Another great article about the Versys - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Another great article about the Versys

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ho...650/index.html


2011 Kawasaki Versys
2003 Kawasaki KLR 250
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 03:38 PM
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Too bad you have to subscribe to the magazine to read the article.

'09 Versys -Green

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 03:42 PM
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i didnt have to subscribe... it just comes right up

1997 KLR 650
2011 Halle-friggin-leuya Versys
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 04:08 PM
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That "article"" was printed in the June issue of Motorcyclist.

And, DD, no need to subscribe to see it.

John in AZ
'08 Versys
'11 Victory Cross Roads

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 04:11 PM
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Sounds like he has been all over this forum too, great long term wright up!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 06:18 PM
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Copy below:




Kawasaki Versys 650 | Doin' Time

Staffers' Rides
From the June, 2011 issue of Motorcyclist
Photography by Joe Bonnello
Ringleader: Marty Estes
MSRP (2010): $7599
Miles: 9426-12,985
MPG: 46.2
Mods: None lately

Is less really more? If you’re talking about Kawasaki’s Versys 650, absolutely! The relatively meager sum of $7699 (up $100 for 2011) buys you one heck of a competent all-rounder right out of the box. Over the course of nearly 13,000 miles, my long-term Versys was content with little more than 87-octane unleaded, chain lube and fresh oil in the crankcase.



Every oil change should be this easy: All that’s needed is 2.5 quarts of oil, a filter, a funnel, a 17mm socket and a few minutes. Everything is out in the open. The most time-consuming part of the process is waiting for the old oil to drain. Slip in a clean K&N oil filter ($14.95; www.knfilters.com) with a 17mm hex on the end to make the job even easier. I used 100-percent synthetic Maxima Maxum4 Extra ($14.99 per liter; www.maximausa.com) for all of my oil changes. A less expensive lube might have done the job, but keeping this little revver happy is worth a few extra bucks.



There’s no major maintenance scheduled until the first valve inspection at 26,250 miles. Spark plugs should be replaced every 7500 miles, but some owners on the Kawasaki Versys message board (www.kawasakiversys.com)have reported going far longer without issue. Kawasaki recommends changing the brake fluid at 15K, and the coolant and cooling system hoses at 22.5K. Other than that, it’s just regular inspections and minor adjustments. High-mileage riders on the board generally report anvil-like reliability. Mine, with nearly 13,000 miles on the clock, feels as fresh as when I took delivery, suspension included.



At first I thought the brakes would need work, but I ended up living with the stock setup. Those two-piston front calipers are a definite weak point for an aggressive rider. To increase leverage, I slid the brake lever assembly inboard so that I grasped the outer part of the lever. This can be done on the clutch side for an easier pull, as well. The only downside is this also moves the mirrors inboard, but that can be remedied with aftermarket mirror extenders. So set up, braking power improved, but steel-braided lines and/or aftermarket pads would have been worth the relatively modest effort and expense.



The Avon Storm 2 Ultra tires ($158.33 front, $198.86 rear;www.avonmoto.com) mounted at 4200 miles exceeded my expectations, lasting well over 7000 miles despite lots of freeway work mixed with aggressive daily canyon commuting. Traction and feel survived until about 500 miles shy of that mark, when the front squared-off and things started to get sketchy. That’s about twice what I typically get out of more sporting rubber—a good money-saver.



I tried to keep the bike near stock, but of the mods I did perform, my two favorites were the aftermarket seat ($390 with core exchange; www.motorbikesaddles.com) and the revised gearing ($79.95; www.supersproxusa.com). If you plan to change the position of the adjustable windscreen often, it’s exponentially quicker and easier if you spend a little money. The screen is held in place with four bolts, and to change the position you need to remove all of those and relocate the threaded rubber grommets (called Well Nuts) into different holes. Digging those suckers out of the soft, thin plastic without causing damage to the cowl is an exercise in frustration, adding minutes to what would otherwise be a 60-second procedure. It’s worth the money to buy six additional grommets. The OEM parts are more than $6 each, but I found Windscreen Bolts Kits from Hong Kong on eBay for $9 total. Either way, this is money well spent.




Aftermarket tall seat from...






With three fewer teeth than...







So? The Versys proved to be a flexible multi-purpose ride that’s inexpensive to own and operate. It will do 50 miles per gallon if you’re prudent with your right wrist (I averaged 45 mpg), and 200-plus miles between fill-ups. I found myself wishing for an engine-temperature gauge, but that’s nitpicking.



While not exceptional in any one area, the Versys has no glaring faults either. In the year I had mine, I routinely chose it over other, more glamorous bikes in our test fleet. Heading into this long-term test, I was afraid the 650 was too basic and limiting to be truly enjoyable for an experienced rider on a daily basis. Au contraire! You can commute, tour, scratch the canyons, even take it to a track day. And for novice riders, it’s even more appropriate. Living with the Versys also confirmed that Motorcyclist absolutely got it right in naming it our 2008 Motorcycle of the Year. The Kawasaki Versys is the Swiss Army Knife of motorcycles.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 08:06 PM
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Saw it in the mag...cool read.

"I found myself wishing for an engine-temperature gauge, but that’s nitpicking."

+1

BTW: I bought a 2 year (24 issue) subscription for $12! I mean, why not?

Ride to live, live to ride.
2009 Kawasaki Versys
2010 Yamaha YZ 250F
2008 Honda CRF 450
2006 Honda CR 250R
I've owned a Maico.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 09:58 PM
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Yeah...engine temp gauge would be really nice. I hate idiot lights and prefer gauges.

If someone ever did a new instrument panel for the Versys with more gauges I'd be all over that farkle in a heartbeat.

2009 Kawasaki Versys
SWM Engine Guard; Windscreen de Jour on a MadStad bracket; Motowerk Peg Lowering kit & Stand Big Foot; ProTaper ATV Low bars; Stebel horn; KTM Duals Rear Rack; Coocase 36L topcase...and more to come


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimel View Post
Yeah...engine temp gauge would be really nice. I hate idiot lights and prefer gauges.

If someone ever did a new instrument panel for the Versys with more gauges I'd be all over that farkle in a heartbeat.
+1

~~ Live Like You're Dying ~~
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-04-2011, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kimel View Post
Yeah...engine temp gauge would be really nice. I hate idiot lights and prefer gauges.

If someone ever did a new instrument panel for the Versys with more gauges I'd be all over that farkle in a heartbeat.
The 2002 KLR 250 I just bought has a temp guage

Nothing's too cruel if it's funny enough.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-04-2011, 03:36 PM
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I checked again and the article comes up fine now, however on a previous try it had a big ad right in the middle of the article to subscribe to the magazine before it would let you read the article. Ok, now. Don't know what happened.

'09 Versys -Green

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-04-2011, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallasdon View Post
I checked again and the article comes up fine now, however on a previous try it had a big ad right in the middle of the article to subscribe to the magazine before it would let you read the article. Ok, now. Don't know what happened.
The same thing happened to me. I got the ad, then I read that other people were reading the article without issue. When I went back to the page, I got the article and not the ad.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 10:10 AM
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Is the first valve inspection really at 26K on the 10-11's per this article?
Its 15K on my 08, did it change in later years?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogre_fl View Post
Is the first valve inspection really at 26K on the 10-11's per this article?
Its 15K on my 08, did it change in later years?
This is one of the notable differences between the owner's manual, (15k miles), and the shop manual, (26k miles). I think the consensus is that 26k is the appropriate interval.

Michael
Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.
- Terry Pratchett

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogre_fl View Post
Is the first valve inspection really at 26K on the 10-11's per this article?
Its 15K on my 08, did it change in later years?
As Miguelito said, it depends on which manual you look at...

The 2007 Shop Manual says: CA Model 15k miles and Other than CA Model 26k miles (CA=Canada)

The 2010 Shop Manual says: US/CA Model 15k miles and Other than US/CA Model 26k miles

My 2010 (US) Owner’s Manual says 26k miles.

AFAIK the engines are identical so my guess is that the discrepancies are due to environmental regulations issues (possibly changing over the time of the manual’s printings).

It seems that most folks find them to be on the tight end of the spec at the first inspection (possibly assembled that way).

Since too tight can cause damage (burnt valves) – I’d recommend doing them no later than 15k, set them to the middle of the spec, and then doing them at 26k thereafter...
.

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