Dissenting opinions requested. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Dissenting opinions requested.

Hello All

Obviously this is a forum for those of us who really like the V I am looking at using it for commuting and stress relief and would like to ask the following

What have you noticed are the real costs of owning the V. What do you spend per week/month /year to ride safe and comfortably all year.

What can you reasonably expect to spend on tires, oil and maintenance.

As an Old fart I have a quote from progressive for liability only of about $150US per year for insurance.

How much money should I plan for tires assuming about 8-12,000 miles a year and that

How much money should I plan for maintenance that I cannot do myself (FYI I change all my oil and have replaced timing belts, alternators and a radiator in cars etc. so I am not adverse to getting my hands dirty and knuckles scraped.)

Last, is there anyone that thinks this is not the bike for this? (I doubt any of you will say so... any one that has decided not to ride a bike anymore most likely ain't reading this!)

Thanks Cag
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 12:36 PM
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I've had my 2010 for 7 months. I've done 4600miles, the first service cost 30, the 4000 miles service was 112. I paid 107 for full insurance and I am about to change the tires at around 200. Fuel is around 20 per tank and I average around 180 miles to a tank
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 01:05 PM
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For me the biggests cost outside the bike itself are gear and farkles. If you don't go crazy there then the day to day costs to keep the bike riding are really cheap. If you like to change the oil alot (with the good stuff) and like sticky tires then you your costs can raise considerably.


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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 01:12 PM
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I have been a moto-commuter since the 80's
The Versys is a great choice.

I figure a new rear tire every 6-8K miles, a front every other rear.
Chain & sprockets replace around 20-25K
Brake pads around 15K but that can be plus/minus 7K depending on the commute & amount of sand/water I go through.

The only thing I dont do is the valve adjustment & throttle body sync's.
I have a local independent that charges around $200 for those and a full service every 15K on a twin.

Other than fuel, tires are my single biggest cost.

Strictly my opinion, but I would look at the cost of comprehensive & collision insurance in addition to liability.
For me its all around $190 for the piece of mind that the bike will be repaired/replaced no matter what the circumstance.

Last edited by Ogre_fl; 05-13-2011 at 08:58 PM.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 01:22 PM
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I bought a brand new 2008. I ride about 5000 to 6000 miles per year. Approx every 5000 miles I put on a new front and back tire changed as soon as the wear bars are hit. Say $300 approx. (max) mounted and balanced by the shop. I change the oil myself every 2000 miles, so say three times a year at approx. $30.00 (max) with K&N filter, oil and crush gasket. That is a total of $390.00 a year.

Now gas, a bit tricker but figure as a LOW of 40 miles per gallon, 6000 miles per year is 150 gallons of gas. At $4.00 a gallon that is $600 dollars a year.

Insurance for me is $10.00 a month.

So, assuming my math is correct it looks like $1,110.00 max a year or $92.50 a month without the bike payment. (Paid mine off already)

So this is back and forth to work and lots of weekend rides for me.

In my truck, gas alone for 6000 miles would be approx $1200 a year. No fun factor.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 01:27 PM
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Cag, I'm not far from you, in Charlotte NC. Let's do a little math... With the mechanical experience you describe, and a shop manual, you should be able to do all the maintenance yourself. At 12,000 miles per year (assuming you get 50 mpg with roughly $4.00 gas) your annual fuel bill is under $1000. Consider $250 - $350 for tires maybe 1.5 times per year. $100 for insurance. $80 for (4) oil changes. Annual sum is less than $1,500. Comparatively speaking, it is an economical bike to own. Larger bikes are going to consume gas and tires more quickly, which is the bulk of your annual expense.

The bike is a great mix of economical / performance / fun / comfort. If your main constraint is economical, check out the Ninja 250 or similar.

Hope this helps.
Eric

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 01:31 PM
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+1 to what pmac said about automobile fuel expense. If you subtract out the mileage (fuel) you "would have" put on your automobile, you can potentially either break even or be in the plus. My other vehicle is a Suburban which only gets driven on bad-weather days, so even with a $120 bike payment plus fuel and maintenance at $4.00 gas, it is practically a free bike.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 01:46 PM
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I agree with emdavis197. I would just add that you should budget about $1,000 for some riding gear. I also strongly suggest at least another $1,000 for customizing the bike to fit your needs. Both of these costs could be higher or lower depending on how extensive you get....
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys - this all helps - emdavis197 - Howdy neighbor - other than the full on Thunder Storms/Nor'easters, and the Ice - those days I prolly won't ride because the cages are worse than usual. - but most days are rideable here in NC - you have more traffic than I. Still I can't see why not to commute amap on a bike.

Does anyone think that the V is NOT the MC for a daily commute?

Economy is important - but I want a MC and not a scooter or a 250cc. No offense... Just want a bigger bike than that
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 02:26 PM
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HI Cago, Yes it's a real MC with plenty of power for commuting on the super slab, heck you can almost pick up chicks on it...
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 02:28 PM
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I can not think of a bike better suited for a daily commute. Have you ridden one yet? That would be my recommended next step.

Oh, and if you don't like the seat, don't let that be a show stopper. The seat turned me off at first, but I've re-shaped mine and it is an absolute pleasure at practically $0 expense. I can help you with yours if needed.

Eric

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 03:00 PM
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I'm a late starter riding. I use mine to commute to work every day weather permits. I also tour during the summer and go canyon carving on the weekends. If you are planning to do two up, 3K miles coast to coast, superslab rides, the Versys might not be the best bike fot it. However, if you are going to spend a lot of time commuting, touring in a variety of conditions, and riding the twisties it's hard to go wrong. The cost will depend. This is my third year with the Versys. I ride about 8K miles per year. CO is not a year round riding place so the bike does not see a lot of mileage during the winter.

My maintenance budget is
1 set of tires per year $350
1 year full check with oil change by qualified tech $200
lubricants and supplies $50
1 two year check by qualified tech $350
1 three year check by qualified tech $350

The regular checks by a tech is just a matter of safety paranoia. Although I'm pretty handy with the tools I believe that some maintenance safety checks should be done by the book and I do not have the tools and instrumentation to get them done right. Besides I rather spend the time riding than doing maintenance. I drop the bike at the shop on Wednesday after work and pick it up on Friday afternoon ready for the weekend ride.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 03:06 PM
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If you are considering a motorcycle mostly for the savings you are going to be disappointed. There is a ton of risk involved and if you don't love riding it just isn't worth it. Just one small lapse of concentration and all those cost savings can go right out the window.


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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 03:20 PM
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Hey Cag,

I see "bear on bicycle" got your account all straightened around.
Welcome to the "Verse".

The Versys is my first bike ever.....I gotta say commuting is a joy, Performance is most excellent, I see 230 to 255 miles per tank (US gallons), it carves through the twistie's like it was on rails ( keep in mind I have nothing to compare it too, BUT)....
As a stress reliever...She's just what the doctor ordered.
Gosh I just love the bike!
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 03:58 PM
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I just started something that I find pretty cool... a google document excel spreadsheet of my maintenance. That way I can just take a picture of the oil and filter and the receipt and enter it in there and it saves it out in the "cloud". I have an android phone, so i just take a picture with my phone and save it to the doc and enter the info. So I can pull up my maintenance spreadsheet from any computer/smartphone and it will include all the pictures and info.

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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 04:32 PM
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Nice, but why would you need a picture of the oil and filter?


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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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I guess to clarify - I am trying to commute mostly - Lifestyle is such that M-Fri it is to work and back. Saturday - until 1st week in June - is in front of this computer for an e class. Sunday is the sabbath. Throw in Scouts (I's a Scoutmaster) and trying to get in shape to ride a Century on the Bicycle. Well lets just say for the near future I see no real weekend rides other than errands.

My thought in getting the bike is this - if I am alone I would much rather ride something more fun than the '01 Focus.

2. I would rather get 50+mpg than 29

3. I want my car/cage to last forever - or as long as possible - no special reason other than I do not want to spend money on another one until I must

4. I like doing what others do not.

5. Yes it can be expensive - but I still think the bike will be less costly per mile - so long as I realize the differences in tires etc - so this is kinda what I am driving at - I can do all kinds of crazy spreadsheets - but I do not have a bike - so no real world experience - fill me in -

and you have done a great job so far BTW


Please let me know when you have turned tail and run home. When you said - uuuh I'll take the car - but the less obvious ones - ones you didn't think of before....you had the bike


Thanks!
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 09:29 PM
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I say "uh, I'll take the car" when it is < 40 degrees F outside. Or if there is > 40% chance of rain. I have a 30 mile each way commute, mostly highway. I don't like dealing with the "pain" of cold weather riding. Anything above 40 I can handle, that is my unwritten threshold. Well, I guess now it is written. In the winter I commute about 70% car and 30% bike. In the spring, summer and fall I commute about 70% bike and 30% car.

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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagouillard06 View Post
Thanks guys - this all helps - emdavis197 - Howdy neighbor - other than the full on Thunder Storms/Nor'easters, and the Ice - those days I prolly won't ride because the cages are worse than usual. - but most days are rideable here in NC - you have more traffic than I. Still I can't see why not to commute amap on a bike.

Does anyone think that the V is NOT the MC for a daily commute?

Economy is important - but I want a MC and not a scooter or a 250cc. No offense... Just want a bigger bike than that
I think the V is a great choice for a do-all bike. With gas up to $3.85 here in Western NC and my truck getting 13mpg in the mountains, the fuel and maintenance savings will have paid for my Versys in about 16,000 miles of use. And I'll have had a much better time of it all.


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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagouillard06 View Post
Thanks guys - this all helps - emdavis197 - Howdy neighbor - other than the full on Thunder Storms/Nor'easters, and the Ice - those days I prolly won't ride because the cages are worse than usual. - but most days are rideable here in NC - you have more traffic than I. Still I can't see why not to commute amap on a bike.

Does anyone think that the V is NOT the MC for a daily commute?

Economy is important - but I want a MC and not a scooter or a 250cc. No offense... Just want a bigger bike than that
I've commuted on a Honda Trail -90, a Honda 450, and a CB750, A Suzuki 650a KLR 650 a Yamaha 1600, A Silverado 1700 and a Versys. They all got me to work and back. My question is who are you? Are you old and fat? Young and agile, blue collar or suit, have you ever ridden a MC before. Don't get insulted but the biggest factor in a commuter bike is the commuter. I'm 69, retired, getting soft and chubby and have been riding since 1970. I just bought my second Versys last week, a 2011 red one. I have owned and ridden over 20 different bikes in that time and the Versys is one of the best. It is a very forgiving bike and it responds quickly, again, don't be insulted but you must consider your capability if this is your first time for commuting, consider also how far, how much traffic, Slab or two lane, big city traffic or small town, there is a lot to consider. For example having lived in Denver I would refuse to ride my bike there if I had to commute. I now live in a rural area and riding is very safe and relaxing. I hope this helps and I wish you safe riding.
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