X-country ride report - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2010, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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X-country ride report

So let me first introduce myself. I've been lurking on this forum for a few months but never had a moment to introduce myself. I've always been more of a car guy but got involved in powersports industry a few years ago when a friend asked me to set up this little parts export business for him. Slowly but steadily it grew to the point where I was able to quit my corporate job. Fast forward and the industry had sucked me in to the point where I was thinking about buying a bike or a sled (being Russian, I have a soft spot for snow-related activities). So last year when I was in Russia on business the idea was born (after some heavy drinking of course ) to travel across country (MA to CA and back) on the bikes with one of my friends. As crazy as it sounds, I had no license at that point and the last time my friend rode a bike was 7 years ago.

And this is where Versys steps into a spotlight. After careful consideration Versys was ruled THE bike to ride (user-friendly, OK on long-distance travel, could be taken off pavement for some light off-road duties, etc. - you all know the drill). 2 identical 2008 bikes were sourced through this awesome forum (one from ME and another one from NC), serviced and prepped for some touring. Oh yeah, I did take some MSF classes and got my license somewhere aong the lines....

I know my pictures suck thanks to the crappy camera as we were trying to minimize amount of stuff we're hauling with us (turned out to be a non-issue at all.... lesson learned). So next time (and there WILL be next time) we're taking a regular camera - a Nikon D90 or something similar.

Bikes being serviced in our warehouse:


Airbox secret stash... and I wondered why this bike pulls worse than the other one despite having less miles on it and an Arrow pipe


All packed up for 3 weeks and ready to go


1st stop in CT


Dinner with friends in Pittsburgh


Annual bikini bike wash at World of Powersports (Decatur, IL) - we happened to stop by our friends at WOPS at the right moment


Camping out in IL



Just in case 89 won't do it



With some local fellas in the middle of nowhere in NE



Taking off at 7am from a campground in WY



I'm a sucker for this kind of scenery



Montana



Overlooking Yellowstone Lake



Yellowstone traffic
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2010, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Craters of the moon, ID



Napa Valley traffic



Riding Napa Valley hills



Hoover Dam traffic



Did I say I'm a sucker for the rusty old american cars?







Customary Grand Canyon shots






You know what these are.... the much-debated Shinko 705's with a supposedly new and improved formula after a 3-months backorder situation. Well, here's the answer to all of you having dilemmas to save with Shinko or to go with Distanzia's.... Having this front wheel wobble being sandwiched in-between concrete traffic blocks and an 18-wheeler while negotiating a bend..... priceless. The best thing is.... as luck would have I noticed this on a 100+ degrees Sunday AM so we had no choice but to nurse it through the
day and have it replaced 1st thing Monday AM


The rest of the photos are over here - http://rennsport.smugmug.com/Travel/...59461067_2mYgq

So, long story short, 26 states and 8400 miles later Versys proved to be THE machine. We had 0 breakdowns except for some chain tightening here and there and occasional tire problem. Outfitted accordingly, this bike can go on and on and on, whether on the pavement or light off-road (we did get to ride some dirt roads but nothing crazy). Baldwin or some other custom seat is a must. I have a skinny ass and I predicted the problems I'd be having so I got myself a Baldwin seat. My 34-waisted, normal-ass friend went with a modified stock seat and was starting to bitch 4-5 hours into it pretty much every day. I feel this is THE most important mod when taking the bike on a long-distance tour.

We camped out most of the trip with a 3 motel nights and 3 Couch Surfing nights thrown in. BTW, Couch Surfing proved to be a very positive experience for us - we spent an epic night in San Francisco and had very good experience in Vegas and Albuquerque.

The bikes will be for sale soon as I live in a pretty cramped neighborhood and already have 3 cars but I can see myself getting a 2010 model some time down the road, hopefully next year. I also have some leftover parts I need to get rid of (like Mike's shields that arrived by the time I was in IL)

Safe travels!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 12:40 AM
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Awesome post and pictures!! Really enjoyed reading it! So the tires are pretty good heh.

2009 GREEN Kawasaki Versys


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mkay_m3 View Post
So, long story short, 26 states and 8400 miles later Versys proved to be THE machine.
That is a massive ride for a couple of inexperienced riders.

Glad all went well for you (other than the tire).

Too bad you don't have room to keep the V.

Thanks for sharing.

Although I have had Miss Jaffa (Burnt Orange 2007 Versys) for a while, I still have a lot to learn.


"The happiest people donít have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything."
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 02:31 AM
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That is awsome trip! More than 8000miles nice! It's something about 13000km. You should come in future to Europe, we have here nice curvy roads. And the distance which You had done in USA, for EU is enough for both ways (without Russia of course).

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 04:19 AM
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Too bad you aren't gonna keep the bike. Nice pic's.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 08:50 AM
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Great trip, thanks for posting it, hope you do it all over again someday....

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Jake Sabre
2009 Kaw Versys
40 years riding, 2 years MX racing
20 bikes owned over time, 3 MC shops worked at
Couldn't live without 2 wheels and a motor
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 09:51 AM
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top marks!

was that packed up for 3 weeks total trip? avg 400 miles every day?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, this is all packed for 3 weeks. We had an ultra LTW tent and sleping bags, the type serious campers use. We did anywhere between 150 and 580 miles a day. We started slow, mostly avoiding highways but by the time we reached CA we realized we'd better haul ass on the way back. Besides, there wasn't much to be seen on the way back after NM. We took northern route on our way to CA (CT, PA, OH, IN, IL, IA, NE, WY, MT, ID, OR, CA). On the way back we took soutern route (CA, NV, AZ, NM, TX, OK, AR, TN, WV, MD, DC, DE. NJ, NY, CT, MA). I mean, I know there are beautiful places to be seen everywhere but we got really spoiled by Montana\Oregon\California\Arizona scenery
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 01:38 PM
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What the heck were those acorns/figs in the airbox AND HOW DID THEY GET THERE?!?!?!

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Jake Sabre
2009 Kaw Versys
40 years riding, 2 years MX racing
20 bikes owned over time, 3 MC shops worked at
Couldn't live without 2 wheels and a motor
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 03:16 PM
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What the heck were those acorns/figs in the airbox AND HOW DID THEY GET THERE?!?!?!
Rodents?

Great pics! Epic x country ride!

My Album:
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 06:39 PM
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Jealous! Great pics. thanks for posting.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 09:03 PM
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Cross-country trip

Wow, what a great trip and a great post. I really enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for sharing!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeSabre View Post
What the heck were those acorns/figs in the airbox AND HOW DID THEY GET THERE?!?!?!
I dunno - found them when while tearing down to replace the spark plugs as part of pre-trip maintenance. Came from the previous owner in Maine. I could feel the bike hesitating a bit off the line when I first got i but I attributed it to spark plugs and\or the Arrow pipe. Surprisingly, I didn't feel it as much at the higher revs.

Thanks for the comments guys
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 04:10 AM
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Selling something that was part of such a experience wont be good idea.

Nice picture and great ride.
Thanks for sharing.

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