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Old 03-19-2015, 07:48 AM   #1
lolibater
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Cool Turning my Ninja 650 into a Sport Touring machine

I decided to post up some progress pics of my sport touring 2012 ninja 650 build. I first got this bike as my replacement for my beater/learner ninja 250, and have really been getting into some longer distance riding on it now that I've got some experience.

In the US, we don't get the luxury of having 2012+ ER6 models that have OEM spots for hard luggage racks. I was able to find another 650 owner up in Canada who was able to send me his racks, and provided a video on how to modify the 2012 USDM fairings for use with the PLX Givi racks. Here's how that turned out:





It was a bit difficult getting it all lined up, but now it looks and functions great. I ran into an issue where my EvoTech fender eliminator happened to reposition the rear turn signals right where the racks needed to sit to be bolted to the frame. This caused me to buy the integrated rear light, which I had wanted for a while anyways. Now I just need to save up for the ridiculously priced V35 bags before my week long touring trip in June.

Other things that I've done to improve the riding experience:
  • heated grips
  • tall windscreen
  • lower footpegs
  • Nitron Sport rear shock
  • RaceTech front springs & valve emulators
  • preload adjusters from a SV650
  • corbin seat

I've also installed the sport bars, as I previously was wanting to have a more aggressive position, but have decided that once I pick up an older SS bike for the weekends, that I'll install the OEM tall as hell flat bars back on to make it as comfortable as possible.
I'd love to hear from any other sport touring riders about what they might suggest next. I've heard mixed reviews about ScottOilers, but was considering one. Let's hear your thoughts
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dubstep, the 250 of the music world

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Old 03-19-2015, 08:17 AM   #2
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My bike isn't an ST bike by any means, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy long rides on it every now and then (500ish/day for a week, minimal freeway, is my idea of fun).

Regarding bar height, obviously you want to be in a comfortable position for you. However, an important thing that many people seem to overlook is the right balance between forward lean and wind protection. In my experience, bolt upright is uncomfortable without serious wind protection, as you end up stretching your arms. Yes, you should support yourself with your core, but that's challenging on long rides. A little forward lean means I want a little less wind protection. With clipons, I find almost no wind protection often works well. It'll depend on your design speed, but I like a balance such that the cruising speed I like balances forward lean (due to geometry) and wind pressure. Doing 80 on my SV1000 (dirtbike bars, but set fairly low, with a small flyscreen and no real fairing) works well. If I wanted to cruise slower, I'd either move the bars up or remove the flyscreen.
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:22 AM   #3
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Yeah I could always go back to a smaller screen when leaning forward. The Puig I have on seems to be a great balance in terms of protection and airflow. It has been comfortable in all kinds of conditions and climates, but I have not had the chance to test it in the summer heat up here in Napa. I imagine I will want some extra airflow, even while wearing mesh. Luckily it's easy enough to swap the screen out on this one.

The OEM bars are nice, but like you said, they are a little too upright. I know there are a few companies out there who make lower stocklike replacement bars, so I'll probably look into that come time to "dial it back" a bit.
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dubstep, the 250 of the music world
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:50 AM   #4
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Nice, but how the hell can you handle such a buzzy bike on long rides? Had to step off one after riding 20 minutes cause I couldn't hang.
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:31 PM   #5
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Nice, but how the hell can you handle such a buzzy bike on long rides? Had to step off one after riding 20 minutes cause I couldn't hang.
It doesn't really bother me that much. I've had many cars with full poly motor mounts, and this isn't much worse. The Corbin seat made it much easier to ride for a long time. I took it on the recent touring ride down to SoCal and back, and the only thing that bothered me was just general soreness from multi hundred mile days. I guess I'm just used to the buzzing as I've never been on an I4 bike.
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dubstep, the 250 of the music world

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Old 03-19-2015, 11:15 PM   #6
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I had a Versys, the 650r is far more fun to ride. With a few mods just as comfy as the Versys.

The buzzyness can be fixed with good boots, insoles, rubber mounted foot pegs. Solid little bikes! Will keep up with the build. Thinking about starting my brother out on one here soon.
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:26 AM   #7
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I had a Versys, the 650r is far more fun to ride. With a few mods just as comfy as the Versys.

The buzzyness can be fixed with good boots, insoles, rubber mounted foot pegs. Solid little bikes! Will keep up with the build. Thinking about starting my brother out on one here soon.
Yeah as soon as I moved from Bilt boots to Sidi boots, it was a lot less noticeable. Also have the dr. scholls heavy duty work insoles that seem to absorb vibes pretty well too. The lower footpegs I got don't have rubber on them unfortunately, but it's not an issue as of yet. I do feel a bit more buzz with the racks bolted on, but I imagine that will go away once I attach loaded bags.

I'm currently saving up for the V35 bags. Gotta get them installed by mid May for the trip.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:18 PM   #8
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Nice.. I love taking my ninja 650 on long day rides. My rides are typically ~400 miles.

This is on MT ham route on Wednesday. It's surprisingly comfortable and a has a very enjoyable power delivery.

This is the cheapest bike I bought so far and It really surprised me.
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+ 1 st gen SV650 parts: http://bayarearidersforum.com/forums...d.php?t=460115
+ Ninja 650 parts: http://bayarearidersforum.com/forums...d.php?t=456140
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:37 PM   #9
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We should plan a group ride for red ninja 650 owners named Rick haha!
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:37 PM   #10
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NICE!! I just bought my 2012 650 for Valentines Day this year and love it. I owned a 99 GSXR 600 before and let me tell you getting use to her was waaaay easier than I thought.

How much do you guys get a tank? How long do you have once the light blinks?

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Old 03-20-2015, 07:51 PM   #11
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NICE!! I just bought my 2012 650 for Valentines Day this year and love it. I owned a 99 GSXR 600 before and let me tell you getting use to her was waaaay easier than I thought.

How much do you guys get a tank? How long do you have once the light blinks?
I think I get around 160 miles per tank on my 07

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We should plan a group ride for red ninja 650 owners named Rick haha!
ha ha.Sure. lets do it some time
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:02 PM   #12
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I get 180 according to the display, but I've pushed it near 200 before.
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:24 AM   #13
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FWIW, you can get an MSR bottle, fill it with gas, carry it with you. Ride until your gas light goes on, note what your mileage/tripmeter reads, then ride until you go dry. That'll let you know what your real range is after hitting putative 'E'. Then dump the spare gas in the MSR bottle into your tank & find a gas station.
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:16 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by lolibater View Post
I'd love to hear from any other sport touring riders about what they might suggest next. I've heard mixed reviews about ScottOilers, but was considering one. Let's hear your thoughts
Good on ya getting around the US model luggage limitation!

Do you want a top-case too? If it looks like it will fit (the case won't intrude into your space) and your touring will be 1-up, you might consider bolting a Givi luggage adapter to the pillion seat. I did that on my Versys, and I like it. I used an SW-Motech brand Givi luggage adapter, as it seemed to fit better than the Givi-branded luggage plate I had. You can still ride 2-up if you swap the passenger seat, you just can't do it with a top case.

That Versys also has a PD Oiler. Simpler than the Scott e-oiler, and I like it.

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I guess I'm just used to the buzzing as I've never been on an I4 bike.
I4s can be buzzy too.

Is your bike really that buzzy? My 1st gen EX650 was, but later models got some rubber engine mounting, and I think 2012s were slightly detuned with lower compression ratio. My Versys 650 has some rubber mounting and lower compression ratio than my EX650 did, and it may be the smoothest bike I've owned.
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:21 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by FreeRyde View Post
The buzzyness can be fixed with good boots, insoles, rubber mounted foot pegs. Solid little bikes! Will keep up with the build. Thinking about starting my brother out on one here soon.
On my 1st gen EX650 my issue was buzzing at the grips leading to numb hands on long rides--mostly where my hands touched the bar end weights. Fixed with heavier, solid-mounted bar end weights. The stock rubber-mounted ones vibrate more than the grips themselves and touching them is bad.

Grip puppies helped a little too.

FWIW on my Versys 650 my hands touch the weights too (I can tell because the paint on the edge is worn off), but there's so little buzzing I don't notice it even with the stock weights. Haven't ridden the 2012 EX650, but I'd expect the buzzing to be more like my Versys than like my old EX650.

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