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Ditto.. My Kawa KLX250s will go anywhere with a deep plush suspension which makes the most difficult terrain a breeze. Its made for off road and feels like getting on a bicycle after any street oriented bike. Instead of fighting going through a technical area, you just blast through it.
 

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I think you are probably on the right track there. Since you already have a street bike, why have another street bike that has dirt tires? Get it a dedicated dirt bike or at the very least a dual sport like you mentioned, you will have a lot better time (a potentially break a lot less parts) riding off road.
If you are going to be riding mostly dirt, personally, I would go for the smallest, lightest dual sport available. a 250 is a lot more fun than a 650 in tight woods.
4.5 hours of one-way transit miles run at mostly 80 cruise on the slab, camping off the bike with a full load out of gear, hundreds and hundreds of miles of gravel roads with some found in rough shape, water crossings large and small...get the idea of what those typical trips are all about? now think about that same trip on a little 250, been there on my WR250R, but i never once considered a repeat. sure, the little bike was ok once you got there, but the transit miles were an all day torture experience. did i mention that many of those rides are scheduled for fall, cooler temps and alot to see, but short days, start in the dark, and end in the dark. y'all going to run that 250 on the slab before sunrise or after dark, nope.

that's why you set up your Versys for all roads, all conditions...one moto, not two. i suppose i could trailer a 250, but my riding buddies are riders, not trailering buddies.
 

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4.5 hours of one-way transit miles run at mostly 80 cruise on the slab,
now think about that same trip on a little 250, been there on my WR250R, but i never once considered a repeat. sure, the little bike was ok once you got there, but the transit miles were an all day torture experience.
Yeah, you definitely have a compromise there consider so much transit time. A small bore bike would be miserable but I don't even enjoy larger thumpers on the highway. Many years ago I used to commute on a Honda XL500 and then an XL600 with a few miles of the commute on the interstate and didn't enjoy it, I definitely wouldn't want to do it for hours at a time.
 

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you got it, i'm all about stifling creativity and have a closed mind to any off the beaten path solutions. motorcycles are dangerous contraptions, however it comes out of the crate, just leave it be...the factory boys know best.

but wait a sec, remember your "old DR" wheels from post #2, well, here is a new DR wheel on the front of my (you guessed it) Versys. not a Warp 9 wheel, but that is a 320mm Warp 9 rotor. got a 17" DR wheel out back. it takes some time to find the Kawasaki part numbers for those wheels.

those aren’t the stock forks are they? That looks like way more travel than stock.
 

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those aren’t the stock forks are they? That looks like way more travel than stock.
the 2021 Versys V649HP forks are KX450 48mm.

like this...

[IMG]


there are threads on this forum that will give you all the information you will ever need to increase your Versys' off pavement capabilities.
 

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the 2021 Versys V649HP forks are KX450 48mm.

like this...

[IMG]


there are threads on this forum that will give you all the information you will ever need to increase your Versys' off pavement capabilities.
I’m reading your build thread on that bike, that’s absolutely incredible. Way outta my league for fabrication. I’ll have to find a dumbed down forum of a bit simpler build haha. I’d love to run Drz400 forks like you previously did and that rear swing arm to gain some more travel. But man. I was pretty lost when you got into the fab process. Killer build.
 

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I’m reading your build thread on that bike, that’s absolutely incredible. Way outta my league for fabrication. I’ll have to find a dumbed down forum of a bit simpler build haha. I’d love to run Drz400 forks like you previously did and that rear swing arm to gain some more travel. But man. I was pretty lost when you got into the fab process. Killer build.
DRZ forks are a lot easier than you may think, while the massive EX650 swingarm swap is a direct replacement, bolts right in. the R1 shock swap is well documented also. the 2021 Versys in the photo has an extended EX650 swingarm, R1 shock, clearanced Versys spring.

41mm USD Versys fork left, 49mm conventional DRZ fork right.



direct swap EX650 steel swingarm, the strongest of all the ER6 swingarms. comes with an OEM hugger.



16kg Versys spring clearanced and smoothed to fit R1 shock collar.



i know of a few more of these bikes being built right now, but these custom Versys bikes are being built all over the place, not just North America.

V649HP in Sweden

 

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DRZ forks are a lot easier than you may think, while the massive EX650 swingarm swap is a direct replacement, bolts right in. the R1 shock swap is well documented also. the 2021 Versys in the photo has an extended EX650 swingarm, R1 shock, clearanced Versys spring.

41mm USD Versys fork left, 49mm conventional DRZ fork right.



direct swap EX650 steel swingarm, the strongest of all the ER6 swingarms. comes with an OEM hugger.



16kg Versys spring clearanced and smoothed to fit R1 shock collar.



i know of a few more of these bikes being built right now, but these custom Versys bikes are being built all over the place, not just North America.

V649HP in Sweden

Yup, I read on your build about drilling from 10-12mm on the r1 shock. Isn’t an adapter needed for the drz forks? I don’t have the tools to make one. I’ll have to look into the ex650 swing arm for sure.
 

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DRZ forks are a lot easier than you may think, while the massive EX650 swingarm swap is a direct replacement, bolts right in. the R1 shock swap is well documented also. the 2021 Versys in the photo has an extended EX650 swingarm, R1 shock, clearanced Versys spring.

41mm USD Versys fork left, 49mm conventional DRZ fork right.



direct swap EX650 steel swingarm, the strongest of all the ER6 swingarms. comes with an OEM hugger.



16kg Versys spring clearanced and smoothed to fit R1 shock collar.



i know of a few more of these bikes being built right now, but these custom Versys bikes are being built all over the place, not just North America.

V649HP in Sweden

Would you be willing to machine adapter for a set of drz400e forks? I think I’m gonna go that route. I found some forks on eBay for 250 , many r1 shocks for 50-70 and the swing arm for 40-50. Cheap and seems like a pretty close to plug and play setup. Just need the adapters.
 

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Would you be willing to machine adapter for a set of drz400e forks? I think I’m gonna go that route. I found some forks on eBay for 250 , many r1 shocks for 50-70 and the swing arm for 40-50. Cheap and seems like a pretty close to plug and play setup. Just need the adapters.
you're looking for a pair of these which are the adapters for the Versys bottom clamp, 52mm to 49mm.



i used to keep extra sets of these on hand because so many riders were requesting them for the DRZ fork swap, but i haven't had any extras for 3-4 years. these were turned by a local shop at a very nominal cost from schedule 80 aluminum pipe which i provided. any shop or hobbyist can do the work, it's easy. for every set i shipped, there had to be at least a dozen that were sourced locally by the rider/builder.

the thread on this forum covering every aspect of the swaps you're contemplating was chopped up and locked by an errant moderator, so quite a bit of content was lost. in fact, the thread content covering the mechanics of that series of big suspension bikes doesn't read well. the complete documentation on all things V649 is found on ADVrider, read that thread before buying parts, it's sorta the bible on big suspension Versys swaps.

i've always maintained that performing these suspension improvements is both straightforward and easy. you don't need to be a professional wrench, machinist, or welder/fabricator. in other words, if you can assemble IKEA, you can put a big suspension under your Versys, both photos and narrative are there. i already did all the guesswork, you just need to follow the recipe.
 

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you're looking for a pair of these which are the adapters for the Versys bottom clamp, 52mm to 49mm.



i used to keep extra sets of these on hand because so many riders were requesting them for the DRZ fork swap, but i haven't had any extras for 3-4 years. these were turned by a local shop at a very nominal cost from schedule 80 aluminum pipe which i provided. any shop or hobbyist can do the work, it's easy. for every set i shipped, there had to be at least a dozen that were sourced locally by the rider/builder.

the thread on this forum covering every aspect of the swaps you're contemplating was chopped up and locked by an errant moderator, so quite a bit of content was lost. in fact, the thread content covering the mechanics of that series of big suspension bikes doesn't read well. the complete documentation on all things V649 is found on ADVrider, read that thread before buying parts, it's sorta the bible on big suspension Versys swaps.

i've always maintained that performing these suspension improvements is both straightforward and easy. you don't need to be a professional wrench, machinist, or welder/fabricator. in other words, if you can assemble IKEA, you can put a big suspension under your Versys, both photos and narrative are there. i already did all the guesswork, you just need to follow the recipe.
Sick man, appreciate it.
 

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you're looking for a pair of these which are the adapters for the Versys bottom clamp, 52mm to 49mm.



i used to keep extra sets of these on hand because so many riders were requesting them for the DRZ fork swap, but i haven't had any extras for 3-4 years. these were turned by a local shop at a very nominal cost from schedule 80 aluminum pipe which i provided. any shop or hobbyist can do the work, it's easy. for every set i shipped, there had to be at least a dozen that were sourced locally by the rider/builder.

the thread on this forum covering every aspect of the swaps you're contemplating was chopped up and locked by an errant moderator, so quite a bit of content was lost. in fact, the thread content covering the mechanics of that series of big suspension bikes doesn't read well. the complete documentation on all things V649 is found on ADVrider, read that thread before buying parts, it's sorta the bible on big suspension Versys swaps.

i've always maintained that performing these suspension improvements is both straightforward and easy. you don't need to be a professional wrench, machinist, or welder/fabricator. in other words, if you can assemble IKEA, you can put a big suspension under your Versys, both photos and narrative are there. i already did all the guesswork, you just need to follow the recipe.
Do you have a link to that and rider thread?
 

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I just fitted front forks from Versys 1000. had to drill a hole in the front wheel for the front axel to fit and change the bearings. and needed to enlarge a bit the lower triple clamps.
 

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I just fitted front forks from Versys 1000. had to drill a hole in the front wheel for the front axel to fit and change the bearings. and needed to enlarge a bit the lower triple clamps.
interesting swap, but in the States that's not what we call big. the DRZ400S 49mm forks have 300mm of travel, and make forks with 41mm stanchions look like toothpicks. the KX450 48mm forks only have 280mm of travel, but that's still enough to call them big. to anyone who says that you can't possibly use 280-300mm of travel on a Versys650, i've stuffed those forks to the stops numerous times. i guess it all comes down to what you're looking for, but in the States we have an old cliche..."Go big, or go home".
 

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this is lovely, but the forks in 650 have already large travel. why needing more? it is not really an off-road bike.
 

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this is lovely, but the forks in 650 have already large travel. why needing more? it is not really an off-road bike.
5.9” isn’t long travel. Not for what I’m used to anyway. If they make a skid plate and crash bars for it. It’s an off-road bike to me. Just needs more in the suspension department. I’ve bottomed the front end many times just using a speed bump as a kicker.
 

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No problem that’s every other day over here in WA.
the red frame bike is out there in Washington or Oregon, you could probably track it down.

the only bike that has never been found is the first of the V649HP bikes, sold into West Virginia, never to be seen again despite there being plenty of riders on those roads.
 

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this is lovely, but the forks in 650 have already large travel. why needing more? it is not really an off-road bike.
your Versys is not an offroad bike, is that what you're saying?

i have 12 years of riding on Versys 650 bikes with the big suspension swaps, please don't even begin to tell me where they can and can not go.
 
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