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 Post subject: Project "Dirt Versys"
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:38 am 
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Posts: 123
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Couple weeks ago, another red and black bike followed me home. :?

Like a dog-pound mixed breed pup, it was sooo ugly it was sort of cute.

A Kawasaki model of 2008, it had sat at a Honda dealer I patronize for "Coast parts. I watched it for 6-8 weeks.... it was rather misunderstood sitting amongst the Gold Wings and such.

Heck, this bike is misunderstood even sitting at a KAWASAKI dealer.

The asking price sagged week by week. I tried to look away, but like a train crash.... well.

When it hit $2,195- I had to put it out of it's misery.

They just wanted it gone, end of season and so on. Hey, if it's red and black..... :roll:

I was familiar with this model.... a "Versys".... short for "VERSATILE", yet most folks never seen one, heard of one or rode on one. They are easy to transform into gravel road running dual sports, as many parts cross over from the likes of the KLR, the ugly step cousin of the Versys (I had one of them as well.... for 36,000 miles).

Step one, get it home. Oh, and then add 10 days of RAIN. :cry:

All this week, I pushed to get it to the point that it was ready for a three day/1,000 mile trip with another rider I know.

It seemed happy just to be inside, out of the rain.

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A big brown truck brought gifts from Santa rather early this year. Ho, ho, HO!

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How hard could it be to add some dual sport/adventure luggage, an adjustable-on-the fly windscreen, some other metal bits, wire it for a GPS, swap the mirrors for some big old school Kawasaki KLR mirrors with arms long enough that I could see them outside my shoulders, and they sit at eye level, certainly not for looks, but for function, quick acquisition and safety (old guy, bad eyes at close range).

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Ok, I know how many bags of groceries a Pacific Coast will carry.... but these came measured in "liters" of capacity, specifically 37 liters each. I guess someone figured it out..... hmm.

They are aluminum (pretty light), and have massive rubber dust/rain gaskets. The lids are hinged on both ends, or you can lift them off if need be. They also have built in locks.

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There is no knock at the door. My riding chums "Eagle-Todd and Herm" just walk in unannounced to "help" (drink my coffee and eat my donuts). They declare they are from the combined Government's of Germany and Bulgaria, and that they are indeed here to help. :o

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Herm scrambling to learn Bulgarian and German.... the aluminum panniers made in Bulgaria, the corresponding mounts, brackets, supports and quick release/locking/docking parts are German-made.

"Nothing to worry about Herm says... I got this".

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Unlike the Pacific Coast, the Versys 650 will get completely naked for you in 5 minutes or less with one Allen Wrench.


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Fast forward.... :ugeek:

Kraut-made bracketry-bars and such have been installed. SW MOTECH's hardware for dual sports is like METAL ART. Fit, finish, durability, the finest. We have used this setup on 6 or 7 bikes of different denominations... as MOTECH has exact fitting rigs for many different popular bikes in this class, and are glad to help. Except all the instructions are in GERMAN.

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The "cans" hung with care, and looking smart.

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Before you can scream, OMG, your bike has a fat a**ss, let me measure for you. :lol:

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As promised, the end result about 37" across the backside. Maybe tough to get jeans to fit?

:evil:

Right, it's a family show...

My handlebar-ends are 34 inches side to side. Normally, you strive to have those figures "match" in the dual sport world, or have your backside narrower than your bar ends. In case your trying to sneak between a couple farmer's gates, etc., it's nice to know if your handlebars clear, you should be able to roll the backend through no problem.

I wanted the extra liters of cargo space, as this rig will be more of a gravel road-runner and secondary highway/freeway to "reach the target".



The view if you were standing on top of my birdfeeder:

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A sick, twisted "unstable" view through the eyes of a (madman) 8mm fisheye lens to distort reality.

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Oh, that Ninja-looking street tire has got to go..... it came on the bike.... it will be replaced with something lumpier for gravel and such. I will also go one size TALLER and one size NARROWER.

The front will go one size taller as well, taller tires react slower for off-road or gravel, so your "corrections" are more slowly delivered, with hopes of not pitching you over the bars.

It will still perform in the twisties.


Dressed and loaded, two of us set out for Green Bay, Wisconsin. We had things to see south and north of Green Bay, and out to Sturgeon Bay, a peninsula with a ferry boat out to an island.

Below, we check out "Hotel Hell", apparently a place where bad things once happened.

Ok, most of it probably crap, but you can imagine creepy stuff going on way out here.


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All in all, the bike performed well on a rather fast paced 1,000 mile adventure, with temps into the 30's in the morning and evenings. It was 25 this morning when we got up. The bike covers were stiff with frost. We opted for a long breakfast before setting out to meet another rider on our way home, postponing our departure till 10:30 a.m. when it got above freezing outside.

I saw 51-52 MPG a couple fill-ups, with as low as 38 MPG when we were thrashing on the bikes to ride 70-75 on the slab to attempt to beat deer and darkness.


Oh, about the bike's drivetrain.... it's a chain drive 650cc parallel-injected-twin, water cooled. It's got six gears. First is so low it just crawls.... it's too low to navigate around a gas station as you search for an open pump. But it's great for mild off road snort....

You can sit at 70 MPH in 5th, and forget you got one more gear to go.... and the bike is quite happy to do so.... :o .... it cruises happily at 65-70 at around 5500....
which just seems high, right?

The redline is at 10,500. :o

It will go from 60 to UNPUBLISHED SPEEDS rather briskly.

Saving the best for last.... they put NINJA motors in these.... "shhhh".... 8-)

The Ninja motor has been around a long time, and has a reputation of being trouble free, bulletproof, and a total hoot to drive. They did move the power band from the upper end down to be more effective at mid ranges, for geezers, as this bike has a great upright riding position. Your legs are very happy, the seat quite wonderful, and the reach to the bars and grips is not as far as on a COAST.

This bike is around 200 pounds LESS than a Coast. Just sayin.

It will be a second bike for me, and the Coast will be a Sunday bike, and certainly the bike I will grab now for fall and early spring riding because of warmth and wind protection. I found the Coast a hot ride in warmer weather. That's ok, I will have that covered now with more of a naked bike, and the whole project was a rather cheap date to end up with two bikes.

Thanks for listening.

Paul








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Goodbye, Bolivia. Hello to Australia.


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 Post subject: Re: Project "Dirt Versys"
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:02 am
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Location: Foothills of The Smoky Mountains
Wow. I thought a PCs butt was wide! You could end up with a ticket for being double parked!

Great post, great pics and a great pair of machines!

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Pearl White 89'
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 Post subject: Re: Project "Dirt Versys"
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:33 am 
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Thanks for reading, Rusty. I am having riding/withdrawal anxiety (RWA? :cry: ) this week cause I attended to responsible things and have not boarded a bike since last weekend. Man it's boring being responsible.

New tires ordered for the little bike. Also switching to a Ninja front sprocket, it crosses over onto this bike and is a bolt on, and switches it from a 15 tooth to a 16, thus lowering the RPM's at the top, and will probably give first gear a bit wider use at the bottom end, hopefully cross-breeding some of it's desire for wheelies out of it....

I know.... any talk of "chains" and I loose two of you guys right away. You know who you are..... ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Project "Dirt Versys"
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:46 am 
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We're not THAT bad! (are we?)

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 Post subject: Re: Project "Dirt Versys"
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:45 pm 
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I saw ya flinch. I am a bit peaved at the chain, I can't get my front sprocket nut loose.

Sort of contradicts the 'lectric automatic chain oiler I am working on if I can't get the sprocket and old chain off.

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 Post subject: Re: Project "Dirt Versys"
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:43 am 
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Location: Foothills of The Smoky Mountains
Righty Tighty - Left Loosey? or backwards?

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 Post subject: Re: Project "Dirt Versys"
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:46 am 
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Memory on the Skorpion and videos for Kawis say lefty loosey.
That is a funky looking nut, tho...
I put a piece of oak 2x4 through the spokes on the rear wheel (couldn't hold it with just the rear brake on) and used a 1/2in drive breaker bar with pipe extension.
I do like the electric chain oiler...use one myself.
Get it set to satisfaction and no further lubing problems.
Still have the black goo flinging off, but on a bike that does some off/dirt road, who cares.

Good luck,
Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Project "Dirt Versys"
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:02 am
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Location: Foothills of The Smoky Mountains
I hate trying to break something like that loose - can do damage - to bike AND to self!
I use anti-seeze on things that its appropriate to use it on and then lock-tite on others.

This is sorta on topic - rode the mega ferris-wheel in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee the other day (against my will I might add....)
and I snapped this shot thru the glass from inside the air conditioned glassed in car.
Looks to me like a 69cent clip between success or failure......

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http://www.StrayTracks.com


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