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Author Topic: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build  (Read 27384 times)

Offline c4f3 r4c3r

  • Posts: 44
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #20 on: Apr 24, 2013, 19:22:57 »
For a quick peek at the new indicator lights in action, I've posted a short video here:



Note that the turn signal indicators aren't flashing because the signals themselves are not currently in the circuit (e.g. insufficient resistance for the flasher unit). Unfortunately the green led turned out to be less bright than the others. But, in spite of that, and in spite of the fact that it all looks a bit rough, I think it turned out OK.
1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Project - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=47139.0
1971 Honda SL350 original - http://sl350.blogspot.com/

Offline SONIC.

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  • Posts: 6057
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Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #21 on: Apr 24, 2013, 19:26:50 »
Thats badass
I passed on a GPZ a while back and have always regretted it.
Very cool bike.

WHats the blue light? High beams?

Offline c4f3 r4c3r

  • Posts: 44
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #22 on: Apr 24, 2013, 19:29:43 »
Thanks SONICJK. Yes, the blue light is the high beam indicator.
1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Project - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=47139.0
1971 Honda SL350 original - http://sl350.blogspot.com/

Offline jeffw

  • Posts: 128
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #23 on: Apr 24, 2013, 19:38:42 »
Pretty sweet with the indicator lights looks pretty good so far, I ended up filling mine in and then painting over to get rid of the holes left from the handler bar attachment.

Offline Nebr_Rex

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  • Posts: 842
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #24 on: Apr 24, 2013, 22:32:13 »
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.

GPZs were the factory race bikes in their day.
Cafe Racers are low dollar imitations of factory race bikes.
Look up who won World Super bike in 1983 and on what machine.

Offline c4f3 r4c3r

  • Posts: 44
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #25 on: Apr 29, 2013, 13:55:10 »
It was one of those weekends, 5 steps backwards for each step forward. I'm not sure if everyone's build project goes like that, or if it is just because I am a novice.

When I was mocking up the front end, I knew that I had a conflict between where the new headlight lived (I replaced the original square headlight and brackets) and the unit that joins the two front brake lines together. So I decided that I would bump the brake unit down a couple of inches and I built a custom plate to facilitate this (see pic below). Now, it wasn't anything special, just a square plate. But, but the time I'd measured it, cut it, sanded it, painted it with a couple coats of paint, and gone to Home Depot for some hardware, I already had too much time into it. When the paint dried I put everything back together. Crap! The bolts that held the plate on still interfered with the headlight shell (even though it is not a deep shell).

I then decided to build some bracket extensions, to lengthen the store-bought headlight brackets that I was using (see pic below). Back to Home Depot for some aluminum. And a bunch of cutting, drilling, grinding, sanding, and bolting later, I had extended brackets. I bolted everything together. Are you kidding me! Still there were problems. At this point I removed both my brake unit bracket and my headlight bracket extensions (now a big waste of time as I'm not using either) and decided to attach the brake unit in a different way. I zip tied it to the bottom of the lower tripple tree. Not elegant, but it works. And my bike sort of has that Road Warrior thing going on anyways, so non-elegant solutions look ok. So, I'm back to where I started from, after burning way too many hours.
« Last Edit: Apr 29, 2013, 13:57:06 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/

Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #26 on: Apr 29, 2013, 15:17:20 »
Those indicator lights are awesome.

Offline c4f3 r4c3r

  • Posts: 44
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #27 on: Apr 29, 2013, 15:40:38 »
Thanks OCD.

Cheers,
Todd
1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Project - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=47139.0
1971 Honda SL350 original - http://sl350.blogspot.com/

Offline gk45011

  • Posts: 724
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #28 on: Apr 29, 2013, 17:19:54 »
Great work on the indicators! Looks great.

Gary
GK
GS 450L Build thread
http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=39199.0 -SOLD

83 GS1100E = under repair and minor modification

"Cut, shape, grind, repeat. I may not know what I'm doing but I'm enjoying myself." - Rich Ard

Offline c4f3 r4c3r

  • Posts: 44
Re: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Build
« Reply #29 on: Apr 29, 2013, 17:54:57 »
Nothing too exciting in this post, but it was a big commitment for me, cutting the frame. I've gone and cut off the last 6 inches or so. I'm still working out exactly what I am going to do there. Here are before and after shots.
1981 Kawasaki GPz550 Cafe Project - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=47139.0
1971 Honda SL350 original - http://sl350.blogspot.com/