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Old 08-25-2009, 07:42 PM   #1
alfabc OP
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Location: Vancouver Washington
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Kawasaki W650 with Velorex sidecar??

I am looking at a 2000 model year Kawasaki W650 with a Velorex 562 car attached. This would be my first hack. It's for me and wifey to enjoy the wonders of the Pacific Northwest. The bike has 8200 on the odo, and looks to be in good repair, same for sidecar. Asking price is $5500. Is this a good deal? I know, you didn't see it in person (I did) and is owned by an engineer at HP. All looks good and well kept after. Anything I should keep an eye out for that not obvious?

TIA,

Bill
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
Dr Jim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfabc
I am looking at a 2000 model year Kawasaki W650 with a Velorex 562 car attached. This would be my first hack. It's for me and wifey to enjoy the wonders of the Pacific Northwest. The bike has 8200 on the odo, and looks to be in good repair, same for sidecar. Asking price is $5500. Is this a good deal? I know, you didn't see it in person (I did) and is owned by an engineer at HP. All looks good and well kept after. Anything I should keep an eye out for that not obvious?

TIA,

Bill
I'm a real fan of the W650, and think that it's been sadly ignored as a potential tug - gobs of torque, VERY strong frame, decent forks and front-end geometry, and adequate brakes too.

I'm not wild about the Velorex - mostly because they tend to be (poorly) rigged to bikes that are just to damn big for the little things. This is most emphatically NOT the case with the W650, the rigs look 'right,' the sidecar/tug weight ratios seem OK, and even the sidecar height seems about right too.

If outfit uses the Velorex 'unversal' mount kit, which is basically some machined metal frame clamps and some odd-looking clevis fittings on adjustable, threaded 'bottle' tubes - consider going to a less flexible and more stout system - at the very least have it throughly checked by a professional rigger (Raceway Services in Salem, OR, or Dauntless Motors in Enumclaw WA. come to mind) and follow their recommendations.

Post #105 in the FS, Fleabay, and CL thread is for a W650/Velorex rig that sold for right around the same price as the one you are looking at - seems fair to me - and it was a damn pretty rig too.

Gopher It!

Cheers

Jim
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:02 PM   #3
alfabc OP
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Jim,

Thanks for the advice. Now I need to see if I can fit it in the garage!

I will keep the group posted as to whether or not we buy it.

Thanks again.

Bill
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:02 AM   #4
claude
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The W650 is a cool bike which certainly give a great 'look' with a sidecar attached. The Velorex will do okay if it is setup well and the mounts are placed so they do not flex or move. Watch the lower rear mount on the sidecar frame as they do tend to rotate on the frame. Also it is difficult to get the lower mounts placed very far apart unless a subframe is used but that isn't the end of the world if you are aware of it. I would suggest a wide stance with a track width of no less than 48" for stability.
The sidecar will be a little light and it is sprung softly so it will be afected with various pasenger weight loading quite a bit. The rig will be okay but there will be room for improvement (possibly ballast and more suspension on the sidecar side).
Here is apic of a W650 with Motorvation Spyder we did a while back.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:55 AM   #5
alfabc OP
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Claude,

Thanks to you as well. It's good to hear that you actually have experience with this setup. I am checking out the links you provided as well.

Cheers,

Bill
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:38 AM   #6
Uncle Ernie
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W's with that mileage can easily get $4500- $5K alone. Pretty bullet-proof bikes, but I think you'll need heftier-than-stock shocks. There's a half-way decent W650 group at Yahoo.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:40 PM   #7
alfabc OP
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Well, we made an offer and are waiting to see. Hopefully we will have a W650 with a sidecar to wedge into our garage this weekend!

Cheers,

Bill

ps We have already planned our first trip - up to see Mt. St. Helen's from our home in Vancouver Washington.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:02 PM   #8
Dr Jim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfabc
Well, we made an offer and are waiting to see. Hopefully we will have a W650 with a sidecar to wedge into our garage this weekend!

Cheers,

Bill

ps We have already planned our first trip - up to see Mt. St. Helen's from our home in Vancouver Washington.
Hey!

Good on you, and best of luck - hope the deal comes together.

If you do get the rig, and it has the clamp-on frame mounts, there's this relatively cheap and easy trick that will make them fairly solid.

Open up the clamps - trying to expose as much of the clamp/frame contact area as possible - use a fine modeler's brush and 'paint' both surfaces with a coating of Red Loctite, reassemble, clamp down firmly, but don't use Gorilla Pressures (you want the clamp tight and firm, but not distorting the frame) amd let everything dry overnight.

The Red Loctite will essentially 'glue' the frame and clamp together with a very high-friction surface - you may need to use a heatgun and rubber mallet to disassemble the clamps later, but it's going to take MUCHO force to twist those clamps in the meantime.

Use Blue Loctite on the clevis and bottle strut threads and their jam nuts (Red Loctite is overkill here), Nylock nuts are acceptable for cross-bolts, but discard ANY nut that doesn't take significantly more force to turn once the nylock has engaged, nylocks have a limited life - but we keep trusting them long after we shouldn't.

Sidecars are high-stress items which typically don't have the in-depth engineering of factory assemblies- they need a bit of attention to stay safe and in 'tune.'

I do a visual and auditory check before each ride (do the mounts look right? Are the nuts all there? Any weird noises or clunks when I step on the frame?) and a full walk-around inspection of mounts, subframe, wheelbearing, spokes, tire pressure, lights, fender mounts, windshield, and the rubber tub mounts too. This takes about 45-60 minutes every Saturday morning, but I almost always find some minor squawk to squish, which keeps me from feeling to stupidly anal.

Cheers

Jim
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:25 PM   #9
alfabc OP
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We are picking the bike up on Saturday. I will go over all the info with the owner before I take off for home. Thanks for all the info, it will come in very handy for a first time hack"er". The sidecar does appear to be properly attached and there is even a damper installed on the fork. This fellow has had hacks a long time, so I think he has it pretty well tuned.

Is there any one tire better suited for bikes with sidecars over any other? The back tire has plenty of tread left, but it is squared off. I do want to replace it so that I may ride the bike without the car if I want, but I want the new tire to be up to snuff for the job of having the car attached. What tire pressure should be in the tire on the car?

Again, THANKS!

Cheers,

Bill
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:57 PM   #10
Uncle Ernie
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A tire made for SC use will last a lot longer and give better grip. Yeah- they have a square tread- which is REALLY scary to ride on solo. You can use a regular tire, but it will wear out much faster. Your choice.
It's not as easy as it may seem to take the tub off and put it back on.

Tire pressures; I'd probably go with 34-35 in front. 36 in back, and 34 in the tub wheel.

Please don't take passengers on the motorcycle anymore. It really upsets the balance and can kill you. Some folks think I'm a girl for saying it. Oh well.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:45 PM   #11
alfabc OP
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Uncle Ernie,

Again, thanks to all for the advice. It's kinda fun getting into something completely new for a change. I didn't know tires for bikes with SC's were square. See, I learned something already! I will just leave well enough alone and leave the tub attached. The W650 is such a cool looking bike, it might just have to go "solo" one day though... but not for too long.

I will see what the present owner recommends for tire pressures. Again, thanks!

Cheers,

Bill
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:11 PM   #12
hockeygoon
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If it doesn't already have the euro-spec handlebars, get them. It *really* changed the way the bikes feels. I got mine from the UK, Z-power something or other. Also it could use some braided lines up front. I have better shocks on the rear and race tech gold inserts on the front and it handles awesome as a result.

I find the yahoo group to be a PITA, but there is a lot of good information there. It just is such an ancient system that it really is sometimes painful to deal with.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:39 AM   #13
alfabc OP
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Talking

Well, we just brought her home!! Runs great, really good sound out of the W650. Plenty of meat on the tires, and in really good mechanical shape. Well maintained.

Wifey and I will be out a little bit today getting use to it. We won't venture too far until we get the plates and insurance in place.

It has VERY wide bars on it, seems to make driving a much easier task than the smaller OE ones would... Got all the goodies for the Velorex, including tall and short screen, passenger rain bubble, and the weather cover for the empty tub. Got the factory repair manual as well for the W650 and some other bits and bobs too.

Pictures to follow.

Cheers,

Bill & Fiona
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:20 PM   #14
hockeygoon
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The really wide bars are likely the OEM bars. If it is 1inch at the triple tree and 7/8 at the grips, its probably the OEM bars.

The euro spec ones are much narrower with less pull back. I much prefer the euro spec for solo riding but for the hack the originals might be just right.

Enjoy! They are bulletproof bikes. Been riding mine a lot more since changing out the bars (I think my Duc is gonna get sold).
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:57 AM   #15
Jeff d
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I got a W650 in May of this year and it's been great. 3,200 miles when I bought it but now it's at about 5,000. I haven't had mine very long but they're supposed to be bullet proof with normal maintenance.

People are crazy about it too. Well, mainly old dudes. I can't stop for gas without somebody asking about it. Usually they say "What year is that?". People will stare at it at traffic lights and forget to go when their light changes. I've even been waved down to pull over and tell some guys about what it was. I had an FZ6 before this and it was nice but the W gets way more attention (In a good way).

I'll second the recommendation for the lower bars. I used the bikemaster superbike bars with some shims since the OEM ones have to be imported and are big $$. Much better riding position but the decreased leverage could be a negative when you have the sidecar on there.
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