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XJ550 - My new old ride

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Ive just managed to get my hands on a very cheap '81 xj550. She's a little rough at the edges and runs a bit lumpy but I reckon she is worth spending some money on and getting her put right.

The clutch makes an awful racket, which seems to fade a bit when you pull the clutch lever in and the gearbox makes a nasty chattering noise at idle engine speeds when cold. The 5th & 6th gear wines like hell when cruising at around 40 - 50mph.

The front brakes have been modified and something else has been put on, but they have been "washered" out to fit, and the front wheel has a spacer in it aswell, which makes my forks run slightly out of parallel ! :blink:

The Carbs are slightly out of balance, but thats an easy fix.

What I cant seem to find, is an online source other than ebay for spares. I realise its an old bike now, being 28 odd years old, but I need to find a good reputable dealer who can possibly lay his hands on bits and pieces at good prices.

Im looking to maybe "streetfighter" it a little and maybe recreate that popular look from the '80s - custom paint, 4-1 short pipe, straight bars, headlight conversion you know what I mean, but I need to make sure she runs well and is safe before embarking on the big-spend.

If anyone can give any advice at all, it would be very much appreciated.

Heres a pic of the bike in its current form:

xj550009.jpg

xj550010.jpg

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Bike looks good, lots of potential but lots of work to do do, have you tried wemoto site and m&p and mps to name but a few.

...Paul

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Ive just managed to get my hands on a very cheap '81 xj550. She's a little rough at the edges and runs a bit lumpy but I reckon she is worth spending some money on and getting her put right.

The clutch makes an awful racket, which seems to fade a bit when you pull the clutch lever in and the gearbox makes a nasty chattering noise at idle engine speeds when cold. The 5th & 6th gear wines like hell when cruising at around 40 - 50mph.

The front brakes have been modified and something else has been put on, but they have been "washered" out to fit, and the front wheel has a spacer in it aswell, which makes my forks run slightly out of parallel ! :blink:

The Carbs are slightly out of balance, but thats an easy fix.

What I cant seem to find, is an online source other than ebay for spares. I realise its an old bike now, being 28 odd years old, but I need to find a good reputable dealer who can possibly lay his hands on bits and pieces at good prices.

Im looking to maybe "streetfighter" it a little and maybe recreate that popular look from the '80s - custom paint, 4-1 short pipe, straight bars, headlight conversion you know what I mean, but I need to make sure she runs well and is safe before embarking on the big-spend.

If anyone can give any advice at all, it would be very much appreciated.

Heres a pic of the bike in its current form:

xj550009.jpg

xj550010.jpg

Thats a gd looking bike you got there, gonna be a labour of love that one, more internal work than external, maybe joining the VJMC might be a good route, If it were mine I would prob keep it stock tho', but each to their own :)

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550Rs are absolutely beautiful the way they are...

i wouldnt change a thing if it was mine...

im a member over at another XJ forum (if youre interested i can pass that info on) and theres chaps all over the world on board there...

we have a member whos got just about every part you may need to restore that to factory new...

great looking bike. one thing i noticed is that the Seca model in the state had straight spoke wheels while the Maxim had the swirly spokes...

again, great looking bike...

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Ive just managed to get my hands on a very cheap '81 xj550. She's a little rough at the edges and runs a bit lumpy but I reckon she is worth spending some money on and getting her put right.

The clutch makes an awful racket, which seems to fade a bit when you pull the clutch lever in and the gearbox makes a nasty chattering noise at idle engine speeds when cold. The 5th & 6th gear wines like hell when cruising at around 40 - 50mph.

The front brakes have been modified and something else has been put on, but they have been "washered" out to fit, and the front wheel has a spacer in it aswell, which makes my forks run slightly out of parallel ! :blink:

The Carbs are slightly out of balance, but thats an easy fix.

What I cant seem to find, is an online source other than ebay for spares. I realise its an old bike now, being 28 odd years old, but I need to find a good reputable dealer who can possibly lay his hands on bits and pieces at good prices.

Im looking to maybe "streetfighter" it a little and maybe recreate that popular look from the '80s - custom paint, 4-1 short pipe, straight bars, headlight conversion you know what I mean, but I need to make sure she runs well and is safe before embarking on the big-spend.

If anyone can give any advice at all, it would be very much appreciated.

Heres a pic of the bike in its current form:

xj550009.jpg

xj550010.jpg

Hi

The clutch noise is down to bad carb adjustment ... when you set the carbs make sure you have a yics tool as if not you will get false readings from the guages and dont forget to spend a good time with the mix screws.

The wine in high gears stands a chance to be the cush drive rubbers ... let us know how you get on

Regards Jim

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how cheap did you get yours for? i just picked up a 1983 550 seca for $250 but needs work also like paint and lots of cleaning. will post pics soon.

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Ah man, I usd to have an 81 XJ550 Maxim but secretly lusted after the Seca version like you got. I ran hell outta mine for almost 17k before I sold it when I moved to Florida, great solid bike, needed nothing but tires and oil changes.

Good looking bike ya got there, good luck getting it squared away.

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how cheap did you get yours for? i just picked up a 1983 550 seca for $250 but needs work also like paint and lots of cleaning. will post pics soon.

Actually, I paid 400 pounds for her. I think that was cheap, cos I love the damm thing already. :lol:

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This post is 5 years old so the chances of a reply are slim to none. As he has not been back online since then.

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