Purchase advice? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Purchase advice?

Hello all!

New member here. I did an intro over in the New Members area.

I'm very seriously considering a Versys as my next bike. Currently, I have a bunch of vintage Japanese stuff.

What should I look out for when looking at a used Versys? Any known problem areas? Any recalls or mandatory "updates" that I should know about? Are any years better than others? You know...teething problems and what not?
Any Must Do maintenance items I should know about, etc.?

Lastly, what kind of miles can you expect out of these bike with proper maintenance? 50K? 60K? More?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 09:35 PM
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The only thing I can answer is the last one. You can expect as many miles as you are willing to maintain the bike. This engine is also used in the Ninja 650 and I know a few guys who are closing in on 100,000 with the only repair a fuel pump.

Don't know of any problems, and I personally like the look of the 10+ bikes better.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
The only thing I can answer is the last one. You can expect as many miles as you are willing to maintain the bike. This engine is also used in the Ninja 650 and I know a few guys who are closing in on 100,000 with the only repair a fuel pump.

Don't know of any problems, and I personally like the look of the 10+ bikes better.
+1 To everything twowheeladdict said! When I saw the black 2010 I wanted it!

No problems with them! Knock on wood the V is the best bike I have ever owned!

( RIDE FREE BE SAFE )

Last edited by MTS; 11-13-2012 at 09:50 PM.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 05:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, guys. I haven't heard much bad about these bikes, which is why they're at the top of my list.
It was between the Versys, the V-Strom and a modern Bonneville. I much prefer a "standard" motorcycle.
I guess an SV650 or ER6n would be OK, but the Versys just rings my bell for some reason.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 05:29 AM
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I have a 2011 and I haven't had a single hiccup in the 9k miles I have ridden it. It has everything I want except one critical safety item - ABS. It is not even offered on US models. Having seen what an ABS can do as far as enhancing safety on a motorcycle, I would never buy anything without it.

This is a Versys forum, but a strong contender that you can add to the mix is the Honda NC700X - comes with an ABS option and better gas mileage and has the same upright seating position as the versys. I have never ridden it, but I hear the seats are more comfortable. The one bad thing about it is the fuel tank location and capacity, but you end up with about 200 miles per fill up.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by scott s View Post
Thanks, guys. I haven't heard much bad about these bikes, which is why they're at the top of my list.
It was between the Versys, the V-Strom and a modern Bonneville. I much prefer a "standard" motorcycle.
I guess an SV650 or ER6n would be OK, but the Versys just rings my bell for some reason.
I also think the Honda N700X is worth a look at, depending on what you plan on using the bike for. The fake tank with huge compartment is to me it's best feature. The downside is the engine won't be remotely as exciting as the Versys even if similar on paper.

You said you considered the Bonneville, I had a 2009 Scrambler and just LOVED it. Had the Arrow exhausts and sounded great. Sold it cause my ex was inhaling too much exhaust gas (not a problem with the stock exhausts). It's a different bike and you gotta be ready to get plenty of 60 year old men telling you about the bikes they had years ago. But I still wish I could have afforded to keep it on top of the other bikes I bought later down the road, great handling, cool engine, just a very simple bike that takes you back to basics and makes you smile even at very slow speed, while its capable of riding at quite a decent pace. Downside is it's not the most practical bike to put luggage on...


The Versys is the most versatile bike I've owned. Once you upgrade the seat, it's really near perfect. Good fuel range with the engine/tank combination. Upright position, can handle some aggressive riding. And though the engine only has 64hp it feels like it has at least 75-80hp. And most importantly, it's really fun to ride! I've owned many bikes and this one is definitely on the top fun list!

And you can also turn it into a touring beast if that's your thing

Last edited by Kawa007; 11-14-2012 at 07:44 AM.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 12:46 PM
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Brakes can be hit or miss, Kawasaki has questionable quality control. They changed master cylinders from '08-'09 (apparently with good reason). Whatever bike you plan to buy, test ride it first. The Versys (Versyses?) that were good from the beginning (probably most of them) will be fine. If they weren't you'll know it on the first ride, or by the aftermarket parts. Read through as many threads here as you can, this is a FANTASTIC forum. If you like bending it through the tight and twisty stuff, the Versys is very hard to beat. I rode the dragon with little to no front brakes, cooked the front tire, and loved every second of it. If you're looking for a nice reliable commuter the new Honda might be a better and more reliable option. If you're looking for a bike to cruise around on, the Triumph would probably be your best bet.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.

http://ctoons124.blogspot.com/

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 04:18 PM
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2008 owned since 2009. 2-K miles only two significant items needed attention.
Leak in one of the front forks. Repair can be DIY. Certified mechanic can do a full repair/rebuilt of the forks for about $300. Burn stator. This seems to be a common but not widepsread problem on 2008 models. I do not recommend DIY but its doable. Certified mechanic repair is expensive. Stator is between $370 and $270 and about 2 hours of labor. Depending on where you go it can be between $400 and $600. Not bad in from my perspective.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 04:41 PM
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I've had 6 bikes of many brands from Kawasaki, Yamaha, Triumph, and all the forums I joined of the bikes I had, some had problems with one part or another. No bike is 100% reliable, but these are pretty much as reliable as it gets if well maintained, just like anything else. If you buy used, just make sure the recommended maintenance was done, if not it shows the guy probably just fixed things when they broke. I like having the maintenance history when buying a used bike, its the best guarantee you can get.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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I've read about the NC700, too. Interesting bike. I have vintage bikes, or else the Bonnie may be higher on the list.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 07:09 PM
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The NC700X is a bit heavier than the Versys, and it makes around 10 less horsepower despite having a larger engine. It's aimed more towards fuel economy than performance. It has a single rotor front brake, The Versys has twin rotors. The Cycle World testers couldn't obtain the advertised fuel mileage, either. I think that judging from the 6500 RPM redline, it won't be nearly as much fun to ride as the Versys, but more like a John Deere.

10 Duc Streetfighter S (black)
09 Versys
00 KLR
67 Triumph Bonneville TT Special
USN 1959-65
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott s View Post
Hello all!

New member here. I did an intro over in the New Members area.

I'm very seriously considering a Versys as my next bike. Currently, I have a bunch of vintage Japanese stuff.

What should I look out for when looking at a used Versys? Any known problem areas? Any recalls or mandatory "updates" that I should know about? Are any years better than others? You know...teething problems and what not?
Any Must Do maintenance items I should know about, etc.?

Lastly, what kind of miles can you expect out of these bike with proper maintenance? 50K? 60K? More?
1) The 07 to 09 is the same bike as the later version except for the body panels and styling. The early version did have some issues with fairing rattle/resonance at a certain RPM but this is really easy to fix with some foam tape.
2) Very reliable like most Japanese bikes with no recalls if you do the regular required maintenance. Clean air filter, new plugs, balance throttle body vacuum every ~10,000 miles and adjust the valves every ~30,000 miles. Change oil and adjust/lube chain as required.
3) Highly recommend installing SW-Motech engine bars to protect your investment from drops, low sides, etc.

One of the best all round/sport touring bikes in the price range if you are average height or taller and it is even better with a few accessories like the aforementioned engine bars, a better windshield and a Givi top box or hard saddle bags for commuting. Compared to the VStrom it is a better bike on pavement and more sporty riding but there are better choices if you have off road requirements IMO.

Last edited by twowheels; 11-14-2012 at 08:18 PM.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 09:48 PM
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Just get it - you'll LOVE it!

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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 #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 03:53 PM
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The BUZZ!

So far it looks like every model (even the new ones) will eventually develop a SUPER ANNOYING buzzing noise.

This is from some of the plastic bits bouncing off the headlight fixture. Depending on the year will depend on the exact cause.

However, there are a lot of posts on how to fix most of them. Like many others, I was able to fix mine with a $2 piece of foam/furniture pad that you stick between the plastic fairing and the headlight fixture.

If you can get over that, its freaking awesome.


Like others, I have really turned my bike into more of a sport tourer.. Adding a larger windscreen, side bags, topcase, hand guards, and 12v power source. Making long rides and camping a dream.

Its funny - I always look at getting other bikes... but then I get on the V and say "This thing is freaking awesome".

Farkles:
Givi Tall Windscreen, Givi Top Rack and Case, Givi V35 Bags and Mounts, Givi QuickLock Tank Connector+Bag, Oxford Heated Grips, Nuvi 550 w/ Ram Mount, Barkbusters Full Wrap + Storm, Motowerks Flatfoot, Spools and Tank Protector, Bobbed Fender, Grip Puppies, 12v SAE Socket, Packjack, Airhawk 1 (med), Scala Rider G4, Contour Roam2

Next Stop: 44Tooth Sprocket (To be installed)
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