Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

KZ550 LTD Backrest/Rack - advice?

2059 Views 5 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  StarGate

I just purchased a used backrest / rack for my 1981 KZ550 LTD. I had been looking for a while and finally found one from a 1982 550LTD on ebay, figuring they are essentially the same bikes (umm ... they are not). The chrome is lightly rusted all over the rack, so I was going to paint it flat black to match the frame tubes.

However, here's my issue - it doesn't fit perfectly. The front brackets fit just fine on the shock mounts, but the holes for the back brace land on the middle of the rear fender, about 4 inches PAST the end of the seat. Did the '82 have a longer seat? Or am I missing some sort of frame piece? I'm sure I can rig something up to support the back half, but was wondering if anybody else has had some sort of a similar issue.

Troutbum in Central Oregon

"81 KZ550 LTD
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Doesn't appear to be anything of the frame extending out that far on the 81 or the 82 but they do have different part #'s for seats and frames. I'm gonna guess the previous owner had that installed in conjunction with a luggage rack or he modified his with a bracket and it bolted to one of those. If you're going to paint it anyways I would get a good welder to modify it for me then paint it.
Thanks for the Reply Stargate. This is a combo luggage rack / backrest. The rack attaches to the bike, and the backrest tubes slide into the rack, and is adjustable. Another question (I'm still a newbie) - should the back bracket for the rack attach to the rear fender? Or should I attach it to the frame, i.e. on the tail light bracket? Seems to me the weight should be borne by the frame, not by the fender, although that's the way it seems to be set up.

Thanks -


'81 Kz 550 LTD and
a goddamn minivan because I've got kids.
I know the type you have. All of those that I've seen mounted, were attached at the upper shock mount and at the frame where the rear turn signal mounts or in that general area. Any chance you could post some pics of it so we can see what you have to work with.
Yeah that's what I thought, too - the weight should be on the frame in two places. I took the thing apart last night, attached the frame pieces to the bike, and it looks as though I'll need quite a bit of custom welding to make it work. I can get some photos up ASAP - tonight or tomorrow.
Sounds good and while you are at it take a pic of the bike with the seat lifted so we can see the frame area there too.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.