Kawasaki Versys - 19" wire wheels added - Juice Box - Mods Review!

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by bmacneil2008, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. bmacneil2008

    bmacneil2008 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    A few pics of my 2011 VS. I just picked up last month, 01/2014, from a dealer Macon, GA. Drove 5 hours to purchase. Still in the crate, zero miles, only 270 miles now. Watched it assembled and fluids added. Really good price. Ok, comments on my mods.

    1) Yoshimura Carbon Exhaust
    Perfect sound with the DB insert, way too load otherwise. By the way, this is not a ‘slip on’ meaning for many other bikes the catalytic is retained when adding new exhaust, not with the VS. You will need to add more fuel in all RPM ranges with a Juice Box or Power Commander. Also, and is not in the instructions, if you use the DB, you need to remove the bolt hole ‘tang’ before inserting the DB plug.

    2) Two Bro’s Juice Box
    You will learn much about your bike installing this mod. Watch YouTube videos. You will make mistakes if you do not.

    3) A/C Adapter
    Great for powering GPS or Cell.

    4) Nelson-Rigg Touring Saddle Bags
    Tried Givi’s and just ridiculous to position correctly. Returned same day. The Nelson’s fit perfect and for half the $.

    5) Kawasaki Tail Bag
    Looks cool and holds a 6 pack.

    6) Fork Sliders
    Like the look.

    7) Frame Sliders
    Like the look. Watching them closely though as become the new motor mount bolts.

    8) Rear Axle Spools
    A must for working on the bike. So much easier with a front and rear lift.

    9) Yoshimura Bar Ends
    Light weight and still no ‘buzz’.

    10) Vario Touring Screen
    Worth every penney. Only wind is at top of shoulders/face. I am 6”.

    11) Galfer Stainless Brake Lines
    Not sure I can recommend these over stock lines. Installed all three and a few weeks later, all were sweating, the front right actually dripping. I re-torqued but the right front is still an issue. Look great though.

    12) Yoshimura Fender Eliminator
    A much cleaner look.

    13) Super Sprox 44t
    Except for the rims, this is my favorite mod. The bike is so much easier to ride, minimizes the off/on abrupt throttle response, first gear is actually useable, and only 4k RPM at 55-60. Cannot recommend more.

    14) Puig Carbon Hugger
    Keeps the electrics and shock so much cleaner after a ride.

    15) Carbon Front Fender Extender
    Keeps headers and engine cleaner and protects radiator.

    16) Sig Sauer 9mm P938 under Seat
    Will sleep better when camping.

    17) Shinko 705 Dual Sport Tires
    Love them.

    18) Woody’s (RADS) Aluminum Hubs
    Needed for #19.

    19) Excel 17” Rear | 19” Front
    Completely changes the look and demeanor of the bike. Personally, this is how Kawasaki should offer the bike stock. However, the riding style is altered. The ‘turn in’ is at first somewhat slower but for me, is perfect. Before, I found I was always sliding on the seat towards the tank and now the bike feels so much taller even though is only an inch higher from the ground. Of course is not a true dual sport bike but handles superbly on fire roads and to remote camp spots along the river.

    However, not an expensive mod at $1800 without tires. I was only into the bike for $4699 new, so penciled out for me.

    20) Front Fender Riser (Homemade- Polished Aluminum Stock)
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    #1
  2. cb4017

    cb4017 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    Northern Nevada
    Very nice!
    #2
  3. mcmann

    mcmann Motorcycle Maniac

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,149
    Location:
    Jefferson, GA
    Nice job . . . Similar to what I had done. Check your front fender clearance. The V has 5.9" travel (1/2" sag). Therefore, you really should have 5" of clearance between the bottom of the triple tree and the top of the fender. My guess is you have 4" or less.

    Two options: lower your fender to the minimum tire clearance. Or, go to a high fender. You can use SS hose clamps to attach it . . . Or, make a bracket.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,110
    Location:
    Central Coast, Cal
    Very nicely done. Now just a little suspension work.............:augie
    #4
  5. bmacneil2008

    bmacneil2008 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    Yes, I have on my to do list is to fab 1.5" lower fender brackets. Know if leave as is the lower fork brace will hit the fender on a decent bump. Is an easy remedy fortunately. That will give me at least 5" travel.

    I will most likely add a 1" taller rear shock, Penske makes one and also HyperPro but is a $600 investment. Galfer brake lines driving me nuts.
    #5
  6. mcmann

    mcmann Motorcycle Maniac

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,149
    Location:
    Jefferson, GA
    I used Galfer SS dual brake lines. I had both the rear & front stock shock/forks on the softest settings . . .
    #6
  7. BrittC

    BrittC Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    308
    Location:
    Westmont, IL
    Really nice looking. Need more pics though!
    #7
  8. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,787
    Location:
    Tejas Hill Country
    nice job, both of you.

    is there a thread somewhere that does the 'rundown' on wheel options now available for Versys, spoked or otherwise, 19", 21"? 18?
    RAD? Woody? other?

    you mentioned Excel rims: did you buy the hubs and the rims, then had a local shop setup?
    #8
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,578
    if you mean to add 25mm to the overall length of the shock, i'll suggest that it won't work. if you're just trying to raise the rear of the bike 25mm, then that's something different.
    #9
  10. bmacneil2008

    bmacneil2008 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    Hear you. I spent some time in the forums with the same question. Only 2 options I found, Woody's or modifying a V-Strom front assembly.

    I like the wire wheel look and performance, so went with the Woody's package, matching both rear and front.

    Woody's
    http://www.woodyswheelworks.com/KawaVersys.html

    V-Strom
    http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17646
    #10
  11. bmacneil2008

    bmacneil2008 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    Hmmm, curious of your comment to the opposite of rising the rear shock to match the front wheel dimension increase of 1 inch. The geometry would be stock as compared to leaving the rear shock stock. Again, there are 2-3 manufacturers that make adjustable eye length shocks for the V and a few manu's that will build the shock to with a 1" extension. If you are suggesting 'padding' in the seat to compensate, we are not the same conversation.
    #11
  12. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,578
    your proposed 25mm increase in shock length does not equate to a change of 25mm increase in height on the front end, regardless of source, be it wheel size, suspension, whatever. your assumption is that the relationship between wheel travel and shock length is 1:1 in this direct coupled configuration, but it obviously isn't due to the shock mount/swingarm geometry.

    you could disconnect your shock at the low pivot, eyeball 25mm, then draw your own conclusions.

    not everyone replaces the OEM Versys shock when swapping in a 19" front wheel, and the bike still goes down the road just fine. i would mark it down as a preference, rather than a requirement. your bike, your choice.
    #12
  13. bmacneil2008

    bmacneil2008 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    Yes totally agree on both points. Is not a 1:1 ratio, probably more like 1 to 0.65 ratio. I was stressing that I needed the shock asap but just do not have the $ now and thought the bike would handle poorly. Just the opposite, I actually like the stance as is and most likely will not add an extended shock. Before the wheel swap, I was always sliding towards the gas tank, that is not longer an issue.I will say the steering is a bit 'slower' is how best I can describe it. Not saying is negative, you just need to adjust but within a few rides you don't even notice it. You will notice the bike is taller, and can tell the center of weight is up. Amazing what just an inch can do.
    #13
  14. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,787
    Location:
    Tejas Hill Country
    thank you!
    i saw the hubs on RAD website. I would guess that any good wheel builder could do them, given the RAD parts. I'm thinking of a v-strom type setup 19 & 17.
    didn't I see someone somewhere that has gone 21/18 ?

    that kawasakiversys.com thread is annoying.... can't someone spell out the conversions ... lol.
    i have to be a mindreader.
    So, for the DL1000 wheel - does the DL hub need to be modified, machined, etc to get a fit? is there a thread or 'tube somewhere explaining that?
    I DO like the spoke way better ... its really distinctive with that.


    #14
  15. jfman

    jfman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,659
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    What is the width of the front wheel you picked? And what tire are you running on the bike now?
    #15
  16. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,578
    no changes to the DL1000 wheel, bearings, or seals. just fiddle with the wheel spacers, it's as easy as it gets. you do need 300mm rotors, easy to find used, turn DL rotors, or new knockoffs.
    #16
  17. bmacneil2008

    bmacneil2008 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    The Vstrom option is much less expensive and you can probably find used wheels on eBay. I think all you need to machine is a few mm off the brake rotors. If you search the Versys forum, there are many threads and detailed comments/pics on how to do.
    #17
  18. jfman

    jfman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,659
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    vstrom wheels arent cheap - the fronts are now pretty hard to find.
    #18
  19. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,787
    Location:
    Tejas Hill Country
    no kidding.
    for other reasons, I had a persistent search in on ebay motors for a dl650 front wheel for 2 years and never saw a single one.
    and yes, they ain't cheap.
    if you bought two, you're at 800 bucks or so, which puts a diff light on the spokies.
    #19
  20. bmacneil2008

    bmacneil2008 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    I went with 110/80-19, 150/70-17 Shinko 705's. It may prove I should have gone with a higher quality tire due to some of the reviews I have read, but so far they have been great. http://www.bikebandit.com/shinko-705-motorcycle-tire

    I also considered the Metzler Tourance http://www.bikebandit.com/metzeler-tourance-motorcycle-tire

    However, I really liked the Pirelli Dual Sport, but could not find the size I wanted.
    http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/5426/i/pirelli-mt-60-r-dual-sport-rear-tire
    #20