June Bug Build - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Versys-X 300 General Discussion Please post any 2017+ Kawasaki Versys-X 300 related topics that DO NOT fit into any of the other topics here.

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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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June Bug Build

Started working on adding things to my bike and thought I'd keep a running narrative here.

Yeah, I'm the kind of person that names their bikes Silly, but it's fun. And for inanimate objects, some bikes just have that personality that fits a name, ya know? So my beautiful, bright green little machine is June Bug.

First Farkle: Handlebar pull-back risers. I'm short, so the risers really help keep my shoulders from aching during long rides. It's not much of a change - only 3/4" up and 3/4" back. But there's not much extra in the wires to allow any more than this without changing them out too.



I really like these risers. The metal is very "finished" and the fitment was spot-on. They came with their own fasteners, so no need to hunt for compatible bolts. Installation took less than 10 minutes. And half of that was looking for tools.

BUY IT ON AMAZON
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Next installation was of the T-Rex Skidplate.

Not sure what I think about this yet.

Pros:
  • Inexpensive
  • Build quality is nice:
  • There are no burrs or sharp edges.
  • The welds are all clean and professional.
  • In general, the parts are just put together very well.
  • Initial installation is relatively easy.

Cons:
  • The metal is a little thin, but this might be a non-issue because it's made of steel instead of aluminum.
  • Finalizing the installation is difficult because there's not much clearance between the plate and the header pipe. It took a good twenty minutes of adjusting the various bolts to get it a millimeter off the pipes, and I ended up putting several washers on the front brace to force it out to a solid quarter inch.
  • The bracing does not inspire confidence in providing actual protection from lateral movement in case of a strike. Because the folded edge of the plate is so close to the pipe, I'm afraid any strike from the forward position (such as hitting a log) will push the plate directly into the pipes, potentially causing the damage they were meant to prevent.


Plate on the bike. Notice how I had to wedge the side cover under the plate to help pull it away from the pipes.


This is the final adjustment. I had to use several washers to force the plate away from the pipes. But a solid smack with my hand can make the plate clank against the pipe anyway.



While the Pros seem to outweigh the Cons, unless you ride primarily in mud and sand, I'm not sure I would recommend this particular skid plate. After seeing the superior Ricochet Skid Plate's thick bracing and shock absorption pads, the T-Rex does not inspire confidence. Truly, one gets what one pays for.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvNot View Post
Started working on adding things to my bike and thought I'd keep a running narrative here.

Yeah, I'm the kind of person that names their bikes Silly, but it's fun. And for inanimate objects, some bikes just have that personality that fits a name, ya know? So my beautiful, bright green little machine is June Bug.
nothing wrong with naming your bikes (or other inanimate objects) i name most of mine too, it its temperamental at all it gets a female name and if not it normally gets a male name my versys is named sylvester thanks to my husband not being able to remember versys when we were first working out the deal to get it (got it in a trade for Jamie the ATK)
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Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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This weekend I spent some time updating the farkle list on June Bug.

First up - I removed the T-Rex skid plate. It would be fine for a casual riding, but I want to be more adventurous, so ordered the Rocochet plate instead.

Next, I added the T-Rex engine guards. This was super easy once the nut on the engine mount bolt was loosened. I had to get help from my mother's boyfriend and his garage of tools. But once the bolt broke free, the guard install was quick and easy. Just like another member mentioned, I didn't even have to remove any plastics. Just weave around a few hoses and wires, pop in the bolts, tighten everything down, and go for a test ride!

Finally, I installed the VX300 specific Barkbusters. Armed with warnings from many on here about how much of a PITA it is to remove the bar-ends, I figured I'd skip the drama, cursing, bruised knuckles and strained muscles... and just use some tools to do the work for me. Hey, contrary to physical appearance, I'm a short woman with limited upper body strength and absolutely NO patience for not being able to do a thing. I gotta work smarter, because working harder just leads to frustration, which leads to anger, which leads to things breaking. What can I say, Yoda was right.

So I figured, all I needed was 1 spool of wire, 2 anchor points, and 3 strong ratchet straps.

Parking June Bug between the gate posts that lead to the back yard, I used the newly installed engine guards as anchor points for the two ratchet straps to prevent side-to-side motion.


Then, I doubled-up some picture-hanging-wire, twisted it into a stronger coil, then put that between the bar-end and grips.


Finally, I used the last ratchet strap to SLOWLY pull the whole assembly from the handlebar.


I don't know if anyone else carries this stuff with them in their emergency tool kit, but it is invaluable for making quick repairs where tape and zip-ties just can't touch.


And here's the final beauty shot for today.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 09:32 PM
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Looks like you are busy. I ordered the same risers that you did, so thanks for the link you provided, and I will have them installed with my 600 mile service in a couple of weeks. What are your next mods you plan to do?
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Ride safe,

JeffR

CalSci Windshield X-Large
52L Top Case
15 Tooth Counter Sprocket
1" Bar risers
Ergo Tall Seat
575 miles so far on bike
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 10:51 PM
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removing the bar end weights the way you did required a good bit of thinking--I like it--but you do know there is an easier way-not real important now

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 11:35 PM
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removing the bar end weights the way you did required a good bit of thinking--I like it--but you do know there is an easier way-not real important now
OUT OF THE BOX THINKING.... You literally build a jacking system..
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 08:55 AM
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Good thinking on getting the bar ends out. But would never need bark busters or skid plate
because I only ride on the street.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 11:37 AM
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Good thinking on getting the bar ends out. But would never need bark busters or skid plate
because I only ride on the street.
The skid-plate takes the brunt of rocks and sand thrown UP by your front wheel (on the STREET!), while the hand-guards protect your levers and your hands IF/ WHEN your bike decides to take a little "rest".... Doe NOT have to happen ONLY in the dirt.

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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 12:35 PM
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LuvNot, what is your opinion on those T-Rex crash bars. When I was shopping for crash bars I came across the installation video on YouTube for the T-Rex bars and I was a little concerned with the build quality. In particular, the welds looked like they were made by someone with my welding skills and that is not a compliment. I was hoping maybe they used a pre-production version in the video. Could you post some close-up pics of those crash bars?
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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While I was not very impressed with the T-Rex skid plate, I am very impressed with the quality of their engine guards. They are heavy steel tubing with excellent joint weld quality and decent hardware. The high stress points near the attachment bolts are also reinforced. Protection is doubled by the inclusion of replaceable skid pucks. So the cheap pucks protect the investment you made in the engine guards, which protect the expensive bike underneath it all.

Another winning feature I liked about the T-Rex engine guards is the aesthetics of the bar itself. I really like the way the bars wrap up under the bike's cowling, similar to the OEM from Kawasaki, but add the looping shape of the SW-Motech's minimalistic bar.

Incidentally, my Rocochet skidplate just came in this week. And boy! We get what we pay for! The Rocochet plate is not only beefier material, it also provides more formidable coverage, and has incredible support structure.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to mount the skidplate with the engine guards.

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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that image really didn't come through as large as I expected, so here's the original images
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20180221_175307_resized.jpg (27.3 KB, 104 views)
File Type: jpg 20180221_175230_resized.jpg (33.3 KB, 101 views)
File Type: jpg 20180221_175249_resized.jpg (27.9 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg 20180221_175222_resized.jpg (26.6 KB, 83 views)
File Type: jpg 20180221_175241_resized.jpg (23.6 KB, 80 views)
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 07:41 PM
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Thanks LuvNot. Those welds do look much better than the ones in the video. I bet they did use a pre-production set of crash bars to get the video out quickly. I have already ordered the Givi crash bars, but I was told by Twisted Throttle that they won't even be available to ship until the first half of next month. I may cancel my order and get these instead. I'll be in the same boat as you with the Ricochet bash plate. I still have my bash plate sitting in the box waiting for some crash bars so I can put them both on at the same time. When you install your bash plate, be sure to take lots of pictures and share your lessons-learned. Thanks again.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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This weekend I installed the Kawasaki relay switch and an inexpensive USB power adapter.


At first, I attempted to do this by just removing the side panels, but while I could technically reach everything, I couldn't see anything, making life difficult. No one has a tutorial on how to take off the front fairings, so I was hesitant to continue. But with a lot of patience (and borrowed space in a well-stocked garage), I was able get the last of the plastics out of the way, making it much easier to deal with the wiring. Now I have a nice power outlet for my cell phone and newly ordered GPS

Since I'm a firm believer in sharing information on our bikes, I figured now was as good a time as any to create a tutorial for anyone wanting to tackle this on their own.

Adding the relay switch and USB adapter can be broken down into 3 basic steps:
  1. Remove the fairing, including the front cowling
  2. Plug in the relay and power adapter, then test
  3. Put the fairing back on and go Ride!


The most intimidating, and time consuming, part of this entire process is removing the front fairing and cowling. While this isn't particularly difficult, it can be frustrating for new owners who aren't shade-tree mechanics by nature (like myself). None the less, if you follow these steps, it should take less than an hour the first time you do it, then significantly less time for any future attempts.

NOTES:
  • Before we begin, remove any engine guards you might have installed. That won't be covered in this tutorial since there's a number of different styles that all have different attachment schemes.
  • When you are ready to reassemble the fairing, use a silicone spray lubricant on all the rubber grommets and associated plastic studs. This will ensure the studs seat easily without dislodging the grommets (which will happen to at least one of them).
  • The USB adaptor I bought (LiDiVi) was polarized. Your typical 12v adaptor may not be, but make sure you test the plug before reassembling the fairing.
  • Take your time. Go slow. Be gentle. There will be a fair amount of resistence from the studs, but as long as you've removed all the associated screws, a stead firm tug should pop them loose. When in doubt, check before hulking out on your green machine!

Final disclaimer - This should go without saying, but I'm no professional and I'm certainly not a mechanic, so use at your own discression. This tutorial is offered in good faith. I've done my best to capture every single fastener, but may have missed something. If you find an error, please let me know and I'll make corrections where warranted.

Let's get started...
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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SIDE FAIRINGS

1) Remove the screws at the top of the side fairing next to the tank (1 each side, 4mm)

2) Remove the screws seen through the side fairing air scoop (1 each side, 4mm)


3) You don't need to remove the side panels. Just gently pull the front of the panels away from the bike just enough to feel the pop when the studs disengage from the grommets.


4) Remove pop rivets from the inner piece of the fairing that frames the radiator (sorry, no actual image). Do this by using a philips head screwdriver to push the center of the rivet in until it pops loose. Do Not Loose These - they will be reused!


5) Starting from the bottom, gently start prying the side fairing away from the bike. There will be 5 studs along the top, 1 at the bottom of the grey section on the tank. There will also be 1 grommet near the air scoop, and one under the side panel, which should already be loose. Once the fairing is off, take the opportunity to make sure all the rubber grommets are still seated correctly.


Congratulations! You have the side fairings off the bike

We'll pick up the front cowling in the next post...
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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FRONT COWLING

6) Remove the screws and plastic washers holding the windshield in place. (4 @ 5mm)


7) Remove the screws holding the green cowling cover. (2 on each side and 1 on each side of the console, 4mm)


8) Starting at the points below the headlight, then move to outside and work towards the center, gently pulling the green cowling away from the bike. There are 2 studs at each point, 2 near the center above the headlight, and 2 in the center of each main wing of the piece.


9) Remove pop rivets on black plastic behind the blinkers (push the middle in until they "pop" - keep to reuse)


10) Remove 2 bolts above headlight (8mm)


11) Remove 1 bolt on each side of the lower fairing - 1 behind the antifreeze reservoir & 1 below the fuel pump (10mm)


12) The last things holding the cowling in place is 1 stud at the very bottom center of the piece, and small tabs around the edge of the instrument cluster. I found it easier to pull the plastic up around the instrument cluster first to disengage the tabs, then gently pull the stud from the grommet under the headlight. DO NOT COMPLETELY REMOVE THIS PIECE WITHOUT UNPLUGGING THE TURN SIGNALS!


So that's it! You've successfully removed most of the front fairing. You can now rest the front plastic on the front fender, or wedge it up completely out of the way to do whatever work you need.


WHEW! That wasn't so hard!
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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When I first started this installation, I tried to get away with not removing the front cowling because everything seemed to be within reach. But the angles were awkward and it was frustrating trying to work that way. If you can get away with not removing the cowling, then by all means do so! But lessons learned says it's SO much easier to just get the plastic out of the way so you can see what's going on and ensure everything is secured properly.

On my bike, the relay plug and the accessories wires were secured to the frame using a computer cable tie, which was super because it meant the tie could be easily removed and reused. Remove the cable tie until you're done plugging everything in and finish testing, then resecure using the same tie.

RELAY INSTALLATION

The relay is a simple plug & play item.
1) Roll back the rubber boot on the relay to expose the plastic housing. Line up the casing clip and plug it in. Make sure the clip clicks into place before rolling the rubber boot back over the relay assembly.
2) Slide the rubber boot over the supplied bracket.


If you're not doing anything else at this point, resecure the wires using the computer cable tie, add the fairing back on using the reverse of the instructions above, and you're done! Otherwise, go to the next step...
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Here's where my photography crapped out. Sorry guys, not too many photos for this section. But just like the relay, this is a very easy plug & play process - once you get the front plastic out of the way and have space to move!

USB ADAPTER INSTALLATION

1) Assemble wires for the adapter if necessary. My $16 generic USB adapter came with terminals, but no wires. Makes sense - different applications will require different lengths of wire. I measured the distance between the Versys accessories plugs and the adapter spot, added 2 inches, and made my own wires. If you have to do this yourself I highly recommend using marine grade heat shrink to seal the terminal ends and use dialectic grease on the contacts.

2) Remove the circular plug from the bike's console. If you remove the entire front fairing and cowling, you can just unscrew the bracket that holds the plug in place. Otherwise, just remove the side fairing and use a pair of needle-nose pliers to go between the gap to bend one of the legs back until the plug can be pulled out. The legs are soft metal so even I could do that easily.


NOTE: Okay, this is where having the front cowling completely out of the way provides the most benefit. When I first attempted this without removing the front, I ended up with a twisted mess of wires because there was so much interference with the surrounding space. So I ended up removing the cowling anyway and was MUCH HAPPIER for doing so! All further instructions will deal with this as if you've already gone through the entire fairing removal and have space to work.

3) Screw in the USB adaptor. If your adaptor is the screw-in kind, take your time and do not cross-thread the plastic. When you are satisfied with the fit, add the plastic retaining ring to the back and snug it down firmly.

4) Plug in the system. I plugged in the bullets first, then the adapter.

5) Test the system! Turn on the ignition. My adapter has a digital display that lights up to show voltage, so I immediately knew if everything was wired correctly. If your plug does not have this display, make sure to plug in your cell phone or GPS to see if it is charging. If it is not, you likely have to unplug the USB adapter, flip the contacts and plug them in again.

6) Secure your wires! Unless the adapter has wires epoxied in place, eventually the contacts will vibrate out. Make sure to zip tie your wires in place to provide support and prevent this from happening. When you secure the wire, make sure the blinker cable is below, and not above the USB cable or you will have issues reassembling the cowling.


7) Reassemble the cowling and fairing. Just follow the removal steps in reverse to button everything back up

CONGRATULATIONS ON A JOB WELL DONE! NOW GET ON THAT BIKE AND GO RIDE!
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 08:11 AM
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holy crap did they use enough fasteners on the 3rd gen?

yes im a guy.
Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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