Restoration of a 1988 Kawasaki GPZ600R motorcycle

Technical specifications:
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.

Many thanks to all those who have helped and supplied parts especially the Facebook group ‘GPZ600R riders’ and ‘The GPZ Zone’.

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Thank you to East Lothian

Every once in a while I am lucky enough to get off the merry-go-round of life and do something different. This year I travelled to East Lothian and enjoyed the solace of camping in particularly good weather near the coast.
The Summer sunset was late and beautifully tranquil.

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Eco camping

Thank you to Joe for a relaxing stay.

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Flower displays – colour overload

display 1
display 2
If you happen to visit a garden centre in the future, cast a thought for the effort which has gone into the preparation of the plant displays in advance of your visit.
The sheer diversity of shape and hue contribute the riot of colour in these photos of my recent displays.

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This weird campsite in Amsterdam has no tents

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Latest portrait painting by Jo Franklin – international

Close up lrfully framed lr

This work has been embryonic for a while, but now complete it is winging its way to the owner in Spain. The close up includes a British penny to give an idea of scale.
Some say “Never work with children or animals”, but the canine component (a delightful and ever optimistic Hamster hound called “Badger”) was far from camera shy, with a few amusing outtakes as Badger decided ears were good targets for licking!
The general aim was to portray the alert and good natured wisdom of the main subject in their home environment. It was a warm midsummer afternoon in the Mediterranean with water and wine the order of the day. Settled in their favourite chair with a glass of red wine and Badger for company, warm amber hues were an intrinsic part of the composition.
I listened as he talked about his life… Now into his ninth decade, there was no small amount to tell: from life as an engineer, to enduring war, his children and celebrating life with his late partner.

I can only wish this artefact will endure as time goes on.

If you are interested to have a traditional and indelible record of a cherished or irreplaceable person, please contact me using the form below.

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Scandinavian cabins

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