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Old 08-16-2010, 09:27 PM   #16
browneye
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Debating on whether to buy a KLR or a Versys seems to come from people that haven't ridden both because if they did they wouldn't compare them.

The KLR is a dog in comparison. Well, I should say a goat. Yeah, a billy goat. And the versys is like a cheetah. It's a sportbike in comparison. And the KLR is a lousy dirtbike too, if you are going to get at all hardcore with it. I have dirtbikes too and the KLR wouldn't go half the places we do and if you did it would beat the living crap out of you.

The KLR is for going slow, hauling a lot of gas, and gear if you so desire, down smooth dirt trails. If it gets at all bumpy it will beat you up.

If you want a bike for really riding on the open road the versys is the answer. Like I say, it really isn't a reasonable comparison.

For offroad, the versys suspension and clearance is worse than the KLR's. It can be modified as you've seen, but it's got WAY more power than you can harness offroad. Especially if you gear it down so it will go slow. Definitely not the ideal dirtbike, but it can be made to burn the dirt roads I'm sure. I'm sure it's an animal if you really get on it.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:19 AM   #17
mrpete64
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South America on a Versys....

If you search this site you can find people who are taking them to the tip of
South America and back. That must say something about how this bike will hold up and take a beating.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpete64
If you search this site you can find people who are taking them to the tip of
South America and back. That must say something about how this bike will hold up and take a beating.
Right. How much gnarly off road will a guy do on the way to South America?
If I was on that trip with the bike my only mode of transport I don't think Id be looking for an OHV track anywhere. Dirt, gravel, potholes blah blah. I'm sure the versys could handle that fine.

The 19" font wheel has the same circumference as a 21" so the results should be similar as putting a 21 on there. This is indeed a great mod.

These bikes may well be the next KLR.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:17 PM   #19
PeteN95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheatwhacker
The 19" font wheel has the same circumference as a 21" so the results should be similar as putting a 21 on there. This is indeed a great mod.
I assume you mean tire, because obviously the 19" wheel is smaller in diameter than the 21"? My 110/80-19 is about 2" shorter in diameter than the 3.00-21 I also own. I think it really depends on tire size and type, but usually the 19 will be shorter.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:44 PM   #20
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KLR/KLE650 Adventure

My next bike was going to be a 2010 Kawasaki KLE650 Versys. However, after seeing a few threads about making the Versys more off-road capable, I've decided to take a different approach. The better plan, might be to make a KLR more highway capable. I really just want one bike that I can go anywhere on. My 2008 KLR650 is very good but touring on it would be difficult. My bike has been significantly lightened down to 345 lbs dry. I believe that even more lightening is possible and I'd like to get the bike down to around 300 lbs dry. After my lightening mods it lacks good wind protection and the bike needs more power for interstate use. My future upcoming trips include a ride to Michigan's U.P., a TAT attempt and I'd like to do a trip to Alaska within the next few years. It currently has a RICOR IAS rear shock, 2007 KLR rear suspension linkage and a set of 2008 KX450F forks, so it can handle off-road situations well enough. The Renazco seat makes long duration rides much easier on the backside. All it needs now is less weight and more power. The list of engine mods for the KLR engine is long and rather expensive. My planned modifications to the stock engine added up to over $2400. These included: Eagle Manufacturing balancer parts, a Mikuni TM-40 carb, Schnitz 705cc engine kit, 705 cylinder sleeve, Stage 2 headwork, bigger valves, Hot Cams, FMF Powerbomb header, and a Rekluse auto-clutch. With all this done I would have a bundle in the bike and the mileage would no doubt suffer. Another way to go is an engine swap.

Why not mount a KLE engine into a KLR frame! In late July, I purchased a salvage 2008 Versys engine from Argo Cyles for $699. With almost all the necessary parts here on hand now, I currently have around $1100 in just about everything I need to complete the swap. My current line of thought is to install the engine into the frame and wire it to run. I have all the handlebar controls, handlebar switches, wiring harness, ECU and the throttle bodies. After this is done, I'll swap my current KLR parts onto the frame and rebuild the bike from the ground up. My next plan of attack is to trial fit the KLE engine into a spare '08 KLR frame. I'll be doing some test fitting in a few days.

Below is a picture of my 345 lb 2008 KLR650 and my new to me Versys 650 engine. Yes, the bike is really an '08. The big red Trail Tech sticker is gone and the bike is running on Hiedenau K60 tires. I'm getting ready to tryout a few different windscreens to see how they fit onto the Trail Tech headlight. I'll also be swapping to the HID version of this headlight during the engine swap. The stock '08 rear rack and SW-Motech EVO racks are going back on to hold my Caribou Cases Pelican hardbags. New springs for the KX forks are on my things-to-get list. I'd like to have everything done before Spring, so the teardown will start sometime in late September. That should give me a good 6 or 7 months.

I want to post that I am not the first to do this swap. It has been done before. I plan to post pictures and info as I go to encourage others that would consider this.

SamM



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Old 08-18-2010, 07:30 PM   #21
PeterW
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Or you could buy a DL 650 - which seems to already be in the sweet spot for what you want.

Sorry - someone had to say it

Between the KLR and the Versys. It's OK on dirt ROADS without mods and quite good with cheap suspension mods (firmer springs mainly).
(And with < 2k on suspension it's a weapon ;) - though still not suitable for tough single track).


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Old 08-18-2010, 08:02 PM   #22
iuekwee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browneye
Debating on whether to buy a KLR or a Versys seems to come from people that haven't ridden both because if they did they wouldn't compare them.

The KLR is a dog in comparison. Well, I should say a goat. Yeah, a billy goat. And the versys is like a cheetah. It's a sportbike in comparison. And the KLR is a lousy dirtbike too, if you are going to get at all hardcore with it. I have dirtbikes too and the KLR wouldn't go half the places we do and if you did it would beat the living crap out of you.

The KLR is for going slow, hauling a lot of gas, and gear if you so desire, down smooth dirt trails. If it gets at all bumpy it will beat you up.

If you want a bike for really riding on the open road the versys is the answer. Like I say, it really isn't a reasonable comparison.

For offroad, the versys suspension and clearance is worse than the KLR's. It can be modified as you've seen, but it's got WAY more power than you can harness offroad. Especially if you gear it down so it will go slow. Definitely not the ideal dirtbike, but it can be made to burn the dirt roads I'm sure. I'm sure it's an animal if you really get on it.
Well said. Your descriptions are spot on. Part of the problem is this illusion of the perfect "adventure bike," which are far and few inbetween. There are almost always compromises.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:34 PM   #23
browneye
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SamM, respectfully, if you got that KLR down to 350lbs already I'm guessing it's virtually impossible to strip another 50 lbs off of it. Made even more impossible scabbing a high-reving street motor into it. Nice idea, but not what I would pursue, but that's just me. You've already dumped a ton into what looks to be a nice KLR, but it's still a KLR with the weaknesses you've been willing to point out. Thank you for being objective.

Even the bmw GS 600-800 owners prefer a twin over a single. A thumper is fine offroad but isn't the best on road even if you pump it up. And traditionally, a pumped up motor loses it's dependability and longevity which goes away from desirability for an adventure bike.

I would like to ride a new F800GS. My guess it's pretty close to an ideal adventure bike but at what price? Parallel twin, 21" front wheel, good clearance, weight not too bad, lots of accessories to make it greater. Nice bags, the expanding ones are cool, but again, they're a couple of grand I wonder how that expander would work after you dumped it all loaded up. And I hear they are having some dependability issues with them as well. I can't afford one of those any more than I can a new Multistrada.

Ah well....the debate rages on.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:42 PM   #24
stewy (Aus)
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this thread shows a nicely modded klr with versy motor

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...=504693&page=2
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:10 PM   #25
SamM
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Quote:
SamM, respectfully, if you got that KLR down to 350lbs already I'm guessing it's virtually impossible to strip another 50 lbs off of it. Made even more impossible scabbing a high-reving street motor into it. Nice idea, but not what I would pursue, but that's just me. You've already dumped a ton into what looks to be a nice KLR, but it's still a KLR with the weaknesses you've been willing to point out. Thank you for being objective.

Even the bmw GS 600-800 owners prefer a twin over a single. A thumper is fine offroad but isn't the best on road even if you pump it up. And traditionally, a pumped up motor loses it's dependability and longevity which goes away from desirability for an adventure bike.

I would like to ride a new F800GS. My guess it's pretty close to an ideal adventure bike but at what price? Parallel twin, 21" front wheel, good clearance, weight not too bad, lots of accessories to make it greater. Nice bags, the expanding ones are cool, but again, they're a couple of grand I wonder how that expander would work after you dumped it all loaded up. And I hear they are having some dependability issues with them as well. I can't afford one of those any more than I can a new Multistrada.

Ah well....the debate rages on.

My KLR does in fact weight 345 lbs with an empty fuel tank as pictured. The KLR is a very heavy motorcycle. There is still plenty of weight to remove from this bike. I have a few things in mind. My bike still has the stock steel kickstand and mount, stock airbox, stock size battery, a very heavy stock rear fender, a large KX450F front fender, the very heavy stock 2008 KLR wiring harness, and many other parts and unnecessary steel mounts, tabs and gussets. The Versys engine is very close to the same weight of the KLR650 engine. Hopefully, the engine swap doesn't add much weight. Cutting the wiring down to the bare minimum will help. My bike won't require all the Versys doodads. There is also a plan to remove 6 lbs with the new wheels. The battery swap will remove another 6 lbs. That's 12 lbs right there. Ye of little faith!

Surprisingly, I haven't dumped a ton of cash into it either. All the stock parts that you don't see have been sold off to offset the cost of the new parts. For instance the stock radiator was sold for $450. The replacement 2007 radiator new cost me $200. The stock forks went for $400 and the new KX450F forks were $500 again new. Deals on eBay are out there. You just have to look. Same with the rest, sell and buy. Plus, I'm parting out my old 950, so I always have a surplus of parts to get rid of. My Versys engine was purchased with money made from selling KTM parts. It's all good. I still have a lot left. Plus the stock KLR engine will be sold off sometime during the build.

I have no desire for a BMW or any other eurobike. Been there. It didn't end well. I won't be a return customer. Personally, I think BMW missed the boat with the F800GS. It's odd and too heavy for real off-road use. My solution to my problem is something that I want. I don't expect anyone else to follow me down this road. Many will feel that it isn't a worthwhile undertaking. That's fine!

Quote:
this thread shows a nicely modded klr with versy motor
I posted the pictures of that bike. As I said, it's been done before.

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Old 08-19-2010, 06:38 AM   #26
sanjoh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamM
I posted the pictures of that bike. As I said, it's been done before.

SamM
Alright already when are you gonna start cutting metal? Every time I see one of these hybrids I get a bit more work done on mine.

Recently added givi bags. Skid plate coming up. 7k miles since commissioning.

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Old 08-19-2010, 10:12 AM   #27
SamM
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Already started! As you can see there is plenty of room in my frame for a KLE650 engine. All the steel tubing that I need is here and ready to go. Not sure yet, if I'm going to use the aluminum KLR600 subframe. Probably not. The stock forks will also not be used. I may get ambitious a try fitting it today. As you can see, this will be the perfect chance to reinforce the footpeg mounts.

SamM



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Old 08-19-2010, 02:32 PM   #28
rlbowers03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrocks
you can run gravel on the stock versys, been done already by many riders. adding a larger 17" front tire is an improvement, but going to the 19" front wheel setup is a big improvement. the 19" wheel setup can be done for $500 or less.

i don't quite understand putting $12000 into a versys, but to each there own.

if you build your own, $12000 buys you five of these, just as it sits.


5 of them??? I'll take one, to go, please. Where do I send my $2400?
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:40 PM   #29
browneye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlbowers03
5 of them??? I'll take one, to go, please. Where do I send my $2400?
JDROCKS builds his from a salvaged bike. You can do it, but you have to be cheap and crafty.

Read about his adventures on the versys forum. He's a helluva adventure rider.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:43 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browneye
JDROCKS builds his from a salvaged bike. You can do it, but you have to be cheap and crafty.

Read about his adventures on the versys forum. He's a helluva adventure rider.

Your block'n me, Man I'm tryin to get him to sell me that tank
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