Some thoughts on 50,007 miles on BIG RED...! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Some thoughts on 50,007 miles on BIG RED...!

Yesterday I went for a 129 mile 'jaunt' on BIG RED, of which about 60 miles were on dirt roads, and my odometer "clicked" over the 50,000 mile mark as I rode onto the Hunt Hwy, seven miles from home.

When I got into my garage it was time for an oil change, and some pics to show some 'interesting' things about those 50K miles:

...1. BIG RED is STILL on the ORIGINAL chain, which has been adjusted 29 'flats' (a hex bolt has 6 flats), or 4 5/6 turns, in its life - I know... I'm anal, keeping track of stuff like that - which amounts to about .25" of rearwards adjustment. Bill Watson of ThermoBob fame did an experiment which he documented on his site (http://www.watt-man.com/uploads/WD40experiment.pdf) where I lifted those measurements to convert MY 4 5/6 turns to the 5 he experienced. The pics show the rear adjusters as well as the condition of the (dusty) chain when I got home, then how much slack I arrived with at home, chain WD40'ed. In that time the ONLY lube I've put onto the chain is WD40 which I buy in gallons, so you can draw your own conclusions as to the efficacy of lubing w/ WD40.... During the 50K miles I 'reversed' the rear sprocket and replaced the front one at 29,xxx miles, and the front sprocket looked VG when I checked it yesterday.

...2. BIG RED is STILL on the ORIGINAL cables. The ONLY one I 'oil' is the clutch cable, and I use (wait for it...) - WD40 - but I have re-adjusted it to reduce the stress that that cable has from the factory set-up, and which I talked about on various threads here.

...3. BIG RED is STILL on the ORIGINAL battery which I remove each spring when we head back to BC, then bring into the house (kept at MAX 88F), and put onto a Schumaker maintenance charger thru a 24 hour timer set for 15 minutes/ 24 hrs.

...4. BIG RED is STILL on the ORIGINAL bulbs w/ the exception of low-beam which I replaced a year or so ago (did NOT use WD40 on it...).

I get somewhere around 55+ mpg, and I love this Bike! Apologize that some pics aren't in order....



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Ed
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 03-16-2014 at 01:38 PM.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 03:47 PM
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Sa-weet! Glad the Versys is a dependable machine!!
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 03:52 PM
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Congrats on 50,000 miles!

I'm getting the feeling I may have my V for a lot longer than I originally intended. Got mine with less than 5,500 miles on it in the Fall, but only got to ride it a few times last year due to a house sale, moving 15 years of stuff out of the house quickly, wife's foot surgery, bad weather setting in, blah, blah, blah. Got out for 4th time this year, in between the snow cover and low temps, and just crossed my first 1,000 mi on the V yesterday! A lot more to go to catch you, but i've got the time. Take care.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 04:04 PM
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Thanks for the great vote of confidence on the V.

Very interesting with the wd40. I've only got 8300 Kim's on mine and I've been using wd40 as well. Sure keeps everything a lot cleaner.

Lovin every minute of it!
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 05:13 PM
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There's a tour group in Western Mexico with a fleet of DRZ400s and the only chain maintenance ever done is with a spray of WD40. There has been no difference in chain life compared to before when they used all other kinds of Chain Lube.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 05:25 PM
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awesome Man!

Keep up that maintenance and Big Red should last you forever!

Cheers!


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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 05:34 PM
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well, lets see, im 61, bike has 6k on the odometer--I ride about 1k a year---bike should last me at least 44 more years based on your #'s. by then I will be ready for something with a little more horsepower if I can get a good trade-in------------
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 06:18 PM
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congrats on 50,000 k

iam pushin 40,000 miles on my 08 which i bought new in 08, no issues at all. i seem to ride my klx 250 more these days, so was going to sell the v this spring took her for a 3 hour spin yesterday i think ill keep her a while longer.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 07:46 PM
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So it still starts and runs, Fast Eddie? How much oil does it consume between oil changes? What kind of oil, and how many miles between changes?
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 08:01 PM
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That is impressive chain mileage. I follow a similar maintenance plan, though I would describe what I do as cleaning the chain with WD40, not lubing it, since I'm just wiping it down and not soaking the chain in it. I don't use lube on the theory that it just makes dirt stick to the chain. But maybe I'm doing something wrong because I recently put on my third chain and my Versys is at 36,000. I've never gotten much more than 20,000 miles out of a chain on any motorcycle I've owned.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 08:08 PM
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Good job Eddie! Thanks for sharing!





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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 09:14 PM
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Big Red is still Big Red.
Paint it black.
"Black Beauty'. They go better.

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angst View Post
Keep up that maintenance and Big Red should last you forever!
BTW - I washed BIG RED yesterday and did something I'd meant to do the day before. Once it's washed I re-spray the chain (w/ WD40 of course!), wipe it down, then YESTERDAY I manipulated (wiggled) EVERY chain-link, checking for any stiff or seized links - NONE! They're ALL free.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dspark52 View Post
well, lets see, im 61, bike has 6k on the odometer--I ride about 1k a year---bike should last me at least 44 more years based on your #'s. by then I will be ready for something with a little more horsepower if I can get a good trade-in------------
Dale - by the time you get to 50,007 I should have 352,000 MORE miles on BIG RED... IF I live that long (I turn 71 next month...).

Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
So it still starts and runs, Fast Eddie? How much oil does it consume between oil changes? What kind of oil, and how many miles between changes?
NONE. I change oil each 5,000 miles (8,000 kms in BC), and I use Mobil1 car oil, either 10w-40 or 15w-50 (depends on what Walmart has).

Quote:
Originally Posted by motociclista View Post
That is impressive chain mileage. I follow a similar maintenance plan, though I would describe what I do as cleaning the chain with WD40, not lubing it, since I'm just wiping it down and not soaking the chain in it. I don't use lube on the theory that it just makes dirt stick to the chain. But maybe I'm doing something wrong because I recently put on my third chain and my Versys is at 36,000. I've never gotten much more than 20,000 miles out of a chain on any motorcycle I've owned.
I WD40 my chain when I return home from ANY ride over 50 miles, or on long trips - mid-day and when I get to the campground while it's still hot, more often IF it's raining....

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwitourer View Post
Big Red is still Big Red.
Paint it black.
"Black Beauty'. They go better.
Can't do THAT - I have "BIG RED" on the nose, black part UNDER my Madstad bracket....

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 01:08 PM
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55 mpg? Jeez, man! I get about 39. Lots of start 'n' stop surburban roads and no highways on my daily commute.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 03:46 PM
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Keep 'er going!


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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 07:57 PM
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Nice numbers!

Very interesting that WD40 project.

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
...1. BIG RED is STILL on the ORIGINAL chain, which has been adjusted 29 'flats' (a hex bolt has 6 flats), or 4 5/6 turns, in its life - I know... I'm anal, keeping track of stuff like that - which amounts to about .25" of rearwards adjustment. Bill Watson of ThermoBob fame did an experiment which he documented on his site (http://www.watt-man.com/uploads/WD40experiment.pdf) where I lifted those measurements to convert MY 4 5/6 turns to the 5 he experienced. The pics show the rear adjusters as well as the condition of the (dusty) chain when I got home, then how much slack I arrived with at home, chain WD40'ed. In that time the ONLY lube I've put onto the chain is WD40 which I buy in gallons, so you can draw your own conclusions as to the efficacy of lubing w/ WD40.... During the 50K miles I 'reversed' the rear sprocket and replaced the front one at 29,xxx miles, and the front sprocket looked VG when I checked it yesterday.
I noticed you mentioned thermobob. Do you have one of your bike or is the cooling system stock?
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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I noticed you mentioned thermobob. Do you have one of your bike or is the cooling system stock?
Yes - a ThermoBob on each of my Vs. I BELIEVE I was one of the FIRST guys to get the KLR one, and the first for the V ones. Bill and I keep in touch.

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 01:44 PM
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I am stoked to hear this as I intend to keep my V for as long as I can. I would love to have a look at this magical chain of yours. Mine is toasted. I guess its all the special chain oils and cleaners I've been using on it. I am a sucker for bike specific stuff in a can. LOL.

What do you think of using WD40 to keep the O Rings clean and then using a chain wax on top to keep the grit out? Also, how is your suspension doing?

Just one last question! Do you put WD40 on your toast in the morning? You seem to use it for everything else.

Rock on Fasteddiecopeman!
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 07:53 PM
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This is encouraging...I'm about to roll over my first 1k on a 2013...
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