The 2019 Versys - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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The 2019 Versys V649HP

2016 Versys...



2013 Versys...



2010 Versys...
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Last edited by jdrocks; 04-01-2019 at 03:55 PM.
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post #2 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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2019 BUILD SHEET

First generation Versys frame, clear title

2012 EX650 swingarm, extended 25mm, extended 520X-ring chain, custom adjusters

R1 shock, shaved and clearanced Versys 16kg/mm spring, needle bearing bushings

KX450 forks and clamps, 48mm, with custom adapter bushing, tapered roller bearings

DR650 19” front wheel, Buchanan HD rim/spokes, custom spacers, custom 17mm axle

Warp9 320mm front rotor, ER6 caliper, custom double offset caliper mount, SS brake line

DR650 17” rear wheel, Buchanan HD rim/spokes, 520 46T sprocket, custom spacers

DR 650 240mm rear rotor, ER6 caliper, custom double offset caliper mount

Shinko Big Block tires, 804/805

Modified sub frame, custom fender and seat trim mounts, custom fender brace

Fender liner, custom aluminum, OEM fender liner deleted

2012 EX650 sport bike engine…the famed cop motor

Two piece Versys exhaust, custom exhaust port sleeves, Leo Vince slip on

Uni angled pod filters added in airbox

KTM 1290 rear luggage plate, custom mount

KLR650 offset side stand, 85mm extension

Fastway Evolution billet stainless footrests, bored for 12mm pins

Shifter, custom folding end, KLR650

Brake lever, custom folding end, KLR250 footrest

Radiator guard, custom aluminum, custom mounts

SW Motech gravel guard

SW Motech engine guards, custom radiator/engine cover protection added

Wolfman Expedition racks, Berg Briggs 2nd generation hoops, custom mounts/ cross brace

Husqvarna 610SM front fender, custom mounts

KTM 9xx headlight and screen, LED conversion, custom mount

Auxiliary 4” LED lights, Protech switch, LED pilot light, custom mounts, 12V relay

Auxiliary LED running lights, amber side and rear red, custom mounts

Coolant overflow, custom, 400ml

Instrument tower, custom with instrument console protection

ECU, relocated, custom mount

Volt meter, 12V outlet, GPS mount

Battery maintainer lead, fused

Protaper fat bars, Protaper bar mount, Rox risers

Cycra Probend hand guards, SS bar ends

Pazzo short levers

Custom paint






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Last edited by jdrocks; 03-23-2019 at 07:31 AM.
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post #3 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 12:48 PM
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Dave - how about some pics for those that don't follow your "ADVrider build thread"?

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post #4 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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i'll add some photos, not sure how many, but at least a few of the complete moto. maybe someone on the forum would like to see what a near free bike looks like, by that i mean pocket change cheap.


somebody put an uppercase V on versys in the thread title, apparently the OP can't edit the thread title.
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post #5 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
i'll add some photos, not sure how many, but at least a few of the complete moto. maybe someone on the forum would like to see what a near free bike looks like, by that i mean pocket change cheap.


somebody put an uppercase V on versys in the thread title, apparently the OP can't edit the thread title.
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post #6 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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First generation Versys frame, clear title

2009 green Versys on right after the start of part-out. this bike was purchased cheap with a clear title in what the owner reported as non running condition. the bike had a bad battery and i never bothered to even try to start it, although i did note some apparently shorted wires in the main harness located at the typical chafe locations. it also had a bad chassis ground, but that does not usually prevent a start/run on these bikes.

this bike was 100% dealer maintained, and pointed to the fact that a rider/owner should not place all their trust in a dealer service department.

all i wanted from this bike was the frame, controls, harness, anything connected to the motor (but not the motor itself), tank, seat, a few pieces of OEM plastic trim and miscellaneous parts. the rest was sold for 250% of the purchase price.



the bike on the left is also a Versys.
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post #7 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 03:17 PM
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Welcome back Dave!
I can hardly wait to see your new build and the process.
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Versys 2015 Green
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post #8 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chid View Post
Welcome back Dave!
I can hardly wait to see your new build and the process.
hey my Canuck friend, there's a few of us old timers around. you've watched more than one of these rats come together.

back in 2008 i started telling riders what could be done with these ER6 ptwin powered motos. most everyone on this forum said "Nope, can't be done", i guess we both know the rest of the story.

limited footprint on this forum, you won't find me outside this thread no mo.
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post #9 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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going, going...



gone...

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post #10 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 08:59 AM
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do you have another engine or why you didn't want this engine?

Versys 2015 Green
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post #11 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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do you have another engine or why you didn't want this engine?
all six of these Versys/ER6 motos got the cop motor swap or already had that motor, that is, the higher performance motor from the ER6 sportbike models like the ER6F (Ninja), ER6N, or in this case, the late model motor from the EX650.

the Versys i delivered to Anchorage for an inmate had the OEM Versys motor, 5000 miles, and the difference in performance was notable from the first mile. the bike ran fine, did the job, but i was wishing for the HP and torque found in my custom rat bikes. the late model Versys motors have narrowed the performance variance.

the "cop motor" reference is from Elwood Blues, but in this case is 649cc, not 440ci. i've used the term for a decade to describe the tune on that motor.

the OEM Versys motor in the parts bike might be good, it's certainly not locked up, i just never checked since it wasn't on the build sheet.
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post #12 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
all six of these Versys/ER6 motos got the cop motor swap or already had that motor, that is, the higher performance motor from the ER6 sportbike models like the ER6F (Ninja), ER6N, or in this case, the late model motor from the EX650.

the Versys i delivered to Anchorage for an inmate had the OEM Versys motor, 5000 miles, and the difference in performance was notable from the first mile. the bike ran fine, did the job, but i was wishing for the HP and torque found in my custom rat bikes. the late model Versys motors have narrowed the performance variance.

the "cop motor" reference is from Elwood Blues, but in this case is 649cc, not 440ci. i've used the term for a decade to describe the tune on that motor.

the OEM Versys motor in the parts bike might be good, it's certainly not locked up, i just never checked since it wasn't on the build sheet.
yes, I remember your cop motors, did you already find one?

Versys 2015 Green
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post #13 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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yes, I remember your cop motors, did you already find one?
2012 EX650 motor, 1868 miles. wanted the motor, so i bought the whole bike as a parts bike and parted that one out too. now i'm building the new Versys with money in my pocket instead of going out of pocket on the new project. cheap, cheap, cheap...no reason to spend much on these motos.

more on this later.
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post #14 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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2012 EX650 swingarm, extended 25mm, extended 520X-ring chain, custom adjusters

i've never cared much for the OEM Versys swingarm, i always thought it looked slab sided on the right side, plus it was subject to damage due to the thin sidewall of the casting. a damaged swingarm is not something you would ever want, especially not on a moto built to prowl the backroads.

although 3# lighter and reportedly stiffer than the swingarm on other ER6 model bikes, i always swapped in the ER6 steel swingarms, starting with the 2nd gen ER6F/N. this swingarm had a D shaped tube, and was an upgrade from the original 2006-08 swingarm. the track bike and street racer dudes wanted the Versys swingarm so it brought a good price, whereas the steel swingarms were dirt cheap, meaning the swap was a money make for the builder.

the ER6F/N swingarms were a no mod swap to the Versys, worked fine, but a game changer happened in 2012 with the new model EX650 and it's newly designed and massive steel swingarm. oh baby, i like what i see, but can i get it to fit?

2009-11 swingarm right, 2012+ swingarm left. note that these swingarms mount completely differently to their respective frames, with the 2012 departing from convention by using a center mount and side plates rather than end mounts like the Versys. hmmmm, i should buy one, check it out, they're very inexpensive. after a comedy of errors by the seller, i ended up with two of the 2012s and a refund of the purchase price. Weird, but talk about a monster swingarm, lets make it work.

the swingarms use the same bearings/seals, pivot shaft, and end bushing, but the SS sleeves are different although the ID/OD are the same.



2012 side plate mount.



when i check the assembled width of the 2012, i find that it's exactly the same as the Versys and ER6 swingarms despite the different mounts, so it will swap right in to the Versys frame by using the long SS sleeve from ER6.

the 2012 has the same gap between the needle bearings found on the other swingarms, so this gap needs to be filled with WP grease when grease is applied to the bearings themselves prior to assembly. little grease is used when the bike is assembled at the factory and is never checked at the dealer prior to sale, so assume there isn't any in there. the pivot shaft surface corrodes quickly without grease.



now that there's a heavy duty swingarm on the build sheet, it's time to cut it up, that's next.
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post #15 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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one of the things at the top of the performance mod list for backroad ventures is to swap in a suspension that is fully adjustable and affords more suspension travel. swapping components doesn't do any good if the rear wheel, for instance, doesn't have the physical room to move to the limits of the shock at full compression when combines with the geometry of the swingarm movement.

in more basic terms, there ain't enough room on the ass end of the Versys for more suspension travel in stock configuration, the tire will hit the fender liner even with the OEM shock if run hard enough, and the tire will break the fender liner in similar conditions if the commonly swapped R1 shock is installed. lots of riders say "Gee whiz, that never happened on my bike"...all i can say is, load the bike for travel, pick worse conditions, run harder. the big suspension pays a huge dividend on the Versys, even more so if ya make some room.

i wanted at least 2 additional inches of rear travel, and there are only so many ways to go about this when the R1 shock swap is already on the build sheet. typical bike geometry, the angles of the swingarm and subframe diverge, let's increase the radius of swingarm travel at the axle to move the tire away from the subframe. got that monster steel swingarm on hand, let's cut that SOB up a little.

i wanted to move the axle back 25mm and still have room for chain adjustment. i didn't want to move farther back and then face other complications with the chain length. fortunately, the 2012 subframe has huge axle lugs that are easy to modify, and no, you don't need any machine tools to accomplish the job.



the cuts were carefully scribed...



then cut and smoothed...



new end caps fabbed...



then carefully aligned and welded in place...



now i'm halfway to increased wheel travel.
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post #16 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 10:48 AM
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one of the things at the top of the performance mod list for backroad ventures is to swap in a suspension that is fully adjustable and affords more suspension travel. swapping components doesn't do any good if the rear wheel, for instance, doesn't have the physical room to move to the limits of the shock at full compression when combines with the geometry of the swingarm movement.

in more basic terms, there ain't enough room on the ass end of the Versys for more suspension travel in stock configuration, the tire will hit the fender liner even with the OEM shock if run hard enough, and the tire will break the fender liner in similar conditions if the commonly swapped R1 shock is installed. lots of riders say "Gee whiz, that never happened on my bike"...all i can say is, load the bike for travel, pick worse conditions, run harder. the big suspension pays a huge dividend on the Versys, even more so if ya make some room.

i wanted at least 2 additional inches of rear travel, and there are only so many ways to go about this when the R1 shock swap is already on the build sheet. typical bike geometry, the angles of the swingarm and subframe diverge, let's increase the radius of swingarm travel at the axle to move the tire away from the subframe. got that monster steel swingarm on hand, let's cut that SOB up a little.

i wanted to move the axle back 25mm and still have room for chain adjustment. i didn't want to move farther back and then face other complications with the chain length. fortunately, the 2012 subframe has huge axle lugs that are easy to modify, and no, you don't need any machine tools to accomplish the job.


then carefully aligned and welded in place...



now i'm halfway to increased wheel travel.
Just a question, I assume the greatest force is on the upper part of the swing arm, I would have thought the end caps would have been mounted in reverse or with the upper length being equal in length to the lower? I realize this is a before welded photo, how you fill in the weld will attribute to final strength.

Last edited by onewizard; 03-19-2019 at 10:50 AM.
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post #17 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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first, take a look at the left side axle lug before the cut, you can see the configuration of the section aft of the slot. this section is 17mm in length, but the raised surface which rides on the wheel spacer is only the full 17mm width for half that length. when the new end cap is in place, now there's 30mm of A36 [email protected] for the entire length. the end cap captures the slot and is double fillet welded on both sides. short version...more steel was replaced than was removed.



second, the axle rides tight in the wheel adjuster blocks, and the blocks sit tight in axle lug receiver slots. while the design incorporates room for the maximum foreseeable chain adjustment, i don't see the blocks ever being fully outside the original slots.

this swingarm ain't going to break.
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post #18 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 08:42 PM
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what is the reason you want to increase the wheel base?

what is the target this summer with this new bike? you build it specifically?

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post #19 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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what is the reason you want to increase the wheel base?

what is the target this summer with this new bike? you build it specifically?
the subframe and swingarm angles diverge, subframe up and swingarm down, so for each unit of measure from some common point, say the swingarm pivot, the greater distance they are apart.

moving the axle back increases the measurement above the tire to the point where there is interference with the subframe assembly. having broken 4 OEM fender liners, i guess i've proven that something needs to be done to fix this issue along the way to greater rear suspension travel. extending the swingarm is the first step, not the last.

broken fender liner after a number of impacts from the tire...



this bike is being prepped for northern gravel, your territory, and north to the Arctic. the new moto will be capable of doing the trip, i just need to get the pass...lots going on here, and i'm temporarily grounded as far as 15,000 mile trips go.
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post #20 of 72 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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R1 shock, shaved and clearanced Versys 16kg/mm spring, needle bearing bushings

the popular Yamaha R1 shock is a common shock swap to the Versys, and this is my 4th R1 suspended Versys. still found relatively cheap, fully adjustable reservoir style with the correct mounting ends, very durable across all conditions, and longer in length and stroke. what's not to like? this bike gets the shock from a 2008 R1, showroom clean, it looks like it was swapped out for an aftermarket shock after almost no miles.

much has been written about the R1 shock on this forum and others... fitment, bushings, spring size, spring swaps, spring collars, on and on. c'mon, this is just a cheap ass shock swap that happens to work surprisingly well, let's not make it complicated.

yes, you need to make a nice clean radius cut on the right side tank trim to clear the reservoir, but let's talk bushings and springs, springs first. i used to get a custom spring made for the R1 to my specs, and while the introductory price was great and the service fast, the price soon went up 50% and the spring was no longer a bargain. the heck with it, i didn't recommend that source any longer.

i wanted to stay with the OEM Versys spring rate at 16kg/mm, and pulled the spring off an a Versys shock for comparison to the OEM R1 spring. hmmmm, this spring was very close to the R1 spring in length, but the R1 springs i had on hand were not all the same length with the variance about 7-8mm even though they were all from the same model year, strange. secondly, the R1 shock collar only fit one end of the Versys spring, you would think that the ends would have the same ID, but not so. i need to fix these issues if i want a free spring.

springs, for comparison, R1 left, ER6F/N center, Versys right...



Versys spring ground to match the average length of the R1 spring, then clearanced on one end to fit the R1 spring collar. the Versys spring length can be used as is, but i decided to make the change this time. the ID can opened with a Dremel quite easily, only the last 270 degrees of winding need to be addressed.



try fit the shock collar as you go...



until the collar fits and seats without effort...



PLEASE NOTE: a compressed 16kg/mm contains plenty of stored energy, use caution.
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