1st Time Versys Owner on a 2018 SE - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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1st Time Versys Owner on a 2018 SE

Thought you guys may like to know about the initial bike experience from a Versys Newb.

Left Palmer Rapids early on my 2016 Yamaha FJ-09 for the final time and drove the 200 kms to the Goodtime Center in Ottawa. Everything went smoothly at the dealership and the entire process took about an hour. They installed a couple of spools at no cost on the rear axle so I could use a stand.

I took a 300 km route home along scenic backroads, villages and small towns.

I am coming off an FJ-09 and KLR for the last 25,000 kms so the Versys had it's hands full to keep up that high standard, and it did not disappoint. In fact it was almost identical and handles a touch better than the Yamaha, but only by a tiny margin. I love the way you can turn these bikes on a dime right from a dead start. Very flickable. The seating position is also similar to the FJ but I think it has a seat height one inch lower. I am 6'1" so no issues with that. The seat is more comfortable than the FJ-09 which feels like a board after the 1st 100 kms. Not really an issue with these bikes though cause we can stand up and stretch hindquaters and legs to get blood flowing as often as required. I found I was doing that less on the Versys.

I won't compare the power between the two because the FJ-09 is in a class by itself, but I can tell you I love the power of the Versys. It is just right. The techs gave me a briefing during the walk around and told me to ignore the manual and run it between 5000 - 6000 RPM for Break In. I did that all the way home with plenty of rev matching on downshifts and varying engine speeds. I was on mainly twisty roads with rolling hills so it was easy to keep the speeds changing. Only thing I noticed was that it has a real twitchy throttle response in 1st and 2nd. I don't think that is a fault of the bike it is just a matter of me getting use to it.

Fuel economy seemed excellent. Still had about 1/3 tank left after 300 kms. I will monitor that closely on each fill up.

The general ergonomics of the bike are a perfect fit for me. The instruments are clear and easy to read. Not quite as elaborate as the FJ-09 but who needs to have a reminder about time to do an Oil Change anyway. I do wish it had a Outside Temp Gage though.

Really like this bike and plan on doing some great trips with it. Heading east to New Brunswick next month going through New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Then along the coast to the Miramachi.

Got two compliments from seperate strangers at a Gas Station.

She's home in Palmer Rapids where she belongs now.






2018 Versys 650 SE
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 08:53 PM
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Congrats on your new bike. Ride safe.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 08:59 PM
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Welcome aboard 17 Alpher. That's a good looking ride. I own a green one too.

My path to a Versys was similar to yours.

Back in 2014 I bought a brand new FZ09. Loved the bike for the first 20,000 miles but then my back started saying..."Get me a softer ride or I will check out on ya." So I bought a 2015 KTM 1190 Adventure. I must say that WP suspension is fabulous. Pot holes and bumps that would have me on the pegs with the FZ09, I would actually aim for with the big V-twin. It would just float over the bumps like nothing I had ridden before.

After about a year and 8000 miles I had gotten tired of needing a ladder to get on board plus the Slower handling, but it was all the heat from the rear cylinder and exhaust that killed it for me. I sold it and picked up my 2015 V-650.

While suspension of the V is not as smooth as the KTM, it is considerably better than the FZ, which I had spent 2 grand to upgrade.

I did some suspension work on my V and must say it now handles great. Replaced the fork oil with 10wt and made the proper adjustments. Also installed a Nitron shock on the rear.

Gotta say the V-650 has got to be the most fun motorcycle I have owned in a long time.

Cheers and ride safe.

Cookin Wid Gas

2015 V-650 of course it's green...it's a Kazawalski.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2018, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hawkerjet View Post
Welcome aboard 17 Alpher. That's a good looking ride. I own a green one too.

My path to a Versys was similar to yours.

Back in 2014 I bought a brand new FZ09. Loved the bike for the first 20,000 miles but then my back started saying..."Get me a softer ride or I will check out on ya." So I bought a 2015 KTM 1190 Adventure. I must say that WP suspension is fabulous. Pot holes and bumps that would have me on the pegs with the FZ09, I would actually aim for with the big V-twin. It would just float over the bumps like nothing I had ridden before.

After about a year and 8000 miles I had gotten tired of needing a ladder to get on board plus the Slower handling, but it was all the heat from the rear cylinder and exhaust that killed it for me. I sold it and picked up my 2015 V-650.

While suspension of the V is not as smooth as the KTM, it is considerably better than the FZ, which I had spent 2 grand to upgrade.

I did some suspension work on my V and must say it now handles great. Replaced the fork oil with 10wt and made the proper adjustments. Also installed a Nitron shock on the rear.

Gotta say the V-650 has got to be the most fun motorcycle I have owned in a long time.

Cheers and ride safe.
Yes very similar paths. I loved my FJ-09. That engine is off the charts but the Versys power is more my style.

I made a Typo in my above break in procedure. The techs told me to keep it between 4000 - 6000 not 5 - 6. I generally was at about 4500 - 5000 occassionally going close to 6000 on upshifts with Lots of varying speeds.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 11:02 PM
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Really nice write up and congrats on your new ride!
I am looking for a versys650 and now deciding between the 2nd gen or the 3rd gen or possibly the fj09.
I have mostly ridden larger displacement bikes like the bandit 1200, triumph sprint rs, harley fxdc but have been wanting that lighter more flickable bike but comfortable too. I ride 90% on tarmac, a mix of highways and back roads with the occasional fire trails to explore.
I can only have one bike to do it all, thats what led my search to the versys 650 but I get that maybe I should go down to 800cc-ish as a compromise feeling which has me thinking about the fj09.

You have made several good points and has me thinking more. I could get a 2015 fj09 for around $7k, the 2nd gen V650 around $5k or a new 2018 v650 around $8k.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 07:12 AM
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Thanks for the new thread. I'm pretty convinced the v650 will be my next bike because of reviews like this.
My Super Tenere is a great bike but 100 lbs heavier. I'll be 60 soon and I just want something lighter but not a slow poke either.
I thought I wanted a v1k, (I know I would love that engine) but then I would be at the same weight.
My only complaint going this way is I'm back to a chain drive and no center stand.
Heck the Tenere is shaft with a center stand!

I almost snagged a 2017 v650 (1800 miles) a local guy wanted to 'upgrade' to a more off-road oriented bike, even considered trading my Tenere for it,
then he upped the price of his Craigslist post and decided he wanted a KLR650. Heck with that.
I'll get one eventually.........
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 10:51 AM
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I wish we got that paint scheme in the states.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 17a View Post
thought you guys may like to know about the initial bike experience from a versys newb.

Left palmer rapids early on my 2016 yamaha fj-09 for the final time and drove the 200 kms to the goodtime center in ottawa. Everything went smoothly at the dealership and the entire process took about an hour. They installed a couple of spools at no cost on the rear axle so i could use a stand.

I took a 300 km route home along scenic backroads, villages and small towns.

I am coming off an fj-09 and klr for the last 25,000 kms so the versys had it's hands full to keep up that high standard, and it did not disappoint. In fact it was almost identical and handles a touch better than the yamaha, but only by a tiny margin. I love the way you can turn these bikes on a dime right from a dead start. Very flickable. The seating position is also similar to the fj but i think it has a seat height one inch lower. I am 6'1" so no issues with that. The seat is more comfortable than the fj-09 which feels like a board after the 1st 100 kms. Not really an issue with these bikes though cause we can stand up and stretch hindquaters and legs to get blood flowing as often as required. I found i was doing that less on the versys.

I won't compare the power between the two because the fj-09 is in a class by itself, but i can tell you i love the power of the versys. It is just right. The techs gave me a briefing during the walk around and told me to ignore the manual and run it between 5000 - 6000 rpm for break in. I did that all the way home with plenty of rev matching on downshifts and varying engine speeds. I was on mainly twisty roads with rolling hills so it was easy to keep the speeds changing. Only thing i noticed was that it has a real twitchy throttle response in 1st and 2nd. I don't think that is a fault of the bike it is just a matter of me getting use to it.

Fuel economy seemed excellent. Still had about 1/3 tank left after 300 kms. I will monitor that closely on each fill up.

The general ergonomics of the bike are a perfect fit for me. The instruments are clear and easy to read. Not quite as elaborate as the fj-09 but who needs to have a reminder about time to do an oil change anyway. I do wish it had a outside temp gage though.

Really like this bike and plan on doing some great trips with it. Heading east to new brunswick next month going through new york, vermont, new hampshire and maine. Then along the coast to the miramachi.

Got two compliments from seperate strangers at a gas station.

She's home in palmer rapids where she belongs now.






Just because I am Deaf does not mean I can not roar.

Long distance two stroke scooter rider moving onto even longer touring.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 08:02 PM
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nice looking bike, i still got my KLR, just couldn't seem o let her go. I'll keep her in the stables for now.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 03:40 AM
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your V looks awesome.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 12:28 PM
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The SE paint scheme is really eye catching! I love the green!
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 04:28 PM
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nice looking bike, i still got my KLR, just couldn't seem o let her go. I'll keep her in the stables for now.
Keeping your KLR is 'sort-of' like keeping the old coal-fired furnace when you get the NEW gas one....



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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 09:43 AM
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Interesting to read your thoughts on your new Versys compared to the other bikes you have owned. I purchased a new 16’ Versys 650 and have been completely happy with it. I realize there are bigger better bikes out there but the V checks all of my boxes. I have had zero issues with it as well.
I’ve put about 12,000 kms on it so far. I’ve been considering changing to a different bike but the more I look at other bikes the more I realize that my V just darn works and suits my riding style really well.
At the end of the day it does everything I ask and more.
Would I like more power, traction control, etc yes would be nice, but really I don’t need it.
I was in Palmer Rapids just last week! I live in west Ottawa near Carp so I run the upper valley often. Be good to hookup sometime!
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 02:54 PM
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...I was in Palmer Rapids just last week! I live in west Ottawa near Carp so I run the upper valley often. Be good to hookup sometime!
Ever ridden the road N along the Rouge River, from Grenville to Mont Tremblay (IF memory serves)?

USED to be a FINE ride...!

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 06:21 PM
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I like the green and black and lettering. Enjoy!

[B]Once you go PACK you never go back
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by CC Shad View Post
...I was in Palmer Rapids just last week! I live in west Ottawa near Carp so I run the upper valley often. Be good to hookup sometime!
Ever ridden the road N along the Rouge River, from Grenville to Mont Tremblay (IF memory serves)?

USED to be a FINE ride...!
I’ve been on that road, but it’s been a while. West Quebec has a bunch of good roads in that area. I’ll add it to my list lol thx for the tip !
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 09:04 PM
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FJ to Versys, wow I would've expected the new Tracer instead.

I'm actually looking to do the opposite myself, going from a 1st gen Versys to a Tracer 900GT. The main things drawing me to the Tracer is cruise and heated grips standard, in addition to basically being a V650 sized bike but with double the power (the V650 motor isn't a fan of the high elevations of the rockies).
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laffin View Post
Really nice write up and congrats on your new ride!
I am looking for a versys650 and now deciding between the 2nd gen or the 3rd gen or possibly the fj09.
I have mostly ridden larger displacement bikes like the bandit 1200, triumph sprint rs, harley fxdc but have been wanting that lighter more flickable bike but comfortable too. I ride 90% on tarmac, a mix of highways and back roads with the occasional fire trails to explore.
I can only have one bike to do it all, thats what led my search to the versys 650 but I get that maybe I should go down to 800cc-ish as a compromise feeling which has me thinking about the fj09.

You have made several good points and has me thinking more. I could get a 2015 fj09 for around $7k, the 2nd gen V650 around $5k or a new 2018 v650 around $8k.
If you get a V650, try to get a 2015+. In Colorado at least the price difference isn't huge between a later 2nd gen and a 2015, though 1st and 2nd Gen bikes are much more common.

If you get a 2015 FJ-09, a remap is all but mandatory to deal with the fueling issues, the bike is almost unridable in stock trim. This was fixed on the new Tracer 900 and the triple is now butter smooth.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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I was in Palmer Rapids just last week! I live in west Ottawa near Carp so I run the upper valley often. Be good to hookup sometime!
Let me know when you are coming this way and I could meet you in Barry's bay at Timmies.

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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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I now have just under 9000 kms on my bike now and am having new tires put on this week. I'm going with Dunlop RoadSmart III's. Had them on my FJ-09 and thought they were great. Also having a 12 Volt Power Outlet installed.

Rode my bike on a ten day trip out to the Quebec Gaspe Peninsula in that heat wave via NY, VT, NH and Maine before entering back into New Brunswick at St Stephen a couple weeks ago. Just under 5000 kms. Great trip and the bike ran perfect. I find the power just right for all roads. I was primarily on secondary hwy's with speeds of 80 - 100 KPH, but did a couple of long stretches of four lane and cruised along nicely at 120 - 125 KPH. Bike performed well in the hills along the south shore of the Gaspe Peninsula and had scary side winds at times close to the coast. At one point a girl driving a trike was blown into my lane for a moment but she got back in time. I have adjusted the chain twice. Once around 1500 kms and during the trip at around 6000. Changed the oil and filter three times now. Once at 1000 kms....3300 just before I left on the trip and at a Kawi dealer at 7200 on the way back from New Brunswick. I used "Dry Shine" and "SC 1" to keep the bike looking brand new while on the trip. Good way to put in some time at the motel each evening while checking things over for the next day. Both those products work really well on the road when no water is available. Only ran in rain once and only had to lube the chain two times the entire trip. Cleaned it with WD-40 before applying that Chain Wax stuff but it really was not dirty at all. I really cannot find a negative about the bike. It is not as powerful as my FJ-09 but is still a crotch rocket. Handles superb in all conditions and it's comfortable. Probably the best fuel economy bike available outside a KLR. I wish the seat height was an inch taller but I stand up all the time when my legs need to be stretched so that's no problem. A couple video below from the trip. No talking, just wind and bike noise.

Matapedia River Valley in New Brunswick

Gaspe Coastline
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC Shad View Post
I was in Palmer Rapids just last week! I live in west Ottawa near Carp so I run the upper valley often. Be good to hookup sometime!
Let me know when you are coming this way and I could meet you in Barry's bay at Timmies.
Ok cool, I will do that. I plan on riding the highlands some more this summer, I stopped at Charlie D’s last time I was in Barry’s Bay it was pretty good 👍🏻
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