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Old 12-01-2013, 07:07 AM   #31
The Rizz
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Great build. What footpegs are those and are they a direct bolt on? I tried DR650 pegs but they don't fit without some grinding.

Any worries about rocks chipping the plastidip off the front wheel?
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:13 AM   #32
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Alright, got some breakfast and coffee in me; time for another installment.

So we'd left off with some strange contraption that involved a ladder straddling the motorcycle and a large ratchet strap. The purpose and reason for this was this...



Yep, might as well go ahead and swap out the rear shock while Clarence does more machine work on the caliper mounting bracket. The above picture is the stock Versys shock pulled out; once you float the back end of the bike, it comes out easy peasy.

Next up, install the new shock; with the bushings bored out to 12mm, it's just as easy to put in as it was to pull out the OEM Versys shock.



Looks pretty good too!

Because this shock has a gas reservoir on top, in case you bottom out the rear suspension that reservoir will hit the plastic trim above it. No problem, a little bit of drawing and a dremel tool and voila!




In the mean time Clarence was working on caliper mounting bracket #2; yeah, it was my fault when we were fabbing up the first one, I forgot that the holes to mount the bracket to the caliper need to be thru bolt holes, but the holes to mount the bracket to the forks need to be tapped. Oh well, once we got the first bracket in place we also noticed where we could trim a little excess meat and where we wanted to add a little meat for strength so making a second one turned out to be beneficial.

Here is Clarence working on machining the second one, using the first as a guide for hole locations and such.



While he's doing that, I turn my attention to the kick stand. With the new suspension the bike sits a bit taller so the kick stand will need to be extended. There's no reason why you could cut and lengthen the stock Versys kick stand, but per JDrocks recomendation I sourced a post '08 KLR650 kick stand for this purpose. He is the new kick stand in place to figure out how much we need to add in length.



Looks like a 2X4 thickness (1.5") will work great!



Next step, cut the kick stand where we'll add the extension. I ended up using a tubing cutter for this operation. Easy to use, and it gave a nice and square cut.



Ta-Dah!



We'll get back to the kick stand later. JDrocks used a piece of 7/8" handlebar to lengthen his kick stand as that is the inner diameter of the tubing that the kick stand is made from; I went a slightly different route.
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:17 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rizz View Post
Great build. What footpegs are those and are they a direct bolt on? I tried DR650 pegs but they don't fit without some grinding.

Any worries about rocks chipping the plastidip off the front wheel?
Thanks! I'll have to look and see what make those footpegs are, but they came off my KLR650 so unfortunately they're not a direct bolt on as the Versys mounting bolt is 10 or 12mm and the KLR one is much smaller. I simply bored out the hole slowly and using plenty of lubricant on my drill press. Not enough meat was removed to really concern me with regards to strength/breaking.

With regards to the Plati-Dip, yes it is a concern, but I wanted to give it a try. Like I mentioned I got the idea from a buddy of mine who's big into Jeeps. He actually used this on his rims with apparently good success so far, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Time will tell if this was a good decision or not.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #34
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Looking good Dennis. Can't wait to cruise around the gw with you on your v.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:05 PM   #35
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Looking good Dennis. Can't wait to cruise around the gw with you on your v.
Yeah, you and me both! This bike was killer fun on the road before the transformation, and now it will be killer fun on just about anything except for the more technical off road stuff. That's where bikes like your 'Berg shine.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:23 PM   #36
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Alright, we're almost through the two day build/fab blitz. I'd last left off with having figured out how much I needed to lengthen the kick stand and then cut it in two. My/our plan was to machine a piece of steel that would be about 2" longer than what I needed to lengthen the kick stand by, turn the center 1.5" down to the outer diameter of the kick stand and then 1" on either end down to the inside diameter of the kick stand tubing. Both pieces of the kick stand would then sleeve onto this extender piece and I would do some plug welds on either end to hold it all together. However I needed to turn my attention back to the front end as Clarence had finished up making the new caliper mounting bracket. We'd sourced out some 8mmx1.25 by 40mm long bolts to mount the bracket to the fork mounts. We were unable to source some 10mmx1.25 by approximately 15mm long bolts to mount the caliper to the bracket. So I decided I'd take the stock Versys caliper mounting bolts, chase the threads down the bolt and cut them to length.

Here I am cutting the threads down the length of the bolt.



Two stock bolts side by side, the one of the left having had the threads chased farther down the length of the bolt.



Both bolts with the threads chased down the length, and then 1 of them cut to the correct new length needed.



In the mean time Clarence had turned on the lathe the kick stand extender piece. Result!



With the OEM kick stand next to it for a side by side comparison.



With the brake caliper now mounted we were able to take final measurements to double check how long the wheel spacers needed to be. What we did to figure this out was to measure the distance between the fork tubes where the axles slides thru, then measure the thickness of the wheel hub spacer, subtract the one from the other and divide by two. This gave us the length for our wheel spacers to center the wheel in between the forks.

Clarence at work cutting wheel spacers. Have I mentioned just how much a engineering & machining guru he is!?



Perfect fit.



And a final mounting of the wheel with all the spacers in place.



Everything was looking good, so next up was to refill the brake fluid reservoir and bleed the line. Once that was done, then it was time to take the bike out for it's maiden voyage! After all, we had to make sure that everything we did was not for nothing. That and we all needed some sort of confirmation that our time and hard work was worth it!

I've got two short video clips, uploading the now. Will post them up shortly.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #37
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Looking good.

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Old 12-01-2013, 09:55 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XC Rider View Post
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....

^^^nice build, appears that Harbor Freight lift has served the shop well. hope so, I just picked one up!

*subscribed*
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:38 AM   #39
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Functional customization at its best. Love this kinda thread.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:34 AM   #40
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Bolts




XC Rider,

Really enjoying your build, nice work. This will be a great bike when you are done.

I want to mention that because of metal fatigue/crack starting issues it is not good practice to recut threads on bolts. On most structural bolts the threads are rolled onto the bolt blanks, then heat treated. When you cut into these hardened bolts after the fact you are cutting / tearing the metal at the thread root and crack propagation is a real issue. There might be times when this could be OK but if you are using these bolts to hold your calipers in place you are risking some serious damage if they should fail and somehow tie up your wheel while riding. For your safety please consider replacing these bolts with good quality (not stainless steel) bolts. The bolts should be inexpensive enough that there is no reason to risk bolt failure by recutting.

If you are interested in fasteners etc. Carrol Smith has a great book on this stuff and interesting reading if you are into that.

Carroll Smith's Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners and Plumbing Handbook

You can buy direct from him at: http://www.carrollsmith.com/main.html

No connect with him but I do respect his considerable experience and he has a nice and easy to understand way of explaining the why of things.


Best of luck on your build.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:33 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveWFL View Post
^^^nice build, appears that Harbor Freight lift has served the shop well. hope so, I just picked one up!

*subscribed*
It sure is. I think I may have mentioned that the build process here is taking place at my friend's house. Not only does he have a great shop space to begin with, but he's also got all the tools necessary to make anything we need, and of course a lift. He's been very happy with it thus far for the money, and in regards to this build and other times when we've worked on bikes, it sure has come in handy!


Quote:
Originally Posted by DougZ73 View Post
Functional customization at its best. Love this kinda thread.
Man I sure hope so! I have big plans for this bike. Just to wet your appetite and throw a little teaser out there my plans for this bike are as follows:

- End of May/begining of June 2014 ship the bike to western Europe (more than likely either Ireland or England).
- Spend June, July, and August 2014 touring around western Europe, possibly north Africa (Morocco, Algeria, & Tunisia), and hopefully some of Scandinavia (Sweden & Norway).
- End up in Belgium by August, and store the bike with family (I unfortunately have to return to go back to work as I'm not a millionair ).
- Return to Belgium summer of 2015 and head east! Plan is to travel across Russia, go through Mongolia, maybe hit up some of the -Stans, and end up in Magadan or Vladivastok.
- From there either ship back to the US, or maybe down to South Korea (I may have contacts there through which I could store the bike for another stretch until I can once again return summer of 2016).
- If I end up storing the bike in South Korea (which is the way I'm leaning towards at the moment but of course this is still a long ways off), return to South Korea and tour that country, plus at least Japan.
- Then who knows!? It's just way too far in the future and too many things can come up between now and then.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lambo View Post

XC Rider,

Really enjoying your build, nice work. This will be a great bike when you are done.

I want to mention that because of metal fatigue/crack starting issues it is not good practice to recut threads on bolts. On most structural bolts the threads are rolled onto the bolt blanks, then heat treated. When you cut into these hardened bolts after the fact you are cutting / tearing the metal at the thread root and crack propagation is a real issue. There might be times when this could be OK but if you are using these bolts to hold your calipers in place you are risking some serious damage if they should fail and somehow tie up your wheel while riding. For your safety please consider replacing these bolts with good quality (not stainless steel) bolts. The bolts should be inexpensive enough that there is no reason to risk bolt failure by recutting.

If you are interested in fasteners etc. Carrol Smith has a great book on this stuff and interesting reading if you are into that.

Carroll Smith's Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners and Plumbing Handbook

You can buy direct from him at: http://www.carrollsmith.com/main.html

No connect with him but I do respect his considerable experience and he has a nice and easy to understand way of explaining the why of things.


Best of luck on your build.
That's good information to know; thank you for sharing. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know everything. In the grand scheme of things a pair of bolts is cheap, but a front break caliper breaking off during evasive maneuvering can be disastrous!
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:42 PM   #42
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Alright here are the videos of the FIRST TEST RIDE!





So here's what happened. The kick stand was off the bike because it needed to be lengthened. Now the Versys has a little pivot tab tied in to the kick stand which operates the safety switch, and when I pulled off the kick stand I had it in the DOWN position. Duh! It's still funny that we all said kick stand safety switch in unison when the bike shut off! Easy fix; my favorite kind.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:47 PM   #43
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And now for the test ride, TAKE 2! :Norton



What you don't see is that after looping back up to the guys, I went back out again on the road to see how the bike felt up at speeds. All in all I did about a 3 mile loop, and got the bike up to about 70 MPH. The bike handled GREAT! For me and the rest of the guys, this was the confirmation that the day and a half of work we'd put into this project was well worth it.

Afterwards we put the bike back on the lift and remove the front wheel. The wheel spacers & axle sleeve that we'd made would be going out to get plated and the Ninja rear axle that I am using as a front axle is going to a machine shop to get the threads chased down the length of the axle and then cut to final length. We hope to get everything back in about a week or two, at which point we'll put the front end back together again. Once that is done, then it will be time to fabricate a front fender set up, and mount up some auxiliary lights up front too.

Stay tuned!
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:53 PM   #44
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Kick stand update.

Even though we could have welded up the kick stand at Clarence's shop, I took it home with me because I'd need to paint anyways. Here is the end result.

New kick stand on the left with the extender sleeve and plug weld holes drilled through. OEM Versys kick stand on the right.



Close up of the extender bit.



Kick stand welded up and getting coated with more Plasti-Dip (this Plasti-Dip experiment will either be a great triumph or a great fiasco! )



The obsessive compulsive person in me is a bit upset with myself because I decided to skip a step. You can see a fine line where either end of the extender bit touches the kick stand. I had planned on filling and sanding those with Bondo or something before painting, but in my laziness and haste I had hoped that the Plasti-Dip might fill that gap. Well as you can see, it didn't. Maybe I'm just being too hard on myself; after all, it is just a kick stand. Either way, I think it will be perfectly functional, and I'm super happy with the extender piece.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:57 PM   #45
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INTERMISSION

So as I stated above, we are now in a holding pattern until wheel spacers and such get back from getting plated. Next up on the to-do list is:

1) Fabricate a front fender set up.
2) Mount some auxiliary lights up front.
3) Depending on what I do with the front fender set up, put either some fork boots or shock socks on the front forks.
4) Wire up a pair of 12 volt outlets.
5) Maybe change out the handle bars or get a set of bar risers.
6) TAKE THE FINISHED PRODUCT OUT FOR A TRUE TEST RIDE/WEEKEND IN THE DIRT!

Thanks for tuning in.
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