Versys Riding Position Opinions - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Versys Riding Position Opinions

First, I know that on a Versys forum opinions are bound to be a little biased. However, I have read many thoughtful responses on this forum specific to different types of motorcycles, so I am hoping that people with experience on a multitude of machines may be able to provide their opinion.

With that said, I am fairly new to riding and the Versys is my first motorcycle. I have a couple thousand miles on the Versys and have put it threw its paces in the mountain twisties. I have also spent a little time on a GSXR-750, Honda Shadow, and Ninja 250, but not enough time to form solid opinions.

As a downhill mountain biker, I am used to being in the "attack position", ready for anything and nicely balanced for turning, etc. When at speed, hitting the sharp mountain turns, I tend to find myself trying to get into the attack position on the Versys, but do not have much success due to the upright riding position. This, plus the height of the bike do not inspire the level of confidence in the turns I would like.

So, the question is, how about a little more aggressive positioning like on the Z1000? I know that I cannot handle the full race position of the GSXR (shattered elbow from DH keeps me from being comfortable), but the Ninja 250 position, which I consider similar to the Z1000, was quite comfortable. Does anyone have experience with these two positions (Z1000 versus Versys)? And if so, can you provide feedback on positives/negatives between the two?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BeardedStealth View Post
First, I know that on a Versys forum opinions are bound to be a little biased. However, I have read many thoughtful responses on this forum specific to different types of motorcycles, so I am hoping that people with experience on a multitude of machines may be able to provide their opinion.

With that said, I am fairly new to riding and the Versys is my first motorcycle. I have a couple thousand miles on the Versys and have put it threw its paces in the mountain twisties. I have also spent a little time on a GSXR-750, Honda Shadow, and Ninja 250, but not enough time to form solid opinions.

As a downhill mountain biker, I am used to being in the "attack position", ready for anything and nicely balanced for turning, etc. When at speed, hitting the sharp mountain turns, I tend to find myself trying to get into the attack position on the Versys, but do not have much success due to the upright riding position. This, plus the height of the bike do not inspire the level of confidence in the turns I would like.

So, the question is, how about a little more aggressive positioning like on the Z1000? I know that I cannot handle the full race position of the GSXR (shattered elbow from DH keeps me from being comfortable), but the Ninja 250 position, which I consider similar to the Z1000, was quite comfortable. Does anyone have experience with these two positions (Z1000 versus Versys)? And if so, can you provide feedback on positives/negatives between the two?

Thanks in advance.
I am with you 100%!

I like the upright position in general and I find the Versys NEARLY ideal, but I would like a few inches forward lean on the handlebars.

On many bikes with clamp-type tubular bars, it's no sweat, but looking at the ugly bar riser on the Versys, and the tank, fairing, cables, and the Givi screen I'm running, I don't see much room to move the grips forward and down any.

Anyone had any luck changing to lower/flatter bars?

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 02:39 PM
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Check this out.

http://cycle-ergo.com/
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 03:04 PM
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Interesting thought.

In the end, it may be easier to adopt a different riding style. Check out photos and videos of the road racing class bikes that have the upright ergos. It seems to work fine for them.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 04:30 PM
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Wide bars and pegs underneath you provide an ideal platform for attacking the twisties, though it's not the classic sportbike pose. Balls of the feet on the pegs, hands light on the bars, elbows out, upper body leaning into the turn, eyes looking through it.
Sure, it's not the fastest way to get around the track, but we're talking about just having some fun in the twisties here.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 05:46 PM
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If I remember correctly--it's been a few years since I had my 250--the V has a more upright position: less bent over, less weight on the hands and wrists, less strain on your back and shoulders.

The nice thing about the V is the range of adjustment on the bars. Want a more upright position? Roll the bars forward an inch or two. Want a more aggressive "attack" position, roll them back an inch or two. Works for me. You can't do that with most clip-ons.


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 05:57 PM
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well

Coming from a 2008 ninja 250 to the Versys I actually find the Versys to be a very comfortable and confident position. I think this may have to do with weight difference and the windy areas I ride through. As well as my positioning as shown above with the elbows out.

I also tend to ride a bit conservatively and find the Versys more responsive for me in the turns. That being said another factor the weight on my wrists really didn't make me enjoy my 250 after long rides and the pain even after installing risers made turning a bit nerve wracking.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 06:36 PM
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Fun as a crotch rocket is to ride, it's brutal for any distance. Multiple-hundred mile days are typical for me and my neck, shoulders and back couldn't take it. The Versys has about the ideal riding posture for me. A friend tossed me the keys to her Gladius on Sunday and that also had a nice riding posture, although the seat was torture.


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 09:00 PM
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What works for me in the so called attack position is that I ride on the balls of my feet, have my front brake lever set lower so i have to completely roll off throttle to brake hard and ride with two fingers on brake lever and drop shoulder as required in corners but do not bother with to much knee down stuff as this takes to much effort especially if you are riding for hundreds of miles per day. I am 5 '8, have a stock seat which gives me no problems even after 350 mile ride but tend to ride even on the straights on balls of feet on pegs as it works for me. On extended rides will stand up while riding and move body around and change seat positions at times. Have sat a a z1000 sx and is more forward than Versys but believe i would be more refreshed after a long day coming off a V than the Z in my opinion. Have also taken my versys on 4 dif track days and the little 650cc twin will give any of those crotch rockets a run on track apart from back straight and I have taken great delight in passing a gixer on the outside of a bend on the track only to have him blow past me a 250kph plus on straight.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 09:49 PM
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So, the question is, how about a little more aggressive positioning like on the Z1000? I know that I cannot handle the full race position of the GSXR (shattered elbow from DH keeps me from being comfortable),

The Versys original handle bar position is good for you since you have already shattered your elbow.

Just take it easy and enjoy your rides.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 09:58 PM
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I've ridden many different bikes. The most aggressive riding position was a ZZR600. I find the Versys perfect for carving the curves. I have no problem leaning forward and hanging out through the curves. Keep your elbows up and and out. Slide you butt back in the seat. Get up on the balls of your feet.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 10:49 PM
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The V's riding position and the bike design itself inspire confidence when doing twisties compared to the 250R Ninja. I go through some decent amount of twisties as part of my route in my commute and I can say that i could ride faster and with more confidence with the V than with the 250R. I could basically follow a virtual path marked out in my mind while negotiating a corner with the V but with the Ninja 250R, it is either I overshoot or undershoot that virtual path. It would require more body weight adjustments on the 250R but with the V, I hardly need body weight to lean except in more extreme speed in the bends.

While riding in convoy of 40 something bikes, i did observed that all the V riders had no issues keeping in their own path in a staggered positioning (we ride in 2 columns in a single lane) when negotiating a bend, but the super sports, Ninja 250R, easy riders tends to 'eat' into the other side of the column, and also with more body weight movement. mind you, a few of the V riders are new to riding a big bike but they demonstrated good control.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 11:50 PM
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I had good sucess with cr high bend bars and 1 inch risers.
Very flat bars about 2 inches forward and just high enough to clear the tank at full lock.
Feels like a supermoto now.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 11:59 PM
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+1 on the CR High bars and risers. I have mine on 2" Rox risers and it is much more "mountain/dirt bike-like" and way more comfortable for me than the stock bars.

I found the stock bars were very unergonomic for me. I like having my hands about shoulder width apart on the bars and the stockers were much narrower and thus uncomfortable (I have fairly broad shoulders).

A CR High bar is a cheap and easy thing to try. You can also play around with the ATV bar of various configurations.

Then lower the pegs if you haven't already and see if you aren't a whole lot more comfortable.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 07:41 AM
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kimel and rallyhound, you have any pictures you can post of the bars and setup???

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 09:33 AM
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The Verseys riding position is almost perfect for me. For me, it's not so much the upper body hunched over on the rocket style as it is having my heels scrunched up against my butt. That fries my knees. The hunched over position messes with my wrists and neck pretty bad. The Harley Ferguson style position is really bad for me because it makes my spine take every bump.

On the Verseys I get to stretch out a little and take my weight on the pegs, press knees in the tank, and throw it around somewhat like an off road bike. I ordered the peg lowering kit and I'm going to get the taller seat.
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 11:26 AM
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Just my opinion, but there is a reason why a 400cc supermotard can beat a liter sportbike in tight twisties, all other things being equal. Sounds like the original poster wants a more forward and down riding position, but my thoughts are that an upright, boxing type stance is a better attack position for tight roads. I'm 6'4", foot pegs lowered and 1" handle bar riser installed. I feel like I have great attack control in this posture. When I ride my friends Gixxer, my confidence goes way down. Again, JMO, but I think a supermoto posture is better suited for attacking twisties.

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the opinions and input on different techniques to try.

Like I said, I don't have enough seat time on anything else to know if it would be "better", so picking the brains of you more experienced riders is a good way to keep from spending $$ on something I wouldn't like.

Thanks again.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 09:30 PM
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 10:26 AM
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Thanks, Rallyhound! That helps a lot!

Damn, I just learned me something! I never knew that the bend descriptions of handlebars, like "CR high", and "woods low" were common across different manufacturers!

One more question... Would those lower CR high bars hit the tank or windscreen WITHOUT risers? Or do you need them?

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