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Discuss This Staff bikes: Kawasaki GPz550 - 'I want to throw it in the river' First rides & tests

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Steve Farrell  says:

Staff bikes: Kawasaki GPz550 - 'I want to throw it in the river'

Sometimes fixing bikes can be almost as satisfying as riding them. But lately I’ve felt like dumping my £300 ‘bargain’ GPz550 in the river. Which is where much of it appears to have come from. More competent fettlers have completed nut and bolt restorations in the time it’s taken me to get the back brake to work. It began when...

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  • Posted 4 years ago (14 February 2011 10:50)

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Aug 02

Posts: 3277

eatcs01 says:


I've ridden shonky old donkeys in the past. Bikes that want a written notice that there's a corner coming up. Brakes that should be illegal under the "Trades Descriptions act". Carburation that doesn't. Nearly as heavy as the 3rd Moon of Jupiter. Puddle jumper tyres made by Ditchfinder, but will NEVER wear out. Rear shock absorbers with less damping than Zebedee. Handling that makes a Glaswegian drunk's meanderings look like a straight line.

But you know what??

They were such a fun ride, that I think EVERYONE should be made to ride one at least once. They made you think about handling. They made you think about forward planning. You could scare youself witless without breaking the speed limit, let alone the sound barrier. And yet there was STILL riders on newer, better machinery that couldn't keep up. Or maybe they were laughing so hard that they couldn't keep up????

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Oct 12

Posts: 1

farrawayman says:

In the river? No, that's for boats!

So, what's all this then about a GPz under water? These are 30-so years old, so stuff is going to go wrong unless restoration is done. I have 2 ZX550A models from '86. and am planning a 2013 UK trip through England, Scotland, N. Ireland and Wales, stopping off to meet various members of the GPz 550 forum whom I'm in touch with - my brother riding bike nr. 2. So far in prep for this trip I have rebuilt one motor entirely, replaced 5 brake discs with pads, rebuilt 5 brake calipers, rebuilt both front ends with steering head bearings, new springs, fork oil and dust seals and rebuilt the masters, rewired with ngk racing HT leads and caps, Iridium plugs, rebuilt 2 carb banks, and installed stage 3 FactoryPro kit in the one, one on order, with Keihin CV30 semi flat-slide carbs, pod filters, 4-1 pipes 2 new rear tyres, one seat recovered, all cables greased up and serviced with Motion-Pro kit, ZR550 oil cooler to be installed on the one (just for fun) K&N mini filters installed on Motor breather holes, new batteries... and the list goes on. When you do this sort of restoration and servicing, the old bikes don't give problems, and then if they do, you have a quick idea how to fix them :) So, who here has a GPz 550 who wants to join up with us for some of this trip?? We are travelling from Denmark, collecting a GPz-er from Holland, down through the tunnel, and into UK. Kind Regards, Dave Farr

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