Hello from Westchester - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Hello from Westchester

Hi all, owner of new 2015 650 ABS in Candy Matte Orange here. I live in Westchester, NY and work in Manhattan. I'm a new rider and have been using my Versys so far for fun on the weekends and for commuting.

I decided on the Versys after a lot of thinking and research, and I've been very happy with my decision so far.

Because of the speed of traffic in the greater NYC area and because I want to be able to do longer trips (e.g. Adirondaks, Pittsburgh, DC) eventually, I needed something that could be comfortable at 70+ for long periods of time. That took basically anything under 400cc out of the running.

I wanted something with an upright position, because I know from bicycle commuting that a forward position makes my neck and shoulders sore after more than a half an hour, and then I get a headache and don't want to ride for a few days. That took most sport bikes out of the picture.

Riding in Manhattan traffic has taught me the importance of eye level height, and I think there's something reptilian about how people treat you better when they have to tilt their head upwards to look at you. My car is a VW Golf, and I know that being eye level with a box truck driver would make a difference. I also figured it would help with awareness in traffic if I can look over the top of compacts like Honda Civics and Subaru Imprezas to see conditions ahead, so that took cruisers out of the running.

A desire not to get my ass kicked by the wind all the time took most standard and naked bikes out of the running, although I was tempted by a few (the FZ-07 in particular). I know you can add windscreens, but I'd rather have something that's designed to be what I want from the start rather than buying a bunch of add-ons. I don't plan on going any more off-road than a campground, so dual sport capability would be wasted on me, and I don't like the look of most of those bikes.

So the adventure/touring segment seemed like the best fit. Price concerns took the non-Japanese brands out of the picture. I might one day have $16k to blow on a BMW, Ducati, or Triumph, but that day isn't going to come in 2017. I narrowed down on the CB500X, V-Strom, NC700X, and the Versys more closely. After reading all the reviews and comparisons and looking at the overall market (aftermarket parts, secondary sales, local dealer specializations), my finalists were the NC700X and the Versys. That storage compartment in the NC700X was a huge factor for me and almost made me pick the Honda, but the weak sales (anecdotally, 7 for sale within 150 miles of me on CycleTrader versus 130 for the Versys), more limited aftermarket parts, infamous "Honda boringness," and the beak (hate those damned things) made me go with the Versys.

I think the 2015 redesign is gorgeous, and I have gotten "badass" as a general response when I show people. Practicality is really important for me, but I'd be lying if I said looks and fun factor don't matter a lot, too. I've put about 850 on the odometer so far, and did the 600 mile dealer service, and everything has been great so far. Most of my miles have been in Westchester and northern Jersey so far, and I started commuting this week. I really love this bike.

A few pictures (sorry for no link, new posters can't do live links):
https://goo.gl/photos/Yx3F5G11LNVWAVje9

I'm glad to see there's such a good community around this bike! I also spotted my first Versys in the wild - a white gen3 on 4th and Bowery last week.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 08:03 PM
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WELCOME

It looks like you really did your home work. I like the way you narrowed down to what type of bike you wanted, and to what would best suit your needs in the price range you wanted. Too many people are impulse, or eye candy buyers, and wind up unhappy with their purchase. After deciding on sport touring, then factoring in price, my personal opinion is that you made the right choice, and should continue to be happy with your choice. For me it was a decision between the V Strom and The Versys. I chose the Versys mainly because I found a really good deal on one. Now that I've owned it for almost A year, I believe I got the better of the two because of the ride, and the way it handles the curves, Oh yea and It's got punch. Congrats on an excellent purchase. As A newbie, you should find some good information, and friendly, helpful people on this forum.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 05:32 AM
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 11:34 AM
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aboard!

NICE pics, but I see that you are MTGATT - Most of The Gear All The Time - as opposed to ATGATT.


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 #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Skypilot 69 View Post
WELCOME

It looks like you really did your home work. I like the way you narrowed down to what type of bike you wanted, and to what would best suit your needs in the price range you wanted. Too many people are impulse, or eye candy buyers, and wind up unhappy with their purchase. After deciding on sport touring, then factoring in price, my personal opinion is that you made the right choice, and should continue to be happy with your choice. For me it was a decision between the V Strom and The Versys. I chose the Versys mainly because I found a really good deal on one. Now that I've owned it for almost A year, I believe I got the better of the two because of the ride, and the way it handles the curves, Oh yea and It's got punch. Congrats on an excellent purchase. As A newbie, you should find some good information, and friendly, helpful people on this forum.
Thanks! I've already found a bunch of helpful information on Versys-specific issues, like the 3D-printed riser Rawksar320 put together to make the seat less unbearable, and some older threads about where to mount a camera.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
aboard!

NICE pics, but I see that you are MTGATT - Most of The Gear All The Time - as opposed to ATGATT.

You're right - those pictures were from the first two days I had the bike. I've got proper boots and riding jeans now.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 12:37 AM
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 10:28 AM
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Hey!

I lived in Pleasantville for 15 years before moving to the midewest. Back then I rode KLRs. Before that I had lived in São Paulo, Brazil (Yamaha Tenere) and in Portugal (Honda Africa Twin).

Although here in Arkansas the main issue is people coming out of driveways/parking lots/etc., NY was the lane drifters on their cell phones. Also my own douchebaggery of splitting lanes in a state where it is not allowed...

If you haven't yet, definitely get Barkbusters (with the full guard -not the plastic cover only). They will save your knuckles.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Hey!

I lived in Pleasantville for 15 years before moving to the midewest. Back then I rode KLRs. Before that I had lived in São Paulo, Brazil (Yamaha Tenere) and in Portugal (Honda Africa Twin).

Although here in Arkansas the main issue is people coming out of driveways/parking lots/etc., NY was the lane drifters on their cell phones. Also my own douchebaggery of splitting lanes in a state where it is not allowed...

If you haven't yet, definitely get Barkbusters (with the full guard -not the plastic cover only). They will save your knuckles.
Hey there! Small world, I just washed my bike at the Thornwood Car Wash by Pleasantville this weekend. Looks like it's the closest self-wash. I'm well aware of the lane drifters, I dodge about 5 of them a day... I'm debating on whether a beefier horn is worth it, or if it'll just make cars move even more erratically. I am guilty of some lane splitting, too, usually when it would feel ridiculous not to, like when there are gigantic openings or traffic is stopped. If I'm moving over 15 mph, I don't feel any desire to do it. Basically only ever feels necessary in Manhattan traffic.

Thanks for the recommendation, I'm definitely going to put some Barkbusters on soon. Protective equipment is a hell of a lot cheaper than repairs. Doing my research now and figuring out what'll work best for my situation.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 06:02 PM
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"Hello from Westchester"

Thanks for the ear bug. Now I have a slightly garbled version of "Winchester Cathedral" going through what passes for a mind with me these days...
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 11:17 PM
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@aemacleod

Yeah. No point of having a motorcycle in Manhattan without lane splitting. Specially on the east side drive. More than once my friends and I had the cops fire up their sirens at us. Keeping an eye out in front and splitting lanes where they can't see your plate, it's easy to get to your destination before they can coordinate.

I've recently rode in LA where lane splitting is legal. Now, that is an adventure. Fracking unofficial speed limit is 80 mph and 95% of the drivers are aggressive. The other 5% are split between the "frack you, I'm doing this and will keep doing it, regardless of what is going on around me" and "holy ****! holy ****! what do I do?! holy ****! holy ****!".

Some of my riding buddies live(d) in North Salem and I used to ride 116 to 684 all the time. Luckily saw many, but never hit a deer (just a crow, once) in those twisties, but almost got taken out by David Letterman and his fracking Ferrari!! The guy came out wide on a turn. If I had been on a car or a little earlier on the turn, I'd either be rich or dead now!! Apparently he did this crap all the time.

Westchester/Connecticut cops targeted bikers during rally days, trying to find any reason/defect to issue a ticket.

If you can, I recommend a trip to Martha's Vineyard. The trip there not so exiting, but riding around the island was nice.

Last edited by GoodMoGo; 05-24-2017 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Removed YouTube link because it embedded the video. Too big on the page.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GoodMoGo View Post
@aemacleod

Yeah. No point of having a motorcycle in Manhattan without lane splitting. Specially on the east side drive. More than once my friends and I had the cops fire up their sirens at us. Keeping an eye out in front and splitting lanes where they can't see your plate, it's easy to get to your destination before they can coordinate.

I've recently rode in LA where lane splitting is legal. Now, that is an adventure. Fracking unofficial speed limit is 80 mph and 95% of the drivers are aggressive. The other 5% are split between the "frack you, I'm doing this and will keep doing it, regardless of what is going on around me" and "holy ****! holy ****! what do I do?! holy ****! holy ****!".

Some of my riding buddies live(d) in North Salem and I used to ride 116 to 684 all the time. Luckily saw many, but never hit a deer (just a crow, once) in those twisties, but almost got taken out by David Letterman and his fracking Ferrari!! The guy came out wide on a turn. If I had been on a car or a little earlier on the turn, I'd either be rich or dead now!! Apparently he did this crap all the time.

Westchester/Connecticut cops targeted bikers during rally days, trying to find any reason/defect to issue a ticket.

If you can, I recommend a trip to Martha's Vineyard. The trip there not so exiting, but riding around the island was nice.
Cool stuff, I passed through Brewster the other week, will have to check out 116. Lake Avenue and Round Hill Road in Greenwich are really cool to ride through, too, full of millionaire's mansions and beautiful scenery. I know what you mean about hostile CT cops. I was just cruising along at 30-35 and a Greenwich cop tailed me for about 20 minutes through the sticks. Eventually realized I wasn't going to give him any entertainment and he left me alone

I love the side roads in the tristate area. I know I'm in a happy place when I see fewer cars and sports bikes, more cruisers and adventure bikes, and more hi viz jackets. I'll keep Martha's Vineyard in mind, but it's a little far for a single day and I'm trying to stick to day trips for now, until I have the gear and experience (i.e. field maintenance) to sustain me on longer trips.

Thanks for the heads up on deer. I get worried a lot on the higher speed forest roads like the Palisades Parkway. I see half of Noah's Ark on the shoulder just about every time I take that road, especially turkeys and groundhogs. Not something I want near my tires at 60 mph!
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