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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is actually copied over from another site, hope you guys don't mind, but its my first build.

I had been looking for my first bike for a couple of years, while I road my father in-laws vtx (not my style but still fun) Then memorial day weekend, I went and checked this out, I got him to drop in price some, needed rear turns, a side cover and has some minor dings and scratches but it runs great. Tons of fun, feels so small (in size not power) Feels like I can just flick it around.


Here's my brand new to me (and my first bike) 1983 GPZ550 with less than 7k miles.







I've got all kinds of plans for it, but I'm going to try to just it enjoy it this year and play with it over the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Can't see a lot of the work I've gotten done, but here is where she stands. New turns front and rear, with solid state flashers and relays to allow 2wire turns to act as running and turn signals. Got a new smaller battery, relocated to the tail. Cleaned up all of the PO's shoddy wiring. Removed the fairing and one side cover. Changed filters, plugs and wires. New grips and bar ends, a phone mount as well as a USB charger wired in.











 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just a generic 12v 10ah I got off amazon. Its about 6lbs and ~6"x2.5"x4.5" if memory serves me right.
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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I can remember having my bike pretty close to that state for a while. I enjoy seeing this and it gets me to think about my project. My kawi is also my first build, but I've ben rebuilding it for a long time now.

Looks like the battery is poking up on the tail. I had the same thing going on before with the tail pointed up but that was due to the tail light being inside.

I always hated the pegs on there but I never took them off til I totally chopped everything up and mounted up my rearsets. I'm a little worried though, since after highway runs on stock pegs, my body, especially my feet were like vibrating from the engine. We'll see how it goes.

Running lights arent needed at least in PA, even though Kawasaki put them on. Not a bad idea to have them since it increases the width of your profile, however, I'd sooner do that with driving lights. Kawasaki also made things real screwy with the lighting situation with that utterly pointless auxiliary lighting unit mounted near the oil cooler. The existence of that box was almost half the reason I decided to make my own harness.

Looks like the PO did some upgrades. What kind of carbs are those?

What are your future plans?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah I bypassed and removed the "reserve lighting device" last weekend; I think I should be able to figure out what to do if a filament goes out all on my own. I plan on making my own harness as well, more or less to removed unused/unneeded wiring and update it all to new lower gage stuff.

The battery doesn't touch the tail, must just not be fully down in these pics. I made a 26g battery tray that keeps the top of the battery probably 3/4" from the bottom of the seat lock.

The carbs are the first thing I noticed on the online ad for the bike. Asking around it looks like they are just the stock tk's just either stripped of paint or off a model that didn't get them black.
 

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Those actually look like the TK-27 carbs on 84+ GPz550 Models due to the placement of the idle screw adjust knob. To my knowledge, which is far from exhaustive, they didnt come stock on anything else, so the most likely situation is that they had the paint removed at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now I've had two different GPZ owners identify them as both tk26s and tk27s haha. I don't know enough to identify them, I will say it runs rich so its probably jetted wrong whatever the carbs are. Any ideas on how to address this? Can them be adjusted for a rich condition without needing rejetting? I'm new to carbs so I'm actually considering getting it dynotuned by someone who knows what they're doing if I can't figure it out.

Future plans include:
-monster taillight I already have
-7" blacked out round headlight
-cut off the whole subframe and make a bolt on aluminum one
-new wheels when I need new tires
-kz650 tail with either modifying current seat or adapting another
-rearsets off a newer bike
-I've looked into swapping a cbr900 shock in
-either a front end swap or progressive springs
-koso knockoff digital cluster
-PAINT haha
 

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I dont want to give you all of my secrets :D, but before I got my NOS Marzocchi rear shock, I was looking at fitting an R1 Shock from a certain year in place of the original.

IMO, if you are going to go through the trouble of fitting a new shock there is probably a bigger weight loss to be achieved with slightly harder work of fitting a whole new swinger and rear wheel. Going the swinger route will definitely be more expensive. You start to run into issues with how wide of a tire you can fit with the drive sprocket where it is, but if my investigations are thorough, you can gain about 7mm offset if you put in a set of gears from the GPZ600 and the stock front sprocket from an 84+ model flipped around. If you want to play with offset sprockets, there is a bunch of room to move out. That would be cheaper, but i never liked the idea of somewhat custom wear parts.

Also, If you cut out those vertical wings where the rear suspension all mounts, there is actually quite alot of room to fit any number of swingarms. The GPz frame is pretty wide between those 2 outside plates. This just leaves you matching the ID of the donor swingarm bearings to the GPz holes either by design or tophat bushings and getting the correct spacers. Quick work on a lathe. Then you have to make an upper shock mount and a lower dogbone mount most likely. With the design of the GPz frame, these would likely be pretty simple. Easy Peasy.

One of the reasons besides cost that I went with the OEM swingarm is its short length. This is a small bike with not alot of power, so I wanted to keep it feeling tight and balanced. I didnt do an exhaustive search, but the swingarms I did look at were a few inches longer. Ouch! This would really change things on the bike.

You'd have to open up your carbs to figure out whats adjustable and it really depends on where in the RPM range you are having a problem. If you dont know what you are doing, yes its definitely easier to have someone else do it, but I think the Dynojet stage 3 is pretty on point. If you are running rich, you may have some non-stock jetting, but you'd have to open it up to see what you have.

Looks like you need new tires now! haha. I chose 18" wheels front and back, but if I did it again, I'd probably choose 17's. Keep in mind swingarm clearance though if you go to a wider rear tire with new wheels. My 140/70-18 barely fits between everything. a 17" wheel will likely have a smaller OD, but the part where my tire is closest to hitting is by the edge of the tread on the upper supports of the swingarm, which i could see being more of a problem with wider 17" wheel.

I'm also curious to see what you have in mind for a subframe. I cut and modified mine out the wazoo. May have been easier to start from scratch like I originally planned (and have the steel to prove it) In the end I like what I did alot, but going fresh would have been the easier route. I would have done it in steel though, but thats probably because its easier for me to cut and weld stuff than machine stuff, and I have access to a full machine shop. Personal taste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I keep going back and forth in whether I want to do aluminum swingarm swap or just a shock swap.

The bike has hesitation on hard acceleration real low in the rpms. Anything abive like 1500-2k I can rev all day. Since I'm new to bikes, particularly older ones, this mat just be how I should expect it to run on tk's and pods.

I am conveniently an engineer for a company that is stocked full of everything from hammers to cnc's and tig welders. If I can't do it myself I'm sure a few homebrewed beers will go a long way to getting some after hours work done for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have a love/hate relationship with eBay with its buy it now and Amazon prime with its 2 day shipping.

Just bumping this to say I'm slowly stock piling parts and doing some design work, trying to figure out how best to abuse my friends 3D printer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well my buddy is printing my headlight brackets for me. I've been trying to model up my mods as I go so here are a couple screenshots of my front end. I plan on painting the zx7 forks for a carbon-gray color. The brackets themselves will be printed in black and the plates and spacers that reach out to the headlight will be silver, all abs.









Not many responses but I'll just keep posting little by little as I inch through progress
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·




Found an already rendered handlebar on grabcad so I stripped it down and threw in a headlight that matches mine in size for an overall frontend look. I am liking where this is going!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·


Found some time and motivation. Jumped into tearing it down. Gotta sell the wheels and front and rear ends to fund some more parts. (Hint hint if anyone needs some GPz bits)

In other news mg buddy came through with the headlight brackets, he only printed 2/4 to start but I should get the rest including the plates Monday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So the plate came in a little thinner than intended... Think it'll hold? Haha



It was his first time running that color and he needs to dial in the feed and speed of the extruder for it. He had to stop the print early due to unequal print thicknesses but hopefully I'll be mocking up the completed mount soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·


Took some brake cleaner and wire wheels to my exhaust and than hit it with several coats of flat black BBQ paint and cured it with my propane heater. This didn't include the chrome megaphone, that's in pretty good shape. Also stripped the front end to sell some more parts
 

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I have a printed part on my bike, but its not holding anything up, just a cover for the old mechanical speedo drive on the front wheel. Ive seen more stout metal headlight brackets fail. If its just a plate design, it shouldnt be hard to make with even the most modest of power tools and some materials.

For reference, I got $150 for most of the hard parts worth having (wheels, forks, brakes, etc). The big ticket/desirable items im not good at selling, like the fairing, gauges, and the ignition switch, but I have those sequestered
 
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