Seeking advice on crash repairs - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Seeking advice on crash repairs

Looking for advice on repairing crashed bike. See attached pictures.

I locked my front brake accidentally trying to avoid a taxi crossing the road in front of me and before I could count to 0.0001 seconds my bike was on it's side and sliding. To say it happened quickly is an understatement. Anyway I believe the Barkbuster hand guards and SW-Motech engine bars prevented a lot more serious damage to the bike but I still have:

- bent handle bar
- rashed and cracked left fairing
- broken off spindle/spool mount on swing arm
- ground down engine bars

Should I replace the fairing piece or try and repair with Plastex and then paint? Only one fairing piece is damaged.

What aftermarket bars will fit the versys without causing cable issues or should I just replace with OEM bar. Can this be bent back safely?

Can a competent welder weld a new piece for spool attachment on my swing arm without weakening it?
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Last edited by twowheels; 10-23-2012 at 04:31 PM.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 04:24 PM
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Twowheels first off thank god you are ok! Slider jeans would have been better. Glad you are not hangin it up, and want to keep ridin!

Good luck getting your bike back together.

( RIDE FREE BE SAFE )
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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I know all about the hazards of locking your front brake in a panic stop. Still I managed to do this in a nano second when faced with a taxi pulling out in front of me. That's all it took to put the bike on it's side.

I went for a approx 50ft slide at 65kph/40mph. Fortunately I did not hit anything solid. Gear really, really, really helps is all I can say, cannot stress this enough. Olympia AST jacket prevented any upper body damage. Sidi boots and Rev'It gloves and helmet all worked and took some abuse. I now however can conclusively say after thorough testing that Tommy Hilfiger jeans offer no abrasion resistance. If I had on my motorcycle pants I probably could have walked away unscathed. As it was I spent the better part of last night and the early hours of this morning waiting in ER to have the abrasion injuries to my leg treated. There were many more seriously injured and sick people there who got priority over my road rash.

Last edited by twowheels; 10-23-2012 at 04:42 PM.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 06:13 PM
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That front brake deal is a beeeaach! I've done it and it can dump a person soooo fast!

Sorry to hear about your road rash that sucks! But on the good note you had almost all other areas covered! Good job! Head injuries are sometimes for life! Glad you had a helmet!

Hope you heal up fast and get your bike fixed!!

( RIDE FREE BE SAFE )
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 06:21 PM
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The handlebars are toasted. You can try a Renthal atv bar, but the bar end weights won't work (the Renthals aren't threaded). The OEM bar is pretty expensive >$100. I think you'll have a hard time repairing the cracked fairing, but you could keep an eye on the classifieds, as parts like that come up for sale fairly often. Even if it's the wrong colour you can get it painted or spray it yourself. Possibly the easiest repair will be the swingarm spool, but you'll have to find someone who can weld aluminum (it won't weaken the swingarm). I have a theory that the welds for those spools are made weak on purpose so that the spool will snap off before the swingarm gets trashed. I had the exact same damage to my bike (plus a broken footpeg) after I threw my bike down the road this summer. Everything is good now although I didn't repair the rash on the fairing (mine didn't crack) to remind myself not to be an idiot. To be honest, I love the bike more now that we've been through the hardship together. If you want it all to look like new you're going to have to dump some money into it. I'm okay with my bike looking a bit ragged, because I know that mechanically it is sound.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 06:21 PM
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Sucks you crashed, hope the rash heals quick!

New bars. Aftermarket are likely easier/cheaper to get. Search the forum for dimensions. I'd take the opportunity to upgrade to fatbars, but you may be limited by handguard mounts.

New fairing, smooth and spraypaint crash bars, weld on a spool mount. That's what I'd do anyways..

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 07:11 PM
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If I were you I'd just call my insurance company and have them put it back to new condition. Keep in mind time is money. And the time and money you'll spend to put it back to "decent" condition imho isn't worth it.

My other bike fell on it's side because of the wind catching in the protective cover, the bike just tipped over. At first I thought I would fix it myself...then started adding up price of parts...I decided to call my insurance company. I had a 250$ deductible and they put it back to new replacing every single part that had a scratch or ding on it. Total for them: 1100$, and the bike just fell on the side while parked!
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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I only have liability insurance and the police did not catch the cab driver who took off, none of the witnesses go a license numberso it looks like I am paying this out of pocket. Think I will start with the bars and do this gradually rather than all at once.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 08:33 PM
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Oh that sucks...
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 09:49 AM
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You can try to straighten the handlebars. Just put a piece of 2" pipe over the grip and bend it back.

You can also mend the plastic, but it won't look as good as a new piece.

Fix the bars, replace the mirror and just ride it.

good luck
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 10:02 AM
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If my bars bent like that I woudlnt rebend them, I'd just replace. But I like to have peace of mind on everything
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
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If my bars bent like that I woudlnt rebend them, I'd just replace. But I like to have peace of mind on everything
Believe me, if it takes a 4' to 6' long steel pipe to bend them back, you don't have anything to worry about.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thought about bending the bars back but I just don't have the tools to do this and wonder if it would even be possible to get them symmetrical again.

Does anyone know the color code for the red used on the 08 bike?

Ordered new OEM bars, Ebay mirrors and Plastex kit to repair the fairing. Will try removing crash bars to repaint them.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 07:49 PM
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Thought about bending the bars back but I just don't have the tools to do this and wonder if it would even be possible to get them symmetrical again.

Does anyone know the color code for the red used on the 08 bike?

Ordered new OEM bars, Ebay mirrors and Plastex kit to repair the fairing. Will try removing crash bars to repaint them.
Those bars are kinked. Go to the Renthal site and look for something with the same rise and pullback. Check on the side panel cost for a new one. It's pretty reasonable, and you can get one in the correct color. A new hand guard plastic should be inexpensive, and if the bark buster is bent, it can be straightened. Work on the engine bars with a file and sandpaper to smooth them and paint with barbecue black rattle can paint. The spool mount can be welded back on if you still have it, or someone should be able to make a new one for you.

I dropped mine with about the same results, and you'd have to look close to see where it happened. You really need only a few parts: Bars, side panel, hand guard, and mirror.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 08:23 PM
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I low-sided my Versys at a track day and the swingarm spool attachment broke off like yours did. I was going to try to get a weld job done, but then I realized it would be cheaper and easier to get different attachments for my Pit Bull rear stand (about $20), so now the rear stand props directly underneath the swingarm instead of spools.
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 07:06 PM
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It is difficult to get the handlebars back to original. I tried and it sucked. I even had the advantage of a blow torch to heat the metal up. I gave up and bought OEM. Even after I put my new handlebars on my stearing was still offset, forcing one hand slightly forward of the other to ride straight. Something had tweaked in the stearing and it took me completley taking the stearing system apart and reassembling to set it straight again.
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 07:38 PM
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Steering Bar not aligned with Wheel after a crash

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Originally Posted by jagrugger View Post
It is difficult to get the handlebars back to original. I tried and it sucked. I even had the advantage of a blow torch to heat the metal up. I gave up and bought OEM. Even after I put my new handlebars on my stearing was still offset, forcing one hand slightly forward of the other to ride straight. Something had tweaked in the stearing and it took me completely taking the stearing system apart and reassembling to set it straight again.
jagrugger, I have the same problem, after a wreck: wheel points slightly right, when steering is straight. Nothing bent that I can see. Thinking something is just twisted, like the Upper Front Fork Clamp vs the lower one. But how to turn it? Is loosening the steering stem head bolt enough to twist things?

Does the "foot against the tire and yank" method I read somewhere on here actually work? (kind of joking)
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 08:08 PM
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jagrugger, I have the same problem, after a wreck: wheel points slightly right, when steering is straight. Nothing bent that I can see. Thinking something is just twisted, like the Upper Front Fork Clamp vs the lower one. But how to turn it? Is loosening the steering stem head bolt enough to twist things?

Does the "foot against the tire and yank" method I read somewhere on here actually work? (kind of joking)
Loosen the lower triple clamp bolts, then face the front of the bike and get the wheel between your knees and use the bars to twist them straight. Then bounce the suspension a couple of times and tighten the bolts.

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 08:12 PM
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Really? That's all it takes? Awesome! Thank you!

Edit: My son and I just did it, and it worked! Thanks again, ttpete.

Last edited by IronMan; 06-16-2016 at 08:40 PM.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 06:24 AM
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Looks like this is handled pretty much.

On tubes, a tubing bender helps. Lots of places have them. Otherwise, can build a wood cradle and lash to something. Lash or use something else for leverage. Plan and push. I have straightened lots of things this way. I even uncompressed a Grumman canoe I rolled a Pinto over on. The lashing there let me untwist it once I got it unflat. That was in 1986 and I might take it out this evening!! If a tube is very much out of round at all and cannot be pressed flat with a vice or hydraulic press, it's toast.

On the Versys, the welds for the threaded end caps are a joke. Need proper welds anyway. So any aftermarket steel bar can simply have threaded caps (EZ make) welded on.

Plastic in general can be made as good or better than it was, but takes skill. Various instructions online. Depending on plastic material, can weld up or lay in. I just try melting with a soldering iron to see what's what. Reinforce with fiberglass tape on back. Can even lay in a washer to beef up attach points. Skill and technique required to get level and fair on the outside. Have a rashed Versys in the driveway now, probably just fill with that 3M stuff, then paint both sides to match with the anti wear Rhino type stuff in black, or cover with vinyl snakeskin or leather pattern. Or a mix. Make look authentic!!

Often cheaper to just buy new. Not expensive for Versys. Many bikes can get fancy aftermarket surprisingly inexpensively!!

Broken mirrors - used to be able to get a mirror shop to replace. Don't know about modern stuff.

Aluminum breaks - find an expert. Safety class items especially. I recall getting welded aluminum post-weld heat treated, tested for something or other. Long ago. Find an expert or live without.

Alignment. Forks are easy. Piece of glass across the legs should hit both evenly. On the other hand, a good solid blow that bends stuff can do more than twist. GMDAtl.com or equivalent can do a real check of frame alignment. Many bikes are repaired and ridden slightly twisted. No fun.

In general, moderate hit and slide won't do much, but bikes are pretty critical on many things, worth tearing down a bit, checking all the fasteners, checking alignment, looking for concealed damage. In a hard hit, will find odd places have difficult to see damage, like cracks, that may worsen through time and then kill you suddenly. Accident report says "operator error."

No worries about the bike. Wear the gear, learn the bike and riding, consider it all committed to the road and expendable. If it comes back repairable, great. If not and you're OK, then money well spent. I regularly want to call X or Y and reach for my phone only to remember they are no longer with us. Eye on ball - walking away is excellent. Even riding conscious in an ambulance is OK!!!!

Be well
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