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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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First ride with a question

Howdy, just got back from my first ride, did a quick 30 miles or so just to get the initial break-in started. This is a fun bike, very tractable as folks say. I'll say more later since I plan on riding more this weekend but I had a quick question.

I snapped the pic below when I returned and wondered if anyone had seen something like this when the bike was new, or maybe after lubing the chain. I did not lube the cold chain before this first quick ride since I figure it can take a few miles before I lube it up thoroughly, but I wonder if I should be concerned based on the pic below. It sort of looks like flecks of oil and the stock chain was not particularly wet that I could tell, so I'm wondering if this could actually be chain fling? or more concerning, oil flecks from somewhere.



And here's an obligatory pic of the bike.



Any input is appreciated. I'm going to clean the muffler once it cools but I wanted to snap a pic of it first. I'm a little concerned as to what this is or where it came from. Other than that the bike performed flawlessly so far.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 04:04 PM
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....chain fling for sure, and you will notice it recurring as you ride/lube
no cause for worry
cheers
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 04:19 PM
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Ahhh....a blank canvas, ready for farkling!!!!!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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....chain fling for sure, and you will notice it recurring as you ride/lube
no cause for worry
cheers
Thanks a ton for putting my mind at ease. I've never had an underbody muffler on a bike before so that was a completely new sight to me. (I do love the sleek look of having the muffler in this location though, nice touch) As I mentioned, it didn't seem like the chain was even moderately wet to the touch before I took off so I was surprised to see much fling at all. On the other hand, I assume the factory, dealer, or even DID must have applied at least some lube along the way...so at least now I know to expect seeing this when I lubricate the chain in the future.

Regarding a blank slate...I have ordered the SW engine guards already as I tend to put guards of some sort on all my street bikes. I look at it as spending an extra $200 to help protect the investment. I know the high plastics will still be vulnerable but I'm mostly concerned with protecting the cases and such.

I also ordered the Evotech rear fender eliminator since the rear fender is a bit of an eyesore on an otherwise fine looking bike. (I'll just live with the skunk stripe on rainy days ) I may also install handguards since I tend to ride more in the cool/cold than the high heat months, and I have a spare set of polly heaters lying around that I may install soon since the weather is getting chilly rather quickly this year.

I already tossed a gps mount on the handlebars and I bought some 1/4" OD vinyl tubing for securing the instrument panel. I had a FIAMM Freeway blaster horn lying around too that did not fit another bike, so I replaced the OEM horn with that already too. It's nowhere near as impressive as some other horns like Stebel or PIAA offerings, but at least it replaced the usual meep with a more satisfying low honk instead. Other than that so far, I have no immediate mods in mind.

Now for more 1st ride impressions...

First off, I will confess it is simply not possible to adhere to the factory prescribed break-in with this little 650. Basically I rode it the way I'm going to ride it, except with tons more deliberate engine breaking and varied RPMs. I took to the back roads that see very little traffic so I could mostly do as I please without worrying about other vehicles much. I did almost clip a chipmunk that had ventured out into the road though so the little guy was lucky not to be roadkill right about now. I also scrubbed the tires a tad at a large empty lot with lots of spirited figure 8s since twisty roads are not particularly plentiful round these parts. I'd rather scrape them up a bit on a rough lot than get a scare on some tight turns right off the bat. I did take corners with gusto though where I could find them and the bike felt planted. I'm used to my bigger Bandit 1250 which is a very fine and capable bike in its own right...but the V is 100lbs lighter and just a really nimble mount.

Let's see what else...hmm well I discovered a heavy handed 1st gear roll on is quite a hoot. Now I'm not one to wheelie much at all and I save that kind of horseplay for my dual sport in most cases anyway, but dang I was very pleasantly surprised at the clutchless buck in this bike. The engine response otherwise is very good, perhaps even impressive, though I admit to having some difficulty assessing it fairly since my 1250 has been my street mount for a couple years. That thing is an effortless torque monster so the V will appear sluggish as hell by comparison...which brings me back to talking RPMs.

As I said, it's just not possible to stay under 4K imo, maybe 6K...but even that's a stretch. I did not wind it out maliciously in any of the low gears, but I did give this lil girl plenty of hard acceleration and decel breaking and the RPM's were most certainly above 4-5K throughout much of that process. This bike seems happiest around 5K when running up through the gears and it just begs to be revved imo. I'm no racer personality whatsoever, but I'd be bored as hell trying to break this bike in as recommended. So I rode it like I will ride it.

The brakes and tires are brand new so I will not assess either of those yet. They both work so far, I honestly did not pay much attention to either other than the mild scrub I mentioned earlier. The ride is more harsh than I would like on big bumps but I have not messed with the suspension yet. I like to take a new ride out with the initial setup a few times before rushing to adjust anything. The riding position is excellent and it's one of the first bikes where I was not dying for risers right off the bat (I'm 6'1" with a short inseam of 30" so most height is up top) I'm accustomed to riding the XRL which has a seat height of 37", so despite my inseam, the V is a cakewalk at lights and signs, I don't even notice the height, I just like it!

I guess that's enough ramble to chew on for now. Glad to be aboard and I'll check back in lata! Hope to hear from more of yaz.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 05:56 PM
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Clean the chain and then go with Maxima Chain Wax. You only need to spray the o-rings, between the side plates, and the rollers. I use a pit lift and stick a piece of cardboard between the chain and tire. Then with the "Straw" I spray right between the side plates, while spinning the tire by hand I go two laps of the chain for each side. I than hit the rollers for about one compete pass and then I do spray the sides, to keep rust at bay. I let the bike sit over night for it all to day a bit and there much less "Sling Off".

It's good stuff!

Nice looking bike you'll come to really like it I bet.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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2012 650 Versys

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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I actually have a can of maxima chain wax lying around that I never used. I didn't want to use it on the XR because I was afraid it would attract too much dirt and I've been using einszett spray gel on the bandit. I like the spray gel, it sticks to the chain well enough and doesn't seem to attract an abundance of dirt. Maybe I'll give the wax a try on the V though given my first day's dismay over the flecks on the muffler.

A couple other thoughts on the bike...

I'm not one to complain about wind blast since it is after all a motorcycle, but I noticed quite a lot of wind noise and a fair bit of turbulence so far. The windscreen appears rather small and ineffective, but I also assume it's in the lowest position right now. Have folks found it useful to raise the windscreen high as it can go? I carry most of my height in the torso so I'm looking to put the air a little higher on the helmet.

I did not comment on the gearbox either but I quite like it! Shifts are notchy but with a pleasant and positive feel. Neither shift lever nor clutch require much effort, though the feel of the clutch is a bit vague I suppose. The transmission felt great to me overall and I had only a couple missed 2nd gear shifts when my foot was lazy or I failed to preload the lever.

The instrumentation is very basic but easy to read, I especially like the tach. It's nice to see something white instead of the usual black gauges. All of the controls were well placed and I found the mirrors more or less 'adequate' with only a bit of of vibration at cruising speeds. Speaking of which, the vibration of the bike overall was not noticeable except at higher RPMs but I guess that's to be expected with this configuration and it was not a bother to me. Again, I have a 650 dual sport so this seems smooth and sporty by comparison. The Bandit is of course even smoother than the V so these three bikes offer a good variety of perspectives on things such as power delivery and vibration.....thumper vs. parallel twin vs. (a silky smooth) I-4.

I like the trick LED tail light and I presume that probably frees up a few more watts on capacity too since it probably has a low draw. I haven't had a chance to see how the headlights do at night yet but I might get some night riding in tomorrow to check that out. The footpegs feel a little wimpy under my size 13s but I can live with em for now since this bike isn't going offroad really. Anything I've mentioned that's less than positive are merely nitpicks though and I had lots of fun on the first ride today. The bike felt natural to me immediately and I'm definitely stoked on the acquisition so far. I was cracking up in my helmet to myself after wacking the throttle open in 1st gear as mentioned earlier, she's an energetic lil minx.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 07:36 AM
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...since it is after all a motorcycle
My sentiments exactly! I've got 11,000+ miles on my 2011 V including a 5600 mile cross country... All with stock windshield, seat (with an Airhawk), exhaust, etc... I guess at 65 and owning 20+ bikes since the 60's makes me old school... But I always remember "after all... It's a motorcycle..."

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 07:56 AM
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It's only a Motorcycle...too true. But it's a fun motorcycle! I remember (us old farts) when a motorcycle trip across town was an adventure, you never knew if you'd make it of not. Now we get bent if our brand new bike can't go coast to coast without a break-in. Man has we gotten spoiled.

I think you'll find if you let the bike sit over night for the wax to "set" it will pick up very little dirt. In fact I was at the dealership yesterday and the owner (he has a Versys as well) ask where I got the new chain at! I told him it's the stocker and I just wax and ride. The wax will flake off and when it does it take what little grime that has stuck to it.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 10:00 AM
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Clean the chain and then go with Maxima Chain Wax. You only need to spray the o-rings, between the side plates, and the rollers. I use a pit lift and stick a piece of cardboard between the chain and tire. Then with the "Straw" I spray right between the side plates, while spinning the tire by hand I go two laps of the chain for each side. I than hit the rollers for about one compete pass and then I do spray the sides, to keep rust at bay. I let the bike sit over night for it all to day a bit and there much less "Sling Off".

It's good stuff!

Nice looking bike you'll come to really like it I bet.
Dry type chain lubes like the above IMO, Dupont Teflon Chain Saver and a few others work best because they produce minimal fling off compared to oil and grease based lubes and attract less damaging grit which destroys the O rings. Suggest getting a Grunge Brush too and putting some kerosene or diesel fuel in a spray bottle for chain cleaning.

Last edited by Sprocket; 10-14-2012 at 10:09 AM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Just got back from my 2nd ride, did 50 more miles so 80 total now. Lubed the chain with maxima was while it was still hot and I'm about to go change the factory fill oil since I was less than gentle with the bike these first two rides. I have K&N oil filters since that's what was readily available for now.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 02:30 PM
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I moved mine and found I got less turbulence but still plenty of wind noise. I have ordered the Kawasaki Vario screen.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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looks good mav, I can put up with the noise but I'd like to move the air up a little higher
think I may go try and move that up tonight...about to go grill here, having some sea scallops wrapped in bacon

ok so this was the easiest oil change ever, how it should be on any bike
going to note 80 miles on odometer for myself here for future reference

fresh oil, seemed to want a tad more than 2 quarts


new K&N filter


freshly lubed chain while still hot, with maxima chain wax as suggested above
(pity how they cluttered things up with the stickers, be nicer if out of sight)


and finally, another pic of the bike...I have a heavy duty disc lock stored beneath the seat, that little combo cable there is just for locking a helmet to the rear passenger bars
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 04:14 PM
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Looks good. I'd pull the clutch cable and drip a little light oil, 3 in 1, down the inter cable. Makes the clutch that much smoother.

Try the wind shield at the upper limit as well. I get the best coverage with the least buffeting with my Givi in the two upper mounting holes.

I want to say again that's a nice looking ride, like the red, and the sticker on the swing arm? They peel right off and a bit of Goop-off for the glue and you're good to go... at least mine did!

You can store the cable under the seat, there should be enough room. Kawasaki makes a "U" lock that fits under there.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 05:15 PM
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I notice you don't have any spools on your swing arm. The swing arm is threaded for them. Installing some spools and getting a rear spool stand will make it a lot easier to remove the rear wheel or do chain maint or even change the oil. They're cheap at Harbor Frieght. You can gets spools anywhere from www.ebay.com to www.twistedthrottle.com
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Looks good. I'd pull the clutch cable and drip a little light oil, 3 in 1, down the inter cable. Makes the clutch that much smoother.

Try the wind shield at the upper limit as well. I get the best coverage with the least buffeting with my Givi in the two upper mounting holes.

I want to say again that's a nice looking ride, like the red, and the sticker on the swing arm? They peel right off and a bit of Goop-off for the glue and you're good to go... at least mine did!

You can store the cable under the seat, there should be enough room. Kawasaki makes a "U" lock that fits under there.
sounds good, I'll lube the cable a bit though it feels fine to me now
the friction zone feel is a little vague to me at times but could be I'm still getting used to the bike, many times I don't even feel the shifts and at other times they're little a less pro...

I'll try the windscreen in the upper position once I pick up more of those threaded grommets, I don't feel like messing with the oem ones so I'll just fill all the holes and have a few spares for other parts on the bike

I'll snap a photo to preserve all the info on the stickers then remove them

I have one of these stored under the seat for a disc lock (strapped in on top of the tool kit)
http://www.kryptonitelock.com/Pages/...PNumber=999591

I could probably fit the combo cable lock in the rear section

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket View Post
I notice you don't have any spools on your swing arm. The swing arm is threaded for them. Installing some spools and getting a rear spool stand will make it a lot easier to remove the rear wheel or do chain maint or even change the oil. They're cheap at Harbor Frieght. You can gets spools anywhere from www.ebay.com to www.twistedthrottle.com
I might actually have some spools I had installed on the bandit at one time then took them off, so I'll give that a try
agree that I need a better solution for easy chain maintenance, today I was lifting the back of the bike, spinning the tire with my foot, spray, repeat

btw I just had a little help with snapping one more photo of the sight glass while I straddled the bike holding it level and saw this



looks like I'm right at the upper line so I may have topped it off just a hair too much

I think it will be ok though, it's not as if I added another quart, maybe a 1/4 quart or so, and I think being at the upper line cold shouldn't stress the oil pressures too much when hot...otoh I could bleed a tad bit out of there
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 07:43 PM
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In my view your oil level is fine, you could take a bit out with a syringe but its only a couple of mm above the top line so its fine.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 05:44 PM
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Dude, don't be anal with maintenance. Just ride and have fun. 20K miles in my 08 following the maintenance schedule, no problems. Still riding with the original chain. Still on spec and sprockets look like new. Using Dupot chain saver or just dupont teflon lube when I cannot find the chain saver every 300 to 600 miles as indicated. I clean the chain once or twice a year depending on how bad the weather was after riding or the type of road. More dirt more cleaning. These bikes are rock solid.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Dude, don't be anal with maintenance. Just ride and have fun. 20K miles in my 08 following the maintenance schedule, no problems. Still riding with the original chain. Still on spec and sprockets look like new. Using Dupot chain saver or just dupont teflon lube when I cannot find the chain saver every 300 to 600 miles as indicated. I clean the chain once or twice a year depending on how bad the weather was after riding or the type of road. More dirt more cleaning. These bikes are rock solid.
No worries there, I definitely have fun when I ride That's why I changed the factory fill so soon. I flogged the bike out there I ain't gonna lie lol. That's why I said it's impossible to break the bike in according to the factory recommendations, it begs to be revved. Not to mention, anything out on the highways calls for more than 4K RPM by default and I had a few of those miles in there as well.

I'm nowhere near anal with maintenance, especially with three bikes in the stable now. This one's just getting TLC cause it's the latest addition. Otherwise I just do oil changes, air filters, clean n lube chains, keep batteries topped off, and not too much else most of the time really.
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