Don – The Story


06 June 2000: After a brief survey of bikes in market (YBX, CBZ, Fiero), on a sunny afternoon in June 2000, I rode out of showroom on my First bike. The odometer was showing 4km on it.

06 June 2001: First year was completed, with odometer showing ~21,700km. During this period, bike was used mostly for commuting. After ~12,000km, I replaced the stock rear tyre with 3.00×18 Michelin M45 and what a difference it made on the wet roads of Pune.

06 June 2002: Second year was completed with odometer showing ~40,900km. Started to venture out of city limits, though not too far still :-)

06 June 2003: Third year completed and the odometer moved ahead to show ~61,000km. The rear M45 was gone by 42,000km and due to non-availability of Michelin tyres, I went and put a 3.00×18 Dunlop at rear. By the time odometer showed 60,000km, I was able to find new Michelin in market and replaced the stock front with 2.75×18 M45 and rear dunlop with 3.25×18 M45.

06 June 2004: Fourth year completed with the odometer showing ~78,000km. By now I got a brand new Electra and a modified (by Ron @ RX to share the garage with Fiero. During this year, touring bug bit me badly and I broke free from commuting in city and riding to some near by places. My first long ride was to Dharwad (via Goa) with members of Pulsar Yahoo Group, for the multi-city meet of members. Later went on a solo ride to Bangalore-Chennai. During this time I replaced the chain sprocked (~72,000km)

06 June 2005: Fifth year completed. With the arrival of Electra in garage, the running of Fiero was once again reduced to within city limits and some near by places. The odometer ticked to ~87,000km. I finally changed the clutch plates (~80,000km). During this year I replaced the front drum brakes with the disc brake kit of Fiero F2.

06 June 2006: Six years completed. Bike has started to show signs of stress and fatigue. Performance has started to go down. Front fairing, side pannels, etc have got a few scratches. Paint has started to fade a little bit. With CBZ of my friend joining Fiero, Electra and RX in garage, the running of Fiero has gone down drastically, with odometer showing ~92,500km. So at ~92,000km I decide to open the topend and replace work parts. New piston rings, new valves and valve springs and new timing chain were put in to replace the worn parts. Also the old exhaust was replaced by a brand new exhaust of Fiero. I also replaced the rear hydraulic shocks with the gas shocks of Pulsar. With the engine changes done, I took the bike to Bangalore to take part in AutoCarIndia organised Drag event (along with RX). As expected, due to 90+kg of weight I didn’t do well and clocked a time of 22.843 (RT 1.191, ET 21.652).

(Pictures courtesy member(s) of BikeNomads)

Towards the end of sixth year, a small speed session was arranged as part of RDD meet, in Pune. Did few runs on Fiero and managed to push the bike to 111km/hr (in 720m) on the speed gun. Below Arpan clocked 107km/hr (in 540m) on the speed gun.

(Picture courtesy member of RDDreams)

During Aug 2006, I started to think about the future of my beloved Fiero. Bike was in not very good condition, as per cosmetic goes. I had two options, sell the bike and buy a new bike OR put in some money in the bike and get it to a good condition. With the first option discarded without giving a second thought, I started to prepare a plan, with help of Arpan, for the remaking of the bike. Finally in Sep, 2006 it was decided to take the bike to Bombay at Reddy’s place for the work that was planned.

Here is a inital list of work that was planned (almost all of it is done).

1 If Apache Tank and side pannels can be fitted on Fiero frame. Denting + Panting cost of Tank and Side Pannels = ??? Apache Tank, Side pannels, Tail light assembly, rear indicators, grab rail cost = ???
2 If Speedometer fault is big to fix and Tacho can be fitted to Fiero Apache speedo console
3 Cost of Apache alloy rims = ???
4 Frame got bend? New frame = ???

1 Frok tubes

2 Disk hub and spokes
3 Brake and Clutch levers
4 All metal parts, oil lines, etc

1 Front and rear rims
2 Bar end weights
3 Fuel cap
4 Silencer weilding point?

1 Crank case in existing color
2 Tank and Side pannels – Black color, without damaging SUZUKI and Fiero stickers
3 Rear grab rail in existing color
4 Frame painting

1 Front mudguard of Apache/Fiero – Black color

2 Check and replace Wheel bearings
3 New brake pads?
4 Front fork overhaul. IF springs too loose then new springs
5 Check and replace cone set
6 Speedometer not working
7 New front and rear number plates
8 Apache Front fairing and indicators
9 Check and replace handle bar. Apache/Fiero
10 New switch gears and hand grips (Stock Fiero)

11 Disc brake level play not smooth
12 New left side RVM bracket
13 Remove dent from tank, fix right side crowl mounting, fix tank mounting on frame
14 Crank check
15 Fix 4th gear noise
16 Fix timing chain noise or whatever it is. New timing gears?
17 Replace all engine bearings
18 New engine foundation bolts
19 Battery belt

20 If required change the wiring harness
21 New fuse box
22 New brake rod and brake lever (rear)?
23 New footrest (just rubber possible?)
24 Victor swing arm, victor chain cover, F2 axel
25 Greese treament to drive chain
26 New rear brake shoes and hub
27 Topup gas shock
28 Replace all worn out/damaged/rusted nuts and bolts

On 9th Sep 2006, I rode down on the bike to Bombay with a two page list of things to do, to bombay. The list included mostly cosmetic items along with some engine work (to remove the noise from gear box when riding in 4th gear).

It took around 2 weeks of work (denting, painting, etc) and on 25th Sep, 2006. I rode the bike back to Pune (still in running in). The ride back was slow (not exceeding 60km/hr) but I enjoyed every moment of it. Also I put in 2.75×18 Zapper FV at front and 90/90×18 Zapper Q at rear. The total cost of work came out to Rs~23,000.

A special thanks to Arpan, Reddy and their friends to build the bike as I wanted.

Now let me shut up and let you guys enjoy the pictures.


On the move

32 thoughts on “Don – The Story”

  1. HI NAV,
    I got surprised with the performance of your bike and you.
    It is the time the TVS company has to honour you for the detailed performance and maintainence chart you have and testing you done .
    HAts off to you and your machine 🙂

  2. Thanks guys.
    @Shamik: Another go at gun will take some time, until someone gets the gun to Pune or I get one 😉

    @Sahal: The mech is Reddy, who got work shop named “Bike Care Center”, in Goregaon, Bombay.

    @Mazumdar: Thanks but I have not done anything special to the bike 🙂

  3. HEY,That’s awesome!!!!!!!!!!
    i just don’t have words!!!!!!!!!!
    really,u deserve a ‘STANDING OVATION’.
    best of luck in the future.

  4. Nice Work, on the bike just read fast through the article. Seems like you like this bike more than anything in this world. Man you really commute. I havent clocked that much in 6 years, only 30k kms on my CBZ…

    Love the bull but I didnt see the point of spending 25 grand on a bike that is worth lower, unless you plan to keep it as your children’s bike. I think its an investment, and your bike should be happy in 2012! All the best.

    Ok update us on the accidents u had on it if any….and the cost. Thanks.

    One great question: What is the MILEAGE?

  5. buddy thats an excellent restoration. The apache HL looks good on the bike. yes, the tank and other panels can be fixed on teh existing frame with mountings changed. But u’ll loose the” suzuki ” stuff. The bike is still running the stock bottom engine? I’m sure by now its high time u get a crank re-set. Also any improvement in perf after the head job and exhaust change?
    keep up the good job. Another mad man with a fiero. 🙂

  6. Guys, thanks for the praises.

    @Joel: To retain “Suzuki” sticker, painter would have taken a lot of trouble while painting the tank 😉 Yup the bottom end is stock. I got the crank checked during the rebuild and it was found to be in good condition, including the bearings. So left it untouched.
    After the head work and new exhaust (stock) I got the bike to touch 111 on the Speed gun in some 700 odd meters, from standstill.

  7. @Jay: The disc brake is the unit which comes on F2. It costed me Rs 5,500 which included the full disc brake kit plus a new front rim with spokes and the left side fork bottom tube to mount the disc caliper PLUS the labour charges.

  8. @nav – you have no plans for a 5-speed box? The speed run in around the corner, try to make some sub 19secs this time buddy. its easily possible. My pals fiero did 18.6secs in speedrun with stock engine and just a freeflow. Its hard to match the factory fiero whatever said.
    Hmmmm, I’m also planning on a neat rennovation of my fiero..
    will add rear sets, clip ons and 17″ front and make it purely a fun bike. Its now closing the speedo @140kmph in about 600mtrs…GPS recorded 132kmph and does quarter mile @ sub 18 secs with the whole stock 124kgs body.
    my boy,
    I planning something really different, i’ll let u know in days to come. This should take things to diff levels.:)

  9. Hi ,

    Fantastic blogs dude. Hats off to you for completing the Pune -> Bangalore ride without any over night stopages. We had gone in a car once ; and had a stoppage of a day in between. Still, while coming back none could drive after 2am.
    Where in mumbai did u do the modifications ?

  10. Hi,
    I am Atit.
    I own a Fiero f2 & now using it since 3 years.
    Nothin the bike is awsome I also replaced the tyres with Dunlop which gives me Good Grip & is well maintained one.
    The only problem tht i have osbesrved since begining is Braking is not good at all.Though I have a disc brakes Its difficult to Control bike when we have urgent case.
    Good to see a person like U who has really falled in love with the bike.Its shows how much U care for it.


  11. @Atit: Thanks.
    Regarding the F2 disc (I’m using the same on my Fiero), it used to behave like what you said in begining. Since I got new brake pads and got the loose fork fixed, braking is much better.

  12. Hi Navendu,
    let me introduce myself first my name is daryll and i own a 2001 suzuki fiero which has clocked around 65k kms..i seen the pics of your fiero and dudue its awesome..its a bit difficult to find really good mechs for a fiero in bombay and having seeing the pics of your bike and the work chart list you posted really wants me to get reddy to take a look at my bike..i too never want sell this bike no matter how many more bikes i own…just recently got the sns suspension fitted,which im not happy with at all to be frank and plan to get that fitted to my rx 100. my bke stills clocks at around 105km/hr and im sure can better that..i’d be really grateful if you could give me mr. reddy’s number..wanna get the bike done up with disc’d better headlamps and maybe a few engine mods…couple of friends and me are planning a ladakh trip…hopefully could get everything done before i would really appreciate if i can get his number..thanks a lot dude…cheers.

  13. Hi Navendu,

    Even i own a 2001 Suzuki Fiero and am still enjoying my ride .. I have changed the fiering of Pulsar and recently changed the valves and piston.. also the clutch plates are new.. Have lots of problem with the shock abs and brakings..

    I am quite delighted with the way you have modified your fiero and impressed that still there are ppl like me who have kept their original fiero and fed it like baby till today..

    Please share with me Mr.Reddy’s number so that i can visit him and think on your lines of modifying or ugrading my fiero…

    Thks and keep updating me if you add anything new to your Fiero ..

  14. hello Navendu Nice article about ferrio Just wanted reddy contact number as i have 2001 suzuki ferrio i wanted to convert it to Electric start .Can u suggest me some ideas.

  15. @Sharad: I have send you a e-mail with Reddy’s contact number. Regarding converting to ES, since Fiero did came with an ES model, it should not be difficult to get it fitted but sourcing the parts might be an issue.

  16. Daer Navendu can you provide me Reddys contact number i am from mumbai
    wanted to convert kick start into button start thanks.

  17. Dear Navendu,

    can you provide me Reddys contact number i am from mumbai
    i too own a 2001 Suzuki Fiero and am still enjoying my ride wanted to do some work
    i am quite delighted with the way you have modified your fiero and impressed

    1. Yes. It should be possible but I doubt one can buy a pair off shelve.

      There are not too many options in alloy wheels in 18″. While it will be easy to get one for front, with disc brake. Suzuki GS150R is one such option.

      Problem is with rear wheel. As stock rear wheel uses a smaller hub, as compared to the one of alloy wheels. So, will have to look around to find an alloy wheel that can be fixed as it.

  18. Hi,

    I’m new to this site.

    I have a 2000 model Fiero and it is still serving me well still.

    I’m looking to replace its exhaust but I’m finding it very difficult to get one. Can someone point me in the right direction to get one.

    Also, is there any chance that the exhaust of any other vehicle from the TVS stable (like Apache, etc.) can be used in Fiero, if I don’t manage to find a Fiero exhaust.

    Thanks in advance.


    1. Sathish, which city you from?
      As the model is discontinued for long, you will have to do some running around to find the stock exhaust.

      It might be possible to use the one from F2/Apache150 but it might not be straight fit (with respect to the mounting points of the exhaust) & also the exhaust system might not work like the stock one (will have to see if the bike runs fine with that exhaust, this is because exhaust is designed for an engine).

  19. Hi Navendu,

    Thanks so much for the super quick and detailed reply.

    I’m from Chennai.

    I’ve tried a couple aftermarket exhausts made for the 2000 model Fiero but they don’t last even a year; rust is all over them in just a few months. I’m pretty much stuck.

    If I have to user the exhaust from Apache 150, any idea how much modification has to be done to put it in place; if it requires a lot of work, will have to look for some expert hands to get it done.

    Thanks so much,

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