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Old 05-22-2008, 02:26 PM   #1
Gottvonalles
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Default 1982 Kawasaki GT550 Beginner Bike?

Howdy MO.com folks,

You guys were very helpful in steering me into the direction of getting my first bike in the "new rider" section. A coworker at Caterpillar is selling a 1982 Kawasaki GT550 for $500 and I was interested. I brought along a buddy who rides to check the bike out. It needs the carbs adjusted, they leaked fuel and it idled rough, it needs new front brakes, and there is a lot of surface rust on the many chromed parts.

I think this would be an awesome starter bike because it runs well, shifts well, tires are good, and its cheap. I was looking for a plain Jane bike that I couldn't really hurt.

So, basically, what I'm asking is for some feedback about this specific bike from others who have rode it or know anything about it.

I know that it's a 4-cylinder with 4 synchronized carbs that are finiky and hard to adjust. I can get them rebuilt and setup for $80. The chrome would just take elbow grease. There are no rust through spots. The brakes could be bought for almost nothing I'm thinking off of Ebay. Are these brakes pretty normal Kawasaki fair or specific?

Anywho, I have MSF classes in 2 weeks. I'll be buffing on this bike and buying safety gear until then. Wish me luck.
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:42 PM   #2
mscuddy
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Default Holy Smokes, A 550!

INDEFATIGUEABLE! You have got yerself one indestructable little machine there buddy. Just get the carbs sinked (sic)change the oil & philter every 2000 miles (run Delo 15/40) lube that chain and it will last you long time sailor boy. The '82 550 was neat 'cause it was so...um...dinky? Here's a pick of my '82 750 that I got as a basket case 10 years ago, and it's still running (the silver one in front)!
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscuddy View Post
INDEFATIGUEABLE! You have got yerself one indestructable little machine there buddy. Just get the carbs sinked (sic)change the oil & philter every 2000 miles (run Delo 15/40) lube that chain and it will last you long time sailor boy. The '82 550 was neat 'cause it was so...um...dinky? Here's a pick of my '82 750 that I got as a basket case 10 years ago, and it's still running (the silver one in front)!
WOW! WHAT A BEAUT'! Caps lock is cruise control for cool. I wish mine looked 1 / 100th as good as that Kaw. I'm glad this is one tank of a bike. The foreman I'm buying it off of said he would change the oil and filter since it has been sitting for a bit. The chain was dry, so I guess I can take a look at that. Thanks for the vote of good confidence! I'll get some before and after pics on here. I'll get a pic as soon as I trailer it home, then one after I get my license and go on my first drive. Look for updates.
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:21 PM   #4
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Stop by the local Harley dealer and grab a few cans of HD Texture Flat Black spray paint on the way home and paint away. It costs $14 a can, but it goes a long way. This stuff covers anything, resists heat, and is easy to make look great, even for a beginner. It holds up for years, and if you scratch it it's really easy to spray over. And, you'll get the same finish the HD buyers are paying $15 large for!

Cuddy, what is that Yermamaha, third down in the row there with the orange tank? It looks like a 350 twin enduro.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:05 AM   #5
Gottvonalles
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WELL! I bought the bike yesterday and am picking it up after work today! WOOT me! I wanted to thank Satch, Scuddy, and all of the other MO.com regulars for answering all of my first rider questions and steering me in the right direction when entering this sport. I have a bike, MSF classes are scheduled, and safety gear is all picked out. I will update the thread with pictures when the bike gets here. I plan on keeping the thread updated with before and after pictures. I got the bike for $450, so it needs a little TLC, and by a little, i mean I'm going to have a buffing arm as big as Hulk Hogan's 23 inch pythons hehe.
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:54 AM   #6
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Congratulations, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:11 AM   #7
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Carefull on them tires the first few turns. Old rubber isnt the best for traction.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:11 PM   #8
Gottvonalles
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I got my bike home and ready for a good carb clean and a spit shine. I haven't even dusted it off yet.

Here is my bike and my friend's FZ1



Here is a pic of the Engine



Here is a long shot of one side



And finally another shot of the other side




I may take off the windshield, sissy bar, and the cargo rack to make it look a little better, or I could just man up and see how useful all 3 are. That is yet to be decided.


You can't see all the rusty, dusty details because it was really bright and a cell phone camera. I cannot complain for $450 hehe. I'll be super, uber careful on this bike the first time I have it out. I'm really afraid of it because it is kind of old and has been sitting. Thanks for the heads up though. And on to the cleaning..............
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:32 PM   #9
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Ha. You got a bit of cleanin' before ya, son.
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:22 PM   #10
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Years from now you will remember and smile. It's beautiful.
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