First Ride. First Impressions. First Lessons. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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First Ride. First Impressions. First Lessons.

Finally picked up my 2010 black Versys and got to ride it back home (2 hours, twisties, some highway, dusk + night time). So...

1. Wow! Yeah!

2. After riding wife's cbr250r this thing feels so powerful, big and different.

3. Windshield only makes wind worse for me. I am 194cm tall and I tried riding without windshield today - it's MUCH better without it.

4. My bike is LAMS (restricted throttle), but I received it without the restrictor, so tried it "full-on" first. LESSON 1: for novice rider like me 650cc is TOO MUCH. Seriously, a few times I was almost flying off the bike , and that's only using maybe 2/3 of the trottle. Call me a sissy, but I've put the restrictor back on.

5. Honda's rear brakes are much more effective, I guess it's the cABS in action, but Versys's rear brakes felt useless in comparison, while front brakes grabbed much better.

6. I don't like the way headlight works - it creates a distinct "circle" of light that somehow distracts me when bouncing off trees and stones. I was planning to change it anyway.

7. I like the OEM sound. Don't see why so many people criticise it.

8. Tall handlebars create very interesting, different feeling when steering at slow speed - more like a push-bike steering sensation, which is good.

9. More upright seating is nice, but probably a bit too much for me - like I said sometimes I feel like falling off the bike while accelerating. So, I think I will benefit from 2.5-3inch-raised clipons to lean forward a bit.

10. Got the bike with Pirelli Angels ST and they feel great. Maybe it's the bike, but I do feel more confident leaning harder than on the cbr250r.



All in all - I love it. Got a tank bag, rack and a big nice back-bag with it. $7600AUD all up for end-of-2010 model with 12K on it. So, the journey begins!

Last edited by AndrewB; 09-03-2012 at 01:20 AM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 01:55 AM
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So, the journey begins!
Congratulations and enjoy the journey.

Bill -- 2012 Versys
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 02:43 AM
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+1 for the Pirelli Angel ST
definitely the best tyre i have used on my versys to date.

Current : Maroon 2011.
- Fender Extender - Radiator Guard - 19mm Nissin radial master - Nissin 4-pot caliper - SS brake lines - Osram Hyper 65W both low/high beam - LED 30w aux floodlights & 3w DRLs - Rear Hugger - Givi crash guards - Yoshimura TRC Carbon - Dynojet PC5 - Scottoiler - R1 shock with Ohlins 14.2 kg/mm spring - Imitation Givi Windshield - Rear Givi rack with 24ltr Givi top box - Bosch dual tones - Z800 stock mirrors.

Up next :
- Protaper SE ATV Low - PIAA Platinum low
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 05:48 AM
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Congrats and glad you are enjoying the bike. Change the brake hoses to Stainless Steel braided type and get better braking effect.

Present Ride: Yamaha Super Tenere 2012
Previous Ride:
2011 to 2015 2011 Versys Spark BlackKawasaki Ninja 2010 to 2011 250R 2008 Plasma Blue
My V's Farkle Log:
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 06:57 AM
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Congrats and glad you are enjoying the bike. Change the brake hoses to Stainless Steel braided type and get better braking effect.
I'm not getting my Versys until mid October but this raises a serious safety issue for me. How much of a difference would I notice with these hoses? Are we talking a couple feet or a couple yards braking distance?

The rear view mirror is there for a reason. When you see a motorcycle, free of the bumper to bumper traffic, move over.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by AndrewB View Post
Finally picked up my 2010 black Versys and got to ride it back home (2 hours, twisties, some highway, dusk + night time). So...

1. Wow! Yeah!

2. After riding wife's cbr250r this thing feels so powerful, big and different.

3. Windshield only makes wind worse for me. I am 194cm tall and I tried riding without windshield today - it's MUCH better without it.

4. My bike is LAMS (restricted throttle), but I received it without the restrictor, so tried it "full-on" first. LESSON 1: for novice rider like me 650cc is TOO MUCH. Seriously, a few times I was almost flying off the bike , and that's only using maybe 2/3 of the trottle. Call me a sissy, but I've put the restrictor back on.

5. Honda's rear brakes are much more effective, I guess it's the cABS in action, but Versys's rear brakes felt useless in comparison, while front brakes grabbed much better.

6. I don't like the way headlight works - it creates a distinct "circle" of light that somehow distracts me when bouncing off trees and stones. I was planning to change it anyway.

7. I like the OEM sound. Don't see why so many people criticise it.

8. Tall handlebars create very interesting, different feeling when steering at slow speed - more like a push-bike steering sensation, which is good.

9. More upright seating is nice, but probably a bit too much for me - like I said sometimes I feel like falling off the bike while accelerating. So, I think I will benefit from 2.5-3inch-raised clipons to lean forward a bit.

10. Got the bike with Pirelli Angels ST and they feel great. Maybe it's the bike, but I do feel more confident leaning harder than on the cbr250r.



All in all - I love it. Got a tank bag, rack and a big nice back-bag with it. $7600AUD all up for end-of-2010 model with 12K on it. So, the journey begins!
Agree with observation of power increase. I just sold my 2012 KLR to buy mine, rode it a little yesterday. A huge diff. in power and throttle responce. This is my first FI bike. The rush is awesome, must maintain wrist control!!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 01:34 PM
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I'm not getting my Versys until mid October but this raises a serious safety issue for me. How much of a difference would I notice with these hoses? Are we talking a couple feet or a couple yards braking distance?
Serious safety issue?

Motorcyclist, October 2012, Versys/V-Strom test:

"While both of these bikes use the same brake calipers, different rotors, wheels, tires and suspension mean they perform differently. The Versys stops on a dime with its stiff suspension and sport-bike sized 17-inch front tire...The V-Strom scores high marks for having ABS...stopping power is merely acceptable, however, due to its skinner 19-inch front tire."

Maybe after getting your bike and riding it for a while you will be able to tell for yourself whether there is a "serious safety issue" or not. I have put 30k miles on my bike, replaced the OEM pads with EBC HH pads, and still feel no dire need to replace the OEM brake lines.

Ride to live, live to ride.
2009 Kawasaki Versys
2010 Yamaha YZ 250F
2008 Honda CRF 450
2006 Honda CR 250R
I've owned a Maico.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 04:24 PM
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"Honda's rear brakes are much more effective, I guess it's the cABS in action, but Versys's rear brakes felt useless in comparison, while front brakes grabbed much better"

The Honda 250 is lighter and have much less power than the Versys. ABS only makes a difference when a tire lock is impending.

The rear break is there for you to hold the rear in place while you stop with the front. The weight distribution and geometry of the Versys also make the rear break lock the rear tire relatively easy. You want to go easy with the rear and get used to stop with the front breaks. The two rotors are there for a reason. Braided steel break lines will improve the feel of the breaks, an area the Versys can use some help, but it will not make the bike stop any faster or in a shorter distance.

Have fun and ride safely.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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I think I should clarify that I don't think the (perceived?) difference in rear-wheel braking is a safety issue. If anything Versys seems to be more confident in terms of braking overall, despite being 50kg heavier. I realise how rear brake is just a balancing/control tool, not a braking tool and I think it is mainly useful for slow-speed manoeuvring with clutch control, etc.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 09:17 AM
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Hi mate, welcome to the small band of Aussies with the Versys.

The Versys is my first ever motorbike, had a 09 Yamaha Tmax 500 scooter for my L's between Feb 12 and May 12 when I bought a brand new 2011 build Versys 650L ABS.

I love this bike, wish it was a bit lighter to be honest as it is a little top heavy, not helped by the massive amount of farkle I have fitted, SW Motech everything, GIVI V46 box and as many electronics as I can jam on the handlebars, lol.

Consider a rear sprocket change from the stock 46T to a 43T or 44T (cost about $120 fitted), you will not believe the difference, goes from a low geared trail bike to a proper urban cruiser. I strongly urge you to fit SW Motech Crashbars, will protect you and the bike if it goes over (cost about $260 and you fit yourself).

Not sure about the braided lines for beginners like us, may make the brakes too grippy according to people I speak to with experience? Those front forks have a tendencey to dive under fron braking, be careful. You have ABS?

I am in Sydney, where you at?

Voz

Sydney, Australia
2012 Kawasaki Versys 650
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 11:54 AM
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...Not sure about the braided lines for beginners like us, may make the brakes too grippy according to people I speak to with experience?....
What braided lines do is give you more "feel" at the lever. Under the pressure of brake fluid during a stop, the stock rubber lines VERY SLIGHTLY expand, which the SS braided lines don't. I'm quite happy with my TWO (an '08 and an '09) Versys' brakes, without braided lines (37,000 miles on one, 20,000 kms on t'other...).

Ed
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 02:00 PM
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SS brake lines are a good thing as you have better feel as has been stated, NOT got to cut meters off your stopping distance. Put them on if you want or not. If you think the rear brakes touchy on the Versys go ride a KLR! Just take a change of undies!

Before you go replacing pegs I'd check the shock and forks sag and damping setting. You might find that a couple of "Clicks" on the preloader make a world of difference. The "V" has longer legs than the regular street bike and more brake "dive" & throttle "squat" because of it. It can throw you into making changes that are not needed.

And the Versys is NOT a starter bike, It's real all-rounder IMHO. Begainner or Old Hand it's a good solid bike. It will grow with you through years of riding.

BTW just because you have moer power doesn't mean you have to use it all the time. Remember "There are OLD Pilots and there are BOLD Pilots BUT there are NO Old Bold Pilots" Same deal for motorcyclist.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 03:51 PM
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Where can one find some nice SS brake lines online?

2012 Kawasaki Versys 650 - 20,500 miles
2000 Volvo V70XC 2.4T - 258,000 miles
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 04:04 PM
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Where can one find some nice SS brake lines online?
Twisted Throttle had Gaffers for front and rear. Good Stuff. You can buy the front or rear or both. Most folk do the front first.

http://www.twistedthrottle.com/

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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I'm in Sydney, too. Castle Hill. Thank you for advice - will consider the sprocket and bars. Does the new sprocket let you get to higher speed without shifting up? It already seems pretty good to me, after the 250, which wanted an upshift before I even entered a crest or roundabout. Versys is fine with me gound around a roundabout in the first gear :-)

Bars... I was thinking sliders instead, because I want to keep the bike free of any extra bits.

And I agree about the brakes - they feel like they have some bite I am not always prepared for. I can feel lack of experience with my every muscle :-)

Cheers, mate!

Last edited by AndrewB; 09-05-2012 at 02:20 AM.
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