw acceleration. These are strictly for city rides but that is what you need.
All the best -
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