What I like and don't like about my V - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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What I like and don't like about my V

I thought it might be interesting to hear what are the three things that owners like most, and least, about their V.

Bearing in mind that I am a new rider on a power restricted version of the V, my three favourite things are:

1. Riding position. I find it to be extremely natural and comfortable.

2. Handling. For a new rider it is a dream. It is such an easy machine to handle and gets you hooked into riding. I was planning to commute every second day but now ride every day

3. ABS. I've had a couple of cars pull out of side streets and there is no way I could have stopped as fast without the ABS. Without it I may not be sitting here now.

Least Favourite things are:

1. OEM luggage. Top box or panniers only? Thats just plain dumb when so many want to use a V for one up touring.

2. Stock Windscreen. Like, why bother?

3. Seat Height feels just a fraction too high for me. I know I could lower it but I am seeing if, with a bit more riding experience, it ceases to be a (slight) concern.

I know I said only three but I do wonder about the durability of some components necessitated by the lowish price. That is more of a concern than a real issue for me anyway.

Anyone else?
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post #2 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 06:56 AM
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I like -

1. Riding something a bit different or alternative.
2. Performance/Handling - enough for 'real world' roads.
3. Big MPG (Except when I'm being a hooligan).

Don't like -

1. Slightly poor fuelling at low revs.
2. erm....
3. That's it
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post #3 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 07:07 AM
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You can have hard luggage on both sides and out back. I installed Givi side racks (V35 bags) and a tail rack (E52 case). It's not that it's not possible, it's that Kawasaki has too many lawyers. I can ride with no bags, panniers, a top case, or panniers and a top case. I carry light items in the top case. Actually it's usually half empty so I can toss in my helmet.

Try turning your stock windscreen upside down and at the highest setting. Makes a difference.


The Good:

1. Riding position. Upright ergos are the way to go.

2. Light weight. This contributes so much to good handling.

3. Usable power. The motor is smooth for a twin and makes power and torque in the mid range so you don't have to wring it to the red line to have some fun.


The Not As Good:

1. No ABS. Can't get that in the US. My ST has it and it's a great feature. Would be nice to have ABS with on/off on the switchpod.

2. Too tall. I wish my bike was shorter, like the guy who rides it.

3. Dash buzz. Fixed that after a couple tries.



Ride. Good.


2003 ST1300ABS
2008 Versys
IBA 59868
Reading Material: motobones.com
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post #4 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 07:37 AM
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likes
1- Riding it
dislikes
1- having it stored for the winter, thus not riding it.


Those who say money can't buy happines haven't bought A VERSYS.
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post #5 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 07:47 AM
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I put over 7000 miles on the Versys in the first 6 months I owned it. 2011 Versys.

For one up touring I wouldn't want a top box. Too far back. I use the GIVI V35 side bags and a Dry Bag strapped to the passenger seat when I need extra luggage space.

I love that I can put the GPS on shortest distance and just go explore.

I love that there were quite a few accessories available right out of the box to turn my bike into a "backroads tourer"

I love the ergonomics of the bike. It just fits me perfectly. For those who wished it was shorter, you might have looked at the ER6N, or Ninja 650. I love the height of the bike so I can see better what is going on around me. Like riding the SUV of the motorcycle world.

What I don't like about the Versys. Mmm. Dang. Can't think of anything.
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post #6 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 09:21 AM
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Love the WHOLE bike!

Wish it had an under-engine guard, and a center-stand!

Ed

My KLR trip to Alaska, YT, NWT and BC in summer 2009
http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=69383

My Versys trip to D2D 2013, and Alaska, June '13
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=33153

My Versys trip to D2D 2015, and Inuvik, June '15
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=83034
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post #7 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 09:50 AM
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I agree that the stock windshield is useless.

As for the height, mine sunk down after a couplet thousand miles and is probably a good inch+ shorter now, though I am over six foot and have the legs to handle it anyway.

I just love riding my Versys. It goes exactly where I want it to go without argument. I think the agility was unexpectedly superb!

09 Versys In Go-Fast Green
Acerbis Pro Pack Handguards
Ogio Tailbag
Ogio Saddlebags
Vortex 44T Sprocket
Wolo Bad Boy Air horn
Trackside 12 volt power adaptor
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post #8 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 10:07 AM
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The thing I noticed about the V is that is it good at everything.

It could have a better, less clunky transmission (but shifts great if I shift at 5k)
could use a little more HP so I dont have to down shift 2 gears for passing.

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post #9 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 10:30 AM
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Love:
1) the light weight!
2) the diminutive exhaust. . . . I don't want to have a big ol' can in the way anymore.
3) that sweet twin motor!

Not so fond of:
1) cheap mirrors
2) small fender in front, lack of protection for regulator/rectifier in back
3) foot pegs are too high.

GDI
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post #10 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 09:23 PM
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After just 850 miles on my new leftover 2009, I'll play along...

Likes:
1. Great handling for a bike that's been tossed by many into the "adventure" category. It's more like a tall all-roads sportbike.
2. The upright ergos are all-day comfortable. I haven't done long stretches on the highway yet, but I could ride two-lane roads all day long. I used to cry if I went out on my VFR without my cramp-buster on the throttle, but the Versys is just fine without it; no pain in my wrists nor my shoulders. After a winter of not riding, I did an 8-hour ride on the V with no discomfort at all; the VFR (and even the Bandit) would take a few days of riding to get my body adjusted again after not riding all winter.
3. The fuel economy. I'm gladly sacrificing liter-bike power for awesome fuel economy. 48-50mpgs is the norm. Between touring and commuting, this will be where the V pays for itself.

Dislikes:
1. No centerstand. I thought there'd at least be one available from the aftermarket by now. I guess I'll have to order one of those Pack Jack things for when I'm touring, so I can lube the chain properly.
2. The brakes. Coming from a LBS-equipped VFR, and before that a Bandit 1200 with six pistons up front, the V's brakes are lackluster at best. It may be the stock brake pads, so I'll pick up HH's when these wear out. Eventually, I'm going to get SS brake lines up front and see if that's enough of an improvement.
3. Poor protection from tire-fling. The first time I took it out on a wet road, I came back with mud flung up and down the radiator and headers. I didn't even ride through actual mud. The next day I ordered the Pyramid fender extender. Having had voltage regulator issues with the VFR, I'm concerned about the one on the V failing if I don't protect it from the rear wheel with a hugger. The way this bike was designed, a fender extender and a rear hugger are not dress-up options, but rather required protective equipment. They should have been on the bike from the factory, or at least available as factory accessories.

Obviously, my gripes can be fixed easily enough. I'm just loving the hell out of this bike. I can't wait to get started on the several trips I have planned for this year.
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post #11 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 12:52 AM
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Like:
1 - wide torque band (great for the urban environment, although I needed a sprocket change to be fully happy)
2 - cheap to buy/own (got it for well below msrp, new, and have not had one bit of trouble mechanically, even after being backed into at a red light)
3 - comfortable (quite plush for how sporty it can be)

Dislike:
1 - front cowling (not so much looks, but rather the buzz that won't go away, even with 30 lbs of foam and tape strapped to it)
2 - top heavy (this is particularly problematic at lower speeds when the wheels aren't spinning fast enough to balance it out)
3 - lack of aftermarket choices

After owning my V for about 1.5 years, I would have to say it is a rockin' little machine for the price, and pretty good period. I wish they had dampened the front cowling buzz from the factory, especially with so many complaining about it. The top heaviness is pretty common for this type of bike (adventure/sport/whatever), but it is one thing I really don't like. Although, once you're moving above 20 mph it's not noticeable. The stock tires are also crap, but hey, it's a $7k bike, what do you expect? I would buy it again, if only for the punchy little motor and reliability. A few minor upgrades make it stand out even more (tires, steel brake lines, dampening foam for cowling, and sprocket change down a few teeth).
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post #12 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 09:04 AM
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Likes:
1: Good performance
2: Riding Position
3: Water cooling
4: Looks!!! (I get women that pull up next to me and roll down their window and say, nice bike!). I've never had that happen with my Katana, or my KLR. So it seems that the Versys tickles that fancy of adventure. Or it could be the fast GREEN color!!

What I don't like:
1: The SHIFTING!! My Versys may be one of those late Friday or early Monday (post game) bikes. But, my 1st gear has a false shift and bottom. The shift action feels like it's in 1st at the bottom and in fact it in 2nd or even when you get into 1st you can still shift one more time without changing gears (of course), but it feels like it!! Yes, I can shift into first, then shift one more time. But there is no other gear...it just clicks and shifts like there is one. All I can be thankful of is that there is no false neutral between any other gears.
2: No center stand
3: The helmet hooks (I mean really? The seat is a pain to take on and off.)
4: The vibration! I take long trips: 5-8 hours. I have to get off every 2 hours or if I push to 3 hours I pay for it. Oh well, I use the time to get coffee and gas. The vibration makes the center console buZZZZZ!!! I hate that! I used foam inside to stop it.
5: Stock windshield. It hasn't been on the bike since I got the MRA Tourscreen.
6: The front fender and fender mount: I've already had to replace a front fork and the fender because the fender mount is just a metal extension that can break off when you hit solid things. Yes...I do. I take my bike off-road. Rocks and trees are just bumpers.
7: The 17in wheels! Come on!!! Give me at least 18in!!! I'd like spoked rims too for the offroad naturalist in me. I enjoy nature as it speeds by!!!


2009 Kw Versys: Green!

Barkbusters, Chrome helmet locks, GPS mount, Pyramid Fender Extender, LED accessory lights,
JT 42T rear sprocket, Givi V35 PLX sidecases, Coocase V36 Topcase, SW-Motech mirror wideners, Superbike GX mirrors, MRA VarioTouringScreen, ROX Anti-vibe Risers, T-Rex sliders, SW Motech engine guards, Motowerks Lowering Link
DNLP D616 120/70ZR17 front
DNLP D616 180/55ZR17 rear


The rest is

Last edited by Don't_Stop; 02-25-2012 at 09:09 AM.
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post #13 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 09:16 AM
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Shifting

Quote:
Originally Posted by WeekendWarrior View Post
The thing I noticed about the V is that is it good at everything.

It could have a better, less clunky transmission (but shifts great if I shift at 5k)
could use a little more HP so I dont have to down shift 2 gears for passing.



My transmission sucks!! You can see my post here for the problems. I had some bike shop look at it and the guy came back saying he didn't see a problem after a test ride. I was like..."what's the use in trying?" If I had another bike right now, I'd put it in the shop and let them work on it till they got it right.

2009 Kw Versys: Green!

Barkbusters, Chrome helmet locks, GPS mount, Pyramid Fender Extender, LED accessory lights,
JT 42T rear sprocket, Givi V35 PLX sidecases, Coocase V36 Topcase, SW-Motech mirror wideners, Superbike GX mirrors, MRA VarioTouringScreen, ROX Anti-vibe Risers, T-Rex sliders, SW Motech engine guards, Motowerks Lowering Link
DNLP D616 120/70ZR17 front
DNLP D616 180/55ZR17 rear


The rest is
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post #14 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 03:28 PM
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Pos
- fantastic $/performance ratio for what I want in a bike
- reliable
- comfortable
- decent on pavement handling for the type of riding I do
- great linear engine response

Neg
- buzzing in front fairing although this was easy to fix
- not the most smooth shifting of motorcycles although not terrible either
- a little top heavy at standstill especially if full tank of gas, how is it they can build the much bigger Tenere and make it feel lighter up top than the 650 Versys.
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post #15 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don't_Stop View Post



My transmission sucks!! You can see my post here for the problems. I had some bike shop look at it and the guy came back saying he didn't see a problem after a test ride. I was like..."what's the use in trying?" If I had another bike right now, I'd put it in the shop and let them work on it till they got it right.
I've noticed that too; it's only smooth above 5/6k rpm. I guess the clunkiness could come from them trying to make it stronger, while sacrificing some finesse?
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post #16 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 02:40 AM
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Hmmm, I've been thinking about this thread for a couple of days and now that I have the Versys taxed and it'll be back on the road March 1st, I'll add my 2 cents.

Likes.
1: Riding position, ie real world usability and comfort.
2: Low to mid range punch. Enough power for the, ahem, real world.
3: Surprising other riders. Don't underestimate it because it's 'only' a 650.

I guess I could also say I love the looks (I dig quirky) and that it's a great bike to personalise. I'm coming up to a year of ownership and I honestly can't think of another bike I'd rather have right now. No doubt I'll check out the Triumph Explorer and Honda CrossTourer in the coming months, but I can't see me wanting to spend a whole lot of extra money just to have the latest/greatest.

Dislikes.
The seat. C'mon Sargent and get the replacement out asap.
The gearbox. It's not the smoothest I've used.
The brakes. Although massively improved with s/s braided lines.

Yes, I could possibly nitpick a few more foibles, but what bike out there is perfect anyway ?


Good luck exploring the infinite abyss
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post #17 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 03:05 AM
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I only paid $5K for mine.
Love the 50MPG.
I have only seen 1 other where I live.

Stock seat could be a little more comfortable.
Should come with a radiator guard and a rear tire hugger.
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post #18 of 63 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bravo12 View Post
Dislikes:
1. No centerstand. I thought there'd at least be one available from the aftermarket by now. I guess I'll have to order one of those Pack Jack things for when I'm touring, so I can lube the chain properly.
.
Bravo, I got the packjack for the versys for the exact reason, specifically when going on camping trips, etc.

I posted on the forum on how I ordered it (a special order is needed) and a video on its use on a Versys.

Packjack Video Review for Versys
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post #19 of 63 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 11:41 AM
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I have to say no center stand was a concern when I bought the V, but now I've had mine for a while I don't miss it. The rear pit stand works better than a kick stand and I really like the under engine exhaust of the the V.
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post #20 of 63 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 12:34 PM
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I've just reached the first anniversary of ownership of my 2008 V and gave this post lots of thought while walking my dogs in the neighborhood.
Likes:
1. The fuel injection. The bike starts instantly hot or cold, no matter how long it has been sitting-it is my #3 bike and doesn't get ridden regularly. I just take it out for a change of pace.
2. The headlight. I don't ride after dark very often, but when I do I appreciate the high wide pattern of light. And I actually like the looks of the compound headlight/running lights.
3. The suspension. I've spent hundreds of dollars on the suspension of my FZ1, and it's still not as compliant as the stock V suspension. I haven't even checked the front suspension to see where the PO has the preload and dampning set for fear of mucking it up. I did lower the suspension front and rear, so the bike wouldn't lean so far over on the sidestand, and I think it handles even better after doing that.
Dis-likes:
1. The windshield. It can be improved a little by reversing it. It can be improved more by throwing it away-whether it's replaced or not. The problem IMHO is it's too upright and too far from the rider. A Madstad bracket is good, an Algard bracket is even better if you can find one.
2. The seat. Too cramped for the rider and too much emphasis on the passenger section. I generally like Corbins and have them on two of my other bikes, but I think the one for the V looks like a leftover from an 80's metric cruiser (think KZ550/750/1100 LTD), so I'm waiting on a Sargent and in the mean time took a hacksaw blade to the padding and moved the hump back to give the me more room.
3. The 'mild' horsepower. Yes, I realize it's unfair to compare the V to my '01 FZ1 (my #1 bike), but the FZ only weighs about 50# more and has about twice the horsepower-and gets better gas mileage also, go figure. Would another 15-20 more hp w/o increasing the weight be too much to ask for? For now I just have to make do with caining it when I want acceleration. I may be an old fart (63 and counting), but I'll always be a sport bike rider at heart.

Larry aka Charliedog
Bristol, TN

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