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-   -   V649HP-Kawasaki's new gravel runner (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=644390)

jdrocks 12-13-2010 07:07 PM

V649HP-Kawasaki's new gravel runner
 
can't buy one. ya have to build it.

so with all these Kawasaki Ptwin powered bikes popping up all over, i figured i'd throw my hat in the ring once again...with a twist. this bike is going to be a gravel runner, not a dirt bike, and follow along the lines of my previous bike builds on this platform. proven performers over 25,000 miles and 6,000 miles of gravel roads. there might be a little fabrication work needed, as well as a little machining required. the emphasis will be on building an inexpensive bike that's still a good performer and easy to build. sort of an everyman's bike...fun, fast, and cheap. ya know, for those of us that are cheap SOBs, either through necessity or choice.

let's see how much bike can be built for 10% of the cost of a new Tenere. ambitious i know, but the budget for this build is going to be a grand total of $1200 initial cost. $1200 for a new rock and rollin' gravel runner, ready to ride.

when i got back from the maritimes in september, i knew i was going to build a new bike over the winter, and the long search for a suitable project bike began. months went by, but i finally found this one cheap. near new, scraped up plastic, and the price was ridiculous.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...43_weXSF-M.jpg

all i wanted from this bike was the engine and related items, the rest is being parted out. some parts already sold, and by the time it's gone i hope to have more than doubled up on the purchase price. now i have a new sport bike engine and everything required to make it run properly, plus some cash to get going on the rest of the bike.

gotta have a frame, let's sell the ninja frame and try a versys frame instead.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...62_y8hfV-M.jpg

engine should bolt right in...think i'll hold onto the ninja frame while i try it out.

off to a good start. engine, frame, and the budget looks manageable at this point.

(stay tuned)

johnwesley 12-13-2010 07:13 PM

love your builds :ear

jdrocks 12-13-2010 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnwesley (Post 14694931)
love your builds :ear


thanks. newfies snowed in yet? it's looking like another old time winter in the states.

SamM 12-13-2010 08:18 PM

jdrocks,
Are you going to try to minimize the Versys frame? There seems to be numerous metal tabs and brackets that could be removed. What about going with a conventional swingarm and shock from another bike? Will it have spoked wheels?

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with! :thumb

You guys have me thinking about doing one of these.

SamM

jdrocks 12-13-2010 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamM (Post 14695437)
jdrocks,
Are you going to try to minimize the Versys frame? There seems to be numerous metal tabs and brackets that could be removed. What about going with a conventional swingarm and shock from another bike? Will it have spoked wheels?


yeah, frame gets shaved, then repainted. don't need or want spoke wheels. i run tubeless, and building a set of wheels for the size tires i run is a budget buster for this bike.

i have both swing arms, not sure which one i'll use. i'm not going to build a custom swingarm. undecided on shock.

you should have considered the 649HP for your KLR.

johnwesley 12-13-2010 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14695076)
thanks. newfies snowed in yet? it's looking like another old time winter in the states.


Sorry about my confusing location NF is National Forest. Your not the first to say that. I should change it.


What do you do with the old builds? this is your third, right?

SilentRay 12-13-2010 08:47 PM

Yet another 650r converted to d/s thread
 
:lurk

Lurkin again. You guys are killin me with the ninja conversions. Wish i had the fab skills.

Really enjoyed ridding the ex's 650r on pavement. But once on even just gravel, that lay down shock really sucked.

As much as i like the SV 650 v twin, the parellel twin is smoother. Great all around engine.

jdrocks 12-13-2010 09:00 PM

one of the reasons you can find these bikes cheap is that they get wrecked regularly, many times after just a few miles on the road. this bike still has the nubs on the tires.

when i know a kid has had his hands on something automotive related, i'm naturally suspicious. sorry, that's just the way it is based on my experience. 999 out of a 1000 just can't turn a wrench these days. video games yes, wrench no.

this is the second bike in a row with a botched generator cover repair. in both cases, the kid tried initially to patch it up with JB Weld. predictably, it didn't work.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...79_eKjWx-M.jpg

when that didn't work, the cover was removed. why a replacement cover wasn't purchased is anyone's guess, just don't know. the damaged cover was reinstalled and the bolts snugged up, no gasket, no RTV...except this is the way it was left inside the now attached cover.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...22_FQqmU-M.jpg

the stator coil was left loose and not bolted to the back of the generator cover, while the leads were not secured behind the clamp. the leads were actually pinched on the mating surface and need a little repair.

i wasn't sure how much oil was in the engine, and looking at that cover, i wasn't tempted to hit the starter button. close call for sure.

jdrocks 12-13-2010 09:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnwesley (Post 14695649)
Sorry about my confusing location NF is National Forest. Your not the first to say that. I should change it.


What do you do with the old builds? this is your third, right?

not a newfy? darn, i was about to ask if it would be ok to change tires in your garage the next time i'm up there.

old bikes are history.

jdrocks 12-13-2010 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilentRay (Post 14695653)
:lurk

Lurkin again. You guys are killin me with the ninja conversions. Wish i had the fab skills.

ya don't need super fab skills on these gravel runners. these are more of a bolt together build. what you do need is the ability and patience to find cheap parts.

the custom parts can be fabricated with inexpensive tools, then have a buddy weld things up if you don't own a welder.

machine work is just jobbed out. nothing expensive.

jdrocks 12-14-2010 04:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilentRay (Post 14695653)

As much as i like the SV 650 v twin...

do you happen to have a second generation SV650, 2003 and up? need a favor.


or anyone else that that has this model bike. PM me please.

SilentRay 12-14-2010 05:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14697193)
do you happen to have a second generation SV650, 2003 and up? need a favor.


or anyone else that that has this model bike. PM me please.

No, sorry. Son in law had one a couple of years ago and sold it for a Busa.

A_Vasiliev 12-14-2010 05:11 AM

That is one hella fugly fairing on the first pic.

I will be watching the thread, though.

jdrocks 12-14-2010 05:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A_Vasiliev (Post 14697237)
That is one hella fugly fairing on the first pic.

I will be watching the thread, though.

the "fairing" you mention is the stock 650R headlight assembly/windscreen attached to the tab on the frame stem. that's the parts bike, not the build.

jdrocks 12-14-2010 05:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilentRay (Post 14697234)
No, sorry. Son in law had one a couple of years ago and sold it for a Busa.

no problem.

anyone else?

jsquared 12-14-2010 05:26 AM

Subscribed
 
Should be interesting to say the least.:lurk

J

sanjoh 12-14-2010 05:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14695736)
when i know a kid has had his hands on something automotive related, i'm naturally suspicious. sorry, that's just the way it is based on my experience. 999 out of a 1000 just can't turn a wrench these days. video games yes, wrench no.

Or add,

I drained almost 7 quarts of oil out of the last one I bought, surprised it didn't blow a seal.

jdrocks 12-14-2010 06:18 AM

i talked to the owner at a bike dealership about this subject a few weeks ago. his comment-

"you would never believe what comes into our service department."

johnwesley 12-14-2010 06:18 AM

you mean your not suspose to check the oil with the engine running :huh

vernon dent 12-14-2010 07:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14697487)
i talked to the owner at a bike dealership about this subject a few weeks ago. his comment-

"you would never believe what comes into our service department."

from years of personal experience and horror stories from others my rebuttal to the dealership owner is:
"you would not believe what comes out of their service department"

markbvt 12-14-2010 08:14 AM

This ought to be a cool build to watch.

:lurk

--mark

SamM 12-14-2010 10:45 AM

Quote:

yeah, frame gets shaved, then repainted. don't need or want spoke wheels. i run tubeless, and building a set of wheels for the size tires i run is a budget buster for this bike.

i have both swing arms, not sure which one i'll use. i'm not going to build a custom swingarm. undecided on shock.

you should have considered the 649HP for your KLR.
jdrocks,
I'd be tempted to cut the entire subframe of the Versys frame and use a durtbike subframe.

The 649HP must be the Ninja (cop motor) huh? :wink: I've been lurking on the Ninja and Versys forums and looking at the various engine upgrades. The Ninja guys are using the Versys cams to get more power from the Ninja engines. Can't remember if it's the intake or exhaust cams they prefer but apparently that's the hot ticket. Custom grinds will be available soon. Part of the plan for my bike is off-road use. I like my power in the midrange as opposed to the topend. I don't ride much up there anymore! The mid-range is more important to me. I have a few tricks that I would like to tryout, to lighten the bike more. Cutting more from the frame and subframe and I believe there are a few other things that can be removed. Getting it down to a 300 to 320lb wet weight, empty tank (thanks Lukas) :thumb with the '08 Versys engine is my goal. The Versys engine weighs 6lbs more than the KLR engine. It's unlikely that I'll be able to get it down that far but it's nice to set goals.

Again, looking forward to your build!

SamM

ktmklx 12-14-2010 11:18 AM

With that V in the title I thought you might be building a Vulcan! LOL. :roflI'll be watching, should be good.

jdrocks 12-14-2010 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by axis power (Post 14697904)
from years of personal experience and horror stories from others my rebuttal to the dealership owner is:
"you would not believe what comes out of their service department"


wouldn't know about that. i fix my own junk.

jdrocks 12-14-2010 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markbvt (Post 14698150)
This ought to be a cool build to watch.

:lurk

--mark

hey mark, might be a cool build but i don't think it will outrun your new Tiger.

markbvt 12-14-2010 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14700361)
hey mark, might be a cool build but i don't think it will outrun your new Tiger.

Maybe not, but you're going to have a lot more fun building it this winter than I will wondering if my new Tiger is going to make it across the pond in time for my big trip in May.

--mark

jdrocks 12-14-2010 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamM (Post 14699188)
jdrocks,
I'd be tempted to cut the entire subframe of the Versys frame and use a durtbike subframe.

The 649HP must be the Ninja (cop motor) huh? :wink: I've been lurking on the Ninja and Versys forums and looking at the various engine upgrades. The Ninja guys are using the Versys cams to get more power from the Ninja engines. Can't remember if it's the intake or exhaust cams they prefer but apparently that's the hot ticket. Custom grinds will be available soon. Part of the plan for my bike is off-road use. I like my power in the midrange as opposed to the topend. I don't ride much up there anymore! The mid-range is more important to me. I have a few tricks that I would like to tryout, to lighten the bike more. Cutting more from the frame and subframe and I believe there are a few other things that can be removed. Getting it down to a 300 to 320lb wet weight, empty tank (thanks Lukas) :thumb with the '08 Versys engine is my goal. The Versys engine weighs 6lbs more than the KLR engine. It's unlikely that I'll be able to get it down that far but it's nice to set goals.

Again, looking forward to your build!

SamM


don't need a dirtbike subframe, it's a gravel runner and that frame will work just fine. the ninja and versys subframes are slightly different, and i wanted the versys for this build.

the 649HP is what i call the cop motor. it doesn't need anything for this build although it can be run up to 80hp pretty easy. the bike with this engine already has a "go directly to jail" cruise speed and is white knuckle fast on the gravel. the 649HP makes more HP and torque than the versys engine and the curves are about perfect for a combination of gravel and street with stock gearing. impressive throttle response, and depending on your riding style, this alone can save your ass as it did on the Trans Taiga.

I was riding comfortably at 50 and downshifted to 5<sup>th</sup> for a little compression braking as I rapidly approached a sweeping left hand curve. There was moderate banking here with deep gravel thrown up the banking and covering the whole west bound lane. I dropped down and picked a line on the upper track in the east bound side, ran over a patch of marbles, drifted a little lower, and rode right into a deep sand hole saturated by the recent rain.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
The front wheel dropped into the hole and the bars were nearly ripped from my hands. I was on the gas instantly, the front end lifted, the rear end came around left, and I roared up out of that sand like I was attached to a bungee cord. Now Iím crossed up right, shooting up the banking at a shallow angle, and in real trouble. My entire world was inside a little circle centered on the bike where the action was going by in high def clarity. Everything outside that circle was a complete blur. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
Off the gas a fraction of a second, the bike straightened up, but Iím in the marbles on top of the banking and about to run off the road. Stab the shifter into 4<sup>th</sup> without the clutch, lean left, and now the rear is coming around right in a spray of loose gravel. I canít believe Iím up. Still at 40 going down the banking at an angle, now Iím going to run off into the trees at the inside of the curve, not in control yet. I muscled the bike back around right, stabbed the shifter again, and on the gas in 3<sup>rd</sup> when I find another sand hole down low. The bike snapped upright and instead of another lowside, I almost highside. I wanted to be going right and ended up coming around left, still on the gas, that engine was howling. I was moving too fast to catch the upper east bound track, but landed in the hard lower track, upright, straight, and coasting. My heart had stopped beating. I had forgotten how to breathe. My throat felt like sandpaper, I know I was yelling something on that roller coaster, donít ask me exactly what. It was all over in some very long seconds.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
I never stopped. If I hadnít been dazed, I might have. At a quarter mile I was fidgeting around in the seat trying to get comfortable again, and at the half mile mark I was back in 6<sup>th</sup> and rolliní west at 50. There was nothing else to do. I had been riding at a deliberate pace, not slow, but not nutso fast either. I couldnít think of anything to change. Being in 5<sup>th</sup> sure helped me power out of that first hole, and not for the first time, but 4<sup>th</sup> gear was the one that saved my ass. From that curve forward, I thought of 4<sup>th</sup> as my ďget me the fuck outta hereĒ gear, and would need it again on the gravel ahead.<o:p>

</o:p>
<o:p>i don't see a need to lighten the frame, there's hardly anything there to start with and the bike can be subjected to a real beating on the gravel. the engine will stay in it's ultra reliable stock configuration. i don't need more HP, but i don't want less either.
</o:p>

jdrocks 12-14-2010 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ktmklx (Post 14699451)
With that V in the title I thought you might be building a Vulcan! LOL. :roflI'll be watching, should be good.

a friend suggested i call it a VGS, but that kinda sounded like an STD.

jdrocks 12-14-2010 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markbvt (Post 14700731)
Maybe not, but you're going to have a lot more fun building it this winter than I will wondering if my new Tiger is going to make it across the pond in time for my big trip in May.

--mark

hadn't thought about that delivery time frame. contingency plan?

markbvt 12-14-2010 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14700951)
hadn't thought about that delivery time frame. contingency plan?

V-Strom. I really hope the Tiger arrives in time, though, as we'll have a few long semi-slab days on this trip for which the Tiger's extra 30hp would come in handy.

--mark

SamM 12-14-2010 07:14 PM

Quote:

i don't need a dirtbike subframe, it's a gravel runner and that frame will work just fine. the ninja and versys subframes are slightly different, and i wanted the versys for this build.

the 649HP is what i call the cop motor. it doesn't need anything for this build although it can be run up to 80hp pretty easy. the bike with this engine already has a "go directly to jail" cruise speed and is white knuckle fast on the gravel. the 649HP makes more HP and torque than the versys engine and the curves are about perfect for a combination of gravel and street with stock gearing. impressive throttle response, and depending on your riding style, this alone can save your ass as it did on the Trans Taiga.

i don't see a need to lighten the frame, there's hardly anything there to start with and the bike can be subjected to a real beating on the gravel. the engine will stay in it's ultra reliable stock configuration. i don't need more HP, but i don't want less either.


I don't need Ninja power in my KLR. It already does pretty good with 33hp. My reasoning for the KLE engine swap is touring and fuel economy. It won't change my riding style. Getting the weight down is very important though. I like light bikes.

I guess it all depends on where you live and ride. We have to many curves and switchbacks to ride fast on gravelroads here. Come around a curve at 50 and you'll be a permanent hood ornament on some good ole boy's F-150. Most of our gravelroads are really dirtroads, as nobody has put gravel on them in years. Too many cars, trucks and atvs.

Same with streetriding. Too many curves, cows and deer for 9/10ths riding. Besides, I'm getting too old for that. I've survived 40+ years of riding by been conservative. Not going to stop now. You young guys can do all the racing on your Ninjas. :D

Good luck with the build.

SamM

badguy 12-14-2010 07:43 PM

This should be interesting :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14697193)
do you happen to have a second generation SV650, 2003 and up? need a favor.


or anyone else that that has this model bike. PM me please.

I have a few buddies with 2nd gen SV650s...what do you need to know?

jdrocks 12-15-2010 04:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamM (Post 14703168)
[/COLOR]
You young guys can do all the racing on your Ninjas. :D

my preference for the 649HP is nothing about a specific speed on a specific road, it's about having something big happen, like right freakin' now, when you crack those throttle bodies open. horsepower is like a $100 bill in your pocket...ya don't have to spend it, but when the chips are down and ya might need it, man, it's in there.

damn, i get the senior citizen discount everywhere and now i find out i'm young. must be those big horsepower pills i wash down with all that bourbon.

ninjas? those were the old ones...got the V with a cop motor now.

jdrocks 12-15-2010 04:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by badguy (Post 14703406)
This should be interesting :D

I have a few buddies with 2nd gen SV650s...what do you need to know?

thanks. PM on the way.

jdrocks 12-16-2010 01:23 PM

been collecting a few parts for this build and still need a few things. sometimes it takes a little while to complete the inventory if you're going to stick with the budget, ya can't just go out and buy the first thing you see. it needs to be cheap. sometimes a budget build is as much about shopping as it is about building.

got enough to get started anyway.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...75_RbRTz-M.jpg

devo2002 12-16-2010 01:44 PM

I was going to comment on your last monstrosity lastnight but now I find you are doing it all over again?? Bravo!!! :clap

You've inspired me to try and make my girls Ninja 250 some kind of DS, it's quite fugly but can only get better!

http://images.psndealer.com/dealersi...P1550759_2.jpg

A_Vasiliev 12-16-2010 01:46 PM

IDK about "dual sport", but you can take off the fairing, put some more comfortable bars on it, some slightly more dirt-friendly tires, and you should be good to go.

devo2002 12-16-2010 01:55 PM

Yeah, I guess by DS I mean the hour I would have to ride to get to a trail :lol3

And JD, I forgot to ask, I looked through your threads and couldn't find a pic of a skid plate, did you ever get that sorted out?

markbvt 12-16-2010 01:56 PM

Huh. I wonder how hard it would be to shoehorn the EX250 motor into, say, a KLX250 frame...

--mark

BikePilot 12-16-2010 02:09 PM

Before you go to all that trouble weight it, you might find that its power/weight isn't so hot. In any event, an XR650R is almost certainly lighter, better handling and more tractable than an EX250S powered KLX250 would be.

devo2002 12-16-2010 02:15 PM

The Ninja dry weight is 302lbs. After picking it up once or twice it is like a feather compared to the Strom.

Considering I mangled my foot due to inexperience offroad the XR650 is just too much for me. A DS of some kind in the 650 range is my goal, but I ain't there yet:D

jdrocks 12-16-2010 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by devo2002 (Post 14716204)
I was going to comment on your last monstrosity...

yeah, if you like monstrosities, you came to the right place.

funny you mention the 250. i came very close to buying a near new ninja 250 parts bike. that little 250 FI twin is a neat engine...then i thought about all the junk scattered all over the shop and restrained myself. the engine is very compact, should fit in something.

i met a guy riding coast-to-coast in canada on his new 250, all loaded down with gear. said he loved it.

jdrocks 12-16-2010 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by devo2002 (Post 14716277)
And JD, I forgot to ask, I looked through your threads and couldn't find a pic of a skid plate, did you ever get that sorted out?

here ya go...

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/975678389_6QgjB-M.jpg

same gravel guard i had on the bike that went up the dalton, but i changed the mounts for the 2010 trip. works well, and comes back from the trips with a bunch of dings and missing paint, so it's protecting the engine as designed. although it's very sturdy, i still don't call it a skid plate. i might change it again for this build.

jdrocks 12-16-2010 06:58 PM

the frame paint should show up friday, so it's time to prep the frame. clip off any brackets not needed, and generally clean it all up. anyone who thinks you can get a lighter bike by lopping off pieces of this frame, think again. sure, a few brackets, but ounces, not pounds. the rest of the frame is structural.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...61_9W3UU-M.jpg

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...06_WpH6J-M.jpg

a couple interesting things as i was looking the frame over. at the frame stem was a big glob of weld that did not contact the rest of the assembly. looked like the robot was not quite programmed correctly. WTF?

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...53_kDobs-M.jpg

so i looked at the ninja frame and it was fabbed the same way. that joint was not welded on either frame. hmmm, might clean it up and run a bead across there.

secondly, the ninja and versys subframes are not the same as previously mentioned, mainly to allow a different riding position on the versys. the ninja frame has a crossbrace tube on the main subframe support that the supposedly rough and tumble versys doesn't have, kinda peculiar. i couldn't get a good photo of it, but will later. the construction of the versys subframe makes me wonder whether the tubular passenger peg mounts are more than just decoration.

SamM 12-16-2010 07:26 PM

Yep, they said the same thing about my KLR frame. :wink:

SamM

jdrocks 12-16-2010 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamM (Post 14718718)
Yep, they said the same thing about my KLR frame. :wink:

SamM

and that would be...what? hope nobody dissed your KLR frame, not that i know beans about them.

johnwesley 12-16-2010 07:52 PM

Well come on bolt something on already. :lol3
with the v sub will the seat heigth change ?

sanjoh 12-16-2010 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14718503)
sure, a few brackets, but ounces, add up to pounds

fix'd

Are you gonna use a bunch of steel on this one?:D

Rode the dirt ninja today after having been off of it for 3 weeks. I've forgotten how light it is and oh my the wheelies:huh.

jdrocks 12-16-2010 08:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnwesley (Post 14718938)
Well come on bolt something on already. :lol3
with the v sub will the seat heigth change ?

gotta paint the frame, and some parts first. my paint got delayed in all the santa traffic.

it will be a tall mofo. if i fall over it will be about the same as getting bucked off a twenty hand horse.

might see ya in the yukon, you can check it out.

johnwesley 12-16-2010 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14719027)
might see ya in the yukon, you can check it out.

Awesome :clap

not sure what I am taking yet a kawi green tiger or a beat in 08 KLR either way I'll recognize your beast. You'll have to slow down to let me catch up though :evil

jdrocks 12-16-2010 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sanjoh (Post 14718953)
fix'd

Are you gonna use a bunch of steel on this one?:D

there's just nothing much to cut on that frame, sorry. it needs to carry some serious weight way out there, can't have it break in half.

i like steel for any fabbed parts. if you need a repair, you can find someone to weld steel just about anywhere, not so with aluminum.

send me some of those fancy lights, i'll do a product review.

SamM 12-16-2010 08:24 PM

Quote:

and that would be...what? hope nobody dissed your KLR frame, not that i know beans about them.
That I couldn't cut any weight off it.

Honestly jd, I'm on your side with this. I like what you are doing. Here you go!

SamM

http://klrworld.com/forums/index.php...ch=17145;image

jdrocks 12-16-2010 08:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamM (Post 14719182)
That I couldn't cut any weight off it.

http://klrworld.com/forums/index.php...ch=17145;image

i know that weight can be taken off a stock ninja, versys, or klr.

we're talking about a bare versys frame here. a few ounces of light gauge bracket steel, nothing more. if you think more of this frame can be removed, please point it out.

60# frame, 130# engine...this build is not going to be a light bike. it will be a good gravel runner though...and cheap.

SamM 12-17-2010 10:48 AM

It's really hard to see what, is exactly what just looking at the bare frame. Without knowing where everything goes, I would just be guessing. I sent my Versys manual to my builder. I need to get another one. The Versys frame looks like it has a couple of cast sections to it. One at the steering head and another at the back of the subframe. There's no way to remove those. That subframe just looks way overbuilt to me. I know that your not interested in doing this but I would cut off the lower tubes and add my own. Probably won't drop much. Easy to say for a guy letting someone else built his bike. When my bike sees the light of day, people will understand why I went to a professional. :wink:

When I dropped the 60+ lbs from my original KLR build, what I did was remove the fairing, tank shrouds and sidepanel bodywork tabs and mounts. The heavy frontend parts were all removed too. Getting rid of the stock bodywork removed more weight than just the tabs but there were a gazillion of them. It did add up!

Some of those parts (sidepanels) may go back onto the bike with the new KLE engine but weight won't matter much with this new version. I'd still like to keep it as light as possible.

SamM

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...62_y8hfV-M.jpg

jdrocks 12-17-2010 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamM (Post 14722071)
It's really hard to see what, is exactly what just looking at the bare frame.


http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...62_y8hfV-M.jpg

the versys frame is steel tube and stamped steel plate, no cast. the brackets for misc. oem plastic get shaved, but other than those there's nothing to cut. the remaining small brackets on the mainframe are the radiator mounts, battery box support, silencer hanger, gas tank mount, tube gussets, and so on. the steel plate on the subframe, besides structurally tying the side rails together, is the mount for several different assemblies and parts including the computer. the seat lock and seat supports are also back there.

when you think about it, for a steel frame that has been proven to survive under very rugged use, it's pretty minimal already. the engine assembly substitutes as the down tubes.

other than questioning some of the welds, i don't see anything to change.

jdrocks 12-17-2010 05:01 PM

put the frame up on the operating table, stripped all the grommets, harness clips, and miscellaneous parts. preliminary degrease, and then marked the brackets that get cut off. they didn't put much of a paint job on the frame at the factory. anything that was not in direct view looks like it never got a finish coat.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...88_G3gZt-M.jpg

most of the custom parts are done in steel, but these little gems were done in aluminum. if they work i own the design, but if they don't...heck, ain't never seen them things before. amazing what can be turned out for very little $.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...28_jTHgS-M.jpg

johnwesley 12-17-2010 05:57 PM

What are they?

jdrocks 12-17-2010 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnwesley (Post 14724852)
What are they?

bike build parts.

stay tuned.

A_Vasiliev 12-17-2010 06:09 PM

They look like adapter cups of some sort. Are they to mate the Ninja fork to the Versys frame?

jdrocks 12-17-2010 06:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A_Vasiliev (Post 14724938)
They look like adapter cups of some sort. Are they to mate the Ninja fork to the Versys frame?

the 650R and Versys share the same basic main frame, and therefore the same steering stem and bearings, making the front ends directly interchangeable. putting the versys usd front on the ninja frame works real well for a DS conversion, but you would never consider doing the reverse.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/682901502_7VYuQ-M.jpg

versys usd forks on left, 650R forks on right. both have 41mm inners. you can see the relative size of the clamps. the 41mm 650R clamps allow the direct bolt in of the 08 and up 41mm KLR forks and this has been done, but those 650R clamps sure look small for a sustained offroad pounding.

sanjoh 12-17-2010 06:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14719027)
might see ya in the yukon, you can check it out.

Sounds great, we've got a rat pack o ninjas headed to AK in early June from South FL.

A_Vasiliev 12-17-2010 06:53 PM

Agreed, the Versys front end looks much better in general, and especially for any semblance of off-road use.

Hmmm... what else can they be...

jdrocks 12-17-2010 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sanjoh (Post 14725221)
Sounds great, we've got a rat pack o ninjas headed to AK in early June from South FL.

been up that way a couple times. PM for route suggestions. good to go now, there are competing NG pipelines that are scheduled to start in the next year or so in YT and NWT, plus the shale gas project in northern BC. going to change that countryside forever. a plus for jobs and the canadian economy, but not good if you like the wild. a review of the Mackenzie pipeline in todays WSJ.

eventually, there might be a new road or two up there to ride.

jdrocks 12-17-2010 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A_Vasiliev (Post 14725254)
Agreed, the Versys front end looks much better in general, and especially for any semblance of off-road use.

versys front end on a 650R frame looks like this. works great.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/975678522_Hcwt6-M.jpg

A_Vasiliev 12-17-2010 07:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14725373)
versys front end on a 650R frame looks like this. works great.

She's a beaut!

C'mon, gimme a hint as to what those aluminum tubes are for :evil

dentvet 12-17-2010 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14718503)

a couple interesting things as i was looking the frame over. at the frame stem was a big glob of weld that did not contact the rest of the assembly. looked like the robot was not quite programmed correctly. WTF?

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...53_kDobs-M.jpg

so i looked at the ninja frame and it was fabbed the same way. that joint was not welded on either frame. hmmm, might clean it up and run a bead across there.

looks like there is a structural element under there that is welded to the crossmember, afterwhich those stamped plates were added. two layers thick welded at different times, probably normal. looks sloppy though

6USMC6 12-17-2010 08:14 PM

So much for robot welders.

I've seen kids in high school that could do a better - and neater - job.

.

OaklandStrom 12-17-2010 09:05 PM

Great thread!
 
I've watched your builds, and rad the ride reports. Thanks for doing this one on ADV.

Are most of your non-custom parts from eBay? Craigslist?

jdrocks 12-18-2010 04:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dentvet (Post 14725623)
looks like there is a structural element under there that is welded to the crossmember, afterwhich those stamped plates were added. two layers thick welded at different times, probably normal. looks sloppy though

i'm going to final prep the frame today for paint, so i'll need to decide whether to weld it shut. i'm going to poke a piece of .035 under there to see what it hits. that glob of weld might be on the bottom of a positioning tab from the assembly jig. there's more than one ugly weld on that frame.

jdrocks 12-18-2010 04:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 6USMC6 (Post 14725794)
So much for robot welders.

I've seen kids in high school that could do a better - and neater - job.

.

hey mike, whatcha doing straying from orange city to the cheap as dirt rat bike section? maybe you need a lower ride height rat ninja version for your trip to Labrador. here's the old bike below the Churchill River on phase 3 of the trans lab.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/10...58_my3nQ-M.jpg

agree with you on some of the welding you see on these frames. i could teach my grand daughter to do better in about 15 minutes. maybe less.

Laconic 12-18-2010 05:33 AM

Subscibing to this thread in the hopes of learning something.

:lurk

jdrocks 12-18-2010 05:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tackett (Post 14726135)
I've watched your builds, and rad the ride reports. Thanks for doing this one on ADV.

Are most of your non-custom parts from eBay? Craigslist?

glad you enjoy the read.

it takes a lot of patient research to find both bikes and parts cheap, and can be an incredibly frustrating process. you find yourself trying to conduct some straightforward business with people who rarely return phone calls, texts, or emails, are always very late, flip flop on prices, and almost never actually follow through with what they promise to do. if you can negotiate your way through that freakin' minefield without going nuts or shooting someone, there's often a smokin' deal on the other side.

the parts bike for this build was a craigslist bike advertised and cancelled off and on for a month. it was my second choice bike after the first seller completely flaked. i might not have shot that guy, but i wouldn't have minded taking a ball bat to him. once i got the bike home and looked it over under the bright lights, i decided that i got the better deal on my second choice bike.

these deals are finalized on the spot for cash money. you need to know what you're looking at and be prepared to act. blink and the deal is long gone.

lastly, you need the right paperwork with your purchases. all my junk has it. no paperwork, no sale.

sanjoh 12-18-2010 05:55 AM

What are your goals for this build? Is it just for the exercise? Or did your previous builds not meet your expectations?

John

jdrocks 12-18-2010 06:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sanjoh (Post 14727517)
What are your goals for this build? Is it just for the exercise? Or did your previous builds not meet your expectations?

John

maybe just evolution, i thought the old bikes did real well. out riding around on these things, i automatically think of changes and improvements. so, some of the areas i want to address are suspension, fuel capacity, seat, riding position, lights, wheels, fairing, wiring/switches, gravel guard, weight, color...basically build a new bike with a new look.

keeps me occupied over the winter. i hate winter.

how many riders with you to the northwest? rat ninjas all?

juames 12-18-2010 06:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14724477)

Carb flanges?

jdrocks 12-18-2010 06:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by juames (Post 14727609)
Carb flanges?

these ptwins are fuel injected.

juames 12-18-2010 06:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14727626)
these ptwins are fuel injected.

Right...meant to say intake flange

jdrocks 12-18-2010 06:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by juames (Post 14727645)
Right...meant to say intake flange

no, motor is bone stock.



hey, these things will be on the bike before too long, or not, in which case they never happened.

6USMC6 12-18-2010 07:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14727368)
hey mike, whatcha doing straying from orange city to the cheap as dirt rat bike section? maybe you need a lower ride height rat ninja version for your trip to Labrador. here's the old bike below the Churchill River on phase 3 of the trans lab.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/10...58_my3nQ-M.jpg

agree with you on some of the welding you see on these frames. i could teach my grand daughter to do better in about 15 minutes. maybe less.

Like you, I'm always searching for something more suited (note that I didn't say necessarily better!) both for the ride and my preferences du jour. When I saw the Rat Ninja, the first thing I thought was "Perfect, this will do everything I need and I can make it fit me." Unfortunately, I don't have the tools or the space so I have to watch and learn and if I do get the space (Lord please let the market recover!), I'd definitely try to build one. I don't want a "dirt" bike Dave - I want something that I can run across Labrador or Alaska that is bulletproof, strong enough and comfortable enough that I can enjoy the trip without a constant adrenalin rush. I'm "In" for the duration and anything else you put together. Who knows, maybe some day I'll have a decent place to build one.

jdrocks 12-18-2010 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 6USMC6 (Post 14727917)
When I saw the Rat Ninja, the first thing I thought was "Perfect, this will do everything I need and I can make it fit me."

yep, these bikes can be built to fit ya, no problem. they can also be built as more of a single track bike, but that's not what mine are. here's sheila p****s' bike in front of my last one-

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/10...48_6qVsw-M.jpg

it's like a 3/4 size version of mine built standard ride height to fit her. before you say "chick's bike", this thing is a damn rocket ship with her on board, very fast and light. the fabrication work is outstanding. there are some additional things i would do for northern travel, but it gives you an idea of the different ways these bikes can be built.

you must know mike and sheila and could arrange to see it if interested.

BSR 12-18-2010 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14728402)

Do you have a build thread for the last one? Looks ace.

We have the Versys here ... ah, the road bike is the ER6N.
Sure as hell wont find one for what you're spending.

Please continue, can't wait to see the result.

jdrocks 12-18-2010 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BSR (Post 14728477)
Do you have a build thread for the last one? Looks ace.

We have the Versys here but i'm damned if i've ever seen a v-twin Ninja.

old build thread is over here mixed in with a ride report. don't go in there unless you have plenty of time on your hands...maybe snowed in somewhere.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=5480


no vtwin ninjas. the "V" in V649HP is for Versys since the bike is built around the versys frame, while the 649HP is the sportbike engine.

so it's really a rat versys with a cop motor.

jdrocks 12-18-2010 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BSR (Post 14728477)
... ah, the road bike is the ER6N.

both the bikes in the photo are based on the Ninja 650R model designation in the States, but otherwise known as the ER6F, or EX650.

6USMC6 12-18-2010 11:47 AM

I don't believe I know Sheila JD but I'd sure like to see her bike. With the damage to my back, I've shrunk near two inches and shorter is better.

jdrocks 12-18-2010 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 6USMC6 (Post 14729224)
I don't believe I know Sheila JD but I'd sure like to see her bike. With the damage to my back, I've shrunk near two inches and shorter is better.

you would have met them at jeffs place in bedford, but she didn't have the bike then. mike was the rider who broke his new connie in half that day.

2" ain't nuthin', now you can tuck right in, probably worth 10-15mph on the top end.

PM for contact info if you're interested. they're top notch and would enjoy showing you the bike.

jdrocks 12-18-2010 03:41 PM

probed around that gap at the frame stem with a length of wire, and there's nothing behind that glob of weld.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...18_emeNC-M.jpg

there's an even larger opening on the underside of the same assembly, also with a puddle of weld in front of it.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...93_taTG4-M.jpg

an assumption, but they must not have intended to weld these joints. i decided to leave them alone. they would require multiple passes to close and i don't want that much heat.

clipped everything off the frame that doesn't have something specific mounted to it.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...91_aaThx-M.jpg

my weight reduction program starts off with a total of 6.6oz, big deal.

the welds were ground flush with a 120 grit disc. you can't just grind away on these welds, it takes a light touch on the frame tubes.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...11_2Apvr-M.jpg

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/11...31_5Cenc-M.jpg

the exposed metal gets smoothed with a little filler, and then primed. looks better already.

SamM 12-18-2010 07:15 PM

A paddle wheeled sanding disc would smooth that right out. No filler required.

SamM

jdrocks 12-18-2010 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamM (Post 14731801)
A paddle wheeled sanding disc would smooth that right out. No filler required.

SamM

i think that procedure only works on KLR frames. these cool Versys frames require something a little different.

BSR 12-19-2010 12:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdrocks (Post 14728577)
old build thread is over here mixed in with a ride report. don't go in there unless you have plenty of time on your hands...maybe snowed in somewhere.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=5480


no vtwin ninjas. the "V" in V649HP is for Versys since the bike is built around the versys frame, while the 649HP is the sportbike engine.

so it's really a rat versys with a cop motor.

I'm with you, thanks for the clarification.

Just got in from work, wife hasn't got up yet and it's -12c outside and i've got a nice beer so i'll start through the other build thread!
:clap

tragerbon 12-19-2010 05:56 AM

I like the direction you are going with this, after modding my new bike and reading all of the converted to dual-sport threads, I wanted to start over with just a versys frame, cut off the crap I did not need...etc...etc.. Good luck with the build.

My guess on the two machined parts are, the forks !

Ridin'nFishin 12-19-2010 06:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tragerbon (Post 14733825)
I like the direction you are going with this, after modding my new bike and reading all of the converted to dual-sport threads, I wanted to start over with just a versys frame, cut off the crap I did not need...etc...etc.. Good luck with the build.

My guess on the two machined parts are, the forks !



Tagerbon, I have seen pictures of your bike and I like the way you modified it, it is fine looking bike! Can you give us a picture here or put your build tread address in your signature?

jdrocks 12-19-2010 06:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BSR (Post 14733350)
...it's -12c outside and i've got a nice beer so i'll start through the other build thread!
:clap

a beer won't get you through that thread, ya need at least a half bottle of whiskey.

jdrocks 12-19-2010 06:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tragerbon (Post 14733825)
I like the direction you are going with this, after modding my new bike...

i thought your Versys turned out really well, a sharp looking bike. come back in here with a good photo. as i've said many times, the ninja/versys series lends itself to easy and inexpensive mods that can be taken many directions. very capable bikes and you can run the heck out of them.

...but, i gotta have that cop motor in there, so i needed to build my own.

jdrocks 12-19-2010 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Multisurface Rider (Post 14733853)
I have seen pictures of your bike and I like the way you modified it, it is fine looking bike! Can you give us a picture here or put your build tread address in your signature?

photo of the second generation bike is back on page 5, link in post 32. ride report from the 2010 adventure season included, but if you think you're going to run up to Gatineau and find that gorgeous near naked French gal i met there...i don't think you'll find her dressed that way in the winter.

here's the first generation bike that was wrecked in Montana, literally pounded and pried back together on the spot, and ridden home.

http://jdrocks.smugmug.com/photos/67..._Xv3sC-M-1.jpg

and if you're really really snow bound and want some cheap entertainment, the rest of the 2009 Canuckistan report is here

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=515446

it was not a real swell day...la vida loca.

I was down face first in that gravel intersection, slid a few feet and stopped. I had gone off the bike to the left, and was covered with dust and gravel. The bike was pinned under the hopper body and being dragged through the turn, the driver never stopped. I looked to my right and saw the trailer still moving over me, quickly rolled left, and the left rear tandems on the trailer just missed me. If I had been unable to move, the trailer would have run right over me. The truck finally stopped, but with a final lurch, the hopper gate controls raked down the exposed right side of the bike.

tragerbon 12-19-2010 12:46 PM

I dont have a build thread but this thread has most of my info:
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...t=naked+versys

Cell phone pic from last week:

http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/3...syshouston.png

I am out of town and my Internet is via the iPhone only.

jdrocks 12-19-2010 02:13 PM

that bike looks like it wants some adventure. sharp lookin' bike.

6USMC6 12-19-2010 02:56 PM

Yeah, it looks a lot like a Super Moto!

A_Vasiliev 12-19-2010 03:28 PM

That Versys looks sweet!

jdrocks 12-20-2010 05:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 6USMC6 (Post 14736721)
Yeah, it looks a lot like a Super Moto!

make a few more changes, and you're on the road to Labrador.

6USMC6 12-20-2010 07:46 AM

I'm guess here but do you change both wheels from 17x17 to 18x19 so you can run knobbies?


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