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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

Not too far back Adventure Motorcycle Magazine ran an article on what makes in adventure bike. In that article, we mentioned the Kawasaki Versys is a great platform but needed some changes to make it more formidable off-road. Well we did just that and below are some images of the results. More details on the build will be in the magazine but thought you guys might like an abbreviated version of the project.

Most of the bolt on accessories are available from Twisted Throttle who helped out a lot on this bike. Key upgrades from TT included:

1) SW-Motech Luggage Rack System
2) TraX Lugggage (37L sides and rear)
3) SW-Motech Skid Plate
4) SW-Motech Handle Bar Riser
5) Denali D2 lights
6) SW-Motech light mount

You can find all of these, a video and more images on their website here...
http://www.twistedthrottle.com/adversys/

-- Adventure Motorcycle Mag's Project ADVersys--



















The wheels, which is I'm sure on everyone's mind, were sourced by Rad Manufacturing out of Utah (radmfg.com). They are the only company who manufactures aftermarket hubs for the Versys - on the planet as near as I can tell. All hubs are custom anodized and, best of all, the rear hub uses the stock cush-drive! The same hub also fits the Ninja650 and ER6n.

We opted to go with Excel 19" front and 17" back rims. Looking for good 50/50 tires wasn't so hard. We spooned on some Heidenau Scout K60's from Black Dog Cycleworks and so far, we're impressed.

Another smaller, but still important detail was the front fender risers which are undergoing final cutting. We'll post updates on that when they are available.

-- Adventure Motorcycle Mag's Project ADVersys -- (shortly after wheel installation)







Kawasaki USA helped out by sending some black trim panels and what turned out to be one of simplest but nicest surprises of the build, and one I would recommend to any Versys owner out there.

The KLR650 side stand is a perfect bolt on swap for the Versys. From 2010 and on, the KLR has a black side stand, silver years before. While the overall length is the same, it already has a large foot and an outward bend which gives a broader stance and much more swing arm clearance when folded up. Be sure to get the KLR spring and pivot bolt set while you're at it!

With all the changes, and few still to come, this will be a strong competitor in the fun/dollar category. Today we installed a Yoshimura full carbon pipe and will be getting saddle upgrades going as well.

We estimate a second hand Versys (available in the US for around 4,000-4,500USD) and about 3,000 to 4,000 dollars in aftermarket pieces could yield one bullet proof, cross terrain steed. We'll be testing this in future issues and with much more details!

Mad love and pride to all the Versys riders out there.

Woof, Woof,
CrazyCarl
 

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Love the bike. There was a thread already on it but nice to see more info on it here. I have a friend with a F800GS and while I love his bike I could never thrash something that expensive off road. I am considering making the Versys a little more off road worthy but not a full on dirt bike since I already have a DRZ. So has it been off road yet and if so how did it do? Put me down for the fender risers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The ADVersys isn't finished yet so we haven't taken it out to be "tested" save a few miles of dirt/gravel road. FWIW, those miles went by quite nicely with minimal to no slowing down on pavement to gravel transitions. Alaska should be a good place for a proper test and we'll get it dirty however we can. More info on that as the project develops.

CC
 

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Emailed TT about three days ago to order the Barkbuster Storm handguards from this build and so far it's been crickets, as in no reply. Any suggestions from here?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not sure. You can place the order directly on their website or try giving them a call. I almost always try to call directly now if I want/need the skinny.

CC
 

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I need an exact part number etc for the handguard setup on this bike, as the TT website lists at least 3 versions of the Storm guard and is very confusing as to which is the complete setup. Also, none look identical to these in the website's product listings. My email was in regards to these issues/questions.
 

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I am officially "in love" with that bike....:yeahsmile:

Damn, that thing is trick! :thumb:
Well done! :clap:

The lottery numbers come up in a few minutes...I'll let you know HOW that went. :D

It's all about the moto....
 

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dmason, they probably were closed when you emailed a few days ago, and today is a holiday in rhode island (VJ day) so they are probably not in today either. they will probably be in tomorrow
 

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Thanks for the detailed write up. Looks great and is the coolest set of mods I've seen so far. I was especially interested in learning about the wheels and front fender riser. I'm going to have to subscribe to the mag.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The front fender riser is a pretty important piece actually. Some home boys out of Illinois are doing it up properly and I'll post images when I they arrive.

The red riser prototype on there now is just for spacing but the final version looks to be laser cut with a black finish and a flange which wraps around the side to match the plastic fender vertical drop. This should help protect the slider without having to add neoprene boots or something similar.

CC
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for sharing that link Mike! XCRider looks like a chill dude who's have a great time.. wish I was with him!

I briefly considered sticking a rear tire on the front but you end up having a very heavy front wheel assembly which can have adverse effects on braking, turning and suspension. the 17" front wheels bothered me so much, I was initially thinking of selling the Versys and getting a VStrom just for the 19" front. Then I slapped myself and came to my senses. The shorter wheelbase, more compact engine and better suspension all weigh heavily in favor of the Versys. The only two areas I saw the Versys needed improvement was the wheels and the saddle. I figured, heck... I can do that!

The Heidenau tires are amazingly well built when compared to the stock Versys street skins. The rear Scout K60 weighs a considerable amount and has extremely stiff sidewalls, obviously designed for heavier bikes AND to be aired down. Folks around the net are reporting 7-9k miles on them riding liter class bikes. On a relatively "light" 650 like this, I wouldn't be surprised to get over 10k miles from the Scouts and boy do the connect real good in dirt!

CC
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So whats the cost of those rims??
Well both the front and rear hubs are 750 dollars as a set. They have different levels of rims and such you can put on besides EXCEL's. You're probably looking at about 1,500USD (built) as you see them here (no tires or tubes of course).

Best is to call RadMfg and get a more exact quote with your colors and various configurations (spoke amounts, rim sizes, manufacturer, etc...).

CC
 

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Well both the front and rear hubs are 750 dollars as a set. They have different levels of rims and such you can put on besides EXCEL's. You're probably looking at about 1,500USD (built) as you see them here (no tires or tubes of course).

Best is to call RadMfg and get a more exact quote with your colors and various configurations (spoke amounts, rim sizes, manufacturer, etc...).

CC
Holy crap....I think I'll just find a used KLR....:thanx::cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
HAHAHA, yeah that seems to be most people's responses. I posted on the other thread about the merits of spoked wheels but comparing the Versys with spoked wheels to a KLR isn't exactly apples to apples... esp if you already have a Versys. First, I don't see too many KLR's for 1500 bucks out there... unless it's a parts bike, 15+ years old or a buddy's fire sale. Second, a Versys with the larger wheels would be more in the range of a V-Strom 650, 650/800GS or Tiger 800XC (although the latter two have longer legs). The main difference? All comfortable, multi-cylinder, fully highway speed capable bikes.

Nevertheless, there are some great additions to the ADVersys project bike which shouldn't be overlooked regardless of what wheels you use. The KLR kick stand bolt on really was a nice surprise and I hope Kawasaki starts putting these on from the factory sooner, rather than later.

Another is the Denali D2 lamps. They're bright as hell and only pull 10w draw each. Add the light mount bracket and you've got expanded riding hours as well as extra safety during the day.

Take what you want, leave what you will. Either way, enjoy your Versys!

CC
 

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The Denali lights are nice but I prefer again a cheaper alternative....

24W each and only $180 set the stage dimmable....:D

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes those are Sir Speedy's lowering blocks with the SW-Motech on-off road foot pegs. Using both of them at the same time hasn't been tested yet for of road riding so I suggest using some caution if putting them together. Otherwise, the combination of the two gives you about as much leg room you can ask for on the Versys without crazy mods.

CC
 
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