KZ650 cafe-racer. New fuel tank.

And here is yet one update on the Kawasaki KZ650 cafe-racer project. I was not very satisfied with how the Honda CB500T tank fits the  KZ650 frame.  The tunnel of the tank had to be pretty heavily modified and I continued to modify it further and further  until it was clear that  some cutting and welding had to be involved. At this point I was close to hammering the aluminum tank from the scratch, but since I was busy with other projects it never happened.

What happened instead was me buying the New Old Stock 1981 Suzuki  GS550 tank. However, it wasn’t a spontaneous purchase. I started looking for alternative fuel  tanks for the project, and my search brought me to the line of tanks for 1970s-1980s Suzuki GS motorcycles with engines of different capacities. GS550-650 tanks  (different models of different years) got most of my attention and sympathies. At some point I gathered information enough to conclude that:

  • I like the design of these tanks and  therefore am ready to give it a try.
  • With some more or less minor modification of both: the frame and the tank (without cutting the tank though), 1980-1981 Suzuki GS550-650 tanks will fit the Kawasaki KZ650 frame.

And it so happened that in my searches I came across this New Old  Stock Suzuki tank on UK Ebay. It wasn’t  cheap, but it definitely looked like it was worth investing some money in it. So I bought it, and crossed my fingers on its successful and soon arrival.  And I must say I wasn’t disappointed! Tank was completely as described by the seller, and no sad surprises. It came even with the original box and the seller took a pain to pack that box in additional layers of cardboard and bubble wrap, so both box and tank in it arrived to me safe and sound. I spent like ten minutes only to unpack the outer packaging of the original box.

And since I am receiving the new-but-made-forty-years-ago fuel tank not any other day, I shot a lot of photos. Here they are, New Old Stock 1981-1982 Suzuki GS550 fuel tank and its box:

Suzuki GS550 tank for Kawasaki KZ650 project Suzuki GS550 tank for Kawasaki KZ650 project Suzuki GS550 tank for Kawasaki KZ650 project Suzuki GS550 tank for Kawasaki KZ650 project Suzuki GS550 tank for Kawasaki KZ650 project Suzuki GS550 tank for Kawasaki KZ650 project Suzuki GS550 tank for Kawasaki KZ650 project Suzuki GS550 tank for Kawasaki KZ650 project Suzuki GS550 tank for Kawasaki KZ650 project Suzuki GS550 tank for Kawasaki KZ650 projectFor the forty years of the storage, the box developed individual features: hole from rear tank bracket, mysterious punctures and even a kind of graffiti promising warranty from Wishop (whatever it means).

Suzuki GS550 tank original box Suzuki GS550 tank original box Suzuki GS550 tank original box Suzuki GS550 tank original box Suzuki GS550 tank original boxI already made minor initial modifications to the tank and now I am waiting for mount rubbers to go further with the process of fitting the tank to the frame.

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4 Comments

  1. Alen

    Hi, nice purchase… I’m anxious to see how you will renew the tank inside. I assume it has some minor rust. Have you gave it any thought how to remove the rust and how to seal it? I also have a tank waiting to be renewed and I’m looking for the best approach.

    Reply
    1. gazzz (Post author)

      Thanks!

      The rust inside of this tank could be wiped with a finger. It is still some time before I will face the question of cleaning with this particular tank.

      However, I’ve done some rusty tanks before. I don’t like tank liners, since on a couple of occasions I had a pain removing flaking tank liners. If the metal of the tank is still sound and has no pinholes I’d give it a good old mechanical cleaning. For this purpose I keep a couple of kilos of small steel hardware (screws, nuts, bolts and so on). I put them in the tank, add some kerosene and then shake the tank until it’s clean. It’s an old school method but it works all the same. After such cleaning I remove the hardware with a magnet. Then I flush the tank with gasoline and degrease it with solvent. Final step is treating the insides of the tank with rust converting/protective chemicals.

      Reply
  2. Frank

    If that wasn’t a joke Wishop means w/ shop or with shop warranty but judging from reading your KZR posts you knew that 🙂

    Reply
    1. gazzz (Post author)

      Hi Frank!

      Nope, it somehow didn’t occur to me to interpret the writing in that way, so thank you very much for your input! Now I wonder how many years ago that writing was put on the box.

      Kind regards,
      Nazar

      Reply

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