1989 Kawasaki GT 550
Like the Beatles, always with us
Starter solenoid wore out, cost £17.50
Having ridden sports and off road bikes for some time, I always wanted a proper bike, a bike from my teens. I purchased a GT550 for £410 and watched my insurance drop to £75.00 (which has 3 speeding convictions to allow for). Luckily I am in my forties and my back can't take 100mph+ with my ass above my head and blue lights behind.
The GT was a wish of mine and hasn't disappointed; yes it isn't that quick, but can still exceed the speed limit.
Some say it's ugly, but it's all bike in that it has two wheels, a fit 550 engine, and on most urban or rural roads, keeps up with my friends on their superfast kill you quick or break your back trying R1s. I let those friends wait for me at motorway service stations while they straighten up and regain use of their limbs.
The point where my 90mph armchair and I go past with half a tank left.
Yes it has faults! It's nearly 20 years old, however most can be fixed at the side of the road with a small tool kit. GT owners will know how reliable and repairable this bike is. Mine will remain in my ownership till some idiot pulls out and flattens it, and my little tool kit won't help... till then god loves a classic ride.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th May, 2008
I am looking at one of these for sale online, and I wanted to see what others thought of it. I could have written this! It's written in my language, by someone with my sense of humour (poor chap!), of my age, size and bodily ailments (even poorer!). You have made my mind up - thank you! Will come back on and give a proper review if I'm not too late in getting it!
Mine has done a little over 50000 miles. I have had it for 17 years. Ten years it stood in the back garden unused whilst I used my VFR750. When I decided to put it back on the road, it took 3 days work and a secondhand exhaust and new battery. It is very scruffy now after a decade outside, the camchain rattles and needs replacing.
The clutch basket rattles at traffic lights and stops when you pull the clutch in. The clutch is heavy, but then I fitted new plates and GT750 clutch springs 16 years ago due to clutch slip at 5500-7000 rpm.
It is super comfortable, averages 60-65 mpg @70-85mph cruising, drive like an idiot you can get it to 45 mpg, or be frugal and you get over 75mpg. Goes from Lancashire to Norfolk on one tank of fuel, no numb bum or cramped legs.
Excellent bike for riding by myself or with my wife as pillion. Keeps up with brothers more modern er-5, and we can both go around on country rides without being stupid.
Yes my VFR750 is faster, stops quicker, handles better and is arguably better, but it only gets 43mpg no matter what speed you do until it drops off at 120mph plus - which is illegal in the UK, and uncomfortable to maintain even on autobahns.
The GT550 is also great for loading up with luggage for solo camping trips across to Europe. It has a flexible engine that pulls remarkably up hills, and from 1500 revs in top gear on the flat; smoothly if not quickly!