592cc capacity, 4 cylinder, 16 valve water-cooled engine with a bank of 4 carburettors, 16 inch front and rear wheel, anti-dive to front forks and mono-track suspension, single pot with slider brake calipers.
Mileage to date: 42,000 miles, unused from 2012
When a ‘project’ GPZ600R was advertised for restoration which had stood for many years; no one was particularly interested to buy it.
Apart from me.
When I went to look at the bike, it was evident it had stood for quite some time and needed rather a lot of work. Three weeks later, the price was greatly reduced and like a stray cat, it came home with me.
I nearly knew every nut and bolt on the bike from rebuilding a similar machine in the 1990’s – now I definitely do!
42,000 miles of use results is a fair bit of wear and tear and being stored since 2012 had resulted in a a good deal of surface corrosion. Thankfully the bike was complete and the bodywork was in relatively good condition and these engines usually run for substantially longer if maintained well.
The first stage was to strip the frame down completely. For a bike of this age most components were able to be removed but there were the inevitably seized fasteners which sheared when I attempted to remove them.
By autumn I had cleaned, prepared and painted the frame and swinging arm. The starter clutch and main clutch had been replaced and the engine cleaned, checked and repainted.
The front suspension needed to be worked upon as the chrome on the forks was pitted and worn, so donor forks, new fork seals and anti-dive seals were required, and the brake calipers needed a complete overhaul.
Once I had a roiling chassis the engine was refitted. Wiring, foot pegs, bars, switch gear, cables and instrumentation could all be added once they had been cleaned, checked, refurbished and painted as necessary.
Finally, with the bike running much more nicely (bottom end noise apparently very common) the exhaust and bodywork could be reinstalled.
Hopefully, the bike will prove to be fun and reliable. The next step is to design and realise a new paint scheme using the spare set of bodywork I have.
A project of this nature takes commitment, a great deal of patience and determination to work through or around the inevitable set-backs as well as technical knowledge and know-how, however, once an end result is achieved it is rewarding to see the end result.