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Old 06-22-2011, 07:57 PM   #901
fredgreen
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Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, Canada
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That's a cool looking gas bag, where's it from.....of course I send Shirley first, if you want it done right, send a Shirley to do it. It you don't send C-stain.....just kidding, C-stain did exceptionally well in the woods with his big Vee.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:15 PM   #902
donny662
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
ok, that's where the money for the panniers went. actually, there are 5 new TKCs, the other F&R set are shipped north.
So, do you prefer the TKCs to the Kenda Big Blocks? Why?
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:12 AM   #903
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by fredgreen View Post
...of course I send Shirley first, if you want it done right, send a Shirley to do it...
there ya go. looks like you're having too much fun on those KLRs to ride those cruisers any more.


fuel bladder is from JustGasTanks, an ADV vendor. australian made, they are sometimes out of stock. i thought about using one last year, but they didn't have any and weren't sure when they would get more.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:28 AM   #904
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by donny662 View Post
So, do you prefer the TKCs to the Kenda Big Blocks? Why?
i haven't run through a set of the Big Blocks yet, but early reports suggest that i won't be seeing the same miles that i know i can get out of the TKCs. the Big Blocks currently on the bike will have too many miles to start a trip with, so i'll start with a zero mile set of TKCs and end up going through three rears and two fronts.

with the Kendas, i'd use at least another rear, and maybe another front. that would be seven tires, and the logistics would be a nightmare.
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:56 AM   #905
yokesman
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JD,
could use some directions on your bike procurement procedures, here in CAL we have a very small field to pick from due to the emissions requirements on newer bikes and all seem to require a business license of sort leaving with having to pay buyers and flyers fees to the tune of 50% of the total , for a $1000 motorcycle.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:29 PM   #906
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by yokesman View Post
JD,
could use some directions on your bike procurement procedures, here in CAL we have a very small field to pick from due to the emissions requirements on newer bikes and all seem to require a business license of sort leaving with having to pay buyers and flyers fees to the tune of 50% of the total , for a $1000 motorcycle.

i can't speak to any issues specific to california, but builder bikes are out there for those willing to spend some time looking. it took me months of poking around on the internet to find the right bike for the right price. the height of the riding season usually isn't the best time to search. i've said it before, but you have to be diligent, know what you're looking for, know what you're looking at when you find it, and have cash in hand to make the deal...generally no second chances on a cheap bike.

in my case on this last build, i had a titled Versys frame located, so i was looking for a really cheap parts bike. i found two bikes, either could have been built as a rat Ninja, and both would have been excellent for that purpose with extra parts that could be sold.

early in the thread was a photo of the parts bike i bought for the V649HP build, and is a good example of what's out there.



2008, less than 1000 miles, cracked generator cover and no battery so i couldn't hear it run, some scrapes, and missing a few parts. purchase price was $750. i wish i would have offered $500, the kid might have taken it, but i knew that the parts i didn't intend to use were worth more than $750 so i didn't feel too bad.

i made the simple repairs to the engine, it started right up, and ran like it had 1000 miles on it...perfect. now i had the frame and the entire engine assembly including all the miscellaneous parts that are common to both Versys and Ninja. at this point, i'm effectively out of pocket only $400 and well on my way towards meeting my $1500 turnkey build budget.

i shopped all the rest of the parts i wanted to the point i was satisfied that that the purchase price was in the cheap category. once again, it's surprising what's out there. some of those cheap used parts can barely be told from new. the parts came from all over, including the UK.

an old photo that has been up before, but if you were standing beside this bike i honestly think you could agree...this is a lot of bike for $1500.



then there's riding it.


so about two weeks after buying the parts bike, i got to thinking about that other bike. i could buy that one for the same price, but the seller had seriously pissed me off. now i'm thinking i should mend that fence and buy that bike too. it only had 3000 miles and the parts alone were worth way more than $750. first i better check around and see if i still find a listing, nope, no longer a for sale listing. what i did find was another listing that was actually an inquiry by a guy trying to find the same seller and bike. someone else had seen the bike listing but had not acted. there's a lesson in there.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:43 PM   #907
Ednukey
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post

i decided to try one of these, hope it works out.

this is the 3 gal size, so i'll have 8 gal max if i fill it up. weighs little, and i can roll it up and pack it away when i don't need it.
Hah!

May I go so far as to say great minds think alike? Those AUS made bladders were waaaay too much coin -- for me.

I'll give you a report once it starts getting used, which will be somewhere in BC.

The bike looks great.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:26 PM   #908
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by Ednukey View Post
Hah!

May I go so far as to say great minds think alike?

so true. from one great mind to another, those steel S hooks on the bungee make me nervous. there must be a better way.

by all means, i'd like a report.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:05 PM   #909
dentvet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
i can't speak to any issues specific to california, but builder bikes are out there for those willing to spend some time looking. it took me months of poking around on the internet to find the right bike for the right price. the height of the riding season usually isn't the best time to search. i've said it before, but you have to be diligent, know what you're looking for, know what you're looking at when you find it, and have cash in hand to make the deal...generally no second chances on a

2008, less than 1000 miles, cracked generator cover and no battery so i couldn't hear it run, some scrapes, and missing a few parts. purchase price was $750. i wish i would have offered $500, the kid might have taken it, but i knew that the parts i didn't intend to use were worth more than $750 so i didn't feel too bad.

Thats a great deal there.

I had a weird feeling on the last bike i bought. i didn't nitpick the bike or criticise any part of the deal, nor did i lowball
(if there is such a thing as lowball) I simply asked what's the lowest you'd take for it? He spoke and i accepted.

I felt a liitle bad driving home because i know the guy could probably use the money and a couple hundred bucks wouldn't have made a big difference to me.

I guess it might be arrogant/presumptuous for me to feel sorry for somebody who seemed happy to sell his bike.
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:57 AM   #910
jdrocks OP
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I guess it might be arrogant/presumptuous for me to feel sorry for somebody who seemed happy to sell his bike.
i had been watching the listing for the parts bike for about six weeks. the ad would be one place, disappear, then reappear another place, but i knew it had to be the same bike. the price was out of my range at first, but was gradually coming down, and i decided i better look at it.

the bike was stored outside, and snow was in the forecast...a solid week of snow. he said i was the first person to even call about the bike, much less come by to look. took him about a nano second to accept my offer.

24 hours later, 10" of snow. 20" on the week. yeah, the kid was happy to see it go. i was his one, only, and last chance. there was no regret registered on his face, only relief. he got the cash and i got a darn good parts bike.
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:36 AM   #911
Airman Jack
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Hey are you concerned at all about your exhaust getting beat up by rocks or other low-hanging trail fruits?
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:45 PM   #912
jdrocks OP
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Hey are you concerned at all about your exhaust getting beat up by rocks or other low-hanging trail fruits?
nope, this is a gravel runner, not a single tracker. purpose built just for gravel roads.

600 mile test run today, plenty of gravel. i'll tell ya all about it....
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:11 PM   #913
Dastard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post

600 mile test run today, plenty of gravel. i'll tell ya all about it....



Followed all your previous threads, here and on the versys forum. Can't wait to piggy back on your latest adventure.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:06 AM   #914
jdrocks OP
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Followed all your previous threads, here and on the versys forum. Can't wait to piggy back on your latest adventure.
well then, ya better hang on 'cause this thing is a BEAST.

i read in other threads about DS riders trying to tune the very last zephyr of disturbed air out of their windscreen. no buffeting allowed.

in contrast, this bike has no windscreen, no fairing either. that little red thing on the front is to protect the gauges. at 85mph, the bike and rider are about as aerodynamic as the cardboard box your new double door refrigerator came packed in. ride this bike, the air is beating on you with a club. very old school, very visceral. gotta love it.
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:18 PM   #915
jdrocks OP
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600 mile test run yesterday. i had been riding the bike locally, but i needed to get it out on the I system for an extended speed run and then onto gravel roads for at least 100 miles. i wanted to verify overall performance, and make sure there were no handling quirks. with the suspension changes, the bike geometry and ride height had been altered. if there was a problem, i needed to find out now, not later.

off to West Virginia to ride gravel in the George Washington and Monongahela forests. if you're anywhere close and haven't ridden the WV back roads, i recommend it. you can ride all day and see very little paved surface.




i had been riding without my AirHawk, but for 600 miles i put it on the seat. now i can just barely get the toes of those size 14s down. the bike is tall, and with my very upright riding position setup, my view from the seat is over the roofline of all but the biggest SUVs.

i could not find any problems with stability, cornering, tracking, or handling in general. i thought the bike rode beautifully on both pavement and gravel. I system speeds up to 85, with cruise at indicated 80, GPS actual 77. on this unfaired bike i got 38MPG at 80, and was glad i had the larger Versys tank. limped in on the last leg with the fuel light on and .3 gal in the tank.

the new suspension was great especially on the gravel, and is a major leap forward in the evolution of the rat builds. i have the forks set for about 7" of travel, maybe 10" overall, with no interference issues. i could get more out of them, but i don't like a mushy front end. likewise, the R1 shock is also a vast improvement. i have not maxed out all the adjustments that could be made on the shock.

dirt bike riders know what it's like to mount a fresh set of knobby tires, then go out for a ride. this is not a dirtbike, but riding gravel with a fresh set of Big Blocks is similar...and man, is it fun. you would not want to be riding behind this bike, gravel flying everywhere off that rear tire. coming up off those corners and gassing that cop motor, lordy, ya better be hangin' on.

i love the big Fastway footpegs mated to the Versys brackets. my boots stay planted on the Fastways, and the Versys bracket position makes it easy to stand on the pegs. the new shifter and brake pedal got a workout too, glad i made those changes.

i hadn't done a field test of my new model 44 LED auxiliary lights, but yesterday i switched them on at dusk. i thought i had them aimed a little low, but then i noticed that i was starting to see the guardrail reflectors light up about a half mile ahead. hmmmm. it got darker and the big reflective highway signs would light up like fireworks. hmmmm. then it got full on dark, but lit up big time in front of the bike. hmmmmmm, these things are freakin' bright, but it was when an oncoming car pulled off on the shoulder just to get out of the way that i realized how bright they must be from the other direction. might have to install a different switch.

i'm very pleased with the bike, and had a ball riding it. big, rangy, edgy, kinda old school riding experience on this unfaired bike. not for everyone, but it works for me.

now i need to finish some prep work.
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