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Hi folks,

Need some guidance. I know there were some changes during the 22 years of production of the Kawi 500s, from rear brakes, body panels, headlight, etc. But are the frames the same through all the years? If I wanted to take everything off of an 09 and put it on a an 87 frame, would there be any issues? Believe me, I have a reason to ask. I may be getting into a project where I would do this. If anyone could enlighten me it would be appreciated.
 

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the basic frame is exactly the same. of course you would have to use everything that fit onto it but that's no issue if you have all the parts. quite a few have done this the other way round and rebuilt a gen 1 onto a gen 2 frame because of damage or rust.

as an addon you would probably need the title if the gen1 the vin number is on the frame not the bike as a whole. in other words the bike IS the frame. so you would have an 87 bike with 09 parts. not a 09 bike with 87 frame see the difference.
 

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Yorkie is correct, everything will bolt right up and will be fine as long as you have the title for the '87 or can acquire a title. Don't forget that the engine number follows the title too. You'll either have to use the original engine number for the '87 on the title when registering or be prepared to provide documentation for the '09 engine and a CHP inspection, or at least that is how I understand California law for "officially" swapping engines on a motorcycle.

If you need any oddball parts for the project, need a hand or just want an experienced eye to look things over, drop me a line, I ride out to your neck of the woods on a regular basis.
 

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I have a 1st gen on a 2nd gen frame. To keep it "original" I stuck with 1st gen forks and 16inch wheels. Swaping the triple's and swing arm were all that was needed. If your going for 17 inch wheels and forks you would have to swap out the triples and swingarm to suit. Front fairing frame will need swaping for the 2nd gen frame but everything else will be the same and just bolt straight on.
 

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I have a 1st gen on a 2nd gen frame. To keep it "original" I stuck with 1st gen forks and 16inch wheels. Swaping the triple's and swing arm were all that was needed. If your going for 17 inch wheels and forks you would have to swap out the triples and swingarm to suit. Front fairing frame will need swaping for the 2nd gen frame but everything else will be the same and just bolt straight on.
hi John long time no see. yes you have and a dam good job you made of it too. but I think you mis read the starter thread the OP has a complete 09 (I assume is bent or something) and wants to fit it onto a gen 1 frame. so he will have all the gen 2 parts. inc 37mm forks. wheels. swingarm ect he just wants to rebuild the 09 onto the 87 frame. as long has he has the title for the frame he's good to go.
 

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in most cases that would be true but the EX/GPZ 500 is an odd ball two generations of the same bike. while being similar they are almost a different bike. it is easier to list the parts that will interchange than those that won't. the irony being if you go far enough everything fits.
 

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the basic frame is exactly the same. of course you would have to use everything that fit onto it but that's no issue if you have all the parts. quite a few have done this the other way round and rebuilt a gen 1 onto a gen 2 frame because of damage or rust.

as an addon you would probably need the title if the gen1 the vin number is on the frame not the bike as a whole. in other words the bike IS the frame. so you would have an 87 bike with 09 parts. not a 09 bike with 87 frame see the difference.
Yes they are exactly the same. But you will have to change EVERYTHING to make the change you are talking about including the PITA steering head bearings. (lots of fun!)
 

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Yes they are exactly the same. But you will have to change EVERYTHING to make the change you are talking about including the PITA steering head bearings. (lots of fun!)
The triples are different but the bearings and races are the same. Long as the races in the older frame aren't badly pitted or indexed, they can be left in and reused. If they are damaged, you'll have to hammer them out which honestly isn't that hard. A hammer and long punch will do. Do be careful when removing the triples, the bearings are loose and will scatter to the 4 winds if you're not prepared to catch them. Grease is your friend when reassembling, the more the merrier and it'll keep the bearings from falling out before the triples are in place.

An additional note on steering head bearings. Everyone loves to talk about how amazing tapered roller bearings are and that you should upgrade. I did such an upgrade years ago on my daily and honestly, it's not worth it. The races for the tapered rollers can't be pressed out of the frame or the lower triple for easy replacement down the road while the original ball types can be. Just keep the original bearings, clean them up and reinstall.
 

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ha the taper bearing fiasco I do agree but did you know that a new taper bearing set (such as all balls) use a different inner race size to the top one. it's not much and cannot be seen but it is. the steering stem has a slight shoulder on the btm race if you put the races the wrong way round it very hard to remove once fitted. the old oven and freezer works well. just saying if you fit a new set and don't know you have a 50% chance they will be wrong.
 
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