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Just Bought 1988 Suzuki LT230

John Dunn III

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Sorry so long for the reply, but I just joined last week.  My friend and I used to ride the LT230's back in the 90's and early 2000's.  I still have my 1986 (blue seat), but he sold his 1985 (black seat) a while back.  Mine was pretty much trouble free with regular maintenance.  My friend ran into trouble when his swingarm bushings wore out and he didn't replace them.  The chain jumped off the front sprocket and tore a hole in the side case.  Since there's not a lot of oil pressure, he was able to JB Weld it.  I made sure that didn't happen to me so I replaced the bushings/bearings as soon as they showed signs of wear.  I installed zerk fittings into the frame where the swingarm attaches and also into the rear axle housing.  As Ajmboy says, some regular maintenance will keep you riding for a long time.  I haven't rode mine in years, but I'm in the process of bringing it back from the dead.  I did keep the oil changed, but I'm getting some piston slap and some smoke, so trying to put a piston and rings in it.

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  • 1 year later...
On 1/16/2020 at 7:22 AM, William Edwards said:

My friend and I used to ride the LT230's back in the 90's and early 2000's.  I still have my 1986 (blue seat), but he sold his 1985 (black seat) a while back.  Mine was pretty much trouble free with regular maintenance. 

I bought my 1985 LT230 GE (black seat) about three years ago.  It was in rough shape, but ran pretty well.  The tag with the manufacture date on the frame says 1984 and the VIN makes it a 1985 model year.  What confuses me is that the badly cracked and patched orange plastic body had stickers that say: Shaft 230. You said your friend's 85 was chain driven, and I didn't think they came out with the shaft drive until 1987?

Did you get the piston / ring job finished?  Are you riding it yet?

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It turns out it didn't need a piston and rings.  The black smoke at cold start was caused by valves out of adjustment.  It needed new bearings, rear brake caliper, air filter foam, oil change and filter among other things.  Nothing major though.  All good now as you can see by the pics.

Yes I'm riding again.  She looks almost like a new one now.



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