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RIP my bike :-(

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by mattb, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. RIP Kawasaki GT550 July - December 2006!

    My bike is on the road...just...and not for much longer - she is passing.

    It develop a bad rattle a month ago. Since then, the oil pressure light has been coming on with increasing frequency. I took it down to my mechanic, two weeks ago, just before the oil light (that is, low oil pressure) issue started becoming particularly bad, and he could hear nothing of the noise I was concerned about. I took it down again this morning, and he could definitely hear it. He was concerned, and sent me down the road to a specialist in older Kawasakis.

    This other fellow, who would have been rude, if his manner wasn't so clothed in eccentricity, listend to my bike, muttered to himself about things being stuffed and done for, and finally told me the bottom end bearings had gone, and it would cost a couple of thousand to fix, and to throw the bike away, and that the engine will soon go caput, either throwing a rod, or seizing!

    I'm going to keep riding, as the light doesn't come on much below 60km/hr, if I ride sedately. But the pressure issue seems to be accelerating, so who knows how long that will last?!

    Damn - just when the summer riding was about to start!

    I bought the bike in June, paying $1500 with RWC. Then got it on the road, and have spent about $500 since attending to problems.

    I finish paying off a loan this month. Perhaps it's time to go into debt again. But I'm thinking I might stick to those $500-900 commuter hacks on Ebay, which you see, registered and madly ugly and just requiring some external work (spark plugs, tyres, external rust etc and ignore the ugliness) - because I suspect it's not worth spending bigger, unless you spend properly bigger and get a bike with much lower kms (in which case you've a big loan debt and a big insurance bill every year!). And one can stomach the loss of such a cheap hack. Just affording the GT has been a struggle. There's a number of earky 80s 400cc things going for $500-900. Or maybe it's time for a simple cheap indestructable early 80s SR250 or CB250RS! (but oh the lack of power! :-(


  2. My $2.5k Spada hasn't missed a beat in 6000 ks, and I confidently expect it to keep on running like a sewing machine for years to come. No need to spend massively to get reliability... and I happen to think it's seksi too.
  3. As a fellow rider of an old kwaka I'm interested in where you found an expert. Are his initials GS?
  4. My FJ only cost me 1600 or so with rego, and I've done 30 thousand K's on it.

    I've done a little bit of work here and there, but nothing extreme.

    Keep your eye out and you'll find something good. You should be able to get an early 90's/lat 80's sporty 600 for below 2K if ur patient.

  5. Put a $400 wrecker engine in it, and just keep riding!
    Thousands for big end bearings! Pffft..........if he was half decent, he'd have teh cases out and split in a day, and new berings.reground/secondhand crank in the next day.......so there's 16 hours labour at $70/hr, where'd the rest come from?
    Basically, he doesn't want the work. It's an easy job.

    Regards, Andrew.
  6. Yeh, I reckon you're right, Andrew.

    I was musing over it, and the truth is, I kind of enjoy, or at least am endeared to, this bike with all its problems, in large part (aside from the fact its a good basic ride - I've done 12,000 happy kms since July) because it's teaching me to do my own mechanics. Maybe this is the next, scary step - to pull a motor out and chuck another in, regardless of whether or not I get a new bike in the meantime (I've been offered my old SR185 on loan in the meantime :roll: :) ).

    How do I go about working out if a 750 motor will fit into it? I've seen that done with Z's.

  7. seeing a bike dying is not a pretty sight. You'd be better off focussing on buying something nice now :wink:
  8. There are a few engines from this era that may fit. Don't quote me but I think the 750 and 900/1000 motor may be the same, with the 500/550/650 motor being the same.

    So the later would be a much simpler swap.

    I could be completly wrong in that however or there may be a 3rd family. kwakas are not my fortee.

    This would be my first option, but wreckers are getting dearer and these bikes are getting rarer.

    Maybe find another and use it or your bike for parts. $500-2500 should get you most everything in this range except the 900 and latter 1000s.
  9. The is a 550GT in a shop up here being worked on. I took it for a ride almost 2 years ago to sus it out...front forks seals stuffed, no speedo and I think there was a problem with the front brakes..but that might have been just the fork oil on them? But motor (and 4 into 1 exhaust) was fine. And someone had repainted it. They were asking $1500 looked good.
    PM me if you want me to see what's happening to it.