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Patroller-Highway GT750s

Suzuki Brochure of a 'K' based police bike.

Member Dave Walkers 'Patroller' story.

In early December 1998, I received a phone call from Manfred Schoenerr in Germany, a fellow Suzuki and Kawasaki 2-stroke collector. 'Hello Dave, guess what?. I've found you a Patroller'. Knowing that they existed in Germany I had asked Manfred to look out for a Patroller. 5 years later it happened. After a few phone calls to check that all the 'vital' bits were on it, I sent him a deposit and arranged to go over at Easter 1999. Dave Pitcher, the 'Kettle Club' chairman came with me, meeting at Harwich and traveling on the 'Sea Cat' to Hook of Holland. After 6½ hours through Holland and Germany we found the small village and Manfred, had a few beers and settled for the night.

Next day saw us load the bike and make our way home, tired but very pleased. The bits missing were as expected, the lights and siren, the brackets at the front to 'raise' the indicators and the stiffening cross brace. The bike had been kept in a basement for the last 10 years but was in surprisingly good condition 'chrome wise', just a bit scruffy as the white paint had yellowed slightly. I put a battery on it, put in some fresh petrol and 'Hey Presto' half a dozen kicks later the engine fired up. Great! Hang on, where's all the water coming from? There are 3 'O' rings between the top half of the crankcases and the barrel to seal the water ways. These had obviously perished and were leaking water. No problem, easy enough, just take the barrel off and replace - WRONG!! Not that it isn't an easy job to do, just that the clutch was sticking, so I guessed the plates had stuck together with lack of use. 10 minutes later the clutch cover is off to reveal 'A MESS'. There is a steel band that goes around the clutch basket 'arms' and this had broken, also it must have happened previously, the cases had been welded up from the inside and the gear on the back of the clutch had been slicing off fine slivers of aluminium ever since. It was everywhere, even blocking the holes down the centre of the gear shafts, preventing oil getting down so a full engine rebuild was done.

It is always best on a GT750 to change the crank shaft oil seals if it has been standing for a long time, as they harden up from having petrol on them. I knew from past experience this should be done but was hoping to get away with it until I could make it my 'Winter project'. So to the back of the garage it went until October 1999. The bike was totally stripped and a full engine rebuild done. The rest was quite easy with not much chrome, just shot blast everything and powder coat it white, except the tank which I had painted and striped correctly. The bike was registered in April 2000, and has been used since - gaining a 3rd Best Suzuki award at the Lotherton Hall Show in July.

I have borrowed some genuine lights (red) from Dave Pitcher, for display at future shows. These were brand new in the box and came from New Zealand. As far as I am aware, this GT750 in the only one in this country! In fact I only know of two others in Germany.

History: The Suzuki GT750 were used in many countries. For English speaking countries, America and New Zealand it appears the bikes are called 'Patrollers'. But in Germany they were known as 'Highways'. As far as I know they were also used in Austria, South Africa, Formosa (now Taiwan).

Dave Walker

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