A bit of advice please - heart and mission disagree! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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A bit of advice please - heart and mission disagree!

After a 15 year hiatus, I have been back to motorcycling for just over a year now and put 9k miles on the Versys. I thought I would get over it but now I wanna keep riding, but would like to go for something else.

But the mission and the heart are in two different places.
The mission is a commuter bike - I generally ride to the metro train station every morning (7 miles away) and back in the evening. Occasionally ride to work downtown but not too often. I commute to different places which can be 3 - 30 miles away on weekends for something I do on the side. I rarely have the time to ride long distances, but I occasionally take a day to just go ride somewhere 2 - 3 hours away just for the fun of it.

The versys served me well for this and it has been an excellent machine. But it doesn't come with ABS - which has become sort of a requirement for me.

The machine that would fit this bill would be the NC700X DCT. But I haven't test ridden it. Looks great on paper and got raving reviews too. The price on the DCT is also 9k. By the time it is farkled with side bags and other items (which I may or may not need) it will be closer to the bike below...

The heart is on the Concours C-14. I rode it once and couldn't believe how smooth and comfortable it was. I was going 70 MPH and it didn't feel like I was going that fast at all. But it is big, gas mileage is not great, and seems like an overkill for just a commute.

Anyone been in this situation? What is your take on it?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 07:26 AM
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I think that you will always question choosing the lesser bike.
If the bike isn't your main source of transportation & you can spare the cash, I say go with what you really want as opposed to settling
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 08:10 AM
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For the type of riding you describe it sounds like the Honda would be your bike of choice. I don't know about the road conditions in your area, but if you deal wth pot holes and other bad road conditions I would think a bike with good suspension would be important. A dual sport or adventure bike.

The Concours is intoxicating. It is just so quick and smooth that I am amazed I have not gotten pulled over on it. I try to ride close to the speed limit but I tend to acclerate past it and then settle back towards the limit. I put 7500 miles on mine in 5 months, as well as 7000 miles on the Versys this summer. Two different bikes for two different purposes. I feel like I am at greater risk for being cut off when riding the concours so I am adding additional lighting front and rear on the bike. Photon blasters, and Mondolights up front and P3 with run/turn/brake on the rear. I commute 26 to 400 miles one way depending on where I am working.

Maybe a Triumph Tiger 1050 or Adventure would satisfy your heart and mission. Personally the honda doesn't excite me at all. I don't ride to be practical.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 09:12 AM
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I think this would be your perfect choice:

http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/Pro...?scid=6&id=718
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 09:32 AM
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Sounds to me like you have the perfect bike for your mission, but you want something new, and you're using the lack of ABS as the reason. If you have the money, get what you want...
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Versystole View Post
Sounds to me like you have the perfect bike for your mission, but you want something new, and you're using the lack of ABS as the reason. If you have the money, get what you want...
Shhhh... wife thinks it is a perfectly good reason and I can't argue with that
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 10:44 AM
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What he said!
A C-14 seems ridiculous, considering the way you use your current bike. Buying a 600 lb. motor-missile "because it has ABS" is a pretty far stretch.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 12:34 PM
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One thing I've noticed is the heavier and bigger the bike the less you'll be tempted to use it for short rides. The C-14 is an awesome bike for long distance touring. But if you have a 5 min trip to do in the city, you'll probably just choose to walk instead. I also think you got the perfect bike as it is. NC700X would also be a great commuting tool.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 02:28 PM
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I know there are other brands out there.....

But, Kawasaki has the Ninja 1000 with ABS and it's a fairly nimble bike but no Versys. If you're pleased with the engine power & performance of the Versys the 650 Ninja can be had with ABS, not quite as comfortable for me but still a very, very nice bike that is flickable in traffic.

I can't see a C-14 (as nice as they are) filling your needs as a commuter.

Good luck with your decision,
Dan
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawa007 View Post
One thing I've noticed is the heavier and bigger the bike the less you'll be tempted to use it for short rides. The C-14 is an awesome bike for long distance touring. But if you have a 5 min trip to do in the city, you'll probably just choose to walk instead. I also think you got the perfect bike as it is. NC700X would also be a great commuting tool.
I disagree with this a little. I think the time it takes to put riding gear on will have you walking instead. If you don't wear gear you need to be on an SS bike or Cruiser.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 05:03 PM
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Just my own experience, I rented a K1300GT and wouldnt have hopped on it for a 10 minute ride. Put a Scrambler, Versys, FZ8, Speed Triple, in front of me, and I'll sure go for a quick ride. Just my opinion and experience though. I'd take a C-14 or K1300GT for a 2000km trip over any of the other listed bikes, but otherwise I prefer walking.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by stallhorn View Post
The machine that would fit this bill would be the NC700X DCT. But I haven't test ridden it. Looks great on paper and got raving reviews too.

Anyone been in this situation? What is your take on it?
I can tell you that I test rode a DCT NC700X about a month ago. I really, really like it. I have worked out a price with a dealership that I can live with on the DCT. This all hinges on selling my Versys. It was a smooth bike and the brakes (ABS) work really well. I rode my V to the dealer so I had fresh comparison.. The stopping power of the single front disc was better IMHO than our dual. The NC does have less power than the Versys. It is quite capable of any legal speeds. The highest I rode the NC was 75MPH and it was very smooth and did not take long to get there. It just didn't have the punch that the Versys does.

As far as larger bikes & short rides. For me, I really don't enjoy rolling a large bike out of the garage for a 5-10 minute ride, I could not imagine a Connie for short trips. I much prefer a smaller bike like a 250cc for a quick trip to the store.

I have ridden a Connie and I see the lure. They are sweet bikes. They do not however fit my riding style which is similar to yours. Most of my rides are 30 minutes or less with some weekend venturing of several hundred miles. My Versys is perfect for all of them. If I were traveling longer distances I would love to try a goldwing or a larger touring bike, but I just don't travel on my MC.

I have been really struggling with my decision to sell my Versys for an NC. I am beginning to talk myself out of it and keeping the Versys. It has been the most fun of any MC I have ever owned and the Versys has been absolutely trouble free. The V is also the first sporty bike I have ever owned. The price justification for selling / buying for such a similar bike as the Honda has me questioning my sanity.

I am leaning towards keeping the V, save my money and add a second smaller bike to my stable. Two has to be better than one, right??

In your search! I have observed that many riders of motorcycles tend to always be on the lookout for the next best thing (whatever that may be), even if they are unaware they are doing it. I don't think it is as much that one dislikes what they have now, but because we enjoy the sport, we are always looking around to see what else is out there. Every time I go to the dealership, I drool like a teething baby. This is how I am in the trouble I am in now!
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 09:43 PM
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OK. Someone explain to my how it takes more time to ride a big bike a short distance than a little bike. You put on your gear, hop on the bike and ride it.

Now, riding a big bike at slow speeds might be a little more work for some folks so I can understand that for someone who lives in the city riding a large bike might be too much of a challenge.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 09:58 PM
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Get a maxi scotter. Something like a burgman 650 or a piaggio mp3 500. As powerful as many motorcycles with all the advantages of tourer and the commuter practicality of a scooter.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 10:04 PM
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I got my 09 V in late summer of 2009. By the end of 2010 I had started to look for a better bike. My V was trouble free, but there were a few issues: uncomfortable seat (I had a OEM gel seat, and had tried several others), ride was a bit harsh, didn't trust the tires in either cold or wet days, brakes were not great (and I wanted ABS); but, I did enjoy riding it. So, while I was looking for something better, I kept making changes to my V.
1. I installed a HyperPro fully adjustable (racing) shock and HyperPro progressive front springs. The ride comfort was greatly improved, and the front dive when braking hard was reduced by around 70%.
2. After many different seat mods, I found a combination using AirHawk R that was exceedingly comfortable.
3. I finally removed all the brake pads and replaced them with D2Moto metal scintered HH pads, which greatly improved the breaking.
4. Installed heated grips, and connection for Gerbing heated jacket and heated gloves.
5. Installed Michelin PR-3 tires. Those tires plus the HyperPro shock and springs made a amazing difference in the ride. Totally different bike.

During this time, I tried two BMWs (800cc and 1200cc) but found them uncomfortable. My V was much more comfortable, and also seemed to have better acceleration. I considered upgrading the BMW shocks, but realized that was really crazy and stopped with the BMW. Then I considred Ninja 1000, and couldn't see what I'd get other than ABS. The rest of the bike really was not as good for me as the V. I looked very carefully at Ducati, and really like the look of the Diavel. But when I tested it, my modified V had a much more comfortable ride. And, when I checked the Diavel forum, lots of problems jumped up. So, I tried a couple of other Ducatis, and decided they weren't the answer. I've looked at all the Hondas, other Kawasakis, etc.

But I finally realized that with all the mods I made, my V is now really well matched to my riding needs. What I'm missing though is another project. And that's what I find I really miss: I enjoy riding my V, but I also enjoy tinkering to get it like I want it. So, I'll watch for opportunities to improve it, but I no longer think I'll find another MC better suited to my needs.

If you're like me, you may already have the right MC, and are just looking for a new project.
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
OK. Someone explain to my how it takes more time to ride a big bike a short distance than a little bike.
Its not as much "time" it's effort. It takes more effort to roll a big honkin' heavy bike out of the garage into the driveway than it does a small lightweight bike. If I am going to make a quick trip to the store, I would much rather roll a 300 pound bike into the driveway than a 700+ pound bike.

If I am going to ride around town in a 25MPH or less speed limit, I wear less gear. Usually just a helmet and gloves. If I know I will be riding in 45MPH+, I wear full gear.

Big bikes are heavy and not as nimble for local in town riding. Small bikes are much more fun for this. That's why the Versys as a mid size bike does both.

Last edited by Capn Kirk; 11-16-2012 at 04:43 AM.
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 06:45 AM
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For most folks, if you have more than one bike, whichever is easier to move around the garage is the one you will ride.
True for me.
Dan
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 07:32 AM
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I have enough space to ride into the garage and then back the bikes into their parking spots while still sitting on them. I ride them out of the garage so no pushing bikes around. If I am just running a quick errand where I don't have to carry anything, I might hope on the Mean Streak or dual sport, but usually I am going to carry home supplies so I hop on one of the bagger bikes.

I dress for the crash, not the ride. My minimum gear is boot, kevlar jeans, textile jacket with armor, gloves, modular helmet. I do have a half helmet that I will carry and put on if I am touring a battlefield or state park.

For me it is more a temperature thing when choosing a bike to ride. In the winter I mostly ride the bikes with the most wind protection, in the summer the bikes with the most air flow.
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
I have enough space to ride into the garage and then back the bikes into their parking spots while still sitting on them. I ride them out of the garage so no pushing bikes around.
We like to let our bikes warm up a couple minutes while we suit up. In doing so, I dont want the fumes in my attached garage. Riding in and shutting down is one thing, but the next warmup is another.

Cheers!
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 07:53 AM
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For most folks, if you have more than one bike, whichever is easier to move around the garage is the one you will ride.
True for me.
Dan
Exactly what I was trying to say!
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