Staff bikes: Kawasaki GPz550 - Beware bike sellers who limp

Published: 26 May 2010

When I bought my GPz550 for £300 in January, I triumphantly claimed I’d proved you could get a decent bike for next to nothing.

I now admit I’ve proved only that you can get a bike for next to nothing.

This particular one comes with an assortment of gradually emerging deadly faults. As one is fixed, another reveals itself.

In my last update I’d just discovered a brake disc bolt was held in place by filler. Having had that fixed, it’s come to my attention the bike has a steering bias. Take your hands off the bars and it veers right.

The rear wheel appears to be aligned. The forks could be twisted in the yokes but as the seals were recently changed by a mechanic, I suspect not. Which leaves a bent frame.

At first glance the  bike looks like it’s had an easy life but closer inspection reveals all the bodywork has been re-sprayed, not necessarily at the same time, and the seat has breakers’ handwriting on the underside.

And now I come to think of it, the former keeper did have a limp.  

But actually, it’s passed an MoT, so I’m wondering whether it really matters if it veers right when I take my hands off the bars. Sometimes it’s useful to veer right. On roundabouts, for example.

I’m sure will someone will post a comment explaining why I’m wrong, but isn’t the easiest fix just to keep my hands where they should be?

Kawasaki GPz550
Owned since:
January 2010
Price: £300
Mileage: 24,348
Bits added: Motad four-into-one exhaust (£296), grab rail (£10), Avon Road Rider tyres (£115), EBC front brake discs and pads (£252.90)
Favourite thing: Roundabouts.
Least favourite thing: Left-handers and straights.

Further reading:
Staff bike blogs | Kawasaki GPZ550 blog

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