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
headlight swapped out, the hella conversion I bought has a running light, just wired the wires from the original running lights to it. has a real classy look to it when you turn the key to the first detent, a soft orange glow lights up the headlight assembly, which is flat, intead of spherical like the old wagner.
Pics of the bike would be kind of pointless, you'd need an animated gif to tell the difference between the old and new, but here is a closeup of the lights side by side:
and here are some comparisons of the beam pattern. all pics are of LOW beams only, two each with different exposure settings since comparing lights on camera is so difficult:
hella H4 7" conversion lamp with running light:
the new light has a nice cutoff on the top part of the low beam, and a diffuse bottom end. The light is well balanced from left to right, whereas the wagner dumps most of its light in a central spot.
I am curious how a 7" sylvania sealed beam would do but I think not better than the Hella, probably better than the Wagner marginally, judging from my trucks not so fantastic sylvania lights.
Man thats cool. I really like it. I'm not fan of the green at all but I'd probably get another set of fairings and a tank so it didn't look like a repair job before playing with some matt black also.
Thumbs up for me! makes me want to get another one.
stems look different but the critical dimensions appear to be the same *(the versys stem has no narrow taper in the middle). Bearings fit in races, have to reuse the original seal on the top from the versys because the ZX-14's are too large in diameter (was hoping to sell the versys forks complete with all parts). Still need a tool for the strange castle nuts (which i used a large flat head and hammer to carefully rotate off) and a torque value before the full rebuild.
Here we're looking at the Versys wheel compared to a ZX-6R wheel (my girlfriends bike was the gracious donor).
The ZX6R wheel was a drop in fit to the new forks, they use the same axle, and apparently the same spacers. From top to bottom, Versys, ZX14r, and ZX6r axles:
I was hoping to get away with reusing my versys wheels and just getting larger rotors (310mm vs 300mm), but the wheels are not the same (look near the edge of the axle bearings). I wanted to price out some machine shops and see what their rates are, possibly have them bore it out and replicate the dimensions of the ZX6 wheel since other than that, the wheel appears identical. I think I might go the other route, just buy a used rim and sell this one in case the measuring or cutting goes wrong and I'm left with a useless wheel and a bill.
The GF's calipers are also a drop in fit, although I will be looking for a newer type, still haven't made up my mind, Nissin or Tokico... and googling just seems to go back and forth with people claiming X is greater than Y and vice versa depending on which brand had the newest gen design.
I think im going to paint the lower triple black, After I replace the rear shock I wont have any silver on this bike besides the exhaust pipes and bar ends, which I'm happy I'll be able to go back to my original Throttlemeisters with the zx14 bars (not sure what I'm going to do for mirrors now though...).
Also I am toying around with the idea of deleting the airbox. I read that the engine uses a manifold air pressure sensor on the throttle body, so I might be able to get away with putting pod filters on but I'm going to have to figure out where to put this little guy (air intake temp sensor I think).
Ultimately I'd be getting a power commander, and a custom map since I already have the full exhaust, but for now the added growl would be nice along with some (hopefully) throttle response.
also took some pics of the seat modifications... in order to use the existing seat with the gas tank I would have to seriously force it into place to get it to lock in, after which I could not get it out for fear of bending the key. It also put an ugly fold in the vinyl and rode up high on the gas tank.
I removed the staples, pulled back the foam and slowly cut away the shell with a dremel and file. It took a considerable amount of time and patience and made a mess, and I'm surprised it came out as well as it did (as far as symmetry goes). I can measure and cut angles, but I don't do curves, I'm not a sculptor.
Cut baseplate with original foam in tact to show you the amount of material removed:
and then I took a sharp kitchen knife in combination with the dremel again to try and shape the foam: this step went about as I expected it to, fairly crude, but got the job done.
Pulled the vinyl back around bottom nice and tight and it hides the imperfections in the foam very well. Used a staple gun to reattach under neath. Keep in mind if you do this where you put the staples, if you staple it too close to the edge, simply because its easier to get the gun to make contact at that angle, you might end up with a staple coming up the thin portion of the foam and piercing through the vinyl and then poking you in the butt.
I don't have any pics now of the modified seat on the bike, but it basically looks the same, but clicks in properly and the feel is very different. With the new gas tank and modified seat this bike feels much narrower than stock. I can really straddle this thing hard through the turns.