The View from the Passenger Seat . . . - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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The View from the Passenger Seat . . .

My wife, Denise, went for her first ride as a passenger on our new Versys this past Saturday. She is 5' 5" with a 27" inseam and she wears a women's size 7 boot, so the first thing she noticed was that the seating position and the reach to the pegs were very comfortable. We rode for a little over 120 miles - on everything from hilly hardpacked gravel through smoooooth divided highway to twisty oil-and-chip country lanes with patches of gravel, leaf litter, potholes, etc. She has lots of passenger miles with me on three bikes before the Versys: a Harley Heritage Softail (with upgraded seating), a Kawasaki Vulcan 900 LT (with stock touring seats for rider and passenger), and a Honda VFR800 VTEC (with a custom Corbin seat that included a full passenger backrest).

When we got home, she said, "That's the most comfortable bike, for me as a passenger, that we've ever owned." She liked the fact that the Versys has the Kawasaki top box mounted, which gave her the psychological and physical security of something bolted on behind her and allowed her to relax lightly against it from time-to-time. She said that she also felt more "connected" to the Versys than to any of the other three bikes we've owned. She is a very actively engaged and attentive passenger who doesn't fidget and squirm around or shift her weight unexpectedly, who understands what to do during hard cornering and stops, etc. She said that she felt like she really knew what was happening as the result of her presence on and input to the Versys, rather than just feeling as if she might as well be a lump of inert luggage that was strapped onto the back of a bike. She's a very picky passenger - like Goldilocks, she wants everything to be "just right!" - and so I think her endorsement of the Versys from the pillion position is important.

The one thing she asked for was a bit of relief from "pressure points" on her gluteus that were developing by the time she has been on the pillion for about 90 minutes or so. The bike's seat is a bit thin - and so is Denise's, since she's just 120 pounds (in full gear) with very low body fat and a sleek build. Therefore, we're going to try one of the pads from ButtBuffer to see if it's enough to ease the problem. She would like to avoid the extra height and motion that comes with a pad like the ones from AirHawk, but we'll go that route if necessary to save her a** . . . and, therefore, my a**!

Some of the magazine reviews have said that pillion passengers thought the stock grab bars were set back too far, but Denise found that the grab rails that were substituted as part of the OEM top box mounting system were natural, comfortable and strong.

Good luck with making your passenger at home on the Versys!

Kevin McClearey
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 10:02 PM
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My wife is a regular rider on the back of my Versys and she loves it. She is a first time passenger and her but gets a bit numb after about an hour, but I think it would on any bike. I have a Kappa 28 Top box mounted to a piece I had fabricated last year because they didn't have any trunks specifically for the Versys in Canada. It's amazing the US buying power. All of a sudden they introduce it to the USA and there is after market parts galore. It's about time!! With box mounted the way it is, my wife doesn't even hang on much. She will tuck her hands in behind me if they get cold and that's about it.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2008, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Passenger's Numb Seat . . .

You might want to check out my thread (on the "Rider's Gear" subforum) about the small pad by Butt Buffer that Denise is using on the passenger pillion. It gives her a bit more room to move around and prevents "hot spots" and numbness from setting in. There are lots of other pads available (everything from sheepskin to air cells), but we have been really impressed by the comfort and quality of the Butt Buffer line.

Keep that passenger safe and happy!

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 09:51 AM
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My wifes only complaint is the footpegs are small she gets "pressure points" on her feet after a while of riding. As far as the boxes are concerned i have a Givi top box with the back pad for my wife and she loves it was not very comfy before. I wish we could get our hands on the Europe parts they have some great stuff there hoping they willl intorduce them here someday.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 11:00 AM
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I think the V is a great bike for two up riding. My wife also likes the Versys a lot, although our only other 2 up experiences were on an FZ1 and my Husky TE450 (that ride lasted about a hundred yards before wifey demanded I take her back home, lol). She's from Thailand where bikes are a way of life, so she's probable got tons of passenger experience, which makes it a joy to have her on board with me.

I think the suspension on the V kicks but. I could always feel her on the FZ1, which is a much larger and more powerful bike, but on the V I don't even know she's there most of the time.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 11:29 AM
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We do a lot of two up on the V, with my 5'8" 120lbs wife. She finds it very comfortable. But, has asked for a bit more leg room, so going to get some passenger foot extenders, probably about 2".

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Elllvis View Post
...she's just 120 pounds (in full gear) with very low body fat and a sleek build.
I assume she will be reading this! haha I love the thrown in compliments to her.

Thanks for the feedback Denise, my girlfriend has been wondering how she will feel on the back of one of these (considering buying one).

She has her own small commuter bike, but this bike looks like it just might work for 2up long hauls.
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