Miscellaneous Pre-Purchase Questions - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Miscellaneous Pre-Purchase Questions

I am giving heavy consideration to adding a V650LT to the stable. It would replace the reliable 60k miles KLR, cause I just don't go up enough gravel roads any more. Looking for light weight one up long distance touring as well as weekends on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I've a list of questions I'd appreciate answers to:


1) Not being a fan of Transformers, I find the front end absolutely hidjus. If I needed a windshield I'd bring the Durango; if I wanted to look down a dirty well, there wouldn't be a pair of forks in it; if I wanted slant eyed headlights I'd get me a cat; but the real reason is, the appearance of this jagged front end gives me the shudders. I'd gladly rip that fairing off except for the fact I see a double handful of necessaries tucked inside there. Appears to be a coolant jug, fuse block, relays, rectifier, etc. Has anyone here removed that front fairing? If so, where did you re-locate those goodies? Lacking that, has anyone found something else to slap over where that front end used to be?

2) Approx what RPM are you turning in sixth at 75mph? Wondering how buzzy this thing gets at realistic left lane freeway speeds.

3) Is the speedo accurate, or is it way optimistic, BTW?

4) The dumbest fifty bucks any bean counter ever shaved off the MSRP of a new murdersickle was your handy center stand. Whoever started that trend, I hope he gets stranded with a flat tire in East Gnawed Pencil Utah and no stand to whip the tire off. But when I crawled underneath one of these units on the showroom floor, there were no tabs or attachment points I could see for a center stand. Is there an aftermarket stand, and where does it attach? Who is this nitwit first brainfarted "Hey, let's ditch the center stand" and where can I find the rascal to slap him cross the snout?

5) I see frequent mention of a bad stator and of a replacement Polaris regulator. My experience of Kawi electrics is limited to my KLR, which, let's face it, your average short haired cat sparks more watts on a cold day than that pretense of an alternator does at redline. Are a new stator and regulator de rigeur immediately; or do the OEM bits last at least a score of thousand miles? Does the system pump enough juice to light me some heated grips at a stop light without the turn signal pulsing the headlight, as on my KLR?

6) I'd love to see a rack where the pillion sets. Has anyone figured out a solo seat with rack behind? How about a sissy bar to set a T-bag on pillion for a backrest?

7) Who has played with sprocket swaps & what'd you come up with?

That's it for now. Maybe more later. TIA

Unmitigated risk aversion is the new Puritanism; complete with witch hunts funny outfits and humorless preachers thundering doom. The Deity is Safety; Satan is a Lawyer; but the object is the same: to suck the life out of life and tell you how to live it.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 01:07 PM
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I find it amazingly smooth for a twin. I've traveled all day on it and haven't had vibration issues. I think it's smoother at 75+ than it is at 65.

I run a heated jacket + gloves at full temp and my voltage remains steady.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 01:09 PM
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Well, let's see what I can offer in response to your questions. In my opinion none of the three generations of Versys have particularly pleasant front ends. Mine is an '08 Gen 1 and that's the best of the litter, again in my opinion. The saving grace is that you buy a bike to ride rather than to look at and, more importantly, when you're riding such an excellent all-round performer as the Versys, you can't seen the front end.

What's next? Oh yeah, RPM. I swapped the rear sprocket for a 43 tooth version and the engine now spins at 5000 rpm @ 70 mph and that's within 1/2 mph of what the GPS indicates. And yes, the speedometer is optimistic - so we'll feel like we're goin' faster.

I've not had any problems regarding the stator and, living in Texas during the winter, I haven't needed heated gear. However, the Versys does generate more electricity than your KLR and those who have added heated gear controllers haven't said many bad things on this forum that I remember.

And yes, the center stand exclusion really irritates me whether it's a money-saving trick or because exhaust systems now seem to have large canisters slung beneath the frame. There are several members on the forum who have come up with alternatives and perhaps they will chime in. Oh, and if you find anyone who will sell a center stand for $50 I really would like to know.

Lastly, I haven't located anyone who makes a single saddle for the Versys. I do seem to remember someone posting photos of a single saddle some years ago, but I can't recall if it was this forum or another. I ride solo almost exclusively so I mount either an Agio hard case tail pack or a First Gear expandable tail pack on the pillion portion of the saddle - a Corbin saddle in my case. I am not a fan of mounting an enormous bread box high and behind the rear axle on a tail rack so the "pack on the saddle" is a workable solution for me - along with Givi V35 hard cases.

And there you have my two cents, or maybe a few cents more than two.

Arion

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Last edited by Arion; 02-22-2018 at 01:11 PM.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by webmost View Post
I am giving heavy consideration to adding a V650LT to the stable. It would replace the reliable 60k miles KLR, cause I just don't go up enough gravel roads any more. Looking for light weight one up long distance touring as well as weekends on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I've a list of questions I'd appreciate answers to:


1) Not being a fan of Transformers, I find the front end absolutely hidjus. If I needed a windshield I'd bring the Durango; if I wanted to look down a dirty well, there wouldn't be a pair of forks in it; if I wanted slant eyed headlights I'd get me a cat; but the real reason is, the appearance of this jagged front end gives me the shudders. I'd gladly rip that fairing off except for the fact I see a double handful of necessaries tucked inside there. Appears to be a coolant jug, fuse block, relays, rectifier, etc. Has anyone here removed that front fairing? If so, where did you re-locate those goodies? Lacking that, has anyone found something else to slap over where that front end used to be?

2) Approx what RPM are you turning in sixth at 75mph? Wondering how buzzy this thing gets at realistic left lane freeway speeds.

3) Is the speedo accurate, or is it way optimistic, BTW?

4) The dumbest fifty bucks any bean counter ever shaved off the MSRP of a new murdersickle was your handy center stand. Whoever started that trend, I hope he gets stranded with a flat tire in East Gnawed Pencil Utah and no stand to whip the tire off. But when I crawled underneath one of these units on the showroom floor, there were no tabs or attachment points I could see for a center stand. Is there an aftermarket stand, and where does it attach? Who is this nitwit first brainfarted "Hey, let's ditch the center stand" and where can I find the rascal to slap him cross the snout?

5) I see frequent mention of a bad stator and of a replacement Polaris regulator. My experience of Kawi electrics is limited to my KLR, which, let's face it, your average short haired cat sparks more watts on a cold day than that pretense of an alternator does at redline. Are a new stator and regulator de rigeur immediately; or do the OEM bits last at least a score of thousand miles? Does the system pump enough juice to light me some heated grips at a stop light without the turn signal pulsing the headlight, as on my KLR?

6) I'd love to see a rack where the pillion sets. Has anyone figured out a solo seat with rack behind? How about a sissy bar to set a T-bag on pillion for a backrest?

7) Who has played with sprocket swaps & what'd you come up with?

That's it for now. Maybe more later. TIA
you will greatly appreciate that front and and windshield on the highway and the wind blast it saves you from.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 03:41 PM
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Let's see.........there is a company or two that makes a center stands for the Versys. I have heard that they both have issues (I personally don't have one). The Versys 650 LT makes a fine long distance solo touring bike (with the right tires). I did about 4500 miles last year in about 3 weeks and it worked great. A seat mod or new seat will most likely be required (I did the mod myself). It's been a while since I last rode (mid winter here) but I do seem to remember about 5500 rpm will do 75 mph. The speedo is off a bit however. I don't use heated gear or grips, just a charging receptacle, and a gear indicator are the only add-ons. The electrical system seems to operate fine.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webmost View Post
I am giving heavy consideration to adding a V650LT to the stable. It would replace the reliable 60k miles KLR, cause I just don't go up enough gravel roads any more. Looking for light weight one up long distance touring as well as weekends on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I've a list of questions I'd appreciate answers to:
On my second Versys, 07 now a 15--Unlike harley owners, no chrome I don't polish and show my bike***I bought it to ride, if you have / had a KLR, did you install a Thermo-Bob? The V excels in the twisties, can handle 2 up all Day at 80 MPH

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Originally Posted by webmost View Post
1) Not being a fan of Transformers, I find the front end absolutely hidjus. If I needed a windshield I'd bring the Durango; if I wanted to look down a dirty well, there wouldn't be a pair of forks in it; if I wanted slant eyed headlights I'd get me a cat; but the real reason is, the appearance of this jagged front end gives me the shudders. I'd gladly rip that fairing off except for the fact I see a double handful of necessaries tucked inside there. Appears to be a coolant jug, fuse block, relays, rectifier, etc. Has anyone here removed that front fairing? If so, where did you re-locate those goodies? Lacking that, has anyone found something else to slap over where that front end used to be?

2) Approx what RPM are you turning in sixth at 75mph? Wondering how buzzy this thing gets at realistic left lane freeway speeds.

3) Is the speedo accurate, or is it way optimistic, BTW?
I will repeat I don't care what the front looks like I bought it to ride, and after over 40 years of riding, I haven't found anything that performs in the twisties for the price like the V!
Speed is dependent on the rear tire and sprockets, going 16 front makes speed accurate, but the 2015 has a change in the torque curve, so with the Michelin the speed is high by about 4%, with the original Dunlop the speed was within 1KM/HR--RPM is around 6500 to 7000 RPM at 80 MPH

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Originally Posted by webmost View Post
4) The dumbest fifty bucks any bean counter ever shaved off the MSRP of a new murdersickle was your handy center stand. Whoever started that trend, I hope he gets stranded with a flat tire in East Gnawed Pencil Utah and no stand to whip the tire off. But when I crawled underneath one of these units on the showroom floor, there were no tabs or attachment points I could see for a center stand. Is there an aftermarket stand, and where does it attach? Who is this nitwit first brainfarted "Hey, let's ditch the center stand" and where can I find the rascal to slap him cross the snout?
I think you would be surprised at tyhe fact I can get the front or rear tire off the ground if I were looking at plugging the tire, I would challenge you to get the bike up on a center stand with a flat, and yes several make them, around $350, I have a pit stand at home and a hydraulic lift that cost about $75 more than the aftermarket center stand. Anything I need to do in the field I can do with the prop stand. If you need to remove either wheel than you are going to need a tow or some other assistance JMHO I don't see the benefit.


http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ght=prop+stand


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5) I see frequent mention of a bad stator and of a replacement Polaris regulator. My experience of Kawi electrics is limited to my KLR, which, let's face it, your average short haired cat sparks more watts on a cold day than that pretense of an alternator does at redline. Are a new stator and regulator de rigeur immediately; or do the OEM bits last at least a score of thousand miles? Does the system pump enough juice to light me some heated grips at a stop light without the turn signal pulsing the headlight, as on my KLR?
All permanent magnet stators have the same problem, Triumph, Yamaha, Kawasaki , FYI the stator on the KLR is a direct swap for the Versys. I have started posting links on good used Polaris regulators on this forum.See post 4, about 160 watts available over and above base load, which means heated gear and heated grips at maximum output, no problem. Follow my advice and change the city lights to LED and a few other LED changes and more watts is available
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ight=base+load

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Originally Posted by webmost View Post
6) I'd love to see a rack where the pillion sets. Has anyone figured out a solo seat with rack behind? How about a sissy bar to set a T-bag on pillion for a backrest?

7) Who has played with sprocket swaps & what'd you come up with?

That's it for now. Maybe more later. TIA
Follow http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...668-miles.html he went across Canada this past year, have a look.

Last edited by onewizard; 02-22-2018 at 04:21 PM.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 08:11 PM
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well , I have made the best of what i have...no complaints so far on the versys 09 as it has served me well and have made cross country rides...still in love with her..


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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webmost View Post
I am giving heavy consideration to adding a V650LT to the stable. It would replace the reliable 60k miles KLR, cause I just don't go up enough gravel roads any more. Looking for light weight one up long distance touring as well as weekends on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I've a list of questions I'd appreciate answers to:


1) Not being a fan of Transformers, I find the front end absolutely hidjus. If I needed a windshield I'd bring the Durango; if I wanted to look down a dirty well, there wouldn't be a pair of forks in it; if I wanted slant eyed headlights I'd get me a cat; but the real reason is, the appearance of this jagged front end gives me the shudders. I'd gladly rip that fairing off except for the fact I see a double handful of necessaries tucked inside there. Appears to be a coolant jug, fuse block, relays, rectifier, etc. Has anyone here removed that front fairing? If so, where did you re-locate those goodies? Lacking that, has anyone found something else to slap over where that front end used to be?

2) Approx what RPM are you turning in sixth at 75mph? Wondering how buzzy this thing gets at realistic left lane freeway speeds.

3) Is the speedo accurate, or is it way optimistic, BTW?

4) The dumbest fifty bucks any bean counter ever shaved off the MSRP of a new murdersickle was your handy center stand. Whoever started that trend, I hope he gets stranded with a flat tire in East Gnawed Pencil Utah and no stand to whip the tire off. But when I crawled underneath one of these units on the showroom floor, there were no tabs or attachment points I could see for a center stand. Is there an aftermarket stand, and where does it attach? Who is this nitwit first brainfarted "Hey, let's ditch the center stand" and where can I find the rascal to slap him cross the snout?

5) I see frequent mention of a bad stator and of a replacement Polaris regulator. My experience of Kawi electrics is limited to my KLR, which, let's face it, your average short haired cat sparks more watts on a cold day than that pretense of an alternator does at redline. Are a new stator and regulator de rigeur immediately; or do the OEM bits last at least a score of thousand miles? Does the system pump enough juice to light me some heated grips at a stop light without the turn signal pulsing the headlight, as on my KLR?

6) I'd love to see a rack where the pillion sets. Has anyone figured out a solo seat with rack behind? How about a sissy bar to set a T-bag on pillion for a backrest?

7) Who has played with sprocket swaps & what'd you come up with?

That's it for now. Maybe more later. TIA
#1 dont look at the new 3rd gen look back at a 1st or 2nd gen (first gen looks best to me because its what i have)

#2 my 08 isnt running the stock gearing but im running around 5500-6000 rpm at 70-80mph. and my cheap helmet wind noise + music playing means i cant hear any buzzing or anything

#3 after my re gearing the speedometer is almost spot on, but from factory always expect every speedometer to read 5-8 mph fast (even in cars/trucks)

#4 none of the V'v have a factory center stand, most bikes now days dont sadly. its a bit of weight and design they can cut out of the bike as well as parts thank help raise there bottom line making them more money and reducing labor/ supply costs. there are aftermarket center stands on the market tho. or you can get one of those pocket quick list stands/jacks (as for flats i carry a plug kit and small pump on my V)

#5 my 08 has over 40k miles and i still have the factory stater and rectifier and have had no issues, but any electronic device can fail at any point for what ever reason it feels like having so your results my vary.(some people replace / change there rectifier preemptively to a make/model they know/trust more for what ever reason.

#6 i have not personally seen a rear rack that goes over the rear seat, but i have a rear rack on my V (see photo below) i have seen driver back rest for the versys , but do also take in mind the versys has a one peace seat. and if you have a rack over the passenger seat it would be hard to get the seat off without removing it
#7 mine is re-geared i have the gone with a 15/43(or 42) and it puts the speedo spot on and lowered the highway rpms a bit and made it a bit less front end happy when under heavy accelerating 2-up . stock gearing is 15/46 i think. there are members on here that swap out there front sprocket for a 16 but personally i didnt care for it so went back to the 15
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 06:58 AM
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2) 75mph ~ 6000 rpms.

3) speed is ~3% too high.

4) I've survived with a tube/plank under the right swingarm while on sidestand. Never needed to remove wheels or swingarm... I'd remove the center stand if there was one...

5) The only stator I burned (on a ninja 650 with ~4 amps of heated gear for ~3 months per year) lasted ~120'000km. I've put a voltmeter now to monitor.

6) I wouldn't change the seat. Resting luggage on the pillion seat is fine. I had a sissy bar hack setup but it's easier to hack or buy just a platform and I now prefer my drybag lengthwise from pillion to platform.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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So am I to gather that the speedo works off the abs sensor, and not the front wheel?

Which years comprise which generation? I spose I should search the forum for generational diffs and stop being lazy. But apparently I am a corner cutter.

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 08:54 AM
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speedo works off the countershaft sensor (the one you have to remove to change the front sprocket).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawasaki_Versys_650
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 09:13 AM
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I have a 2015 which is the first year with the new "Madd Catt" front end. I really like how it looks compaired to the "Train Headlight" look of the prior models.

Find a low mileage pre 15 to cure complaint #1.

Motor is really smooth at freeway speeds #2.

Speedo is off, indicating around 3-5 mph high depending on speed #3.

A pair of rear spools and a padock stand to fix #4.

I have around 17k miles on my 2015 and no stator or electrical problems. #5.

I like the stock gearing. It is perfect for the little motor that can. Some guys gear it up a bit so you do have that option. #7.

Overall it is one hell of a great bike for the money. Oh yea did I mention you will enjoy between 50 and 55 mpg. Combine that with the generous 5.5 gallon tank and you are looking at a 250 mile range with a gallon reserve.

There that was easy...lol.

Cheers and good luck with your decision.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
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So am I to gather that the speedo works off the abs sensor, and not the front wheel?

Which years comprise which generation? I spose I should search the forum for generational diffs and stop being lazy. But apparently I am a corner cutter.
the first and second gen speedo works of a pick up on the counter-shaft the third gen im not 100% sure and am way to lazy to google it

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 03:23 PM
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the first and second gen speedo works of a pick up on the counter-shaft the third gen im not 100% sure and am way to lazy to google it
Speedo pick up for Generation 3 is the same as for the previous models.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 06:24 PM
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I did weeks of research on what bike would be my daily to keep miles off my Street Triple R. I bought the Versys 650LT without a test ride and couldn't be happier after 7,000 trouble free miles. Shoot me a PM for any questions.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 08:33 PM
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I donít care for look of the V Gen1,2 or 3, they just donít look very good to me. But they sure are fun to ride! If i wanted a garage queen I would have gotten something different.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Well it took me damn long enough, but I finally settled on a 2016 Versys LT in NC. It's a dynamite deal. I'm taking the train down to High Point next week and riding back via the Blue Ridge Parkway. Prolly 700 or 800 miles by the time I get home. That should give me enough of a test ride to determine which farkles and bits I need to bolt on. It's basically stock now. The plan is to take this thing across the country the month of July.

Preliminary farkle plans:

I will no doubt want a peg lowering kit or highway pegs or both. Looking at the Motowerks

I will certainly want a rear rack. Zero ambition to tote a trunk. Zero. So I am looking for a rack rack and not a carrier. Have not found anything suitable yet.

Bar risers would be good. Looking at Motowerks again.

An aftermarket seat would be grand; but I don't think I can get one in the house before July take-off. If you know of an in-stock or off-the-shelf solution, let me know.

I'm stoked.

Unmitigated risk aversion is the new Puritanism; complete with witch hunts funny outfits and humorless preachers thundering doom. The Deity is Safety; Satan is a Lawyer; but the object is the same: to suck the life out of life and tell you how to live it.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 01:39 PM
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An aftermarket seat would be grand; but I don't think I can get one in the house before July take-off. If you know of an in-stock or off-the-shelf solution, let me know.

I'm stoked.

Airhawk wouldn't hurt.... could always sell it later if you didn't need it.

'08 Versys.. Givi rear rack, JCW trunk and E21's, Givi shield, Madstad bracket, Speedy peg and mirror brackets, lowering kit, SC Seat, R1 Shock.. other stuff. '09 KLX250 setup for singletrack. 2011 Xterra, '80 CJ-7

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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Have an AirHawk. Plan to take either it or a sheepskin with me.

Unmitigated risk aversion is the new Puritanism; complete with witch hunts funny outfits and humorless preachers thundering doom. The Deity is Safety; Satan is a Lawyer; but the object is the same: to suck the life out of life and tell you how to live it.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 02:50 PM
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I have a rather hideous looking first gen V., a face only a mother could love.

But I can't see it's ugly face while I am seated on it and having fun, so we are good.

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