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 GS550 Katana Cafe Project.

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Animal_Mother

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PostSubject: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:44 am

Don't ask my why but I thought it'd be a good idea to build a Cafe Racer.

So, I got permission from my long haired general to release the funds and I started looking.

After trawling the web for ages looking for something very very cheap I came across a GS550. In my opinion it has one cylinder too many but, I thought I'd take a look.

This is the bike.


It's an X-reg GS550M (Katana thingy).

It was a complete rat.
Oily.
Noisy.
Painted satin black with all of the paint cracking etc.
Knackered head stock bearings.
Bouncy rear shocks.
Leaking oil from the cam cover.

So I bought it.

It came with loads of bits and pieces:
slide carbs
CV carbs
2 x heads
barrels
pistons
clutch
alternator and casing
starter
electrical bits and pieces
2 x sprocket sets
full set of discs
chrome front fender
spare Harris exhaust system

...it gets better...

genuine Belstaff Trialmaster jacket
pair of vintage Ashman 6 buckle boots
manuals and books
set of 70s hard panniers

Also, for my project, it already has fitted:
steel braided brake lines
K&N cones

..plus loads of other stuff.

I even road the bike back as it was taxed and MOT'd.

At first it wouldn't rev over 4k or go over 50mph. However, after a bit of riding it started to ride much better, pulled nicely and rev cleanly. It must have had crappy fuel in the carbs.

So. I think I got a nice little bargain here for £250.
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Animal_Mother

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:46 am

Right.

Day 1. Started the stripdown.

Removed the top box, saddlebags and side panels. It looks better already.


However, bad news on the swinging arm. Rotten through on the metal plates. I'm not sure of the condition of the rest of the swing arm yet.

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Animal_Mother

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:50 am

I've been hunting for parts now. Seat unit, bars etc.

I've come across a Dunstall seat unit for a bargain price.
It looks just like this one.




The chap has a Dunstall tank too. He said I can buy the seat and take the tank away to see if it'll fit.

£70 for the tank and seat. pirat
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pauliexjr

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:14 pm

70 quid is good providing it fits without too much bodging.

If you didn't know, the cut-out in the seat is for access to the oil tank cap as fitted to older Nortons/Triumph/BSAs (which presumably your Katana doesn't have?)

You may find the central tunnel on the tank is too narrow, the Dunstall kit was originally designed for British bikes which cenerally had a 2-2 1/2 inch top rail, your Katana is probably quite a bit wider, but give it a shot 'cos Paul Dunstall's styling is trully classic kaf racer!
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Animal_Mother

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:32 am

I've took the swing arm off because it's dead. I'll have to find a replacement. Sad





So, I picked up the seat unit and thee tank to try. I had to cut the tail off the bike to get the seat on and move the coils to get the tank on. I think the tank needs to sit 1 1/2" lower than shown here. I'm not sure if that's possible. If not,it's back to the original tank and some fibreglassing.

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pauliexjr

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:46 pm

Tank obviously fits despite my naysaying. Not sure about the seat, lower and possibly shorter? Your bike, your call, that's the fun of it!

BTW, for 250 quid that is a steal despite the knackered swinging arm, good on yer mate Smile
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Animal_Mother

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:26 pm

pauliexjr wrote:
Tank obviously fits despite my naysaying. Not sure about the seat, lower and possibly shorter? Your bike, your call, that's the fun of it!

BTW, for 250 quid that is a steal despite the knackered swinging arm, good on yer mate Smile

Cheers. Very Happy

Decided against the tank as it's too much work to get to fit without fouling the top clamp.

Seat is now shorter and will have the "mud guard" part trimmed off.

Managed to sort a lovely nearly new arm from Ze Fazerland for £30 delivered. Very Happy
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Pud

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:01 pm

wow good base for your project got to say though Dunstal did build Suzuki specials.
Oh and welcome
Steve
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shaunr



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PostSubject: gs550 project   Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:52 am

I'm doing something similar but i'm using a 1984 gsx550. I'll post some pictures whe i finished painting the frame but I have cut down the back end, added a customised, GT380 cafe seat plus gsx600f forks and wheels and flat Renthals and a GS600F speedo. I'm hopeful it will look good and I'm keeping the stock tank. Good luck with the build
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Animal_Mother

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:14 am

shaunr wrote:
I'm doing something similar but i'm using a 1984 gsx550. I'll post some pictures whe i finished painting the frame but I have cut down the back end, added a customised, GT380 cafe seat plus gsx600f forks and wheels and flat Renthals and a GS600F speedo. I'm hopeful it will look good and I'm keeping the stock tank. Good luck with the build

Cheers. Good luck too. Very Happy

More progress.

I've been slowly dismantling the electrics, labelling everything as I go as I'm rubbish with bike electrics, well, all electrics really. As you can guess, it's full of scotch connectors, insulation tape etc so It'll be getting an overhaul.



Continued to strip stuff off it. I dropped the oil. Seems to be 1982 vintage Laughing. Lots of particulate steel in the filter and on the magnetic sump plug. I'll keep an eye on that. It could just be from running in as I know it's had loads of engine work.







Next thing is to start hacking brackets off it.
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Bodge



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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:24 pm

that swing arm is in a sorry state, looks like the battery has spewed out acid onto it (maybe wrong).
Might be worth checking the charge rate to see if it boiled over!.
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Animal_Mother

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:31 pm

Bodge wrote:
that swing arm is in a sorry state, looks like the battery has spewed out acid onto it (maybe wrong).
Might be worth checking the charge rate to see if it boiled over!.

Would that be caused by the reg/rec or alternator?
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Bodge



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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:57 am

Probably reg/rec, but duff a genny will blow the reg/rec so could be both!
looking at the rats nest of a wiring loom you have anything could be at fault tho.
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Animal_Mother

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:26 pm

Bodge wrote:
Probably reg/rec, but duff a genny will blow the reg/rec so could be both!
looking at the rats nest of a wiring loom you have anything could be at fault tho.

I'll be doing a full workover of the loom. I'm rubbish at wiring but I'll follow Haynes.
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Bodge



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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:48 pm

Personally I would junk that loom and get another from a breakers. at least then you will know what goes where and what you dnt require for the build. It all depends on cost really and the budget you have.
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kinetica



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PostSubject: help    Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:41 pm

Hey Mate
I have been watcking your Katana Build I have just purchased one in the same conditiion
and need some advice .. Im currently looking for the Manual , two side plates , and more info on the carburetors
as they seem to be leaking , so may need to purchase some gaskets. I also need to know if you found any information on re-wiring
the bike?

And please send us some photo of were the project is up to

cheers TW
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Animal_Mother

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:36 pm

kinetica wrote:
Hey Mate
I have been watcking your Katana Build I have just purchased one in the same conditiion
and need some advice .. Im currently looking for the Manual , two side plates , and more info on the carburetors
as they seem to be leaking , so may need to purchase some gaskets. I also need to know if you found any information on re-wiring
the bike?

And please send us some photo of were the project is up to

cheers TW

Nice one mate.

The manual is here
http://www.mtsac.edu/~cliff/storage/gs/GS550_77-82_all.pdf

Side plates? Do you mean the plastic airbox covers? I've just thrown mine away. pale

I know gasket kits for the carbs are quite expensive. Make sure that is what it is before committing.

I've been looking for a good wiring diagram myself but I've yet to find one.

Here's some pics.

I broke the timing chain just by cranking the motor on the starter. I'm glad I did as it would've snapped as soon as I started the bike when the engine was back in the frame.


Bare frame.


Ebay tank. It was a fiver for a Manx Norton baffled fibreglass tank. I'm going to modify it to fit.
I've mocked up the rearset position. The rearsets are from an RGV250.
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kinetica



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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:56 pm

hey mate thanks man the bike is starting to look good !!

I got the beast runing last night so that Kat is awake after 15 years , have now started the stripping process.
The carbs seem to be leaking fule so going to have to see what is going on there ...
and the wiring is messy , think im going to have to start again on that .....


Thanks so much for the manual ...

will send some pics soon

cheers TW



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Pud

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:03 pm

that is gonna really look good
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kinetica



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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:49 pm

how do you upload photos on this thing

as need advice and clarrification if my bike is GSM katana 1981 or GS 650 g
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pauliexjr

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:52 am

kinetica wrote:
how do you upload photos on this thing
I find the easiest way to upload photos is to get yourself a Photobucket account, it's free at www.photobucket.com Load your pictures onto your pc or laptop, then sign in to Photobucket and click "Upload", you then create an album of photos which you can insert into forums like this.

Then, next time you are posting and want to add photos open up a second web session, go to your Photobucket account and open your album. Hover your pointer over the picture you want to upload and a small box appears, go to the bottom choice "IMG code" and right click, it will say "copied", come back to your post and right click on your page, chose 'paste' and your image will come up as an HTML address, but when you click "Send" to post your message the photos will appear like this:



You can add text after the photo simply by continuing to type after pasting the link. Simples :-)
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Animal_Mother

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:29 pm

Oi. Don't post bikes like that on my thread, it makes my bike look ugly! Razz

Cracked on with chopping the frame up tonight. Removed loads of tabs, brackets etc that I won't need, it'll make the frame look very tidy too.

Also started chopping the rider/pillion hanger bars off too (the triangular ones on the rear of the frame). I'll be leaving about 25mm of them attached to the frame to give extra strength to the plates which will be welded on to accept the rearsets.

I'll post more pics shortly.
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pauliexjr

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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:26 am

Animal_Mother wrote:
Oi. Don't post bikes like that on my thread, it makes my bike look ugly! Razz

No Mate, 'fugly' is how that bike looked when I started!



Took a lot of elbow grease and trips to Unity Equipe to sort it!



Only thing I regret is leaving it as a two seater, the rear overhang never looked quite right and the missus never went on the bloody thing!



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kinetica



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PostSubject: problem    Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:44 pm

Hi guys

Im having a few problems getting my carburetors out of my GS Katana has any one got a detailed giuide on how to do this , as
im new to this and not to sure what is the best way to do this I have removed the air cleaning mounting bolts ... but not to sure
what bolts i need to take of to free the carburetor ...I do have the manual but this is no help ...

I have attached images so somebody might be able to get me on the correct direction

cheers




Hope you can help me whith this

cheers LADS
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kinetica



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PostSubject: Re: GS550 Katana Cafe Project.   Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:47 pm

testing image upload

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GS550 Katana Cafe Project.
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