First Impressions - 2015 650 LT - Kawasaki Versys Forum
General Kawasaki Versys Discussions For discussions on anything and everything related to the Kawasaki Versys.

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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First Impressions - 2015 650 LT

Love it!
I picked it up new yesterday and it is hard not to like this bike...

I ride a BMW 1200RT in the Uk which is a seriously good machine for munching some miles so the Versys has a lot to live up to but I have to say I am astonished at how good the Versys appears to be - still early days yet but after about 120 miles I cannot stop smiling!

My initial impression was spoilt due to a failed fuel pump but the dealer quickly swapped it for a good one and that solved the problem. The good news is that the seat height is fine for me and although I cannot flat foot it I had no problems and it is so much lighter than the RT I felt very comfy and secure. The seat feels ok so far (2 hours!) but it does seem to slope a bit downhill into the tank. There is plenty of room for my arse to move about on the seat so I do not think it will be a problem although I have been told it is easy enough to lift the front a tiny bit.

The engine is a delight! I have not really given it "the beans" yet, due to it's youthfulness but I expect it will be a very willing power plant when run in. It pulls well in all gears and is very happy to pull away smartly in top gear. I experienced a tiny, tiny little bit of a tingle at about 5000 rpm but otherwise as smooth as butter. It has a lovely "rumble" when sat at lights!

The gearbox is sublime! Those of you who are used to Jap gearboxes may wonder what the big deal is but if you have ridden a BMW you will know how agricultural they can be! Well done Mr Kawasaki on this lovely sweet gearbox!

The screen seems ok but not a patch on my RT. It is a tiny thing and does not seem to do a great deal but I guess all things in life are relative and a cooling breeze was welcome anyway. I got a bit of buffeting off trucks on the motorway but nothing too severe and I found the 2 hour ride surprisingly comfortable. Love the riding position.

The suspension seems to be a miracle for the price of the bike...! It soaks up the bumps and feels planted and secure. I have no idea how it corners yet because someone seems to have stolen all the corners from Texas... I guess the Californians are to blame. Having said that it does seem to "want" to go around corners! My RT takes a bit of encouragement to turn but this little fella seems to be begging to fall into a twisty road! I cannot wait to find a roundabout to try it out!

The brakes are very nice and seem to have a good feel to them but I miss the power assist that I have on the RT. Maybe they need to "bed in" a bit yet?

The panniers are nice, easy to use and functional, if a bit on the flimsy side but more than good enough and they look good. I miss a centre stand...

Instruments are a bit basic though perfectly adequate and I thought there would be a temp gauge but apparently not.

It does not like to run below about 3000 rpm and the throttle is a little snatchy when pootling along but I will get used to that. Moving the bike about in traffic is a joy and it is such an agile little thing... such fun.

I need to add some accessories and get prepared for the Alaska trip but I am sure we will get on just fine.

Anyway, overall I am totally in love with this fine piece of machinery and for the price ($6500 for a new bike!) I am delighted. It has to be one of the best value for money bikes a man can buy and frankly it does not look cheap in any way... I am one happy bunny and thanks to all who encouraged me to buy one - you were right!
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Last edited by farmerboy; 03-04-2017 at 07:18 AM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 10:27 AM
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Pretty much what I thought when I first rode one.............you will find it needs some small comfort things as you ride it more, not absolutely necessary but nice. Grip Buddies, a throttle lock, and maybe that seat nose rise. After a while riding the underwear and jewels tend to get knotted up and a bit painful (due to sliding back and forth). Enjoy.........
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 10:53 AM
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Your brakes will improve as they "break-in".

WATCH your rear brake pads - my '15s were done by 12,000 miles, while my '08 is STILL on the originals at 70,000+ miles! Take a look to ensure the rear brake master isn't overfilled....
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'08 V - BIG RED - AZ, '15 V650LT - the GREEN HORNET TOO - BC, and ('09 V - the GREEN HORNET - recently deceased..
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My Versys trip to D2D 2013, June '13

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My Versys trip to D2D 2015, June '15

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My Versys trip to D2D 2016, June '16

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 11:19 AM
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Glad you like the bike.

Just a precautionary note in case you are not aware, traffic filtering is only legal in California. Northern Canada does encourage you to ride to the front when waiting in construction.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SiSF)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
'98 KLR650


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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 12:10 PM
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...Northern Canada does encourage you to ride to the front when waiting in construction.
NOT northern BC, however, tho' some 'flaggers' WILL allow it.

Ed
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'08 V - BIG RED - AZ, '15 V650LT - the GREEN HORNET TOO - BC, and ('09 V - the GREEN HORNET - recently deceased..
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My Versys trip to D2D 2013, June '13

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My Versys trip to D2D 2015, June '15

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My Versys trip to D2D 2016, June '16

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips especially "no filtering".... it must be tricky for those with air cooled bikes!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Gear indicator fitted...
https://goo.gl/photos/29YmZTpNSUB2Hb6y5

Weird thing from China - it plugs into the computer socket and works a treat. I think it calculates the gear you are in by looking at ground speed and engine rpm? Same as the Kawasaki one but a fraction of the price.

12V socket is fitted but just held in with tape for now until I find a suitable fixing. I have used a powerlet (BMW type) fitting which is too small for the opening and I will need a washer or something to reduce the size.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 10:53 AM
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I gave mine "the beans" at break-in. Hard accel, hard decel. Even had the front wheel off the ground (accidentally) the first 3 miles. She broke in nicely!

Todd
White 2015 650 LT
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squishman View Post
I gave mine "the beans" at break-in. Hard accel, hard decel. Even had the front wheel off the ground (accidentally) the first 3 miles. She broke in nicely!
I must admit to doing the same... really got fed up with keeping the RPM down and after a couple of hundred miles just rode "normally".

note... after changing the oil and filter the gearchange has suffered a bit... not quite as smooth. I am still on dino oil and will probably change to synthetic at 2000 miles.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
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I must admit to doing the same... really got fed up with keeping the RPM down and after a couple of hundred miles just rode "normally".

note... after changing the oil and filter the gearchange has suffered a bit... not quite as smooth. I am still on dino oil and will probably change to synthetic at 2000 miles.
I followed Motoman's break-in procedure to a "T". In fact, I came to the dealer at the same time my bike was out on the test ride by the mechanic who prepared it for my arrival. When I showed up, I saw him coming back not babying it at all. I was happy, because those first 20 miles are critical if you want to do this procedure. It had 3 miles on it when I took delivery. I put around 20 more before I got home and dumped the oil. I also had a magnetic oil plug ready for install.
Here is Motoman's procedure: Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power
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White 2015 650 LT
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 04:50 PM
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I broke-in all three of my Vs on the ride home from the dealer (the Motoman method), then changed the oil and filter (LESS than 100 miles). AGAIN at 500 miles, and 1,000 - dino oil - then synth on the NEXT change.

71,xxx miles on the '08 as of today....

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'08 V - BIG RED - AZ, '15 V650LT - the GREEN HORNET TOO - BC, and ('09 V - the GREEN HORNET - recently deceased..
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My Versys trip to D2D 2013, June '13

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My Versys trip to D2D 2015, June '15

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My Versys trip to D2D 2016, June '16

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