Every so often when scrolling down on Ebay you see a bike that makes you scroll back up again. Today this is a perfect example of what I’m on about.
Half Kawasaki GPX600 and half RD350LC. If you squint you can see a likeness to the Triumph T301 Speed Triple, or is that just me?
Our seller picks up the story.
It is with a heavy heart that I’m listing my bike – I have to face the fact that I’m not going to get around to getting her sorted out again. We moved last year and in a property that needs a new kitchen, bathroom, in fact every room doing (old ladies residence) at the pace I know I work I know I’m never going to find the time. I bought it as ‘standard’ bike in 1999 as I needed a bike with a fairing for my commute. However my job changed the following month so I didn’t really use it as much as I had intended. When I say ‘standard’ it is a california import so had the ‘stalk’ rear indicators as opposed to built in to the fairing of the UK model, the front indicators were also on whenever the engine was – and there was also quite a bit of ‘plumbing’ (valves and pipes to recycle spent gasses to meet emission laws) between the tank and the rocker cover. The US model also has the non-resistored spark plugs as the resistor is part of the coil/ht side on the US bike. During those first few years I replaced the exhaust with the model specific Motad stainless unit that was available back then (prior to the nexus range).
After a few years, and not being a lover of faired bikes, I decided to change the bodywork. This took me forever though and it was only when the MOT ran out in 2004 that I thought about it seriously. However, it was mainly thinking that I did, I don’t do anything at pace. I wasn’t sure what bodywork to fit and thought z650 would be good, but when I looked around couldn’t get what I needed without it costing the earth. I managed to get some LC bits pretty cheap over the next year or so – unbelievable really when you see what prices LC stuff goes for now!! So tank, seat, side panels, tailpiece, grab rail, 250lc frame which I cut the front off and modified to replace the GPX subframe, GPz750 clocks (I think) and GT750 brake cylinder (so I could have a mirror as originals were fairing mounted), LC pattern headlamp were gathered. After sitting in my shed, then garage when we moved in 2005, and being regularly ‘offered up’ to the bike to get an idea what it would look like I finally actually got her assembled and patched together and through the MOT in 2009. As the original instruments weren’t fitted I mounted some LEDs into the GPZ clocks to indicate neutral, high beam, left, right and oil. The GPz clocks are very high mileage, in fact when I took the ‘x’ clocks off and fitted the ‘z’ clocks, the mileage difference was exactly spot on 77500 miles, so the MOT mileage jumped from 14757 miles in 2002 to 92325 miles in 2009.
However, as I spend more time thinking than doing, I decided when I finally got it together in somewhat of a rush over a few weeks in 2009 that once I got the MOT I would strip it down to paint everything nicely before reassembling it far more meticulously (eg side panels are held to each other across the bike by cable-ties and the ignition/ecu unit is taped to the top of the airbox). Being me a proper strip and rebuild never happened, and it just got wheeled in and out of the garage a few times a year for a quick blast. However, in 2013 when the MOT expired I had come to realise that I wasn’t using it so I would, slowly, do the strip/finish/rebuild I had promised 4 years earlier. Well, as usual, that never happened but I did start it every few weeks to keep the throat clear as it were, much to the annoyance of my neighbours at the time. However, we moved last July and it has spent that time under a tarp on my Dad’s drive. I wheeled it round here a few weeks ago but can’t get her started. Not that I’ve tried much, just stuck the jump leads on and kept turning her over. The old battery can’t be helping nor the old fuel, so I reckon the carbs would need a good blow through. I don’t have the time, nor the need, to do so.
Unfortunately the tank has sprung a slow leak – it’s not dripping or pouring out, just wetness and the bubbled paint at the bottom corner. I guess it needs treating with POR15 to get it sealed again (never had any joy with petseal). As can be seen I had to bash a big dent into each side of the tank so that the standard bars didn’t contact the tank on full lock. Likewise, in order to get the tank to fit (over the twin-tube frame as opposed to single tube of the LC frame) it was simply bashed about until it fitted, not done with a great deal of care I have to say. The paint is starting to bubble again on one of the tank ‘bar dents’ again – I sprayed it 3 times back in 09 before the paint ‘took’ in this area but it has now lifted again – my guess caused by poor/rushed prep in a dark garage when the paint was done. When I did use, it was a great ride although with the 16″ front wheel does have the usual twitchiness so associated. At 5’10” it is a long reach to the floor as I think I did ‘kick up’ the rear end a little too high. All the ‘running gear’ apart from the front brake cylinder is stock GPX so it’s just the body/looks that aren’t.
But ‘I think’ it looks OK, from a distance – an old rd lc, but with ‘relatively’ easier rideability/smoothness that a 4 stroke offers. So, with regard price I didn’t have a clue, but rather than end up it going for a giveaway, I’ve stuck a reserve on which I think is reasonable, for a unique bike, that definitely needs work (eg the brakes make it a bitch to push at the moment as it’s been stood so long), or if no-one watches etc. then I know that for this old dog I’m barking up the wrong tree and need to re-consider the reserve. If you want specific pics of specific areas of the bike please message me and I’ll try – Lord Litchfield I’m not but I’ll do my best. Or ring if you want to ask anything – 07847 431910. Please bear with me though as I work nights so may not be able to answer if working or sleeping, but will get back to you if you leave a message. I would recommend coming to see the bike to appreciate what it needs as, on top of needing to seal the tank, there are other areas that would need work if you mind atall things being scruffy, which I don’t (eg. rear footrest hangers need repainting properly, headlamp rim corrosion, aluminium ‘whiting’ (can’t remember the correct term is – oxidisation?) on rocker cover, wheels etc.).
If you’re still reading and fancy buying it search Ebay for GPX600 and up she’ll pop.