Versys a good starter bike? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Question Versys a good starter bike?

Hey all,
I'm 5'6 and about 175lbs.
I've never ridden before, but I've been two up on plenty of bikes.

Do you think that the Versys would be a good starter bike for me?
Someone mentioned it might go 1000cc in 2012, but if that's true I'd primarily be looking for a 650cc bike.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 10:47 AM
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IMHO yes sir. its a good starter bike and you need some basis handling course and you should do fine.

The versys is forgiving one.



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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 11:08 AM
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I'd say that the V is a great starter-bike, a great ANYTHING (except SERIOUS dirt) bike, but it is a little high, so you may want to check out Speedy's foot peg lowering blocks, and bike lowering kits. Here's the link:

http://motowerk.com/Versys.aspx

Take the MSF riders course, buy proper gear and be ATGATT!

Good luck, and enjoy!




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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 11:41 AM
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Yep! Like Fast said the V is awesome! But it will be a little high for you!
Congrats and ride safe!



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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 11:47 AM
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i said it in the other thread too,but its a great bike for beginners and the linear torque is nice so its not as easy to get in over your head, but it is a bit tall and that takes some getting used to.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 12:12 PM
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At 5'6 you will need to lower the bike. Other then that it's a great place to start. You'll constantly hear the same things repeated from responsible experienced riders. Take the MSF course, start simple and practice a lot. Make sure you are in the right state of mind to be riding. Some people just have risky irreponsible behavior wired into them. I started on 600cc supersports, but just had a mind for not killing myself so it was never an issue. Be safe and have fun out there

Mike
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 12:18 PM
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While it might make for an OK starter bike, I prefer the learning ladder that I took: My first bike was a Kawasaki Ninja 500 (lots of info on www.ex-500.com) and I rode that for a year and a half before buying a Versys.

The Ninja 500 is lightweight, easy to straddle, nimble as a cat and fun to ride. You're a little less likely to get in over year head with an EX-500 than with a Versys.

And you can get a used Ninja 500 cheap, assuming you live in the States.

2009 Versys
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holden View Post
While it might make for an OK starter bike, I prefer the learning ladder that I took: My first bike was a Kawasaki Ninja 500 (lots of info on www.ex-500.com) and I rode that for a year and a half before buying a Versys.

The Ninja 500 is lightweight, easy to straddle, nimble as a cat and fun to ride. You're a little less likely to get in over year head with an EX-500 than with a Versys.

And you can get a used Ninja 500 cheap, assuming you live in the States.
+1! I rode my ex500 for 4 years before buying the Versys. I think that a year or two on the 500 would be fine, as the only reason it took me so long to upgrade was financial constraints. The 500 is very forgiving, lightweight, low, and can still keep pace. All-in-all a great way to learn how to ride without having so much power you can get into trouble. Since getting the Versys, I've accidentally lifted the front wheel a few times, which could have been a bad thing had I not had several years of riding experience beforehand.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holden View Post
While it might make for an OK starter bike, I prefer the learning ladder that I took: My first bike was a Kawasaki Ninja 500 (lots of info on www.ex-500.com) and I rode that for a year and a half before buying a Versys.

The Ninja 500 is lightweight, easy to straddle, nimble as a cat and fun to ride. You're a little less likely to get in over year head with an EX-500 than with a Versys.

And you can get a used Ninja 500 cheap, assuming you live in the States.
The EX-500 was discontinued in '09 I think.. I want to buy a bike new so I can put all the miles on it (not incredibly important, more of a pride thing I guess). I think I'd be going with the Ninja 250 if I don't get a Versys.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holden View Post
While it might make for an OK starter bike, I prefer the learning ladder that I took: My first bike was a Kawasaki Ninja 500 (lots of info on www.ex-500.com) and I rode that for a year and a half before buying a Versys.

The Ninja 500 is lightweight, easy to straddle, nimble as a cat and fun to ride. You're a little less likely to get in over year head with an EX-500 than with a Versys.

And you can get a used Ninja 500 cheap, assuming you live in the States.
Quote:
Originally Posted by psych-ed View Post
+1! I rode my ex500 for 4 years before buying the Versys. I think that a year or two on the 500 would be fine, as the only reason it took me so long to upgrade was financial constraints. The 500 is very forgiving, lightweight, low, and can still keep pace. All-in-all a great way to learn how to ride without having so much power you can get into trouble. Since getting the Versys, I've accidentally lifted the front wheel a few times, which could have been a bad thing had I not had several years of riding experience beforehand.
+1

While the Versys would not be a bad starter bike, it may not be the best IMO. It might be a little tall and a "bit much" while you are learning the ropes. If you've never ridden a motorcycle before, you might be better served by something like the Ninja 500, Suzuki GS 500, or even the Ninja 250.


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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 01:21 PM
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The Versys is my first bike, and although I'm a bit taller than you (6'2"), I've found it to be fun and still challenging even after about 4000 miles. It has adequate performance but not enough to really get you in trouble. I ride 2-up with my girlfriend on occasion and find it has enough power for that. It's also great fun in the twisties.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ArtaxIsDead View Post
The EX-500 was discontinued in '09 I think.. I want to buy a bike new so I can put all the miles on it (not incredibly important, more of a pride thing I guess). I think I'd be going with the Ninja 250 if I don't get a Versys.
I almost wrote about the 250 in my reply above, but decided against it because I'm sure to upset some folks. In any case, I think they are a waste of money for anyone over 150lbs. While they do retain a good deal of their value, it would be silly IMHO to buy one new. You'll likely outgrow it very quickly, and will be looking to upgrade before the end of this season (at a loss of at least $1000).

The 500 was indeed discontinued, but you can get used ones pretty cheap. I bought a 1993 ex500 with 12k miles on it back in 2005 for about $1000 and dropped it in my driveway the day I got it (along with a few other drops over the years). If I had bought new I would have surely been much more upset than I was about the scratched paint, busted turn signal, and crack in the fairing. Instead, a little epoxy fixed her right up and gave me 4 good years of riding experience. If you're new to riding, you're bound to make a few mistakes, so why not make them on a beater bike rather than a new $5-7k bike? I was a poor 18-year old college student when I started riding and got the 500, so your situation may be very different. All that said, the Versys is everything I've ever wanted in a bike--tall (I'm 6'4"), plenty of power and low end torque, great looks, great MPG, and is relatively forgiving for someone who is still learning. I'm definitely glad I started on the 500 though, so I had some time to make newb mistakes without getting hurt.

Just my 2 cents!

Last edited by psych-ed; 07-12-2011 at 03:09 PM.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Holden View Post
While it might make for an OK starter bike, I prefer the learning ladder that I took: My first bike was a Kawasaki Ninja 500 (lots of info on www.ex-500.com) and I rode that for a year and a half before buying a Versys.

The Ninja 500 is lightweight, easy to straddle, nimble as a cat and fun to ride. You're a little less likely to get in over year head with an EX-500 than with a Versys.

And you can get a used Ninja 500 cheap, assuming you live in the States.
The 500 is an excellent starter bike although if your budget allows it I would consider a Ninja 650. Given your size I think you might find the Ninja 650 is a better bike than the Versys for your unique requirements as I suspect you would get a better fit with it. Performance is very similar. The Versys and Ninja 650 share almost all the same mechanicals.


http://cycle-ergo.com/

Last edited by twowheels; 07-12-2011 at 03:19 PM.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your responses!
A little more background on my monetary issues: I have a job all school year long.. I'll make a little over 2,000 this year (without summer jobs). I already have some money saved up which is why I'm waiting until after this year to purchase. I have no intention of going ultra high speeds, lane-splitting, or any of that. I just wanna cruise around, maybe do some touring
While money IS an issue, the reason I would prefer to buy new is because I don't know exactly how a motorcycle is supposed to run, how the breaks are supposed to feel, etc.
I'm worried if I buy used something could be wrong with the bike but I wouldn't know it just by test driving it.

Last edited by ArtaxIsDead; 07-12-2011 at 03:25 PM.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ArtaxIsDead View Post
Thanks for all your responses!
A little more background on my monetary issues: I have a job all school year long.. I'll make a little over 2,000 this year (without summer jobs). I already have some money saved up which is why I'm waiting until after this year to purchase. I have no intention of going ultra high speeds, lane-splitting, or any of that. I just wanna cruise around, maybe do some touring
While money IS an issue, the reason I would prefer to buy new is because I don't know exactly how a motorcycle is supposed to run, how the breaks are supposed to feel, etc.
I'm worried if I buy used something could be wrong with the bike but I wouldn't know it just by test driving it.
Don't forget you're going to need to spend ~$1000 on gear (helmet, jacket(s), pants, boots and probably hot and cold weather gloves. You can do it for less by shopping for used gear but gear and insurance eat up more money than people budget for. Given your budget I would consider a cheap used bike. If your worried about the condition take it to the dealer to do an inspection before you buy. As a rule of thumb a bike will depreciate 50% in the first 3 years.
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 09:42 PM
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I have put 30k miles on my first bike, the Versys. It is very forgiving, easy to work on, and has plenty power (though it could always use a little more).

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtaxIsDead View Post
Thanks for all your responses!
A little more background on my monetary issues: I have a job all school year long.. I'll make a little over 2,000 this year (without summer jobs). I already have some money saved up which is why I'm waiting until after this year to purchase. I have no intention of going ultra high speeds, lane-splitting, or any of that. I just wanna cruise around, maybe do some touring
While money IS an issue, the reason I would prefer to buy new is because I don't know exactly how a motorcycle is supposed to run, how the breaks are supposed to feel, etc.
I'm worried if I buy used something could be wrong with the bike but I wouldn't know it just by test driving it.
Understand your concern.

first thing to do is to take some motorcycle riding course and this will provide you with enough feel about biking. Then you decide weather you want a new bike or used one based on the financial situation.

Use the time you have now to learn more on handling and riding a bike. A friend might be near you to lend you a helping hand.

wish you all the best.

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 11:03 PM
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Im not much taller than you an ride an 08 with the oem low gel seat and have no issues. Any standard is a good choice as a starter bike and the versys is one of the best. However, you should take an msf course and get your endorsement before you go shopping for a bike. As a new rider you will go through a steep learning curve that does not have to include dropping a bike. However, through the first year you will find what kind of rider you are and it is likely you might want to change your ride. Going new means taking a steep depreciation hit if you decide to trade. That is a good reason to buy used. About the size of a stater bike, get what you feel comfortable. The heavier the bike the more difficult to control therefore you want to go light. No one get a ferrari as their first car. That is the level of performance of many race replicas. That is why I dont recommend them.

My two cents.
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 10:11 AM
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Agreed a MSF course will be 1st step.
Get good protective and visible riding gear like a suit, boots, etc.
Get familiar with the bike controls and ride within your abilities.
Knowing what to check on your bike before riding is equally important. Examples like tires, fluids, signal lights, etc.

My feel is for riding safe is to see/scan where you are going well ahead and maintain a space distance from dangers. Identity and be alert to react.

Be easy on turns first: Slow, Look, Lean and roll the throttle smoothly.

The v is a good starter bike and a tad tall. Lowering the front and back to suit your inseam. Good rides, ArtaxIsDead..

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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 08:08 PM
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At 5' 6" this bike is too tall for a beginner. You will be nervous enough without worrying about falling over. When I took my MSF course the cruisers were by far the easiest bike to ride. When I had an SV650 I rented a Harley Softail for a film shoot and it was significantly easier to ride even though it weighed over 700 lbs. Cruisers are easier to ride and will allow you to focus on the million other things you need to learn. Do not buy a Versys, you will be more likely drop it than a lower bike. Most important, turn off your computer and go sit on some bikes and see which one intimidates you the least. The internet is almost worthless when it comes to a decision like this. You will hear a million diff. opinions and everyone will disagree. You will have plenty of time to get a cool bike. My first was an SV650 and I wished I bought a cruiser instead. I love my Versys but if I wasn't 6"1" I wouldn't have bought it. Good luck.
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