A month with the V: things I've learned - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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A month with the V: things I've learned

Finally got a good, long ride in today. After a month with the V, here are my observations:
  • I may have a faulty fuel level sensor. Topped off in Johnson City. About 15-20 mi later, I was showing one bar over half a tank. This alarmed me, as I thought maybe I had a leak and was dumping fuel. Pulled over to check it out, and nothing was leaking. Got back on, keeping an eye on the gauge. It suddenly jumped up to one bar under full, then back to showing a bit over half. Searching the forums seems to indicate this has happened to at least one other person. I'll keep an eye on it - it's still under extended warranty.
  • While I initially liked the grip puppies, I think I'm going to dump them. With my winter gloves, the grips are simply too bulky for me to easily handle the controls by feel.
  • The V behaves better being revved. Loping along at 4500 RPM, there is vibration in the bars which is bothersome. At 5000-5500 RPM or higher, that vibe goes away and the bike feels smoother. Not sure why that is. I'm considering options to replace the stock bar.
  • Why does the only the left mirror lose its position? I never have to adjust the right.
  • I need to revise my windshield and helmet combination. I like my Nolan N103 for riding the scooter, but on the V, it's just too damned noisy. Even with earplugs, the wind noise is deafening. I'm also getting some buffeting off the Mike's shield. I'm going to switch to a MadStad and maybe an MRA or Givi screen at some point and see if I can find a sweet spot. And I'm going to break down and get an Arai. It's what I used to ride in, and what I always swore by. I'll keep the Nolan for the scooter.
  • Had to ride a low-water crossing (near Pedernales state park) and although the rear got a little squirrelly, it was easy to control. Quite confidence-inspiring.
  • Considering heavier fork oil and maybe making some adjustments to the rear. I believe I'm lighter than the previous owner, and I feel like the rear could use some stiffening up. Is there anyone in Austin who is knowledgeable about suspension setup?

I am still quite pleased with the bike. It's a great machine, probably the best overall bike I've ever owned, out of the 7-8 or so I've had over the years.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 05:44 PM
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regarding suspension, i found a local sport bike shop and had them set it up for me. it was money well spent! the bike handles 100% better.

heavier fork oil is on my list for the 1year upgrade/maintenance item list.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 05:53 PM
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I have the Givi on mine, in case you want one to look at.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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regarding suspension, i found a local sport bike shop and had them set it up for me. it was money well spent! the bike handles 100% better.

heavier fork oil is on my list for the 1year upgrade/maintenance item list.
Cool. I'll call around to a couple shops and see if I can get some help setting it up.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 06:00 PM
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regarding suspension, i found a local sport bike shop and had them set it up for me. it was money well spent! the bike handles 100% better.
which shop, traxxion? what did they do?

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 06:09 PM
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I can answer the left mirror issue, it loosens because its right hand threaded, and the wind naturally loosens it. Don't know why Kawasaki hasn't put left hand threads on their left mirrors; lots of other manufacturers do. I solved my loose mirror issue with liberal amount of blue Loctite on the inner tension bolt, and red permanent locktite on the mirror mount bolt. Hasn't budged in 10,000 miles. I just don't adjust it, leave it alone.

The GIVI worked for me, and I think the Shoei is fairly quiet.

For the vibration in the bars, the bar end weights help, so if they were removed for Barkbusters that might be the reason. I found using the foam tape fix on the plastic fairing bits helped the handlebar vibration as well, if that makes any sense. My only vibrations now at 18K are in the footpegs, and that can't be felt when wearing boots. Good luck!

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Last edited by Element; 12-31-2010 at 06:17 PM.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 06:22 PM
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which shop, traxxion? what did they do?
marietta motorsports. they did a full setup - preload and rebound adjustment. plenty of times on and off the bike, measurements, fine tuning, test ride, another quick fine tuning.. it was only $37 and was well worth it. the best part is that they let me stick around in the shop and explained everything so I can do it myself next time if i can ever get my hands on the spanner needed for the rear shock.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 06:30 PM
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@indulf,
That sounds like a bargain for sure!

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Wonder who in Austin does that. A quick sparring session with Google didn't yield any results.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 11:30 PM
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marietta motorsports. they did a full setup
cool. for the price, that's hard to beat. i might have to go out of my way for that deal. thnx for the info.
Quote:
Originally Posted by indulf View Post
if i can ever get my hands on the spanner needed for the rear shock.
not sure what in the versys tool pouch i was supposed to use for shock preload, but the honda spanner works.

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indulf View Post
marietta motorsports. they did a full setup - preload and rebound adjustment. plenty of times on and off the bike, measurements, fine tuning, test ride, another quick fine tuning.. it was only $37 and was well worth it. the best part is that they let me stick around in the shop and explained everything so I can do it myself next time if i can ever get my hands on the spanner needed for the rear shock.
My tool pouch had a spanner in it...

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 08:25 AM
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Just throwing this out there. I got the service manual and it explained a lot about setting up the suspension. If you don't have it you should get it. $$ well spent.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Element View Post
I can answer the left mirror issue, it loosens because its right hand threaded, and the wind naturally loosens it. Don't know why Kawasaki hasn't put left hand threads on their left mirrors; lots of other manufacturers do. I solved my loose mirror issue with liberal amount of blue Loctite on the inner tension bolt, and red permanent locktite on the mirror mount bolt. Hasn't budged in 10,000 miles. I just don't adjust it, leave it alone.

The GIVI worked for me, and I think the Shoei is fairly quiet.

For the vibration in the bars, the bar end weights help, so if they were removed for Barkbusters that might be the reason. I found using the foam tape fix on the plastic fairing bits helped the handlebar vibration as well, if that makes any sense. My only vibrations now at 18K are in the footpegs, and that can't be felt when wearing boots. Good luck!
I have given this some thought. Yamaha uses a left hand thread on the right mirror, IMO, in case you whack something the mirror will loosen and turn rather than tighten and snap the perch. Like I say, my theory. I had no problem with the Versys mirrors rotating after I read how to properly tighten them. My best solution was to go with the ZRX mirrors. The members of the ZRXOA practically give them away.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 10:19 AM
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This is my combo: Givi + MRA lips and using a Caberg Helmet which is naturally noisy, no problem at all.



Never had a problem on lose mirrors but replaced stock with this cheap mirrors form www.MASHOnline.com
Less vibration and a clear view of what;s behind.
http://www.mashonline.com/New%20Site/ClampMirrors.html


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 12:45 PM
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For the windshield, I would also recommend a Madstad bracket. It allows you to adjust whatever windshield you do get 'on the fly' and allows for a higher overall height. I use mine with a Givi and adjust it a little higher for highways and about half-way for everything else. Just using the Givi didn't solve my buffeting issues. I too switched to an Arai ( mostly for comfort with my 'head-shape') and find it a lot quieter than the HJC I was using before. FWIW, I'm 6'1", inseam 32".

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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For the windshield, I would also recommend a Madstad bracket. It allows you to adjust whatever windshield you do get 'on the fly' and allows for a higher overall height. I use mine with a Givi and adjust it a little higher for highways and about half-way for everything else. Just using the Givi didn't solve my buffeting issues. I too switched to an Arai ( mostly for comfort with my 'head-shape') and find it a lot quieter than the HJC I was using before. FWIW, I'm 6'1", inseam 32".
That sounds pretty similar to my measurements. I'm 6' 1" with a 34" inseam, but my V has the lower pegs and a Corbin, so I bet we sit right at the same place.

When the Madstad is at full-height, is there buffeting or just wind noise? Like, is your head getting bounced around by the wind or is it smooth airflow? I don't mind smooth airflow, I do mind buffeting.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 08:20 AM
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Just wind noise, not hard buffeting like the original windscreen. It seems like the airflow hits just over the top of the helmet at the highest setting with some minor flow under the screen. I used to run with NO windshield but found the rain/bugs/wind hitting my midsection was a bit much, I'm a large guy and it was pushing me all over the road. Just having the adjustability on the windscreen ( on the fly, no tools required ) is a great feature.

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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 09:23 AM
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Finally got a good, long ride in today. After a month with the V, here are my observations:
  • I may have a faulty fuel level sensor. Topped off in Johnson City. About 15-20 mi later, I was showing one bar over half a tank. This alarmed me, as I thought maybe I had a leak and was dumping fuel. Pulled over to check it out, and nothing was leaking. Got back on, keeping an eye on the gauge. It suddenly jumped up to one bar under full, then back to showing a bit over half. Searching the forums seems to indicate this has happened to at least one other person. I'll keep an eye on it - it's still under extended warranty.
  • While I initially liked the grip puppies, I think I'm going to dump them. With my winter gloves, the grips are simply too bulky for me to easily handle the controls by feel.
  • The V behaves better being revved. Loping along at 4500 RPM, there is vibration in the bars which is bothersome. At 5000-5500 RPM or higher, that vibe goes away and the bike feels smoother. Not sure why that is. I'm considering options to replace the stock bar.
  • Why does the only the left mirror lose its position? I never have to adjust the right.
  • I need to revise my windshield and helmet combination. I like my Nolan N103 for riding the scooter, but on the V, it's just too damned noisy. Even with earplugs, the wind noise is deafening. I'm also getting some buffeting off the Mike's shield. I'm going to switch to a MadStad and maybe an MRA or Givi screen at some point and see if I can find a sweet spot. And I'm going to break down and get an Arai. It's what I used to ride in, and what I always swore by. I'll keep the Nolan for the scooter.
  • Had to ride a low-water crossing (near Pedernales state park) and although the rear got a little squirrelly, it was easy to control. Quite confidence-inspiring.
  • Considering heavier fork oil and maybe making some adjustments to the rear. I believe I'm lighter than the previous owner, and I feel like the rear could use some stiffening up. Is there anyone in Austin who is knowledgeable about suspension setup?

I am still quite pleased with the bike. It's a great machine, probably the best overall bike I've ever owned, out of the 7-8 or so I've had over the years.
Looks like your going through the motions that all of us have encountered in one form or another. Mostly easy mods that just take time. It's nice that there is light at the end of that tunnel. Not very expensive to customize the way you want after everything said and done. One of the other perks of owning a V.This forum basically built my bike for me. I just had to wait for members to part with some of their stuff. Almost all my improvements were purchased through this forum. Only thing I bought straight out was the extended warranty which for some was a waste of money.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 10:34 AM
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I solved my left mirror moving problem by not parking my helmet on it. ;o)
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