Handling - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Handling

Okay so here's the deal:
I've been riding for coming on 2 years now, all with the V. I use the bike as a DD, mainly running on city streets. I've tossed it through corners and what not, but never before on such a quick ride. This past weekend I went with some guys from work on a pretty spirited ride through the back roads. They all have supersports, like 675 Daytona, CBR600, etc... I knew I wouldn't be on completely equal machinery, but damn, I could not hang with them for anything. I don't know if it's the stock tires, which everyone seems to think are crap, or the weight/height of the bike, or my skill level. I've got a good number of miles under my belt and I can handle slides fine, but the front tire simply would not hook up. I think I spent more time sliding the front tire than rolling it. Pressures are fine, before and after, and there is still plenty of rubber left on them. They were warmed up too. I didn't chop the throttle mid-corner, or enter too quickly. My body position was correct, and steering input smooth. I've seen guys thrash these bikes on racetracks before, so all I can think is that these stock Duncraps are the cause. I don't know about you, but a two foot slide through an 80 mph sweeper made my rear end pucker. I've seen people saying they switched to the BS 023's, and the Mich RD 3's. They're both dual compound, which I like. Will they make that much difference for several hundred dollars?
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 02:38 AM
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my guess is yes, they will make a very big difference.

My Vee only has about 400 miles on it. But what riding I've done that pushes the tires... they don't hold worth crap. Other bikes I've had with stones on them, nothing like this. I've *always* had good traction from the stones.

I get bikes out to the edges, but just don't dare to do that with the oem dunlops, way too much slipping and sliding early on.

Good luck with it. Others will chime in with direct experience between the two on the Versys I'm sure.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I mean even in slower city corners you feel the rubber slipping around. And, heaven help you if running over some tar snakes at a good clip, the rear gets squirrely enough you think there's a flat.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 03:34 AM
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Not sure of the route condition but if there are plenty of straights and less sharp twisties, the supersports owns the road. Come to tight twisties, the Versys owns the road. If the front slips or rear, it's the rubber. You can try lowering the front or rear pressure to get some more grip and hopefully no slip....that's the best you can get out of the Dunlops.

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 04:14 AM
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and if you want to change the tires, stay away from the Pilot Road 2s!

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewhtf View Post
and if you want to change the tires, stay away from the Pilot Road 2s!
Why?

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 05:23 AM
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What happen, Andrew?

Yes, tires (coupled with proper suspension set-up) makes a big difference on how the bike and road interacts. How confidence you are with the tires translates to speed.

Good rides.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 06:15 AM
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Supersports usually have sticky tires that grips the tarmac like glue. They warm up pretty fast and the run out of threads pretty fast too

I rode like an old fart when it rains when my Dunlops were way high on tire pressure, thought it was just me. Down the pressure, and I realized I didn't have grip and that caused me to ride slow.

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 06:54 AM
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I put Avon Distanzias on mine and it's like it's on rails. You give a little bit up on mileage but if you want serious traction, that's your tire.

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Last edited by dallasdon; 02-22-2012 at 06:57 AM.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 08:48 AM
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I really don't push it hard anymore, but I have said it before on this forum. Be careful on these stock tires can be slippery. I slipped once bad enough, and I contribute it 100% to the tires. IMO. Not a warm and fuzzy feelling! Ha! Ha! And get new tires when you can.





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Last edited by MTS; 02-22-2012 at 08:53 AM.
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallasdon View Post
I put Avon Distanzias on mine and it's like it's on rails. You give a little bit up on mileage but if you want serious traction, that's your tire.

Hi Don,
What type of Distanzia did you put?
They have Storm 2 Ultra, VP2 Sport and VP2 Supersport for Versys.
120/70ZR17 front
160/60ZR17 back

thx

Versys 2015 Green
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 09:59 AM
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So many factors here its hard to say why.

I can keep up with my friends on sport bikes all day on OEM tires.

so one factor could just be riding experience, second you say tires were sliding but your pressure was good? but you didnt mention what pressure? I run all my bikes around 30f 32r cold.

what is your PSI at?


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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by chid View Post
Hi Don,
What type of Distanzia did you put?
They have Storm 2 Ultra, VP2 Sport and VP2 Supersport for Versys.
120/70ZR17 front
160/60ZR17 back

thx
Distanzia is the Model. Avon is the brand.


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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 10:07 AM
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I wasn't fond of the OE D221 Dunlops either, particularly the front... You'd do much better with Dunlop's outstanding Sportmax Q2.

http://ultimatemotorcycling.com/2010...ire-comparison

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=18424
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeekendWarrior View Post
Distanzia is the Model. Avon is the brand.

I know, my mistake.
I wanted to know what compound the tire is made, I think I was reading somewhere that there are softer or harder Avon Distanzias.

If you look at this file you have 2 different Distanzias: AM44, AM43.

http://www.avonmoto.com/download/Distanzia&Gripster.pdf

Also, they have another one Gripster, 70% on road, 30% off-road for more Adventure...

Versys 2015 Green

Last edited by chid; 02-22-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 11:06 AM
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AM44 is a rear tire only. AM43 is a front

for what its worth my last set was a set of Distanzias and I loved them I mounted Q2's for a recent track day but I am about 95% positive that I will be mounting up another set of Distanzia when the Q2's are done. although I have had my eye on a set of Tourance rear and MT60 front I guess I just have to check price on a combo like that then I will know.


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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 11:19 AM
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The stock tires are crap, many better choices out there, and just as many threads on here.
Have you done anything to the suspension? Read Gustavo's thread on setting up the Versys- http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=705&
Rider training is always good- sounds like you might want to get in on a track day.
Get the best gear you can afford to buy, take care of it, and upgrade/replace as needed.
Ride your own ride. Resist the urge to go faster than you're comfortable at. It's street riding, there are no trophies, keeping things safe and sane is the way to go.
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 12:03 PM
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Are you really sliding the tires or do they just feel like th
ey are sliding. I didn't have trouble with grip. But the stock tires never gave me any feeling of grip. Roadsmarts are much better until they start wearing.
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 01:09 PM
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i am guessing it was you. the stock tires are not the best and certainly are not confidence inspiring, but also, keeping someone else's pace is a lot different then your own, especially the first time. Keep riding with them and you will do better each time. If most of the ride was 80 MPH sweepers then you are probably out of the versys league anyways. a sportbike will run away much faster at those speeds then between 30-50 MPH (acceleration wise).
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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It's probably a bit of everything. I know I have them on torque, but with the speeds we were running they were always in their power band, which is about twice what the V has. That's definitely one thing, but even in the twisties they were easing through sections where I was two wheel drifting. I would get on the gas coming out of the corner, leaned way over, and both ends would start sliding, while they simply glided through. Granted, one was on stock CBR600 tires, and the rest were on aftermarket Road 3's/2's, Rosso's, and what not. That has to be the main issue. I set up the suspension a while back to my weight and have adjusted the damping to fine tune it. I had no problems with nose dive or stability. It was honestly just a smooth slide in almost every corner, like I was running on a more slippery pavement than them. I'm going to see if I can get some of the 023's soon. I don't need a supersport for what I use this bike for, just never realized how bad these tires are (they're all I've ever known).
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