V649HP-Kawasaki's new gravel runner

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

  1. OHjim

    OHjim Been here awhile

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    Isn't the peg position quite different? As I have been researching this, I think starting with a Versys gives the advantage in ergo's due to the pegs. JD - Did you ever use a 650r frame or have they all been Versys frames? How was the peg location difference for standing? LD comfort?

    Regarding power. MCN Performance Index lists the following:

    ER-6n - 65 rwhp; 44 rw torque (in-lbs)
    650r ('06) - 61 rwhp; 43 rw tq
    650r ('07) - 63 rwhp; 43 rw tq
    Versys ('07) - 59 rwhp; 42 rw tq

    I find it hard to wrap my head around the Ninja's 3-6 hp increase being that much of a difference. And, their reviews said that the Versys felt stronger/faster in day to day driving because the toque was greater lower down the rev range. I rode a Versys at the Kawi Demo Days and it seemed similar power-wise to my memory of the Wee I had (was riding an ST1300 at the time - so . . . ), but having never ridden a Ninja myself, I'm :ear

    Thanks!
  2. pjm204

    pjm204 Long timer

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    I know with my ninja I'm currently running 15/48 gearing and an 18" rear wheel. It picks up the front wheel with a twist of the throttle in 1st and second with ease. I'm intending, based on Sanjoh's recommendation to gear it down with either a 14t front or 52t rear.

    As for comfort, the stock peg position on the ninja isn't perfect but it can be adjusted easily with lower pegs or you can make new brackets and entirely change the riding position. I haven't decided whether or not I am going to make new peg brackets or not. All I know is that with my 18" rear and 21" front I will have almost 11" of ground clearance and a bike that handles dirt quite well


  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    had to make them extra strong, just in case i ride with one of those F800 guys, might be asked to help carry all those BMW spare parts.
  4. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    my first two were ER6 based, while the current is built around the Versys frame. i think the footrest position on the ER6 is one of the things that should be addressed, not difficult, and ktmklx has some good photos in his build thread. change the footrests themselves at the same time. in contrast, i find the stock footrest position on the Versys, coupled with fastways or similar, and the right bar choice to be satisfactory.

    i do think the cop motor makes a difference in these rat bikes even though 10% doesn't sound like a lot. i just don't hear the guys riding the Versys spec power talking about the way the bike runs using the same description i would use with cop spec power. i dare ya to try and out ride that cop motor on gravel, i don't have the cajones for it myself. as mentioned, i run stock gearing. i've said more than once about riding the cop motor bike on gravel "crack those throttle bodies WFO, get a freakin' heart attack".

    regarding the Versys, if a little less motor is not a concern, you get a much better front end to either use or sell, 5 gallon tank, the foot rests as described, much better seat. if you use the Versys clamps, you get the bar riser too. there have been guys who have found a Versys as cheap as some of the ER6 bikes, there just aren't as many out there.
  5. pjm204

    pjm204 Long timer

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    I can see after 300 miles on my dirt ninja that a quick crack of the throttle could leave you on your back if you're not careful. The front gets very light, very easily. It is an extremely fun bike to ride.
  6. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    I really admire the work you do; it always looks clean and well thought out. Extra bonus points for not just throwing money at the problems you encounter.

    Thanks for the bumper shots.

  7. 2fast4u

    2fast4u What the hell!

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    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    OK i think i have it in the right place .lol Anyway i should have it done in a month or so if i can find time between work and the kids soccer.
  8. pjm204

    pjm204 Long timer

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    Looks good, needs a bigger front wheel.
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i think it's more fun, as well as more satisfying, to dream up solutions that result in a presentable product rather than just catalog shopping for every little thing.

    i idea is decent design, resourceful use of parts and materials, and a budget that produces an inexpensive bike without sacrificing performance.
  10. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    interesting permutation there. DRZ forks in the Versys clamps with 17" wheels...swingarm bolt axle? is that a ruckus headlight? you're on the way, not too much needed before it's ready for the road. come back with another photo when it's done, i'd like to see it.
  11. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    just back from a 3 day ride in West Virginia, bike ran great in a wide variety of road conditions, including some nasty stuff. after running around with the Expeditions, i'm liking the new luggage setup.

    [​IMG]
  12. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

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    Hot damn, that looks sweet. Wanna meet me in Moab on Memorial day?

    David
  13. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    can't do it Memorial Day, but i'll take a rain check for sure. hope to get back out there soon, thanks for the offer.
  14. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    after a mild and relatively dry winter in West Virginia, the area is getting some spring rains. some of the roads turn into something that looks more like a creek and may go on like this for miles.

    get that big suspension under your ER6/Versys build, the bike will go through this stuff with ease.

    [​IMG]

    photo courtesy of Doug Graham.
  15. kajj

    kajj Been here awhile

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    Nice, looks fun.

    And the V649HP looks awsome:clap
  16. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    it is fun, like wild freakin' fun. so get done with school, crate up your rat Versys, stick it on a plane to the States, ride for a few months. you'll find out.
  17. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

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    Ah well. Hopefully our paths cross sometime. - David
  18. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    it's 2700 miles to your barn, maybe i should fly the little bike out.

    i'm chained down east for the time being, although i'm piecing together a 1200 mile gravel road route. it's surprising how many gravel roads are still left out here.
  19. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    find the right road full of whoops and big sharp edged potholes, ride way faster than prudent with a 400# plus bike loaded with who the heck knows pounds of junk...well, the result is predictable i guess. it doesn't seem possible to bottom these 49mm forks with over 11" of travel, but i can. i should either slow down or get out the manual and see how to adjust the forks a little...ok, where's that damn manual?

    [​IMG]

    photo courtesy Doug Graham.
  20. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    It is amazing what the proper suspension can do for a bike not designed to be off pavement