New bike....questions - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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New bike....questions

I'm a new rider with a new bike...a new 2018 Versys 650. I've had a Honda Rebel 300 since last fall as my first bike. But the pain from the vibrations of the single cylinder motor and the awful seat of the Honda have made me move on to the Versys. (A guy shouldn't be in pain for a week after riding two hours)

So these two bikes are the only one's I've ever ridden. Aside from the vibrations, the motors have different power characteristics. Although very under powered, the rebel had a lot (relatively) of low end torque...but terrible high revving performance. While it didn't have a tach, once the engine started to wind up, the power phased out.

The Versys on the other hand doesn't have nearly (relatively) the low end torque. But it really shines when the motor gets revving. There's a sweet spot at about 5000 rpm where it feels good and there's the least amount of vibration. I only have 175 miles on the new bike.

My question comes mostly about shifting The motor seems to lack some power and vibrate unusually around 3500-4000rpm. It's similar to lugging the engine...but at that high revs, it cant be lugging. Does anyone else experience this? Will this work itself out as the bike breaks in?

Also, the manual lists the shifting points that seem ridiculously low. Shifting into 6th at 34mph? Into 5th at 27mph? I don't see how I can run the bike at such low revs. This bike seems to like the much higher revs. But down low (low revs) it seems like it hates to operate in that area. And when I say low, I'm talking 3000...maybe 3500rpm. I'm not trying to accelerate at these low revs...just maintain speed.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 08:10 PM
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There's a member on here, SteveinSunnyFL, who designs ECU flashes for the Versys. Unfortunately, he's still working on the 2018's because of the diffences in computer programming (or stuff like that).

Anyway, once he has what he needs I will be in line waiting! He knows how to remedy the "chugging" and his flashes are top-notch.

So, like you, I also have the 2018 650 and it feels the exact same way you describe. Therefore...rev it up! Coming from cruisers most of my life it takes a lot of mental habit to ride in the higher RPM's but I can assure you, the Versys can handle it.

So, I suggest getting used to riding one gear lower than normal. I've been going between 4500 - 6000 rpm's at a constant speed. Also, I'm learning to use 6th only when I'm above 65 mph-ish.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 08:12 PM
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When in town I generally shift between 4500-5000 RPMs. On the highway or taking off from a stop, I shift somewhere between 6000-7000 RPMs. Of course there are those times where it's fun to run it up closer to redline.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 08:15 PM
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You are only 175 on the bike, ride more and you will find the sweet spot and gears. Its about getting the FEELINGS
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 11:22 PM
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Try a tank of mid grade gas.It will cost you an extra dollar next fill up. Let us know how it works for you.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Devilsfan View Post
There's a member on here, SteveinSunnyFL, who designs ECU flashes for the Versys. Unfortunately, he's still working on the 2018's because of the diffences in computer programming (or stuff like that).

Anyway, once he has what he needs I will be in line waiting! He knows how to remedy the "chugging" and his flashes are top-notch.

So, like you, I also have the 2018 650 and it feels the exact same way you describe. Therefore...rev it up! Coming from cruisers most of my life it takes a lot of mental habit to ride in the higher RPM's but I can assure you, the Versys can handle it.

So, I suggest getting used to riding one gear lower than normal. I've been going between 4500 - 6000 rpm's at a constant speed. Also, I'm learning to use 6th only when I'm above 65 mph-ish.
This helps. I would think a person should be able to run 55 in 6th gear, but it's real close. I agree with the 65mph for 6th...(maybe not quite that high) But it's taking some time to get used to the new gears. Also, I've had an SUV for 15 years, and before that, a diesel Mercedes for 7 years. Both low revving torque-ish vehicles. I almost never have the SUV over 3500 rpm. So winding up a motorcycle engine up to 5k make me feel like I'm going to break it. This was especially true with the Rebel 300.

If Steve is in sunny Florida, how does a person get the flash?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by james75 View Post
When in town I generally shift between 4500-5000 RPMs. On the highway or taking off from a stop, I shift somewhere between 6000-7000 RPMs. Of course there are those times where it's fun to run it up closer to redline.
I'm still in the break in period, but once that's finished, I could see a person shifting at the rpm levels you've stated. But for now, I want to keep the revs a little low. The rev characteristics are just the opposite of my Rebel 300.

Rebel 300: Low is good, high is bad
Versys 650: Low is bad, high is good
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 06:12 AM
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This helps. I would think a person should be able to run 55 in 6th gear, but it's real close. I agree with the 65mph for 6th...(maybe not quite that high) But it's taking some time to get used to the new gears. Also, I've had an SUV for 15 years, and before that, a diesel Mercedes for 7 years. Both low revving torque-ish vehicles. I almost never have the SUV over 3500 rpm. So winding up a motorcycle engine up to 5k make me feel like I'm going to break it. This was especially true with the Rebel 300.

If Steve is in sunny Florida, how does a person get the flash?


That's what I'm talking about! As soon as I went to these higher-reving bikes I kept thinking Id seize the engine or something. But trust me, I've taken mine up to red line and no problems at all!

At a constant speed I like to waver between 4500 - 5500 rpm's.

And wait until after your break in period. I pulled up on the highway and gunned it. 75 mph in 3rd gear felt nice!
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 06:25 AM
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a) get the bike that has the performance you need; don't void warranty and waste money on ecu remap for a few lousy % improvement, next thing you know you will be coerced into costly new airbox and exhausts, filters and such...

b) the stock versys 650 is fine between 2500 and 7000 rpm. Below that it's chugging. Higher it's not worth hurting it. The 3500-4000 range is dead center for city riding and it's fine. I think your problem is between the handlebar and the seat... Adapt.

c) it will not vibrate less with aging, simply because the engine/handebars/pegs rubber mounts will dry/wear and get harder. My 2015 has over 50'000 miles and it's not a young smooth "she" anymore... it's definitely a middle-aged cranky scarred boy, like its owner.

d) What the manual says about lowest shifting rpms, it's likely the safety rpms below which the engine hurts again (low oil pressure and chugging). Shift with the sound, speed, cluthing and performance that pleases you. It's your toy.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio Rider View Post
My question comes mostly about shifting The motor seems to lack some power and vibrate unusually around 3500-4000rpm. It's similar to lugging the engine...but at that high revs, it cant be lugging. Does anyone else experience this? Will this work itself out as the bike breaks in?...
I (and MANY others on this Forum) broke in all three of my V650s on the ride home from the dealer, using THIS method:

Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power

then I changed the oil (AND filter) THEN and again at about 500 miles then AGAIN at 1000 miles, putting in Mobil1 15w-50 at 1000. My '08 has 85,219 trouble-free miles, while my '15 has just over 65,000 trouble-free kms.

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Originally Posted by bigdaddye View Post
Try a tank of mid grade gas.It will cost you an extra dollar next fill up. Let us know how it works for you.
Bigdaddye in Seattle.
This will NOT do you any good, and will just waste your $$$. Stick w/ 87 octane.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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I rode another 50 miles today. The issues with the 3500-4000rpm seemed less today. I was noticeable riding lower in the gears and it was different...more acceptable.

Perhaps I'm just becoming used to it? Before I sell the Rebel 300, I'm going to ride it one more time...just to remember what it's like. It feels like it's going to vibrate apart at highway speeds. (or anything high rpm) Hands a butt go numbs in just a few minutes at higher revs. But as a small urban cruiser (under 40 mph) I could see its place for a lot of people....but I'm not one of them.

I'm not actually looking to flash a new motor's ECU....I just wanted to know how a person did it.

And that 'Secrets to breaking in a motorcycle'??? Good Gawd, that guy needs a web developer. What a bunch of jumbled mish-mash. I'm not saying he's right or wrong...but rather the web page is a shambles of rambling incoherence. My dad was a GM engineer.....he said to take it easy, so that's what I'm doing. I understand the theory of running it hard, but I'm not sure I'm buying it.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 04:49 PM
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I rode another 50 miles today. The issues with the 3500-4000rpm seemed less today. I was noticeable riding lower in the gears and it was different...more acceptable.

Perhaps I'm just becoming used to it? Before I sell the Rebel 300, I'm going to ride it one more time...just to remember what it's like. It feels like it's going to vibrate apart at highway speeds. (or anything high rpm) Hands a butt go numbs in just a few minutes at higher revs. But as a small urban cruiser (under 40 mph) I could see its place for a lot of people....but I'm not one of them.

I'm not actually looking to flash a new motor's ECU....I just wanted to know how a person did it.

And that 'Secrets to breaking in a motorcycle'??? Good Gawd, that guy needs a web developer. What a bunch of jumbled mish-mash. I'm not saying he's right or wrong...but rather the web page is a shambles of rambling incoherence. My dad was a GM engineer.....he said to take it easy, so that's what I'm doing. I understand the theory of running it hard, but I'm not sure I'm buying it.
I came from an old Rebel 250 and know exactly what you are talking about. I felt ill at ease and in high revs for the first few times on my V650. But 1) your engine will still break in some and seem to loosen up and 2) you will get used to it and come to enjoy making runs in the 5,000 rpm range. I agree, it sometimes feels like it is lugging when you crank the throttle instead of easing it on which will usually allow it to pull itself up to higher RPMs. Summary: Ride it. OK to ride at slightly higher RPM's right now, not some silly distance picked by the lawyers at the factory. You will get used to it and enjoy it. Keep the Honda for running errands around town-I still enjoy taking my Rebel out from time to time. Good Luck.

Forty years away from 2 wheel fun. Sure is great to be back smelling the roses!!!
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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I came from an old Rebel 250 and know exactly what you are talking about. I felt ill at ease and in high revs for the first few times on my V650. But 1) your engine will still break in some and seem to loosen up and 2) you will get used to it and come to enjoy making runs in the 5,000 rpm range. I agree, it sometimes feels like it is lugging when you crank the throttle instead of easing it on which will usually allow it to pull itself up to higher RPMs. Summary: Ride it. OK to ride at slightly higher RPM's right now, not some silly distance picked by the lawyers at the factory. You will get used to it and enjoy it. Keep the Honda for running errands around town-I still enjoy taking my Rebel out from time to time. Good Luck.
Thanks, that's nice to hear.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 06:15 PM
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I'm looking forward to getting mine flashed. The on/off and low input throttle on mine is so annoying. I just an email to Steve to get the process started.

Mulley
15 Versys 650 LT, 16 Beta 300RR, 15 KTM 500 EXC
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 09:52 PM
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former 2007 Versys Now 2015 Versys

I am going to come along and state that my open loop 07 worked fine from 2500 to 4000 RPM in 4th gear. However, my 2015 Versys absolutely sucked below 4000 RPM until after the flash, some comments here about changing the air box, well some people just like to think they know what they are talking about. The issues that have been resolved with Steve's flash on the 2015 / 2016 ,are strictly to do with the fuel map and other settings specific to the 2500 to 4000 RPM, go to his site and he gives more detail. If I put my bike beside a identical 2015 , you ride the OEM flash bike then get on my bike, for those that have difficulty with throttle control and don't know how to adjust the throttle cable, my bike would be absolutely much easier and more responsive through all RPM's. Like many things, you adapt to the bike, the first 2 years I considered buying my 07 back and selling the 2015. Like I said I adapted and by the spring of 2018 I had everything on the bike that I wanted, didn't want to start over, so the 2500 to 4000 RPM I had a work around and accepted it.
This issue was discussed well over a year before Steve even started on this latest flash , so late 2018 Steve had done a few bikes, I decided to go for it, trust me, it makes the bike better than my old 07, I know there are guys putting crash bars on, a center kickstand, highway bars, all kinds of farkles. If you own a 2015 or 2016 650 Versys , put a smile on your face and get the flash from Steve , expect to spend some time getting used to shifting gears , the old chugging is gone, don't be surprised to find you are in 5th or 6th gear while city riding .
As to RPM, 85% of the time I am in the 5500 to 6500 to 7000 RPM, with the new flash the other 15% is around 3000 to 3400 RPM, a area that I never rode in before, let me expand on that, you could ride in the 3000 RPM range as long as it was flat, and no traffic, any acceleration needed or sudden braking, expect to do some rapid downshifting , unless you were coming to a stop, what was described as chugging , is a good description, with the new flash, at 3000 RPM in 6th gear doing 60 KM/HR , I can accelerate uphill no problem, once I hit 50 KM/HR I need to downshift as that is expecting too much in 6th gear.
One last thing, before the 07 Versys I came from street legal dirt bikes, the DRZ400S really need a 6th gear, riding it required ear plugs as it sounded like the motor was going to come apart at any second, to do 120 KM/HR I was wound right up to almost red line, changing sprockets for off road made it suck for highway riding, and vise versa . The DRZ shared the same motor with Kawasaki, it was bullet proof but like I said, any day that motor was going to fly apart.
So knowing what I know now, if I was shopping for a new or used 650 Versys , it would be a 2015 / 2016 and I would have a ECU already flashed and ready to go.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 06:17 AM
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some comments here about changing the air box, well some people just like to think they know what they are talking about.
Sometimes, you have to accept that you can't be the only voice of reason on a topic. Forums teaches us that a jiffy...

Ok, I wrote "coerced", as in "pressured" to buy further components by typical retailers exploiting one's odd fear of performance loss, regardless of these components being required or not. I don't need to know the exact requirements to make my point, I just know many retailers will screw you at any opportunity...

If the remap is not involving further changes, that's REALLY nice. But when a vast majority of riders don't see a real problem with the versys 650 rpms, the opinion of leaving the ECU as it is deserves some support to oppose the advertising you just did.

If guys like you and me can remain fairly unbiased (and it's hard, I know), then the forums has better value. I think we can agree on an objective truth and only then lay our preferences.

Regards.
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 06:17 AM
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I wouldn’t flash the ECU under warranty. I would also follow the manufacture’s break in period instructions because of the warranty.

I have owned many bikes and I thought the Versys was lugging at lower rpms but it’s really not. I have 18,500 miles on my 2016 and honestly, I still can’t “chug it” along for long without downshifting. I have found that the bike runs okay at low and high rpms but I prefer to keep them on the high side.

Regarding fuel and mileage. I run 91 or 92 octane. The bike runs fine on 87, there is some very slight knocking (ironically when chugging the engine) but I find I get better mileage with the higher octane fuel. I consistently get 50 mpg. I run my bike at 70 plus mph going to and from work and often hang at 80 mph. This engine lives speed.

Oddly enough this is the first bike I have ever owned that didn’t feel broken in until I had 15k on it. Even after 18k miles I am still getting used to this engine and the way it feels and sounds.

The one thing I did have to do, outside manufacturing recommendations, is I had to do the valve lash at 12,000 miles. This was before the recommended 15k adjustment. I had to have a 0.015” shim on one exhaust valve and 0.010” on another due to tapping noises. The dealer said it was not big deal but it bugged.

Enjoy your new bike. Get used to it and leave things alone until you have some miles on it.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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I wouldn’t flash the ECU under warranty. I would also follow the manufacture’s break in period instructions because of the warranty.
THIS....and I haven't even finished reading the rest of your post.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 10:36 AM
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ECU 2015 / 2016 / Is it needed??

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a) get the bike that has the performance you need; don't void warranty and waste money on ecu remap for a few lousy % improvement, next thing you know you will be coerced into costly new airbox and exhausts, filters and such...

b) the stock versys 650 is fine between 2500 and 7000 rpm. Below that it's chugging. Higher it's not worth hurting it. The 3500-4000 range is dead center for city riding and it's fine. I think your problem is between the handlebar and the seat... Adapt.

c) it will not vibrate less with aging, simply because the engine/handebars/pegs rubber mounts will dry/wear and get harder. My 2015 has over 50'000 miles and it's not a young smooth "she" anymore... it's definitely a middle-aged cranky scarred boy, like its owner.

d) What the manual says about lowest shifting rpms, it's likely the safety rpms below which the engine hurts again (low oil pressure and chugging). Shift with the sound, speed, cluthing and performance that pleases you. It's your toy.
I highlighted the coerced and the 2500 to 7000 RPM, I am not advertising, I state facts, I owned a 07 with 30,000 KM on it, I ran a 16 tooth sprocket and could take off in second gear from a stop, something I would never consider on my 2015, fact is it is the same motor, but now a closed loop and different fuel map. Fact is if I had never owned a 07 I wouldn't know the difference and might agree more with your statements, in fact I would agree more if you too had owned a 07 under the same circumstances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Sometimes, you have to accept that you can't be the only voice of reason on a topic. Forums teaches us that a jiffy...

Ok, I wrote "coerced", as in "pressured" to buy further components by typical retailers exploiting one's odd fear of performance loss, regardless of these components being required or not. I don't need to know the exact requirements to make my point, I just know many retailers will screw you at any opportunity...

If the remap is not involving further changes, that's REALLY nice. But when a vast majority of riders don't see a real problem with the versys 650 rpms, the opinion of leaving the ECU as it is deserves some support to oppose the advertising you just did.

If guys like you and me can remain fairly unbiased (and it's hard, I know), then the forums has better value. I think we can agree on an objective truth and only then lay our preferences.

Regards.
For those interested in it, no one forced you to post here, everything I have stated is fact, this forum is probably the best I have ever belonged to, 99% of all work on my bike is done by me, the same as my 07 Versys. Do a count on how many have posted here with the new flash, read their comments, this has only been available since late 2018, if you were to go back several years, many complained about this, mainly people like myself that had a MK-1 or MK-2 Versys. My statement that the
take a closer look , you are on your declaring "But when a vast majority of riders" you represent the vast majority, to be fair, I moved my post and yours to the ECU flash thread, as I do realize that some like yourself could take this as advertising, with the General discussion thread, never my intention, I am not selling anything or getting a commission, FYI my hourly wage on this forum is $00.00 USD / per HR which = $00.00 Canadian , some times I forget which forum I am posting in.
Here is a few links on earlier discussions;

https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...hlight=low+rpm

https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...hlight=low+rpm

https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...hlight=low+rpm

https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...hlight=low+rpm


Edit April 30 @ 5:42 Site went down and restored at 6:23

After some thought I have come to realize that there never was any mention about the ECU flash until post #9 statement about wasting money on a ECU flash sounds like negativity on the this, and in fact sounds like post #9 comes from some authority / expertise on this subject. No response from me until post 15, I did a post in ECU Flash complete the same day, never did I quote post #9, however it didn't take long when my post 15 came through. As you can see there are further posts, up to #22 now, my take on post 9 & 16 ,is referred to as baiting, and I took the bait. Some people may think several posts got deleted because post #16 support to oppose the advertising you just did. It seems post #9 basically said it was a waste of money, was this a mistake and it was meant to be posted in the ECU Flash Complete thread, as it is copied there now.

Let me say , this forum is all about free speech and passing along & sharing /knowledge . Turning my statement into advertising isn't a way of giving me a pat on the back, just saying, last PM was July 29, 2018

Last edited by onewizard; 04-30-2019 at 05:25 PM.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Sometimes, you have to accept that you can't be the only voice of reason on a topic. Forums teaches us that a jiffy...

Ok, I wrote "coerced", as in "pressured" to buy further components by typical retailers exploiting one's odd fear of performance loss, regardless of these components being required or not. I don't need to know the exact requirements to make my point, I just know many retailers will screw you at any opportunity...

If the remap is not involving further changes, that's REALLY nice. But when a vast majority of riders don't see a real problem with the versys 650 rpms, the opinion of leaving the ECU as it is deserves some support to oppose the advertising you just did.

If guys like you and me can remain fairly unbiased (and it's hard, I know), then the forums has better value. I think we can agree on an objective truth and only then lay our preferences.

Regards.

FYI as a Super Moderator I am to try and remain neutral, every once in a while I stray from that, I can say if it wasn't for this forum, I would have sold my 07 within 2 months of buying it. I can say that people like Steve in Sunny Florida makes this forum a source of knowledge and expertise , just like Thermo Bob, and Speedy and my 2015 has benefited from input from members here.
I copied pertinent posts here:
https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...-complete.html

Last edited by onewizard; 04-30-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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