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Looking to hack a 2017 Kawasaki Versys 650
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Hack_VN
Posted 7/9/2017 4:59 AM (#94093)
Subject: Looking to hack a 2017 Kawasaki Versys 650


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Posts: 3
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Now that I have my 3-wheel license, it's time to get a rig.

I live in Vietnam and the existing hacks are either pre-2011 Urals or Dneprs. The VN gov't stopped allowing sidecar importation in 2010. Why? "Because they did" is the only answer I can get.

Over the last few weeks I've been on-line and traveling to Hanoi and Saigon to look at every for sale hack I can find. None of those for sale have legal papers. This is only a problem here if you're in a big accident (at worst they'll confiscate your bike), try to cross an international border, or a police officer takes a fancy to your ride. Legal papers add $1500-2000 to the price and I'm willing to pay it, though from what information I can glean, there probably aren't 5 sets in the country.

Since I want the option of riding to Cambodia, Laos, and beyond, I'm now looking at hacking a two-wheeler. Used options are scarce, used options with papers more so. A 10-year-old Triumph Thruxton 900 is about US$6300 and the papers aren't transferrable, which means they're probably fake. Importing something suitable is problematic because only bikes 2-years-old or newer are allowed in and the duty/taxes runs over 50%.

The only option left that I can think of is buying something new. A brand new Kawi Versys 650--one of the few new bikes available here that has a history of hacking--runs about $11,000 with all the duties and taxes. I'm heading to the closest dealer (Saigon--7 hours on the bus) later this week with cash. I have a guy who can build the sidecar and I'm looking at buying the mounts from DMC in Washington state.

My initial questions to the collective are:
1) What other bikes should I consider (650cc is a minimum requirement--I'd love to have 800 but my budget has a ceiling)?
2) Does anyone know someone in Vietnam who has a hack for sale? (I know... but I have to ask)
3) Do you have any experience hacking a Versys 650 or similar and, if so, can you please send me photos?

I'm scouring the forums, Facebook, advrider, and HUBB for information and help. Anything you can add would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


Edited by Hack_VN 7/16/2017 9:01 AM
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SwampFox
Posted 7/12/2017 7:43 AM (#94111 - in reply to #94093)
Subject: Re: Looking to hack a 2017 Kawasaki Versys 650



Expert

Posts: 1662
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Location: Summer Grove, LA USA
Hi Hack VN, welcome to the offset universe of sidecar rigs, which appears to be more challenging in VN than over here in the states. I've only talked with one fellow that had a hack mated to an earlier model Versys 650 - I only saw a photo of the rig, but he was pleased with his combination. Here's what I recall from the conversation: His sidecar was a Ural or Dnper or similar, once over +/-95kph the windshield was a wind drag and would pull the rig toward the shoulder of the road (this is true with many combinations). As I recall, once fully fully loaded, say 120kg, the sidecar could become a little heavy - not heavy as insufficient power to pull the sidecar but rather heavy to the point handing was affected (that is, excess "yaw". You may need to re-spring the Versys to carry the extra weight of a sidecar, particularly a loaded sidecar; and gearing down with a smaller front sprocket or larger rear sprocket is likely beneficial. If available, other options for a tug might be the old-school dual sport single cylinder motorcycles, such as the Kawasaki KLR and the Suzuki DR650.

Is the Jailing sidecar rig available in VN?

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IndSlim
Posted 7/16/2017 8:44 AM (#94154 - in reply to #94093)
Subject: RE: Looking to hack a 2017 Kawasaki Versys 650


Regular

Posts: 98
252525
Location: SW Ohio

Welcome Hack VN

 I was in Viet Nam 1971-1972 (the all expense paid Southeast Asian vacation) and three times since.  Good luck with your search, and for those who need visual aids, here is typical Saigon traffic:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKLWZjBu2iQ

 No traffic lights, no rules, but they make it work.  Not for the faint of heart.

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Hack_VN
Posted 7/16/2017 9:21 AM (#94155 - in reply to #94111)
Subject: Re: Looking to hack a 2017 Kawasaki Versys 650


New User

Posts: 3
0
SwampFox - 7/12/2017 6:43 PM

Hi Hack VN, welcome to the offset universe of sidecar rigs, which appears to be more challenging in VN than over here in the states. I've only talked with one fellow that had a hack mated to an earlier model Versys 650 - I only saw a photo of the rig, but he was pleased with his combination. Here's what I recall from the conversation: His sidecar was a Ural or Dnper or similar, once over +/-95kph the windshield was a wind drag and would pull the rig toward the shoulder of the road (this is true with many combinations). As I recall, once fully fully loaded, say 120kg, the sidecar could become a little heavy - not heavy as insufficient power to pull the sidecar but rather heavy to the point handing was affected (that is, excess "yaw"). You may need to re-spring the Versys to carry the extra weight of a sidecar, particularly a loaded sidecar; and gearing down with a smaller front sprocket or larger rear sprocket is likely beneficial. If available, other options for a tug might be the old-school dual sport single cylinder motorcycles, such as the Kawasaki KLR and the Suzuki DR650.

Is the Jailing sidecar rig available in VN?



Thanks SwampFox! No sidecars are available in VN unless it was either here in 2010 when they outlawed importation of 3-wheelers or has been smuggled in, usually through Cambodia.

Yes, a lot of people in the US and Canada have hacked a KLR, but like the DR650, DRZ400, and many others available in the west, they're very rare here and not sold new. It's a strange market; most of the new bikes are either bought by locals with rich dads or a few expats who have well-paying jobs here. Taxes and duty bring the cost of a new bike up about 50%; the good news is that you get most of all of that back when you sell the bike. Both "big" bikes I've bought here were later sold for the purchase price or higher. So it's either gray-market (no or fake papers), or slim pickin's.

I spent the last 4 days in Saigon and 3 days in Hanoi a couple weeks ago looking at everything 650 and over that I could find. If anyone reading this comes over here and wants to buy a "big" bike (>= 400cc), get in touch with me--I can save you a lot of wild goose chases.

Bottom line, I couldn't find anything I want on 2-wheels that was also reasonably hack-able, new or used. New, mainly because of price (retired and not yet collecting SS, so funds are limited); used, mainly because "it's Vietnam" and most of the used stuff needs a LOT of love.

Yesterday morning I bought a 1967 Ural formerly used by the Vietnamese Army (it has a green license plate) and in very good shape. It's still in Saigon getting some minor work done as well as adding a reverse gear and going from drum to disc brake in the front. I'll start another thread soon with photos and details of the refurbish as they happen.

Thanks again for the input.



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Hack_VN
Posted 7/16/2017 9:29 AM (#94156 - in reply to #94154)
Subject: RE: Looking to hack a 2017 Kawasaki Versys 650


New User

Posts: 3
0
IndSlim - 7/16/2017 7:44 PM


Welcome Hack VN

 I was in Viet Nam 1971-1972 (the all expense paid Southeast Asian vacation) and three times since.  Good luck with your search, and for those who need visual aids, here is typical Saigon traffic:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKLWZjBu2iQ

 No traffic lights, no rules, but they make it work.  Not for the faint of heart.



Thanks, IndSlim. I missed the 60's & 70's Viet Nam, thankfully. I was born in '53--the first year that didn't get the vacation unless they volunteered for it.

Now there are many lights in the big cities (here in Da Lat, it's all roundabouts) and the rules are there, just less than obvious to the casual observer. I tell everyone who's new here to ride (and cross the street) as if all other vehicles are trying to kill you. They're not, though sometimes it seems they're hell-bent on it. The locals seem to drive/ride as if there is a cone attached to their head blocking out all but what is in the direction they're looking. Even if you are beside them and a little behind, it's as if you're invisible. Mirrors are on the bike only because the law requires them; most men only use them to check for and pop zits. Not joking.

Every day is different and it keeps one on his/her toes.

If you come back, drop me a line and I'll buy you one of the new craft beers popping up.
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