Product Type: Kawasaki motorcycles
Newest Review: ... 60 litre panniers. Aside from the poorly designed unitrak rear suspension linkage I reckon Kawasaki created a real bike of worth in the ... more
Ok this is an update on my previous GPZ500 review...
Member Name: Broggie
Advantages: cheap to run, fun
Disadvantages: degrades if ignored, crap linkages on rear suspension
It's now 2011 and the GPZ500 is still with me, which must be somewhat of a record and a recommendation in itself. I have to admit it doesn't get as much use as it used to, but that's more due to having less free time to enjoy it.
Since I bought it I have enjoyed each and every ride, it still brings a smile to my face when I roll it out and fire it up.
The biggest problem I have had since buying it was the chain snapping and locking up the back wheel, fortunately I kept it shiny side up...
Unfortunately the dozy AA bloke dropped it on it's side when he turned up...Bugger!!!
In the GPz's defence a chain snapping could happen on any bike, so should not be taken as any kind of negative...but the fact that it managed to bend the swingarm was not so good. Despite this, it's still a good bike, the drop damage was easy to repair with some chemical metal (it fractured the top fairing around the indicator stalk) and I was able to get another swingarm from a breakers for £30...so not too expensive then.
I've renewed the exhaust due to corrosion and replaced it with a motad two into one, this effectively junked the bellypan as it was just melting on the new exhaust (not the best fit in the world I guess)...it does look better with a bellypan, but it's not the end of the world if it doesn't have one fitted.
If you are going to keep the gpz, or any other bike for that matter off the road for any real amount of time, fire it up, turn the fuel off and allow the engine to burn up all the fuel in the carbs...this will help to prevent the carb floats becoming stuck and flooding when you turn the fuel back on (dripping petrol all over your engine)
I fitted new carb seals and float valves to cure a long lie up fuel leak.
A new battery was required this year and I fitted a gel type battery (which doesn't leak, so you don't need that breather tube and to keep topping it up).
The weak point of the gps500 are the rear suspension unitrak linkages...these are right in the line of fire for all the crud thrown up by the rear wheel...teflon lined bushes and steel sleeves protected only by some crappy rubber 'o' rings, and it doesn't take much to get past them.
I've rebuilt the unitrak linkage this year and it cost me £140 just for parts alone...keep it greased and clean and it will thank you.
I also fitted a new shock absorber which made no discernable difference whatsoever...so a soggy rear end is a soggy rear end regardless.
One pain is when you rebuild the linkage you obviously remove the rear wheel...but to get at the front linkage bolt properly you need the centre stand up....ooops!!! stick a jack under the engine to get round this and get a second pair of hands to hold the bike while you remove and replace this bolt.
I will admit I have spent a small fortune on this bike in the last 24 months...but, much of that is due to the neglect of others...not the bike itself....
Even after all the years this 1991 GPZ500 is still very clean, starts and runs smoothly and is ready for me whenever I want to use it. I have so much faith in this machine that in the last week I have fitted a GIVI rack and kappa topbox and purchased a set of oxford lifetime 60 litre panniers.
Aside from the poorly designed unitrak rear suspension linkage I reckon Kawasaki created a real bike of worth in the GPZ500...
And yes I have to admit that sometimes I look longingly at the weather protection of the Suzuki Burgman and the luggage capacity, but then when I see 40 of them listed on ebay...I just have to wonder why?
The Gpz500 is a good bike....period!!!!
Summary: it is without doubt one of the best buys you will ever make.
|on skiddy terrain:|
|on dry terrain:|
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