Another Capable Dragon Slayer - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Another Capable Dragon Slayer

I just spent this past weekend up at Deal's Gap with my new Versys. I finally completed my first 500mile break-in and changed oil and filter before the trip. When I was finally able to hit 6K RPM for the 2nd 500 mile break-in, I was confident that I could enjoy the ride up there.

At 6000rpm in 6th gear, I was going 80mph so I any ride on the freeway wasn't an issue, but I hardly hit any highway. Most of the riding over the 3 days was spent on twisties. From north of Atlanta you can ride 95% twisties to get to Deal's Gap.

Wow! Was I pleasantly surprised! This bike slew the Dragon better than my Yamaha R6S! With the upright position, it was so effortless to lean the bike and it flicked so easily and smoothly. The roll-on power coming out of one those 318 turns in the 11 miles was smooth, competent and predictable, unlike my R6S which acts like an erratic Arabian horse compared to the Versys. The power out of this 650CC motor is comparable to my FJR1300 which I"ve ridden quite a few times at the Gap as well, but my FJR has twice the displacement and horsepower!

I was a little frustrated at first because I couldn't extend my powerband past 6K RPM, but I easily put enough miles to complete the break-in, and then....Wow! The bike pulled even harder from 6K to 9K! The engine specs for the Versys is misleading. This bike pulls like a bigger Twin and it does it smoothly and so quietly. Those guys taking pictures at the Gap wouldn't hear me coming so they would be late setting up when they finally saw me coming around their corner so they couldn't get enough pics. Bummer!

Sorry for the long winded exhaltation but I had to share just in case anyone is pondering about this bike's capability. I"m back in the office today but I still have an ear-to-ear grin. My co-workers must think I had a hot date over the weekend.....well, I did!
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 02:43 PM
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Nice write-up! I think the Versys' performance in the corners is one of the bike's strongest selling points. The only time a more powerful bike is an advantage is when the road straightens out a bit.

Michael
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 03:48 PM
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Cool story. I need to go ride that road and see what all the fuss is about.


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 06:33 PM
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Now you know why we love the Versys so much.

Although I have had Miss Jaffa (Burnt Orange 2007 Versys) for a while, I still have a lot to learn.


"The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything."
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:42 PM
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Cool story. I need to go ride that road and see what all the fuss is about.
Here's a video of a ride on the dragon.

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http...3D&h=sAQFBIex5

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 10:17 PM
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Excellent write up! I can't wait to take my V to Deal's Gap... this summer maybe Glad to hear you're liking the V! IMO the Versys is top rate thru corners, and hey, who doesnt love corners?

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 10:18 PM
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Great write up and would love to ride that road even if it is on the wrong side for me.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 06:25 AM
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Deal's Gap was teeming with enforcement -- midweek! -- when I was there a couple weeks ago. Lots of roads as good (arguably better) in that same neck of the woods where I never saw a LEO.


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 06:53 AM
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That's what I'm looking forward to doing this month, I've beat up the dragon several times on the crusiers but not on the Versys, yet anyway...

We're hoping to plan a day trip some time this month so I'll contact you to see if you want to go again...

PM me sometime and we'll plan a local meet up...

Sold 2005 honda vtx 1300 bought an '09 versys
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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A tip for those going to ride the Dragon's Tail (Deal's Gap). Go early in the morning. It may be foggy and even chilly but it's worth it. There's less traffic so you can ride a long a time without anyone holding you back or pushing you. Also, the TN troopers usually come around mid-morning to give everyone speeding tickets and believe me, that's what they do all day long. Oh, and now they have a trooper on a Harley.

And there are plenty of other roads just as fun if not more like Hwy 28 between Bryson City, NC and Franklin, NC.

Oh, another thing I was pleased with the bike is the Dunlop Sportmax D221 that was equipped with the bike. They stick really well. I'm not a knee dragger....not even close, but I really appreciated the confidence these tires gave me.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 11:34 AM
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Deal's Gap was teeming with enforcement -- midweek! -- when I was there a couple weeks ago. Lots of roads as good (arguably better) in that same neck of the woods where I never saw a LEO.
I've often wondered about that. We've got the same thing here in Mexico where every motorcyclist heading south feels compelled to ride La Espina del Diablo, (the devil's backbone), between Mazatlan and Durango. The reality is that Mexico is teaming with roads that are more fun to ride, and without semi's rounding corners in your lane because the twists are so tight. That fact alone prevents you from ever really riding the road at the kind of speed that would make it truly fun. Nonetheless, if I ever find myself in the area, I'll happily ride the Dragon just so I will know for sure.

Michael
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 12:26 PM
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Nonetheless, if I ever find myself in the area, I'll happily ride the Dragon just so I will know for sure.
By all means, don't miss the Dragon, but also ride the Cherohala Skyway, NC 28, the southwestern section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just about any road that goes up to the Parkway (notably NC 215), US 421 in eastern TN...many great roads down there. If I lived there I'd never get around to working!


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 09:55 PM
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Passed through the Dragon this Sunday on the way to Cherohala.

There is also an unmarked Jeep Cherokee that fits right in with the Kayak crowd, he pulled me over thinking I was another rider that blew by him. He had the licenses of 2 sport bikers with him and thought I was with them, I saw them down the road where he left them and they told me what was going on

Go mid week if you are coming from any distance, everyone needs to experience it but I now avoid it if at all possible due to tuner cars more than anything else
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 10:24 PM
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Great write up and would love to ride that road even if it is on the wrong side for me.
Hey Phil - you could always ride it BACKWARDS....

Ed
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 12:33 AM
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Sweet report.

I'm heading down in 2 weeks. I'm taking a 9 day trip and spending 5 days in the TN/NC area. Last year I was on a Ninja 650R which handled the dragon like a champ. With the R1 rear set up on my V I'm looking forward to even more fun.


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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 08:25 PM
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Deal's Gap was teeming with enforcement -- midweek! -- when I was there a couple weeks ago. Lots of roads as good (arguably better) in that same neck of the woods where I never saw a LEO.
LEO = low Earth orbit ???

I know that they say "speed enforced by aircraft" around here, but I was hoping that it would be some time before we had to deal with "speed enforced by spacecraft." I guess Big Brother is here with a vengeance.

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 09:23 PM
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Ha!

Nah...LEO = Law Enforcement Officer


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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 09:53 PM
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Check out www.motorcycleroads.us for good places to ride through the region. As Bones said, the Dragon is good, but overly hyped; IMO, it's maybe #6 or 7 on my Top 10 list. But by all means get out there if you ever can - mile for mile, curve for curve, easily the best riding east of the Mississippi.

Mark Hirschhorn
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 12:12 AM
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Hey Phil - you could always ride it BACKWARDS....
Backwards and upside down works for me
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