V649HP-Kawasaki's new gravel runner

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

  1. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    Sounds great, we've got a rat pack o ninjas headed to AK in early June from South FL.
    #61
  2. A_Vasiliev

    A_Vasiliev Red, white and blue.

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    Agreed, the Versys front end looks much better in general, and especially for any semblance of off-road use.

    Hmmm... what else can they be...
    #62
  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    been up that way a couple times. PM for route suggestions. good to go now, there are competing NG pipelines that are scheduled to start in the next year or so in YT and NWT, plus the shale gas project in northern BC. going to change that countryside forever. a plus for jobs and the canadian economy, but not good if you like the wild. a review of the Mackenzie pipeline in todays WSJ.

    eventually, there might be a new road or two up there to ride.
    #63
  4. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    versys front end on a 650R frame looks like this. works great.

    [​IMG]
    #64
    Gravel Seeker and crk like this.
  5. A_Vasiliev

    A_Vasiliev Red, white and blue.

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    She's a beaut!

    C'mon, gimme a hint as to what those aluminum tubes are for :evil
    #65
  6. dentvet

    dentvet Long timer

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    looks like there is a structural element under there that is welded to the crossmember, afterwhich those stamped plates were added. two layers thick welded at different times, probably normal. looks sloppy though
    #66
  7. 6USMC6

    6USMC6 -U-

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    So much for robot welders.

    I've seen kids in high school that could do a better - and neater - job.

    .
    #67
  8. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    I've watched your builds, and rad the ride reports. Thanks for doing this one on ADV.

    Are most of your non-custom parts from eBay? Craigslist?
    #68
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i'm going to final prep the frame today for paint, so i'll need to decide whether to weld it shut. i'm going to poke a piece of .035 under there to see what it hits. that glob of weld might be on the bottom of a positioning tab from the assembly jig. there's more than one ugly weld on that frame.
    #69
  10. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    hey mike, whatcha doing straying from orange city to the cheap as dirt rat bike section? maybe you need a lower ride height rat ninja version for your trip to Labrador. here's the old bike below the Churchill River on phase 3 of the trans lab.

    [​IMG]

    agree with you on some of the welding you see on these frames. i could teach my grand daughter to do better in about 15 minutes. maybe less.
    #70
    largemouthbass likes this.
  11. Laconic

    Laconic Boomer Berserker Nativist Rube

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    Subscibing to this thread in the hopes of learning something.

    :lurk
    #71
  12. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    glad you enjoy the read.

    it takes a lot of patient research to find both bikes and parts cheap, and can be an incredibly frustrating process. you find yourself trying to conduct some straightforward business with people who rarely return phone calls, texts, or emails, are always very late, flip flop on prices, and almost never actually follow through with what they promise to do. if you can negotiate your way through that freakin' minefield without going nuts or shooting someone, there's often a smokin' deal on the other side.

    the parts bike for this build was a craigslist bike advertised and cancelled off and on for a month. it was my second choice bike after the first seller completely flaked. i might not have shot that guy, but i wouldn't have minded taking a ball bat to him. once i got the bike home and looked it over under the bright lights, i decided that i got the better deal on my second choice bike.

    these deals are finalized on the spot for cash money. you need to know what you're looking at and be prepared to act. blink and the deal is long gone.

    lastly, you need the right paperwork with your purchases. all my junk has it. no paperwork, no sale.
    #72
  13. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    What are your goals for this build? Is it just for the exercise? Or did your previous builds not meet your expectations?

    John
    #73
  14. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    maybe just evolution, i thought the old bikes did real well. out riding around on these things, i automatically think of changes and improvements. so, some of the areas i want to address are suspension, fuel capacity, seat, riding position, lights, wheels, fairing, wiring/switches, gravel guard, weight, color...basically build a new bike with a new look.

    keeps me occupied over the winter. i hate winter.

    how many riders with you to the northwest? rat ninjas all?
    #74
  15. juames

    juames Have Fun, Don't Die!

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    Carb flanges?
    #75
  16. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    these ptwins are fuel injected.
    #76
  17. juames

    juames Have Fun, Don't Die!

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    Right...meant to say intake flange
    #77
  18. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    no, motor is bone stock.



    hey, these things will be on the bike before too long, or not, in which case they never happened.
    #78
  19. 6USMC6

    6USMC6 -U-

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    Like you, I'm always searching for something more suited (note that I didn't say necessarily better!) both for the ride and my preferences du jour. When I saw the Rat Ninja, the first thing I thought was "Perfect, this will do everything I need and I can make it fit me." Unfortunately, I don't have the tools or the space so I have to watch and learn and if I do get the space (Lord please let the market recover!), I'd definitely try to build one. I don't want a "dirt" bike Dave - I want something that I can run across Labrador or Alaska that is bulletproof, strong enough and comfortable enough that I can enjoy the trip without a constant adrenalin rush. I'm "In" for the duration and anything else you put together. Who knows, maybe some day I'll have a decent place to build one.
    #79
  20. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    yep, these bikes can be built to fit ya, no problem. they can also be built as more of a single track bike, but that's not what mine are. here's sheila p****s' bike in front of my last one-

    [​IMG]

    it's like a 3/4 size version of mine built standard ride height to fit her. before you say "chick's bike", this thing is a damn rocket ship with her on board, very fast and light. the fabrication work is outstanding. there are some additional things i would do for northern travel, but it gives you an idea of the different ways these bikes can be built.

    you must know mike and sheila and could arrange to see it if interested.
    #80