V649HP-Kawasaki's new gravel runner

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

  1. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i've got the basics of the tail assembly carved out, but i needed the last of the lights to finish up. thankfully, they came in today, a pair of Grote Mini Novas...

    [​IMG]

    man, i'm glad they made it, 'cause the whole area in eastern Virginia is going to be shut down for the rest of the week due to the latest storm of the century. 1" of snow, roads impassible, it's terrible. lucky i had the XO stock up on food, we're stranded.
  2. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

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    Sounds like Janus is going to be a bit chilly. Stay warm and send us pics of your work on the bike. :clap
  3. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    I can see it now.... JD sitting on the "new" steed making vroom vroom sounds:D
  4. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    yeah, an inch of snow is a calamity around here. laughable, but a fact. people drive their vehicles straight into the ditch, thankfully, 99% stay home. at least the power is on here, and Janus departed about 5AM.
  5. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i will if i can locate my snowshoes so i can make it out to the shop. actually, it makes it's own vrooooom now with the turn of a key.

    i'd move down to your home state if sunny Flatistan wasn't, ya know, so freakin' flat.
  6. 4play

    4play Next?

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    JD, I had Pete Russell of NOST re valve mine, it was well worth the ~$200 when a washout was bigger than I thought, or when I temporarily forgot I was not on my dirt bike.
  7. Bart1

    Bart1 Adventurer

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    Would be interested to know what valving changes he made,
    ie more or less rebound etc....
  8. 4play

    4play Next?

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    more everything, adjuster circuit too
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    thanks for the reminder about your R1 shock, i'd forgotten that you had it tuned.

    mine works fine with the OEM adjustments, but i'm not running quite that hard.
  10. Yella DR

    Yella DR Yup, I'm in.

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    JD:
    I'm gathering intel for a copy cat build which landed me in the Race Tech site while searching for a R1 shock spring.They have the 07-09 Versys rear shock spring rated @ 16.7 kg/mm. When I plug in my spec's their spring calc'r spat out ~19 kg/mm !! I get that is a stock Versys shock recommendation but wow! You spec'd a 16.0 and ended up with a 16.1 kg/mm which I was thinking was a bit heavy for my use, ~15kg/mm was my guess.(guesstimate myself in full gear ~220 lbs and don't carry much more than rain gear and lunch and enjoy the same roads you do)
    Knowing what you now know - choosing the 16.1 just plain works?

    Finally, I've had no luck finding a width for the un-obtainable Vsrtom 1000 front hub and wonder if you had that info handy. I need to seek alternatives and this will give me a leg up.
  11. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    the OEM Versys spring is 16kg/mm, not 16.7, and i traveled on those first two ER6 builds with the Versys shock mounted. i chose the R1 spring rate knowing the V649 bikes would travel too, complete with loaded panniers, and had Cannon build a 16. no way would i go lighter, and i didn't need heavier. i'm closer to 300 in riding gear, and usually have something on the bike, so there might be as much as 100# initial variance in load without panniers, given the motos are equipped similarly. i do have plenty of miles on the unloaded bike too, and never bother with changing shock settings.

    you might get by with a 15, but it would depend on how you ride, it's still a heavy bike. i would survey the other builders using the R1 to see what spring rate they used, ktmklx and 4play, for instance. got a friend with a Versys, bum a ride to check out a 16.

    i don't see a direct read dimension for the DL1000 hub bearing face to bearing face in my notes, but i do see an 8mm difference between DL1000 wheel with spacers and the ER6/Versys wheel with spacers, with DL wider. if you have a ER6/V wheel, you can do the math. i'll be changing bearings on my DL front soon, and i can check then if necessary.

    as far as alternate wheels, not much has emerged in cast wheels, although the DL650 can be machined for the larger bearing if you can find the right shop. the DL wheel/rotor combo is about as wide as you can fit between the DRZ fork legs in the Versys clamps, only a few mm clearance to the rotor bolts with the wheel centered.

    there are a number of spoke hubs available which use a 20mm ID bearing, the trick there being a brake setup with a decent size rotor/caliper. the DRZ400 hub is a starting point, same with the custom RAD hub.

    we'll need photos of your ride.
  12. Yella DR

    Yella DR Yup, I'm in.

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    Great info and advice there JD. Every tidbit of your wisdom helps.
    Will post build progress once project begins. Haven't found the right candidate yet as I prefer to start with a Versys.
    Hopefully by next winter I'll have other projects finished up and stuff sold so there's more space in the garage.
    Keep it coming...
  13. Nnordsman

    Nnordsman Nnordsman

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    JD Thanks for such a well documented thread. It took me a week to go through it, but it was good week. You inspired me. I have calls out on 3 650R's as I write this.
  14. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    you have some time then before your build starts, more time for shopping. as i've often said, the builds are as much about shopping as the fab/build part of the process. the DL wheel is an example. a local builder found one recently, but it didn't just fall out of the sky, he had to spend some time chasing it down

    my thoughts on the subject...but it's more fun and satisfying to build a cool ride that's real cheap than it is to build a moto that may be equally cool, but comes with a "sky's the limit" price tag. whatever the budget, a builder should have one in mind, then work to it.

    shopping to a list well in advance of assembly means you're not forced to pay more for a part than you would otherwise just because you need it, like, right now. from some of the photos, i start with a mountain of parts i know i will need, some sooner, some later.

    another aspect of these builds is that they all get sold at some point. it's much easier to come away whole by being a good shopper, and being prudent on the bucks going in on the front end.

    so you've spent a bunch of time shopping, now figure out exactly what your new build is supposed to look like front to back...
  15. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    glad you can use the info Mr. Cop Motor man, you'll like that ER6 power.

    more on the way, man, the shop has just been too cold. unusual weather here lately.
  16. Nnordsman

    Nnordsman Nnordsman

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    I like Kaw motors. I even like the motor in my KLR. It has no horse, but the torque is good. I just need six speeds to get anywhere and I don't have the talent to shoehorn a bigger motor in the KLR. The next best thing is to build something dirtier around a better motor and trans. Since you broke trail I will follow in your footsteps. We will see how long it takes me to find the right deal.

    Question: What is lost by using a 21" rim on the front? I am thinking about transplanting the entire front-end from a DRZ.
  17. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

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    A front wheel from an 800 class machine?
  18. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    21" front can been done using the DRZ400 forks and the DRZ hub (or RAD hub). the difference in radius between the 19 and 21 with their respective tires mounted isn't much. remember, the DRZ forks in the Versys clamps will spread the centers something like 15mm, so you'll need to be creative with the rotor and caliper spacers after centering the wheel.

    here's a 19" on DRZ hub, with a machined 6061 rotor spacer. you will need a large rotor, say 300-320mm, although this builder (Mario from Quebec) was still using a stock DRZ rotor when the photo was taken. the 21" wheel assembly would be built the same way. with the weight of the bike, better build a strong wheel, either size. i do like the 19 on the bike for the way i use it. better travel setup, and i continue to view the larger section 19" tire as a wheel saver off paved surfaces.

    [​IMG]

    i see no upside to using the DRZ clamps here, except they're available at near give away prices, maybe free. by the time you fit them, deal with interference issues, steering stops, and bar risers, you may wish you had gone a different direction.

    here's a 19" built on a RAD hub with 20mm ID bearings for use with the OEM Versys suspension. basically the same wheel flipped around with rotor right and a caliper/rotor spacer. the rotor used here is the common 5mmx300mm sportbike rotor, not the thinner dirtbike rotor.

    [​IMG]

    the rears on both bikes were built on a RAD hub, no cush drive. nice looking motos, but i gotta have that cush drive.
  19. Scubawerx

    Scubawerx Scubawerx

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    Nice, very nice. I prefer dual front discs. ut for a bike that light, you're no doubt adequate. Nice looking build.
  20. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    800 class? holy freakin' cow, i hope you're not suggesting the F800 wheel, 'cause everyone knows that those wheels are made from roto molded peanut butter...like yours, under the mud. i heard a F800 guy say he had to hoist his bike up in a tree while camping in bear country, otherwise those big ol' bad boys want to eat the wheels.

    a little blowing snow out that way David? be patient, only 4 months until Montana spring.