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Discussion Starter #1
Hy. I´m from Brazil and new to the forum. I´m planning to buy a Kawasaki 550 model. It was identifyed as a GT550 for police cruise patrol year 1978.
Frame number is KZ550G015325 and engine number is KZ550FE016114.
I have not found a definite answer on internet search.
I really appreciate any help.
Regards,
David
 

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It seems impossible for your bike to be a 1978. The earliest record I can find for a GT550 is 1982 and Greenisbest shows likely years to be 1988-1991. Posting a few pictures might help as we have quite a few enthusiastic 550 owners on this site.
 

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I wonder if they got the 78 mixed up with an 88, But a picture would be a defining moment..
 

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I wonder why the OP thinks it is a 78? Was that shown on title or registration maybe? If so it could be a simple typo.

What is interesting to me is that your search apparently found the VIN but it does not list Brazil as one of the countries.

I wonder what the difference is between the GT and the KZ550?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I´m afraid all of you are right and my searchs in the internet says the sama, but in the title issued by the official licensing body of Brasil is clearly written the fabrication year as 1978 (you can see in the attachment called "doc Kawa 2013 front").
The actual owner is not the first owner and does not know the bike´s history.
At this time (early 70´s until late 80´s) all motorcycles licensed in Brasil were imported, but it is not clearly from which country.
I have also attached some photos. It seems that in its past this bike was used (and equipped) as police cruise patrol as you can see in one of the photos.
Hope you can help.
 

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Your pictures should help. Did you verify that the VIN on the paperwork matches what is stamped on the frame?
 

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Appears to be a GT to me.
Was sold in Europe and Australia, but not the US. Not sure about South America ?
It has the later Zephyr engine in yours which came in with the G7 model, early to mid 90's, so the dates are not correct here !

42319


This is my one (at the front) which is an 86 model.
 

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So, by all of that I make yours to be a G7 model GT550, born between 1991 and 1993.
Your paperwork is clearly wrong I'm afraid.

Interesting you state it was a police bike.
The Southern Irish police (called the Garda) used GT550's as police bikes, so its a strong possibility it was exported from Ireland.
But again, something went wrong with the paperwork on the import side, and the claimed build date is a long way off !
 

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Very interesting information Andy! Sometimes an older vehicle is easier to import as the safety and emissions rules were less stringent or non-existent. So a simple "paperwork error" could have saved the importer some $$$. 😁

One thing I found when googling a partial engine serial number as "KZ550FE" it found multiple hits on used engine parts, all of which were listed as coming from a 1989 engine.
 

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Hi.

That engine was introduced in Europe in 1991. Not sure regarding other markets.
It went in the new (at the time) 550 Zepher.


The same engine was also transposed into the GT550 range at the same time to give the model range an update with the G7 version in 1991 also.
I guess Kawasaki only wanted to build the one 550 engine at that time.
The G9 versions officially went off the books in 1994, but versions still sold from 'old stock', and in the UK we have seen them registered as late as 99 MY, so a full 5 years after the production line finished.

David, if you purchase the bike there is a very active GT550 Facebook group (no insult intended to anyone here) that have a huge knowledge on these bikes.
I personally have built a couple from frame up restorations, so have detailed knowledge of the model.

The bike sold huge numbers in the UK, as the dispatch riders weapon of choice due to its incredible reliability.
100'000 plus miles on the engines was the norm, and I am aware of some that exceeded 200'000 miles. They were an incredible work horse.

Europe and Australia have a massive source of used parts, so make for an easy restoration.
The only hard part to source now seems to be exhausts, so check what sort of condition that is in ?
Frames rot internally at the side stand area and can fail, so check that, and swinging arms rot so check that also.

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you all. It has been very helpfull, but iI have one morer question.
If this bike was built at late 80´s or early 90´s shouldn´t it have a 17 digit VIN number?
 

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According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, all vehicles in North America were required to have a 17 digit VIN by 1981.

Not sure if this affected Brazil, but from Kawi's point of view if a large market like North America required it, they may have switched all manufacturing for all countries to a 17 digit format at the same time.

If this is true, then it looks like esberard may have a bike that was built from parts from different years.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you for your help and Andy I Will follow your alviceleste and join the Facebook Group.
 
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