Hi everyone, and greetings from the Pacific Northwest! I'm Paul, aka Stereordinary here and on the Zephyr Zone, and aka Pandemonium Attachment on the Instagrams. I'm a new rider, while I've had my endorsement for a few years, I've only been riding regularly since January (about a month and a half ago). Kind of a long story, but here goes...
I turn 40 this year, and unlike nearly everyone my age, I have only had a driver's license for two years. Basically I grew up in a small town walking or riding a bicycle everywhere. Even through college and moving cities a few times I just sort of never bothered learning to drive a car. Finally back in 2018 I decided it was time, but not because I actually wanted to drive a car - but because I wanted to ride a motorcycle. So I did the appropriate training, and got a bike. But what I stupidly did is immediately start cutting into the bike (
a Ninja 500
) to make it a cafe racer, and never actually got to ride it. Lesson learned, I sold it last July, and bought the bike that I now ride almost daily - a beautiful 1990 ZR550b Zephyr. (Photos coming soon)
Besides all that, professionally I'm a bicycle mechanic, and in a past life I was an electric guitar maker. I'm always happy to chat about bicycles or guitars if any of you guys are also interested in either of those things. Politically I'm left-leaning, and that's all I'll ever say about that. I love music, collect vinyl records, love coffee, beer, and bourbon, and of course I spend way too much time thinking about motorcycles. So speaking of that...
About My Bike!
As mentioned above I picked up my bike, affectionately nicknamed Zephanie, in July of last year off of my local Craig's List. I feel very lucky to have found such a clean 31 year old bike that came running, titled, and even included a few service records. The price was very reasonable in my opinion. The first time I saw the ad, I saw the wall of exhaust pipes and assumed it was a full liter capacity, and thought no way, that's too big of a bike for me as a beginner. However upon further investigation when I realized it was only 550 I jumped on it. Zephanie has the looks I love and just the right performance for me to learn on, and grow with.
Mods So Far
None! Sort of... When I got the bike it already had a few things that previous owners had done to it. The handlebars had been swapped for some zero-rise drag bars, the rider footpegs were swapped for some cheap aftermarket round aluminum pegs, and the mirrors were removed, and bar-end mirrors installed. So what I've done is reinstall genuine OEM Kawasaki handlebars, and footpegs, returning it to stock. The bar-end mirrors work well though, and at least so far I'm keeping them. That's it! Why mess with a good thing?
None! Sort of... This bike really is great, I love riding it as it is, and at my riding level, I need to focus on my skills more than looking cool. I don't want to go messing with things that don't need to be messed with and taking the bike out of service, missing out on time I could be riding it. Especially as I write his, spring is coming, and I want to clock up miles this season. But with that said I am curious about a few things, and might consider them in the future.
• One of those things is ZX550 cams and/or a Wiseco 615 big bore kit. The only negative thing I've ever heard anyone say about a Zephyr 550 is that they are a little underpowered for their weight, and one (or both?) of those mods would basically make that argument null and void. It seems that all riders eventually graduate from smaller bikes to bigger ones eventually, and I love my bike so much maybe I just give it the extra power. I'd love to hear @Daftrusty's thoughts on that.
• Dare I say it... upside down forks. Ugh, I can't get them out of my head. I don't want to change the geometry of the bike, and I want to keep as many stock components as possible, but get those USD's in there somehow. Certainly if done right there could be a performance upgrade. But let's be honest, we're mostly talking about something that just looks cool. So it's probably never gonna happen, and that's fine, but I might still have to pester you guys about it sometimes. I have some questions, and maybe @gazzz can help. Or maybe I just get over it and upgrade my stock forks with the RaceTech springs and Gold Valve emulators.
One thing that I'm already doing, and it's not really a mod, but should be kind of fun, is I'm collecting spare plastics and tank (already got the plastics, still need a tank), that I'm going to paint, and have as an extra set I can swap on. It'll be like having two bikes that are the same bike in two different colors. Or at the very least spares in case my original parts get damaged. I also kind of miss doing paint work like I did in my guitar making days, so painting some motorcycle parts sounds fun.
Anyway, that's enough from me I guess, looking forward to chatting with you all. I'll get a photo or two of Zephanie up soon.
A breeze from the west.
‘90 ZR550 Zephyr aka Zephanie
Welcome to the fold! Iv always wanted to own a zephyr, they are a good looking bike and very coveted over here especially in Germany. When it comes to bikes changes can be a rabbit hole, an expensive one, one change will effect another. Modern inverted forks have a beefier axle so you might loose your speedo, unless you have a custom axle made and so on and so on. Ask the right questions and you will get the right answers, sometimes 3 different ones...ha. Pics are like bread for the ducks round here, so don’t be shy, be safe. Angus.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Stereordinary
Welcome to KZR
I fixed your pictures so members can see them .
Next time click the insert all tab
Original owner 78 1000 LTD
Mr Turbo Race Kit, MTC 1075 Turbo pistons by PitStop Performance , Falicon Ultra Lite Super Crank, APE everything. Les Holt @ PDM's Billet Goodies . Frame by Chuck Kurzawa @ Logghe Chassis . Deep sump 5qt oil pan. RIP Bill Hahn
The following user(s) said Thank You: Stereordinary