My Suzuki engine rebuild in Phnom Penh...and then....


Oct 6, 2006
The Mikuni carburetor on my 1998 Suzuki 250XC Djebel...was dying.
The internal slide, which governs engine idle speeds, was worn out and couldn't be replaced.
The bike had become unsafe to ride in stop & go traffic as it would either stall or the idle
would race at up to 2500-RPM at stops.. Yet, the bike ran fine at highway speeds.
Also, the engine was also showing it's age, burning oil and was due for an overhaul.

The Pattaya shop I regularly use, Nippon Bikes, and a few others were unable to obtain a replacement carb.
I also made my first visit to Pattaya's Road Machine, which is popular with owners of big bikes.
I'll never go there again and will post separately of my costly experience there.

So, I phoned the shop in Phnom Penh which has helped me in years' past.
Vay's Motorcycle Shop (pronounced 'ways') has repaired and rebuilt dirt-bikes for nearly
two decades. They also work on some big road bikes.

Vay said he could locate a replacement carb as well overhaul the engine with original
Japanese parts. I drove the Djebel to PPenh.

Vay installed a new Japanese piston, rings and valve seals, a set of rear brake pads, and
a brand new _Honda_ carburetor. The crank bearings were still good. The swing arm was cleaned
and given new seals; the bearing were still good. The valves and value seats were still in
great shape and needed no work. Vay informed me that he found the valves setting were
way out of tolerance. That was thanks to Road Machine, who had adjusted them just
a few weeks prior to my going to PPenh.
Now that my Suzuki has a Honda carb, so is it now a 'Sukonda' motorcycle??
The new Honda carb accounted for nearly 40% of the rebuild cost (4,500-Bt).
Total cost, including labor and oil, was 10,470-Baht.

The motor had been reborn, it now rev'ed much quicker, is much stronger at the top end,
and now doesn't burn any oil!!

Recommended:..reliable and honest:
Vay's Motorcycle Shop is located on the north side of Confederation de la Russia (str 110) at str 51.
His English is pretty good. E-mail: [email protected] Mobile (Cambo): 012-869-661

I was a happy camper riding back to Pattaya......UNTIL....
the bike died in the middle of nowhere, about 50km before Chanthaburi. I checked the fuses and
connections and all were okay, except the battery was now dead. Darkness had fallen, so I phoned
a Thai friend, who drove his truck from Pattaya the following day and brought the bike and I the 225-km's
back to Pattaya. I'd spent the night sleeping on the dirt, but fortune didn't rain and
a female found me and had curled up alongside my sleeping body. She was no beauty queen,
just another Thai mongrel and the dog wandered off in the morning... :wink:

I've since found the problem is that the generator stator had died. It is probably the only part on
the bike that I haven't had checked. Everything else, including the battery, is in good condition.
This problem had nothing to do with Vay's work; I should have, but failed to ask him to check the
electrical system!! (sigh!)

Although, I was told the stator is the same as on the Suzuki DRZ-250, it proved a pain in the *[email protected]!, to find one!
Vay said he could get one, but that would entail another expensive trip (Thai exit visa/ cambo visa/ room, etc.)
to Phnom Penh. A local Pattaya shop said they would re-wire my stator, but _not_ guarantee it would work!
I'd scoured the Net in Thailand and elsewhere, mostly in vain, but I did find a few who offered stators for as
much as $3-400-US!. I was referred to a place in the UK, who stocks numerous stators. They were prompt in
replying to my inquiry and while they didn't have one for my bike, they could rewire mine and guarantee their
work: []. I finally found a place in the US, in California []. They were also
prompt in responding to my e-mail inquiries to confirm if they had a stator identical to the measurements
of my stator. I knew the DRZ-250 engine is identical to the Suzuki Djebel's, and have since learned that the
stator I needed is the same as on the DRZ-250 and DRZ-400. I ordered the item ($125 (3,650-Bt) + postage).

Finally, the new stator arrived fairly quickly, other than a short hold-up by Thai Customs.
Now installed and with the stator providing a minimum of 13.6v, I'm once again a happy camper!! :mrgreen:

The whole ordeal, from the rebuild in January to the stator install, took 2-months!