Using Versys twin for an engine swap? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Using Versys twin for an engine swap?

Hi guys,

I am new here, just signed up after researching the Versys for the last two days. I normally post on Advrider and Thumpertalk and currently ride a DR650 and two Yamaha R6's (one is track only).

Anyway, I have the opportunity to get a cheap rolling chassis from a KTM Adventure, a dual sport which normally has a 640cc single cylinder engine. I have always wanted a light weight twin, one which you could take off road yet not have to suffer on the highway on the way home like you do with a single. The 650 Kawi mill seems like an awesome choice for this kind of adventure bike. Low weight, compact, FI, 6 speeds, good gas mileage, powerful alternator, low maintenance etc.

-I was wondering what you guys - who actually own a bike with this engine - think of the idea?
- Do you foresee any problems with using it in a different frame (fitment problems excepted)? I plan on using the Versys wiring harness, gauges, ECU.
- Any reason why I should use the Ninja/ER-6 version of this engine? For me torque is more important than HP.


Thanks for your feedback!
Lukas
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 07:30 PM
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I think the Versys version of the 650 is tuned for more low end but I am not 100% sure on that. I think your idea is smokin hot. Why Kawasaki didnt plan on dropping this motor in the KLR frame is beyond me.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 08:14 PM
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The V engine should do well for you. IIHO the Ninja mill would be too peaky. They like to run in the upper RPM's. The Versys starts making power down around 3500 and seems more linear in the delivery.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 09:22 PM
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Excellent Idea

I think it's an excellent idea. In fact, I've been having a little fantasy for a couple of months now, about putting a Versys motor in a new Yamaha Tenere frame. Wouldn't that be an awesome bike?

It would be a lot of work, of course. I'd imagine that you'd have to come up with more than a few examples of "creative engineering". I would think any frame designed for a single making 45 horsepower would have to be significantly reinforced to handle the additional power of the Versys engine.
That said, who wouldn't love a bike with a real off-road/dual-sport suspension and 65 horsepower?

On a similar note, I've always thought that the DOHC 450 twin used in old Honda CB and CL450's was an awesome engine, with tons of useable torque. The engines (well, the complete bikes) can be had in good-running, low-mileage condition for around $1500. These engines probably make 45-48 genuine horses. Wouldn't it be cool to stick one of them in a KLR?

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 09:25 PM
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I know someone who is going to make a nitro hillclimb bike out of the V 650 Motor!! Oh, and I'll keep you posted on that one. Found this out just today.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 08:25 AM
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Versys engine special

Some years ago I spent a lot of time looking into putting a Suzuki SV650 motor into a Yamaha XTZ660,for exactly the same reasons as you. The SV engine at that time was the only suitable motor available. I failed due to the difficulty of installing a V-Twin which was designed to be installed in a frame without front down tubes or a frame underneath. It just got too difficult to mount it.
The Versys motor is ideal, better than the SV650 I think.
I have done a lot of work to turn my Versys into a passable dual-sport machine, which it now is. It is better on easy rocky trails than I had ever hoped it could be. I will not take it on serious or wet off-road stuff.
If you had not already got the donor bike I would suggest you consider an easier and no doubt cheaper option. I have uprated and improved the suspension on my Versys at both ends, but I would really have liked to fit Ohlins longer-travel suspension front and back, only expense stopped me.
Don't just consider the Versys as a donor engine, it is so very nearly the dual-sport Adventure bike that is claimed for it. Little apart from suspension would need to be done by Kawasaki to turn it into a class of one absolutely stunning small and light but poky twin-cylinder Adventure bike, which would compete very strongly with the BMW 800GS, and atract a lot of riders who don't want anything as big as the BM. I am 6ft 4ins and with a raised seat the riding position is near perfect which is amazing considering how relatively small the bike is. It also feels way less heavy to ride than the 20Kg approx on paper when compared to other big Adventure bikes. If I hadn't read the spec I would have guessed it was 30 or 40Kg lighter.
Very best of success with the project. Please keep us up to speed as you progress since we will all be watching.
Ted.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 02:14 AM
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Yes, the Versys is already a capable dual-sport adventure with good potential. I don't miss my previous street-legal WR426F much... Like the Versys, my riding buddy's KTM Adv 640 is very well balanced, but better suspended and with more fuel capacity. It would benefit greatly from a much smoother and stronger Versys powerplant. Our rpm's are equal in top gear. The Versys has the same usable low end rpm range and tractability, but with more grunt, and higher rpm range with even more HP. The 625cc thumper is left in the dust into and way beyond midrange, even with its lighter weight. Just look at the Versys wide torque band on Red Herring's dyno chart:
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File Type: jpg dyno.jpg (163.7 KB, 411 views)

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
Just look at the Versys wide torque band on Red Herring's dyno chart:
Very impressive curves.
Was this a bog-standard Versys?
Ted.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 01:00 PM
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It was actually Shawn's dyno run with a can:
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...highlight=dyno
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Guys,

Thanks a lot for all the input. I was expecting at least some flaming from Kawasaki "purists" for wanting to put it in a KTM frame. Glad to find such an open minded crowd here.

Finally got a chance to test ride the Versys this weekend, which sealed the deal. If it fits, I am going ahead with this project. I liked the engine a lot, very smooth, good torque, great power and loves to rev. At the same time the bike was very solid and stable like it was on rails. Can only imagine what a hoot it would be in a lighter and more nimble package which you could take off-road. The gear spacing could be a wider, but is not a deal breaker due to the additional revs available.

I did consider taking a Versys or the naked version of the Ninja available here in Europe and converting it to dual sport use. There are two guys on ADVrider who did just that:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=319441

I came to the conclusion that it would be a similar amount of work, much more costly, and the bike I would end up with would not be as good for my use. As Ted said, taking it into real off-road would be tough, which is why I am not thinking about the 800GS or V-Strom either. I already consider the LC4 with its 155kgs at the upper end of what I like weight vise. With some improvements (Hella lights, lighter tank/fairing, titanium muffler, etc) I think I can stay around there even with the twin - does anybody know its approximate weight by the way?

As far as the KTM chassis handling the power, I don't think it will be a problem. A hopped up LC4 puts out about 65 HP, the stroker and rally versions even more. Never heard of any frame failures yet.

It looks like I made a deal on an Adventure today as well, if it works out a friend will go pick it up later.

Next step will be to figure out if the engine will even fit, ideally without having to buy one. Guess I could try to find someone who has one out of the frame to take measurements. With these I could build a dummy out of foam or another material that is easily shaped.

Does anybody see any technical problems as long as I stay with Versys harness, gauges, ECU and injection system?

Cheers,
Lukas
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 04:12 PM
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Fitting the frame will probably be the biggie. Take lots of pictures to share with us along the way. I'd love to see you succeed! What a HOOT!!



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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Rick,

I am definitely going to document the build, probably on Advrider. But I saw that you are over there anyway! Would be great if you could chime in on the Versys owner thread where I asked a question.

I already bought an engine donor, ER-6N, and it was delivered to my garage today. I won't be home for another 2 weeks but will post more pictures then. This is what it looks like:



Regards,
Lukas
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 09:40 AM
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One potential issue you might have that I see:

From what I gather the Adventure is carbureted. If that is the case, you'll need to somehow install a fuel pump with a regulating circuit to ensure the fuel injectors have the proper fuel supply. You might be able to fit the one from the Versys/ER-6n, but I'm not sure.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Good point! I have looked into this already and think it won't be too hard to solve. I want to retain the stock petcocks on the tank and go with an external inline fuel pump. Maybe I can take to ER6 pump apart and get it to work, but just in case I have bought 2 other FI pumps on Ebay ($1 each ). One concern with this is the additional heat if the pump is not submersed and being cooled by fuel.

Worst case I'll have to buy an automotive pump and pressure regulator from Summit Racing or the like. I have started a few inquiries to find out about power consumption as I don't want to waste any and leave as much as possible for electric farkles. It also shouldn't be too strong of a pump so that it can still be used in deadhead configuration.

I should know more once I get a look at the ER6 pump. If any of you know of an FI bike with the pump outside of the tank let me know!

Lukas
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 04:50 PM
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Keep in mind ... the Ninja has no low end power like the Versys ... however easily solved by buying versys cams ... both bikes use 38mm throttle bodies ... if the engine doesn't fit in the frame ... I wouldn't be opposed to cutting the bottom of the KTM frame and make the versys engine a stressed member ... like it is in its original frame ...
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freewheeler View Post
Keep in mind ... the Ninja has no low end power like the Versys ... however easily solved by buying versys cams ... both bikes use 38mm throttle bodies ... if the engine doesn't fit in the frame ... I wouldn't be opposed to cutting the bottom of the KTM frame and make the versys engine a stressed member ... like it is in its original frame ...
Yeah, I might have to do something like that.

I have already stripped down my KTM and sold the LC4 engine.

Soon to be united:



Old heart is out:




Getting ready for the transplant:




THis might actually fit in there!




Before I strip down the ER-6N I need to find an instrument cluster to make sure everything works, the current one broke in the crash. If you know anybody with one for sale (the Versys one should work) please let me know.

Cheers,
Lukas
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 04:07 PM
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Compared to the ER6 and Ninja 650R, the Versys also has a different head, pistons and ECU, as well as different cams.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 04:21 PM
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Some Ninja 650R instrument clusters available in USA:
http://shop.ebay.com/items/?_nkw=nin...ment&_osacat=0
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 04:23 PM
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 06:03 PM
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The rear sprockets are on opposite sides. Is that going to be a problem?



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