Versys as an Adventure Commuter - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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Versys as an Adventure Commuter

So I apologize in advance as I haven't done any of the research yet...

To make a Versys into a more aggressive adventure bike you need to get some bigger tires, possibly change the suspension, sprocket, get some guards, raise the fender, and whatever personal farkles you might like. Did I miss anything?

By doing this, don't you decrease your MPG and your smooth commuting on the streets/highway?

And of course, for some fun...has anyone jumped their Versys?

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 08:16 PM
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I think you have to define what an "adventure commuter" is to you, to figure out what changes it needs to get there.


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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 08:25 PM
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You wont hurt the milage that much, it may just improove the milage and the ride will be even better. Take a look at jdrocks ninja, it would be an awesome commuter. As far as jumping MY V? Well, I really, REALLY, like my V but I have NEVER, nor would I EVER, THINK OF JUMPING MY V!!! THATS JUST SICK MAN!!!! she may be the other lady in my life but I halve to draw the line somewhere.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 09:45 PM
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And of course, for some fun...has anyone jumped their Versys?
What are we considering a jump? Hitting a ramp or just having the wheels entirely, but only slightly off the ground?

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 10:01 PM
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Jumped a curb with mine. Don't think that really counts.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 10:24 PM
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When I was in high school I could high-jump about 61" (before the 'California roll'), but I'm not sure I could jump over my Versys NOW...!

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 10:37 PM
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When I was in high school I could high-jump about 61" (before the 'California roll'), but I'm not sure I could jump over my Versys NOW...!
Oh! That kind of jump. sorry!
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry all, I was daydreaming yesterday. I was imagining taking the Versys ANYWHERE! Then I started thinking...no...better get something more dirt orientated...then back again to changing the Versys up to go anywhere...so figured I would ask.

I do mean jump. Nothing huge, a few feet up & out...just thought I'd see if anyone has. I don't plan on jumping it but figured if you were taking the bike anywhere, odds are at some point you will find some air and was wondering about it.

BTW, this is all little daydreams...but figured I would share. I think the younger years are still calling the inner hooligan in me for some action. Best bet is to get an old dirt bike until I get it out of my system. Problem is that I'll need it to be street legal as I don't have a vehicle to trailer something like that with. What do y'all think, KLR 250, DR-Z 400, or something else?

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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NytRydr, Excuse my ignorance but who is JRocks? BTW, I share everything with my ladies.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 05:22 AM
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NytRydr, Excuse my ignorance but who is JRocks? BTW, I share everything with my ladies.

Here you go.
A good read.
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=5480
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Oh man, I have checked out his post before!

His user name is JDRocks, not Jrocks. I searched on here and the regular internet, couldn't find anything...

It's all good. I'm gonna quiet down, do some research, then get back to this. Thanks all.

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 11:30 AM
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Try looking at this thread:
http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthr...646#post926646
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 12:13 PM
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...has anyone jumped their Versys?
I've gotten a little air a couple of times going over steeply sloped railroad grades...just a little, though.

There's an ADV member named Sanjoh who has modified a 650r with a USD KTM front end, and he has jumped that bike. Do a little looking on that site and you will find it.

You can get little bits of air on the V, as I previously mentioned, without getting close to bottoming the front forks/rear end; but, I wouldn't make a habit of it as the combo of relatively short travel and high spring rates (especially in the rear!) could result in damage - to you and/or the bike.

BTW, I've only managed to bottom the front end four times, and I was actually trying to do it, when I actually managed to do it. Though, worth mentioning, I also had an extra 100 lbs of gear on the bike.

You could definitely take it on single track, with Anakees or TKCs, etc.; but, if I'm gonna ride single track, I would rather be on a mountain bike than a motorbike; and, at 400+ lbs, the V is more than I would care to pick up on a regular basis.

If "jumping curbs" is what you are looking to do, the 130/80/17 front tires work great for riding over curbs, or deep/steep potholes - without bending the front wheel - even with an extra 100 lbs of gear onboard.

My best advice: do WTF you want with your bike and don't listen to other folks opinions, unless (caveat) they've actually done the mods and/or activities you are interested in. There are soo many choices for bikes/parts/crap out there, that too many folks engage in talking/worrying about what they need to do something; vice, just doing it. I don't mean to sound like a Nike commercial, but it's a simple fact, based upon observations during my two year stint (thus far) as a motorbiker.

I've included a pic of my bike as it seems to somewhat mirror your ideal of a ADV commuter bike, based upon the mods you mentioned. It's also endured a 12.5k mile cross continent trip, but it had a few more things on it for that.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 06:46 PM
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Ednukey, have you done any deep water crossings on your V yet? This seems to be the main thing I am concerned about right now, all other ADV bikes I've seen have high pipes. The V has this 12 inches off the ground muffler that I will be testing next month, possibly on a water crossing like the one I did in 1993 in Georgia on a stock XR650L, (see pic).

I will be attending a couple of ADV events/rides in October, where I will be attempting to give the V a good name in the off road/ADV world. I will be using a TKC rear tire and a Shinko front tire, stock gearing and I need to take care of a couple more minor things. I'll be posting more on it so stay tuned.


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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Sweet stuff guys! The water part is quite interesting! Gonna actually sit down and read through all of JDRocks posts...get back to y'all in a couple of hours.

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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 08:59 PM
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And of course, for some fun...has anyone jumped their Versys?
I have gotten airborne several times. Hit a decent sized speed bump at about 15mph, and give a bunch of throttle just before the front gets to the bump. I am not flying through the air, but the back is at least 6-12" off the ground, and the front much more.

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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-05-2010, 11:42 AM
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Ednukey, have you done any deep water crossings on your V yet? This seems to be the main thing I am concerned about right now, all other ADV bikes I've seen have high pipes. The V has this 12 inches off the ground muffler that I will be testing next month, possibly on a water crossing...
The deepest water crossings I have done were just over the pegs. I did not have any problems and did not expect to. If you look around on Youtube you can find videos of folks doing water crossings on the V. I recall one in which the person was concerned because some water still still coming out of the muffler after finishing the crossing, but this is of no actual concern.

Even though most folks think that the low mounted muffler on the V is a negative for use as an ADV bike, I fully disagree. The stock muffler is built "like a tank" and works as an auxilliary lower guard; and, not being side-mounted makes luggage mounting easier. The same can't be said if you've replaced it with one of the aftermarkets.

Water can't get trapped in it since it has built-in drain holes. Also, any backpressure you would encounter from submersion is inconsequential. It takes a 10 ft water colum to produce ~4.5 psig at the base; so, even a full foot of water over the muffler would not produce a backparessure of any consequence; though, at that depth, you might end up with water in your intake.

I've included a pic of the only water crossing I took a picture of on my trip - I only did a handful anyways, since I was riding by myself with a loaded down bike. A short distance down the road I ended up turning around at much wider, deeper, and rockier crossing. Had I not been by myself and/or loaded down, I would have given it a shot. But, I was in grizzly country, it was late in the day, and it was already cool and wet out; and, as I mentioned, I was by myself.

Regarding your tire selection - I did a good portion of my trip with a different front tire than rear since I didn't want to pay extra for a matching front, since the front I had on would go the full distance, even though a single rear would not. Just be aware for what I refer to as "traction differential." Since the degree of traction obtained by the front and rear varied as function of the differing tread design, the bike had a tendency to feel like it would diagonally shift (very slightly) in greasy stuff. I only experienced this in wet conditions, never in anything dry; even in really fluffy, loose, dry gravel.

Hope there's something useful in there. Have fun and make us proud. Oh, and take pics!
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-05-2010, 12:29 PM
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I'll add my two cents worth, I've made a lot of water crossings on my Versys, no problema!

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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-05-2010, 03:17 PM
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Just a suggestion from my 'enduro' days: ALWAYS stand on your footpegs while doing water-crossings. (Toothed footpegs help your feet to NOT slip.)
REALLY easy to go swimming if (when) your front end washes out over an algae covered rock.

Ed
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-05-2010, 08:04 PM
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Just a suggestion from my 'enduro' days: ALWAYS stand on your footpegs while doing water-crossings. (Toothed footpegs help your feet to NOT slip.)
REALLY easy to go swimming if (when) your front end washes out over an algae covered rock.
I NEVER stand on the pegs when water crossing, we have alot of slimy, algae covered concrete water crossings here, and the technique is to coast across, no brakes, no gas, clutch in, feet down and ready to dab. I have always been a dabber, in Colorado, I saved myself several times by having my feet down and ready to dab.

Ednukey and DBD34, thanks for those posts! i feel alot better now about this subject, because I know there will be some comments made to me when I get around the serious off-roaders....here's a taste of my ride today....it really convinced me that the V is off-road capable!


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