everything painted, time to set the welders in place, then get everything hooked up.
the cabinet has plenty of room for all the welding supplies, spares, consumables, etc., i have more drawers and another adjustable shelf that will fit.
both welders are dual voltage, and the power supply uses the same cord ends, so a set of dedicated 240V and 120V cords works for both welders. depending on the project, both welders could be powered at the same time using separate 240 and 120 circuits.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL THE VERSYS BOYS AND GIRLS
New Years Eve, i just had to start the bike, that Siren's song of the Leo Vince was calling me, big time. started, warmed up, then a couple rips to 8-9 grand...believe it folks, that sound will make your freakin' hair catch fire, and that's how 2020 closed out.
2021 means a new shop apron...WTF, an apron on your average manly-man? sure, men's work aprons have been around since forever, lumber yards used to hand out free carpenters aprons printed with their name with most any order. i've always had an apron hanging on a hook in the shop, but it was light weight and pretty much worn out after 30 years of use.
enter the 2021 shop apron, heavy duty waxed canvas, i didn't want leather. this apron is the real deal, and will stand up to welding, along with the other shop activities. padded shoulder straps, all kinds of pockets, tape clip, you name it. one size fits all, no worries, if it fits this gorilla, it'll fit anyone.
haven't put up anything new for a couple weeks, but i haven't been idle as far as the moto world spins.
brought this home, it was a rescue, and felt the call. 1st gen Versys, i was thinking project bike or parts bike, but it's all there except for the old signals and a mirror, clear title too. all of the ER6 bikes in this era had signals with defective stalks, no UV inhibitor or something, so they would disintegrate in just a few years. i'll replace the signals with the $8 chineseum version, and i think i have a set of mirrors on hand. the bike has some miles, but runs great. all i've done so far is a general cleaning, add some Seafoam to both fuel and oil, start it, and adjust the idle setting. the ptwin motor package can act a little funny without the correct idle, the Kawasaki boys must have been aware of this fact since they put an easily accessible idle adjuster right next to the throttle body, no tools required. i'm going to get another 30 minutes of run time with the Seafoam in there, then change the oil and filter. Mobile1 15-50 synthetic is my regular oil for the ptwin, inexpensive, great in hot weather, and smooths out the cartridge transmission better than any of the others i've used.
so the question is, what to do with it. keep it, sell it, part it, build it, whatever the decision, it has to wait awhile, i need to finish up the V649. i haven't had an OEM stock Versys in the shop since i brought home the last 2009 Versys parts bike, and had forgotten how low the seat height is on these stock bikes. i can flatfoot the stock bike in street boots, but only get toes down in riding boots on the V649s.
well, i used to have a red 1st gen Versys. i hadn't offered it for sale, but a rider contacted me after seeing the photo, said he wanted to build a V649. what the heck, take it, have fun with the build. the man has skills and machine tools, be fun to see what he does with the bike.
i had some business travel lined up which took me past a big multi manufacturer dealer and i stopped hoping they would have one of the newer generation Kawasaki unfaired bikes which uses the new lighter weight moly frame, i wanted some photos.
i had been looking off and on for quite awhile for a project bike that had the new frame, but 100% of the bikes i looked at had either a bent frame, broken motor mounts, or both. i've mentioned this subject previously, now for the photos...
the new frame uses an unsupported drop leg for the motor mount similar to the 2012-16 frames which also failed in the same manner. put the bike on the ground, the drop leg deflects, automatic totaled bike. looking closely at photos of possible project bikes, every bike had problems with the motor mounts. i've even passed on pretty good deals on titled loose moly frames because they can't be guaranteed straight. in contrast to previous frames, the moly frame is not braced at the motor mount, so unless a builder plans to modify the moly frame, these frame are not rugged enough to use in a bike build. my opinion, but there it is.
moly frame drop leg at the motor mount, unbraced like previous frames. believe it or not, riders use frame sliders that use the same motor mount.
like previous frames, there's a spacer between the mount and the cast motor mount lugs on the case. not a big deal on previous frames because the mount didn't move, but now all it does is help break the cast lug when the mount does move.
how much does that drop leg have to move to crack the cast lug, my guess would be, not much at all. the bolt is an M10 torqued to spec plus some. the world doesn't need that new KLR thing, it needs a new ptwin powered DS with a rugged lightweight frame...green, not orange.
i was rummaging through some bins and came across the fender mounts from the original bike build. these mounts raise the fender so a larger front tire can be run. rather than just a straight bracket, these mounts have a wing on the bottom to help protect the lower stanchion after the fender leg moves up. drill for whatever height you chose, sand and paint, now your ride has instant cred, these mounts might have some dirt from Deadhorse on them.
$10 to cover shipping to USA, they're yours. fit 1st gen fender leg.
lots of wiring is sometimes done on these bikes, or in my case, lots of wiring. all kinds of things added or relocated, the connections need to be secure and trouble free. sometimes the OEM connectors can be re-used, otherwise i'm adding gasketed connectors with soldered leads. i don't use crimp connectors.
sold my 2nd gen Versys, man, that bike was beautiful. it didn't take long to sell even though it was still winter here, but the big story there is not about the bike, it's about the buyer. i had lunch with a rider friend of mine not long after the transaction, he laughed his ass off for an hour straight when i gave him a run down on the sale.
bike was as clean as you will ever find for that generation.
the other Versys went to a bike guy who is planning a V649HP clone, also a very nice 1st gen moto.
i'm determined to get the latest V649 rat completed by the end of the month. with two recent Versys650 sales, the shop is cleared out enough to continue work on the custom Versys, talk about a drawn out build...sometimes life and the Wuhan get in the way of progress.
added rivnuts too the screen mounts so the screen can be easily removed for access to the lights and all the rest of the electrical on the front of the bike. i should have done the same thing on all previous builds, it's a time saver not to have nylocs in some difficult to access areas.
the lower light mount is in place, but the upper light mount is also the base for the instruments and other accessories. took some time to figure out how that was going to work...
one of the factors that put your layout skills to the test when building the entire front for one of these bikes is that this bike, like virtually all others, is symmetrical on the longitudinal axis. the length of the front on this bike is short by adventure touring standards these days, and is contained within a geometric shape 250mm x 270mm x 200mm. in other words, it a 3D jigsaw puzzle, and you're the lucky one...y'all get to design the puzzle pieces.
the design requires some thought, that's a given, but the real problem is maintaining symmetry on the center line. if your layout is off by some stray degrees and mm, good luck, the variance gets projected by the W, H, L dimensions, then nothing fits well, or maybe doesn't fit at all. my fronts are modular, the fabricated components bolt together so they can be removed and repaired if necessary. some of the components are really tough to fit on the bench, so the pieces are welded in place on the bike. i suppose a builder could generate a CAD file for this work, but i'm not set up for that job.
another little complication on this one is that i'm using a Rally Raid KTM screen, but not their stacked headlight assembly, so my LED headlights have to fit the screen openings perfectly.
i have a Motech GPS mount, but decided to go a different direction and put a RAM ball on the bridge that ties the screen mount together. the RAM mount gives me better adjustment, and also brings the screen closer for visibility and input.
soon, just welding the horn mount on, then everything gets blasted, and it's off to prime and paint.
i'm liking this compact front, similar to the earlier iterations. the blade fairing bike was not compact because the KTM 9xx light assembly is so large front to back. now i'm using LED lights in the Rally Raid KTM 690 screen, so lights are not a constraint, although other things are.
my grand daughter, ex homecoming queen, has all kinds of interests and skills some would consider a little unusual for a young woman. on that list is steel fabrication, while another is finish carpentry. back in the thread are photos of her first two steel projects, turned out really well. she did a powerpoint presentation for a prospective employer on the projects from concept through fabrication and final completion. basically, she was hired on the spot, now has a top secret clearance at one of those 3-letter fed agencies. her agency asked if they could use her powerpoint as a model for other employees.
this project was designed by my grand daughter, her third project of this type, and she would have done the fabrication herself, but the Wuhan intervened. the solution was to facetime the thing, me in the shop, she 200 miles away. we'd try-fit pieces until she was satisfied, then i'd tack it, and call her back for the next round. i blasted and primed it, but it was too late in the season to paint it, so i just stuck it in the ground.
now the weather finally broke, and it was warm enough for her to get out there and paint it. plenty of color against the white fence, looks great, and i have to laugh every time i think of all the junk that went into it. the repurposed brush hook beak had been sitting in the shop for 30 years with a broken handle. the grand daughter is already thinking about the next project.
A forum community dedicated to Kawasaki Versys motorcycle owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about performance, touring, modifications, classifieds, troubleshooting, adjustments, reviews, maintenance, and more!