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lightitup
lightitup
2/2/13 5:44 a.m.

hey im getting a 550 ltd cruiser for my first bike. so i was wondering if anyone on here could school me on common issues, the good, the ugly, maybe a link to the manual. anything and everything will help.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
2/2/13 5:58 a.m.

I had an '81 GPz 550 and I think the engines were pretty much the same. Mine was running like crap until I discovered that there was a second air filter inside the air box that was all gummed up.

I think they used bucket shims, so valve adjustments aren't exactly a fun project.

The only other thing that really stands out in my mind was that the switch gear was a big step down in quality in comparison to Hondas of the same era.

4eyes
4eyes Dork
2/3/13 4:58 p.m.

Download manuals etc. here:manual

GregW
GregW Reader
2/6/13 10:39 a.m.

If you like that bike you would really like the '80 KZ 1300 six cylinder I have for sale.

lightitup
lightitup New Reader
2/7/13 12:03 a.m.

its my first bike so i think a 1300 might be a little to much power and would get me into to much trouble.

lightitup
lightitup New Reader
2/13/13 3:37 a.m.

so i got the bike home and passed the mst course just need a few parts and i should be all set

Mental
Mental PowerDork
2/14/13 1:15 a.m.

Had one, loved it. Great bike. Keep an eye on the chain an sprokets. once they start to wear, they degrade catastrophically. As with any air cooled bike, oil is the blood, keep it changed and topped off.

They are stealth machines. Quicker than they look, but don't attract the attention of law enforcement, or theives or vandals. They look like a cruiser, but the riding position is a standard, so I found it really comfy.

I sold it to a buddy who let his girl learn to ride on it. She was on the freeway, not paying attention the the RPMs while she was in 4th, at 80 mph, eventually it just "starting slowing down..."

fasted58
fasted58 UberDork
2/14/13 3:33 a.m.

had a KZ 550, good bike

lightitup
lightitup New Reader
2/14/13 4:56 a.m.

heres a pic of it with out the tank and seat right before i popped the carbs out

foxtrapper
foxtrapper PowerDork
2/14/13 7:03 a.m.

Kawasaki's UJM from back in the day. A very good basic bike. Compared to a modern bike, it's got spagetti noodle forks, weak brakes, flexy frame, etc. But, accept it for being a fine old bike and it will serve you superbly. There are really no inherent weak points to the bike. It just runs. And runs and runs and runs. Change the oil occassionally, don't wreck it, and you'll be able to give it to your great grand-children.

lightitup
lightitup New Reader
2/15/13 1:24 a.m.

as i get more and more into it i have i feeling that if i really need to and had the time i could break it down and put it back with out a problem if their was any engine problems

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
2/15/13 7:09 a.m.

If you are tempted to remove the air box and go for something like K&N single cones; don't. I've done it twice and regret it.

Smarter people than you and I designed the flow of air to marry well with that engine, changing things gives a dead spot just above idle and lowers your top end.

Nice all round bike. Have fun.

Dan

lightitup
lightitup New Reader
2/18/13 7:57 a.m.

yea i have pulled the carbs out and putting them back in has been a pita because the rubber tubes popped into the air box so i have to pull the carbs and box again

lightitup
lightitup New Reader
2/20/13 2:54 p.m.

just ordered a set of shinko 712 for a grand total of 97.16 hells yeah

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
2/20/13 4:30 p.m.

I have the Shinko 712's on my bike, they are decent. Especially for the price.

lightitup
lightitup New Reader
2/20/13 10:59 p.m.

im just glad tires didnt cost more than the bike

foxtrapper
foxtrapper PowerDork
2/21/13 4:32 a.m.
lightitup wrote: yea i have pulled the carbs out and putting them back in has been a pita because the rubber tubes popped into the air box so i have to pull the carbs and box again

Heh. Wait until you try a Honda V4.

44Dwarf
44Dwarf SuperDork
2/22/13 7:40 a.m.

Heh. Wait until you try a Honda V4.

+20.....Had a friend at college who had a 500 Interceptor man i loved but hated that bike...we ended up replacing his tank after the 19th carb pull...

Spinout007
Spinout007 SuperDork
2/25/13 1:16 p.m.
lightitup wrote: its my first bike so i think a 1300 might be a little to much power and would get me into to much trouble.

Nonsense I learned on a 1200.

Derick Freese
Derick Freese SuperDork
3/8/13 1:11 a.m.

So, when are you getting this thing out of my driveway?

lightitup
lightitup New Reader
3/8/13 2:18 a.m.

faster than you with the honda

lightitup
lightitup New Reader
3/9/13 11:24 p.m.

anyone have any carb valve flaps mine are missing one and if i can get one cheep then i dont have to make one. let me know what you got

lightitup
lightitup New Reader
3/19/13 1:36 a.m.

got the new bars on today. so now i need to go and find a smaller brake res, shorter brake line and run the wires so they dont sit between the gas tank and frame. but i found an awesome bike grave yard so i can just go pull what i need.

44Dwarf
44Dwarf SuperDork
3/19/13 8:47 a.m.

The only suggestion i have is always make sure your battery is in good shape and well charged. KZ's of this vintage have no kick starter and the starter clutches are known to fail and are a HUGE PIA to overhaul. Fact i got my 750 LTD for $50 due to the starter clutch needed its 3rd replacement. If the battery is not up to snuff the rollers don't lock as hard and wear out. Other then that there great bikes. Oh and you just can't add a kicker the boss in the main cases are not drilled for the shaft..BTDT. I pop started the 750 for 2 years.

44

Spinout007
Spinout007 SuperDork
3/19/13 10:53 a.m.

Wanna share this bike graveyard? I've got two project bikes I wouldn't mind getting running.

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