New V... Top 5 Recommended Mods? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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New V... Top 5 Recommended Mods?

So I'll be picking up a new 2011 V tomorrow if all goes as planned. The wifey was nice enough to buy one for me for my 40th birthday!

After finding this forum I've spent several days wasting away many hours at work perusing all off the many user modifications that are out there.

While I have found about 100 things I would like to modify or change on my as yet un-ridden V, I'm looking for what YOUR top 5 would be. This can be cosmetic or performance in nature. You guys know from experience what has worked, what has not, what was the biggest bang for the buck, and what was a waste.

As a V rookie and after merely reading a lot of threads on here, here is what I envision, but is subject to change based on your recommendations.

1.) Seat Concept taller seat. - I'm 6'2" and 215lbs from what I read most people over 6'0" experience some discomfort for longer rides (which I plan on making) And my wife wants a comfortable spot to rest her rear on since she is buying the bike!

2.) New Tires. - I don't know enough yet for an opinion on which ones, but after reading all of these threads you guys have me scared that I'm going to wreck three times just driving home from the dealership on the stock ones. :/

3.) Vista Cruise/Versa Cruise - whatever the heck the name of that throttle/cruise control contraption is.

4.) Handgrips & Mirror change out. No clue on which yet.

5.) Hard Saddlebags - Rear Trunk/Backrest


Thanks again for your help!


(PS- You don't have to limit yourself to 5! All input is appreciated)

Last edited by Zatx; 06-21-2012 at 02:45 PM.
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zatx View Post
So I'll be picking up a new 2011 V tomorrow if all goes as planned. The wifey was nice enough to buy one for me for my 40th birthday!

After finding this forum I've spent several days wasting away many hours at work perusing all off the many user modifications that are out there.

While I have found about 100 things I would like to modify or change on my as yet un-ridden V, I'm looking for what YOUR top 5 would be. This can be cosmetic or performance in nature. You guys know from experience what has worked, what has not, what was the biggest bang for the buck, and what was a waste.

As a V rookie and after merely reading a lot of threads on here, here is what I envision, but is subject to change based on your recommendations.

1.) Seat Concept taller seat. - I'm 6'2" and 215lbs from what I read most people over 6'0" experience some discomfort for longer rides (which I plan on making).

2.) New Tires. - I don't know enough yet for an opinion on which ones, but after reading all of these threads you guys have me scared that I'm going to wreck three times just driving home from the dealership on the stock ones. :/

3.) Vista Cruise/Versa Cruise - whatever the heck the name of that throttle/cruise control contraption is.

4.) Handgrips & Mirror change out. No clue on which yet.

5.) ........? That's all I can think of right now.



Thanks again for your help!
1) I would ride your bike for a while with the stock seat first as seat preference is a personal thing and varies from one person to another, also they improved the seat in the 2010 model upgrade
2) The original equipment tires are no doubt cheaper quality than some after market tires but I don't see a reason to replace them prematurely. IMO their cheapness has been blown out of proportion. On pavement traction and performance is still going to be better than any DS tires
5) Highly recommend SW-Motech or Givi crash bars as these will pay for themselves the first time you dump the bike on it's side, see video on Twisted Throttle of Versys that low sides with these and has no damage. Also touring windshield is nice if you spend much time at higher speeds or ride in cooler weather. Trunk or hard cases.

Last edited by twowheels; 06-21-2012 at 02:52 PM.
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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 02:53 PM
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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 03:05 PM
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Mirror extender. Absolute must. Otherwise you are staring at your chest or shoulders.

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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 03:07 PM
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I still have my original seat; however I ride very short distances to and from work and an occasional fun ride up in the mountains. When I start riding longer distances I will probably buy a new seat. I am thinking a Baldwin seat.

I didn't like my stock mirrors, so I bought a set of Z1000 mirrors with extenders and love them. They still vibrate a little, but not as bad as the originals.

I bought a tankbag from twisted throttle and love it. It is probably one of my best additions to the bike. I bought a bags connection engage tank bag and I love the fact that it doesn't touch the paint on the tank, but connects to the bike via the fuel tank ring.

I would wait for your original tires to wear out before replacing them. I think the stock tires are ok; however I am not an aggressive rider so they work fine for me. Many people have a lot of opinions on what the best tires are; however I am leaning towards the Michelin Pilot Road 3's once my tires wear out.

My 2008 vibrates a lot in the hand grips and foot pegs, so I recently purchased some BMW Sport Grips after reading the positive reviews here on this site. I think the newer V's have less vibration in them. You might also look at foot peg extensions since you are over 6'0".

as far as luggage, how much will you be using them and how much space will you need. Those are some questions to ask yourself. I chose to go with a set of Pelican 1550's mainly because I don't need large side cases on the bike everyday and they were extremely well priced from a fellow member on this site. RubiconTX made the rack himself and fabricated the cases to fit. I love them as they are not huge and hold enough stuff for everyday use. For longer distances or when I need more space, I am in the process of installing a rear rack built by a fellow member ktmduals. I am waiting for it to arrive and once it does I have a 48L Coocase to put on it.

Virtually everything I have bought for my V has been from fellow members on this site, so if you are patient and dont need everything right away, wait and see what pops up in the "For Sale" section.

Here is a list of what I have done to my V:

MRA Vario touring screen
Yoshimura TRC exhaust
Bags Connection tankbag
Z1000 Mirrors with extenders
KTM Handguard (On-order)
Semtech grip warmers (On-order)
BMW Sport Mirrors (On-order)
Pelican side cases
Coocase 48L top case
Rear Rack from ktmduals

UPCOMING FARKLES:

Engine Guard (Soon, can't decide which one)
Foot Pegs and lowering blocks (Probably from twisted throttle)
Brake Light Flasher (Can't decide which one)
Skeen designs Photon Blaster (Better visibility for oncoming traffic)

I hope this helps in your decision making process. This site is awesome and the people on here are great and very helpful

Jason
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 04:10 PM
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My V already had heated grips and alarm/immobiliser from the original owner, so that saved me doing those.
The four things that I added to my V shortly after I got it were:

Givi Engine bars - fit well, not too obtrusive and protect the important bits, including my legs if I were to still be on it when it went down.

Front Fender extender - keeps the crap from flying up into our exhaust pipes and radiator.

Rear hugger - colour coded the same yellow as the bike. Again, stops alot of crap from going into the rear shock and underseat gubbins.

Rear swing arm bobbins - crash protection and more secure option for the rear paddock stand.

Future mods? Maybe a Leo Vince exhaust/slip on. iPhone bracket/holder. HID lights.

If it wasn't for the Welsh and the Scottish bringing the average down, this wouldn't be "Great Britain"; it would be "Bloody Amazing Britain".
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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 04:56 PM
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Don't worry. Your stock street tires are not crap. Many complaints about tires are misdirected. Riders think they are having tire problems when they are actually having suspension problems and riding technique problems. Complaining about stock tires is a carry over that ended 15 or so years ago. Take the time to learn basic sag/ride height setup, Super Easy. Read just a tiny bit further about utilizing suspension damping adjusters. From there, experiment with 2psi at a time changes in tire pressures between the 30-40 psi. Oops, I just crossed the line into too complicated.

I like changing stock grips for ProGrip 714s. I do like my Seat Concepts seat, but I do agree you ride the stock for awhile so you know what you want changed about the stock seat. I like mellow sound of my LeoVinci slipon and the extra umph it provides. When it was cold I really liked my Acerbis street handguards and Symtec grip heaters. The Fly Banshee bend handlebars are nice for us guys taller than 5'10".
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 05:06 PM
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Keep the tires and learn to ride with them. They are NO the best IMHO and I'm not a great fan BUT IF you ride like you have a lick of common sense they'll do. A lot of us have been spoiled by better tires and want the (insert name of what you think is the best tire here) on our bike NOW. BUT a good set of tire can cost $400+ mounted and balanced, so why toss out that moonay for no real reason.

The Dunlops are not all that bad once you scuff then in, that a LOT longer than I thing it should. And they don't like tart snakes at all but all in all they could be a lot worse.

One thing I see over looked here in a front axle slider. If you drop the bike sliders will protect the forks from getting ground to pulp AND they are not real pricy either about $50.00 or so. I had them on both front and rear of my Buell. With the Givi hard cases offering some protection to the rear I use a set of spools on the rear that double as lift points/ sliders.

Best money you can spend...Motorcycle Safety Course. It could just save your LIFE. I try and take it every other year or so. ALWAYS more to learn.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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2012 650 Versys

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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 05:08 PM
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The initial mods I have made so far on mine: SW Mototech crash bars, Givi DS 405 windscreen, swingarm sliders, front fork sliders, radiator protector, front fender xtender (actually it's enroute), ordering the rear hugger next month along with some type of side cases.

AS for the tires, I'm not overly crazy about them, they are great on dry pavement, but even the slightest gravel (like sand at an intersection) seems to bother them. Rode 96 miles today, mostly int he mtn's and after one close call found myself overly cautious on curves where gravel/sand was obvious.

'09 Candy Plasma Blue Versys 650 (the fastest color)
Givi DS 450 Windshield
SW motech engine guards
HT Teton Panniers
Acerbis handguards
Avon Distanzia tires
Garmin Zumo 665
dual power usb/12v plug
Givi trunk on custom mount

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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
1) I would ride your bike for a while with the stock seat first as seat preference is a personal thing and varies from one person to another, also they improved the seat in the 2010 model upgrade
2) The original equipment tires are no doubt cheaper quality than some after market tires but I don't see a reason to replace them prematurely. IMO their cheapness has been blown out of proportion. On pavement traction and performance is still going to be better than any DS tires
5) Highly recommend SW-Motech or Givi crash bars as these will pay for themselves the first time you dump the bike on it's side, see video on Twisted Throttle of Versys that low sides with these and has no damage. Also touring windshield is nice if you spend much time at higher speeds or ride in cooler weather. Trunk or hard cases.
+1 Take your time. Stock tires are not bad just make sure pressure is not to much from factory like mine that will cause trouble!





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post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 12:06 AM
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The only mod I think would be great for anyone would be Speedy's Kickstand Flatfoot. Fill the tank, and ride the bike. Figure out what YOU want changed on the bike, and go for that. For every person who says to do a certain thing there are others who disagree.

08' Versys
Givi racks with V35 sides, and V46 Top-case, Garmin Zumo 450 GPS, Powermadd Handguards, Motowerks GPS Mount, Peg Lowering kit, Flat Foot, Arrow Exhaust, Adjustable Levers, GIPro Gear Indicator, Oxford Heated Grips
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post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 12:18 AM
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Mods/farkles are a personal thing and depend how you use the bike.

Here's my list, copied from my profile:
Kappa engine guards
SW Motech side racks
Twisted Throttle Denali D2 driving lights
Gerbings power outlet (for heated gear)
Oxford heated grips
Swingarm spools
KTM OEM foldable left mirror

I like those mods. And I'd hate at least one of the mods recommended by others: mirror extender. The stock mirrors are really good as motorcycle mirrors go. They're also at truck/van mirror height. If that isn't an issue for where/how you ride, extend them if you want. If it is an issue, you can deal with it the way I did.

Still to come: suspension upgrades, front & rear.
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post #13 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 12:23 AM
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Stock tires are not bad
I disagree. I think it's the worst modern tire I've used in the rain. I replaced mine at 5900 miles, even though they probably had another 5900 in them.

Since then, I've put about 5k miles on a set of Metzeler Z8 Interacts on the Versys. Great tire. Probably the best I've ever had anyway.
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post #14 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 12:33 AM
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Crash bar and hand guards are the most important to minimize damage if you dump your bike. Ride the bike and suit the mod as required for your ride.

Mod/Farkling is additions and watch your pocket.




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post #15 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 01:20 AM
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Seat Concepts regular height is already a bit higher than stock, and is highly recommended for rider and passenger.
Motowerks footpeg lowering blocks, sidestand flatfoot, and swingarm spool sliders.
Engine guards, radiator guard, and Fenda Extenda.
Rox pivoting adapters for tapered aluminum handlebars, tapered aluminum handlebars (no need for mirror extenders or vibration damping), Zeta hand guards.
Motoman style break-in.

Last edited by invader; 06-22-2012 at 05:36 AM.
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post #16 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zatx View Post
So I'll be picking up a new 2011 V tomorrow if all goes as planned. The wifey was nice enough to buy one for me for my 40th birthday!
You lucky bugger! I had to buy mine myself, my wife would not buy me anything for my bike, she hates them, lol.

Okay, I have added a $hitload of farkle in the past month that I have owned the bike trying to make it comfortable and safe for my daily 40klm of urban commuting.

1. New rear sprocket 43 or 44T to replace the factory 46T sprocket. Absolutely without doubt an essential mod for road use, the stock gears are way too short, you will need to be in second gear just to get accross an intersection - Approx ~ $100 fitted.

2. New tyres, I wanted the maximum wet road grip and opted for Michellin Pilot Road 3 front and rear, approx $400 fitted.

3. Wireless tyre pressue monitor (I have the Motorader brand) & tyre repair kit, I have had 2 punctures in the past 4 mths of riding, totally essential from my POV, approx $250 fitted

4. Bags Connection Engage 7L tankbag with 12 Volt Quicklock tank ring connector. As an earlier poster noted, the bag does not touch the tank, is sculpted to the shape of the tand and is perfect to keep you smalls in and charge you mobile, radar detector, camera, etc. Approx $250 fitted.

5. For me it has to be storage for my urban commute to hold my suit, shoes, etc. SW Motech Rear ALU Rack & Givi V46N top box. Approx $600 fitted.


Also Recommend (cost inc fitting):

- Healtech GL Pro gear indicator LED $200
- A loud exhaust such as an Akarapovic SP $600
- Barkbusters Storm hand proectors $200
- SW Motech crashbars $300
- Tailbag 10-20L $120
- Rear bobbins & stand $150
- Oxford heated grips $150
- Seat Concepts replacement seat and foam $250
- Riderscan 180 degree rear vision mirror (see what is in your blind spot) $60
- Fender Extenda $30
- Radguard radiator guard $150
- Givi D410ST Touring screen $150
- Hitair Airbag Jacket system with bike attached lanyard $600
- SW Motech engine guard (if going offroad) $300
- SW Motech side pannier racks $350
- Givi V35 hard side panniers (total 70L) $450

There are a few more things I can't recall, these are just of the top of my head.

Christ I have just realised that I have spent over $5000 in farkle in the past month , about 1/2 the cost of the bike, lol.

My wife would kill me if she figured that out, hahaha!!!
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2012 Kawasaki Versys 650

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post #17 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by VOz View Post
You lucky bugger! I had to buy mine myself, my wife would not buy me anything for my bike, she hates them, lol.

Okay, I have added a $hitload of farkle in the past month that I have owned the bike trying to make it comfortable and safe for my daily 40klm of urban commuting.

1. New rear sprocket 43 or 44T to replace the factory 46T sprocket. Absolutely without doubt an essential mod for road use, the stock gears are way too short, you will need to be in second gear just to get accross an intersection - Approx ~ $100 fitted.

2. New tyres, I wanted the maximum wet road grip and opted for Michellin Pilot Road 3 front and rear, approx $400 fitted.

3. Wireless tyre pressue monitor (I have the Motorader brand) & tyre repair kit, I have had 2 punctures in the past 4 mths of riding, totally essential from my POV, approx $250 fitted

4. Bags Connection Engage 7L tankbag with 12 Volt Quicklock tank ring connector. As an earlier poster noted, the bag does not touch the tank, is sculpted to the shape of the tand and is perfect to keep you smalls in and charge you mobile, radar detector, camera, etc. Approx $250 fitted.

5. For me it has to be storage for my urban commute to hold my suit, shoes, etc. SW Motech Rear ALU Rack & Givi V46N top box. Approx $600 fitted.


Also Recommend (cost inc fitting):

- Healtech GL Pro gear indicator LED $200
- A loud exhaust such as an Akarapovic SP $600
- Barkbusters Storm hand proectors $200
- SW Motech crashbars $300
- Tailbag 10-20L $120
- Rear bobbins & stand $150
- Oxford heated grips $150
- Seat Concepts replacement seat and foam $250
- Riderscan 180 degree rear vision mirror (see what is in your blind spot) $60
- Fender Extenda $30
- Radguard radiator guard $150
- Givi D410ST Touring screen $150
- Hitair Airbag Jacket system with bike attached lanyard $600
- SW Motech engine guard (if going offroad) $300
- SW Motech side pannier racks $350
- Givi V35 hard side panniers (total 70L) $450

There are a few more things I can't recall, these are just of the top of my head.

Christ I have just realised that I have spent over $5000 in farkle in the past month , about 1/2 the cost of the bike, lol.

My wife would kill me if she figured that out, hahaha!!!
haha! Your wife better not be an internet savant then!

BTW, a little off-topic, how was changing from a t-max to the versys? my father has a 2001 t-max and he's thinking of keeping my versys but he's still not convinced about weather protection (he's a 60yo bugger) (who knows... V1000 may be on the way for me)


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post #18 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for all of the great responses. You've definitely are affecting my plans for the future.

Great stuff!
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post #19 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 08:19 AM
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Put a 12v marine outlet in the dash. Handy for charging your phone.

Put a RAM mount 1" ball with u-clamp and double-socket arm on the handlebar and find the holder for your phone or GPS.

A Go Cruise throttle lock is nice (still have one in the wrapper if you want it at 1/2 price)

+1 on getting an engine guard

I used a taller windshield (Parabellum or CalSCI) since I did a lot of highway

Alaska Sheepskin pad

A Battery Tender cord

I read somewhere that new tires have a release compound on the surface and to not hot-rod until it wears off.


You can see my prior green and blue Versys here, daytimes: http://www.tontodonato.com/

--
Tony
2002 Honda Goldwing
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post #20 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by HAWKSHOT99 View Post
The only mod I think would be great for anyone would be Speedy's Kickstand Flatfoot. Fill the tank, and ride the bike. Figure out what YOU want changed on the bike, and go for that. For every person who says to do a certain thing there are others who disagree.
+1

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2011 Kawasaki Versys
Viet Nam: Dec67-Dec68 & Jul69-Dec72
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