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Hi all - had my GPZ500 for over 8 years, totally reliable and dependable old bike used for the daily commute and weekend blasts. Unfortunately it failed its MOT (UK) last week on the rear suspension and I cannot afford a new replacement (£375). So I was wondering if anyone has experience of alternative rear suspensions please? I know the SV650 unit can be modded but I would rather just find a unit that bolts straight on. Also heard the (US) Ninja 250/300 suspension unit fits the EX/GPZ. Any thoughts? Thanks.
Clive
Inverness.
 

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hi Clive, how are you doing bud, still enjoying those highlands roads. (bet you are). welcome to the forum.

Ok rear shocks. not sure what to suggest TBH, there isn't many models this side of the pond that go straight on. we don't get the models usually fitted by our North American cousins, (ninja 300 ect) the old GPZ 305 does fit but are rare to find. now of course the SV650 does if you re drill the top hole to 12mm. some of the 600 and 750 rear shocks do fit if you space out the dog bones to clear the wider spring. I used to have a list once upon a time but lost it years ago.
I'll have butchers at the specs and see if I can come up with something useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited by Moderator)
hi Clive, how are you doing bud, still enjoying those highlands roads. (bet you are). welcome to the forum.

Ok rear shocks. not sure what to suggest TBH, there isn't many models this side of the pond that go straight on. we don't get the models usually fitted by our North American cousins, (ninja 300 ect) the old GPZ 305 does fit but are rare to find. now of course the SV650 does if you re drill the top hole to 12mm. some of the 600 and 750 rear shocks do fit if you space out the dog bones to clear the wider spring. I used to have a list once upon a time but lost it years ago.
I'll have butchers at the specs and see if I can come up with something useful.
Hiya mate, yeah all good up here, except for that very disapointing MOT fail. Personally, I think the guy is being way to strict, he said there was 7 mm of free play left, God knows what the hell he was on about. The bike feels fine to me at erm..... well, you guess the speed! Anyway, the bike is sulking at the back of the garage, whilst I source a suitbale (budget) replacement. Been doing my research and yep, the Ninja EX300 suspension does fit, quite hard to find one in the UK though. However looking at FleaBay tonight found this, what do you think?

(UK) eBay item # 234665521113
 

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hi yes that would do nicely. looks in good condition to boot I would be on to that. BTW this site doesn't allow direct Fleabay links. item numbers are ok though. (expect the mods to delete the listing) unless you do it first. ;)

and yes they can be a PITA last year the tester did a fail on the gen 2 (first time ever) for leaking front forks. I was bloody annoyed as they had been renewed over the winter. after an argument with the manager, explaining the grease on the fork tubes was in fact ACF50 water barrier (not leaking fork oil). he put it down as retested and let it go. still annoyed though as it appears it failed.
 

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Welcome form the Land of Evil Spirits! Was he speaking of up/down free play in the linkage? If so, late model used rockers are not all that costly.

As to shocks, I am reasonably certain that they sold the 1999-2005 ZR-7S in the UK. Basically, it was a tarted up KZ750 from the 80s, but had Uni-Trak and some other decent bits. The shocks are the big spring/big piston type, with adjustable rebound and pre-load. Far better shock than any 250/300/400 or SV650. Bolts on straight away, but due to the inscrutable Japanese, the upper mount is 2mm narrower than the GPz shock. A shim washer or two solves that and I have such a shock on the rear of my '87. Works very well, has the correct spring rate for my 14 stones, but sadly it tends to reveal how poor the forks are. Time for a re-spring up front as well.

Here is a decent appearing example, but it's in Canada. 88 pounds delievered to the States. Would they ship it to the UK for that total cost? I guess an email would tell. eBay item 255582582148

Coil Coil spring Font Bicycle part Gas
 
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Personally, I think the guy is being way to strict, he said there was 7 mm of free play left, God knows what the hell he was on about
Was he speaking of up/down free play in the linkage?
personally, I would have asked him exactly what the issue was, it does sound on the face of it that he thought the spring was too weak and there was 7mm of suspension left before it bottomed out, in other words the bikes sitting too low.
would not surprise me on an old bike with an original shock. if it was the rocker (coupler) worn there would be some play felt in the bushes when the bikes on the centre stand and you tried to lift the rear wheel.
a phone call to the tester to clear up the issue could be helpful.
 

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The rear sag is adjustable via the thfreaded spring seat on the shock. Requires only a hammer and punch. Or you may have encountered a picker of nits.
 

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Hagon makes some nice stuff for sure. Way, way back in early-mid 90s, before the internet I found myself in need of a new rear shock.

Saw an ad in BIKE magazine for Hagon shocks and a number. Rang up and inquired about a shock for my old H1 ZX-7. Bloke who answered gave me directions to a village near Silverstone and away I went. That old ZX was my only transport.

At that time, the only other shock advertised in any of the magazines was a twin clicker from Fox. That would have to come from the states and would have been over $500. Hagon quoted me £190 plus VAT.

£300 is 1/3 more than I paid in 1994 but 28 years on, I guess that’s actually a relatively reasonable price. On the exchange from 1994, that would be roughly $450 US. Nitron and Öhlins would set you back around $8-900 US today.

I detract from the OP’s issue, which is the MOT failure though. £300 investment in a rear shock is possibly a few quid too far. My only offer of any perceived value (in my perception anyway) is a pre-owned 2 stroke shock might be a direct bolt on and offer a higher quality ride versus the lower end 4 stroke units mentioned so far.
 

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hi, @Apriliarider you raise some good points. however, as you say it's a matter of degrees. how far do you go on an old bike that is perceived as almost worthless by definition. fitting a new decent rear shock just shows up how weak the front is so a fork upgrade is needed to gain the best out of your new rear one then add a pair of decent tyres a new OEM battery and you have more value in the parts than the bike is worth.

@e10_muppet has the very latest GPZ (EX) model sold in the UK so perhaps now 18years old, a while ago the cost of a Hagon could well have been the best option at the time, nowadays I doubt even this model is worth it in terms of cost.
which is basically the question ask by the OP.
I know there are a number of replacement shocks around that would fit the bike both from 2 and 4 strokes but finding out which ones is the hard part, there was actually a full list published many years ago by a member of the old UK forum done from painstaking research, but I lost my copy and have been unable to find any reference to it anywhere.
 

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Hi Clive, where in Scotland are you? I'm near Falkirk. I have just removed my original shock, which is in good condition and only done 3K miles, yours for £40 (+postage if required). If you are looking for an upgrade I would second the ZR7S option - however they are all old now as well and tough to find in the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Clive, where in Scotland are you? I'm near Falkirk. I have just removed my original shock, which is in good condition and only done 3K miles, yours for £40 (+postage if required). If you are looking for an upgrade I would second the ZR7S option - however they are all old now as well and tough to find in the UK.
Hi - Inverness here. Thanks for the offer, I would be interested to know more. Could you post up a couple of piccies for me? Happy to pay the asking price + P+P. A lot of the comments above are correct BUT as some guys point out, it simply isn't worth paying £££'s for a daily hack that is now 25 years old. However, she's such a reliable old thing with plenty of mileage left in the old girl yet, hence my shout out. Here's hoping you can help out thanks. I'll check back tomorrow evening. Cheers.
Clive.
 

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Hi - Inverness here. Thanks for the offer, I would be interested to know more. Could you post up a couple of piccies for me? Happy to pay the asking price + P+P. A lot of the comments above are correct BUT as some guys point out, it simply isn't worth paying £££'s for a daily hack that is now 25 years old. However, she's such a reliable old thing with plenty of mileage left in the old girl yet, hence my shout out. Here's hoping you can help out thanks. I'll check back tomorrow evening. Cheers.
Clive.
Hi Clive, I have sent you a private msg with photos
 

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however, as you say it's a matter of degrees. how far do you go on an old bike that is perceived as almost worthless by definition. fitting a new decent rear shock just shows up how weak the front is so a fork upgrade is needed to gain the best out of your new rear one then add a pair of decent tyres a new OEM battery and you have more value in the parts than the bike is worth.
Exactly that, both fork seals went about a month later. I probably should have qualified my original comment though that I had all this work done (+new exhaust) right before we went into lockdown, so what used to be a daily commuter doesn't really generate the same benefits any more, and it takes longer for the bike to pay its way in life.
 
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