Kawasaki 650 Thinja notes; parts bin build

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by dentvet, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. 4play

    4play Next?

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ
    I like it well enough I'm going to send you more money to convert the single on my KTM.
    The bike is a hoot, so smooth and quiet, makes the easy trails more enjoyable
  2. kajj

    kajj Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    In northern Sweden
    Looks like fun :thumb

    I have been wondering. How would you compare the suspension between your ninja and the 990 adventure?
    Also what about the weight difference? The 990 is heavier but is it well balanced?
  3. 4play

    4play Next?

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ
    It's better than a stock 990. Dumb luck or attention to detail, the bike has no quirks or bad habits. I had a couple of guys ride it and the reviews were positive. The bike feels very balanced, stable. I'm running a TKC front tire and the front end feels just a little vague entering a decomposed granite turn real aggressively, I don't know if it's the tire or something in the geometry? The relocated pegs and the Versys tank being shorter made the ergos feel right.
  4. kajj

    kajj Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    In northern Sweden
    Sounds good.

    I will be testriding a 990 adventure this weekend. Hoping to get it out on some gravel and see how it feels.
    Not planing to sell the adversys but my local dealership offered me to take it for a spin.
    Can`t say no to that :evil
  5. 4play

    4play Next?

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ

    Me comparing my bike to an Adventure is not to slam the KTM, they are the most capable Dirt worthy Adventure bikes you can buy. The BMW GS800's are pretty capable too. For my intended use & IMHO the purpose built Ninja is better & alot less expensive in terms of dollars spent. I don't want to discuss my hourly rate though :deal

    Enjoy the test ride
  6. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    708
    My son bought a Ninja 650 this spring, for a sport bike, not for mutating. This past weekend we went on a 600 mile ride (all paved) and we switched bikes for a while, I did not have my ninja, was riding my Cross Roads. This was the first chance I had to really put some miles on the stock ninja set up. All I can say is building a dirt ninja without doing something with the stock peg location and stock rear shock is a big mistake. The ergos are way wrong for an off road bike with the stock peg location and that stock rear shock is, well, it is a joke.


    Good job 4play, the bike looks great.
  7. 4play

    4play Next?

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ
    Thanks, the seat to peg on mine is still a little tight for long trips, a taller seat would help, but it would be too tall for my legs for the off road stuff.

    I trimmed some versys side panels for the tank, makes me wish I had them before I reshaped the seat, it's still better than the exposed brackets.

    [​IMG]

    I'm an engine guy so I went ahead & tested the Versys intake cam in the Ninja motor, it's 12 degrees less intake duration & is a direct swap. I had the valve cover off anyway to check the valves. These are the cam specs

    Ninja 650R/ER6:
    Inlet- open 31° BTDC................Exhaust- open 50° BBDC
    close 61° ABDC........................close 30° ATDC
    duration 272°..........................duration 260°
    cam height 36.6 +/- 0.057 mm... cam height 35.9 +/- 0.057 mm

    Versys:
    Inlet- open 25° BTDC................Exhaust- open 47° BBDC
    close 54° ABDC........................close 25° ATDC
    duration 260°..........................duration 252°
    cam height 35.9 +/- 0.057 mm... cam height 35.4 +/- 0.057 mm

    I had talked to & read post from the guru's that had done a lot of testing/developing 650R's on road courses. The intake swap was a very popular inexpensive mod for boosting torque off the corners. The peak HP figures were very close to the same, but the torque curve was broader & came in a little sooner. It was a cheap ebay item & I can swap it back easily. I installed it & rode the bike with my wideband O2 sensor before & after. All of the readings were very safe acceptable numbers. I like what it did for my type of trail riding. The torque improvement is noticable & I don't sense any loss of top end.
    My 115 mile trail ride Sunday yeilded only 41mpg, but I was carring the front end anytime I had a rise in the trail & playing out of every corner to see what the bike was capable of. We slabbed it back at 75 to 80, had one hilarious stop light grandprix (guys on big dirtbikes experiencing more traction than they thought).
    I won't be reinstalling the Ninja intake cam. :deal
  8. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    708
    Very interesting, I would be willing to trade some 10,000 rpm torque for low RPM torque. From what I understand, but have done very little research, is that the Versys engine has less torque every where than the Ninja. But changing the intake cam to a Versys cam, improves the bottom end on the Ninja motor? Can you direct me to the road racing post u mention?
  9. 4play

    4play Next?

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ
    The Versys has less compression & smaller cams so yes the torque & horsepower are lower. I don't want a Versys motor, but like you said, I'd be happy to trade a couple of 10k HP to have the torque come in a little sooner. You don't want the Versys exhaust cam, just the intake.

    I'm still running the stock muffler, thought about changing, but it's not in my way, it's tough, I'm really enjoying the quiet, it's free & Forest service legal.

    This is one of the sources

    http://www.brp650forum.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2240
  10. 4play

    4play Next?

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ
    Really having fun with the Ninja, rode over 300 miles yesterday mostly offroad, with some 80mph highway thrown in connecting the trails.

    The landing (baby jump)

    [​IMG]

    Swimming lessons

    [​IMG]

    The improved suspension, the sewing machine like engine, the quiet stock exhaust make this kind of outing so relaxing, a real change of pace from my KTM animal (I love it for what it's for), NOST revalve of the rear shock was worth every penny, very plush, but much improved ability to handle rain ruts etc.

    The Versys intake cam did exactly what I was hoping it would, the torque comes in a little sooner & it still revs like a Ninja. If I lost any HP, I don't feel it. My fuel mileage was a bit better this outing, 4.04 gallons for 202 miles.
  11. Brian-M

    Brian-M Melting in GA

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    958
    Location:
    Warm Springs, GA
    Damnit, stop temping me... this is local for $400

    [​IMG]

    and I'm so on the fence right now... just trying to decide how much I like having a butt to sit on, or if I can sacrifice some to the chewing out I'll get from the wife. :deal

    :lol3

    Glad there are several of you guys who've done this already though, I've got zero machining experience or tools...
  12. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,057
    Location:
    Upstate SC USA
    If nothing else,you can part it out and double your money.
  13. pennswoodsed

    pennswoodsed lizards,bugs and me

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    797
    Location:
    Reading,Pa
    Ass chewing for great project bike fodder ? d d d done !
  14. 4play

    4play Next?

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ
    If that were here, I'd be all over it myself :deal

    I think a street tracker Ninja would be very cool :evil
  15. 4play

    4play Next?

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ
    I thought I would give some feedback on how the Thinja is doing.
    Overall I am very pleased with what the bike can do. It behaves very much like a 990 adventure, very stable, capable but is lighter & gets better fuel economy. I'm averaging 42mpg spirited trail riding. Lots of on & off the throttle, elevation changes & AZ sand washes. I'm still geared 6% below stock effective gearing between my 150/18" rear tire & 15/52 gearing. A 49T rear or a 16T front would put it right on the money for the odometer.The way it's currently geared works well offroad.
    The suspension works very well, all I did to the front was change to 52 springs & the forks work very well, The rear works almost as well condsidering the stroke ratio & the relatively small piston in the R1 shock.
    The revalve that Pete Russel did was the key.

    The bike is fairly tall for a 30" inseamed rider, partially because of the width. I might seriously look at a 17" rear wheel. The swingarm extension, although the bike is very stable and the weight distribution is 49/51 front to rear, I might consider only adding an inch to the swingarm with a 17" wheel. With the stock swingarm it wheelied over obstacles a bit easier than it does with the 2.5" extension. The seat to footpeg distance is still a bit tight, but with the rocks I ride in I don't think I'd lower the pegs any farther. A taller seat for road trips would be a good idea.

    The engine is awesome, staying with the stock exhaust is definately the way to go. I will admit at times I'd like a bit more sound, but I'm actually enjoying the quieter little sewing machine, The air filter is a bit small, you really need to hang back out of the dust or lead.

    The street manners are very good, nothing that as done by me or Dave seems to have taken much of the Ninja out of it. I'm running a Mefo Super Explorer rear tire & a TKC front. They make very little noise & the rear is very good offroad, the TKC front pushes a bit on decomposed granite, but it is predictable & does very ell on pavementl

    If something happens to this one, I like it well enough I would build another
  16. 4play

    4play Next?

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ
    I've put 2000 miles on it now, zero issues. It's packed for a 700+ mile mostly offroad weekend. Is it Saturday yet?

    [​IMG]
  17. 4play

    4play Next?

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ
    I'm pretty sure I'm the only Ninja that has been through this area :evil

    [​IMG]
  18. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,428
    Location:
    Mountains of Central Florida:)
    Come on now, we all know ninjas love rocks:evil

    Northern AL creek bed
    [​IMG]
  19. pjm204

    pjm204 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,036
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I regret selling mine :cry

    I think I need to start looking for another donor bike.
  20. 4play

    4play Next?

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ