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Author Topic: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build  (Read 27383 times)

Offline c4f3 r4c3r

  • Posts: 44
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #10 on: Mar 17, 2013, 15:19:56 »
Need any parts let me know just put a parts bike up for sale since I wanted to go the SR250 and CL360 route. 82 gpz, they look kinda mean when done right and take a few mods and it's the original street fighter. None the less good luck I'll keep an eye on your post to see how much I may regret getting rid of mine.

Thanks merc4now, I'll drop you a line if I'm looking for any GPz specific parts, to see if you still have any. Good luck on your other projects.
1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Project - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=47139.0
1971 Honda SL350 original - http://sl350.blogspot.com/

Offline crackerman

  • Posts: 330
    • 79' KZ750 builds
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #11 on: Mar 17, 2013, 16:48:08 »
Big fan of the 550. Def hauls ass for a little bike. All of the old Kawasaki's have that starter clutch issue. I've replace 3 of them off my kz750 twins, but the twins is much easier than the 4 cylinder. You definitely have to take alot more off the engine with the 4 cylinders to get to the starter clutch. Overall bike doesn't look too bad. Should clean up nicely.

Offline Breeze

  • Posts: 15
    • M&R PowderFX
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #12 on: Mar 17, 2013, 18:20:26 »
Awesome bike... Also a great platform for either a cafe or fighter. I've also got a bunch of Gpz parts laying around. They are mostly 82. Look forward to seeing how your build turns out...
Twisted Dragon Racing

#417 Team Twisted

OYL / YSR Mini Motorcycle Racing

Offline jimmer

  • DTT BOTM WINNER
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  • Posts: 592
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #13 on: Mar 17, 2013, 22:25:54 »
I have fond memories of my buddies brand new '81 GPz550 in the living room of his "dome home",and yes there was a cow looking in the front window when he fired it up for us.That bike was amazing.Smooth, fast ,tight and just right.I shit you not.Nice purchase.
Yamaha Blaster Bike                                                                  Suzuki T500 Titan Twingle

Offline VonYinzer

  • DTT SUPPORTER
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  • Posts: 18359
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #14 on: Mar 17, 2013, 22:46:23 »
Man do I miss my GPZ.
Like a river that don't know where it's flowin'
I took a wrong turn and just kept goin'

Offline c4f3 r4c3r

  • Posts: 44
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #15 on: Mar 18, 2013, 13:45:33 »
Thanks guys. It does me good to hear from others who have fond memories and experiences with their own GPzs. Interesting that it doesn't seem to be used that often as a cafe platform. Perhaps because it is from the 80s. But it still has that nice (mostly) straight frame top, tank to tail (at least the '81 does, I'm not sure how the frame is on the later years). I thought the tank was a bit fugly for a while and had plans on changing it out, but it has really grown on me. I'm partial to a tank that drops off quickly at the rear (a blunt rear) as opposed to one that gradually tapers to a point. Anyway, I like the way it is shaping up so far. This isn't going to be one of those immaculate restoration projects. I don't have a huge budget. It will probably always be somewhat of a rat bike. But I want to customize it to the style that I like.
« Last Edit: Mar 18, 2013, 16:23:11 by c4f3 r4c3r »
1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Project - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=47139.0
1971 Honda SL350 original - http://sl350.blogspot.com/

Offline c4f3 r4c3r

  • Posts: 44
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #16 on: Apr 24, 2013, 17:51:51 »
Recently had to deal with a good deal of rust in the gas tank that I am planning to use. I decided to use the electrolysis method for a few reasons:

1. I've used it before, so I'm familiar with it and it isn't too difficult (though it does take a while).
2. It doesn't eat away any healthy material from the tank.
3. It is super cheap, provided you already have a power source (which I do, a standard car battery charger).

All told this cost me about $3 and change for a box of washing soda (to make my electrolyte solution) and a few bits I had laying around (the cap from a can of spray paint, a strip of steel I cut from a small sheet I had, and a bungee cord). It worked great, though it took about a week. I had to replace the sacrificial anode (steel strip) about half way through because the first one basically dissolved into mush. I probably should have done this closer to when I was planning on placing the tank into service, to prevent flash re-rusting. But, I've coated the now fairly clean inside with WD-40 and am hoping for the best. Anyway, here are two pics, one of the anode after 24 hours (this is all rust that jumped from the inside of the tank to the anode) and one of the anode with about 4 or 5 inches missing as I found it about half way through the process.
« Last Edit: Apr 25, 2013, 18:30:43 by c4f3 r4c3r »
1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Project - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=47139.0
1971 Honda SL350 original - http://sl350.blogspot.com/

Offline c4f3 r4c3r

  • Posts: 44
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #17 on: Apr 24, 2013, 18:44:43 »
My plan is to get rid of the original plastic console which contained the indicator lights and the fuel gauge. It had 4 indicator lights; right and left turn signal indicators, high beam indicator, and neutral indicator. Well, I am also relocating the handle bars, moving them down, replacing the originals with clip-ons. As such, I no longer have a need for the handlebar mounting towers that originally came off of the top of the triple tree. So I cut them off with the grinder. But when I did so, they were hollow and left some holes behind. While doing a Google search to see what others before me have done with these holes, I found someone who had used them to relocate his/her indicator lights. Sorry, I do not now know where I saw this or I would leave a pointer to person whose idea I borrowed. As luck would have it, I was left with 4 holes and 4 indicators that I needed to move (plus a fuel gauge that I don't yet know what to do with). Below are pics of the original console and of the holes left behind after cutting off the bar towers.
1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Project - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=47139.0
1971 Honda SL350 original - http://sl350.blogspot.com/

Offline c4f3 r4c3r

  • Posts: 44
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #18 on: Apr 24, 2013, 18:48:51 »
As mentioned in the previous post, I am attempting to fill some holes in my triple tree crown with indicator lights, as seen on another forum post somewhere. Now, the original post didn't say how they had fit lenses into the holes or attached the lights, etc. So I needed to make this part up. I attempted to pour some lenses using a fiberglass resin that someone suggested dried clear. Well, it didn't (distinctly yellow/orange as you'll see in the photo below). I had to grind it back out and re-pour them with a clear-cast epoxy. While they aren't perfect (some artifacts like bubbles), they are much better.
1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Project - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=47139.0
1971 Honda SL350 original - http://sl350.blogspot.com/

Offline c4f3 r4c3r

  • Posts: 44
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #19 on: Apr 24, 2013, 19:05:33 »
OK, now that I've got lenses in my triple tree crown for my new indicator lights, I need some lights and a backing plate to hold them in place. What follows are several pics of:

1. The backing plate that I made with colored leds in place.
2. Rough wire up.
3. Tidied up wiring.
4. Backing plate attached.
1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Project - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=47139.0
1971 Honda SL350 original - http://sl350.blogspot.com/