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Buffalo Bill
03-05-2016, 12:49 PM
One of my favorite periods was the 550 wars of the early to mid 1980s. :cool:
These bikes evolved from being called middle weights to sportbikes.
I've owned a Kawasaki EX500, GS5500T and a Yamaha XJ550 Seca. I'd like to have all of the others.
Suzuki GS550 to the GSX550
Honda CBX550 to the VF500
Yamaha XJ550 Seca to the FJ600
Kawasaki GPz 550 to the EX500

Buffalo Bill
03-05-2016, 01:07 PM
93 EX500, almost a retro bike but it was first released in 1987.
This kills all the 550s above 6000RPM, but the twin engine lugs at low RPMs, and the seat sucks.
http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt277/BuffaloBill_1100G/Kawasaki%20EX500-1993/13.jpg

Yamaha XJ550 Seca. This was a cool bike, only cost me about $250!!!
http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt277/BuffaloBill_1100G/Yamaha%20bikes/bike-R_zpsp9t63eoi.jpg

Suzuki GS550T, fun bike but kinda slowish compared to the XJ550 Seca
http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt277/BuffaloBill_1100G/Suzuki_GS550T_Cafe_1981/Paris%20Blues-4_zpshhncdwhw.jpg

SpecialK
03-05-2016, 03:22 PM
I love the XJ550 Seca. The engine is extremely smooth and really comes alive past 6000rpm, the 6 speed transmission is nice as well. Not to mention with a 4-1 pipe or aftermarket mufflers the sound is unbelievable. Just like Buffalo Bill I picked mine up for $250 as well.
44474

Tim Tom
03-05-2016, 08:54 PM
No love for the GPx600R? Debuted the same time as the EX500, but with twice the cylinders and an extra 50cc's.

I had one, very fun bike to ride. Oddball 16" wheels meant it handled stupidly well on smooth roads, and terrifying poor on bumpy ones...

Nessism
03-05-2016, 09:43 PM
I've owned and enjoyed the following...

'79 GS550E
'81 GS550T
'81 GPz550
'82 XV550 (Yamaha Vision)
'84 VF500 Interceptor
'92 and '97 EX500's

The VF500 handled great and had the best brakes. The XV550 had the best engine. The GPz550 was the nicest looking. The two Suzuki's were awesome too of course. The EX500's were nice bikes, but not enduring. I loved to rap them out to redline blasting up freeway onramps. They pulled really nice and smooth. Great fun!

Chris
03-05-2016, 09:57 PM
My favorite mid-80s 500cc sport bike was the RG500 Gamma. So much so that I still have it.

Buffalo Bill
03-05-2016, 11:46 PM
I've been looking at the VFs lately and the VF500 looks sweet.
http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/Gallery/Honda%20VF500F.jpg

Nessism
03-06-2016, 12:04 AM
The baby Interceptor was COOL. It's a pretty small bike. Don't think you would fit on it Bill. Back then I was about 160 lbs soaking wet. Bigger guys thought the suspension was kind of soft, which is was, but it was fine for me overall.

I sold the Vision to buy the VF. The Yamaha would wallow in fast corners but the Honda was super stable, despite the 16" front tire. I remember thinking that the bike was laughing at me while riding through the mountains because I wasn't pushing hard enough.

Buffalo Bill
03-06-2016, 08:04 AM
I am too tall for a lot of bikes, gave up on the RDs after I took a good look at photos of big riders on them in magazine bike reviews from the time.
Seems like the VF750 is more to my size, but it gets heavy and big too.

wymple
06-01-2016, 01:19 AM
My Yamaha dealer had access to anything he wanted. His ride of choice was the Vision.

Deuce
06-01-2016, 09:19 AM
The only bike I owned in that segment was the GPz 550, and it blew up within 10 miles of me first riding it. I was always too big for bikes this small anyway.

Buffalo Bill
06-04-2016, 07:18 PM
Nice bikes to own;
GPz550
http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt277/BuffaloBill_1100G/Kawasaki%20bikes/550%20racer-s_zpsonkn42sz.jpg

Nice Seca 550 racer
http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt277/BuffaloBill_1100G/Yamaha%20bikes/550%20Seca%20racer-s_zpsxwpttqhe.jpg

Nice Seca 650 race bike
http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt277/BuffaloBill_1100G/Yamaha%20bikes/650%20Seca%20racer-s_zpsas1zfiuz.jpg

limeex2
06-08-2016, 05:47 AM
I've been looking at the VFs lately and the VF500 looks sweet.
http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/Gallery/Honda%20VF500F.jpg
I had and raced one in 85. Loved it. I was always always trying to crack a 2 minute lap at the local track.Thats what the faster guys were running.Got down to a 2:03 on my GS1100, Got down to a 2:01 on the VF500F. GREAT sound with a pipe.

Buffalo Bill
06-08-2016, 08:00 AM
Ok, have a close look at this bike if you know something about the 1981 Seca 550.
It's got huge brake discs, and 18" wheels from the 1984 FJ600.
Aluminum and braced rear swingarm.
Most of all, it's got the hard to earn number 1 on it, with stickers showing it's also earned #3.
http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt277/BuffaloBill_1100G/Yamaha%20bikes/550%20Seca%20racer-s_zpsxwpttqhe.jpg

Buffalo Bill
07-21-2016, 05:36 PM
Just too weird, :confused: You Go Dude!! :cool::cool::cool:Homebuilt Recumbent Motorcycle Racer (http://thekneeslider.com/homebuilt-recumbent-motorcycle-racer-competes-in-mra-sanctioned-event/)http://thekneeslider.com/images/2014/06/bob-horn-recumbent.jpg

Cipher
07-21-2016, 05:48 PM
what are the specs? gsx550 vs gs550 is a meaningless moniker.

GS1150Pilot
07-21-2016, 06:02 PM
My first street bike as an '82 GPz 550. Awesome bike. I lusted after the Interceptor but ended up with A Ninja 600 before getting a VF1000R.

You left out the RZ350. It was a legitimate contender. I had two of those, one with a massively modded Banshee motor in it.

BigD_83
07-21-2016, 06:58 PM
I preferred the ergonomics of my '85 (?) GPz550 over my current '83 GS550. Maybe it's the foggy memory of 30 years ago (or a more lithe body), but my lower body feels very cramped on the GS. However, I did ride my friend's GS550EF back in the day, and I recall thinking the same thing.

I sold the GPz to a friend after a few seasons, and apparently it seized awhile after that...

The RZ350 is a more appropriate comparison than the 500 two-strokes, and would be my choice among them for a canyon burner or track bike.

Cipher
07-21-2016, 07:06 PM
It is odd that two bikes with close ergonomics can be so different to different riders.
I have a friend who hates his concours cos it hurts his precious special areas.
He is a tall freak though.

Buffalo Bill
07-22-2016, 08:15 AM
I preferred the ergonomics of my '85 (?) GPz550 over my current '83 GS550. Maybe it's the foggy memory of 30 years ago (or a more lithe body), but my lower body feels very cramped on the GS. However, I did ride my friend's GS550EF back in the day, and I recall thinking the same thing.The position of the foot pegs probably the cause. The GS550 pegs are forward for peg in center of sole casual upright sitting, and the 85 GPz550 pegs are set back with peg under toes for intense sport riding.

Cyrano
07-23-2016, 02:58 PM
Had a couple of GPz550s but my favourite mid size bike was a Yamaha YX600 Radian like this...

46686

Same motor as the xJ600 and overall a great little package.

GS1150Pilot
07-23-2016, 04:49 PM
GREAT choice, Cyrano-and the one of all of them that has enduring beauty. Nearly perfect to ride once you firmed up the suspension.

Griffin
07-23-2016, 05:08 PM
I voted for the GPZ550 and the FJ600.

The FJ, although introduced at the end of the air cooled era, smoked all the other middleweights when introduced in '84 and instantly made the GPZ550 and monoshock GS550 obsolete on the track. It was still winning races in '85 and '86 because the water cooled 600 Ninja wasn't as easy to hot rod as the FJ.

It also was very comfy. It handled as well as the other middleweights of the era, but didn't have the toy bike feel ergonomics-wise that the others did.

Nessism
07-23-2016, 05:18 PM
I voted for the GPZ550 and the FJ600.

The FJ, although introduced at the end of the air cooled era, smoked all the other middleweights when introduced in '84 and instantly made the GPZ550 and monoshock GS550 obsolete on the track. It was still winning races in '85 and '86 because the water cooled 600 Ninja wasn't as easy to hot rod as the FJ.

It also was very comfy. It handled as well as the other middleweights of the era, but didn't have the toy bike feel ergonomics-wise that the others did.

I remember watching the middleweight race class at Willowspring's and the field was filled with FJ600's. They were durable bikes too.

Griffin
07-23-2016, 05:32 PM
I remember watching the middleweight race class at Willowspring's and the field was filled with FJ600's. They were durable bikes too.

The engine was basically a punched out XJ550 Seca engine, with an up to date monoshock chassis.

Hot rodders would put the original 550 cams in it for more top end punch, then install XJ750 carbs with 750 valves in the head to make them fly.

GS1150Pilot
07-23-2016, 07:55 PM
Speaking of which, somewhat relatedly, there is a pretty clean Seca 650 for sale here in town. Nice little bikes.

Griffin
07-23-2016, 08:07 PM
Speaking of which, somewhat relatedly, there is a pretty clean Seca 650 for sale here in town. Nice little bikes.

I like them greatly. Either a 650 or 900 Seca are on my want list. No Yammies in the garage right now.

GS1150Pilot
07-23-2016, 10:41 PM
The 900 is very high on my wishlist.

kaufen
10-21-2016, 08:29 AM
I've toured with a Honda CB350 K1, a Yamaha TX500, a BMW R75/6,& a couple of honda CXs. Of them all I preferred the CB 350. A lot of my riding was on dirt back roads & the comparitively light weight of the 350 was handy. Only downsides were the voltage regulator & lousy front brake. The beemer was fine for high speed stuff but not all that comfortable until you got over about 120km/hr. The CX 500 was fun & handled both dirt & main roads well, was even ridden off road a few times , the CX650 was more relaxed but not as much fun.

TxGSrider
10-21-2016, 09:06 AM
I had a VF500 and loved it. Id buy another but they don't show up for sale (at a price I can afford) around here very often.

GS1150Pilot
10-21-2016, 09:38 AM
There was a pretty immaculate one for sale around here for a while. 13K original miles, but it had been sitting for a couple of years. They are neat bikes. I'd enjoy owning one.

Lorenzo
11-12-2016, 07:27 AM
My favorite mid-80s 500cc sport bike was the RG500 Gamma. So much so that I still have it.

Same as above.

Since it has been mentioned, I prefer a 16" front wheel bike, with an otherwise neutral riding position, than one of the current sport bikes, that attain the same benefits, forcing the rider in a bottom up wrists down position.
And, with well sorted suspension in not either bad on raw tarmac.

doankhuong92
12-05-2016, 06:10 AM
I just ride honda blade

850 Combat
12-12-2016, 04:29 PM
The 16 valve version of the GS550 was the first pretty fast 550. I voted for it. It wasn't called a GSX in the USA. As far as owning, a Kawasaki GPZ or standard 550 would be the one I would probably want if I had to have one as an only bike. I would prefer the twin shock one. The two barrel carbs on the Suzuki put me off. I'll probably never own any of them in reality.

I do like the Vision. If I wanted to play checkers or chess on the top of a motorcycle gas tank, it is the obvious choice. Just add some white squares of tape. Magnetic chess men and blue tooth in the helmet, and it could make the commute fly right by (and into a ditch, probably).

GS1150Pilot
12-12-2016, 08:46 PM
I dunno. The first GPz 550 came out before the 16 valve GS550, and it did the 1/4 mile in 12.7 at 102. That's not slow, and really only a bit off of the GS's 12.3 at 107.

Chuck78
12-13-2016, 01:50 PM
GPz550 DEFINITELY #1... retains the classic styling still but with touches of sport bodywork, AND WOW ARE THEY FAST AND LIGHT! Or add the GPz head/cams and the Wiseco GPz 610cc big bore kit to a standard kz550. Heck, I was pulling the front tire up slightly off the ground in 1st and 2nd doing small acceleration wheelies on a k&n pods/Kerker 4:1 1980 kz550 even. Very zippy, & lighter than a gs550

GS550 77-82 #2 - grest bikes, very tough engines, 673cc gs650 top end swap makes this thing really awesome. The huge duration on these camshafts not only gives them an awesome exhaust sound (with aftermarket pipe), but also yields phenomenal gains when the bike is de-restricted with pods and pipe and properly re-jetted. Great bike with great mods available through the GS forums. Twinpot brake mod,GS1100E swingarm, gs1150/1st gen gsxr wheels or lacing up wider rims... very good platform

#3 RG500 - VERY FAST!!!!!!!!

SpecialK
12-13-2016, 06:09 PM
On my 550 Seca i'm currently in the process of swapping an a fj600 engine (its a direct fit). Back in the day wiseco made a big bore kit for it which would punch it out to 652, unfortunately the kit is now obsolete. Person I know raced one back in the day and did 11.7 in the quarter.

GS1150Pilot
12-13-2016, 06:20 PM
The Seca 650 was a sweet bike, and at least in that model, you could swap in the 750 lump. The 550 was a little anomalous.

SpecialK
12-13-2016, 06:30 PM
Yeah it definitely doesn't stand out in any one given category other than reliability. 15'000km on it this season and never skipped a beat.

GS1150Pilot
12-13-2016, 06:37 PM
Don't get me wrong-I'm a big fan of the Seca. I never had one, but I like them a lot.

Buffalo Bill
12-13-2016, 10:23 PM
I had the 550 and 750 Seca. The thing I noted was the high quality chrome on the headers, never turned blue or deteriorated.
They also made a killer mean tone that no Suzuki ever could, not even the GSXR.
I'd like to attributed that to the sound engineers from the musical instrument branch of Yamaha.

GS1150Pilot
12-13-2016, 11:22 PM
That's a cool hypothesis, Bill. I remember liking the sound of my old XS11, too, and no V4 sounds better with a pipe than a VMax.

kaufen
01-06-2017, 11:07 AM
Same motor as the xJ600 and overall a great little package.

doankhuong92
01-10-2017, 12:23 AM
16-valve version of the first GS550 quite fast 550. I enjoyed it. I intend to buy it in the future.

850 Combat
07-20-2017, 12:17 PM
I've owned 3 650 Secas, and a Honda first gen 550 4. Those are the only mid-sized Japanese bikes I've owned. I bought 2 each XJ650s new for $1695 each, at Beach Yamaha in Huntington Beach, CA, and gave them to my brothers. My older brother still has his. The last, I bought for about $500. It was real clean, but needed steering bearings (unlike Suzuki, they are loose ball, stock). It had a cheap aftermarket 7" headlight on it too. I had about $700 when it was on the road, with a stock 8" headlight. It was part of the loaner fleet when I was inviting relatives to go on tours. A 650 Seca has a lot of merit in my opinion. The CB550 was a heavy, and especially top heavy, poor handling slow, decently put together, unpleasant piece of crap in my opinion. Also, at the time, my main bike was physically not compact, but weighed about 420 lbs. It was not possible for me, at the time, to consider these smaller but heavier bikes as lightweights.

With the 650 Seca, it was an interesting comparison how Suzuki made stuff vs. Yamaha. The Yamaha 8" headlight has 2 chrome rings, it is made of steel, and there are adjusters built into it for aiming. Its pretty heavy, too, compared to the cheap plastic bucket my Suzukis have. I don't think the extre pieces and weight add much value. There is a brace to hold the seat up when you want to work under it. You always have to fiddle for a second to close the seat. It takes both hands. Suzuki uses gravity for that, and it works well. It came with a lock. I've never used it. It came with cheap loose ball bearings in the stem. That is value taken away where I can't see it. Fit and finish is better on the Yamaha, although I think Suzuki improved that in '82 and '83 over the earlier bikes.

I had a E Bay search for 650 Seca headlight for years, and did finally assemble a complete New-Old Stock 650 Seca headlight assembly, piece by piece. I may mount it on a Suzuki. I'm not sure. I did double my money selling the used Seca. I'll never do that with my Suzuki 850 and 1000 Gs

GS1150Pilot
07-20-2017, 12:33 PM
The Seca 650 is a pretty perfect bike.

GS1150Pilot
07-20-2017, 12:42 PM
How close to impossible is a GS650G Kat to find for reasonable money?

81gs7501166
08-29-2017, 08:49 PM
Had a 83 550e, great bike.
V-H exhaust and a k-n filter charger kit WOKE it Up!
Would keep up with 8valve gs 750, maybe out run it!
Not enough bottom end though!