V649HP-Kawasaki's new gravel runner

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

  1. JAFO

    JAFO displaced Jeep guy.....

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    Just found this thread courtesy of a friend, after I mentioned I was considering getting rid of my Ninja 650r. Love the engineering, but I'm a fat old guy, annoyed by the sportbiker mentality. I mentioned I wished I'd waited a year and bought a Versys, and said friend mentioned it wasn't terribly difficult or expensive to convert/modify what I have....

    .. so, I wil lbe taking copious notes... *love* the way this thing turned out!
  2. JAFO

    JAFO displaced Jeep guy.....

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    If Kawi made this bike, I'd have three bikes in my garage tomorrow....
  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    well, all i can say is "can't buy one. ya have to build it."...from the first sentence of the the first post in this thread. the build certainly has sparked some interest, as i've received inquiries about different aspects of building similar bikes from many corners of this very small planet we call home.

    i think i've been successful in demonstrating that the build is both easy and cheap, yet produces a bike that is very capable in many areas. i've been tied up with family obligations for the last month, so no riding. no riding, but it hasn't kept me from looking over the offerings on the showroom floor. bottom line, i just don't see anything that holds much interest, which isn't to say that something won't come along...but i have a particular set of requirements for my type of riding, so i had to build one too.
  4. Ridin'nFishin

    Ridin'nFishin Been here awhile

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    I do the same thing, looking at the new showroom and I too see nothing to get me excited. I bought my first BMW 2 yrs ago and love it. I also love your build and would love to build one and I am looking for the right priced bike, crashed Versys or V-Strom. Like I said I love my BMW, but I would love to have a bike like yours and I truly beleive it could replace my KLR and my BMW. I love jap bikes.
  5. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    plenty of BMW guys on the forum who have a love affair going with the BMW DS bikes, but i'd be reluctant to take one of those bikes some of the places the rat bike has been. if i fall off the rat, just pick it up and go. BMW goes down in the same place, pick it up and take it to the dealer with a couple thousand in damage.

    when the first rat bike got hit by that grain truck in western Montana in 2009 and dragged 100', heck, i figured the damage didn't exceed my $250 deductible and never filed a claim. might have totaled a BMW.
  6. Ridin'nFishin

    Ridin'nFishin Been here awhile

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    I agree, that is why I like your bike so much. I think I could take a bike like yours anywhere I take my KLR. I would never take the GS where I take my KLR, just too big and heavy.
  7. 2fast4u

    2fast4u Been here awhile

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    JD sounds like you don't care for BMW? They do have some great features. Tubeless spoke wheels, linked ABS breaks that is amazing! !!. The power is good and smooth. I have never owned a BMW but would like too. A GS 800 the 1200 is to big.
  8. JAFO

    JAFO displaced Jeep guy.....

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    I can make a spoked wheel tubeless for a heck of a lot less than 12K, and I am not at all sold on ABS on a motorcycle (or, for that matter, on a cage).
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i didn't say that, and i did once own a BMW minnie model which ran pretty good. i just said i'd be reluctant to beat the heck out of one of those expensive bikes and then pay the BMW price to fix it.

    i can't even keep a rat right side up all the time, but if it gets a ding, it would be laughable to let it ruin my day. the whole bike and everything on it is like pocket change cheap...compared to other nowtoremainnameless brands.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  10. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    hmmm, new F800 with the usual DS equipment, then add $2000 to fix the suspension, you now have a very good DS mount for around $16000.

    ...or you could own a decent V649HP for 95% less. no spoke wheels, no ABS, no bling, no nuthin'. runs on regular, motor filled with car oil from walmart.
  11. kajj

    kajj Been here awhile

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    :thumb
  12. BSR

    BSR Happy at the back

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    :clap

    But then you'd have the problem of no-one calling you Ewan or Charlie, no-one would know you have loads of cash and you certainly wouldn't be able to bore the tits off people expounding the virtue of what's 'clearly the best all round motorcycle in the world'...
    *yawn*
    :evil :evil
  13. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

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    LOL! You guys are pretty funny. :lol3

    However, I do agree, if you have the time and the skills a rat bike can be more cost effective. When you're done you have bike that fits your exact riding style.

    David
  14. 2fast4u

    2fast4u Been here awhile

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    Man some of you guys get bent out of shape . I buy and sell bikes and i would not buy a new ANY BRAND bike you will yake a beating. BMW are expensive but have great resale (the GS) The Ninja is cheap and the parts are to but you have to ha e the time, skill, tools and when your done its worth what $4000. Just saying you can buy and ride a USED GS ride it a couple years and only cost you a couple grand when you sell it. I have a rat ninja and its not a weekend build. No hard feelings just my opinion.
  15. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    plus, y'all would be faster on those montana roads if you were riding my rat, than i would be if riding your 800. ah, such wisdom in my old age...that said, just don't drop it, might get a scratch.

    a friend just came through your neighborhood, no motel rooms from wolf point to grand forks. things must still be poppin'.
  16. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    not really. BMW has a loyal following, no problem here...ride on.

    it's just interesting when i read a current ride report where the guy's new bike falls off the center stand, snaps off a mirror, and the repair cost is $2000.

    the V649 could fall off a freakin' cliff and not do $2000 damage. the whole cost of the rat is 35% the cost of a broken mirror on the other bike.
  17. 2fast4u

    2fast4u Been here awhile

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    $2000 mirror? Maybe i don't have a clue.:lol3
  18. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    ...an aspirational adventurer dreaming of travels to...well, face it, anywhere will do, even Starbuckistan. i've been grounded by my XO, confined to short trips, but i did find a convenient loophole in that the proclaimation never stated exactly how many short trips were permitted. naturally, i've done a bunch this season. hey, a deal's a deal, no renegotiation allowed.

    anyway, i've got another trip coming up, figured i better prep the bike. up on the stand, checking things over. spin the rear wheel...whoa there buddy, what the heck?

    [​IMG]

    foggy photo shot in 100% humidity, but that is an antique nail, very unusual, museum grade. man, what a lucky find.
  19. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

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    Don't worry the F8 is getting its fair share of beauty marks, plus I don't really subscribe to that dealer only koolaid they drink on the BMW forum.

    Yep, 200 rigs. They have lots of leases to drill on and moving west. As long as someone at 1600 Penn Ave doesn't do something stupid and close Fracking down :eek1, its going to last awhile. It'd be nice to have a pipeline to take that crude out of here also. You should see all the rail sidings around here. Plenty of go juice for the Rat bike for awhile. :clap

    David
  20. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    you and your oil patch buddies should pitch in and buy that dude season tickets for the Bulls...ya know, just so he'll have a way to spend his free time after november.