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Discussion Starter · #481 ·
i had been kicking around using engine bars on the Scooter bike, all the rest of the bikes had them. the decision was made when i found a new set of Motech bars for $50. these bars had never been mounted on a bike, the blue plastic sticker protection was still covering the name. most importantly, the price fit my commitment to go cheap on these bike builds.



 

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Discussion Starter · #482 ·
now that the near free ZX6R forks and wheel were hooked up on the front of the Scooter, i sat back in the official shop viewing chair, and ya know what...those ZXer forks won't get it. fine in length and travel, but they look just a shade too small for the big tire Scooter, that little bike needs something more robust on the front. let the search begin, gotta be bigger, fully adjustable, readily available, cheap, minimal fitment issues, and don't forget that 25mm axle business, i still want to use that ZX6R wheel.

both the Versys and ZX6R forks are 50/52mm at the clamps with a 41mm pipe, let's take a step up and use ZX10R forks. the ZX10 forks check all the boxes, and run 50/54 at the clamps with a 43mm pipe, them things should fit like a glove, except for that pesky Versys 52mm lower clamp. i wanted to keep my set of Versys clamps original, fortunately i had a work around in mind, one that would now address a couple issues. i'd been looking at this situation for 10 years, time to get after it.

the fork line up with ZX10R forks added in the middle. the ZX10 forks have larger radial caliper mounts, making it easier to run a 310 or 320mm rotor with simple adapters. might take me a year or so to figure out all the adjustments on these forks. this model year ZX10 uses a straight 25mm gun drilled axle, unlike the more typical shouldered 25mm axles used on other bikes in the same years.

 

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Discussion Starter · #484 ·
Where in the world did you find crash bars that cheap!
bike parts are often found hiding in plain sight. i always look for used before ever considering buying new, since i like keeping those greenback dollars in my pocket. these custom bikes need to stay cheap, slam the poor things together with junk parts.

those new bars in the above photo came off marketplace, they had been for sale for a long time. i've been looking around the internet for a low mile cop motor, found the bars along the way.

the Motech bars on the V649HP white frame were purchased used for only $40, and in that instance i was actually looking for bars. my usual broken record, don't pay retail.

 

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Discussion Starter · #486 ·
...never thought about it for parts...
running around buying junk parts can be a strange experience, you can meet some people that you would never otherwise encounter, chalk it up to adventure, maybe something else.

the provenance of what you're trying to buy is invariably in question, no matter what the seller says. for instance, the ZX6R front i paid pocket lint money for was listed as forks and wheel, not a peep about correct make and model, do you think that was unintentional?
 

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Discussion Starter · #487 · (Edited)
back in 2008 i needed a cheap bike that would get me to Deadhorse and back from the Mid-Atlantic. i didn't want a Euro bike, and other possibilities were scarce, expensive, or both. the Versys came out in 2007 and was available in the States in 2008, looked interesting, reportedly very reliable, but no used or wrecked bikes were available. the Ninja 650, or ER6F, intro was 2006, maybe one of the most wrecked bikes in motorcycling history, and there were plenty of those around.

both of these bikes used the ER6 platform, and shared lots of parts. it struck me that the Versys was just a Ninja with a better suspension and a de-tuned Ninja motor, even though Kawasaki said the bike was all new. both bikes had immediately been hot rodded and accessorized for adventure travel everywhere they were available, i would immediately add my spin, but the concept wasn't new.

i found a cheap wrecked Ninja, but knew it would need a better suspension, and that's when i found a complete Versys suspension in Seattle. the seller threw everything in an oversized cardboard box and shipped the entire mess to Virginia for $150, but then refunded $50 for all the scratches which happened in transit, nothing was wrapped. those parts had to come from the first wrecked Versys in the USA. i was the only one that thought Versys parts would be a direct swap to the Ninja, but they all bolted right up. now i had a Versys suspended Ninja 650, and kept the higher performance sportbike motor. that bike did go up to Deadhorse, came back home a little battered, but was restored as an OEM Ninja and sold. i built another Ninja the following year, this time utilizing a 19 front with the Versys forks, again reconstructed it as a Ninja and sold. from that point on, the custom bikes used Versys parts bikes, but swapped in sportbike motors. no more Versys suspensions, i was done with those.


what's the point? well, all that research back in those days about ER6 swaps helped with the new Scooter build. while i was swapping in an adventure travel type suspension to the Ninja, others were swapping in higher end fully adjustable USD sportbike forks to replace the anemic 41mm conventional Ninja forks. they also wanted those big radial calipers for greatly improved braking. i kept all those swaps in mind, just in case...as in just in case i needed a big beefy direct swap set of fork clamps, fork holders, triples, whatever they're called now. i always had a set of 50/52 Versys clamps on hand for my bikes, and i used them even when running the 49mm DRZ400 conventionals. if i didn't happen to have the Versys clamps, my 2008 research pointed to a different set, and that's where i reached for the new Scooter parts.

enter the Z1000 clamps. these clamps predate the introduction of the Versys, but share the same design, 50/52 ID at the clamps, steering stops, stem, and bearings. the only real differences being that the Z1000 clamps have more beef, use a slightly different size ignition switch, and the upper clamp can use conventional vibration damped bar mounts instead of the weird proprietary Versys bar mount. if i was starting from scratch on an ER6 bike build, i would source these clamps. Z1000 clamps are not all the same, know what you're buying. Ninja 650 riders swapped in these clamps back in the day so they could run Z bike series forks, like ZX6R and so on, pretty much any high performance forks with 50/52 at the clamp area, except i was about to spin that a little.

Versys right, Z1000 middle, ZX10R left. in the background, Z1000 upper on right, Versys upper left.



Versys right, Z1000 left, both use the same stem, stops, and bearings.




Z1000 upper right, Versys left



both the Z1000 uppers and lowers have more beef than the Versys clamps.

lowers, Versys right, Z1000 left.



uppers, Versys right, Z1000 left.



so what's my spin on this whole clamp swap? both are 50/52 clamps, but i'm going to run ZX10R forks which are 50/54 at the clamps, so the lower Z1000 clamps get a concentric bore from 52mm to 54mm. i could have bored the Versys lower, but the Z1000 lower is larger to start with if the plan is remove a mm, and i wanted to keep the Versys clamps original anyway. running the Z1000 upper allows the Versys bar clamp delete, riders have been trying to get rid of that thing from day one.

Z1000 lower bored to 54mm.

 

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Discussion Starter · #488 · (Edited)
the ZX10R top clamp has the ignition switch attached, it had to be removed. i didn't have a key, at least not yet, and the clamp gets painted eventually. the switch has a 7 wire pig tail, typical for Kawasaki across several different models back then, and will plug right into the early ER6 harness. these switches are mounted with a pair of security bolts, but security bolts is a misnomer because there's nothing secure about them, and they're not bolts anyway.

these so called bolts might hinder the honest, but are no match for the dishonest. both the fumblers and thieves bugged things up when they try to remove the switch, but damage is not necessary. removing the security feature of the mounting studs is not similar to drilling out a frozen bolt, it's more analogous to removing the head from a blind rivet, and this can be done with little effort.

with a very sharp center punch, the domed center of the security bolt can be accurately marked for a small diameter pilot bit. the dome center is there to make it more difficult to drill, so if you bypass this step the cussin' will start and you're about to mess up the mount itself. you're not trying to drill out the stud, just removing the top 5mm, so take it easy. with pilot holes complete, step up a couple twist drill sizes until the head of the security bolt pops off.

not a good photo, but the upper security bolt head has been drilled.



this is the security button that has been removed from the top of the stud, put down the freakin' drill or cause some real problems later on.



security bolt studs visible after the switch has been removed. these are M6 studs and get replaced by M6 socket head bolts when remounting the switch.



these studs are usually set with factory red locker, so if the studs had been drilled out instead of just the buttons, there's nothing left to grab when you need to extract the studs. the studs on this particular clamp were not set with any locker at all, pretty unusual, and came out with ease. that JIS red can be some very tough locker to deal with, get a good grip with a sharp jawed tool or you risk scraping enough material off the stud so that you end up drilling it out.

 

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Discussion Starter · #489 ·
early ER6 ignition switch from the 2nd gen Versys on right, 2003-06 Z1000 switch on left. the switches are very similar, but the ER6 had a slightly larger barrel and uses a plastic bezel for the on-off markings rather that having the same key position markings printed directly on the barrel. the ER6 switch can be mated to the Z1000 clamp by removing the bezel, then adding simple spacers at the mounts. i had the key for the Versys switch, but not the Z1000. naturally, i wanted to use the Z1000 switch on the Scooter. scarce 7-wire switch for some reason, although Kawasaki did use similar switches on other models too. nice Z1000 switch on Ebay if i wanted to ship one in from Lithuania for about $300, better not.



there are plenty of OEM motorcycle ignition switches for sale without the key, including every single model of Kawasaki bike using a double sided key, must be some clever locksmiths around, those switches end up on running bikes. hey, i know some of them clever guys, and one phone call later i was on my way to the big city. i have locksmiths way closer, but they ain't even a little clever with bike work. i handed over the switch when i got there, and all i heard was "Hmmmmm, hmmmmm, hmmmmm...", and the switch was turned this way and that, back and forth, kinda like the guy was doing the Rubik's Cube thing. then the big question "How many keys do ya want?", and i took that as a very good sign, didn't i say clever.

i came home with my rescue Z1000 switch and three keys, can't forget that extra key for the Versys switch. these boys are damn good, and i told 'em so. this isn't the first time they've waved a magic wand over something i brought in.


 

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Discussion Starter · #490 · (Edited)
Z1000 clamps with tapered roller bearings on the stem mounted in the Versys 650 headstock with 50/54/43 ZX10R fully adjustable forks. the Z1000 of this model year uses exactly the same stem, bearings, and steering stops, so they swap right onto the ER6 models without any fab or machine work if using 50/52 USD forks like the OEM Versys. note vibration damped conventional bar clamp mounts. preload on these forks can be adjusted on the fly if small CNC spinners are attached at the hex, pretty cool. if you're looking for clamps with serious beef, here they are.

 

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Discussion Starter · #491 ·
forgot to add the photo of the Scooter with the ZX10R forks, it really does look kinda scooterish...



i'm glad i up-sized the forks, that 130/80 front makes everything around it look small, but also mates well with the size of the 150/70 rear. it takes a little thought on the parts selections for these bikes, they're not hidden behind a bunch of plastic, so the proportions and massing have to be pretty good to work well together.

this is a 2nd generation frame, specifically 2014. this frame/subframe is not identical to the 1st generation although parts and accessories swap back and forth. the first generation Versys subframe had a few incomplete design features from the ER6F/ER6N which were in production at the same time. the Versys was supposed to be the ultra rugged ER6 stablemate of the ER6F (Ninja 650), but came to the States with a weaker subframe which required struts to keep the flex under control. photo comparison way back in the thread somewhere. i've said a hunnert times, keep those struts on there, especially with panniers or top box, pillion too.

so what happens with the Scooter...it gets the strut delete. in the world of design, this is called the "wing and a prayer" solution, but hey, no panniers on this one. if i'm going to hit the civil aviation speeds, can't have them panniers, too much drag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #493 ·
JD you are amazing with your builds. The scooter will have a lot of scoot I think!
thanks, a rider can turn these Versys bikes into any kind of moto, all pretty easy work.

stay tuned, it's just about saw, grinder, welder time.

there has to be some riders following along with these bike build recipes found on the forum whether i hear about the bikes or not. starting way back, just about all the used parts i've shown incorporated in the bike builds have become scarce, even some odd ball little things. i got a recent reminder, an example will be coming up soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #496 ·
with the front suspension in place, time to work on the rear shock. i'd been running the R1 shocks for over a decade, but when shopping around for a real nice R1 for this bike, nada, i wasn't impressed with anything i saw in the market. the R1 has become the go-to shock swap for the Versys whether it's a custom bike or not, good examples get snapped up in seconds it seems, i saw nothing i'd want on my bikes. i looked at dozens of shocks, a bunch of beat up junk. besides extreme general wear and tear, a very common defect was a missing or cracked bump stop. a seller with multiple R1 shocks for sale told me that the missing bumpstops on his shocks were not a problem because i would never bottom the shock, yeah, you would know. the fact is that you will bottom the R1 shock when used on any bike, not just a gravel runner bike. make your own decision when buying the R1, but no bumpstop, keep looking.

no R1 shock, the hell with it, let's move on to something else...drill, baby, drill.


 

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Discussion Starter · #497 ·
the shock under the bubble wrap is a like new R6 reservoir shock, the wrapping added so that it wouldn't get all boogered while the fixed bushing was drilled to 12mm. fitting the R6 shock is the same as the R1 in that both ends require a 12mm mount, and the documentation on how to accomplish this is well known with several variations, take your pick. this shock uses the same needle bearing/hardened SS sleeve as the R1, and also the rubber damped bushing on the other end. the SS sleeve was bored to 12mm at a local shop, and i drilled the other end to the imperial equivalent of 12mm. the damped bushing requires a concentric bore, so the shock needs to be locked down to line everything up and drill it. the spring allows the shock to lay flat on the table, the needle bearing end used as the vertical index to compare with the bore of the bushing using a imperial equivalent 10mm twist drill. this shock was still factory good, everything lined up, and the bushing was drilled to 12mm in 1/64th steps. sharp twist drills, low RPM, add a little cutting oil, take your time, and you should have an acceptable result. do not try to drill this bushing by hand, your luck may head down the drain about half way through the operation.

i anticipated a little interference with the reservoir design of this shock, 90 degrees opposite the venerable R1 shock reservoir, and larger. the rear dowel mount for the tank trim cover had to go, and the rear fastener mount for the same cover needed to be trimmed. the dowel mount is no loss, the cover will stay in place without it. i have a right side cover with a broken dowel at that exact location, and i'm going to trim it to make the shock more visible, it's a jewel, why hide it? regarding overall fitment, clearances look workable, no obvious problems...if i find anything, i'll let ya know. i haven't decided what spring i'll run on the R6 shock.

cover mount is in the way, gotta go.



mount deleted, welds get ground smooth. the cover mount shown in the upper left gets clearanced a little.


 

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Discussion Starter · #498 ·
need to clean up the frame, some of the little brackets don't get used. i think i weighed all the cut off brackets one time, the weight saving was about 5oz.

these are on both sides of the main frame, and i don't use them.



welds ground smooth, use a light touch, the tubing wall is only a few mm thick. i'll make another pass over the frame to smooth everything up during paint prep.



OMG, where did that seat lock bracket go?

 

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Discussion Starter · #499 ·
i don't have any machine tools, probably never will. i do have some other useful tools, but i've been trying to consolidate and downsize, selling some tools along the way and with plans to sell others, except...

one of the tools i sold was a Powermatic disc sander/grinder/beltsander, used it for a bunch of jobs, regretted selling it 48 hours later, and the search for a replacement started. i didn't think it would be a big deal finding a replacement, man, was i wrong. everything i located was overpriced, incomplete, junk, too far away, or all of the above. i wanted a dedicated disc sander, not a combo machine.

then i got lucky the other day, and found a Made in USA Conquest 20" sander/grinder, industrial quality, very good shape, single phase, and within budget at a dime on the dollar against original MSRP pricing. it's a 350# beast of a machine, i've been smilin' ever since i got it back to the shop.



the other little tool i recently picked up is the newer style fine adjustment slip joint pliers by Milwaukee. i don't know who holds the patent or first came to market with this type of plier, could have been Knipex, they had them for years in different sizes, but now most of the well known hand tool manufacturers have a version. the ends of the handles are for de-burring emt, but can also be used as a drift, or some other use. an industrial designer spent time on this tool, it has some interesting features which you'll notice if you get a look. reasonably priced at $14.50 online for the smallest, and that's a very handy size.

 

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Discussion Starter · #500 ·
with the seat lock gone, i don't need the latch mount/seat support plate either, but it seemed cruel to take the whole damn thing, so i left a little. actually, there were some other cuts looming, i needed that piece. if you're going to chop away on the frame, take a few minutes for accurate layout, keep those cuts straight.

i have pretty good lighting in the shop, but i've started using those little mag base adjustable neck LED task lights, very inexpensive online. they put some bright light exactly where you want it.

 
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