Kawi 650 on a budget: roadie-adventurer

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by jake28, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. jake28

    jake28 Riding to the horizon.

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    She breathes, she growls, she roars.

    Note: Every ninja owner should run their bike briefly without the silencer, it is a beautiful experience, briefly.

    The check list:

    CARB crap dealt with: we'll see if I messed anything up. I plugged a couple hoses, vented a couple more, and got good and crafty with plastic hose pieces and some super glue.

    Chain adjusted: all bueno.

    Kragen supplied some electrical connecters so I attacked the hiring harness at the front end with gusto. New headlight has all the necessary connectors and a set of chromed blinkers that belong on a 57 Buick are going on next (*they were free and they are legal-ish, so I don't care.)

    I got a nice new tank from an inmate. Getting the gas out of the old one was an experience that left my pants and shoes soaked in gas and my testes itching like I had spent a week in Reno (no offense to residents of Reno: I'm sure you have some pleasant brothels.) New tank on. Done-skies.

    I put a very twisted front fairing stay back on and who would have guessed, but the tubes are the perfect fit for a conduit bender. To date the most absurd tool I have used on a bike is either a claw hammer or an acetylene torch. Going after the fairing stay with a 4 foot long length of a pipe attached to what can best be described as a medieval torture device, one foot on the gas tank for leverage and yelling and grunting just to cement the moment in my mind was wonderful. Jake: 1. Conduit bender: 2. Fairing stay: 0.

    And she runs. I put humpty dumpty back together again. As many who frequent this portion of the forum can attest, hearing a bike run for the first time is a special moment. I imagine it is a bit like the first blood-curdling scream from one of your children, except that it is going to be a hell of a lot cheaper in the long run. Pipe: fitted. Footpegs: suspended. Wiring: ziptied. Ignition: turned.

    She turned over briefly and then idled as if she had been parked intact the night before. It was a moment of karmic greatness. I feel that the moto-gods rewarded my desire to reinvigorate the ninja, to breathe new life into her with the help of high-octane gasoline and new coil-sprung limbs by flicking a switch, and idling ensued.

    But the first ride has yet to come: I still need a front fender and a set of footpegs. (anyone?)
    Edit: footpegs are ordered through fleabay.

    Lately, I've been mulling over the ideal of stripping the tank down to bare metal and clear-coating it, I've always wanted to. Thoughts?
    #61
  2. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,057
    Location:
    Upstate SC USA
    Good work.I don't think I'd strip and clear the tank.To much shine will blind you when the sun hits it at the right angle.Then you're left hoping you don't something,until you get stopped and cover that huge mirror up.:D
    #62
  3. Roadracer_Al

    Roadracer_Al louder, louder, louder!

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,749
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I vote for sand blasting, then tinted clear coat.

    Either that, or swirly rotary wire brush finish with tinted clear coat.
    #63
  4. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,057
    Location:
    Upstate SC USA
    Where are you at on this?I found one and I am trying to get one of my bikes done, so I can sell it and buy the Ninja.
    #64
  5. jake28

    jake28 Riding to the horizon.

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    I've completed most of the goals I set to accomplish.

    It is a road bike, it is certainly on a budget, and I can ride it on the street.

    The 650 runs beautifully, handles decently, and only needs a few things to be really 'done' (or at least as done as any project bike can be.)

    I got the front end all squared away. I ordered a fender off of fleabay and put it on, only to discover that the 05+ fenders don't fit the 04- front ends very well because the mounting holes are in different spots. Nothing a couple of zipties to keep the brake lines out of the fender couldn't fix. The dash is cracked but in place, I have 1 of 4 blinkers wired and working, and the bike isn't really currently registered or insured so except for a couple of quick test rides, it has stayed in the garage.
    [​IMG]

    I took an angle grinder to a couple of excess frame and fairing tabs and but on the whole it is pretty much ready to go.

    One of the bigger things really bugging me at the moment is how low the the clips-ons are. And it has a snowball effect on the riding/owning/mechanical experience.

    Swapping front ends got me from nice high bars to racey clips on. I'm young and in good shape, so normally it wouldn't bother me. But the riding position is pretty awkward, akin to a linebacker readying at the scrimmage line. Swapping to clip-ons also means that the stock Ninja 650 cables are wound, bound, and looped very tightly, and about 4 inches too long. Not good. Things to work on.


    Short term goals are:
    - get blinkers wired and working
    - swap front tires to something that doesn't have three distinct flat surfaces.
    - fit a better fender
    - fix headlight which currently points at the ground
    - insurance and registration

    Long term goals:
    - Drill the ZX636 top triple to accept bar mounts
    - Purchase longer brake lines to fit
    - Attach bars.

    Longer term goals:
    - Paint frame and plastics
    - Build small rear rack with mounting points for a bungee net and a small platform for a gear bag
    #65
  6. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,612
    i don't want clip-ons now, but i've ridden plenty of bikes that had them back in the day. you haven't had it on the road yet, but you'll find that with your unfaired bike the air creates enough uplift to take the load off your arms, at least at speed. it's when you're around town that it might be a strain.

    you could just buy an ER6 front end, i happen to know where you can find one.

    [​IMG]
    #66
  7. jake28

    jake28 Riding to the horizon.

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Oh the bike has been ridden, just not particularly legally or intelligently.

    It isn't the fact that there are clip-ons, I've owned plenty of bikes with them. The issue is that the ninja was designed to be ridden with bars so the seat is relatively low and the bars should have you seated pretty upright. By moving the controls down three-four inches, the riding position is, dare I say it, a bit doggystyle.

    As for your parts, there are plenty of folks eager to build their ninjas into dirt-roaders, mine will see dirt roads, but I'm not going to build it for that. If you had had the gas cap on sale a month ago, I would have taken that off your hands.
    #67
  8. theWolfTamer

    theWolfTamer Lupie on a Mission

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    399
    Location:
    Firmly planted in the Georgia red clay
  9. jake28

    jake28 Riding to the horizon.

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #69
  10. theWolfTamer

    theWolfTamer Lupie on a Mission

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    399
    Location:
    Firmly planted in the Georgia red clay
    I drilled the triples when I did the r1 fork swap but I considered these too. good luck.
    #70