V649HP-Kawasaki's new gravel runner

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

  1. tkdcol

    tkdcol Been here awhile

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    Medellín, Colombia
    Thanks for the replies. The Versys spring definitely sounds the way to go. I like the price.
  2. BigChuck

    BigChuck Been here awhile

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  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    true, target purchase price would be $750 if the miles and paper were right. i've bought a number of them for that price, which translates to to free bike when you sell everything you don't intend to use.
  4. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    in other shop news, no bike work, but my youngest grand daughter is in town for a few days, rising college senior this fall, and wanted a gnome for her garden. hey, have at it, so she rummaged through some scrap in the shop, found what she wanted, marked it up with a sharpie, then i made the cuts.

    she, not me, welded the whole thing together. off to a good start...

    [​IMG]
    Dusty Rider, DKCJ, mminob and 2 others like this.
  5. madrider5150

    madrider5150 Riding somewhere

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    Only 800 miles.. wow. Wonder if the oil has ever even been changed.
  6. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    not surprising, all of my parts bikes have been under 2000 miles. EX650, Ninja 650, one of the most wrecked bikes ever sold.
  7. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    more shop fun...

    finished up the gnome project after grand daughter ran some steel rod through the #4 Di-Acro bender to form arms and hands, then the whole thing was welded to a standoff on a section of pipe for mounting. she did all the welding, it ain't going to fall apart. the ears are from a Toyota truck tailgate support.

    the steel for the next project is already in the shop.

    peace bro...

    [​IMG]
    Dusty Rider, DKCJ, nickguzzi and 2 others like this.
  8. VEXX

    VEXX Been here awhile

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    Lisbon, capital of Pastel de Nata
    Now back to your regularly scheduled program... Up next: JD’s Garage, the rise of the green beast.
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    if a young family member says that they want to try to make something in your shop, drop whatever you're doing and accommodate the effort...the way life works, you may never have another opportunity.

    it's a joy to see this young person work, easily instructed, then no hesitation, jumps right into the job at hand.

    she also came by my small contract job for a few days, ran a whole truckload of material through the saw station, 24' flatbed truckload, not pickup truck. the guys on the job next door came by to say hello, they'd been watching her run material through the saw "Lordy, the only time you slow down is when you're waiting for new numbers".
    dmf and nickguzzi like this.
  10. tragerbon

    tragerbon 2019 KLX 250

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    Aug 2, 2008
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    I enjoy my job the most when I’m training someone that wants to learn.

    Not only do you get the satisfaction of having helped someone, you get the opportunity to go over what you already know...sometimes that’s a very good thing, lol.
    16VGTIDave likes this.
  11. dmf

    dmf Pacific Nortwest

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    Feb 27, 2014
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    PDX
    The adventures of the Red Frame V649HP continue...

    901ACB54-5B73-43EF-98CC-1BAAB3B42410.JPG

    After a week or so of learning as much about this bike build as possible, I finally hitched a ride from the Portland, OR area to Idaho where the Red Frame was up for sale. SCExpat was kind enough to put me up for the night, giving me the time to look over the bike AND feed me some awesome, freshly smoked pork BBQ!

    The forecast was cold and wet throughout the whole region. My timing seemed to be on point, because I hit the road as it was drying, but was more than prepared for rain on the way; mountaineering pants over my armored UglyBros and big numbing gloves on. Conditions for adventure were set: New big bike (I can't even get toes down on both sides) to master, 400+ miles, mountains, chance of snow - FUN!

    The first 175 miles flew by. Light rain, high head winds, some what cold, but I was layered up perfectly. The 80MPH speed limit had me out of Idaho in no time, but then started climbing elevation by the Blue Mountains of NE Oregon.

    As the temps kept dropping and the V649HP kept climbing - all of a sudden I saw the Low Fuel Alert go off. I could have swore it just said I had half a tank, knowing I had passed my last gas opportunity 20 miles ago, with another 40 or so to go til the next town. I quickly calculated my impending doom and started cruising up hill at 50mph, which also let my hands warm up a bit, stopping my throttle hand from going completely numb. Time seemed to stop at this new lower speed and higher stakes. I swear the mountain grew a few thousand feet higher at that moment.

    What seemed like an hour later, fuel light getting louder, I started to see road signs warning of a significant down hill road grade for 6 miles. The crest was near. As soon as I saw the top of the pass I felt the motor sputtering. I couldn't believe it; almost to the point I could coast and she starts bogging. Luckily, that was just the first sign of running out of fuel. As I crested over the top of the mountain pass I saw a long winding downhill highway and had a VERY brief sigh of relief. This was now the start of the real game.

    I immediately shifted into neutral and shut the motor off. Now coasting in the shoulder of a 75mph 2 lane highway with a significant downhill grade. I could see far enough to not be very hopeful of my current situation. Cars were passing me in large groups and I happened to avoid any hazards that come with rolling down the shoulder, tucked behind the windscreen.

    About 5 minutes into this new game, I notice another rider in my rear view coming up. Nice - A fellow adventure rider on a sweet Triumph Tiger. He slows down as he rolls by me and notices something isn't right. He pulls on to the shoulder, right of me to get a closer look and I scream "OUT OF GAS!!!" pointing at my tank, all while rolling at 45mph in neutral. I had back up now. I felt the security of another rider behind me. It was an incredible moment because I immediately had a lot more hope and excitement with someone watching over me.

    Still going down hill, the next exit with a gas station was now in sight. The only problem was the downhill part was ending, and it looked like I had another 5 miles to go and needed the motor to get me there.
    To get the most out of the last part of the down hill, I fired the bike up in neutral, bumped it up a few gears and gave it some stick. To my surprise it accelerated nicely but started cutting out again, with a long way still to go. As the sputtering got worse, I opted to shut her off and coast in neutral again, even though it was flat road, possibly a bit up hill.

    Some how I make it to the exit ramp, fist in the air with my new riding buddy behind me. I fired the motor up one more time and barely stopped at the exit ramp's stop sign. I actually made it. Nearly all the gas pumps had cars at them, and I was able to pull in to the furthest one.

    984AE31C-DD61-4894-98D2-D0D8B6F81428.JPG

    At this point I could not stop screaming and jumping with joy. Sheer luck, experienced skill and a good bike. What fun. And to make things even more interesting, my new riding buddy also goes by the name Jeff, and was looking at buying this SAME bike! There's nothing like traveling this way, I swear. It's always a fun time on the road. Once I filled up, I still had over 200 miles to get home...

    This went on a bit longer than I thought, but I felt it would be appropriate to write a little story for this bike's build thread. Sorry if I've hi-jacked and gotten off topic JDRocks. Thanks for building a cool, affordable bike! I will be using it as my main form of transportation around the PNW. Work and play. This bike will allow me to achieve a lot of my mountaineering goals cheaper and faster! :)
    Atalanta89, DKCJ, tkdcol and 5 others like this.
  12. VEXX

    VEXX Been here awhile

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    I know JD, and in no way I’m saying that it was a bad thing. Hell, I was raised on that basis, allways wandering into the local shop/ garage learning and using their tools.

    All I’m saying is that you’ve put out interesting builds one after another so the suspense is high on this one.
  13. tomo8r

    tomo8r Been here awhile

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    JD bike build ends up in hands of another story teller!
    dmf likes this.
  14. mentolio

    mentolio Been here awhile

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    dmf: congrats on the "red Rock-it," and surviving it's first adventure! That's one helluva machine you've got now.
    dmf likes this.
  15. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i swear these V649 bikes create the atmosphere for story telling, so carry on, you're off to a good start. interesting that Jeff also knew the bike, i've often said that the world is not quite as big as we sometimes suppose.

    that bike still takes a great photo, and you're right, lots of fun for cheap money.
    dmf likes this.
  16. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    some pain for me, heck, the darn thing is sitting in the middle of the shop and giving me the eye while i'm working on crazy art metal.
    dmf likes this.
  17. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    excellent point, my friend.

    i'll add this thought. it adds another dimension to a young person's thinking when they're exposed to an environment where they are expected to make something from nothing. when a person this age is able to execute something they have visualized, horizons are instantly expanded...and ya get a big smile, plus "That is so cool."
    nickguzzi likes this.
  18. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    true. i've had some fuel close-call nonsense myself, i don't seem capable of learning not to ride by fuel stops.

    great to see the bike being used. one mystery is whatever happened to the first V649, sold to a rider in WVA. i heard from him several months after the sale, said he loved the bike and was riding the gravel regularly, but no one has ever reported seeing the bike. plenty of ADV guys out that way, fine selection of roads, but no reports.
    tomo8r and dmf like this.
  19. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    now i'm missing that bike...
  20. wolfcreek rider

    wolfcreek rider Adventurer

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    Earthquake Central NorCal
    A saying among pilots: Useless things- altitude above you , runway behind you, and fuel behind you on the ground.
    dmf likes this.