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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    one note on my recent West Virginia travel...

    we didn't see a single dual sport bike, adventure travel bike, or dirt bike while we traveled long distances on both winding pavement and gravel roads. only a few HD cruisers out, i saw less than a dozen over 3 days.

    while waiting at a kwik mart for the truck and trailer to come pick me up after the wheel bearing debacle, i think i saw one of the main reasons for the lack of local riders...they're into side-by-sides now that West Virginia has made them road legal. a group of three tricked SxSs pulled in for fuel while i waited, all young couples, running the roads at sunset. if i could have had that same package at a young age, i wouldn't have touched a bike either.
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  2. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    damn, this can't be good, investigation to follow.

    [​IMG]

    i was hauling with a small 3 ton commercial trailer which i use for moving various small pieces of equipment around. tilt bed, 10 ply E rated truck tires, locking wheel chock. it works really well, pulls easy and straight.

    [​IMG]

    i zip tie the strap hooks on both ends to make sure the straps can't release as the bike suspension cycles while towing.

    [​IMG]
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  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i can't identify the bearing manufacturer...

    that's all that came out of the hub. in case you're wondering where the other inner race is, look a little closer at the hub spacer, it's friction welded on the end. miracles do happen, the hub looks ok at this point. i had come down the mountain on a long stretch of gravel road, and when i hit pavement i thought i had a flat tire. nope, not a flat tire.

    looking for a DR650 hub spacer if anyone has one has an extra in the shop. FOUND

    [​IMG]
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  4. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    stuck waiting for my hub spacer so i can get the bike back together, i already have the bearings/seals. last Thursday was the due date, now no specific due date...seems like this is the way the world turns these days.
  5. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave Reaver made me do it...

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    Could you make a spacer? Maybe from DOM tubing? Assuming you know the dimensions…
  6. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i thought about it before i sourced the OEM spacer, now i might have to take another look.
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  7. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    got a tracking number, might see that spacer by Friday. i'd hoped to see it earlier this week since we're about to get 2 days of rain on the fringe of Ida, perfect for shop time.
  8. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    the front wheel is back on after sourcing the parts, bearings, seals, hub spacer. i'm still curious about what went wrong, but i'll probably not find an answer.

    one of the inner bearing races was friction welded to the hub spacer, and it took some serious hammer work to break them apart. i did find a slight discrepancy in my wheel spacers, 2mm per side, but with the hub spacer i don't see how this could have side loaded the bearings. the wheel spacer issue was an outright mistake, i'd swapped in new spacers which were different from my original setup, and the originals were correct.

    [​IMG]
  9. Yella DR

    Yella DR It'll be fine they said Supporter

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    Had to be narrow bearings not seated against the hub or a " should work" too long of a spacer.
    Glad to see you faired well on sourcing parts- I just got a thermostat and seal I ordered in April...
  10. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    the bearings were the right size, but destroyed, so i don't know the brand. hub spacer was OEM. i had plenty of miles on the wheel, then everything went south. if i had gone another mile or two, i would have destroyed the hub.

    no problem sourcing parts, 5 days for everything needed.
  11. dmf

    dmf Pacific Nortwest

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    It’s cool to see the new build JD. Are you running the stock forks?

    I’m giving my red frame some TLC, so I figured I should check in.

    It’s has been quite the work horse as a 4-season daily rider in the PNW. I’ve put on about 10k miles now (26k total) and it’s never had an easy ride, but she just keep chugging. Having survived sliding down the side of a gravel road cliff, a chain master link failure at speed, and daily MotoGP-like commutes up and down the mountain I live on - I just don’t think anything can break her.

    .
    IMG_0160.jpg
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  12. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    the dog looks guilty
  13. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    man, thanks for the report on the red frame, i always wonder about what happens to these bikes. i agree that these bikes are very durable in this configuration, and with your wrecks, i thinks the bikes have been crashed in every corner of the States between the two of us. i knew those herding dogs were reputed to be smart, but teaching that dog to change tires takes the cake.

    the new bike has 48mm KYB forks from the KX450, recently rebuilt and shortened 60mm.

    keep the reports coming. i recently asked HighOctane if he knew where his V649 bike ended up, but he had lost track of it in Iowa beyond the initial sale. he had added a very well done hack rig, and i thought if found, i might buy it back...then he had the same thought. i'm having fun on the new bike now, just returned from running the West Virginia gravel, already scheduled to go back out there. i guess i'm hooked on the great performance of these bikes, and i know of several others being built right now.
  14. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    he looks pissed that some human dude took his bike apart...
  15. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    a few most episodes added to the Khronicles...

    meet the mouth breather, breeder, world record girl, and stoner.

    THE KWIK-MART KHRONICLES
  16. dmf

    dmf Pacific Nortwest

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    NICE! I'd love some details on swapping the KX450 forks when you get a chance. Would I have issues with my SV650 front wheel and front brakes?

    Skid(mark) my cattle dog is a little disappointed I waited so long to replace the chain and sprockets. I left absolutely NO meat on the rear sprocket. Luckily I found some good steel replacements in this low-supply world we are currently living in.
  17. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    you swapped a 17" SV front wheel for your 19" DL front wheel?

    my KX450 forks use KX450 clamps, not Versys clamps. pretty easy swap, but the fork centers are more narrow compared to your setup and use the narrow (in comparison) dirt bike style hub. bottom line, the SV/DL wheel would not work, too wide.
  18. dmf

    dmf Pacific Nortwest

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    Whoops, I forgot the front is a 19" DL wheel. The rear is from a SV650 right?

    Roger that on the KX forks - I guess that's why you've got spoked wheels now too!
  19. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    you got it right. the 19 DL front/17 SV rear is the best cast wheel combo in 3 spoke, not easily damaged as you must know by now.
  20. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    coming on the twenty year anniversary of 9/11/2001. i can remember that day clearly, and several years ago i ran into one of the guys who was on a large construction job i had underway on that day, this is what i wrote...

    I’d paid for my fuel, but what the heck, I had that lucky-day feelin’, and decided to go into the Kwik Mart for a lottery ticket, can’t be ignoring those premonitions even if ya ignore the 273 million to one odds, must be my mind doin’ those springy cartwheels.

    I was almost to the front door when Mudslide came around the corner of a van and stepped into my path, whoa there son. Mudslide, or more affectionately known as just plain Slide, was a black man sized approximately six and a half by four by three…that’s in feet, folks, in case ya missed the damn picture. Simply no telling his weight, I’d hate to even guess, and I doubt he even knew himself. Try explaining to those girls at the Walmart customer service counter why you were returning a box of scrap metal that used to be a spring scale…just tell ‘em a guy named Mudslide put a foot on it, sorta by accident.

    Having Slide in front of you is about the same as having a tractor trailer jack knife across your road, so even on foot, y’all better hit the brakes. Bald head under a worn out ball hat, smile a yard wide, he said “Hello there Mr. Dave, been awhile, yessiree, been some time now.”

    I’d met Slide years earlier, face it, there just aren’t that many people found in the casual acquaintance category that you could point a finger to a date on a calendar, and say “Right here, this is when we met.” Not so with Slide, he showed up as a mason tender on one of my big jobs the morning of September 11, 2001.

    He was hard to miss on the jobsite that morning, and I asked my masonry contractor about him “Oh, that’s ol’ Mudslide, big job like this I always roust him out, sometimes he be hard to find.” I was watching him work, arms big around as coffee cans, hands big as catcher’s mitts, he was feeding concrete block to the masons and 80 pound bags of mortar to the mixer like a massive black machine, yeah, I get it…big job, go find the big man. A once-white towel draped around his neck, I was struck by how light he was on his feet for a man his size, not unheard of, but not that common either.

    This jobsite was out of cell range in 2001, so it wasn’t until late morning and a 20 mile trip to the lumber yard, that I got some news. When I got back to the job, I gathered up both my crew as well as the mason’s, and explained what had happened. I mentioned that one theory was that the hijackers were armed only with box cutters, and although there was some muttering and cussing, nobody had much to say…except for Mudslide.

    He was standing almost directly in front of me in this shallow half-circle of men, and said “Ain’t no A-Rab going to cut me with no fucking box cutter, never, that be the truth.” I was looking into those eyes when he spoke, no brag, no grand-standing, he was speaking what was, in his mind, a simple fact. I believed him, he had the look. Lordy, any A-rab found cross-wise with Slide that day would have become a footnote in history, luckily, I’d never seen the first anywhere near where we were working.

    So here was Mudslide once again, older, but not much different from that long ago jobsite, how could I not return that big smile? There had been promise in the day, I’d felt it, and it was here that I’d won one of life’s little lotteries, no ticket purchase required, two lives forever intertwined by a single event.

    “Slide, my friend, how ya been doin’, beautiful day ain’t it?”