Inseam/ Seat Height / Lowering / Question for the Ladies - Page 2 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #21 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
There are other options than cruisers out there. I would say staying as light as possible is a good option. Also lower CG bikes is a good option. My FZ-07 is 400 lbs wet and sits lower than the Versys, but also has a nice seat. Standards like the Bonneville, Honda CBs, Ducati Scrambler are more compact.

Saw a lady once wearing custom made platform boots so she could touch the ground. She used a heel-toe shifter which is the only way she would be able to shift. All was fine until the stopped bike got a little off center and fell over on her leg. Good thing she was wearing leather pants or she would have had a nasty burn.


...and 31-32 inch inseam is not short. With riding boots on you should have no trouble touching down. Do you have the static sag set up correctly?
I do like those other bikes you listed, and have ridden an FZ-07. From what I recall, hard luggage isn't an option for those bikes, and I really wanted a Givi topcase and side bags. I spent a lot of time travelling with soft luggage on sportbikes, and really wanted hard, waterproof, lockable luggage. I think part of it, in my case, is the wider Sargent seat, too. When I stop, I slide forward, then I'm just about flat-foot. But as long as the balls of my feet are down (which they are), I'm fine. And yup, static sag is properly set. If I made it softer, it might help in that regard. But, it's a compromise between being too soft for my liking and being flat-foot. I prefer the better handling. One other issue I found when I had the lowering link in is that, due to the shape of the particular hugger I'd installed, the underside of the seat area came in contact over bumps. I worked with Klaus at EPM to get a bit of lowering with a Hyper pro shock spring/fork springs and raising the forks, having the sag set properly, and not have the hugger hitting.
I'm happy with it!
Not a fan of big platform shoes, lol. Not a solution I'd choose.
So far, in 4 years, no stop-and-drops, lol. Now I gotta go find some wood to knock on, lol.

I get your point. If the bike was so tall that I couldn't handle it, was dropping it all the time, I'd have either kept the lowering link in, or gotten a different bike.

Last edited by HondaGalToo; 02-10-2018 at 01:09 PM.
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post #22 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 01:22 PM
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I do like those other bikes you listed, and have ridden an FZ-07. From what I recall, hard luggage isn't an option for those bikes, and I really wanted a Givi topcase and side bags.


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post #23 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 10:12 AM
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Ah, good to know, thanks! Right after purchasing my Versys, the FZ-09 came out, and Givi only made a hard top case and soft side cases, guess I thought the FZ-07 was the same. Unless in the past 4 years since I looked, they started making them.

The FZ-07 is a great bike! I got to coach on one at the track with the Yamaha Champions Riding School.
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post #24 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 12:13 PM
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I did test the NC 700, and besides the low revving, the gas cap location was a definite DO NOT BUY for me.



BTW - how much do you weigh?
Asking your weight was NOT a personal question, but rather to get to the fact that you MIGHT need a lighter spring in your shock if you are very light.

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post #25 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 07:59 PM
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I do like those other bikes you listed, and have ridden an FZ-07. From what I recall, hard luggage isn't an option for those bikes, and I really wanted a Givi topcase and side bags. I spent a lot of time travelling with soft luggage on sportbikes, and really wanted hard, waterproof, lockable luggage. I think part of it, in my case, is the wider Sargent seat, too. When I stop, I slide forward, then I'm just about flat-foot. But as long as the balls of my feet are down (which they are), I'm fine. And yup, static sag is properly set. If I made it softer, it might help in that regard. But, it's a compromise between being too soft for my liking and being flat-foot. I prefer the better handling. One other issue I found when I had the lowering link in is that, due to the shape of the particular hugger I'd installed, the underside of the seat area came in contact over bumps. I worked with Klaus at EPM to get a bit of lowering with a Hyper pro shock spring/fork springs and raising the forks, having the sag set properly, and not have the hugger hitting.
I'm happy with it!
Not a fan of big platform shoes, lol. Not a solution I'd choose.
So far, in 4 years, no stop-and-drops, lol. Now I gotta go find some wood to knock on, lol.

I get your point. If the bike was so tall that I couldn't handle it, was dropping it all the time, I'd have either kept the lowering link in, or gotten a different bike.
Here is my FZ-07.

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post #26 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 05:08 AM
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Nicely set up FZ-07 twowheels! If/when I'm ever in the market for another bike, it would definitely be on the list.
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post #27 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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I'm a woman rider with a 31-32 inch inseam. As someone else mentioned, the pegs are right below where you want to put your foot down. I've always ridden sportbikes, so it's rare I've flat-footed any bike I've owned. That being said, the Versys is tall, particularly when you add in the foot peg placement. It's not too bad. I had lowered it with Speedy's link, then I could flat-foot it. However, I removed the link and opted to lower it a bit less with Hyperpro springs/ raising the forks. Instead of the nearly 2 inch lowering with Speedy's link, it's now about an inch lower. Most every bike I've owned has had a 32" seat height. The Versys, at 33, while I could have managed, I figured I'd drop it to a height I've been comfortable with. The balls of my feet are on the ground and that's not a problem for me. I like the way the Versys handles, it satisfies the sporty riding urge, but, unlike my sportbikes, the seating position is comfortable for all day riding.

Additionally, Sargent makes a low seat for it. I opted for the regular seat, as the low seat has less foam. Might still be comfortable for long trips. I've had good luck with Sargent seats on multiple bikes.
Thanks for the insight. I really appreciate it. I've been thinking about my lowering options, and if it's needed, I will either lower it an inch, or just get a low seat. I have a Sargent on my BMW, and I'm OK with it. As a road cyclist (of the pedal kind), I'm used to much less comfy seats, so the low should be alright for me. I'm like you in that I really like a sportier ride, but I'd like to be comfortable for all-day riding. That's a large part of why this bike appeals to me.

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post #28 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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What is it about the Versys that is drawing you to it despite the height and weight issues you might have to overcome? I personally don't understand people buying bikes that they are going to have a challenge handling on perfect terrain, nevermind uneven terrain. What are you going to do when you stop at an intersection and there is a dip in the road where you want to put your foot?

People should stick with bikes that are within their strength and height limits. Just my opinion, but bikes are dangerous enough without adding additional challenges.
I understand your questions, and I respect your opinions that elicit those questions. So here are my answers, which I hope come across respectfully.

I like the Versys, because it's potentially the exact bike I want/need: It can carry all my stuff, be a good commuter, and be fun on pleasure rides. I've read a *ton* of reviews for it and similar bikes. Of those similar bikes, the Versys is at the top of my list. To your first question, the truth is, I don't know if I'm going to have challenges with it, which is why I'm asking other women about their experiences, if it was overly challenging, or if I'm being overly cautious. There aren't many of us out there, so the information is slim to none. I am seeking information, not validation for a foolhardy choice. I really do try to find the best bike for me. I have no delusions that any of my riding will be on perfect terrain. IMHO, there's no such thing, especially in Houston. We have potholes, cambered roads, endless road construction and all the detritus and mud that goes with it. One of my friends has been riding twice as long as my 15 years and is a Rider Coach. She's *tiny*, but can outride just about anyone I know, whether she's on her Honda ST1300 or her Honda 919. Because of her, I know flat footing is not required. Heck, I've stopped on roads where I'm not flat footing, and I'm fine. What I don't know is how that mixes with "top heavy," which is a relative, subjective term. Again, that's the reason I'm asking other women about their experiences. From here, I can ask additional questions that are not addressed in industry or YouTube reviews.

Am I dead set on buying a Versys? Of course not. It all depends on my butt test, and what my options are, if needed, for lowering. I don't make large purchases without careful consideration, especially for motorcycles. If I do not like a bike, or am not comfortable on it, I'm not going to ride it. Why would I plunk down money for a bike I won't wind up riding? I will, however, absolutely throw money at a bike I know I'll enjoy riding, whether it's to work, or to get some BBQ 2-3 hours from home. Will I be disappointed if I'm not comfortable on this bike? Yeah, but I have a bike I enjoy riding now. I just don't enjoy the repair bills that come with it when it decides to be a butthead, so why not trade it in while it is running like a top and get something equally (or more) enjoyable?
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post #29 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
I did test the NC 700, and besides the low revving, the gas cap location was a definite DO NOT BUY for me.



BTW - how much do you weigh?
Yep...the gas cap is what constituted a complete "no" on my part. I'm about 120 - 125, depending on which holiday is being celebrated that month.

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post #30 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Asking your weight was NOT a personal question, but rather to get to the fact that you MIGHT need a lighter spring in your shock if you are very light.
LOL...nope, I understood completely why you asked.
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post #31 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 12:57 PM
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Thanks for the insight. I really appreciate it. I've been thinking about my lowering options, and if it's needed, I will either lower it an inch, or just get a low seat. I have a Sargent on my BMW, and I'm OK with it. As a road cyclist (of the pedal kind), I'm used to much less comfy seats, so the low should be alright for me. I'm like you in that I really like a sportier ride, but I'd like to be comfortable for all-day riding. That's a large part of why this bike appeals to me.
That was a big part of it for me, too, the sporty handling. I had a '99 VFR at my disposal. It was comfy and handled well, but in comparison to the Versys, it was heavy. I wanted something lighter. Right after I purchased my Versys in '13, the FZ-09 came out. I'd look at that and the FZ-07 as well. I've ridden both on the track and they're sporty and upright. The FZ-09 may be heavier, as I think it's a V4. The FZ-07 I believe is a parallel twin. No time to look that up right now, I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong!
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post #32 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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That was a big part of it for me, too, the sporty handling. I had a '99 VFR at my disposal. It was comfy and handled well, but in comparison to the Versys, it was heavy. I wanted something lighter. Right after I purchased my Versys in '13, the FZ-09 came out. I'd look at that and the FZ-07 as well. I've ridden both on the track and they're sporty and upright. The FZ-09 may be heavier, as I think it's a V4. The FZ-07 I believe is a parallel twin. No time to look that up right now, I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong!
For whatever reason, we have a lot of riders at my company -- enough that the building created a motorcycle parking area. Usually parked with me are an FZ-09 and two FZ-07s. They're nice looking bikes, and their owners love them. But I hadn't considered turning them into touring bikes. Frankly, as long as it's a fun ride, and I'm able to slap on a couple of side cases and my Givi top case, I'd be happy. OTOH, part of what I like about the Versys 650 LT, is most of the extras I'd put on any other bike are standard on on the LT.
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post #33 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 03:14 PM
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Yep...the gas cap is what constituted a complete "no" on my part. I'm about 120 - 125, depending on which holiday is being celebrated that month.
Then DEFINITELY the stock rear spring should be changed-out for something lighter. Give a call to a suspension specialist for advice.



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post #34 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 03:39 PM
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I understand your questions, and I respect your opinions that elicit those questions. So here are my answers, which I hope come across respectfully.

I like the Versys, because it's potentially the exact bike I want/need: It can carry all my stuff, be a good commuter, and be fun on pleasure rides. I've read a *ton* of reviews for it and similar bikes. Of those similar bikes, the Versys is at the top of my list. To your first question, the truth is, I don't know if I'm going to have challenges with it, which is why I'm asking other women about their experiences, if it was overly challenging, or if I'm being overly cautious. There aren't many of us out there, so the information is slim to none. I am seeking information, not validation for a foolhardy choice. I really do try to find the best bike for me. I have no delusions that any of my riding will be on perfect terrain. IMHO, there's no such thing, especially in Houston. We have potholes, cambered roads, endless road construction and all the detritus and mud that goes with it. One of my friends has been riding twice as long as my 15 years and is a Rider Coach. She's *tiny*, but can outride just about anyone I know, whether she's on her Honda ST1300 or her Honda 919. Because of her, I know flat footing is not required. Heck, I've stopped on roads where I'm not flat footing, and I'm fine. What I don't know is how that mixes with "top heavy," which is a relative, subjective term. Again, that's the reason I'm asking other women about their experiences. From here, I can ask additional questions that are not addressed in industry or YouTube reviews.

Am I dead set on buying a Versys? Of course not. It all depends on my butt test, and what my options are, if needed, for lowering. I don't make large purchases without careful consideration, especially for motorcycles. If I do not like a bike, or am not comfortable on it, I'm not going to ride it. Why would I plunk down money for a bike I won't wind up riding? I will, however, absolutely throw money at a bike I know I'll enjoy riding, whether it's to work, or to get some BBQ 2-3 hours from home. Will I be disappointed if I'm not comfortable on this bike? Yeah, but I have a bike I enjoy riding now. I just don't enjoy the repair bills that come with it when it decides to be a butthead, so why not trade it in while it is running like a top and get something equally (or more) enjoyable?

Keep in mind leg strength, core strength and arm strength when you are comparing with others. Also cross winds and gusting wind when stopped with only one foot down or only tip toes on the ground.

Hell, go over to the Concours 1400 forum. They have a sticky devoted to dropping that top heavy beast, and those are the guys who admit it.

Yes, riding skill plays into this as well as strength and endurance. Many drop their bikes at the end of the day when they are fatigued from riding.

My lightest bike is under 200 lbs. My heaviest over 900 lbs. There is a major difference in holding them up when still, especially in the wind. Once underway I prefer the heavier bikes for their stability as long as I am not on a tight little backroad following a stream with many transitions from side to side with rises and falls thrown in for good measure. Those roads are where the middleweight bikes shine.

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post #35 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 03:49 PM
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Yep...the gas cap is what constituted a complete "no" on my part. I'm about 120 - 125, depending on which holiday is being celebrated that month.
I am 155 lbs dripping wet. The Gen 3 2015 rear suspension is a bit stiff for my preferences. If I load up the luggage with 20 lbs or so of stuff then it will sag enough for me to flat foot it, and the ride smooths out too. The suspension did relax some after the first season.

When I take all the luggage off and go for a somewhat aggressive ride in the mountains it handles perfectly. I did stiffen the forks a little bit to reduce nose dive with braking, and more damping. One fork adjusts stiffness, the other damping.

At your weight you may find the rear suspension a bit stiff unless you prefer the sporty vs plusher ride. When you go touring with luggage and some weight back there you will find the ride quite smooth.

My inseam is probably 32" but I'm not really sure how everyone is defining inseam. My jeans are 32" inseam and they touch the floor when I'm bare foot.

For me, the seat height and top heaviness are noticeable when maneuvering it without engine assist. Walking it into the tight spot in my garage, or paddling with my feet to fine tune position in a parking spot require paying attention. Once moving under engine power there is no issue.

If a lot of your riding is suburban stop-go, you may find it a bit of work. Were money and garage space no factor, I would get a light small runabout for around town, in the 250-350cc range. The V650 is excellent for commuting, touring, and moderate off-road riding.
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post #36 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Keep in mind leg strength, core strength and arm strength when you are comparing with others. Also cross winds and gusting wind when stopped with only one foot down or only tip toes on the ground.
Absolutely. Those things are part of what I'm thinking about, and what I was thinking when I asked other women about their experiences with the bike. I'm a road cyclist (fairly strong legs), who also has decent core and upper body strength. I know that my version of leg strength could be different from someone else's as a result, and something difficult for one woman may not be so difficult for me. Sort of like asking if a particular dish is spicy differs between most mortals, and me. I know one person's "spicy" is my "is that all you got?"
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post #37 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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I am 155 lbs dripping wet. The Gen 3 2015 rear suspension is a bit stiff for my preferences. If I load up the luggage with 20 lbs or so of stuff then it will sag enough for me to flat foot it, and the ride smooths out too. The suspension did relax some after the first season.

When I take all the luggage off and go for a somewhat aggressive ride in the mountains it handles perfectly. I did stiffen the forks a little bit to reduce nose dive with braking, and more damping. One fork adjusts stiffness, the other damping.

At your weight you may find the rear suspension a bit stiff unless you prefer the sporty vs plusher ride. When you go touring with luggage and some weight back there you will find the ride quite smooth.

My inseam is probably 32" but I'm not really sure how everyone is defining inseam. My jeans are 32" inseam and they touch the floor when I'm bare foot.

For me, the seat height and top heaviness are noticeable when maneuvering it without engine assist. Walking it into the tight spot in my garage, or paddling with my feet to fine tune position in a parking spot require paying attention. Once moving under engine power there is no issue.

If a lot of your riding is suburban stop-go, you may find it a bit of work. Were money and garage space no factor, I would get a light small runabout for around town, in the 250-350cc range. The V650 is excellent for commuting, touring, and moderate off-road riding.
Awesome information. My favorite jeans measure 31.5" from crotch to bottom of the leg, and barefoot, they're on the floor. It's the traffic part that makes me wonder about the bike. I don't think anything else I'd be looking for would be much lighter. I think it's just going to come down to the sit test and test ride. I won't know for sure until I try it out. Between my schedule and the weather, I haven't had a chance to set anything up. I'll come back with a report after I do!
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post #38 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 05:06 PM
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There are other options than cruisers out there. I would say staying as light as possible is a good option. Also lower CG bikes is a good option. My FZ-07 is 400 lbs wet and sits lower than the Versys, but also has a nice seat. Standards like the Bonneville, Honda CBs, Ducati Scrambler are more compact.

Saw a lady once wearing custom made platform boots so she could touch the ground. She used a heel-toe shifter which is the only way she would be able to shift. All was fine until the stopped bike got a little off center and fell over on her leg. Good thing she was wearing leather pants or she would have had a nasty burn.


...and 31-32 inch inseam is not short. With riding boots on you should have no trouble touching down. Do you have the static sag set up correctly?
While the Versys is a great all rounder and offers great bang for the buck it is not the best bike for those shorter of stature. I have two riding friends who are both shorter and love their Ducati Scramblers. If height is an issue it would be a bike I would check out. Also there is a mini fairing for it if highway wind is an issue.
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post #39 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 08:12 PM
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Absolutely. Those things are part of what I'm thinking about, and what I was thinking when I asked other women about their experiences with the bike. I'm a road cyclist (fairly strong legs), who also has decent core and upper body strength. I know that my version of leg strength could be different from someone else's as a result, and something difficult for one woman may not be so difficult for me. Sort of like asking if a particular dish is spicy differs between most mortals, and me. I know one person's "spicy" is my "is that all you got?"
So have you got the feel of the versys yet.....just wondering after all the write up..
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post #40 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-13-2018, 01:00 PM
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Good technic VS low bike

This has being posted before, but it speaks volume for "shorter" people and high bike

I wish I had his skill !!!


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