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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm new here, but have been working on and riding bikes for 30 years. My first street bike was a 73 CB500F that was mildly cafed, 24 years ago. Back then I didn't have the means or the facilities to really do it right. Since then I did a bit of road racing, built all of my race bikes and have been mostly in the sport bike scene. I've own a couple dozen bikes, but most of them were just "fix them, ride them and sell them" projects.

This week I picked up a winter project, and I intend to do a proper cafe project with it. I might be looking for some tips and suggestions, here.

Enough of the background....a few months ago, a friend of mine bought this 1979 GS550 with the intent of turning it into a budget cafe:
004.jpg

He started stripping it down and buying parts and doing several things to it, but ran out of time and space for it. Long story short (too late) I picked it up from him for $600, with all the parts:
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The bike actually ran, but the carbs are pretty messed up. I have a set of 2mm larger KZ carbs that I plan to re-rack on the GS rack. (Yes I am capable of extensive carburetor work). Other parts that came in the pile:
-Clubman bars
-new Dyna ignition system (with coils)
-New N.O.S. Jardine exhaust, but the collector is for a KZ, so I may be doing some custom exhaust work
-KFY Chinese knock-off shocks (cheap I know, but I will see how they work)
-A dual cat-eye tail light assembly
-New Progressive fork springs (already installed)
-All Balls tapered steering stem bearings (I need to do some machining to finish the installation per the instructions)
-GSX-R master cylinder and clutch lever (with new clutch cable)
There is probably more, but tomorrow I have to catalog all the parts.

Things that my friend already did include drilling the front rotor, painting the forks, headlight, triple trees, and engine.


This is gonna be fun!
 

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When you finish cataloging the parts, mind sending me a message with a list of any extras you're willing to sell? I've got a '78 GS400, and I think most of the stock parts are interchangable.
 

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quote:Originally posted by Captain_Trips

When you finish cataloging the parts, mind sending me a message with a list of any extras you're willing to sell? I've got a '78 GS400, and I think most of the stock parts are interchangable.
I'd be thinking the only things that will fit your bike off this one are the indicators.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Today was focused on the two highest priorities - exhaust and carbs

The stock carbs are in HORRIBLE shape, and the previous owner had a set of KZ650 carbs that he put in the parts pile.

GS550 stock carbs:
006.JPG

KZ650 carbs:
007.JPG

The starter plungers (choke) were stuck in both sets of carbs:
008.JPG

So I soaked them am got them cleaned up and freed:
009.JPG

I disassembled both sets and installed the KZ carbs on the GS rack:
010.JPG

I need to find one emulsion tube for the starter jet on the #1 carb 'cuz it was broken. The GS tubes are the same size, but the height of the cross drilled hoes are different, so I will see if I can find a junk carb for the part before trying the GS one. However it would only effect the operation while choked, so it wouldn't be that big of a deal to use one from the GS carb.

And I need to get a gasket set.

Next was the exhaust. My friend said he thought that the collector/muffler that came with the Jardine system he bought were for a different bike. After I test fit the system I don't think that this is the case. It seems to be correct, except that the hanger bracket is welded in the wrong location:

011.JPG
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I will just cut it off and weld it in the right place.

014.JPG
015.JPG
 

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pipe looks good.
Welcome to the forum. Nice to see someone not tearing the whole thing apart as fast as possible like so many new guys seem to do.

You should read about those chinese shocks. They are considered junk. Someone fixed a pair (crazypj maybe) but it was a fair bit of work. Hagon or progressive are considered to be decent semi-budget choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks kerosene. As far as tearing it apart, most of the bike was just loosely thrown together for transport. This thing will need to be completely disassembled before it is ready to go. The whole front end is just snugged together and a set of tapered bearings set in the stem, but some machining needs to be done to complete the install. That's just one example....
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
So, today I worked a bit more on the exhaust:

I cut off the mis-located bracket:
016.jpg
017.jpg

Did some grinding:
016.jpg
018.jpg


A little Hi-temp paint, and it almost disappears:
021.jpg

A little more work, and it'll be barely visible.

I set it up in the correct position to be welded...
020.jpg

...I just have to see how the new welder I bought works. Practice welds start tomorrow...Gonna learn myself ta weld!! It's been a loooong time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Just a little progress, today. I spent most of my time learning to use my new welder and doing practice welds. Then I had to put on my big boy pants, and actually weld the bracket on the exhaust!

Not perfect, but not HORRIBLE:
022.jpg

A little paint... (still glossy 'cuz it's wet):
023.jpg


Exhaust issue solved!! I will re-install the system when I get some new header gaskets.



I also made the decision to buy a set of GS550 carbs rather than try to venture down the tuning nightmare that the KZ650 carbs would present. I will likely attempt that later, but not until I have a running workable bike and get all the other work done that I want to do.
 

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Hobart makes an anti splatter aerosol spray that works good with the cheap welder that i have. spray it where you are gonna weld, and hardly any splatter sticks. also seems to make the weld lay down flatter and not build up so much. i like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
TheGreg -thanks for that tip. I will look into finding that.

o1marc - if anyone is in a position to see that spatter and critique it....their head will be in the perfect position for me to roll over it with the back tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Some more progress over the last couple of weeks:

The cam covers needed a little sumptin':
024.jpg

So in keeping with the satin black theme my friend started, I scuffed and painted them:
025.jpg
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I also blasted the exhaust collars and used exhaust paint on them:
029.jpg

While I was at it...remember the scar left from the original muffler bracket location?
028.jpg

I took care of that with more grinding, sanding and paint:
036.jpg

The previous owner started to do a tapered bearing conversion on the steering stem, but it needed some machining done to complete the install, and he had pressed on the lower bearing....but hadn't put the lower seal on first! I had to remove the lower bearing, get a new one and had the machining done and the front end was re-assembled:
026.jpg

As I mentioned before, I decided to get a new GS550 set of carbs from Ebay, and rebuilt them:
030.jpg
031.jpg

I used 85 mains (stock are 80) and #17 pilot jets (stock are 15). With the pods and the exhaust, I figured that would be a good starting point.
032.jpg

I might actually have it making some noise tomorrow!!
033.jpg

...then, I can start really tearing it apart!


The pods, which the previous owner supplied in the parts pile got replaced with K&N filters for reasons I documented in the following thread:
http://www.caferacer.net/forum/technical/19639-pod-filter-thread-geeto.html
 

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FYI I doubt you have fusion with that weld, is that flux core if so it is not the best choice for thin wall materials "too much heat needed". You want to use .024/gas wire .030/gas can work but you have to be on it not to burn through and get a good weld. But seriously you want to be getting a lot more practice before welding anything that matters, find the limits and know how to reach them and stay clear with proper technique.

Miller site has a full resource section that you can learn a lot from also you can order a good welding training package with more information.

http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/calculators/mobile/mig_solid_amperage_calculator_iphone.php

http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/improving-your-skills/mig/
 

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FYI I doubt you have fusion with that weld, is that flux core if so it is not the best choice for thin wall materials "too much heat needed". You want to use .024/gas wire .030/gas can work but you have to be on it not to burn through and get a good weld. But seriously you want to be getting a lot more practice before welding anything that matters, find the limits and know how to reach them and stay clear with proper technique.

Miller site has a full resource section that you can learn a lot from also you can order a good welding training package with more information.

http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/calculators/mobile/mig_solid_amperage_calculator_iphone.php

http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/improving-your-skills/mig/
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Well I have some updates....

First of all, it is running, but the intake boot o-rings were leaking:
035.jpg

I ordered some Viton seals, but got some Buna ones to install in the mean time. Wile I was at it, I changed to screws from the POS phillips, to socket head:
034.jpg

With the interim seals in, I was able to get the pilot circuit mostly dialed in...

Next, there was a nice little ding in the tank:
039.jpg

With my little dent puller, I was able to get it to be a smaller ding:
038.jpg
037.jpg

I actually got it even smaller than this picture shows with a little more work.

I don't like the housing that the gauges were in, so I decided to take off their clothes and run them exposed........but that COLOR! It's gotta go!
040.jpg

A little satin paint, and voila!
041.jpg

Finally, I need to locate the position for my rear sets. To do this, I used some 3/8" plywood to mock them up.
043.jpg
044.jpg

The final shape of the brackets will not be anything like that. The shape will be determined by the hole locations, and minimized as much as possible.

I think this will be the position, but I am waiting for my rearsets to come in to make sure they will work. I am most concerned with them interfering with the kick starter, but the set that I got has folding pegs, and I think I can set up a quick release for the brake pedal linkage, so that it can easily swing out of the way if I need to use the kicker. But even that may not be necessary.....we will see.

I am also waiting for the steel brake line that I ordered for the front brake.
 

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