Like the man said.. "You can't buy one, Ya have to build it." 20170908_123350 After the better part of two seasons following JDRocks around on his red framed gravel runner and pushing my 2015 Versys "Bug" about as hard and as far as it is capable of going, I decided I would need my own gravel runner. Gravel runner chaser? Gravel runner runner? Whatever... it was time to go big or eventually get left behind. 20171006_115437 I already had a Versys, and it is a great bike, so why not go bigger on the suspension on Bug? It would not be too hard to switch to a 19" front with a DL1000 wheel, a very straight forward and relatively easy swap. This would make an instant improvement off road, but would it be enough? And how to retain the ABS? I could pull the ABS completely off the bike, but that seems like a real waste (the ABS is very good on these bikes, I even like it off in the dirt and rocks). If I was going to pull the ABS, why not go all the way and swap the swingarm (which is funny, because recently I did just that), an R1 shock, DRZ400 forks, and a Suzuki rear rim to match the front? Go big or go home? But... that 2015 bike is such a good bike... I hate to mess with it too much. With a set of TKC and Shinko tires, it really does well. So... what I need is another bike! Yeah! One streety bike, and one Dirty bike! That's the ticket! Build myself a gravel runner! I'm not without a little bit of talent and ingenuity when it comes to building and fabricating... I should be able to do this. Plus, I have JD leading the way... just have to pay close attention, follow along all the details as he puts his next bike together. But... where to start? and with what? I really had no idea. Until a deal popped up, literally right in my face. Someone I had spoken to a few times at work about bikes (he had a Ninja 650, and noticed mine was similar) asked me if I knew someone who needed "parts". Specifically, an engine, wiring harness, tank, seat, wheels... literally everything to a 2014 EX650R.. except a frame or an exhaust. The price was about what the wheels that came with it all would bring on ebay too. Done deal. 20170913_220406 20170916_102150 Now I had the heart of the project, and a bunch of crap to sell off as well. Time to start looking for a frame... 2007 to at least 2010 EX650 would do in a pinch, Versys would be better, but harder to get.