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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    hmmmm...let's revisit this.

    got the Wolfman bags clean, now my Ortlieb duffles were looking terrible in comparison, time to try to clean those up.

    the Ortliebs have been all over the place, the large in particular, including maybe 15,000 miles with a spare tire strapped across the top. the vinyl cleaner took most of the grime off, but would hardly touch those dark black scuffs from the tire. had some hand cleaner and tried that stuff on the black, bingo, cleaned right up. thanks, turned out to be a good tip, saved a bunch of time.
  2. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    ya need to have some fun with these things...so, did the repaint, time to re badge the rat.

    [​IMG]
  3. AeroEngineer

    AeroEngineer Been here awhile

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    This thread is giving me all sorts of bad ideas.

    I've got alerts set up for every craigslist post within 500 miles and I'm scouring the iaai listings. I don't see very many versys' for sale, but I can wait.
  4. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

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    The Ninja 650R is nearly the same bike but with more power and street suspension.
  5. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

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    Wow, I think those brackets are more stout than the frame. No need to find a welder when your back in the boonies.

    David
  6. AeroEngineer

    AeroEngineer Been here awhile

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    That's true, but I don't need the extra HP. Having a standard seating position and DRZ fork compatibility will simplify things a bit (I can't weld to save my life). My chief interests would be to shed the unnecessary bits, swap forks/wheels, and add some drop/crash protection.

    I may temporarily forgo the fork swap, though. According to some of jdrocks posts on the versys forum, you can easily make a substantially different bike by simply installing 19/17 wheels.

    My goal is to build something comparable in weight/capability to an F650 twin.
  7. pjm204

    pjm204 Long timer

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    I swapped forks, wheels, suspension on my Ninja 650r with no welding other than making the kickstand longer.
  8. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i thought that was the reason the ADV admin people started this section of the forum, confine us all down in here so we can pass around a bunch of bad ideas and not infect the general inmate population...sort of like the plague.

    fun build, go for it.
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    the only advantages in starting with the ER6/650R is the cop motor, and the fact that they're more easily found cheap.
  10. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    yes, the 19" wheel makes a big difference, and the DL wheel swap is easy. as you know, 19/17 spoke wheels are available for the Versys too, bolt right on, so that's always an option.

    make a few changes to the Versys, you'll have a very reliable bike that will run with the F650 at a fraction of the cost.
  11. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    but you have a welder and can use it, right?


    i don't know why so many people are wary of the need for welding on these projects, it's not the space station components being fabricated.

    forget the welding, that's easy, even for a beginner. designing and fabricating the parts you want to weld, then dealing with fitment, that's more difficult by far.

    for any rider thinking about a rat build, but with no welding experience, find a buddy with a modern wire welder and bum a demo. you'll be producing very acceptable welds in a short period of time.
  12. pjm204

    pjm204 Long timer

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    I have access to a welder and a machine shop...neither are mine but my buddy works there and we can use it on weekends. And yes I can weld, though any part that would be better with TIG, my buddy does. I haven't learned that but I took MIG/arc in college.

    I agree, the tasks really aren't that daunting, but some of us are far more mechanically inclined than others. For me, the only reason my build has taken me awhile and isn't as amazing as I would like is because of time and because the shop is 60 miles away. That involves riding my bike despite it not being complete...It's safe (sort of)
  13. Ridin'nFishin

    Ridin'nFishin Real Rider

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    What bike do these wheels come off?
  14. AeroEngineer

    AeroEngineer Been here awhile

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    I'll have to look over your build again, I could have sworn brackets needed to be fabbed up for the pegs and foot controls.
  15. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    Sorry to ask for this, but I've searched all over the thread. It's probably on the one page I missed.

    What's the little fairing are you running? I'm looking for something similar for a thinstrom build I'm doing.
  16. pjm204

    pjm204 Long timer

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    Buell headlights, I'm guessing Buell flyscreen.
  17. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    shouldn't be. i view the build as a planned exercise, it's not a timed speed event. there's plenty of time to research everything, ask questions, formulate a design, check parts availability and cost.

    then there's the ADV riding community...guy's that know these bikes backward and forward, down to each bolt. quite a resource at hand.
  18. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    the whole new wheel assemblies are used on the Twisted Throttle Versys project bike. i forget the supplier, but it would be easy to find. you can get them sealed for tubeless tires.

    might be an option for some guys.
  19. pjm204

    pjm204 Long timer

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    I haven't found the need yet to switch out the foot pegs or controls. I may switch to some Ully pegs just to lower them an inch or so. The 650R has you sitting upright, your legs are a bit behind you though.
  20. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i did use a small Buell fairing back on that first one in the winter of 2008-09, but it got trashed in that Montana wreck, and i wanted a different design anyway.

    after studying some of the things done with parts of the rally fairings on factory bikes, i decided to make my own. getting a very uniform symmetrical shape with reasonable detail is difficult without spending a ton of time. the factory would use CAD software and a 3 axis router to produce the shape for a mold. i don't have one of those, but i do have a good eye, and decided to go where CAD and the 3 axis machine had already been. i started looking around for shapes i could use, and found this Saturn bumper cover in the ditch. junk to everyone, except me.

    [​IMG]

    bumper covers are symmetrical for the most part, so i cut out the shapes i wanted from each half, then glued the halves back together to create a plug mold. the mold was intentionally left big so i could trim the part the way i wanted after it was cast in fiberglass.

    [​IMG]

    from the left, plug mold, mold, part.

    [​IMG]

    on the 2010 bike, i reshaped the fairing and ran it almost full height. for this more recent bike, i cut 2-3" off the height and reshaped it a little again.