The KaTaMaki 650 ADV project (KTM LC4 gets a twin engine swap)

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by LukasM, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. dwayne

    dwayne Silly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,614
    Location:
    wheelie in purgatory, Calgary
    My bad the 700 is NOT based on the 660, but Yamaha thumps have a great rep. for reliability. However there was a 660 raptor. The sport quad market is full of aftermarket performance.
    #41
  2. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,429
    Location:
    On a RTW ride - currently SE Asia on the way to OZ
    [​IMG]

    Absolutely beautiful weather today. The Kawi dealer was nice enough to lend me the Versys all day, so I put a fair bit of miles on it. My cousin and a buddy joined me on a 80 G/S PD and KTM 990. We did everything from city traffic, dirt roads, to highway. No off road, the bike was too heavy and shiny...

    Here are my thoughts on it:
    - Very smooth running engine, even at idle. I had read some reports that it is buzzier than a V, but I could not feel it while riding.
    - The throttle response felt a bit sluggish, even compared to the 990 with it's much bigger pistons. It might be the springs on the throttle bodies which are very heavy.
    - Pulls cleanly and strongly through the whole rev range. And rev it does! When you would shift a thumper at 7k or so, you still have another 4k to go on the twin.
    - Plenty of power for a light bike, would feel awesome in a 150kg chassis.
    - Fairly heavy clutch pull, quite a bit harder than my DR with upgraded clutch springs. It only uses a very small amount of travel though, so I would just switch to an ASV perch with more leverage.
    - You could easily drop a tooth or two on the front sprocket for improved slow riding and have plenty of top speed left. I didn't max it out but reached an indicated 110mph easily.
    - Even though it's 6 speed it didn't feel wide ratio. But it's much more comfortable at upper RPMs than a single so this would not really be an issue.

    I also spoke to the mechanic at the dealer. They have not had any issues in the 3 years that the engine has been out. IIRC oil change is every 7500 miles and valve adjustment every 15000.

    So all in all I think this would be an awesome choice. Just the niche I am looking to fill, where the 950/990 feels too big overall, the 640 is a pain on the highway an all the other twins are too heavy and have shitty suspension. I don't think I would want to ride it a lot on technical trails (missing the low rev punch of a single), but for most places where you would take an adventure bike with full luggage it should be great.

    Now on to the critical part - frame fitment! Luckily another inmate generously offered to measure up his spare LC4 frame, hopefully we will figure it out with the rough numbers I got.

    [​IMG]

    Will update when I know more.

    Lukas
    #42
  3. clapped_r6

    clapped_r6 The Spoad Warrior

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,743
    Location:
    Ridgefield, WA
    :lurk

    Watching closely, I'd love to see a 640 / Ninja 650 combo.
    #43
  4. Aussie Steve

    Aussie Steve Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    Maitland
    You probably already know, but I was told the 640 motard has a wider swingarm, would make spacing the sprocket further out a bit easier. It also runs the pro link unlike the rfs ones which have the chain on the other side.
    #44
  5. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,330
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    How about a BSA or old unit Triumph? Sort of a unique blend of the past and the present. Maybe even a built XS650 twin... yeah, that's the ticket.:clap
    #45
  6. Fubars

    Fubars What would Scoobydo?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,780
    Location:
    Ventuna, California
    I picked up a rolling frame for an LC4 3 years ago. I was going to put the WP front end on a KLR650 if I could find one (dirt) cheap, which didn't happen back then. After looking at that swingarm I figured using it for anything other than a right side drive was going to be hell. Trying to flip it upside down and modifying for a left side drive would've cost some Big Money.

    Good luck.
    #46
  7. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,006
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Why would you need to flip it over to use it for a left hand drive? For example, hessler in germany (DrBIG expert) has fitted it to suzuki drBig's without too mamy modifications, other than a couple of welds for the brake caliper, if I remember correct.
    #47
  8. DRjoe

    DRjoe Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,333
    Location:
    Sunshine coast qld
    wouldnt fit very easy but i reckon it would be a cracking engine for a dual sport.
    [​IMG]
    #48
  9. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,429
    Location:
    On a RTW ride - currently SE Asia on the way to OZ
    I agree, flipping the swing arm is a major operation. You would have to relocate the shock mount which is an absolutely critical part, as well as figuring out something for the upside-down brake caliper and chain guide. Way too much work, and I think it can be solved differently.

    Some welding will definitely be needed for the brake caliper carrier locating pin (or what ever you call that bracket that you slide the carrier on from the back). This is not the only problem though, as the carrier and caliper would be the mirror image of what you need, facing the wrong direction.

    I thought about two possible solutions for this:
    - Use an EXC carrier/caliper. They are left hand drive and use the same hub (20mm axle) and 220mm brake disc as the LC4.
    - Use a DR650 carrier/caliper. Left hand drive as well, 20mm axle. Made for a 240mm brake disc, which can be solved by using a 950/990 disc (240mm) on the LC4 wheel (same bolt circle). This along with custom spacers was the solution for running KTM wheels on my DR.

    I should still have a Duke swing arm somewhere in the garage (I assume this is similar to the LC4 one), and will try to work this out when we get our EXC back.

    That's a good suggestion, and something I have considered as well. Always loved the idea of a swing arm so wide that it would allow 5.5" rim, as I could then also run a supermoto wheel set with the left over 180 tires from my track bike.

    My concern was the material the swing arm was made of, and how I (or rather a buddy) could weld on the carrier locting pin. I know that it's cast, which makes it difficult either way. But I have also read that it is made of magnesium, can anybody confirm this?
    #49
  10. overlandr

    overlandr Dystopist

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,924
    Location:
    Sydney
    Another concept is to go genuine retro - say an old BSA pre-unit single if it could be squeezed in. Lovely to imagined the 50s plodder audio on 90s running gear!
    #50
  11. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,004
    Location:
    Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
    The unit single Triumph is a BSA engine. The pre unit engines are even more caveman than the "modern" Brit engines. I've stuffed a couple into more modern frames & they are cool, but they are what they are. You will have a push rod engine with 2 valves, and a right side shifting 4 speed tranny with a kinda weak 2nd gear. Also there is no balancer shaft, so it can only be tuned vibe wise to one RPM.... not something for a long road haul. I've also put an A65 twin into a Yami frame.... looked way kool, but again... too heavy for the power it produces, etc.

    Why waste a great frame on that? I really think a light 500/650 twin is a worthy direction to go in. There is nothing like that in the US, and there is an abundance of top flight singles already made in that range.
    #51
  12. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,161
    Location:
    Austria
    Lukas, you know that Wayne&Wes Weber did practically the same thing a few years back with an EX500 twin in a custom frame?

    The new Versys engine is the logical next step in that direction. A compact, easy to get twin in a dirt-worthy package. If you really want all the headache of stuffing a motor in a different frame, by all means go ahead. It's an extremely sensible idea and the factories are offering nothing like it. Either it's heavy and road oriented (Transalp, Versys), too highstrung and service intensive (Aprilia) or too big (990, HP2).
    #52
  13. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,429
    Location:
    On a RTW ride - currently SE Asia on the way to OZ
    Got some bad news unfortunately. The rolling chassis Adventure was sold this weekend....... :cry


    But I have some good news as well, I found another one and made the guy an offer. He just called me and accepted! The price was ok, and if the swap works out I can just sell the engine to somebody with a blown LC4 (they all do eventually :D).... I am back in Spain for work right now, but a buddy is supposed to go pick it up today. :clap

    Next step is to figure out a way of checking if the 650 will fit into the frame. Preferably without having to buy one....

    Two ideas I had:
    - Call all Kawasaki dealers asking if they have an engine removed from the frame in their shop. Not sure how likely that is if it's as reliable as they say.

    - Build a dummy engine, probably out of styrofoam or something else easily shaped. It won't be very accurate as I have to take measurements from an engine installed in the bike. The access for that on the Versys is decent but not enough to say for sure.

    Any other ideas? Or even better, does anybody have a 650 engine in their garage? :ear



    Hi Remi,

    Glad to hear I have your support! If it happens this build will take place in Vienna, so given my clumsyness I'll take all the help I can get.

    I saw the Weber Rally Twin mentioned on Advrider but never really looked into it until starting this thread last week. Their thinking for a DS bike really resonates with me and is what I would try to reach. And they actually started out with a frame swap as well, which they had to hack apart, before building their custom frame. Let's hope that the new 650 will fit, according to Kawasaki it's "considerably smaller than the 500".
    #53
  14. Gustavo.Ramos

    Gustavo.Ramos Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    975
    Location:
    Accross the pond
    Just a thought.

    How'bout the carbed CB500 inline twin? 58CV, honda reliability, no FI, very economical. A tad bit heavy, but could be an option. Already thought about it for a bike project.

    :D
    #54
  15. Wylie

    Wylie Back in the saddle again

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,234
    Location:
    Shoshone, Idaho
    Probably not the best suggestion but I have always been partial to the RZ350 2 smoke.
    Pros, the motor can be built to rip and is pretty strong right out of the box, lower center of gravity I'd think.
    Cons, fuel mixing, mileage, more wrenching...
    #55
  16. kyns

    kyns Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,012
    Location:
    Finland West coast
    I had 07 Kawasaki er 6 n.

    [​IMG]

    I modified mine for track day use.

    -Matris front suspension
    -clipons
    -Leo vince slip on (without db killer(loud!!))
    -Power commander
    -selfmade rearsets
    -Bmc filter
    -etc, etc...

    Anyway, what i wanna say is: the engine is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!
    During two summers 07/08 i did about 3500 km of full on track miles with it.
    You can't break one of these. If i had a garage i wouldn't have sold mine, instead i would have build a rally bike out of it.
    So please man build it.

    By the way my Er had 77 horses and 69 nm of torgue, with modifications. So it should do gravel road power slides:evil!!!!!

    What kind of track bike you got Lukas?
    #56
  17. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,004
    Location:
    Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
    There's half a dozen for sale on ebay.....
    #57
  18. dentvet

    dentvet Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,375
    Location:
    hunt country virginia
    i've got a bare lc4 frame sitting here if you need any measurements. the engine bay is basically a trapezoid, 18 inches from top to bottom, 13 inches front to back, 8.25 inches at swingarm width. sorry my tape measure didn't have metric scale. :lurk
    #58
  19. alpiv

    alpiv Sr. nOOb

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,173
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    :lurk

    Keep us posted, I've thought about this as well.
    #59
  20. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,330
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    I was talking twins. A sweet looking BSA engine would look pretty cool. Some guy did an FZR/BSA sportbike in Australia some time ago.
    #60