V649HP-Kawasaki's new gravel runner

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

  1. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    prepping for another run west, front wheel back together, bike cleaned up, turn the key to check the fuel level...nuthin', dead flat battery. charged it back to 12.6, let it sit and took a look at the voltmeter on the dash periodically, it wouldn't hold charge. the battery was new, and checked out fine, must have a parasitic drain somewhere on the bike.

    i was confident with all the wiring i did for the custom work, and the rest of the bike looked ok too, but when i pushed the small switch for the auxiliary lights, the red pilot light didn't come on, WTF, the pilot light was the only device tied into the lighting relay, no auxiliary lights had been installed yet.

    pulled the screen off to access the relay, and i found it warm to the touch, there's my problem, the relay had failed. now really, who would ever think that a buck fifty chineseum relay would fail, but it did. my local NAPA had Bosch relays in the past, but none in stock now, another wuhan supply issue. the relays they did have were all chineseum sourced, and had a $20 price tag. nope, not doing that. i did have have a duplicate of the relay i pulled out, let's roll the dice again for $1.50, and i stuck it in there.

    failed relay in a common configuration, primo chineseum.

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    hit the switch, LED pilot light comes on per normal.

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    sruss67 and 16VGTIDave like this.
  2. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    30 miles of gravel this morning as a bike check before heading west. ya know what, actually having wheel bearings in the front hub makes a big difference. still have not identified the cause of the bearing failure, it doesn't seem likely that they just wore out, not too many miles on them.

    when i installed the new bearings, then wheel, i corrected a mistake i had made when i installed the wheel after the fork rebuild. i had a handful of 17mm ID wheel spacers on hand, and swapped in two that were not part of the original setup. seemed like a small error of only 4mm total width, but it was just enough to cause a little stiction in the forks, only noticeable when cycling the forks in the shop. fixed that too, and the forks are back to normal.
    sruss67 likes this.
  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    3 days on the West Virginia gravel, just got back. micro ride report to follow.
  4. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    base camped in West Virginia, 3 long riding days, 20 hours in the saddle, the best riding i've had out there in years

    took the bike off the tilt trailer, rode for 5 hours on the gravel, got back to camp, WTF is this?. my new right side oil seal was leaking, a little drip. i'd run a 25-30 mile bike check on gravel earlier in the week, and the forks were dry when i got back from that ride. the bike was bouncing around on the trailer on the drive out, that shouldn't have hurt anything, and the wheel chock was dry, no oil. fork oil loss always looks worse than it really is, and i wasn't going to park the bike mid trip, let's ride. chasing around on more gravel roads, the leak slowed down, then finally stopped. i've either got them self healin' oil seals, or the forked puked some overfill oil, not sure what happened. the front end felt fine, no handling issues the entire trip, pavement or gravel.

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    crossing West Virginia on gravel roads, it's tough to get photos because the tree cover along the roads is so dense, gotta get them when you can.

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    clay road across the top of the mountain next to a clear cut deck. if you get rained on in there, you ain't getting out until the road dries.

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    in general, the roads were in decent shape, except where they were not. i didn't run out of bike on a few of those ugly roads, but i did run out of skill a couple times. glad i had the up armor on the guards and the folding shifter.

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    bottomed the modified 48mm KX450 forks a few times, can't complain, that suspension got me into some tough spots, but also got me out. it makes an impressively loud noise when ya bottom the damn things. the dust line was at the bottom of the pipe.

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    gotta eat well in camp, prepping for a breakfast burrito on the griddle.

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    my old coffee pot keeping the perc coffee hot over the campfire.

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    bike loaded back up, now inbound. got the next trip penciled in on the calendar.

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    CbRoo22, Pezz_gs, sruss67 and 5 others like this.
  5. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    a fellow inmate just sent me a heads-up on a FB market listing.

    https://www.facebook.com/marketplac...wse_serp:76af357f-a5fa-4b52-bd43-987795c21fe9

    this bike is the first V649, sold over 10 years ago, location unknown until today. about 20,000 more miles on it, some incidental changes, but the V649 pedigree is still there. this bike was on the TAT, CDR, and up into the Yukon, as well as many other places. it's been listed for awhile, somebody with a little cash could probably walk in and steal it for cheap money. the bike wasn't yellow or black when i sold it.

    that area in West Virginia sees a lot of ADV type traffic, it's strange that no one has ever reported seeing the bike. i've been in the area myself this season.

    PLEASE NOTE: LOTS OF PARTS MISSING FROM THE BLACK BIKE IN THE FB LISTING, AND IT LOOKS LIKE IT HAS BEEN WRECKED, EVEN THE INSTRUMENTS ARE GONE. BUYER BEWARE.
  6. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    this is what the bike looked like back then when all dressed up in travel mode...

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    photo is from Watson Lake, YT after powerwashing the chloride mud i'd picked up during a harrowing ride to Telegraph Creek. a blizzard blew in west of Watson Lake, so i returned and picked up the tires i had left there and headed back east. i hate carrying tires, but didn't feel like leaving them. lots of action on that trip.

    note the FB photo, the V649 has lost it's beak somewhere along the way. old timers will remember that the custom beak was fashioned from a sectioned 2008 KLR650 rear fender.
    JRowland, tomo8r, LJC and 2 others like this.
  7. tomo8r

    tomo8r PEACE! BREAD! LAND!

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    3,557
    Location:
    Bathurst
    That was the bike you got dragged under something or other and bashed back into shape with a hammer?
  8. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    no, that was the first bike. got hit and dragged by a grain truck on Hwy 2 west of Havre, MT, but still managed to ride it home, 15,000 mile trip.

    left for Deadhorse looking like this...

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    i rode it 2700 miles home looking like this...

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    missing left side pannier and fuel can. the bike was so far upside-down that a hole was knocked in the top of the handle on the left fuel can and i had to throw it away. actually, i gave it to one of the ranchers that stopped by, he had some idea on plugging the hole by putting a big screw in it. without my custom steel fuel can mounts, the can could have dumped 6L of fuel all at once. as it was, the can was dripping fuel, and i couldn't shut off the ignition since the front was crushed down over the key.

    the FaceBook bike is the 3rd bike, but the 1st V649HP bike in that series. here it is in original condition before getting molested by a couple owners after i sold it. had a shop fabbed steel gravel guard, man, it took some time to figure that out.

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    the custom beak looked good on the bike, some stories on that too.
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    bike up on the lift for a routine oil change and inspection. i'll always check the motor mount bolts since i've never seen an ER6 ptwin powered bike that didn't have loose bolts at one time or another. all the motor mount bolts were loose, not falling out loose, but loose. it pays to check them periodically, red combined with the OEM lock nuts will not hold.

    one of the guys i was riding with last week mentioned my loud exhaust, i figured the Leo Vince was worn out, it's been up and down the road for lots of miles and was somewhat loud to start. with the gravel guard off i could see an 18mm hole where the O2 sensor plug used to be...might have something to do with the increased noise.
  10. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    i ordered a M18x1.5 pilot style plug from NAPA, the $5.89 Chineseum version of the $50 Italianate Leo Vince plug. that style of plug was the only one NAPA had in that size, maybe, the search was inconclusive. these plugs are available in the conventional configuration, but it would have taken a 50 mile drive to get it, not going to do that for a 6 buck part. i clipped off the 15mm pilot section, ran a small chamfer around the end, loaded it up with hi-temp RTV, then stuck it in the LV and cranked it down tight...a little tighter than the last time.

    new modified plug, yeah i know it's not stainless, but i'll suffer through the disgrace for $44USD.

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    fired up the motor, i needed to know if the exhaust sounded like the LV is supposed to sound, yes indeed, all fixed. sorry Leo Vince, i thought your silencer spit out it's guts on some gravel road in BFE.
  11. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    it might stop raining around here eventually, but i ain't waiting. prepping the bike for another base camp ride in our east coast "mountains", yeah i know, the average elevation of our mountains just happens to be the a little less than that mile high city, and i do mean high these days.

    my old Kenda rear still had some life and might have been ok for this ride, but rainy conditions mean muddy roads, so it was time for new knobs.

    i've said it before back in the thread, but i don't have a tire machine, never felt the need, plus i'm flat out of floor space in the shop. when Motion Pro came out with the Bead Popper, i bought one and have been using it ever since to break bike tire beads. i damaged the first one after dozens of tires, now on my second popper. this tool has never failed to break the bead within a minute, usually less. if you don't have any luck with the bead popper, ya don't know how to use it. whether on the floor or on a bench, i use an old tire under the tire i'm changing to protect the rotor(s)/hub.

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    off with the 150/70, on with the 170/60. this is one big freakin' tire, note the tread pattern change. this is a very stiff tire, you don't just get it warm before mounting, you get it hot.

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    if you cuss loud enough, it will get mounted. be well organized, get the job done before the tire cools off. lube the hell out of it with for real tire lube, forget the Windex or similar unless you're into hours of torture. y'all will need some adult size irons too, the kiddie size irons won't work.

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    this Kenda isn't the only tire that can be a bit of a challenge. the worst outcome is to get the tire mounted, whew, then find you've stuck it on there ass backwards. before starting, i always mark the rotation arrow with a silver Sharpie.

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    while i had the wheel off, i changed out the wheel bearings and seals. earlier this season, the front wheel bearings on the same used 17/19 wheel set disintegrated, hmmmm, maybe i should change the rear set. i ordered the bearings, but didn't install them until after another trip and this tire change. big mistake, the rear wheel bearings were shot too, i should have changed them along with the front. the wheels were used, but not a scratch on them, no abuse, and the tires looked like a couple thousand miles at most. the seller said very low miles on the wheels, but in case ya haven't noticed, people lie. i buy used wheels, but had always installed fresh bearings, not this time, and there were consequences...nearly twice over.
  12. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    Plus 10 on the Bead Popper!

    I love that tool, I even turn it, and pound it sideways to lever/drive the second side off the rim like a tire machine would
    DRZ RIDER likes this.
  13. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    plenty of riders routinely use the popper, but then another bunch reports that they tried the bead popper, beat on the poor thing for 30 minutes, and never budged the bead. i don't know what to think when i read these reports, if the skill level is that low, how the heck did they manage to get the wheel off the bike in the first place?
    DRZ RIDER likes this.
  14. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    I know right?

    Geeze it's a wedge, I'd hate to see them with something complicated like a Service Manual!
    DRZ RIDER likes this.
  15. fasteddiecopeman

    fasteddiecopeman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    227
    In the RCAF we'd sometimes refer to the army guys as "wedges" [simplest tool known to man].

    :photog
  16. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    if you were looking for that definition, you should have called them "hammer stones".
    16VGTIDave likes this.
  17. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    countdown mode, soon out the door for another base camp ride. base camping is sure a different animal, where i wanted to save a pound or two when camping off the bike, now i've got 200# of campfire wood stuffed in there along with a freakin' mountain of other junk. the added weight is probably more than the bike itself weighs, but then again, i intend to stay dry, warm, and dine exceptionally well.

    a little show and tell, some riders have seen this stuff before, maybe others haven't.

    with the rear wheel off, i can give the hub and all the inaccessible places around the chain and swingarm a good cleaning. i decided to try out a cleaner i hadn't used before, and i've used most of the usual name brand general purpose cleaners.

    this stuff really works, buy it by the gallon from Walmart. my lowest priced shipped on ebay came in a Walmart box. it's rare you have to use this full strength, i'm using it 50/50 diluted with plain water in a spray bottle..

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    reinstalling the wheel, i like to check chain alignment, i never trust the swingarm index marks. on this bike the combo chain guard/hugger needs to be removed, but then i can use the little MotionPro alignment tool to check the chain. one of these days i'll get a laser, but in the mean time, this tool works fine.

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    i always leave a flat on the hex adjuster bolt in the horizontal on both sides. this makes it easy to do a uniform chain adjustment, and with a little forethought, makes it easy to return the wheel to perfect alighnment if the wheel ever has to come off in the field. i'll mark the flat with a small drop of paint, but ran out of time here. the flats were marked previously, but i must have painted over some WD40 and the dots disappeared into the ditch.

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  18. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    Location:
    Phoenix
    Story suggest Dawn Platinum

    That stuff works and no warnings to look out for unlike super clean

    From the MSDS

    Corrosive to metal Category 1
    Skin Irritant Cat 2
    Eye Irritant Cat 2a

    Hazardous Combustion Prpducts

    May cause respiratory irritation
  19. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,120
    i keep Dawn on hand, but this is better in certain circumstances in my well ventilated shop.
  20. mentolio

    mentolio King of the island of unwanted toys...

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    Just be carefull with Super Clean, it etches bare metal and can even discolor clear coated rims if used anywhere near full strength. Ask me how I know.....
    Some stuff works a little too well.