What did you do on your versys today? - Page 55 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1081 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rsherman View Post
Starting to feel a little more comfortable in turns. Being a long time cyclist, it's interesting that while many skills translate, there are some real differences, because of the weight of the motorcycle, and the width of the tires.
The motorcycle is much less likely to go down than a bicycle in turns. Just as with a bicycle, avoid the front brake in anything but a very gentle turn. Be alert to sand and other slippery debris while going around corners. Also, I've found that little ruts and angles on the road surface can push around the motorcycle alarmingly, but it doesn't actually represent a threat. But the first few times it happens it can surprise you.

At low speed you can tip over if you're looking down, like when you pull into a parking spot. On a bicycle you'll be used to putting your foot down even with the bike tipped quite a bit. On your Versys, be sure to be looking forward not down as you come to a full stop.

Other than that, bicycle skills transfer nicely to motorcycling. An adventure riding class I took had us doing a lot of balance drills which seemed very much like the things we did as kids on bicycles. Riding on one side, mounting with the bike moving, standing on one side, then moving to the other while moving, making slow speed u-turns, etc.
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post #1082 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 12:07 PM
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...I've been avoiding cracks and seams in the road, because on a road bike with 23s, the tires could easily get caught in something like that, and take me down....
I've read of those 'seams' being called tire-traps, so I keep an eye out for any in my path.
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post #1083 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 12:12 PM
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My Versys sat in the garage but I did a trip of the 2 wheeled variety, a 3 night 4 day bicycle trip on the Kettle Valley rail-trail from Midway BC to Penticton BC, 210K. Mostly 1% uphill grade to the Myra trestles and tunnels then mostly downhill to the wine country. This was one of the best trips I have ever undertaken, all along an old railway (KVR} converted to bike trail. Medium off-road tires a must as well as some suspension. I ate like a horse during the trip and still am 3 days later...
A lot of the bicycle people think of motorcycles as the enemy, but I've been able to ride MOST of the KVR from Kelowna to Naramata, PLUS some down on Hwy 3 E near Greenwood on my Versys, as well as KVR sections between Summerland and Princeton where the old right-of-way is just a few yards N of the Summerland-Princeton Road.

NICE!


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post #1084 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 06:39 PM
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Also, I've found that little ruts and angles on the road surface can push around the motorcycle alarmingly, but it doesn't actually represent a threat. But the first few times it happens it can surprise you.
Yeah, I've had this happen, although it wasn't in a turn. I rode over some type of access panel, not a manhole, but something similar - square, and it was the type that was a metal grid with concrete poured into it to fill up the gaps. When I went over it, it felt like my front wheel had lost traction and slid for just a very short distance, like a foot or so, and then immediately regained traction. That's probably not what actually occurred, but that's how it felt, and it really made me hesitant to ride over similar panel - which was a drag for a few days, until I got over it, because they are everywhere in my neighbourhood. Next time I go out I'm going to make a point of finding that panel and riding it over again, to reinforce to myself that I shouldn't be worried about going over things like that.
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post #1085 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 06:43 PM
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Went out to pick up a few, small groceries that we needed for dinner, last night. My first ride on the Versys at night, and I have to say, I wasn't thrilled with the headlight (Gen 3, 2017 Versys). It felt like it was pointed down at too steep an angle to ride more than 50 kph - which is certainly partly because I'm not very confident on the bike, yet, but I'm going to angle the beam up, slightly, to see if that helps. If not, I'll start going through the many led light threads, to see what my options are.
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post #1086 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 09:34 PM
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[QUOTE=fasteddiecopeman;1621687]A lot of the bicycle people think of motorcycles as the [B]enemy
NICE!

Im an aficionado of both. Its a similar pastime,the maintenance and the mods. Downhill dirt bicycle riding is great for getting your balance and control.But confusing as far as braking when you jump to dirt on a motorcycle. Pure bicycle is so exacting because of the weight and efficiency factor as its human powered.I can do any build or rebuild of a bicycle but not a motorcycle. Lots of little tools for bicycle,lots of big tools for motorcycle. Some cross over bizarrely, like a 14 mil hex nut! Love the bicycle for the exercise,keeps my body young.Love the Kawi cause it keeps my mind sharp and young!
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post #1087 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 12:56 PM
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FOUR hour ride!

Even tho' the forecast had mentioned rain-showers, I suited-up and started out just past 1000 hrs yesterday, headed N. Rode along Lake Okanagan to Vernon, then W on BC 97 to St Anne Rd, turned N and followed IT, and the Otter Lake Rd to the Salmon River Road, then up to Yankee Flat, then turned around and rode it back, arriving home just past 1400 hrs, 209 kms [130 miles] later.

As I put the GREEN HORNET TOO onto the pit-stand, then lubed the chain - I could hear (and see!) thunderstorms "doing their thing"!

GREAT way to spend an afternoon....


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post #1088 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 01:05 PM
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Not today, but Saturday I took a nice back road ride with a couple of friends from Houston to Winchester for lunch, then rode around more back roads to Brenham, and back home. We did a total of 285 miles, played tag with some scattered showers (and the showers won a couple of those games) and got home exhausted. It was my first ride using a Camelbak, and I hate that I hadn't used one sooner. It was a game changer!
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post #1089 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 02:03 PM
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Yesterday

Today, I didn't take the bike to work. However last Friday I just took of Fayetteville NC on route NC 401 and rode for an about 1 1/2 hours and end up at Bennetsville, SC.. Weather was awesome. Yesterday, I almost ran into some one. This Jeep Cherokee turned in front of me , cutting me of the lane. Lucky me I was able to ride around him and avoiding hitting the sucker ...after that I went home installed a Givi Windscreen and Givi Engine Guards.
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post #1090 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 01:25 PM
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I re-installed the sheepskin cover I'd made for my '09 V650, and used on D2D '13, HOPEFULLY to get rid of the "ass-burn" I experienced on 'Gopher Safari #4'.

We'll see....


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post #1091 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 01:00 AM
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Today I took the bike out in the morning to run some errands and then I took bike to work. I love riding when I can.
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post #1092 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 07:31 AM
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Took the day off, and rode out to Bald Hill Headland Reserve. Beautiful day, not too much traffic, which is great, because I'm just getting used to riding at motorway speeds, again. I was also way too excited to see another Versys rider on the way - same color scheme as mine, but his was a 1000.
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post #1093 of 1119 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 06:00 PM
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Rode over to West Kelowna to get some pics of my 'drag-bike' scanned from the ORIGINAL magazine (Jan 1967) where it was the 'lead-article', for the Kawi Dealer who sold my '15 V650 LT to me.

His plan is to frame them, then add them to his Wall of Fame in the dealership.

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post #1094 of 1119 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 12:01 AM
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What did I install on my Versys for this riding season? Bark Buster hand guards, clip on air deflector to windscreen, Moto Werk handle bar riser (with damper) , Moto Werk mirror offsets, EK chain, Michelin Road 5 tires and a Terry Adcox seat. Zero Gravity windscreen was installed a couple of years ago.

90% of the miles put on my 650 Versys are commuting in light suburban and exurban conditions with a weekend breakfast rides (and a few day/weekend trips) thrown in for good measure. Typical riding season is 6K to 8K miles on, sadly, mostly straight roads.

The Bark Buster hand guards really helped with the cold/wet weather and does a good job keeping the bugs (and bug juice!) off my riding gloves. The Moto Werk mirror offsets really do work. Didn’t seem like the mirrors vibrated any more than before (although rubber damped handle bar risers were installed). The Moto Werk handle bar risers put the bar in a more favorable position for me (~5’11” w/32” inseam). I think the vibration is less than before but not absolutely sure (memory just isn’t that good!). The clip on wind deflector helped divert the airflow to approximately the top on the helmet visor. The deflector works best on calm days but there is a LOT of buffeting on the helmet if there are cross winds (or even strong head on winds). Bottom line, fewer, but not zero, bugs on the helmet windscreen and still lots of helmet buffeting on windy days.

The DID X chains last about one to one and a half riding seasons. Others have suggested trying other chains, so this season it will be the EK 520 SRX2. We’ll see how long this one lasts.

The best mod for this season is the seat was modified by Terry Adcox. Could not be happier with the result. For me the bucket type seat prevents the sliding forward issue of the stock and Sargent seats I previously used. The weight distribution is spread out better with the new seat. I could only get about a half hour of pain free riding on the stock set. That jumped up to about one hour on the Sargent seat. Did a four hour ride on the seat modified by Terry – other parts of me were sore but not my bottom! One thing to be aware of, even though the seat height did not change my feet are now on “tippy toes” when stopped. Was more on the balls of my feet when on the Sargent seat. I think the reason is the “side wings” on the seat prevent the leg from extending straight down. Again, for me, this is a very happy compromise I’m willing to make.

Finally, replaced the Michelin Pilot Road 4 (PR4) tires with Michelin Road 5 tires. Even though there was still tread left after ~6K miles, the rear tire was noticeably worn flat and the front tire was badly scalloped, to the point where I felt vibration coming through. The PR4’s did work exceptionally well in the wet, even when worn. When the PR4”s were new, the bike literally felt like it was on rails going through turns but now felt a little squirmy and did not inspire confidence. What a difference after the Road 5’s were installed. Been on these tires for about 300 miles. The bike now feels like it’s back on rails but it was kind of weird getting used to the new tires. As others mentioned, it almost seemed like the bike was falling into the turn. Thinking about this I came to realize the Road 5’s are completely neutral, meaning when set into a turn there is NO force trying the stand the bike up straight the bike just stays in the turn until commanded to do something different. The worn PR4’s (I think) were fighting the turn which means constant input was needed to keep the bike in a turn. After getting used to the new Road 5’s the riding is a delight, the tires really do inspire confidence. The vibration is also gone. Gas mileage seems to be the same or slightly better than the PR4’s but don’t have enough miles to establish a long term average. Haven’t been caught in the rain (yet) so no comment on that. The only slight knock is there does seem to be quite a bit of road noise coming from the front tire above 45MPH. The PR4’s sounded similar so maybe it’s just a natural frequency of bike/wheel set up.

Now need to do something about the rear shock. Lots of good ideas on this forum on what to do. Next year’s project!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg rear_pr4.jpg (30.7 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg front_pr4.jpg (34.4 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg bike.jpg (63.4 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg tires.jpg (34.1 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg seat.jpg (54.4 KB, 20 views)
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post #1095 of 1119 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:37 AM
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Well, it wasn't today but for the last 3 weeks my son, J, and I toured Baja. If you haven't been there it's an exercise in traveling a variety of roads and ya never know what's next. They go from decent to potholes that can swallow a tire to no pavement, sand, and anything you can imagine. We entered at Tecate and traveled the length zigzagging the whole peninsula all the way to Cabo. The little Versys 650 did well. I set it up for light off-road with T-Rex skid plate and luggage bars, knock-off Givi type front crash bars and extra straps around the hard cases for support. After about 2,500 miles and many miles of nasty roads I managed to drop it and break a front turn signal... and, of course, the plastic that holds it.
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post #1096 of 1119 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 10:53 AM
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Well, it wasn't today but for the last 3 weeks my son, J, and I toured Baja. If you haven't been there it's an exercise in traveling a variety of roads and ya never know what's next. They go from decent to potholes that can swallow a tire to no pavement, sand, and anything you can imagine. We entered at Tecate and traveled the length zigzagging the whole peninsula all the way to Cabo. The little Versys 650 did well. I set it up for light off-road with T-Rex skid plate and luggage bars, knock-off Givi type front crash bars and extra straps around the hard cases for support. After about 2,500 miles and many miles of nasty roads I managed to drop it and break a front turn signal... and, of course, the plastic that holds it.
Great bike trip,especially with your son.I drove the road to Cabo a few times in cars in the 90s via San Diego,very special part of the world. The road can change drastically depending on how much money the local govt. has,which usually isnt much!They dont really have rock to build road beds so its sand under pavement if your lucky which can wash away and will. Potholes that you could climb into. Our biggest worry was after dark hitting a cow,which roamed freely anywhere as free-range and pop up out of nowhere. You hit a cow as a gringo and you may end up in the cooler while they sort it out and made to compensate the cows owner,who usually is pobre. Of course on a bike,you really would suffer if you hit a cow....
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post #1097 of 1119 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:58 PM
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We noticed the cows...and goats wandering across any ol stretch of road. Many people warned us about driving at night because of the black cows but discovered that there weren't nearly as many of them as light colored cows. With all those semis cruising around it seems there is evidence of Natural Selection at work?
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post #1098 of 1119 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 11:41 AM
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We noticed the cows...and goats wandering across any ol stretch of road. Many people warned us about driving at night because of the black cows but discovered that there weren't nearly as many of them as light colored cows. With all those semis cruising around it seems there is evidence of Natural Selection at work?
I dont remember many black cows either! But with the heat down there in the desert summer I cant imagine having a black coat would be a good idea either for survival. Black is a good color for animals in the northern hemisphere where long nights in the winter make black stealth and attracts needed heat in the cold. Kinda like a black bike (which I have as well)...its like riding a hot tamale once the midday sun bears down with temperature in the 90s,gotta keep movin!
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post #1099 of 1119 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 12:29 AM
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I re-installed the sheepskin cover I'd made for my '09 V650, and used on D2D '13, HOPEFULLY to get rid of the "ass-burn" I experienced on 'Gopher Safari #4'.

We'll see....

The sheepskin cover realy helps on the longer rides,I never leave home without one.

Happy riding.
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post #1100 of 1119 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 06:52 PM
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Went to the store to buy chicken breasts, for dinner. Good times.

My fiancee is really surprised at how willing I am to run errands like this after work, since getting the Versys.
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