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August 15th, 2015, 07:38 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Joined: Aug 2015
From: Australia

Posts: 8
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I Ride: FE550 e 2004
Bought unsighted!

Hi from Australia.
I am not really qualified to post the blog yet as even though I have now bought a FE550 e 2004 I have not even seen it in the flesh! It is not the first time I have bought a bike unseen on the internet. I am coming up to a significant birthday and have managed to negotiate financial approval to upgrade my dirt bike.
I have a history with Yamahas, and was trawling around for a WR, but, found the Husa on Gumtree for a price that could not be ignored and it was located less than 10 minutes from where I live in Melbourne. I spent some time on google and quickly realised that the FE550 was a great bike. Now the reason why I did not see the bike before purchase is that I work in the automotive engineering industry and as anyone in AU knows our current government does not see any value in having a manufacturing capability to support jobs or growth, and recently I have been traveling to China and Thailand supporting their future! I am in Thailand and thus not able to inspect.
The guy selling had very good reasons why he wanted it gone quickly and sounded to be genuine, so the deposit was paid by my darling wife! He is even going to drop it off for me, which is a risk but as I said the price is very good and I am assuming it needs a rebuild to some extent. The declared problems are:
1. Hard to start when cold with electric or kick start.
2. Speedo does not function.
I grew up in Gippsland on a farm, with properties in the foothills of the divide and up in the dividing mountain range. My bikes have been much smaller and less capable in the past.
1. Suzuki TC120 – 1969 3speed gearbox with hi/lo ratio!!!!! Still have in shed
2. Honda XL185 – 1970s still have in shed
3. IT200L – great bike but brakes NOK, in shed next rebuild project.
4. DT200 – good bike with brakes –sold
5. TT350 – good bike –sold
6. Chang Jian CJ750 – refer photo, great looking but Chinese reliability-sold
7. XS750 – café racer resto project, full engine rebuild & rechrome – current road ride.
8. TT250 – current paddock/trail bike, ebay special!!!!
Can’t wait to get home this Friday to see what I have bought! Need to also acknowledge my very tolerant wife who has organised the payments and drop off.
One question, please refer to the photo. Is the bike a “Force” version or has it just had a sticker and seat kit? How do I determine and was there any physical difference with the “Force” model?
Attached Thumbnails
Bought unsighted!-suzuki-tc120-1969.jpg   Bought unsighted!-honda-xl185s-79.jpg   Bought unsighted!-yamahait200l-84.jpg   Bought unsighted!-cj750.jpg   Bought unsighted!-xs750-1977.jpg  

Bought unsighted!-tt250.jpg   Bought unsighted!-fe550-e-04-profile.jpg  
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August 15th, 2015, 08:01 PM   #2
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Joined: Jun 2013
From: San Francisco CA. USA

Posts: 1,029
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I Ride: 8 Berg’s 2005-2011 2 Husky’s 1986&7 2009 Buell & 2006 Ducati
Welcome hope it doesn't need much.
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August 15th, 2015, 08:42 PM   #3
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Joined: Aug 2015
From: Australia

Posts: 8
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I Ride: FE550 e 2004
Compression test.

One bit of data I have not found is what PSI value should I get with a compression test, hot or cold?
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August 16th, 2015, 03:27 AM   #4
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Joined: Dec 2011
From: Sydney, Australia

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It has auto decompression?
Xx
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August 16th, 2015, 03:49 AM   #5
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Joined: Aug 2015
From: Australia

Posts: 8
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I Ride: FE550 e 2004
Doh!

Thanks Jimmy - relised my mistake with a bit more reading on the forum this afternoon!
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August 16th, 2015, 08:59 AM   #6
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Joined: Nov 2012
From: Iceland

Posts: 2,384
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I Ride: 1 Berg, 1 Zook
Congrats and enjoy! 550s are magic!

There were at least some suspension difference with the Force models I beleive?. For some years there was a separate Force Edition parts catalog.

A leakdown test is probably more revealing!
(A comparative compression test would probably be good to log through the life of the bike?)

I'd consider actually just having a look down into the cylinder. By bore-scoping or head-pulling.?
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August 17th, 2015, 06:40 AM   #7
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Joined: Aug 2015
From: Australia

Posts: 8
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I Ride: FE550 e 2004
Thanks

Hi Tourist

Never done a leak test, always done compression, but after reading up on the leak test it makes perfect sense. Appears far more diagnostic, in that it is possible to identify the source or sources of trouble. Lets hope I have not bought a sieve! Heres hoping for 10% to 15% loss but expecting closer to 30%.

I found the 2004 Force parts list and it did appear that they had upspec forks and triple tree. Going from the photo of the one I have bought it does not have the billet triple tree so I guess it is a want t be!!! oh well!
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August 21st, 2015, 11:47 PM   #8
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Joined: Aug 2015
From: Australia

Posts: 8
Thanks: 1

I Ride: FE550 e 2004
Update



Arrived back in Melbourne late last night. Had a quick look and it was a pleasant surprise. I did notice the fuel was left on as well as the choke, so turned fuel off and left it for the night.

First thing, put it on charge and put a new battery in the speedo.

up popped 96hrs
3690km

So I waited for the battery to fully charge (not necessary) third kick and she is purring - not what I would call "hard to start".

To say I am estatic and releived is an understatement.
I have spent the afternoon changing all the fluids and checking it over and there have been no rude surprises. I would have to say though I am not a fan of the kick starter being on the same side as the side stand. And second point, impact drivers are great for disassembly but I hate it when they have been used to assemble. Had a really hard time getting the primary filter undone. In the end I had to use the socket while hitting the end of the ratchet with a hammer to get it loose. All done now, but not ridden yet, that will have to wait until I can get out of the city.
Thanks from tourist
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August 22nd, 2015, 05:29 AM   #9
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Joined: Nov 2012
From: Iceland

Posts: 2,384
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I Ride: 1 Berg, 1 Zook
Yesssssss!!!!
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August 23rd, 2015, 01:17 AM   #10
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Joined: Aug 2015
From: Australia

Posts: 8
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I Ride: FE550 e 2004
Speedo

One question, does the speedo still log hrs and Kms if the internal battery is flat and display is not functioning?
No real doubts on the condition of the bike, just curious.
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