V649HP-Kawasaki's new gravel runner

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

  1. devo2002

    devo2002 -Devo

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    The Ninja dry weight is 302lbs. After picking it up once or twice it is like a feather compared to the Strom.

    Considering I mangled my foot due to inexperience offroad the XR650 is just too much for me. A DS of some kind in the 650 range is my goal, but I ain't there yet:D
    #41
  2. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    yeah, if you like monstrosities, you came to the right place.

    funny you mention the 250. i came very close to buying a near new ninja 250 parts bike. that little 250 FI twin is a neat engine...then i thought about all the junk scattered all over the shop and restrained myself. the engine is very compact, should fit in something.

    i met a guy riding coast-to-coast in canada on his new 250, all loaded down with gear. said he loved it.
    #42
  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    here ya go...

    [​IMG]

    same gravel guard i had on the bike that went up the dalton, but i changed the mounts for the 2010 trip. works well, and comes back from the trips with a bunch of dings and missing paint, so it's protecting the engine as designed. although it's very sturdy, i still don't call it a skid plate. i might change it again for this build.
    #43
  4. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    the frame paint should show up friday, so it's time to prep the frame. clip off any brackets not needed, and generally clean it all up. anyone who thinks you can get a lighter bike by lopping off pieces of this frame, think again. sure, a few brackets, but ounces, not pounds. the rest of the frame is structural.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    a couple interesting things as i was looking the frame over. at the frame stem was a big glob of weld that did not contact the rest of the assembly. looked like the robot was not quite programmed correctly. WTF?

    [​IMG]

    so i looked at the ninja frame and it was fabbed the same way. that joint was not welded on either frame. hmmm, might clean it up and run a bead across there.

    secondly, the ninja and versys subframes are not the same as previously mentioned, mainly to allow a different riding position on the versys. the ninja frame has a crossbrace tube on the main subframe support that the supposedly rough and tumble versys doesn't have, kinda peculiar. i couldn't get a good photo of it, but will later. the construction of the versys subframe makes me wonder whether the tubular passenger peg mounts are more than just decoration.
    #44
  5. SamM

    SamM Jeep Overlander

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    Yep, they said the same thing about my KLR frame. :wink:

    SamM
    #45
  6. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    and that would be...what? hope nobody dissed your KLR frame, not that i know beans about them.
    #46
  7. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    Well come on bolt something on already. :lol3
    with the v sub will the seat heigth change ?
    #47
  8. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    fix'd

    Are you gonna use a bunch of steel on this one?:D

    Rode the dirt ninja today after having been off of it for 3 weeks. I've forgotten how light it is and oh my the wheelies:huh.
    #48
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    gotta paint the frame, and some parts first. my paint got delayed in all the santa traffic.

    it will be a tall mofo. if i fall over it will be about the same as getting bucked off a twenty hand horse.

    might see ya in the yukon, you can check it out.
    #49
  10. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    Awesome :clap

    not sure what I am taking yet a kawi green tiger or a beat in 08 KLR either way I'll recognize your beast. You'll have to slow down to let me catch up though :evil
    #50
  11. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    there's just nothing much to cut on that frame, sorry. it needs to carry some serious weight way out there, can't have it break in half.

    i like steel for any fabbed parts. if you need a repair, you can find someone to weld steel just about anywhere, not so with aluminum.

    send me some of those fancy lights, i'll do a product review.
    #51
  12. SamM

    SamM Jeep Overlander

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    That I couldn't cut any weight off it.

    Honestly jd, I'm on your side with this. I like what you are doing. Here you go!

    SamM

    [​IMG]
    #52
  13. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i know that weight can be taken off a stock ninja, versys, or klr.

    we're talking about a bare versys frame here. a few ounces of light gauge bracket steel, nothing more. if you think more of this frame can be removed, please point it out.

    60# frame, 130# engine...this build is not going to be a light bike. it will be a good gravel runner though...and cheap.
    #53
  14. SamM

    SamM Jeep Overlander

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    It's really hard to see what, is exactly what just looking at the bare frame. Without knowing where everything goes, I would just be guessing. I sent my Versys manual to my builder. I need to get another one. The Versys frame looks like it has a couple of cast sections to it. One at the steering head and another at the back of the subframe. There's no way to remove those. That subframe just looks way overbuilt to me. I know that your not interested in doing this but I would cut off the lower tubes and add my own. Probably won't drop much. Easy to say for a guy letting someone else built his bike. When my bike sees the light of day, people will understand why I went to a professional. :wink:

    When I dropped the 60+ lbs from my original KLR build, what I did was remove the fairing, tank shrouds and sidepanel bodywork tabs and mounts. The heavy frontend parts were all removed too. Getting rid of the stock bodywork removed more weight than just the tabs but there were a gazillion of them. It did add up!

    Some of those parts (sidepanels) may go back onto the bike with the new KLE engine but weight won't matter much with this new version. I'd still like to keep it as light as possible.

    SamM

    [​IMG]
    #54
  15. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    the versys frame is steel tube and stamped steel plate, no cast. the brackets for misc. oem plastic get shaved, but other than those there's nothing to cut. the remaining small brackets on the mainframe are the radiator mounts, battery box support, silencer hanger, gas tank mount, tube gussets, and so on. the steel plate on the subframe, besides structurally tying the side rails together, is the mount for several different assemblies and parts including the computer. the seat lock and seat supports are also back there.

    when you think about it, for a steel frame that has been proven to survive under very rugged use, it's pretty minimal already. the engine assembly substitutes as the down tubes.

    other than questioning some of the welds, i don't see anything to change.
    #55
  16. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    put the frame up on the operating table, stripped all the grommets, harness clips, and miscellaneous parts. preliminary degrease, and then marked the brackets that get cut off. they didn't put much of a paint job on the frame at the factory. anything that was not in direct view looks like it never got a finish coat.

    [​IMG]

    most of the custom parts are done in steel, but these little gems were done in aluminum. if they work i own the design, but if they don't...heck, ain't never seen them things before. amazing what can be turned out for very little $.

    [​IMG]
    #56
  17. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    What are they?
    #57
  18. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    bike build parts.

    stay tuned.
    #58
  19. A_Vasiliev

    A_Vasiliev M-ass-ter Craftsman

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    They look like adapter cups of some sort. Are they to mate the Ninja fork to the Versys frame?
    #59
  20. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    the 650R and Versys share the same basic main frame, and therefore the same steering stem and bearings, making the front ends directly interchangeable. putting the versys usd front on the ninja frame works real well for a DS conversion, but you would never consider doing the reverse.

    [​IMG]

    versys usd forks on left, 650R forks on right. both have 41mm inners. you can see the relative size of the clamps. the 41mm 650R clamps allow the direct bolt in of the 08 and up 41mm KLR forks and this has been done, but those 650R clamps sure look small for a sustained offroad pounding.
    #60