V649HP-Kawasaki's new gravel runner

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

  1. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    So you're not gonna tell us how you did it?
  2. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    thanks. stay tuned.
  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    that KLX is a real nice bike, but right off the bat i can think of a reason why i don't need one. there's another bike parked ten feet from the rat that's called a WR250R.
  4. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    nothing to tell. my bikes don't require the surgical enhancements you guys are planning. this rat is a gravel runner, not a stump jumper.
  5. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    time to try a new shock, so i picked up a shock from a 2008 R1. this is a fully adjustable reservoir style shock, the right length, and can be found really cheap. the bushing sleeves need to be bored to 12mm, and it needs a heavier spring, but still very inexpensive for a semi custom shock. i'm looking for a spring with a 16kg/mm winding, same as the spring on the Versys shock.

    [​IMG]
  6. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    I love the way it's coming together. It looks like it will have a boat load of ground clearance (for what it is).:clap
  7. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    In the photo it looks like the extended drain plug is missing. Maybe just the angle of the shot. I thought maybe you removed and modified your pan.
  8. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    that's 15" with the bike on the stand, maybe 12" static to the pan and 10" to the underside of the exhaust with the bike on the ground. plenty for gravel.
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    nope, the drain is above the exhaust, so in my configuration it's not really exposed. more vulnerable are the mounting lugs for the stock belly fairings, but i've been using those mounts for a gravel guard with no problems.
  10. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    harness in and hooked up, getting a little closer.

    [​IMG]
  11. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    you can see the battery box in the photo. the versys and 650R use the same box, and from the box forward on the subframe and frame, everything is identical between the frames for both bikes other than a few tabs for the plastics. from the box to the rear of the subframe, everything is different.
  12. Jeff B

    Jeff B Socially Awkward

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    Here's what happens when something grabs those mounting lugs. Left me stranded in the middle of nowhere. Wave hi to my pickup tube.



    [​IMG]
  13. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    you run that bike differently than i do. mine is designed as a straight up gravel runner, but if i ran it differently that pan would come off and both the lugs and drain would be modified.

    i run a gravel guard. 6000 miles of gravel road, so far, so good.

    [​IMG]
  14. NDTransplant

    NDTransplant Been here awhile

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    You really do nice work, JD!
  15. Jeff B

    Jeff B Socially Awkward

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    i run a gravel guard. 6000 miles of gravel road, so far, so good.

    [/QUOTE]


    If I remember it correctly mine made it up to about 35,000 miles "so far so good". It was the next mile after that hurt. When I hit the rock that tore the original plastic guard off, I have to say that I didn't think that the impact was that hard. So what I'm getting at is those mounting bosses are very weak. Other than those mounting points you did a really nice fab.
  16. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    thanks, glad you're enjoying the build.
  17. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    no plastic under my bikes.

    what can't be seen in the photo is the steel pad between the gravel guard and the flat on the underside of the oil pan. the mounting holes are slightly oversized on the side supports and the guard is jacked hard against the oil pan before the fasteners are tightened. the guard can't be displaced directly upwards. the front supports are rock solid when tied directly to the motech bars.

    this is not a skid plate, but coupled with good composite strength and decent ground clearance, i sure think it's adequate for running gravel roads.
    the entire bike has been lifted many times with a floor jack placed under the guard.
  18. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    the parts bike is pretty much gone, so i can get some photos of the subframe. the 650R is sitting in the foreground, so the photo doesn't show how much bigger the beast sitting behind it really is. the new build in back is huge in comparison, but i couldn't get a good photo angle.

    [​IMG]

    i mentioned earlier that the versys subframe was missing a few members that were incorporated in the 650R subframe. then came a report that a rider experienced some flex in his versys subframe when the rear footpeg struts were loose. that's not real good news, especially since you would think that the versys would have the stronger subframe of the two bikes.

    not so, and here's why. the 650R subframe has a tubular crossbrace on the main support tube that is missing on the versys subframe.

    [​IMG]

    in addition, the secondary subframe tubes on the 650R are connected by a hoop that ties the sides together, also missing on the versys.

    [​IMG]

    another view of brace and hoop on the 650R.

    [​IMG]

    the versys subframe has exactly the same stamped part that is welded on the 650R frame, but no connecting hoop.

    [​IMG]

    the 650R can carry a big load of gear on the back without a problem, but then they don't build the same strength into the versys subframe, even though the bike is promoted as the more rugged of the two. another mystery.
  19. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    Sometimes we forget the Ninja and the Versys are street bikes:D

    [​IMG]

    Your build is looking good. Is that an after market exhaust? I'm still waiting on the rear shock for mine.
  20. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    thanks.

    that must be an old photo, you have a different headlight now.

    that's an old TB can that i had in the shop and stuck it on there for fun. those things just make noise, about like having straight pipes.

    i hope to have my shock together next week.

    you still building rat bikes for your chick travel mates?