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New-to-me 1989 Suzuki 250 4wd - not running


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Just bought (Tue. evening) an '89 Suzuki 250 4wd that has been sitting out the last 5 yrs. It's complete, including the shift knobs, battery cover, and headlights. It has the optional cooling fan on it (probly stuck - didn't check), and the engine isn't locked up. Plastic looks good and isnt cracked. Racks aren't bent up. Shift lever works, the foot brake moves (needs oil - have to pull it up by hand), and there's black oil and no water in the engine sight glass. Guy was asking $125 and gladly took $100 for it. Anxious to get started on bringing it back to life. Been wanting one of these for years. As soon as I can get to it (working on a junky "Jackel" right now - Chinese Yamaha Timberwolf). I'm going to pull the tank off it and clean it, clean & possibly rebuild carb, put in new plug, and a battery, then see what happens. If nothing, will keep going until it runs. Feel free to respond if you want to, I'm mainly just excited and wanted to tell somebody. 

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i have a 1990 lt4wd wish it had the cooling fan but i put a small 12 volt fan on and switch,had a lot of trouble it would quit running except at idle all fixed now with help from these guys,dont block vent in front i did voltage regulater craped out needs to be cooled i guess.ive had trany apart to put starter clutch in best thing is to buy service manual good luck it will go any where in super low 4wd.

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Yeah, I need to take some pics. I already took the goofy looking windshield off. I can't believe how good it looks for its age and for sitting outside a few years. The tires even have better than half tread and hold air. You mentioned having your tranny apart, Joseph - is hard to get to/take apart if I ever have to? Just curious. Oh, and it came with the factory owner's manual and a Clymer shop manual.

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as far as trany goes not hard but takes time it calls for a puller but i new from heavy eqipment {retired mechanic} a air impack wrench 1/2" on nut it came apart have to be reallly carefull though.the reason i had to take it apart was because of starter clutch was shot.i all ways laid every thing on table with forks just like comes apart. make sure you get good atv oil before starting,amazon cheapest if you are in prime also for parts,napa oil filter comes with both o rings be carefull to install right way or you will be buying cover.good luck, oh take rear tire off when changing filter

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Yep. Figured on oil change - engine/tranny and front differential. Just to see what would happen, I hooked up the battry leads to a lawnmower battry. When I turned the key, the neutral light lit up, the low beams work, and the speedo backlight works, too! Hit the starter button and a relay clicked right behind the battry box. Not sure what the easiest way is to get to that to check or change it. Hoping the Clymer manual that came with it will show me.

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Wow that’s a rarity finding a bike that old with tye manulas.   

Hopdully you wont ever have to get into a tranny project! 

If that relay is clicking when you press the start button then the relay is working. That battery may not be strong enough to turn the engine over or the starter is having a problem. You can put a tester on the starter wire and press the button to see if your getting power at the starter. 


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Thanks. That'll be one of my next steps - testing for power at the starter. I used a battery out of my riding mower - charged it first. When the relay clicked, I put the charger on the battery and set it for 100 amp start & hit the starter button a couple of times. Still clicked relay. This happened on my Chinese Yamaha recently. Turned out I had a bad ground. If it's not that, I may have to pull this starter and see if it'll turn. I'd like to have the starting system working so when I get the tank and carb ready, I won't have to pull the rope with my arthritic shoulder. 😉 

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2 hours ago, Frank Angerano said:

Be careful jumping it with to much amperage. You can do damage.   Wait for the right battery if possable.  

so what is the right battery?  Are all atvs compatible with each other?  Cars to atvs?  I have jumped many atvs and lawnmowers off my family's car...  always wondered if I was going to fry something..  And size- does the size of the battery mean anything or that just capacity (like a bigger battery is just more 12vs than a small battery..

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Jumping with a bigger battery like a car will work as long as the car really  is not running. 


What happens is if it’s running the amperage on a running vehicle is so much greater then what the atv puts out. What happens is the stator coil gets back fed from the higher amperage source and it burns the coil or the cdi or the regulator. 

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I am following this thread - just bought a 1987 LT-4WD and I am sure it needs some of the same fixes / maintenance.

On mine I put a new battery in and the electric start worked great. However, there's no brake lever/master cylinder for the front brakes and the brake line is just dangling. So I will try to sort that out first.

Back brake works fine - except the rear tires are totally bald so I've been doing a bit of drifting when going downhill on packed dirt 😂

Anybody know a good split CV boot that works on these? Both of mine are split in half...

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