another update: gas tank is done, documented progress...
step 1 mask:
removed the kawasaki letters with a flat razor scraper tool (these letters are stickers with a layer of clear coat painted over them, i discovered they are much easier to remove with the blade BEFORE you sand it (the blade bites in on the edge much easier and much larger chunks of sticker come off at once).
i sanded this side first and discovered it was so flat that i had trouble getting the blade under the sticker edge, took me 3 times the amount of work.
more sanding followed by bondo (not pictured) over where the kawasaki stickers came off, there were some pretty deep gouges that I had to smooth out:
i used a light primer on the bottom, and a dark primer on top, as the color changed, it let me know how deep i was going. Kind of reminds me of whale skin, or dolphin or something....
2 coats of color finished, with sanding in between. I used Krylon this time )as opposed to Rustoleum last time). The colors are nearly indistinguishable from each other. I think I like the Rustoleums wide spray nozzle better, its harder to overspray one area. Aside from that, identical products, with the krylon being a hair lighter in shade.
clear coat is done at this point, tank is basically finished. the fuel pump and fuel level gage were straight swap. I did not check to see if the part numbers were the same but they fit, with the exception that the fuel pump is 180 degrees opposite of the original orientation, which means the fuel hose has to bend a little to get to it, but it did so fine without any kinking or unnecessary stress. Also the fuel gage might not read the same since its coming off a larger tank. Right now it says its 3/4 full and I think its closer to a full tank but we'll have to see the next time i go to a gas station, I just took the gas out of the old tank into a bucket, filtered it into a gas can and back into the new tank after it was assembled.
also this 650r gas tank had 2 connections for hoses on the bottom as opposed to the third hose connection on the versys tank. I don't know if its because this tank was not from a california emission model but the 2 hoses seemed to be a correct match and the third hose that is missing just drains to the ground anyway, so I have no clue what its for, doubt it will be necessary.
here is the finished look, definitely a smaller tank, but it looks much cleaner without those dang brackets. I'm going to buy the little black plastic panels that go on the side of the tank and trim them appropriately where they meet the seat, which itself needs trimming for proper fitting against the new tank.
next update will be probably the hella headlight conversion and seat modification, or forks with radial brakes off a mid 2000 zx-6r or zx-10r