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1980 Kawasaki Z500 kz500 kz550 advice???

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  • 1980 Kawasaki Z500 kz500 kz550 advice???

    Hi guys,

    I'm new on this forum and i've just found myself a 1980 kwaka Z500 for a project. Seems a nice ride and looker but can't seem to find much info on it? Anybody have any experience with these things?

    I'm wondering where it fits in the scheme of GPZ550's, KZ550's Z900's and so i could know what bit's are interchangeable as i'm gonna look at replacing fork tubes, discs, brake master cylinders etc. Anyone got parts for these?

    Basically, she runs atm except for the worn gear shaft spline which won't let me change gears (good fixes for this?). couple pics:
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    Any advice would be much appreciated!


  • #2
    If ya wondering, i dont think those side panels with kz550 on them are originals. It's definitely a 1980 z500 b1


    • #3
      Those kz550 side panels aren't original. It's a 1980 z500 b1


      • #4
        Welcome aboard! there is a fella on here called BIGSIKKLE he knows lots about these classic beasties!


        • #5
          Hey mate, did you have this Parked at Curtin Uni next to 314 last week?
          I checked it out, looks like it would make a great project (if it wasnt your bike, it means theres one in exactly the same condition getting around!)


          • #6
            haha yeh it was at Curtin! Yeh, it'll be a nice project. Love the look of this thing and it rides nice! Few things need to be straightened out: rusty pitted forks, leaking carbs, gearshaft spline worn, general corrosion/aesthetics, electrics etc. Doesn't blow any smoke and feels to have good compression.

            I'm gonna need some bits so if you know of anyone wrecking one of these or whats interchangeable with other kwakas, let me know!
            Last edited by gemgem; 28-05-2010, 12:27 AM.


            • #7
              Redbeard is doing up one of these from memory - has a build thread in here..


              • #8
                Looks like my old Z500 that I sold earlier this year (red paint on the frame and all). It had a KZ550 sister at the time, but it didn't run and not all the parts would swap over.

                Post pics of the gear shifter & spline - I had the problem before and it was a simple fix. It might be the same again.

                The engine should be absolutely mint - It's had new valve stem seals, valves lapped and clearances done, new piston rings (lapped in and everything). Gearbox was good, if a little clunky from Neutral to first.

                PM me if you've got any questions, I pretty much know the bike inside out.
                Last edited by Jonchilds; 25-05-2010, 06:39 PM.


                • #9
                  looks like jonchilds old bike.



                  • #10
                    Wowza! i bought i off a bloke called Story! The frame isn't red though? it's black but it does have kz550 side panels! if it is the same one, it seems to have good compression but needs a good tune of the carbies which i'm not sure about? only played with the carby on a enfield bullet single which was simple as.


                    • #11
                      It's definitely my old bike - red paint drip on the frame near the exhaust and the braided lines give it away.

                      I had the bike 2006 until early this year so should be able to give you a good run-down on it's history. PM me if you've got any questions.



                      • #12
                        Yeh that's it mate. Funny that! The things i'm immediately concerned bout atm are;
                        -the gear shifter spline is worn but i've sourced a replacement if i can't fix it
                        -discs have deep grooves in em but i've sourced some original replacements for that too
                        -carbies need tuning and they're leaking a bit

                        I'll get more pics up when i can but havn't got her with me atm.

                        Cheers Guys
                        Last edited by gemgem; 27-05-2010, 12:34 PM.


                        • #13
                          Finally got the bike home! So first things first, i've sourced a replacement gearshaft. shouldn't be too much trouble to change over. I'm hoping the casing gasket will cope and i won't have to look for a new one.
                          It's having serious trouble starting which i think is a dirty carby issue and it also drops revs really slowly when you blip the throttle which also is probably a carby issue. Havn't got much experience tuning carbies. Think it's leaking some fuel from the carbies possibly.

                          The rear master cylinder is rooted. Anyone know which models are interchangeable?

                          Cheers guys


                          • #14
                            High idle after a throttle blip is normally lean idle mixture.
                            Open all the idle mixture screws a half turn and recheck.
                            If you remember where you started from, you can always go back, so its a low risk trial.
                            Being an Australian is not an excuse for being dumb and racist.


                            • #15
                              As the bloke who sold it to Jon, I am glad to see it still motoring and keeping someone on two wheels, have fun and do to it whatever turns you on.............