cracked headpipe in typical spot - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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cracked headpipe in typical spot

My headpipe cracked in the typical spot down near where the muffler connects in the rolled "lip". I know this issue is very common on the gen 1 in the UK. Less common here in the US but I have read of some. Mine is right near 10k miles. I only ride back roads, some of which are in less than pristine shape. I suspect that has something to do with it.

It let go without warning only a few miles after I ran through a section of dirt road. No warning, just broke. Damn the V is pretty loud when effectively running a straight pipe!

Now faced with having it welded, or buying a new header. Stock header is prohibitively expensive. Most aftermarket headers are as well. I'm leaning towards a Delkevic simply based on cost, roughly $200. Their full system with the 14" stainless oval can is attractive also at roughly $300, but I fear it could be too loud for my tastes.

Anyone have any feedback good or bad on welding a cracked header? Also, Anyone have feedback on the 14" Delk? Most of the feedback I have found on the Delk is for their shorter cans.

It's killing me because it's the time of year I generally commute on the bike daily, and I'm stuck in the car until I sort this thing. I'll probably just pull the trigger on the Delkevic tomorrow to get it on the road again.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 07:31 AM
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Sure if you look around you can find a local fab/welding shop that could handle that no problem. Down here there are plenty welders that can work magic with a TIG rig. That could get you going in the interim while deciding exactly what system you wanna go with.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 09:38 AM
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Have you ever checked the bolt(s) on it during the time you have owned it?

Just curious.

A good idea to check those and the header-stud nuts at oil change intervals. You might be surprised when/if you find them running loose-ish.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Sure if you look around you can find a local fab/welding shop that could handle that no problem. Down here there are plenty welders that can work magic with a TIG rig. That could get you going in the interim while deciding exactly what system you wanna go with.
I was about to pull the trigger on the Delk complete system this morning, but didn't. Instead I took the header off, and threw it and the broken piece in the car. Figured maybe I could find a place on my lunch break or something and drop it off. The place I've used in the past is only open 9-5 and my schedule blows and I can never get there during those hours.

So I stop for gas at the station a mile from my house. The owner has his dragster parked in front of his garage bays, then it hits me DOH, this is a Rod shop. Walked the header and broken piece in, he'll weld it up for $30 by the end of the day...sweeet! I defomed the broken piece slightly when I pulled it out of the exhaust too, which had me worried that it might be tough to weld, but he didn't foresee any problem cleaning it up and welding it.

Now I don't really know crap about welding, but I do have some concern about it breaking again down the line. I think the weld will probably be stout, but the area around it having been heated i fear could be weaker. I may carry something I can use as a band-aid repair on longer trips. I read of one guy on the UK site used a soup can and two hose clamps in a pinch :-)

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Have you ever checked the bolt(s) on it during the time you have owned it?

Just curious.

A good idea to check those and the header-stud nuts at oil change intervals. You might be surprised when/if you find them running loose-ish.
Nope, never checked them in the year I've had it. Come to think of it, I've never checked those bolts on any of my bikes. never really thought of it truthfully.

None were loose, but they came off easy. My whole exhaust is pretty pristine in terms of corrosion, or lack of. It's garaged, and generally used in fair weather. We do get a lot of salt in NJ in the winter, but it's not seen too much of it.

Honestly, I think it's a poor design. The metal in that rolled "lip" where it tends to break is really thin. It broke clean right there like it was cut. I had an aftermarket can on there for a while which could have created extra movement and contributed to it breaking, but after reading on the UK forum, it seems most had it break with just the stock exhaust.

I ride all backroads, some of which are in rough shape. Some of the roads I commute on regularly are really quite bumpy. I'm certain that contributed to it. Like I said it happened after I ran down a section of dirt road. Coincidentally, I remember thinking to myself you'd have to be crazy to use the Versys stock suspension for dirt bike purposes as I was briskly running down that dirt section.....so I was probably running a little quick for the terrain :-)

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 03:24 PM
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"The owner has his dragster parked in front of his garage bays..."

The welding job should be just fine, and likely stronger than before. Sounds like you found the perfect place. I'm sure they have some level of experience, and won't be challenged much with your little header.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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"The owner has his dragster parked in front of his garage bays..."

The welding job should be just fine, and likely stronger than before. Sounds like you found the perfect place. I'm sure they have some level of experience, and won't be challenged much with your little header.
I'm sure your right about them not being challenged by this. I felt silly for not thinking to bring it there in the first place considering it's a stones throw from my house.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 06:16 PM
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Just take it loose at the break and put a Harley sticker on the side & you're good to go.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 07:21 PM
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Just take it loose at the break and put a Harley sticker on the side & you're good to go.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Just take it loose at the break and put a Harley sticker on the side & you're good to go.
I rode close to 30 min home like that. I guess I don't fit in with the Harley crowd, because I was downright embarrassed at how loud and obnoxious sounding it was. I cringed riding through my neighborhood getting stares from anyone outside.

Now that the pipe was welded up, I went back to my stock exhaust. The sound is delightfully boring.
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