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Author Topic: 1982 GS550M build  (Read 1038 times)

Offline LightsOut

  • Posts: 31
1982 GS550M build
« on: Jun 16, 2017, 08:47:20 »

Hey all,

Been lurking for some time, but now time to get into my first build. This was my first bike I bought a few years ago, a baby Katana. It's a solid runner and doesn't really have any problems so I'd think it's been taken care of previously. PO and maybe some owner before that had been neglecting maintenance a bit though. Appearance wise it's not terrible, but not great either. Chipping paint, surface rust, pitted aluminum etc. I wouldn't chop up a "real" Katana or one in great condition, but this bike would need a proper restoration and then I'd rather make it in a style that I want.

This is my first build and I have no mechanical background, but I'm getting tools and reading and learning as I go along on. No intention of doing a rush job, I want to learn this stuff. Will likely make a ton of mistakes, but that's part of learning, right? This forum is great btw, lots of good info.

What I've done so far:
- Got a tank from a a different model 550 (E?). It's got a couple of dents, but I got it cheap and it looks good internally. With a bit of modification of the front frame mounts it now fits perfectly.
- Got a seat. Pretty basic but it'll do fine.
- Ordered a bunch of stuff: clip-ons, indicators, footpegs etc

Next up
- Practice welding some more  ;)
- ...so I can mount the hoop I bought, and then get to work on an electronics box and rear tank/seat mounting bracket.
- Get the tank ready for paint.

After frame mods are done and I have the clip-ons etc on I'll do a mockup and see if I'm happy with overall look of it. After that it's time to tear it down properly and get to cleaning and painting stuff.


When I bought it


Dented 550 tank


Sanding...


Where it sits right now

Offline LightsOut

  • Posts: 31
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #1 on: Jun 19, 2017, 03:25:32 »
So a bit of progress this weekend. Cut the rear of the frame for the hoop. Realized the width wasn't quite right.... oops..



DIY metal bender and projectile weapon, formerly a bike lift, sorted out the issue though.


Mocked up a battery box.


...and did a ratchet strap clearance test in the back. Looks like I'll be good, and I'll probably go with a bit taller shocks too.



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Offline LightsOut

  • Posts: 31
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #2 on: Jun 24, 2017, 20:56:53 »
Small update... but I did my first real welding on the bike (or anywhere) today and made a combined tank and seat mount.






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Offline farmer92

  • DTT SUPPORTER
  • *
  • Posts: 421
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #3 on: Jun 24, 2017, 21:38:03 »
Thank god you checked the clearance with the straps, was worried this was another jwilde. At first glance it was pretty iffy looking, looks great so far though

What did you weld that with btw?


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Offline LightsOut

  • Posts: 31
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #4 on: Jun 25, 2017, 14:07:51 »
Thanks! I'll do one more check with the straps when I have the hoop tacked in final position.

I welded using MIG (with gas), picked up a fairly decent 190 A one. I'd love to learn to TIG down the road, but for a complete welding newb like me the MIG is enough to learn at the moment :)


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Offline LightsOut

  • Posts: 31
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #5 on: Jul 03, 2017, 16:07:09 »
Bit of progress, got the hoop in place and welded up a battery/electrics tray.

Electrics on the bike was working but there were some funky balls of electrical tape and a couple of semi-charred connectors so I will be redoing the harness. Also found one mystery component that does not look stock. Looks like a pretty big capacitor? Anyone with ideas what this might be doing there?


Next up is mounts for the seat, and then weld everything in final placement so the frame mods are done. Waiting on my ignition too, which will be moved to the box under the seat.

Wiring...


Connector to the mystery capacitor is an it charred...


A box



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Offline flamelspy

  • Posts: 11
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #6 on: Jul 03, 2017, 17:03:58 »
I'm in! Great job so far!

Offline LightsOut

  • Posts: 31
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #7 on: Jul 07, 2017, 16:08:05 »
Work on the frame mods is moving along, seat mount in place.



Also played around with using the stock inner fender and plate mount.




I then drilled some holes in a piece of flat stock to try out a few different lengths for the rear shock. I figured adding a bit there might give me a bit quicker handling and a bit more riding height. Won't be going to crazy and change handling too much but might go one step up to 340mm.

Stock 330mm


340mm


360mm


375mm



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Offline cb250nproject

  • Posts: 113
  • If you can make it better do so
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #8 on: Jul 08, 2017, 06:03:45 »
Very cool build love the electrical tray

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first cafe build was an incomplete learning experience, more of a test run for the real thing FRANKENHONDA II

Offline farmer92

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  • Posts: 421
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #9 on: Jul 08, 2017, 07:48:33 »
I agree, i like 340mm


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Offline LightsOut

  • Posts: 31
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #10 on: Jul 09, 2017, 13:40:34 »
Today's challenge:


Some youtubing, thinking, swearing and sweating later


Got my work cut out for me


An hour later and still a long way to go



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Offline LightsOut

  • Posts: 31
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #11 on: Aug 18, 2017, 10:47:08 »
A lot of time has been spent cleaning, sanding and paint prepping. Wheels had been painted previously and the paint was chipping in places so taking all that off took its sweet time.

Engine not quite ready for paint yet, but it's getting closer. Really looking forward to starting to put things together again.

Frame, wheels and top triple (trimmed off risers) have gotten a coat of paint.





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Offline LightsOut

  • Posts: 31
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #12 on: Aug 23, 2017, 11:54:32 »
Won't be tearing into the motor more than necessary, but figured it'd be a good time to do valve adjustment while it was out of the frame. Lots of gunky gaskets to clean up, I'd guess it was a while since it was apart... Both intake and exhaust were definitely on the tight side. New shims ordered so will have to wait for them before finishing up the task.



Generator cover gasket will also need to be replaced...


Also dropped the sump to see if there were any nasty surprises hiding. A few small bits of what seems like charred plastic (really brittle). Came off chain guide perhaps? Unless someone says otherwise I won't be tearing the engine apart for that :)


(Bright spots in the pic are air bubbles)


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Offline LightsOut

  • Posts: 31
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #13 on: Aug 28, 2017, 04:12:13 »
Frame paint finished



Swingarm and some other bits out to dry




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Offline LightsOut

  • Posts: 31
Re: 1982 GS550M build
« Reply #14 on: Sep 10, 2017, 19:43:10 »
Slow going, but some progress at least :)
More paint work, a few bits and pieces finished


And set up a little paint booth for the tank, which has been primed.




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