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Thread: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550: Restoration

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Erie, CO.
    Posts
    2,155

    Default 1981 Kawasaki GPz550: Restoration

    Wheeled my GPz550 into the garage today to begin the restoration/rebuild. It's been stored inside for 27 years and I would like to be done by June 2014. Yesterday by searching the net I discovered this GPz 550 is really a race bike (8rt Exagerration). The PO installed a 615 cc big bore kit, race cams, 26mm Flatslides, Yosh exhaust, Dyna Ignition with 2.2 grey coils and also stated the engine was balanced & blue printed. Today was tear down



    First the seat goes, I will need new hinge pin and better yet an original 1981 seat.



    Next the Flatslides go BUT they are stuck so I use the hairdryer


    The slides are stuck so getting the throttle cables out was a PIA but they came off & will need a new cable because it frayed



    I get the Flatslides off and look down the intake ports . . . looks shiney. I also notice the cam chain tensioner is not an automatic spring loaded factory jobbie.





    Pipe is next to go, whoever installed it tightened the little 10mm nuts to the point where they bent the exhaust flanges. The outer exhaust stud is stripped that needs to be replaced too



    The only marking I see on the "Yosh" pipe is KZ 51, KZ 52 etc on the header pipes. No Yoshimura marking?



    Looks like a Yosh or RB Racing pipe. Have not tried to take it apart yet.

    2/11/18: I contacted RB Racing & sent a photo in 2017 and received a reply the exhaust was not a RB Racing. Like Big T stated it's a Yosh



    Next I install the centerstand I purchased from Joe (Jwhelan65) so I can work on this bugger



    Two and half hours later I have reached a good stopping point. I need a rear fender if anyone spots one 80-84 KZ550 will work

    I also want to welcome my friends from the GPz 550 Forum following this thread. I cannot post pictures on the GPz 550 forum so I decided to run two threads.

    To Do List: Valve cover gaskets is on the way, have to ID the race cams so I can set the valve lash correctly. Z-1 order for other engine gaskets etc.
    Last edited by srsupertrap; 02-11-2018 at 05:07 PM.
    1979 GS1000E (40 Yrs), 1981 GPz550
    Departed: 1970 Yamaha R5A, 1971 R5B, 1975 Honda XL250, 1983 Suzuki PE175, 1983 CB1100F, 1983 BMW R100RS, 1992 ST1100

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC Canada
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    subscribed!! Lots of fun mods on this bike, bet she's going to be crazy fast and fun for a 550. Are you using Z1 for all the engine gaskets?
    Rob
    1983 1100ES, 98' ST1100, 02' DR-Z400E and a few other 'bits and pieces'
    Are you on the GSR Google Earth Map yet? http://www.thegsresources.com/_forum...d.php?t=170533

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    West Slope, OR
    Posts
    11,866

    Default

    looks good so far

    Yosh pipes have a plate riveted to the can. Looks like the rivets are there

    That thing will be a rocket.

    As I mentioned before, get the Avons in 3.25/4.00 for the sharpest handling
    1978 GS 1000 (since new)
    1979 GS 1000 (The Fridge, superbike replica project)
    1978 GS 1000 (parts)
    1981 GS 850 (anyone want a project?)
    1981 GPZ 550 (backroad screamer)
    1970 450 Mk IIID (THUMP!)
    2007 DRz 400S
    1999 ATK 490ES
    1994 DR 350SES

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sandpoint, Idaho
    Posts
    2,001

    Default

    Really cool bike. I've always loved the 550 GPz's. Great starting point. With only 3,000 miles since the rebuild, it should be fine, even after 27 years of storage. It'll be fun to see the progress.
    1979 GS1000S,

    1982 Honda CX500 Turbo, 1982 Honda MB5 w/CR80 motor, 1977 Honda "nekid" Goldwing, 1976 Honda CB550F cafe', 1972 Honda XL250 cafe'

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    stirling, ontario
    Posts
    873

    Default

    Pipe looks like a Bassani to me ,very nice project,brian

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Erie, CO.
    Posts
    2,155

    Default

    Thanks Guys! I am going to do my best with this little red rocket. Azr, I have already purchased an OEM valve cover gasket but the rest of the order I am sending to Chris @Z-1.

    Okay what can I do on Monday night? Put up the Christmas Tree or clean the K&N Air Filters . . . I will do both

    Last edited by srsupertrap; 02-11-2018 at 04:54 PM.
    1979 GS1000E (40 Yrs), 1981 GPz550
    Departed: 1970 Yamaha R5A, 1971 R5B, 1975 Honda XL250, 1983 Suzuki PE175, 1983 CB1100F, 1983 BMW R100RS, 1992 ST1100

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    West Slope, OR
    Posts
    11,866

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by harley10 View Post
    Pipe looks like a Bassani to me ,very nice project,brian
    Bassani has big "ears" where the header meets the mid pipe

    That looks just like my Yosh, a split on the mid pipe where it slides over the header and the two rivets on the end where the badge used to attach
    1978 GS 1000 (since new)
    1979 GS 1000 (The Fridge, superbike replica project)
    1978 GS 1000 (parts)
    1981 GS 850 (anyone want a project?)
    1981 GPZ 550 (backroad screamer)
    1970 450 Mk IIID (THUMP!)
    2007 DRz 400S
    1999 ATK 490ES
    1994 DR 350SES

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    STL Missouri, USA
    Posts
    1,172

    Default

    What a beaut! I love the half litre bikes and the gpz is a sweet one. I'd like to add one to my stable. I bet this one screams too. Keep up the good work.
    1982 GS550M Rebuilt Winter '12 - 550 to 673cc engine conversion.
    1989 Kawasaki ZX-7 Ninja
    2016 Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,775

    Default

    Very cool bike!

    Best of luck with the project.

  10. #10
    winfield Guest

    Default

    subscribed

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