Ninja DR-Z

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by tjinkins, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. tjinkins

    tjinkins Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Okay,
    I have been reading many of the Ninja mutant posts over the last few months and finally dove in.
    I picked up a 2008 650r that had been wrecked. Picked up a 2003 DRZ 400 front end for $60 with triple clamps and have been working on the conversion. So far I have swapped out the rear shock for the R1 conversion that several others have done. I picked up a 800# spring and got everything fitted and installed with the help of some racetech spring collars.
    I also picked up a front wheel from a Vstrom DL650. I had read JDrocks report that the 650 rim used 40x17 bearings and the DL1000 rim used the 47x20 bearings that would work with the DRZ 20mm front axle. I took the rim to my machinist and had him open the bearing pocket to accept a 42x20 bearing so now it works with my 20mm axle.
    Now for the problems. The DRZ triples and steering stem are not the best for this conversion. The stem was too short, so I had the machinist cut it in half and turn a solid plug to fit in the hollow stem. The two halves will be welded back together to the correct length and with new taper bearing from all balls (30x55) the stem will work. The DRZ triple fork spacing is another issue. When I put the forks in the triples, they are about 4mm too narrow to allow the Vstrom wheel to fit. Soooo, now I need some advice from the more experienced ninja builders (Tonymor, Sanjo, Ktmklx, JDrocks you out there?). I am considering taking the rim to the machinist and having him remove enough material to fit it between the forks. I could scrap the DRZ front end and go another direction, but I got it for such a good deal, it is perfect for this budget build. The DRZ forks are 49mm. I could do what JD did and use Versys triples with some collars to make it fit the DRZ forks, but Versys triples are virtually impossible to find. From what I could find, the GSXR or TL1000 triples are 50 and 54/55 mm triples that would work with how JD did his, but they do not have handle bar mounts. The Suzuki RM 250 triples are 49mm, but I think they have the same spacing as the DRZ, can anyone comfirm this?
    How much clearance do I need between the rim and the forks? I have already sunk some money into the rim ($100 purchase price + $80 for the bearing machining) so I hate to change it out. I would have used the DL1000 rim, but, like the versys tiples, they are difficult to find.
    Any suggestions out there?
    [​IMG]
    Resized bearings on DL650 Wheel to 42x20 to fit the DRZ 20mm axle.
    [​IMG]
    Split steering stem to be rewelded to correct length.
    [​IMG]
    Tight wheel spacing. I think I can have the machinist clearance this to fit.
    [​IMG]
    Other side
    [​IMG]
    Overall fit
    #1
  2. yokesman

    yokesman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    550
    What will be the steering radius with drz triples,ninja has a wide frame
    the versys upper is $123 from bike bandit,.020 approx thick. spacer(2 inch tube which I have not searched much for),a z1000 upper will also work but these need oem bar mounts.I have ninja 636 uppers and lowers which will need to have risers made-need them anyway.
    the 636 lowers have the same id as uppers ,50mm see the ninja 650 forum for conversions.
    this thread should be in"some assembly required" to get all the exposure possible.
    look into conversion bearings to use a 20mm axle for your wheel.ex650 swingarm bolt as a axle.
    #2
  3. Dubl-A

    Dubl-A SuckerDucker

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,813
    Location:
    505
    SWEET!! Keep us updated :clap
    #3
  4. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,586
    you must have forgotten about this photo of the DRZ fork brace i used as part of the low fender mount...

    "Rick had a billet brace to fit the DRZ forks, and might have winced a little when i told him what i was going to do with it. he mailed me one anyway...


    [​IMG]

    and five minutes out of the package, i just naturally had to cut it in half. opps...

    [​IMG]

    that was a real nice brace, but i just needed the clamps. the cut was necessary because the fork centers are 20mm wider in the Versys clamps."

    you could save yourself some time and trouble, plus avoid steering stop issues, ignition switch relocation, and so on, by sourcing the versys clamps.

    the wheel just needs to spin without interference, there is no magic number, although you're going to need to fit a good 2 or 4 piston caliper on the DRZ mount, so you need to look for issues there too.

    i'd round up an axle, you'll need it anyway. spacers too.
    #4
  5. elgato gordo

    elgato gordo KTMRFS

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    512
    Location:
    ABQ, NM
    What about the triples from a DL650?
    #5
  6. yokesman

    yokesman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    550
    too small,need to be 49mm min.versys,636,z1000 50mm at top,636 50mm both top and bottom.(clipon fork so u need to fab for the riser).
    #6
  7. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,586
    the 2003-04 636 top clamp is solid with some flat mounting surfaces, and must have similar centers with the ER6/Versys. anyone have a loose 636 top clamp or a 636 moto and can pull a dimension?

    since there's a machinist on board, it wouldn't be difficult to create one of these so that the bar risers can be properly mounted and spaced.


    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. tjinkins

    tjinkins Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    JD
    I knew that the DRZ triples would be a little bit of an issue. I would have went the Versys route, but I couldn't find any reasonably prices triples. Being the cheap ass that I am, I didn't want to spring for a new set. I was able to make the DRZ triples, forks and axle work with some machining on the DL650 wheel. I ended up removing 5mm from one side of the wheel and 3 from the other. That gave me enough spacing to mount the wheel, barely. I will get some photos this weekend.

    I think I will run it this way for a while until. It doesn't have the turning radius I would like, but it will work. Since Versys triples are so hard to find, I may start sourcing a 636 triple set. Will the Versys top clamp line up with the 636 bottom set?
    Next, I am going to finish up the foot mounts similar to KTMKLX, then on to the front brake and I will be about ready for a test ride.
    #8
  9. tjinkins

    tjinkins Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    I was able to get everything welded up and assembled this weekend. Althought the DRZ triples are not ideal, they seem to work okay. There biggest downfall is limiting the turning radius.
    Welded steering stem
    [​IMG]
    More steering stem
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I removed 5mm from right side of wheel. Removed the raised area that would have held rotor.
    [​IMG]
    Removed 3mm from left side.
    [​IMG]
    Removing 8mm total material left room between the legs. Not much but about 1mm per side.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. tjinkins

    tjinkins Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Here is an update to what I have done so far.
    [​IMG]
    I used a Suzuki DRZ front end as detailed above, Yamaha raptor ATV headlight, original heavily modified Ninja windshield, Suzuki Dl650 front wheel modified to fit DRZ front end.

    [​IMG]
    Raptor headlight with Ninja windscreen .

    [​IMG]
    Happy Trails crash bars and skid plate. Homade and modified peg mounts, brake lever and shifter.

    [​IMG]
    Homade panniers and mount. There were no adequate mounts for the ninja, so I fabricated my own using square tubing, 1/4" flat bar, utilizing 4 bolt mounts and 2 welded on tabs.
    #10
  11. SportsGuy

    SportsGuy icanhazdirt?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    545
    Location:
    redmond wa
    OK, I'm digging this - awesome work!

    Any thinking on spoked rims? Not sure those current ones are up to hard hits in the dirt - this obviously being only an issue depending on YOUR use of said wheels...as I'm partial to this look, personally.
    #11
  12. rootsy

    rootsy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    126
    Wow! Great work. Looks tough and ready to roll. How's it handle?
    #12
  13. Dubl-A

    Dubl-A SuckerDucker

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,813
    Location:
    505
    Killer setup, now must have some vids to see it in action!
    #13
  14. tjinkins

    tjinkins Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Handles great so far. I still have some work to do on it, but it is getting close to completion. Still need to make radiator guard, add grip heaters, etc,
    As for spoked wheels, I am trying to keep the build cheap. So far I am in to the build for a total of $3400, adding spoked wheels would increase the cost significantly.

    Here are some more pics of the mounting bars and panniers. The panniers and mounts ended up being really solid.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I ended up using some Bike master mirrors with integral led turn signals. I had to add a resistor for the LEDs, but they work well and keep a clean look.
    The handlebars are from a KTM ATV.

    [​IMG]
    For the panniers I used solid aluminum rivets, .063 aluminum sheets, and 1x1x1/16 angle. They mount and dismount in about 30 seconds.
    #14
  15. SportsGuy

    SportsGuy icanhazdirt?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    545
    Location:
    redmond wa
    We need a video. Preferably with the bike flying through the air at some point...but we'll leave that to you to decide... Still, a video is needed... :)
    #15
  16. tjinkins

    tjinkins Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    I generally reserve the "flying through te air" videos for he younger generations.
    #16
  17. Murphy Slaw

    Murphy Slaw Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,713
    Location:
    Southern Illinois
    I LOVE it.
    #17
  18. tjinkins

    tjinkins Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    It has been a fun project so far and I look forward to taking a long trip with it this fall.
    #18
  19. Boismj03

    Boismj03 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    119
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Nice work Skinny!
    #19
  20. tokyo

    tokyo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    212
    Location:
    Utah, Japan
    Did anyone figure this out? I'm joining the cheap ninja modders with a recent clean cheap purchase..
    #20