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Old 12-13-2010, 06:07 PM   #1
jdrocks OP
Gravel Runner
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Oddometer: 3,640
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.



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.



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)

jdrocks screwed with this post 01-24-2011 at 04:17 AM
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:13 PM   #2
johnwesley
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love your builds
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:31 PM   #3
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by johnwesley View Post
love your builds

thanks. newfies snowed in yet? it's looking like another old time winter in the states.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:18 PM   #4
SamM
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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!

You guys have me thinking about doing one of these.

SamM
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:33 PM   #5
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by SamM View Post
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.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:47 PM   #6
SilentRay
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Yet another 650r converted to d/s thread



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.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:00 PM   #7
jdrocks OP
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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.



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.



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.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:47 PM   #8
johnwesley
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
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?
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:07 PM   #9
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by johnwesley View Post
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.
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:26 AM   #10
jsquared
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Should be interesting to say the least.

J
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:52 PM   #11
JAFO
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Just found this thread courtesy of a friend, after I mentioned I was considering getting rid of my Ninja 650r. Love the engineering, but I'm a fat old guy, annoyed by the sportbiker mentality. I mentioned I wished I'd waited a year and bought a Versys, and said friend mentioned it wasn't terribly difficult or expensive to convert/modify what I have....

.. so, I wil lbe taking copious notes... *love* the way this thing turned out!
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:25 PM   #12
JAFO
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Originally Posted by ultrasardine View Post
Probably true... To be honest, looks prettier to me than the traditional café racers!
Seconded!!

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Old 08-29-2012, 04:39 AM   #13
jdrocks OP
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if you use this platform, the ptwin with either the Versys or ER6 frame, for a street bike build, the idea is to showcase that motor...don't hide it like is necessary with an offroad bias bike where you include protection, like bars and gravel guards.

that motor sitting in a minimalist frame is impressive, and it's hard to go wrong if you have a cohesive design concept.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:37 AM   #14
jdrocks OP
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about to add another small report in the 2012 section...



my bike builds have spent 90% of their miles hauling a full load of gear, and the bikes have done very well in that instance. it's fun to get that gear off once in awhile. it's like unsnappin' the leash from that big ol' hound dog and lettin' it run.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:48 AM   #15
rw4x4van
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
about to add another small report in the 2012 section...



my bike builds have spent 90% of their miles hauling a full load of gear, and the bikes have done very well in that instance. it's fun to get that gear off once in awhile. it's like unsnappin' the leash from that big ol' hound dog and lettin' it run.
jdrocks

Could you give the pro and cons when choosing between the Versys or ER6 bikes for a conversion like yours...
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