Yet Another Budget Ninja Mutant Build

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by draco_1967, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    436
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    Here goes another one!

    I have been watching @jdrocks build thread for a couple of years, found some other builders' threads as well (the Thinja, and Another V649HP). I also remember the guy who built the bike with a KTM frame and a DL650 engine. There is so much inspiration here on ADV!

    Last year, I decided it was time to build one for myself. I have a very limited bike budget, so I have had to be conscious of total cost for a project like this. Seeing JD and others build these Ninja/Versys bikes for very low prices made me start scouring for a cheap Ninja 650R. I should add that I brainwashed my buddy into this as well, so we have plans to build a second bike (at least), once a good donor candidate becomes available.

    The Search

    I scoured auction sites, Craigslist, and KSL (the local news site that has a HUGE classified section). Auction prices were way to high once shipping and fees were added, and I wasn't having any luck finding bikes that were under $2k, even when crashed.

    Finally, in August a bike showed up on KSL that looked like a good candidate: A 2007 Ninja 650R with just 13k miles on the clock. The plastics had been painted, but from the pictures it looked like a pro job. On the night me and my buddies went to pick the bike up, we got the best news. The owner was riding that afternoon and low-sided the bike into the gravel shoulder. The right side was badly rashed, with some broken bits! I did my best to sound disappointed on the phone, but I said I would still like to come look at it.

    Well, the bike came home with us after a significant discount. It was not quite JD cheap, but much better than anything else around, and it had a clean title.

    The Plan

    This build is meant to be a budget build, with an updated or second build to happen soon. My goal is to keep the cost of parts under $3k total, and right now I'm well below that. I am also slowly recouping some of the initial purchase of the bike by selling some of the good bits.

    Here is what will be going onto the bike for the first phase (and what is done):
    KLR forks
    Custom front axle
    19" Yamaha Bolt wheel
    2007 R1 rear shock with spring swapped
    Dash mount for the guages and windscreen
    New peg mounts for better foot position
    Brake and Clutch pedal relocation

    Repair and paint tank and tail plastics
    Lighting (headlights and turn signals)
    Fix some wiring that was screwed up by the PO


    The next phase will include DRZ forks in a Versys upper, luggage racks, crash bars, skid plate, and oil pan from a 2012+ Ninja. I may swap the swing arm to a 2012+ as well, but we'll see.

    The Bike
    Here is the photo from the add:
    18004.jpeg

    After bringing it home:
    0829182117_HDR.jpg

    And after a little disassembly:
    18623.jpeg
    #1
  2. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

    Joined:
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    This build will ultimately be slow. I don't have a ton of extra time right now between work, a 1.5 year old, and some significant volunteer responsibilities at church. I get a few chunks of 1-2 hours throughout the week to measure, cut, drill, etc.

    I also have project ADD, so when I get going on one part of the build, I see something else that needs attention and move to that.

    After we picked up the bike, my buddy and I started ordering parts. Within the week, we had the forks, shock, and wheel. I began tearing the rest of the plastics off and taking a look at what we bought.

    Once parts arrived, I started mocking things up. Here are a few shots of the progress:
    Mocking up the front:
    1011182144a.jpg
    1018182148.jpg

    After getting tires:
    1027181434.jpg

    Some CAD (cardboard aided design):
    1114182140b.jpg
    #2
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  3. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    For the shock, one of the issues is the R1 bushing holes are 10mm, while the Ninja's are 12. I swapped the lower Ninja roller bushing to the upper mount on the R1 shock, and found a hardened bushing to fit in the upper mount of the frame (just slightly narrower than the lower mount). The lower mount I left as is, and found some 12mm-10mm reducer bushings to use the 10mm mounting bolt from the R1.
    1022182040a.jpg

    I swapped the spring from the Ninja shock to the R1 shock. I did grind the end for the R1 collar and repainted the spring black, because blue would not do for the black/green theme we are going for.
    1020181846a.jpg

    Mounted:
    1022182139.jpg 1124181243.jpg

    As you can see in the second pic, I also began working on the peg mount plates. They are much smaller now, and I am trying to work out a few details before cutting and welding metal bits.
    #3
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  4. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    The Dash

    Here is what I built for the dash/windscreen arrangement. Some CAD, some 1/8 steel, and lots of dust and chips later, I made a thing. This was over the course of several weeks.
    1203182205.jpg 1203182205a.jpg
    1219182016a.jpg 0107192049.jpg
    #4
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  5. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    hey, these bikes are everywhere. take plenty of photos.

    skip the little 41mm KLR forks, go with the massive 49mm DRZs.

    if you do use the KLR, swap in the later model ER6 top fork clamp that uses the conventional rubber damped bar clamps rather than the cast clamp the 2007 uses. the ignition should swap over.
    #5
  6. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    I will for sure be moving to the DRZ forks. I am going to let my buddy take the KLR forks and update my bike once he finds a suitable donor. He likely won't ride his as much as I will ride mine.

    Good to know about the ER6 clamp. Thanks!
    #6
  7. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    Another option that's even better than the DRZ forks is to find some '97-'98 RM250 forks.
    Still 49mm conventional, fit same as DRZ, but they are Showa twin-chamber.

    In either case you might want to shorten travel 2-3" to have a better balanced bike - JD is larger than most of us folks and he likes the longer forks.
    When you shorten the spring to shorten the travel you'll also make it stiffer - which is good as these bikes are heavier than a DRZ.
    You'll also have to add a spacer in the cartridge the amount you want to shorten it.
    #7
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  8. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    Thanks for that info. Do you know the axle diameter of the RM250 forks? Is it 20mm also?
    #8
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    [​IMG]

    Tonymorr's old bike from over 10 years ago, hard to believe it's been that long. 08+ 41mm KLR forks with DL650 wheel. if ER6 platform builders ever want to know who the grand daddy is, well, Tony is the man.

    the suspension/wheel combo questions have been kicked around since the day Tony's bike thread hit advrider. let me summarize...a builder can make anything work if he's willing to put in the time and effort, sometimes $$$$$ too.
    #9
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  10. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    The bike came with this nice looking, light, and ridiculously loud Jardine slip-on. I sold it for $100 amd bought a used stock muffler for $55. I haven't installed it yet. I look forward to the peace and quiet. Plus I have $45 extra for parts. 1022181953a.jpeg
    #10
  11. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    Brakes

    I should mention that this is the first time I've ever seriously modified a motorcycle. I have built little brackets here and there, done some wiring and farkling, but never anything to this scale.

    I used more CAD, some eyeballing, and some measuring to fab up this little adapter to mate the Ninja brake caliper to the KLR fork. It fits, but I need to redo it in thicker stock (probably 3/8").
    0126192039.jpg 0128192026.jpg
    Everything lines up, so I successfully measured and transfer punched holes, yipee! I still need to get some different length bolts to get things lined up. I also need to get a good 10mmx1.5 tap for 2 of the 4 holes.

    Peg Mount Conundrum

    So I have nice CAD templates laid out for the peg mounts that include brake and shifter mount points. I have 1/8" steel plate that I have made the dash mount and the practice brake adapter. My question to all you ADV experts out there is this:

    If I gusset the 1/8" plate on the rear with some 1/8" thick, 1/2" wide flat bar that runs perpendicular to the plate, will it be strong enough? Or should I get some 1/4" or 3/8" stock and still gusset it on the backside?

    Here is a rough copy of the peg mount in 1/8" with some lines scribed showing potential gusset points:
    0205191720.jpg

    And where the peg will be relative to the gussets:
    0205191720a.jpg
    #11
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  12. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    c'mon man, i would prefer that you use the phrase "more robust than most of us folks".

    i've bottomed the 300mm travel DRZ400S forks many times, so i'm not sure what the riding experience would have been like if the suspension travel was 50-75mm less, except that i would have been bottoming frequently. can't forget about the ground clearance either. if a rider can tolerate the increased seat height, i say keep the suspension big.

    trick these bikes and you'll end up riding some rough conditions where you'll want every mm of suspension travel.
    #12
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  13. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    A little bit about the front forks:
    My buddy and I decided to go with the KLR forks because they were an easy way to go (or so we thought). They slip right in the Ninja triple clamps, they are cheaply available, and if they are good enough for the old reliable KLR, they are good enough for us!

    They do slip right in to the 41mm clamps on the Ninja. The axle was a bit more challenging. I knew the KLR was a 15mm axle with one leg being 22mm (at least on the '08 and up). I decided that we can bore the 15mm end to 17mm, and then it would be easy to swap in the XVS950 front wheel, which has a 17mm ID bearing. The fork leg bored easily to 17mm, and there is plenty of meat on the leg to not be a concern for me. I also found a suitable 17mm rear axle from an 80's KZ400. The problem is, no one makes anything with a 17mm thread. There are TONS of 17mm axles out there, but the threads are always 16mm threads. Without access to a lathe, I couldn't just cut new threads on the axle as easily as JD has done on the 20mm axle conversions with the DL1000 wheel and DRZ forks.

    So I had a buddy who works in a machine shop cut down the axle to length and cut the proper 16mm threads. He also turned up a spacer for the right fork that has the 22mm ID. The front wheel bolts up nicely, and I only need another 3mm spacer for the right side of the wheel. The XVS950 spacers were almost perfect to center the wheel.

    Back to the peg mount question:
    After reading the Thinja thread again, I decided that 1/8" will be good with the gusset/bracing on the back. He used 3/16", so it's close. Unless anyone can convince me that I will die if I don't use something thicker... :ear


    Wheels:
    Some may know that the 2007 650R wheels are silver. The XVS950 wheel is black. I couldn't stand the thought of mis-matched colors like that. (That's also one of the reasons I liked the idea of the XVS rim: the spoke pattern works well with the Ninja's rear wheel.)

    In the more recent shots of the bike, the rear wheel is black. On one of the last warm days before winter settled in here in the Salt Lake Valley, I prepped and painted the wheel. I think it turned out really nicely. In fact, it looks so good that it makes the front wheel look bad now :dirtdog
    1119182117a.jpg 1121181523.jpg 1121181524.jpg
    #13
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  14. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    Peg Mounts!
    I spent a couple of hours cutting, grinding and sanding this afternoon. I am almost ready to get the pegs welded up. I will also get the kickstand measured and cut so it's ready to be welded at the same time.

    The brake lever and master cylinder mount are off of an '08 KLR. It Will bolt to the peg mount plate. I have room to add the Versys sub-frame support to the mount down the road. 0209191635b.jpeg 0209191639.jpeg 0209191639a.jpeg
    #14
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  15. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    Um, looks like your peg mounts are on backward.
    You want the pages to fold back and up, not forward and up.
    #15
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  16. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    You are correct. The vise grips weren't long enough to hold the peg mount on the correct direction. This was just to mock up placement. They will be welded correctly.
    #16
  17. ianmp

    ianmp *****

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    Here's a brief hijack, since I saw you are using the Bolt wheel and I like it because of the spoke count.... the OEM Yamaha bearing is 93306-30317-00, which is 17 x 47 x 14. That means it should fit a versys fork with a swap to 6204 series ball bearings (20 x 47 x 14) and spacers. I haven't tried that, but if I do I will report back to the ADV hive-mind.
    #17
  18. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    Yes, that is my plan when I put the DRZ forks in the near future. I found a source for the bearings and even properly sized dust seals through thebigbearingstore.com. I will need to have a proper 20mm ID spacer made for between the bearings.
    #18
  19. ianmp

    ianmp *****

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    Well, I ordered a bolt wheel off ebay because it was way cheaper than a vstrom wheel and the spokes look more better. I guess I'll have to do a DRZ fork swap now though since it'll be goofy having two caliper mounts and one disc... The bearings should be easy, any 6204 will arguably work
    #19
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  20. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    I haven't made much progress on the Dirt Ninja recently. I did mount up the stock muffler, and it just barely touches the swing arm at full extension. I'm not worried to much, as it isn't preventing motion.

    I did empty the rear brake line, and nasty, chunky brown stuff came out. I'll be pulling the caliper apart to clean it up.

    The last couple of weeks the little free time in the garage has been spent on adding some light to my FJR.
    0302191308b.jpeg 0223191400a.jpeg 0219191946a.jpeg 0219191946.jpeg
    #20
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