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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, just wanted to share some inexpensive DIY mods for my 2012 Versys 650. If anybody wants to add anything, please do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
EBAY HANDGUARDS:

Found that the common $30 eBay handguards (barkbusters) fit and work fairly well. I deleted the handlebar end weights, don't really need the vibration damping (or extra weight or width) myself, though they might be helpful when dropping the bike. Didn't need longer bolts into handlebars.

Clearances were tight, had to:

* Use a few washers on the ends to make more room for stock levers.

* Move lever perches inward maybe a quarter inch. This reduces rear view mirror width, but on the plus side increases leverage a bit on the levers, front brakes in particular.

* I loosened the banjo fitting on the brake hydraulic line to rotate it up a bit.

* Trim a little plastic from the handguards.

* Might have to remove the little black plastic cable stays mounted on the bars. Note that these can be opened up without cutting.

I have found these handguards to work very well on my 1st-gen KLR650 and XT225 dualsports. Survived many tipovers or slow dirt crashes. Likewise on my D6R50, though that has plastic acerbis handguards rather than the aluminum framed eBay ones, which may dampen the impact more. Can be hacked to be bigger in winter by adding some DIY wind deflectors. :)

Haven't had the cheap aluminum frames in the guards break or bend noticeably yet. The guards really help soften the blow of falling, and protect the mirrors and levers and perches and perhaps other bike parts. I also have and auxiliary light mounted on left guard on all my bikes, and reflective tape also.

The expensive OEM guards look beautiful, but not very warm or protective for the hands.

Seems like the bar and weights could be retained by using longer bolts. Didn't want the weights, myself.

Haven't dropped the Versys yet, so don't know how they will actually perform. :)

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
CHEAP AUX LIGHTING:

These lights are highly available on Amazon and eBay. Said to draw 18 watts. Spot, not flood, but with a very useful and wide halo of illumination. Super useful on a quiet medium-speed curvy road, or in the dirt. Fills in the blanks left by the stock lights.

The switches pictured are also highly available, and work well. Never successfully used one with an indicator light, but that would be nice. I've put them on four bikes so far. Moving the perches around may be required. Switch needs to be very easily accessible for turning off when oncoming traffic appears. It helps if you only have one bike to train with.

There may be 2 connectors waiting under the left radiator side cover, on my 2012 V2 anyway. Actually, mine was already wired for different (expensive, unused by me) auxiliary lights, so not sure about this.

Attaching lights to the handguards may seem dodgy. But I've found it to be excellent, on three bikes. Never damaged one by dropping the bike. Having a light that turns with the handlebar is huge and low speed and dirt situations, though it may take some getting used to when combined with fairing-mounted headlights.

I just use duct tape to attach. Lights need to be adjustable. And in this case, taping to the metal bracket that came with light works well, the bracket can be bent a bit for adjustment.

Only tried mounting up two lights once. That was on my KLR, with light taped to front fender. Worked extremely well with one light; adding the second mounted in same place made very little difference, and taxed the weak fuse system on the 1st Gen KLR. I would guess that two lights mounted apart would be more beneficial.

Sure, the other kids will laugh at the hoopty installation. But no one laughs after hitting a deer while riding. (A friend of mine ended up in a wheelchair, and eventually a coffin, from that.)

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
EASY KICKSTAND EXTENDER

And how about this fine piece of engineering? :) Looks terrible; works great. (But I do have a 150/70 Shinko e705 tire on the rear, so my bike is taller than stock.)

I find the stock kickstand to be much too short. Which puts more weight on it, causing stand to slouch out to its maximum width. (Even after tightening the mounting bolt to reduce slouch.)

Tried a complicated multi-part wooden construction, with an aluminum shoe. Didn't work for me, probably because I had screws coming in from the bottom. No bueno with the kind of wear a kickstand foot gets. Required constant maintenance.

This one is simple, and it works very well. As it wears down, planning to glue on a wooden or metal veneer to the bottom as a sacrifical layer.

I used a thick little piece of plywood. Holes drilled, clear of the friction zone, for attachment. Piece probably can't be too wide, or it risks being levered around the side of the stock kickstand foot.

I used zip ties. Look terrible, work great (so far). String or wire would also probably work. If you look closely at the images, should be able to see the holes that the zip ties go through.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Inventive work there, MacGyver!
Ain't pretty, but damn if it doesn't work very well so far. And that irritating slouch where the kickstand skitters out sometimes, now that's a feature not a bug -- I can kick the stand out a bit more when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
SIMPLE SADDLEBAG SUPPORTS:

The stock side reflectors below the seat are barely adequate as saddlebag supports. Adding something thicker and wider to reflectors would do the trick. I made some out of wood, and kept them small because the attachment bolts are quite thin. Bolts thread into some kind of removable accessory mount points, didn't delve into that. (Though I should, that would be a much stronger mounting point. ANY IDEAS?)

The fly in the ointment with these supports is that they may only work with forward-mounted saddlebags; I can ride with my feet on rear pegs, just barely, but don't think a passenger could comfortably.

Been using these for maybe 4 months, including two weekend ADV trips. They work. (Not a fan of soft bags around town, but in conjunction with a top box, very satisfactory; work great when touring.)

(Bags are the now-discontinued Nelson Rigg CL-900 (or the wider and heavier CL-905). I've used the 900s on 5 difference bikes, and actually have three or four sets. Not very big, but light.)

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Not sure what you mean by the reflector. Maybe deflector? The plate that keeps the bag off the tire is what I think you're talking about, and how to mount it more securely.

Maybe remove the wood and take some close photos of the supports. Sometimes it is easier to come up with solutions if we visually see what we're talking about. :unsure:
 

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Here is my MacGyver mod. Installed an STS (Smart Turn System) self-canceling signals, with the wizard's help correcting my butchered attempt at the wiring connections ( I'm an electrical moron). The module requires a level platform which presented some difficulties on my 07. There were no frame mounting points on the left side where the wires connect.

I bought a cheap angle bracket that I could attach with an existing bolt on the frame. What to use for a platform to hold the module to the bracket? My first notion was to cut a piece of metal and attach it with JB Weld. That seemed too complicated and over-built. My solution was a small piece of plywood, attached with two screws through the holes in the bracket. I used Robertson screws, none of that cheesy Philips nonsense for me. I attached the module with ATG 3M adhesive and secured it with two zip ties. An additional tie keeps the wiring loom away from the tank.

The module must be kept level, facing forward. The bracket was pivoted until the module was level, and Locktite keeps the bolt from backing off. The assembly is hidden by the fairing, so appearance doesn't matter. The total cost was $1 for the bracket, all other supplies were on hand. My Scottish heritage is showing: I think MacGyver would appreciate the simplicity and frugality.

Automotive tire Bumper Gas Automotive lighting Auto part


Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bicycle handlebar Automotive exterior Bumper
 

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I am afraid to ask if all those nicely cutoff wire ties got removed in the search for not starting. I like the KISS rule. A little tip for those without a fancy tie wrap gun. Take linesmen pliers or blunt nose pliers, first pull tight, slide forward until you are up against the head, start twisting, what happens, is it tightens and twists off leaving no sharp edge. Also looks neat.
 

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Nope, the non-start was due to a most basic reason: the friggin kill switch had been inadvertently flipped on!

Of course, because I'd had the tank off, I suspected the two leads and plugs from the tank. Lesson learned... once again.
The older I get, the easier it becomes to f#*k up. I should be an expert soon enough. ;)
 

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I think that it is something like bike builds. A idea forms and you look and see what is available. What some call complete may not meet your standard.

I have a front facing camera bolted to the windshield support bracket. Several people have asked me as to what is with all the nuts. I needed a sleeve or coupling nut. I had about 50 1/4 stainless nuts. I think there are 6 or 8 nuts as spacers. Been like that for 4 years. Camera hasn't moved and the bike runs fine.

I would rather be riding than working on the bike. However , some mods are due to fail, those , well it is humourous .

Something like following a 440 Victor and picking up the parts as they fell off.

Every so often a great idea comes along. Kawdog had some different ones.
I had to look up some of Kawdog posts. I miss the guy, and many others.

I could care less what anyone thinks about my stainless spacers. However if there is a possibilty of injury , I speak up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Plywood is a great material for working on bikes. Few layers of black paint, and it looks good too. Used to be used extensively in aircraft. Definitely can require maintenance, though.
Maybe remove the wood and take some close photos of the supports.
Hi Smiley, FYI added some photos to the posting above about the saddlebag supports.
 

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There are some riders who would not be caught dead using plywood to solve a dilemma on their bike because of appearances; nothing but OEM or spendy aftermarket parts will do for them. Then there are the more practical types who only ask, "Will this work using materials I already have and can I adapt it to fit?"

I fall into the latter category and will use anything that works. I can't see the bike when I'm riding it. Plus, there is a certain satisfaction gained from applying inventive, MacGyver solutions to problems.

It would be a boring world if we all thought the same. Vive la différence!
 

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I have used red fiberglass many times,

my first attempt at solving the seat problem


the second solution after redoing the seat, yellow fiberglass to tighten the front enough to stop it rocking, the seat rests on the steel bracket of the tank support in the area just above those fiberglass pieces
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My first attempt at raising front of the seat used plywood. The wood sheared where it was supported by metal. But if I did it again, I would simply shim with plywood underneath the stressed part, and I suspect it would work just fine. But, the eighth inch aluminum bar stock is also working fine oh, just took longer to make.

A problem with plywood is it's harder to cinch down a bolt, as the wood will compress. Threadlocker can help.

Here's a pic of the plywood cargo rack I grafted onto the top of what appears to be a sw-motech alum-rack. The aluminum plate was beautiful, if a bit heavy. Removed it, added my far superior plywood. No compromise entailed, in my book. Works with my plywood top box, groceries in front; or whatever the heck else I want to put back there. Don't even (often) need to reach for bungee cords.

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
FENDER EXTENDER

And when it comes to cheap DIY, who could forget the obligatory homemade fender extender?

Mine in two parts, it grew with time. Cut from black plastic garden planter. Attached with VHB double-sided tape, which has been rock solid, and highly recommended.

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