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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    i can tell stories about getting crosswise on all three, except i'm not a pilot and wasn't in a plane.
  2. BigChuck

    BigChuck Been here awhile

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    I miss it too!
    Some of my favorite riding memories are from following that one around West Virginia.
  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    well, you weren't always following, heck, if there was no danger of getting lost i'd motion ya ahead and that green thing was off like a freakin' shot.

    good times out there.
  4. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    this is the missing V649, nearly 10 years old, lost in the wilds of WVA. anyone happens to see it, let me know.

    [​IMG]
    Atalanta89 and villageidiot like this.
  5. VEXX

    VEXX Been here awhile

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    Did this one start as a versys or a ex650?
  6. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    this bike was the first of the V649s, and started with a bare Versys frame. the bike proved out the concept of building a crazy cheap bike, and the rest of the V649s all pretty much followed the same recipe.

    other than the first two builds which had Versys suspensions, i've haven't used the Ninja/EX650 frames.
  7. 11motos

    11motos Feral Rider

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    Jd, I got the DRZ massive 49mm forks. I will be machining the clamps so those should work perfectly.
    I also got a 19" front spoke wheel to convert. Should I try to reuse the ninja 500 disk and caliper or go for the DRZs?
    I think the ninja with a steel lines is a pretty nice brake although it might not be the lightest.
  8. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i don't know what hub/wheel you're using for the 19 front, but i'd be looking at what is available for rotors first. you're looking for a 300/310/320 full thickness rotor to fit. the DRZ caliper is not adequate, but since you're likely to be using a caliper adapter, just pick a good 2 or 4 piston caliper and mount it up.

    i continue to use the ER6 caliper with a 320mm rotor.
  9. 11motos

    11motos Feral Rider

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    Thanks. I ordered an older model with beefed up spokes and rim so I am going to have to machine something, I know that. hopefully is just an adapter for the disk and a spacer or two.
    I guess I can give a try to see how the stock caliper bites using a steel line and if needed I can create an adapter and add a 3rd point support by machining a clamp for the fork.
    I might machine a brace too but those forks with 1" thick custom clamps will be like the pillars of the acropolis! lol
  10. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    with a big rotor, you're going to need a double offset adapter. i would spend zero time fabbing an adapter for a DRZ caliper.
  11. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    even more shop news...going big

    my college girl fabricator decided that her first welding project was so easy and fun that she promptly got out a sketch pad and roughed out the design for a new bird feeder stand, birthday present for her mother.

    once again, she did all the bending and all the welding, hundreds of each. the only time a tape was used for the work was to create an accurate spacer layout on the square tube risers, otherwise, duplicate bends were created by using applied index marks on the bender turntable, or simply eyeballing the work on the fly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    42" width by 96" height. i did repeat that old mantra "Go big, or go home" a few times.

    shop is quiet now, she went back northwest to start her summer job, which is another story in itself.
    JagLite, 11motos, DKCJ and 6 others like this.
  12. dmf

    dmf Pacific Nortwest

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    That's awesome. I've always wanted to learn how to weld, and I'm now in an area where that goal seems very obtainable. In fact, the idea of learning how to weld has been inflamed by the V649HP red frame - I hope add to your ride-able sculpture one day.
  13. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    so go for it. the two college girl projects and my bike work these days is all done with my small 120V Hobart, purchased cheap, and perfect for this type of work.

    for a novice welder, it would be tough to find a better project to learn on. hundreds of welds, very few out of position, and most of the welding is on the back side of the finished piece where it is not visible. these projects are sure fire confidence builders for the beginner, and by the time the project was winding down, i'd say that 25% of the welds were as good as you would find anywhere.
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  14. 11motos

    11motos Feral Rider

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    I am going to lace a YZ front hub to a 19"x2.15 Rear Tusk rim.
    Do you think 2.2mm spokes are enough? I wonder if I can fit 2.6mm in there?
    any other considerations?
    Thanks.
  15. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    better talk to a wheel builder first. besides spoke count and size, guys have run into problems with the drillings.

    again, i would not chose a front hub without knowing i could source a large rotor to match. dirt bike size rotors just don't cut it on these heavier motos.
    villageidiot and nickguzzi like this.
  16. 11motos

    11motos Feral Rider

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    Wise advice.
    The main reason I got the YZ is because it is stronger and it has the 20mm axle to match the new forks. I was also planning to machine a mount and thenbuse a sipermoto rotor.
    I am mainly concern about the lacing and choosing the right spokes. I cannot find the measure of the cup that holds the spoke nipple so I cannot guarantee it will seat properly. I dont need to bewf up this like crazy as I am not going to jump or to an enduro race but it needs to be stronger than the stock 21" rinñm as it will be heavier on the front.
  17. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    my approach would be different in selecting a hub for a 19 front wheel build. i'd start with the availability of a supermoto size rotor that will bolt right up to the spoked hub, say 300mm minimum, but 320mm is now a common size. the rest of the variables are easier to deal with.

    for instance, the DRZ hub uses 20mm ID bearings, big rotor available. DR650 hub uses 17mm ID bearings, but the forks are easily sleeved, and a big rotor available as in the current V649 build.

    don't kid yourself on the need for a substantial front wheel for these bike builds. when these motos are used as intended, that front wheel takes a freakin' beating. been there...many times over.
  18. tkdcol

    tkdcol Been here awhile

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    Has anybody used case savers on these builds, any reason why not? [​IMG]
  19. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    don't know of any rat builders using them. no reason not to use them, but i wouldn't rely on case covers as the primary protection. traditional engine bars like my now up armored Motechs provide way more protection, keep the bike off the ground, and allow the bike to slide if flopped.
    tkdcol and JagLite like this.
  20. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    Heat can be an issue on these motors, I've fried two stators because my skid plate cut off the air flow over the engine too much.
    Since the stator is right behind that cover, I wouldn't use them. Just my 2 cents.
    tkdcol likes this.