Ever optimistic, I rode a bit over a hundred miles to an auction today. The only item of interest (too me) was a 70s Suzuki RE-5 rotary engined bike, of which but a few thousand were built in one of Suzuki’s better marketing failures. As usual, the auctioneer wasted their ad space on a Harley and Sewage pump truck that shared the bill, which didn’t make much sense since the Suzuki rotary was getting way more interest than the Harley and the pump truck was near universally ignored. And the rust on the Wankel bike was well enough hidden that it wouldn’t look totally indecent in one of them tiny auction poster pictures or web page. So give the Suzuki the once over… engine turns over, rusty but not porous mufflers, dead battery, various wires loose. But seemed to be a couple halfway knowledgable buyers interested if not entranced, so hopefully I won’t need to buy and foster this rare breed.

The auction drags on, as the auctionneer works his way through the “smalls”, those little odds and ends like drills and shop vacs and coffee cans full of sockets, all probably the same size and of Chinese origin. It gets worse- No sooner is one flatbed farm wagon of smalls auctioned off and moved on, the auction helpers drag out more junk. Turns out the widow of the old geezer who’s passed on to the great gearhead garage in the sky isn’t just clearing out the geezer’s garage, she’s clearing out the house and moving to an apartment. So in gender fairness, memo to gearhead geezer’s wives: It’s OK to sell off the tools and “toys” if you ain’t gonna use them,  but hang on to the house… Better to pass on a home to the kids than a stack of rent receipts.

So I walk back over to the Suzuki and take another look. Now I don’t know Suzukis well, especially Wankel engined ones… But shouldn’t there be an air cleaner there? Said air cleaner is nowhere to be found, and checking the web, it’s not to be found in anyone’s parts inventories either. So just hang on an aftermarket ‘cleaner? Not a good idea… There’s an online forum for Suzuki rotary devotees, and the concensus there is that the filter is crucial to driveability, in fact some owner’s problems were solved just by switching back to a stock air cleaner. And did I mention, the inside of the gas tank was so barnacled that it looked like a navy rust research experiment?

So I got back on the bike, too nice a day to waste waiting for an old bike missing an unobtainium part to sell. And geezers, please keep those unobtainium parts you pull off the bike somewhere attached to it… Chance of rain monday, so I may reattach some of my own bikes’ missing parts.

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