My cousin Prince (no, really, that’s his real name) had texted me to let me know that he finally got the new chain and sprocket kit installed on his KZ550. He had bought it awhile back, but have not had the chance to actually install them. Like me when I started out, he wants to do as much of the work on his bike as he can, so he and I have been trying to get our schedules together to head over to Rob’s shop to borrow his tools to do the job. Slightly odd enough, I neither have a chain breaker or riveter in my tool box, since I don’t frequently have to change the final drives in my bikes.
In any case, I ended up just sending Prince over to Rob’s shop on his own to work on his chain by himself, of course with Rob and his crew’s supervision. The chain and sprockets were the last big-ticket items that needed attention on his bike since we picked it up for him last October. The previous chain was so kinked that I felt it during my test ride of the bike the night we picked it up. Now that it’s all replaced, even I feel that much more comfortable about using his bike. With some fresh new tires he had previously put on, and the carbs I cleaned myself and a fresh, healthy battery to top it all off, this $600 purchase has been running more and more like a million bucks.
The last time my cousin and I rode together, I even noted how tip-top the bike looked in action. I couldn’t help but ask him to go out for another ride again, this time to swap bikes so I can ride the KZ550 again now after all the new bits that the bike needed have been installed. So we went out for a quick Sunday cruise for lunch, swapping rides midway through so I can see if there’s still joy in riding this old steed.
I gotta say, as funky as the bike looks and as much as I hated that my cousin put the windscreen back against my better judgment, this bike really is a solid little big-bike. For a 550, it’s got the bulk to feel like a substantial ride instead of being diminutive, and so it makes for a planted ride whether you’re going on a straight line or taking bends. The fueling is actually pretty spot on with no discernible flat-spots on its way to freeway speed, and the brakes aren’t too shabby at all. The riding ergonomic is very spacious and comfortable. It was already a great bike for just $600, and after all the fresh new bits, it feels worth more than double that.
I consider this bike right up there in my gallery best moto-deals found.