V649HP-Kawasaki's new gravel runner

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by jdrocks, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,590
    can't buy one. ya have to build it.

    so with all these Kawasaki Ptwin powered bikes popping up all over, i figured i'd throw my hat in the ring once again...with a twist. this bike is going to be a gravel runner, not a dirt bike, and follow along the lines of my previous bike builds on this platform. proven performers over 25,000 miles and 6,000 miles of gravel roads. there might be a little fabrication work needed, as well as a little machining required. the emphasis will be on building an inexpensive bike that's still a good performer and easy to build. sort of an everyman's bike...fun, fast, and cheap. ya know, for those of us that are cheap SOBs, either through necessity or choice.

    let's see how much bike can be built for 10% of the cost of a new Tenere. ambitious i know, but the budget for this build is going to be a grand total of $1200 initial cost. $1200 for a new rock and rollin' gravel runner, ready to ride.

    when i got back from the maritimes in september, i knew i was going to build a new bike over the winter, and the long search for a suitable project bike began. months went by, but i finally found this one cheap. near new, scraped up plastic, and the price was ridiculous.

    [​IMG]

    all i wanted from this bike was the engine and related items, the rest is being parted out. some parts already sold, and by the time it's gone i hope to have more than doubled up on the purchase price. now i have a new sport bike engine and everything required to make it run properly, plus some cash to get going on the rest of the bike.

    gotta have a frame, let's sell the ninja frame and try a versys frame instead.

    [​IMG]

    engine should bolt right in...think i'll hold onto the ninja frame while i try it out.

    off to a good start. engine, frame, and the budget looks manageable at this point.

    (stay tuned)
    #1
  2. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    love your builds :ear
    #2
  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    Jul 6, 2007
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    thanks. newfies snowed in yet? it's looking like another old time winter in the states.
    #3
  4. SamM

    SamM Jeep Overlander

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    West Virginia
    jdrocks,
    Are you going to try to minimize the Versys frame? There seems to be numerous metal tabs and brackets that could be removed. What about going with a conventional swingarm and shock from another bike? Will it have spoked wheels?

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with! :thumb

    You guys have me thinking about doing one of these.

    SamM
    #4
  5. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    4,590

    yeah, frame gets shaved, then repainted. don't need or want spoke wheels. i run tubeless, and building a set of wheels for the size tires i run is a budget buster for this bike.

    i have both swing arms, not sure which one i'll use. i'm not going to build a custom swingarm. undecided on shock.

    you should have considered the 649HP for your KLR.
    #5
  6. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    Sorry about my confusing location NF is National Forest. Your not the first to say that. I should change it.


    What do you do with the old builds? this is your third, right?
    #6
  7. SilentRay

    SilentRay Rebuilt

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
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    581
    Location:
    Dallas, GA
    :lurk

    Lurkin again. You guys are killin me with the ninja conversions. Wish i had the fab skills.

    Really enjoyed ridding the ex's 650r on pavement. But once on even just gravel, that lay down shock really sucked.

    As much as i like the SV 650 v twin, the parellel twin is smoother. Great all around engine.
    #7
  8. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    one of the reasons you can find these bikes cheap is that they get wrecked regularly, many times after just a few miles on the road. this bike still has the nubs on the tires.

    when i know a kid has had his hands on something automotive related, i'm naturally suspicious. sorry, that's just the way it is based on my experience. 999 out of a 1000 just can't turn a wrench these days. video games yes, wrench no.

    this is the second bike in a row with a botched generator cover repair. in both cases, the kid tried initially to patch it up with JB Weld. predictably, it didn't work.

    [​IMG]

    when that didn't work, the cover was removed. why a replacement cover wasn't purchased is anyone's guess, just don't know. the damaged cover was reinstalled and the bolts snugged up, no gasket, no RTV...except this is the way it was left inside the now attached cover.

    [​IMG]

    the stator coil was left loose and not bolted to the back of the generator cover, while the leads were not secured behind the clamp. the leads were actually pinched on the mating surface and need a little repair.

    i wasn't sure how much oil was in the engine, and looking at that cover, i wasn't tempted to hit the starter button. close call for sure.
    #8
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    not a newfy? darn, i was about to ask if it would be ok to change tires in your garage the next time i'm up there.

    old bikes are history.
    #9
  10. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    ya don't need super fab skills on these gravel runners. these are more of a bolt together build. what you do need is the ability and patience to find cheap parts.

    the custom parts can be fabricated with inexpensive tools, then have a buddy weld things up if you don't own a welder.

    machine work is just jobbed out. nothing expensive.
    #10
  11. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    do you happen to have a second generation SV650, 2003 and up? need a favor.


    or anyone else that that has this model bike. PM me please.
    #11
  12. SilentRay

    SilentRay Rebuilt

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    No, sorry. Son in law had one a couple of years ago and sold it for a Busa.
    #12
  13. A_Vasiliev

    A_Vasiliev M-ass-ter Craftsman

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    Voronezh, Russia
    That is one hella fugly fairing on the first pic.

    I will be watching the thread, though.
    #13
  14. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
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    the "fairing" you mention is the stock 650R headlight assembly/windscreen attached to the tab on the frame stem. that's the parts bike, not the build.
    #14
  15. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    no problem.

    anyone else?
    #15
  16. jsquared

    jsquared Back in the States

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    Should be interesting to say the least.:lurk

    J
    #16
  17. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    Feb 13, 2007
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    Location:
    Mountains of Central Florida:)
    Or add,

    I drained almost 7 quarts of oil out of the last one I bought, surprised it didn't blow a seal.
    #17
  18. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i talked to the owner at a bike dealership about this subject a few weeks ago. his comment-

    "you would never believe what comes into our service department."
    #18
  19. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    you mean your not suspose to check the oil with the engine running :huh
    #19
  20. vernon dent

    vernon dent Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
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    706
    Location:
    apparently halfway to motorcycle hell
    from years of personal experience and horror stories from others my rebuttal to the dealership owner is:
    "you would not believe what comes out of their service department"
    #20