Back Surgery - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Back Surgery

I am considering a different bike because I just had back surgery and my honda 600 is not the smoothest on back roads. I am not talking about going off road my back and neck will not allow that type of riding but would like advice on a bike. I am 5'7 and can almost flat foot it with different boots there would be no problem. How long does it take to get used to riding a bike that is so tall. I was very nervous riding it do to it being so tall, but was only allowed to test ride for 5 miles not really long enough to get used to it. I did that is summer then had to have back surgery and now winter. If there is a better bike please let me know I do plan to try the v-storm I do not want anything bigger then 650 do to weight.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 01:59 PM
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I don't think it takes too long to get used to it. You might also check out the Kawasaki Vulcan S which has basically the same 650 engine but is configured like a cruiser and has a lower seat height.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 02:23 PM
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If you ride two up you may want a lower seat height depending on how comfortable you are supporting everything on one leg and how wiggly your partner is at stop lights. I love the ride height of the V but you definitely need to pay attention when coming to a stop.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 03:02 PM
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Iff'n you want a very plush suspension, KLR650 Lotsa travel. A bit tall but lowering kits are available. Bonus they are cheap, really cheap for an older used one. Pick one up for a grand or 2 and try it. If it doesn't work for ya dump it and try something different.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 05:19 PM
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Motowerk has a lowering kit that will lower the seat height of the Versys by 1.5 inch that would help. Also a bike to look at would be the Triumph Street Twin that has a 3.5 inch lower seat height and 40 less lbs. I test road one and seems to be a good ride.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 05:30 PM
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I'm 5'9" but I have a very short 29.5" inseam..aka short legs...I had the Motowerk lowering link put on the bike before I even brought her home...I was still tippy toeing and had a cpl. of drops at stops so I got the Sargents lower seat...those with a thick soled pair of Sidi boots did the trick and I could almost flat foot both feet...fast forward to today..I can ride the OEM seat without any problems and I can rock a different set of boots too..but still prefer my Sidi's...so yes you will get used to the height one way or the other...I have lower back and hip arthritis and find I can ride the Versys for about 4 days straight before I start to cramp up and want off of the bike...
as a side note...I have an "83 BMW R80RT that I had a hard time with it's seat height when I first got her...like the Versys I can ride her and flat foot her now with no problems...I've ridden her for over 7 days without much fatigue at all...
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2018, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Arkridia View Post
I am considering a different bike because I just had back surgery and my honda 600 is not the smoothest on back roads. I am not talking about going off road my back and neck will not allow that type of riding but would like advice on a bike. I am 5'7 and can almost flat foot it with different boots there would be no problem. How long does it take to get used to riding a bike that is so tall. I was very nervous riding it do to it being so tall, but was only allowed to test ride for 5 miles not really long enough to get used to it. I did that is summer then had to have back surgery and now winter. If there is a better bike please let me know I do plan to try the v-storm I do not want anything bigger then 650 do to weight.
When I got a KLR I found the seat height ENORMOUS, so I 'lowered' it, then after getting used to it I went back to stock height, so the Versys (tho' high) has not really been a problem. My inseam is about 31".

Once you set your "sag" correctly, you'll find that the bike 'settles' when you put your weight onto the saddle.

Ed
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2018, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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I will not be riding two up I will not be responsible for someone's movements on my bike. I have ridden the 650 and was only allowed 5 miles but it was an improvement over my cruiser. The 300 seemed light and attracted bees, got stung while going the same 5 miles. I will have to try that out again. I am also thinking about the NC 700 and the cb500x. any information on those?
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2018, 10:16 PM
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I will not be riding two up I will not be responsible for someone's movements on my bike. I have ridden the 650 and was only allowed 5 miles but it was an improvement over my cruiser. The 300 seemed light and attracted bees, got stung while going the same 5 miles. I will have to try that out again. I am also thinking about the NC 700 and the cb500x. any information on those?
I have had both skip the NC700 the 500X does every thing better cheaper, same HP ,50lbs lighter lower seat, same mpg

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-12-2018, 06:46 AM
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Unless you are buying a high end motorcycle you are always going to want better suspension if you have a bad back.

Pick a bike that fits you and is comfortable and then drop a couple grand on top tier suspension components and you will be happy. I have only owned a couple of bikes that couldn't be improved for comfort with aftermarket suspension.

First, figure out what sitting position works best for you. With my back I am more comfortable with a wide cruiser seat that provides a lot of support. It is hard to have that kind of seat and not have your feet slightly in front of you.

Sit on bikes in the dealership with the salesman holding it upright so you can get a true feel of the ergonomics. If you are struggling to balance a bike at a standstill it will stress your back more.

Use this website to see the ergonomics of different bikes. Motorcycle Ergonomics You can also adjust how you sit in the seat.

Once you take the plunge and put top tier aftermarket suspension on a motorcycle you will wonder why you didn't do this before. Changing the suspension should be done before changing exhausts, tires, adding bling, etc.

The bikes that come with top tier suspension from the factory are usually supersport bikes, high end European bikes, etc. But, you can add better suspension to just about any bike.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-12-2018, 09:37 AM
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Ark, I want to say the V650 will be perfect, but I am not sure given your height. I'm 5'10", and 160 pounds in full riding gear.

I find with about 10 lbs in the luggage the bike squats enough that I can flatfoot on level ground. Just barely, but I can. It took about a year for the suspension to soften up a bit, too. If you got the lower seat and the suspension lowering kit, it would probably be about the same for you. I came from bikes with lower seats, so it did take me a while to get used to the height. Also, my slow speed skills were pretty bad, which raised my anxieties about the height. Some training helped a lot with that.

The rear suspension is a bit stiff but not harsh. I keep it at the softest setting, and find I like the ride better when carrying full luggage. Usually I just keep the luggage on the bike all the time, and make no effort to pack lightly when going for a fun day ride. I found it rides and handles better with the front suspension stiffened up a bit compared to the prescribed dealer setup.

The riding position is good for my back. A cruiser position with feet out in front would be really painful for me. I can ride all day without back pain on the V.

Lifting the bike is a bit of a struggle. I've done it solo just once, and managed it ok without further wrecking my already wrecked back. I've recently had lumbar surgery for a couple of bad discs. For the past couple of years I have avoided riding solo where there wouldn't be help to pick it up if I drop it, like on isolated dirt roads.

But then again, most highway worthy bikes are going to be pretty heavy.

The 300 is a pretty interesting bike! Especially at the price. It depends on your mission, but the 300 might be a good option.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 06:09 PM
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Ditto on the KLR650 with low links.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 09:33 PM
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The Honda 700 is a very competent bike, but Boring as a No 2 pencil in a box of 64 crayons. You can't go wrong with a V650. One word of caution, suspension is a bit sticky/harsh until the fork seals break in. The riding position is better for your back. I have to admit that I don't really "get" the V300.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkridia View Post
I am considering a different bike because I just had back surgery and my honda 600 is not the smoothest on back roads. I am not talking about going off road my back and neck will not allow that type of riding but would like advice on a bike. I am 5'7 and can almost flat foot it with different boots there would be no problem. How long does it take to get used to riding a bike that is so tall. I was very nervous riding it do to it being so tall, but was only allowed to test ride for 5 miles not really long enough to get used to it. I did that is summer then had to have back surgery and now winter. If there is a better bike please let me know I do plan to try the v-storm I do not want anything bigger then 650 do to weight.
You can add Speedy's lowering link to the rear shock which together with dropping the forks up front in the clamps, lowers the bike one inch with no negative side effects. It has enough ground clearance to begin with that lowering does not cause clearance issues during cornering (unless you also add lowered pegs with the lowering kit). At your height, or with less than 31" inseam, I would suggest this mod. It also lowers the CG (center of gravity) to make the bike feel like a standard bike. OEM kickstand height is fine with lowering link but you will need to readjust rear suspension due to slight change in shock angle it makes. A drop of one inch in vertical height makes a significant change.

https://motowerk.com/products/standa...for-versys-650

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 06:30 AM
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The Honda 700 is a very competent bike, but Boring as a No 2 pencil in a box of 64 crayons. You can't go wrong with a V650. One word of caution, suspension is a bit sticky/harsh until the fork seals break in. The riding position is better for your back. I have to admit that I don't really "get" the V300.
A couple years ago I went with my neighbor to test ride the Honda. He was interested in it for commuting 100 miles a day. I rode the Versys to the dealers and we swapped out bikes on the ride. I came to the same conclusion as you did.

He loves it though. He doesn't do any riding other than commuting. He added GIVI V35 saddlebags and GIVI 46 trunk. With the storage in the faux gas tank he has a lot of storage for his commute. He averages 70 mpg and now has 70,000 miles on the bike. He did blow out the rear shock, but ended up replacing it with the same because he bought a cheap take off from someone who upgraded.

You can't strap anything onto the rear seat because you have to remove it to fuel the bike up.

With my bad back and riding limitations I could see replacing my KLX250S with a V300 for local rides exploring roads that I won't take my larger bikes down.

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 09:28 AM
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I am 5'8" w/ a 30" inseam for jeans. I was on the balls of my feet at a stop with the stock suspension setup but shortly after purchase of the bike, I installed the Motowerk's lowering link. Now I am able to flat foot the bike just fine. Makes a huge difference in my riding enjoyment because I am no longer paranoid about dropping the bike should I find myself stopping on an irregular or highly cambered surface.

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-24-2018, 07:33 PM
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I traded in a Honda CB500 on my Versys. I loved the bike around town, light easy to handle, ample power for city riding, but is was awfully buzzy at highway speeds. Felt and sounded like it was about to fly at 70 mph. Excellent fuel mileage. I would have kept it except the Versys does it better, especially touring with luggage. Freeway speeds not a problem.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-24-2018, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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I have read all these replies and actually have taken the time to go on Motorcycle Ergonomics and compared all the bikes you have suggested. I was surprised the v-300 is actually taller then the v-650. On the V-650 I would need and additional 1 inch riser with a 1 inch pull back to prevent me form leaning forward, does anyone know what comes stock on the bike? Also, do they make risers that will allow for this and will the cables reach for this modification.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 10:59 AM
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I have read all these replies and actually have taken the time to go on Motorcycle Ergonomics and compared all the bikes you have suggested. I was surprised the v-300 is actually taller then the v-650. On the V-650 I would need and additional 1 inch riser with a 1 inch pull back to prevent me form leaning forward, does anyone know what comes stock on the bike? Also, do they make risers that will allow for this and will the cables reach for this modification.
I have 2" ROX RISERS on each of my V650s. They don't require anything done to the cables/ controls, and they can 'rotate' around the stock handle-bar opening, thus TOWARDS you, AWAY from you, or JUST 2" UP (which is what I've done!).

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