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Thread: Greetings - 1980 GS550E Winter Project

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Pierre, SD
    Posts
    7

    Default Greetings - 1980 GS550E Winter Project

    Hello,

    I have been lurking around the forum for maybe two weeks now and I suppose it's time I introduce myself. I'm a big Suzuki fan. I've had a number of V-stroms, GSX-Rs, DR-Z400s, and now my first classic bike, this 1980 GS550E. My intention is for it to be my everyday street bike next year. The previous owner seems to have taken good care of it, but I don't really know its history or true mileage. My plan is to strip it down to the frame this winter and build it back up again like it was new. I'll be doing a full engine overhaul as well, which will be a first for me. I'll do my best to document my progress in the projects/rebuilds forum.

    Thanks


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Mifflinburg, PA / Land of Tar & Chip
    Posts
    2,848

    Default

    Welcome.
    Well taken-care-of, indeed. Looks like you've got a great starting point.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    1,062

    Default

    Nice!! That looks very original and unmolested. Does it really need a complete strip down?
    1980 GS550ET

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Pierre, SD
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by steveb922 View Post
    Nice!! That looks very original and unmolested. Does it really need a complete strip down?
    Not really, but I need to find something to do this winter! It does have some issues that I need to correct such as frame rust, headtube bearings that don't move freely, one leaky carb, and the brake fluid seems to have been replaced with actual mud at some point. The complete tear down is because I'd like to think that if I go through and make everything perfect, it'll be just as good in another forty years. Also, there are some things that I would like to improve upon, honestly. The charging system could use some modifications, the suspension is awful, and new paint would be nice.
    1980 GS550E

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    1,062

    Default

    Sounds like a fine plan - I did similar with mine. Good luck with it!
    1980 GS550ET

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Norene TN
    Posts
    4,213

    Default

    Are there eng. problems or are you doing it for the experience? No way to be sure from the outside, but you'd think that eng. should need nothing more than a valve adjust. Heck those pipes are hardly discolored. Welcome, congrats, very nice bike.
    1983 GS1100E, 1983 CB1100F, 1991 GSX1100G, 1996 Kaw. ZL600 Eliminator, 1999 Bandit 1200S, 2005 Bandit 1200S, 2000 Kaw. ZRX 1100

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Pierre, SD
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rphillips View Post
    Are there eng. problems or are you doing it for the experience? No way to be sure from the outside, but you'd think that eng. should need nothing more than a valve adjust. Heck those pipes are hardly discolored. Welcome, congrats, very nice bike.
    I only rode it briefly after I got it, but the engine seems to be in fine working order. The carbs were a little rich. I figure there are three potential outcomes of tearing it down for a rebuild: I find no problems and button it back up with some new seals and a lot of confidence in the motor, I do find problems and then correct them before buttoning it back up, or I foolishly break something and post lessons learned here to hopefully save others some headache. I'm betting on one of the first two!
    1980 GS550E

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Dayton OH
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Another fine GS...I guess i'm the only one with a rolling turd-pile, hahaha!!
    81 GS750L 16v

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. Catharines, On.
    Posts
    7,691

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by steveb922 View Post
    Sounds like a fine plan - I did similar with mine. Good luck with it!
    Just curious and i have a bad memory, does your bike have the spoked wheels and dual discs?
    2@ \'78 GS1000

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. Catharines, On.
    Posts
    7,691

    Default

    Welcome to the site, trueblue.
    I've seen that same mud in a brake system. Has a nice aroma to it as well.
    2@ \'78 GS1000

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