Ninja 650R

#1
I haven't contributed too much to this forum, and so I thought I'd remedy that with a summary of the touring mods I made to my 2007 Ninja 650R.

The most essential addition is an automatic chain oiler. This virtually eliminates chain maintenance on a longer trip. I installed a Scottoiler E-system. It wasn't difficult to install, and I can get about 2,000 or more miles out of a fill. I pack a small bottle of extra oil with a filler hose in an extra-sturdy ziplock bag for refills on longer trips. The E-system includes a bar-mounted controller which allows the oil to be increased or decreased on the fly--when the weather gets rainy or the roads get dusty, I can increase oiling without stopping, and then return it to normal once those conditions have changed. I have over 36,000 miles on one set of chain and sprockets! Two on the road issues have occurred: the emitter can get plugged with road grime, just wipe it off daily with a gas station towel; and the first indication that my battery was nearing the end of its life was when electrical irregularities would wipe the Scottoiler's memory and require me to reprogram it while on a trip.

An essential but cheap item is my Kuryakyn small rubber throttle boss--a real wrist saver!

The stock suspension on the 2007's was not very good. I now have a Penske shock out back and new springs and Racetech Gold Valve Emulators up front. Both front and rear are matched to my weight. The Gold Valve Emulators require a little drill work to install (being mechanically reclined, I had the shop do the installation), but allow for a variable opening for the displaced fork oil depending on the force of the jolt. This really smoothed out my Little Red Ninja's ride. I've noticed on various Ninja 650 forums that owners of more current models haven't been as much interested in suspension upgrades, which implies that Kawasaki may have improved the stock setup (or, more accurately, improved the stock setup just enough to stop the online kvetching). Many people complained about the stock seat, but a new seat wasn't necessary after I modded the suspension.

I also really enjoy my heated grips. They're a two level type sold by Moose Brothers, consisting of heat pads that are fit underneath the stock grips, and a good looking switch that I have mounted in the left inner fairing cover.

I rounded things out with a Zero Gravity tall double bubble windshield, they also make a specific touring windshield.

For luggage, I prefer adventure bike styled drybags. I have a Kriega US40 set of tailbags. This is a set of two 10 liter bags and one 20 liter bag that can be used individually or strapped together (they also have a larger 30 liter bag that can be added to this kit). I like the multibag approach as I am able to leave most of my stuff at a hotel while exploring an area while still carrying my rain gear and tool kit. I also have an Ortlieb low profile set of dry saddlebags (now sold under the Touratech brand), they hold a lot, are easy to get into while traveling, and do not require saddlebag stays. All of this is rainproof--I was using this setup when I had to go through four hours of rain at interstate speeds.

My new and not yet tour tested tankbag is water resistant but has zippers so they cannot claim it is waterproof. It's an Oxford, magnetic attachment, and has a waterproof pocket for a GPS unit with built in sun shade. The GPS can be used through the clear plastic soft screen. I added an inexpensive charger outlet to my bars and also bought a refurbished TomTom (cheap enough so I won't get too bent out of shape should it walk off one day).

I've made a few other mods, but they aren't necessary for travel--in dash garage door opener button, tail tidy, upgraded headlight bulbs (modest improvement), slightly louder horn, DoubleTronics unit to keep the headlights from looking like Popeye in low beam, Deal's Gap dragon stickers, IBA license plate bracket (wait, maybe that last one is essential).
 
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