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Old 11-30-2013, 01:20 PM   #16
Rusty Rocket
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Subscribed looks like s fun project. can't wait for the ride report.
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:05 PM   #17
Todd34
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Looking good so far Denis.
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:17 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ktmklx View Post
JD's builds have inspired a lot of folks. Now we get to see one in yellow! Looking forward to see how this turns out.
I hope to do justice to his amazing builds. And yeah, I too really like this yellow & black two tone color scheme!

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Originally Posted by Scubawerx View Post
Subscribed! I've got to see what would take someone from a sail boat in the Keys! Keep the reports and good pics coming. Proud for you...
Key West is a fantastic place, and is almost a second home to me. While in college I became very good friends with a guy from there and so we ended up going down there quite often for spring break & summer breaks. He eventually moved back down there within a few years after college and so it became my get away place. Then four years ago when I found myself needing a place to live and a job, that's where I went because of the good friends I had down there that were helping me with a job and place to live. However I grew up in VA, and while I love going to Key West, living there is a different story. I missed the variety of motorcycling opportunities, and I especially missed the VA/WV mountains.

Hope you enjoy the rest of the report.


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Originally Posted by Dirty bike View Post
Looking good so far.

Most tire shops that do suspension work will have a wall or pedestal mounted manual spring compressor that makes quick work of a spring swap job. If you get someone that understands it's no more difficult than a normal coil over strut or shock. Cost can be $5 or $40, more or less. The $40 was a half hour of their normal labor rate, (kinda sucked, but it was done while I waited), a 10 minute job because they didn't know what they were doing. I used to have a spring compressor on my garage wall and would do these for free, (5 minute job).

I look forward to seeing the next installment.
That makes sense, and it's good to know. Now that I've done it, I see that it's not particularly difficult given the right tools. I kinda wanted to do it because in part I'm using this project to broaden my mechanical and wrenching knowledge base. And let me tell you, I've learned a lot so far through this process and am looking forward to learning more. Thank God for good (not to mention patient) teachers and friends!


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Originally Posted by Rusty Rocket View Post
Subscribed looks like s fun project. can't wait for the ride report.
Me too! The first round of my RTW trip is scheduled for summer of 2014. I plan on shipping the bike to western Europe (probably Dublin or Belfast), and then touring around western Europe primarily, but I may be hitting the northern coast of Africa and the Scandinavian countries.
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:29 PM   #19
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Alright, with the rear shock ready to be swapped out, we turned our attention to the front end, where the majority of the work was needed. First order of business, remove the front wheel.





With that being done, now time to remove the forks. Bike kinda looks funny without any forks!



Now here's where the research comes into play, and one of the many ways in which I am endebted to JDrocks. I'm swapping out the forks for forks from a 2008 Suzuki DRZ400S. The main reasons are more suspension travel, fully adjustable, and will fit right into the Versys triple trees with very minor adjustments. To get the fully adjustable forks, you must get '02 or '03 or newer DRZ. The small adjustment that's needed is two parts. For the upper triple tree I just inserted some thin sheet metal as shim; the stock I used was .25mm thick. The shim for the lower triples is a bit more complicated, and another area when I can thank my secret benefactor for helping me out!



Those suckers sleeve into the lower triple clamps with a little sleeving adhesive; I used...



Set into place...



Now all I needed to do was slide the forks up into place and secure the bolts. Because these are longer forks overall, and I don't want to change the geometry of the bike too much (rake, trail, and all that stuff), I once again followed JD's advice and had the forks poke out 20mm above the triple tree top clamps. Once the forks were in place, I couldn't resist sliding the front wheel in there just to take a look!



The longer forks definitely raised the front end of the bike, but I really like the more aggressive stance. I'm also hoping that it will help with one of the flaws of the Versys which is the forward and downward sloping seat that cramps your boys up against the gas tank.


To be continued....
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:26 PM   #20
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:50 PM   #21
Kiko
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Nice work. Curious what the seat height is with the DRZ forks installed?? I'm in the middle of a similar Versys project but still mulling around with the fork decision.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:13 PM   #22
DougZ73
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Subscribed. Having a buddy who owned one, these offroad worthy Versys builds always interest me.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:52 PM   #23
Motocox
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Wow.

Love me a Vs.

Make this thing a BEAST!
Take me on your trip...
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:11 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiko View Post
Nice work. Curious what the seat height is with the DRZ forks installed?? I'm in the middle of a similar Versys project but still mulling around with the fork decision.
I haven't measured yet, but I'll take a tape measure to it and post it up.

What forks have you thought about using for your build out of curiosity?


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Love me a Vs.

Make this thing a BEAST!
Take me on your trip...

What's going on brother! Hey, just get your vacation time lined up and either ship your V over to Europe with mine, or even better, rent a 1K V over there!
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:16 PM   #25
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Correction.

I have to thanks JDrocks for bringing to my attention a point in the build thread so far where I mispoke. The spring rate for the rear shock should be in kgs per mm NOT lbs per mm. So just to clarify, the spring rate for the spring I had custom made was 16 KG per mm.

Thanks Dave!



Now what am I doing up at this hour!? Well, I'm still all jacked up from watching the UFC fights this evening. So stoked that Nate won his fight!
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:33 PM   #26
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Alright, since I'm up, I might as well put up another little bit of the build. We'd left off with having swapped out the forks. Here's another picture with a side by side comparison of the forks.



Next up is the perfect example of why I jumped at the opportunity when my buddy Clarence offered up not only his help, but his shop in putting this bike together. Not only does he have a really nice shop at home, but he's also got the tools to fabricate just about anything you might need. This is fully backed up with years of engineering and machining experience. So next up Clarence got to work on fabricating parts on his metal lathe while Warren and I attend to some loose ends.

While Warren and I pulled off the OEM brake lines and put on the Galfer SS braided brake line....



Clarence got to work fabricating an axle sleeve. For those of you who aren't familiar with the DRZ front end, the stock axle is thicker at one end. However that axles is too short to use on this set up because the DRZ forks are closer together on the DRZ than on the Versys. Therefor I'm using an OEM Kawasaki Ninja 650 rear axle for my front axle. It's already the correct diameter (20mm), and it will simply need to be cut down to the right length, and get threaded down a little farther down the shaft. Because one of the axle brackets on the DRZ forks has a receiving hole larger than 20mm, we need a sleeve. Of course you can buy this, but making it is just more fun when you have the ability to do so.

Clarence on the lathe.



Starting with some solid round stock and roughly boring it out a little under size.



And machining the outer diameter.



Before you know it you've got a sleeve!

Next up, we need to start fabricating an adapter plate to mount the front brake caliper. There are several reasons for this: 1) the mounting hole spacing on the caliper is different than the hole spacing on the mounts attached to the fork tube, 2) the calipers needs to be moved into the wheel a 1/4 inch, and 3) the caliper needs to be held at a different angle than what the mounting tabs on the fork dictate. So once again, Clarence and his shop and know how come to the rescue with his mill and a piece of 1/4" stainless steel he sourced from work. First up, measuring and cutting holes to mount the caliper to the bracket.



We made a little template out of some scrap plexi and used it to guide us in locating the mounting holes and overall shape of the bracket.





While Clarence kept working on the caliper mounting bracket, Warren and I got to working on another part of the build. Can you guess what it is by looking at these pictures?







More to come tomorrow; gonna try and get to sleep now.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:54 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by XC Rider View Post



Now what am I doing up at this hour!? Well, I'm still all jacked up from watching the UFC fights this evening. So stoked that Nate won his fight!
Good man...I like UFC stuff too, and Bellatore. Although I do not pay for the pay per views...too pricey.

There is a quote someone once made..something along the lines of, "if there is no motors, wheels, or fists, it is not a sport, just a hobby"
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:07 AM   #28
LukasM
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Nice build man, good to see another 650 adventurization inspired by JD!


One idea, wouldn't it be better to put the triple clamp sleeves in upside down from the way you have them now? Then the lip would help hold them in place against the movement of the forks, instead of just having to rely on friction and the adhesive.

Probably not an issue but I don't see any disadvantage.


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Set into place...

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Old 12-01-2013, 05:34 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by DougZ73 View Post
Good man...I like UFC stuff too, and Bellatore. Although I do not pay for the pay per views...too pricey.

There is a quote someone once made..something along the lines of, "if there is no motors, wheels, or fists, it is not a sport, just a hobby"
Man, I think all the things that I enjoy include at least one of those!

Yeah, buddies of mine turned me on to the UFC about 5 years ago and I've been hooked since. Last night's fight card was a really good one. Don't know if you're a Diaz fan or not, but Nate put on one hell of a boxing display last night!
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukasM View Post
Nice build man, good to see another 650 adventurization inspired by JD!


One idea, wouldn't it be better to put the triple clamp sleeves in upside down from the way you have them now? Then the lip would help hold them in place against the movement of the forks, instead of just having to rely on friction and the adhesive.

Probably not an issue but I don't see any disadvantage.
Hmm, interesting idea; something to try I guess. Once again the primary reason I'm doing it this way is because this is the way JDrocks did it. He's run thousands of miles with his bike on all kinds of terrain and it's worked for him thus far. While I don't mind trying new things, I'm also a big believer in the quote:

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Glad you're enjoying the build; I'll get more pictures and more of the story up later today.
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:51 AM   #30
eddie bolted
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Welcome; all I can say is ....... DO IT!!!





Eddie! Love you brother, and the KLRs too! Like I always tell people, you shouldn't be worried if I give you a little shit, that means that I actually like you. If I didn't like you, I'd just ignore you and not mention you! This obviously applies to bikes as well.

The KLRs are good bikes in their own regard; hell, I've owned two of them myself and they have taken me to incredible places all over the lower 48. But the power that the Versys motor produces in comparison....well....

Welcome aboard my friend, and be warned, you may be converted if you hang around!
Love you too man,(all you guy's),i was just F'IN with ya.Believe it or not i ride a KLR out of choice,i love that bike,it's just that it is boring on the interstate.
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