As the temperatures continue to climb across much of the northern hemisphere, thoughts naturally turn to good ways to stay cool. What’s more fun than getting out on the water? Why, getting a Suzuki-powered 1978 Wetbike out on the water, of course!
We’ve talked about the Spirit Marine Wetbike in the very recent past, when one popped up for sale in Arizona back in May 2023. Although the one in today’s video has a different paint and graphics scheme, much like the Arizona example, it also dates from 1978. This time, though, it showed up in Wisconsin, where the ever-excellent vintage powersport machine restorer 2Vintage managed to sweet talk the previous owner into a $1,200 sale for both the Wetbike and the little jet ski trailer it sits on in this video.
It’s powered by a two-stroke, 700cc, two-cylinder Suzuki motorcycle engine. When new, it made about 50 horsepower—although, of course, it’s hard to say what it might make in 2023. After going over a little bit of history—a Wetbike famously appeared in the Roger Moore-era James Bond film the Spy Who Loved Me—we get to the teardown to see what’s going on with this bike, er, motojet-ski.
The previous owner said that they last had it running about a year ago. First, it’s time for a spark check—and thankfully, both cylinders seem to have good spark. Next, it’s time for a compression check. Here, again, both cylinders have good compression. It’s around this point that 2V wonders aloud if he just got extremely lucky, and the only thing preventing it from starting is some crud in the carburetors.
That, of course, leads directly into carburetor teardown time. This Wetbike has two tiny little Mikuni carbs. The first one is in pretty good shape, bar some clogged jets that are easily remedied. The second one looks a little different because it appears that the float bowl was machined (rather nicely, too). Still, same thing here—just a little bit of crud in one of the jets that’s easily removed with a pick.
Once the jets are unclogged and the carbs are put back together and reinstalled, it’s time to see if the Wetbike will start. Not only does it start; it sounds good! The killswitch doesn’t work correctly at first, but 2V gets it kind of working, in the end. It could still use some additional fiddling to feel totally good about, but it’s looking good enough for 2V to plan to take this thing out on the water for a test ride in the next video.