Wow, this one runs! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, this one runs!

So sayeth my son when I brought this bike home. I have a well-deserved reputation for bringing home motorcycles that only a mother could love, and usually they are rather deficient in the gas>smiles transformation area. This bike was bought from a member here, who had recently had an early deer hunting experience and tossed it down the road. As I said in my intro (although who reads those?) I am a serial monogamist motorcyclist. I buy bikes, usually not running, fix them up, ride them for a year or till they need tires, then sell and find something else. I won't go into the whole history, but recent bikes were nighthawk 250, '75 GL1000, VF750CD, XR400, FZ1, XR650, DL650, XR400, MT-16, VFR800, DL1000, GSF600, and now the Vs.
Yes the XR4 is in there twice, it's the only bike to date that I've loved enough to buy twice. The FZ1 was very close though.
Anyhow, I bought the bike crashed from Freerydejunky for reasonable money and brought it home, did minor adjustments and rode it for a week while I planned it's future and ordered parts. FRJ was a very nice fellow, and I doubt that many of the things I've fixed were his doing, and in the interest of keeping a friend I'm going to assume that everything I found happened with POs before him. I took the holiday to do the following to the bike, in no particular order. Oh, I should mention that I'm a former helicopter mechanic with very unrealistic expectations and standards when it comes to mechanics, so if you glaze over at the OCD I won't be offended.
Bike had exposed, cut wires in the taillight area, and lots of ugly wiring done in the battery area. Had a PC3 but wasn't run elegantly. Now, I should mention that my standards when adding accessories to a vehicle is that it should look like Soichiro (insert whoever is his equivalent at Kawasaki) designed it that way from the beginning. There was a stebel nautilus horn, which had a relay correctly installed, but it made a sad little goat bleat. It had a switch (low, off, high) for heated grips but had non-heated sponge grips from a 1970s beach cruiser bicycle. There were many unspeakable acts of wiring done to this bike. On the good side, it had a fairly nice three fuse sub panel with a 40a relay switched from one of the taillight wires available for accesories.
The forks were badly tweaked from a previous fall. There were no bar ends. Lots of push-lock fasteners were missing, and replaced with zip ties. The side panels and front lower panels were sprayed black. It had SW motech pegs and lowering blocks. It has a larger foot on the kickstand. Came with a full muzzy exhaust, missing the rear mounting grommet. It's louder than god shooting M80s off in a bathroom.
So far, I've done the following:
Made a set of steel plates to go inside the footpeg mounts so I could actually tighten the mounting bolt without breaking them. Lowered the footpegs on their mounts as well as using the lowering brackets. Problem arises that the brake pedal won't adjust down far enough to match the pegs yet, will likely have to cut some threads off and do a little bit of massaging.
Removed handlebars, riser, and top triple nut and straightened the triples relative to each other, should get rid of the tweaked front end. Rotated each fork tube and verified that they're straight.
Removed everything on the bike, and cut away/removed 100% of non-stock wiring. Rusty connectors, poorly crimped connectors, undergage wiring, bare ends, all of it. I reused the three fuse panel and it's associated relay, but that's it. The three circuits are horn, GPS, and heated grips. GPS will also feed a volts display in a few days. Measured less than .1v loss from battery to connector. I ran a new, single ground wire out of honest 10g stranded wire to the tail which provides ground for all added circuits as well as the relay. Got rid of multiple grounds to multiple points as well as lots of ring terminals on the batteries. Added a separate, 12g, fused point to the battery which feeds a powerlet in the dash replacing a rusty cigarette lighter. This will be used for heated gear/battery tender. All wire is at least 12g, all exposed connections are crimped with heat sealed connectors, all other connections are filled with dielectric grease. All wires are run in techflex, carefully ziptied to the OEM harness in such a way as to look stock. I'd show you pictures, but seriously, go look at your stock harness. That's what it looks like. This took a full day, like I said, OCD.
Added heated grips, of the PWM controlled, actual grip style as opposed to the heated sticker under regular grips style. Bikemaster brand, used them before on other bikes and had good experience. FWIW get them where you want them before installation, as it's extraordinarily difficult to reposition them if you don't. AMHIK.
Installed new relay, new wires for stebel horn. Previous relay was stuck in a frame rail, and was dented, bent, and the contacts were rusty. New relay is bolted to the upper frame rail, has higher gage wires running to it, and once again all connectors are dielectric greased.
There was a strange assortment of neprene, tape, felt, and composite deck shims jammed around the instrument cluster. I assume this was an effort to get rid of the 3100rpm buzz that I've read about. I removed all of it, and added a couple strips of adhesive felt to both the instruments and the trim ring, then shaved about a 1/16" off the posts on the back of the guages. This shave allowed the screws to compress the rubber grommet, which took away 99% of it's movement before I put the trim ring on. With the trim ring it is totally solid, with zero plastic to plastic contact. Should be quiet.
The painted panels were an exercise in futility/stupidity. They were painted black, but they were chipped and showed lots of spots of silver. I would have preferred them silver. Second time I rode the bike I hit the front brake and immediately sprayed brake fluid all over from a loose banjo fitting, which I cleaned up, tightened, then continued my ride. The dripping fluid did however take a big chunk of the black off the front right panel. Great, says I. I douse the rear panels with dot 4 and leave it sit for a day. Nothing. No loose paint, no bubbling. I say Ok, then hit one panel with an environmentally sensitive, earth loving, gentle paint stripper. It instantly starts to chew the plastic up causing a great hue and cry and panic, as I ran it up to the parts washer to try to neutralize the stripper. Got it stopped, and spent an hour sanding the plastic smooth again. Hit it with bed liner, and it looked great. Hit the other side with the same bedliner paint, and it immediatly acted like a mild paint stripper and removed all the black with no damage to the beautiful silver underneath. Grr. I wiped off the expensive bedliner/paint stripper, and sanded the silver away to give some tooth to the next coat of bedliner, which adhered much better, thank you very much.
I greased everything that could be greased, lubed what could be lubed, and generally tried to get my hands on every part of the bike I could.
Still to do is mount the GPS (odered a speedy's mount, couldn't make one for that price) have to address the kickstand, seems like an aftermarket foot clamped on a shortened stand, which gives the bike a lot of lean. I added some immitation barkbusters, and immediately regretted it due to the cheapness and the fact that they're cast aluminum so they broke on installation. I'll be adding better ones later, for now I consider these decorative. When the voltmeter comes in I'll install it in the hole left by the old grip switch. The bike didn't come with passenger grab handles, I'm adding a set of racks to the back to address this. Gotta glue some neo magnets to the fairing to allow me to use my tank bag. Have to add some reflective red rim strips to the wheels, then figure out where else I can add reflective tape. I'm a big fan of visibility, particularly when it comes to nighttime visibility.
Anyway, that's where I am right now. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this forum, I've gone about 50 pages back in every subforum for a knowledge base, and appreciate all the good info. Any questions feel free to ask, criticisms will be welcome as long as there's a beer involved somewhere.
whodat
Oh yeah, forgot to mention. I've only ridden it a couple hundred miles, but so far this seems like I'll be keeping this one for longer than usual. It seems to have every stupid trait from every one of my past bikes that I loved, and that's a good thing.
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 11:28 PM
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 05:51 AM
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This bike will easily do 100k in second gear, plus this forum has a wealth of knowledge.
Enjoy it!
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 06:00 AM
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Wow, it sounds like you went through the bike pretty well. Now that you've got it all sorted out, start riding it.


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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 06:11 AM
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Whodat, your name sounds familiar. Did you and I once swap your Xr400 for my xr650?
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 06:45 AM
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12g wires for everything is some serious overkill for the power levels and distances on a motorcycle, but thats ok, overkill that doesn't add a ton of weight doesn't hurt a thing.

some might say that I do the same since I use a conductive carbon based adhesive paste inside all my crimp connections, prevents moisture intrusion, helps minimize resistance in the crimp, and makes the mechanical connection stronger. (that or I buy the environmentally sealing crimps, I don't usually have the patience to break out the soldering gun)

Last edited by kohburn; 11-12-2014 at 06:53 AM.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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DDLewis, yup that was me. Loved that bike but got tired of the compromises of using it as a street bike. As you well know, it ate tires, chains, and sprockets the way regular bikes eat gas. Ended up trading that to my electrician in exchange for wiring up my barn. Later bought the second XR4 trying to recreate the one I traded to you. Loved the way that one was set up.

Kohburn, there's no kill like overkill! Got a link to that stuff? Always looking for new tools for the arsenal. Also, I have a handy little butane torch that I use for heat shrink purposes, and it's perfect for shrinking/activating the adhesive in the sealed connectors.

Ok, updates. I drove it in to work this morning, which is always a crapshoot after doing so much work with no test drive. Everything works great, the heated grips on level 5 were too hot to hold through thin summer gloves at 60mph 48*. Ended up turning them down to level 2. Once again, no kill like overkill, I love the fact that these get so hot, and that due to the design both grips get to the same temp at the same time.
Rear brake needs to be addressed. As it is now, I have to consider it decorative as it contributes nothing whatsoever to the slowing of the bike. I've bled it, flushed it, regreased the pins, sanded the pads to remove any glaze. Still utter crap. Honestly, the drums on my MT-16 are worlds better than this. I'm going to try some HH pads and see if that helps, if not I'm rather at a loss. Fueling feels broken at the on-off throttle transition, but it feels exactly like my DL650 did so it may just be normal. FI is great for most stuff, but trailing throttle and riding the edge of idle (as you do in stop and not quite as stop traffic) is not it's strong suit. Bike has a powercommander 3 usb which was reported to be tuned for the pipe, but I haven't had a chance to suck the tune out and look at it yet. May be something I can play with to get it smoother. Oh, it has a TKC 80 on the front. Great at speed, but right at 20mph it thrums like a jeep on mud tires. Not a complaint, just an observation. Had CS705s on my DL1K that did the same thing, but the TKC looks so much better.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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Also, when I took the rear brakes apart there was what looked like a phenolic spacer inside the piston. I can't find this part separate from the piston in the parts manual, and can't find any mention of it elsewhere. Haven't had a chance to delve into the service manual yet, but does anyone have insight into this?
Edit. Just looked at the service manual, it doesn't mention it either.

Last edited by whodat; 11-12-2014 at 08:11 AM.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 08:26 AM
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http://www.amazon.com/Sciplus-Electrically-Conductive-Soldering-Wire/dp/B000Z9H7ZW/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/b70c/

I use it instead of dielectric grease.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll pick some of that up. I also use a nice klein ratcheting crimper with replaceable jaws for different kinds of connectors, so I'm pretty confident in my crimps. This should make it even better.
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 09:36 AM
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Congrats on the new bike/project and welcome to the forum!
I think the bike had a lowering kit on it so the sidestand was shortened and a flatfoot installed. Maybe it's the taller tires making it lean? If the bike is now at full height a KLR sidestand is a nice upgrade. The rear brake works well w/ HH, can lock the tire but easy to modulate.
I look forward to hearing of further progress.
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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whodat View Post
Thanks, I'll pick some of that up. I also use a nice klein ratcheting crimper with replaceable jaws for different kinds of connectors, so I'm pretty confident in my crimps. This should make it even better.
one of these days i'll replace my generic crimping tool. the generic functions but takes more conscious effort to check the crimp and the ocassional re-do.
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 09:54 AM
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If the bike is now at full height a KLR sidestand is a nice upgrade.
?? klr650? hadn't heard of this mod - any specifics?
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I was wondering if it had a lowering kit on in the past. It does have a lowered, memory foam/gel seat which I'll probably be replacing when I get around to it. The lowered pegs plus the lowered seat is too cramped for me, and I prefer taller bikes anyway.
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 10:29 AM
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I think the most surprising thing here is that the UK didnt get the KLR? I thought that was a world-bike?

Weird.

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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 04:38 PM
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if I hadn't lowered my bike..I would jump on this side stand...really nice..thanks
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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by whodat View Post
Fueling feels broken at the on-off throttle transition, but it feels exactly like my DL650 did so it may just be normal. FI is great for most stuff, but trailing throttle and riding the edge of idle (as you do in stop and not quite as stop traffic) is not it's strong suit.
Have you read up on the posts concerning the adjustment of the Throttle Position Sensor? These bikes are quirky at low RPMs, but making that adjustment fixes it most of the time...

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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 05:17 PM
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?? klr650? hadn't heard of this mod - any specifics?
Stand from a Gen 2 KLR ('08 or later), AND the spring.

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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-13-2014, 08:53 AM
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DDLewis, yup that was me. Loved that bike but got tired of the compromises of using it as a street bike. As you well know, it ate tires, chains, and sprockets the way regular bikes eat gas. Ended up trading that to my electrician in exchange for wiring up my barn. Later bought the second XR4 trying to recreate the one I traded to you. Loved the way that one was set up..
ha, small world. I'm thinking that was back in about 2005-06? You and I have owned a lot of the same models (if not the exact same bike) and here we are again in versys-land. I just picked up my V this summer. It's been a lot of fun.

I agree that XR4 was a great bike, one of my all time favorites. I kept it for 5 or 6 years, a long time for me maybe a record. I rode it 70% as street bike but the kicker a drag and it was a little short-legged on road. Sold it for an 07 DR650 which is still my current go-to. The XR650R was the "Hayabusa of the forest". Uncivilized fun - but too much for me.
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