Adventure Ninja 650R

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by ghostdncr, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr Burnin' daylight...

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    The adventure Ninja arrived in Louisville this morning just a little before daylight. More details after I've gotten some sleep. :snore

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    #1
  2. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr Burnin' daylight...

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    So the back story that goes along with this bike begins (for me) with its being posted in the flea market back in early March: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=769843&highlight=ninja

    Upon seeing the ad, I offered my DRZ400S/SM combo in trade. Bryan had his eye on another bike in Tennessee so that was a no-go, but I posted it in the flea market and sold it almost immediately. There's apparently quite a market for the DRZ, and especially the combo setups. Anyway...

    It took us every bit of a month to get the shipping arranged and executed. I initially wanted to hop a bus down to west Texas and ride it back home, but family and work obligations made that completely un-workable until mid-June. I lucked up and contracted a shipper from Somerset, Kentucky, who agreed to transport the bike for an even $300. I was pretty well shocked to find I could "mail" an accessorized Ninja halfway across the country for three bills, but it can be done! There was a cascade of weather-related issues that stretched the schedule out, along with my shipper encountering several folks who had near-zero social skills, much less any experience in shipping motorcycles. The guy was habitually in-contact with me throughout the whole adventure and I tracked him via an online GPS monitoring service that updated his location every ninety minutes or so. Per the plan we agreed on yesterday, he called and woke me up in the wee hours this morning when he was about thirty minutes out of Louisville. This gave me time to get dressed and get most of a big cup of coffee done away with. The pics in my earlier post show us getting it unloaded, of course. This next round is the basic walkaround and points of interest.

    With the bike unlicensed until this coming Wednesday, I've only ridden it around the parking lot and across the street to the CVS store. Still, I'm already a little concerned about the cockpit sizing. At 6'1" and 250 lbs, I'm considerably larger than whatever fitment model was used at any stage of any Ninja's design. I had a 1000R back in the day and it was a big, long bike that I remember being somewhat roomy. Still, I was a lot younger, more flexible, much thinner, and not nearly so damaged as I am today. It may turn out to be no problem at all and I've gotta say, the handlebar mods are AWESOME!!! They add just enough upright to the riding position to make me hopeful for the future.

    So how about those pics? :lol3

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    #2
  3. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr Burnin' daylight...

    Joined:
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    ...and the remainder, for now:

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    This critical fitment issue has been checked and signed-off on. We are good to go. :1drink

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    #3
  4. BeerIsGood

    BeerIsGood Guest

    Love the bike!!!! But miller lite?
    #4
  5. dunesnstars

    dunesnstars Been here awhile

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    Va Beach
    Congratulations on your new ride! I converted my 650r as well. Have you seen jdrocks' bike? It rocks!
    #5
  6. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

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    May 28, 2007
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    Love it! Can't wait to see it in person. Bad ass!! :clap
    #6
  7. 1reddawg

    1reddawg Long timer

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    The more i look at your bike,the more i WANT one!!:D
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    Just noticed The face!!Nice!!
    #7
  8. FloorPoor

    FloorPoor Been here awhile

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    Spudville, Idaho
    I just want somebody to wreck a Versys (with miraculously no injury) and donate the leftovers to my 650 twin in a KLR project:evil (with actual suspension added, of course)

    NICE BIKE BTW!
    #8
  9. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr Burnin' daylight...

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    Thanks for the compliments, guys. I finally got it licensed last night and was able to do some riding! Aside from the peg positioning, it's a pretty awesome ride. Unfortunately, I didn't get too far from home because I had a bunch of other stuff going on, but it's pretty easy to tell how much better the modifications have made it. The handlebar mod alone completely changes the way the bike handles and makes it a bunch more responsive than the stock setup, at least as I remember it. I've only ridden a 650R once before and that was back in 2009, if I remember correctly.
    #9
  10. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    Welcome to the Rat ninja world:freaky

    The SAR forum has a plethora of builds for ex650 based bikes. IIRC only one has tackled peg relocation which isn't a huge issue unless you will be riding it offroad:deal

    Dirt Ninja from Daytona bike week trip.

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    #10
  11. Murphy Slaw

    Murphy Slaw Long timer

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    Very cool.

    This thread could get HUGE......

    :D
    #11
  12. ohgood

    ohgood Long timer

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    all you needed was the kickass yellow-flamed tankbag, to make the bike awesome.

    (i got one too) :D
    #12
  13. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr Burnin' daylight...

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    Thanks! How about a link to this "SAR forum?" All I'm coming up with is "Search And Rescue" and thinking surely that's not what you're talking about.
    #13
  14. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    Bar none that is the best tank bag I have ever had, it is waterproof beyond mention. And they have been discountinued:cry anyone have a Joe Rocket like that for sell LMK.

    Some Assembly Required
    #14
  15. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr Burnin' daylight...

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    I've been commuting on the Ninja this past week and it's performed just fine in that role, although the pegs are still standing out as something of an issue for me. Today I had the opportunity to take a somewhat longer ride and check out some gravel, which amounted to around 100 miles total by the time I got back home.

    I took a meandering track north from Louisville and my first stop was in Henryville, Indiana, which was nearly annihilated by an F4 (I think) tornado on March 2nd. I parked right across the street from the high school and snapped a couple of pics before moving on:

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    Here's an aerial view I found on Wikipedia. I was parked almost directly across the street from the middle school bus when I snapped the above pics. Progress is being made, but it's slow going:

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    I rode through the Clark State Forest for the sole purpose of hitting the gravel portion of the road. I stopped and grabbed a few photos near one of the lakes back there whose name I can never remember, but suited up and made a quick exit when roughly a dozen drunks on horseback came rolling off the dam. They were shouting, cussing, and seemed to be mostly in a slow motion running dismount. Oh, there was a little Jack Russell terrier running amongst the horses' feet, which was helping not a damn thing, near as I could tell.

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    Having had my old KTM 950A above 70 mph on this road, I can say the Ninja is nowhere nearly as sure-footed and will never see speeds like that. I had one burst on a straight stretch that got up to 40 mph and I was certain the bike was going down at any moment. Standing on the pegs is out of the question because of their height, so I'm left sitting in the saddle and hoping for the best.

    After riding on up to the Crothersville area and circling around to Salem, I stopped by the Clark County airport on the way home for the obligatory shot with the Sabre they have there:

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    The fuel light came on at 145 miles.
    #15
  16. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    Nit: Its an FJ Fury, the navalized version of the Sabre.

    Nice bike.
    #16
  17. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    "SAR" is sanjoh speak for "Some Assembly Required" an ADV subsection of the forum. you're going to need a suspension under that 650R and there are plenty of ideas on how to go about it in the Ninja builds, also ways to address the peg location.

    there is a very well executed standard ride height 650R build included, but the gal rider is a foot shorter and over 100# lighter than you.

    you can start reading here, but there's even more on the forum, and more builds on the way-

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=632255

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=319441

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=736687

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=608309

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=562633

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=654184

    and a Versys here-

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=644390
    #17
  18. straightrod

    straightrod Long timer

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    Cool looking bike. How is that front tire performing?
    #18
  19. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr Burnin' daylight...

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    Louisville, KY
    Great, so far! It's noisy and vibrates pretty badly at low speed, like rolling up to a stop, but over about 15mph I can't tell it from a street tire. It was very twitchy in gravel this past weekend, but I'm gonna attribute most of that to the Ninja's steering head angle. That could stand some serious relaxing!

    Thanks for all the links, JD! That should help keep me from accomplishing anything for at least a few days. :lol3
    #19
  20. p0diabl0

    p0diabl0 Been here awhile

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    San Diego
    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/mcy/2976636672.html

    Hell of a deal for as long as it lasts.

    edit: copy of the ad for when it's gone:
    #20