Newbie here, appreciate some advice - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie here, appreciate some advice

Hi all. New member. I am an older rider who put some 25k miles on a KZ650 in the mid 80's. Have not been on a bike since 1989. My 25 year old son told me he wants to ride cross country with me so, of course, I said yes and got a bike. Found an '08 Versys 650 with very low miles and some sweet farkles like Givi monkey side and back racks, handguards, Go cruise etc. got my permit and signed up for a drivers course. Problem is I am really intimidated by the bike (which I never was in my younger years). It feels big, and fast, and frankly awkward. Was wondering if others of you came back after a really long hiatus and any tips for dealing with these anxieties. Really want to make this trip with my son but severely lacking in confidence at the moment. Thx for any thoughts/suggestions!!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 07:40 PM
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as i say to anyone getting on a bike after a long brake or starting new, take it easy, dont push yourself to hard. practice practice practice practice practice. dont go on a big long trip till you are ready to.. find a big parking lot or good back road and practice practice practice some more, practice making slow sharp turns,practice hard braking, get to know the bike and make sure you have everything set to were its all second nature

yes im a guy. and i have a husband
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 08:37 PM
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Sometimes it's hard for us to say no or I'm not really sure about this. The bike you chose is great for what you are contemplating. Truthfully ,you may not be ready anytime soon for that kind of long-distance ride. It can be challenging to ride 200 mile days even in your thirtys for some people that are not in good shape. Lack of skill and confidence is not something that blends well with riding a street bike. Start slow in parking lots on the weekends then move to back roads with little traffic. That should help you gain your confidence or you may decide it's not going to work. Heck, even riding a trike might be an option I would consider if I was you. Good luck and ride safe!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 08:51 PM
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Funnily, my dad who rode for a few years hates riding my versys, he says it feels very top heavy.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 09:40 PM
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The versys is a very forgiving bike and easy to ride. Go for short rides and get used to the bike and build your confidence before your long ride. You have two problems in your hand -1. the bike, 2 your son and the trip together. Tackle one at a time and don't feel stressed out because of some self imposed expectation. You can do it if you start feeling confidence in yourself and the bike goes where you look and believe that you have mental and physical strength to handle the situation.

Take you time and ROME WAS NOT BUILD IN ONE DAY.

WISH YOU ALL THE BEST AND TRUST YOU WILL RIDE WITH YOUR SON
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 08:26 AM
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to the forum, all good advice given, FYI , of all the bikes I have had, this one is the most responsive, also the most top heavy, that includes two dual sport bikes I had, last being a DRZ400S. I have had 2 Versys, a 07 and now a 15, lowered both of them. Expect to be picking it up off the ground, so crash bars , hand guards like Storms , or in my case I have Speedy highway peg mounts and Trekker side cases that act as crash bars.Been down twice in 2016, 1 time on gravel, 6 inches of gravel to be exact, grounds for a law suit, just let it go , only scratches.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 10:29 AM
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As Silvie said, take it easy and practice a lot, low speed stuff especially. I took a long break from riding (about 15 years) and it all comes back pretty quick (I've put over 80K on since re-starting in 05'). I wouldn't hesitate too much about taking a nice long ride so long as it wasn't "rushed". Stay out of large metro areas and enjoy the ride.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 12:41 PM
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Rules for any riders (particularly new, and somewhat intimidated riders..)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. T View Post
Hi all. New member. I am an older rider who put some 25k miles on a KZ650 in the mid 80's. Have not been on a bike since 1989. My 25 year old son told me he wants to ride cross country with me so, of course, I said yes and got a bike. Found an '08 Versys 650 with very low miles and some sweet farkles like Givi monkey side and back racks, handguards, Go cruise etc. got my permit and signed up for a drivers course. Problem is I am really intimidated by the bike (which I never was in my younger years). It feels big, and fast, and frankly awkward. Was wondering if others of you came back after a really long hiatus and any tips for dealing with these anxieties. Really want to make this trip with my son but severely lacking in confidence at the moment. Thx for any thoughts/suggestions!!
a) pay attention to the driver's course.

b) I developed 4 rules over the years that have served me well. Pay close attention, life will provide a test at the end of this reply:

b.1) They (cage drivers) STILL can't see you.
Really. They can't see you. There's now texting, phone calls, faxes, lattes, screaming kids (or girlfriend/boyfriends), aka all the fun stuff now called "distracted driving." Somehow Driving The Vehicle winds up in 4th place behind everything else. They. Can't. See. You.
Really.

b.1A) Your rear view mirrors are there for a reason.
They cost nothing to use. Pay attention to what's going on BEHIND you! I watched a guy on a Harley get launched into an intersection when a teenager 'misjudged' the distance in front of him at a stop light. Note: people don't fly very well, and landings are often something best left unseen.

b.2) If they DO see you they'll try to kill you.
Really. ("Oh, that motorcycle is SO small, I'll just turn left in front of him, he can stop quickly, and he can't hurt ME in my HUGE Chevy truck, and I'm running late!")

b.3) You STILL have no right of way.
Really. You might be in the right, but you're permanently dead. It only takes once. Be prepared to hand over the right of way at any time in any situation. Really. Buy a horn that is audible more than 30 feet away. The Denali Soundbomb Mini is relatively cheap and works quite well. I practice my horn blowing skills almost daily. Really.

b.4) Don't ride anything you can't pick up.
If you do dump it, learn how to pick it up without a hernia (it is possible to pick up Bloated Cruisers!) [note: this rule started getting ignored about 30-odd years ago when Gold Wings appeared.]

happy roading.
Stop by if you make it to beautiful, metropolitan North Idaho.

Last edited by aboyandhisversys; 05-17-2017 at 01:18 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:21 PM
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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 #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captpfd View Post
...Heck, even riding a trike might be an option I would consider if I was you. Good luck and ride safe!
I would NOT recommend (OR ride) a trike. The reason that Honda quit making their three-wheeler ATV was because of how dangerous they are (the front wheel "folds-under" in a sudden sharp turn).

IF I was handicapped I WOULD consider the Can Am Spider because it has the single wheel trailing - in the rear.

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 #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 02:02 PM
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The high CG plus the rapid throttle response of the older 650 is a bit of a handful. Suggest taking the advanced MSF course and relearning everything on that bike. My wife is going to do that. She's still a bit shy of it.

Dr. Toaster: Guzzi 1400 California, VStrom 1000
Mrs. Toaster: 2009 Versys 650
Located 50 miles W of Deals Gap aka Dragon
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