View Full Version : 1983 kz550 ltd

03-24-2015, 2:50 PM
I'm in the process of converting my 1983 Kz550 to a bobber. Here's how far I've gotten... Any input is appreciated!!

03-25-2015, 12:43 AM
I'll be interested to see where this goes. I'll be starting on a hardtail job for my '83 KZ750 Spectre this fall. Not trying to split hairs with you but I think yours is a Spectre also, not LTD. They're very similar but the paint job and air shocks point to the Spectre, just an FYI no disrespect meant.

03-25-2015, 4:52 AM
None taken!!! Thanks for the info! I looked and saw 550F on the info plate. Does that mean anything in particular? I'm pretty new to this, so all info is welcomed! Also thinking about removing rear air shocks, and going to springs. What u think?

03-25-2015, 5:13 AM
The rears can be swapped for just about anything as long as the mounts line up. I've seen lots of guys do it.

As for the tag, check on the right side of the engine/crank case. There should be a tag around the oil cap that will have the 750N designation if it is a Specter.

03-25-2015, 5:41 AM
Ok. Today I'm going to start removing the motor to clean it up, and to get the frame ready to paint. This is the look in going for.

03-25-2015, 6:06 AM
Also, I want to lowering front and rear end. Do u think this kit would work for the rear? Looks like it'll bolt right up where I need it to go.

03-25-2015, 8:29 AM
I'm not positive on the kit, I'd like to say yes but I'm just not sure. Most that I've seen have used shorter standard shocks in place of the air shocks. The fronts should be able to be shortened the same as any other set just make sure to do your research and be sure you're comfortable with the work. You can mess them up. Not trying to freak you out just make sure you know what you're getting in to. Sometimes it's easier to look for used parts from different bikes that will work in place of the originals. Most of all though HAVE FUN!! We all learn something new every day!

Edit: just took another look at the picture, the rear on that one had the shocks replaced with solid rods. I've seen a lot of them done this way, very simple, quick, and reversible way to try out a hard tail. If you don't like it you can swap in some shocks.

03-25-2015, 10:03 AM
I agree with Hesh. Look into shorter shocks, its MUCH easier. I'm using a set of Sportster shocks on my KZ440.

03-25-2015, 12:03 PM
Thanks for the info. I'll start looking for some soon.

03-25-2015, 8:18 PM
Ok, so I got my pod filters in today, and put them on. Now it won't start. Has gas, and turns over, but won't catch. Any ideas of where to start?

03-25-2015, 11:24 PM
Some Suzuki Savage LS whatever shocks or some Honda Rebel CMX450 shocks should drop the rear to a good spot, they both are about 10" eye to eye on centers. Invest in a good seat trust me on this one... nothing looks worse or feels as bad as parking it on a home made seat til you have mega skill in making them, and stay the fuck away from trailer fenders. See that lil cross brace between the rear rails? That's a great place to mount a fender, most mount one under such things, you can also go over it, but you may have to cut the ass side of the fender, to get the lines nice and tight where you want them... unless you like short "cafe" rear ends. I don't know if you have any welding experience... but this frame is a great candidate for Konging it.

Seeing how you probably want to be riding asap instead of building during season... save the frame mods for winter, drop the shorter shocks on it get a nice unsprung seat and eye up one of the 1000's of cheap take off fenders on ebay under used, measure the rails for over and under, likely they're somewhere around 9-10 inches but don't take my word for it... then find yourself a fender that fits those dims, drill the new and drop it on if the holes don't match up. Then there's the blinkers/tail light/plate mounting shit to think about during all of this too.

While waiting on parts, hit our rattle can paint thread in the main to get your balls burning for ideas how it's done... go buy whatever paint, be prepping the tank and painting it, then mock all the shit up when it comes in... throw some pictures at us a along the way and throw some paint on that shit after mocked up... and have a fun/safe summer.

03-25-2015, 11:31 PM
Ok, so I got my pod filters in today, and put them on. Now it won't start. Has gas, and turns over, but won't catch. Any ideas of where to start?

Did it start before you put pods on it? Did you touch anything else? I have a feeling you have a vacuum leak from removing a hose... if it's a vacuum operated petcock. Close up pictures of the carbs, top and both sides will help a lot. If you didn't have it running before then those things need cleaning and tank drained, gas older than 3 weeks without stabilizer in it starts turning into bullshit.

03-26-2015, 8:55 AM
Well I've had the bike now for about 1 month. It fired when I bought it, but the carbs were terribly dirty, so I took them off and to a shop highly recommended to me and he cleaned them for me. I knew when I got the bike I was going to do pod filters, so I took the air filter and breather box off. Since then, it has not fired up. I decided to go ahead and break everything down last night. So I removed the carbs, tank, exhaust, rear arm, and started on removing the motor, but it was already 2 am, so I quit. Planning on removing the motor, cleaning it really good, maybe rebuild top side, only because I was advised of I had it out to go ahead and do it. Start my prepping for paint and remaining mods, paint tank and fenders, put it all back together and see what it does then. I also think it's something of a vacuum leak, and will do some research. I am doing either matte or flat black throughout, and gold emblems. What's the best thing to do for the seat? Can I make the pan and have someone cover it? I appreciate all the imput, and welcome more!

03-26-2015, 8:30 PM
When you took it in to the shop did you let the mechanic know that you would be using pod filters? Also, do you have any type of exhaust on it right now or is it open? If the mechanic didn't know about the pods or any type of open exhaust he likely wouldn't have re-jetted the carbs accordingly. A good rule of thumb for pods is to step up 2 sizes on main jets and 1 size on the pilot(idle) jets. The same is true for an open exhaust. So, if you'll be running pods and an open/4 into 1 or performance exhaust you'll be looking at around 4 sizes up on the main jets and 2 sizes up on the pilot(idle) jets.

What it sounds like to me, if it was running before and isn't now, is that its starved for fuel. Will it fire with the choke all the way on? If yes, then it's likely a lean jetting issue. If NO, then I would start checking fuel lines and your petcock for any type of blockages. If it has fuel, start checking for spark. Plugs, wires, etc.

Hopefully it's something simple, rejetting is not too big of a deal. They sell fairly affordable kits with multiple sizes so you can swap in and out until you find what works right for your setup. Just takes some time and patience.

03-26-2015, 9:21 PM
The rule of thumb is: Up two on the mains stock pilots, on the 3rd up is when you put in new pilots. That's really about as far as you want to go tbh, unless you bore the cylinders. Flat spot in mid range slap 1 or 2 #4 washers under the needles if they have clips then you go down one... of course shaving emissions shit and opening the pipes go hand in hand with performance, but just switching to pods, can be adjusted out on the A/F screws. When the airbox was removed the hose situation is the likely culprit.


Carb link