WOW...what a difference - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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  • 6 Post By Ohio Rider
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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WOW...what a difference

I'm new to motorcycling. I bought a Rebel 300 last fall. It was good to learn on, but as I've posted in another thread, it vibrates WAY too much at high rpms and the seat is painfully bad. With this Rebel being the only bike I've ever ridden, I didn't know if the vibrations are due to it being a single cylinder, or if that's just how motorcycles are.

I'd been looking at the 2019 Honda CB500X models, but the USA won't get them in stock for a 'while'. (Dealerships are vague about when they'll get them in) But a dealership let me ride a used 2016 Versys 650. It was fantastic! All the vibrations were gone! And it was comfortable too! So after that test ride, I couldn't bring myself to ride the Rebel 300 anymore. Now I know not all motorcycles vibrate that much. So it was time to buy a new bike. It was down to the CB500X and the Versys 650. Upright adv style. With no idea when Honda will deliver the 2019 models to the USA, I focused on a 2018 650. So I bought the Versys, and have put about 250 miles on it. I haven't ridden the Rebel in weeks. But a guy is (hopefully) going to buy it this Sunday, and I wanted to ride it one last time to see if it's as bad as I remember it. So I went for a ride on the Versys this afternoon, then came home and immediately took the Rebel out.

I'm 5'10" and 200lbs....and this rebel is SMALL! I couldn't believe how small it felt. ...compact even. Now granted, the Versys seat is 5" taller, and I know that's going to have a lot to do with it. But the ergonomics of the Rebel are not for me. Too small, feet too far forward and I'm leaning forward too much even with my elbows locked. The seat has hardly any padding, and the ergonomics make me feel like I'm sitting on the inside 4" of the seat. (Like sitting on a 2x4)

Now I'll admit, when I started riding the Rebel in my 25mph neighborhood, it didn't seem bad. Then I got out on a 35mph road...still not too bad. But then I hit a country road and got up to 65mph. Good Gawd I thought the bike was going to vibrate apart. Yeah, the vibrations are THAT bad. A man's 'private parts' will go numb in just a few minutes of highway riding. The foot pegs and handlebars are equally vibrating.

If you live in a urban area, and work/commute in the same urban area where you never get over 40mph, I could see the Rebel 300 working out just fine. Quality build, great gas mileage, it's light and very easy to ride. But if you have to ride at highway speeds and/or have to ride for a long time...the bike is just awful. It hurts. Back in late September when I bought the Rebel, I rode 1000 miles in a month before I winterized the bike. It took me a month to heal.

So riding the Rebel 300 this afternoon made me feel SO GOOD about buying the Versys. I made the right decision. And I installed my first mod this morning: Rear tire hugger/splash guard.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 01:44 PM
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 02:00 PM
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There's a reason the single cylinder bikes are referred to as "thumpers".
I don't believe they were ever meant to be ridden at ludicrous speed.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 02:48 PM
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My first bike in July Ď17 was a Rebel 250. It was sold 27 days later in the nearby town and I rode my new off the showroom floor, 2015 Versys 650 ABS.

I couldnít agree more about the Rebel. The way I put it to my wife was at about 50mph it felt like the world was ending. Lol

Iím the same size as you. 5í10Ē, 195lbs. I had the seat shaved on the sides near the front and that gave me a bit more reach. Didnít change the feel of the seat a bit.

And youíre right about the Versys being smooth. Iíve put about 6k miles on it now and still love the bike. Added a few mods that it needed, like hand guards and a louder horn in addition to some new lighting.

And if you want to see something VERY cool, check out the STS Smart Brake and Smart Turn modules. I added both and am extremely happy with them. I now have auto cancelling turn signals and a brake light that flashes five times when I engine brake. Love them.

Be safe out there.

Mike


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 08:09 PM
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A thumper can be a fine ride if the engine is properly counterbalanced and you have a good seat and handlebar end weights. My KLR650 at 6k rpm feels like an electric shaver.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 09:49 PM
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Which rear hugger did you get, as thatís the first thing I want to add.

Dave
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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Which rear hugger did you get, as thatís the first thing I want to add.

Dave
https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...-650-2006-2016
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 06:38 AM
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And I installed my first mod this morning: Rear tire hugger/splash guard.
Ha. Let's us know how "well" it performs...
You can tell us the model too.

I mean, to me it is the worst most useless mod I was fooled to do, so I really want to help others avoid it, but it's too late for you now, unless you got a really different model.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:39 PM
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There's a reason the single cylinder bikes are referred to as "thumpers".
I don't believe they were ever meant to be ridden at ludicrous speed.
Ever heard of the 150mph Manx Norton 500...?

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 01:16 PM
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Ever heard of the 150mph Manx Norton 500...?

There are bikes that are built to run and there are bikes that were built to be seen on.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 04:05 PM
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Ever heard of the 150mph Manx Norton 500...?

Yeah, talk about vibration.......that would rattle your wisdom teeth loose. I had a BSA 441 Victor for a couple of years and it never took long to get a numb butt.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 06:11 PM
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Yeah, talk about vibration.......that would rattle your wisdom teeth loose. I had a BSA 441 Victor for a couple of years and it never took long to get a numb butt.
The 441 was one mean bike, we always followed it to pick up the parts falling off. It was also used for entertainment on slow days, leave it out near the curb while working on the hot rod, Harley guys would come by, hey what is that thing, offer to try it out, start it for him then have some entertainment, 99 times out of 100 , would stall it on the turn around then try and start it, I don't know how many times I bruised my right leg calf on the oil filler cap trying to start it, the compression was so high , if you hit the kill switch while rolling forward on gravel , I have seen the wheel turn backwards from compression. One really awesome dirt bike.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 01:33 PM
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Got to do a "test-ride" on the Honda street-legal motocrosser, the 450L, yesterday. LOTS of power, but (for ME) there's WAY TOO MUCH COMPRESSION DAMPING in the forks, and even riding up a dirt road w/ LOTS of holes the ride was VERY rough.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 06:18 AM
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I swapped bikes with my buddy for a few minutes recently. He has a newer duke 390. His first words getting off the versys was how incredibly smooth it was in comparison and how comfortable. I was just blown away by how nimble the duke was. Felt like riding a mosquito (might be that damn headlight and antenna like mirrors too) and how much I could feel the shorter wheelbase. Certainly was buzzy but much less than my old tw200 at 55-65.

2018 Versys 650 ABS
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 12:55 PM
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as you might have guessed, I have owned many a BSA.... twins and singles. the most evil of the lot was the B50MX (last iteration of the Victor). nick-named "the Leg Breakin' Man Killer", partly for it's ability to tear off the bottom of your boot if you didn't do the start procedure right. part of that may have been due to the lack of high octane leaded fuel though. I eventually dropped the C/R a bit and put a Boyer ignition on it & could start it wearing bedroom slippers. still vibrated like hell though... one of the most un-balanced engines ever built

if I'm answering your question I assume the basic points have been addressed, such as: did you do a compression test? is it still on fire?
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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And as of this afternoon..the Rebel has been sold! I celebrated with a ride on my Versys. Only an hour though. I had to get back and cook a big dinner for my wife's aunt, cousin, nephew and our daughter and her three kids. ....otherwise, I'd still be out riding. It's gorgeous in central Ohio.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 09:15 PM
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The 500X is a fine bike but the Versys is so much more substantial. Good choice between the two.


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