Hey Everyone. New to the forum, and new to motorcycles. Picked up a 1980 KZ550 C1 LTD with 18,500 miles April 2018. Rode it for the season and now that it's winter I am going over the bike. New tires, sprockets, chain, brakes, etc.. The only cosmetic thing i would like to change on the bike are the mufflers. I would like something more cylindrical instead of the cone shape. After reading multiple posts I know that changing out the exhaust on the bike will increase flow. Which means I would have to re-jet the carbs to accommodate. Which I have never done before. And I realize it may be easy, but looking at doing anything with the carbs except cleaning. I don't want to mess with the point of no return drilling that could come with the re-jetting.
My questions are:
1) Does anyone make an OEM spec muffler that I can use with my existing headers? (same back pressure to avoid re-jetting)
2) Must the whole header and muffler unit be replaced to get the desired look?
3) If the whole exhaust system does need to be replaced for the desired look:
Are there aftermarket systems that wouldn't require re-jetting?
I already have $400 into it this winter. So I'm am trying to avoid (at least for now) spending another $300 to $500 on a whole new exhaust system. The exhaust I have is in working order. So I am fine with leaving it for now if re-jetting is the only option.
I appreciate any info you can send my way. And I look forward to learning more about my KZ.
My Sweetums rides the 1981 version that we bought a couple of years ago. We replaced the exhaust with an original that we bought on eBay. Could not find anyone making OEM style exhausts. Found one 4/1 in Britain but we didn't want to go that way. Bike is under cover right now but I believe the pipes are integral to the mufflers, so you will have to replace them. Be careful if you buy off eBay as the LTD exhaust is different from the basic KZ550.
Edited to add a photo...her bike is on the left.
I understand your concern about re-jetting. The carbs are very hard to remove and remount.
I ride Z1's. I have a couple of '75's, plus an '80 KZ1000LTD. My lovely Sweetums rids a 1981 KZ550.
Just an FYI. the stock mufflers are welded on, so you'd have to cut them off to replace them, thus kind of ruining the stock muffler system. Then you'd want to make sure the new mufflers are clamped solidly in place.
Emgo offers various mufflers. Helix racing is another brand.
The Helix 22" megaphone has kind of a neat shape, but from the description, the baffles aren't removable or re-packable. ...linked these Emgo mufflers because the seller provided some good pics of the internals.