Questions for 2-up Touring - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Questions for 2-up Touring

Hi all,

I'm having a hard time thinking between the 2018 Versys 650 SE and the 2019 Versys 1000 LT. These are Canadian models, so we can get the LT without the LT SE.

A little background
My wife and myself having been doing 2-up touring with a Honda ST1300, but as it happens we need to get another bike. We've been looking at a lot of the options (including a used ST1300, FJR and Super Tenere) and have been strongly gravitating towards the Versys 650 or 1000. The first bike we went riding on was a 750 V-Twin Honda which had more than enough power for us. Although it did have a lot of torque which may have been a good part of that.

My question is really for those that do 2-up riding with a full load of gear, do you find that the Versys 650 has enough power for rides in hilly terrain, through mountain passes and the like without struggling? Do your pillions find it comfortable enough for long rides and when going over bumps?

All bikes I've owned you could feel the difference between a passenger with stuff for a day trip vs a passenger with stuff for an extended trip (plus bringing stuff back) but its never really been a problem for us.

The biggest upsides that I can see for the Versys 1000 over the 650 is the wider seat (might be more comfortable for my wife), the center stand (not available on the 650 I hear), the cornering ABS (I'm having difficulty finding if this is the LT SE only or LT as well) and the fact that it is orange (which matches my helmet and looks awesome.)

Biggest upsides that I can see for the Versys 650 over the 1000 are the Sargent seat available without having to send in your seat pan and the price.

Our 750 was chain drive and had no center stand, so oiling the chain was never too much fun. Longest trips on that was 1,300km days, so oiling the chain was a daily occurrence and never as fun as it could be with a center stand. Of course, we're no longer doing distances that high a day, but we still want to be able to do 500 to 700 kms comfortably.

On the same note, how often do people in this scenario find that they are adjusting slack on their chains? The 750 I used to take tools (including a torque wrench) for the necessary slack adjustments.

I appreciate any feedback. I know that we'll be happy on the 1000, but trying to determine if we would still be happy on the 650.

PS. Not a very fast rider so pure power is not a big concern as long as it has enough for 2-up touring with gear. If the bike can hit 70 mph I'm happy and both the 650 and 1000 should do so.

Going to try to head to the dealer this weekend to try one out, but they only have new stock and I'm not sure how much we'll be able to tell without a full load (and a 650 should be more than fine with just my wife and me on it.)

Thanks all,
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:45 AM
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If you are able to handle the extra weight of the bike, i would go for 1000, not that the 650 can,t handle two up with extra weigh but you will have peace of mind with the 1000 and you don,t need to sacrifice any extra weight you might want to add on you trip.

On normal road the 650 can handle your requirement but on high inclination 1000 will be a better choice.
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:52 AM
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Some other observations. The 650 is shorter in the seating area, maybe 5-6 inches. This could be significant for your desired use of the machine. I agree with the above on power. It will do the high passes but obviously the 1000 will give you more snort. An after market center stand is available from several vendors.
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And most of Canada too, eh?
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:56 AM
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My 0.02....I have spent time on both bikes and own a 650. I can agree with the previous posts, and if I were to ever have a partner with whom to ride two up, I would trade in my 650 for the 1000 without hesitation. The 650 can handle the job of two up, but like has been mentioned, there's just more room on the 1000 and for a journey of considerable length in particular environments, that little bit of room can be very worth the money. And the muscle is always gonna be welcome with the extra load. FWIW
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:08 PM
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I've owned a Versys 650 and now own a Versys 1000LT...Riding 2-up loaded i would go with the V-1000 hands down.

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Old 08-28-2019, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Is it bad that it matches what I wanted to hear

I wasn't expecting so many to recommend the 1000 over the 650. Here its also a $11,000 difference if you factor in taxes and fees, so its hard to imagine its that much more bike. We keep wanting the 1000, but wondering if the price delta is really worth it.

In terms of weight, the Versys 1000 is much lighter than what I am coming from (ST1300) but it does appear to carry its weight a little higher, but I think I should be good on that front. I can also flat food it so I'm not too concerned with it being too big.

The 5-6 inches shorter in the seat area is concerning. We're heading into a dealer to check them out side by side on the weekend but that is more than I imagined it would be. Is this width or length of the seat for the passenger? If its width, I'm pretty sure the decision will likely become the 1000.
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bradr View Post
Is it bad that it matches what I wanted to hear

I wasn't expecting so many to recommend the 1000 over the 650. Here its also a $11,000 difference if you factor in taxes and fees, so its hard to imagine its that much more bike. We keep wanting the 1000, but wondering if the price delta is really worth it.

In terms of weight, the Versys 1000 is much lighter than what I am coming from (ST1300) but it does appear to carry its weight a little higher, but I think I should be good on that front. I can also flat food it so I'm not too concerned with it being too big.

The 5-6 inches shorter in the seat area is concerning. We're heading into a dealer to check them out side by side on the weekend but that is more than I imagined it would be. Is this width or length of the seat for the passenger? If its width, I'm pretty sure the decision will likely become the 1000.
Keep posted.
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradr View Post
...My question is really for those that do 2-up riding with a full load of gear, do you find that the Versys 650 has enough power for rides in hilly terrain, through mountain passes and the like without struggling? Do your pillions find it comfortable enough for long rides and when going over bumps?...
YES, but my passenger weighs about 125 pounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradr View Post
...Our 750 was chain drive and had no center stand, so oiling the chain was never too much fun. Longest trips on that was 1,300km days, so oiling the chain was a daily occurrence and never as fun as it could be with a center stand. Of course, we're no longer doing distances that high a day, but we still want to be able to do 500 to 700 kms comfortably....
I hold my front brakes on w/ a piece of two-sided "Velcro" so it won't move, then put a shortened crutch under the right-side spool to elevate the rear wheel.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bradr View Post
...On the same note, how often do people in this scenario find that they are adjusting slack on their chains? The 750 I used to take tools (including a torque wrench) for the necessary slack adjustments....
I carry a Crescent wrench and spare cotter-pin in case I break the one that's on the bike, but I'm VERY careful so I DON'T...!

Ed
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:41 PM
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Keep in mind not just seating room but also foot room on the pegs. One bike we tried put my wife's toes into the back of my legs and up against the bags at her heals.

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Old 09-01-2019, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for their responses.

We checked out both in the dealership today and the Versys 1000 won out.

The Versys 650 had enough room for the two of us but the big things that you could note between them ergonomically
* My wives feet had about a 1/2" of room from the back of her heel to the luggage and aobut 1" from the back of my foot to the front of hers. Not a lot of space for her to move around, there was ample space for her to move around on the Versys 1000.
* Grab bars are easier to grab and hold onto for the Versys 1000, this provides her with more comfort for "if she needed to use it". She could also easily fit her hands around the bars on the Versys 1000, but found they interfered with the seat on the 650.
* Wider aftermarket seat would make it harder to hold the grab bars on the 650, not so with the 1000.

Thanks again all!
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Old 09-01-2019, 07:10 PM
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Bradr, exactly how many “wives” are you planning to ride with 😜?

Dave
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:52 AM
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Bradr, exactly how many “wives” are you planning to ride with 😜?

Dave
I only ride with one. We have been riding together for 40 years. Her comfort is just as important as mine when it comes to a new bike purchase.

Good job Brad for taking your partner with you to be part of the new bike.

Jeff

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Old 09-03-2019, 09:16 PM
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YES, but my passenger weighs about 125 pounds.


I hold my front brakes on w/ a piece of two-sided "Velcro" so it won't move, then put a shortened crutch under the right-side spool to elevate the rear wheel.


I carry a Crescent wrench and spare cotter-pin in case I break the one that's on the bike, but I'm VERY careful so I DON'T...!
Hey Eddie,

what is the procedure you use to clean the chain on the road?
steps / what do you use / how do you use / how much time it takes?
Spray WD-40? brush? cardboard? gloves?

thanks

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Old 09-04-2019, 08:47 AM
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Hey Eddie,

what is the procedure you use to clean the chain on the road?
steps / what do you use / how do you use / how much time it takes?
Spray WD-40? brush? cardboard? gloves?

thanks
I use the same method I use at home except at home I use a rear track-stand. On the road, Eddie has the home-made crutch whereas I have a Pack-Jack to raise the rear wheel off the ground while on the kick-stand. I carry some paper towels and a piece of cardboard. You can easily find cardboard around shopping centers if you don't bring a piece with you.

I bring small spray cans of cleaner and lube, though at my next order from Revzilla I'll be trying a tube of Motul Chain Paste lube.

Definitely pack several pairs of disposable gloves with your tool kit.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:35 AM
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I use the same method I use at home except at home I use a rear track-stand. On the road, Eddie has the home-made crutch whereas I have a Pack-Jack to raise the rear wheel off the ground while on the kick-stand. I carry some paper towels and a piece of cardboard. You can easily find cardboard around shopping centers if you don't bring a piece with you.

I bring small spray cans of cleaner and lube, though at my next order from Revzilla I'll be trying a tube of Motul Chain Paste lube.

Definitely pack several pairs of disposable gloves with your tool kit.
Thanks!

Would you be able to detail a little bit more please?
where do you put the cardboard, where do you spray? How much do you spray? do you spray locally and then move the chain, or spray continually and move the chain?
do you use a brush?
how do you assure that the chain is 100% covered by the WD-40?
do you lube after? I know Eddie is using just WD-40.

I'm doing the same, I want to see if there is a better way.

I know, many questions, with a special purpose

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Old 09-04-2019, 02:54 PM
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I put the cardboard between the chain and the muffler, then spray the cleaner so any that misses the chain will hit the cardboard. Then I wipe it down with a couple of paper towels. Finally, I spray on lube. I spin the rear tire slowly with one hand while spraying the chain with the other hand.

Depending on the lube, I will wipe down the chain one last time.

At home I use a brush but don't on a trip.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:48 PM
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Hey Eddie,

1 - what is the procedure you use to clean the chain on the road?
2 - steps / what do you use / how do you use / how much time it takes?
3 - Spray WD-40? brush? cardboard? gloves?

thanks
I painted one of the chain links RED w/ nail polish so I know 'where' I am in the process.
1. - WD40.
2. - bike on sidestand, front-brakes ON (Velcro strip), cut-down crutch under right spool.



3. - small piece of cardboard behind the chain to protect the tire from overspray, start at RED link, back to the rear sprocket, rotate tire till at the next link to where I already sprayed, spray, repeat till WHOLE chain is sprayed. Then I walk behind the bike and spin the rear wheel THREE times w/ my foot (when I measured it at home I get UP TO five full-rotations per "spin").
Then I take the bike OFF the crutch-stand, remove the Velcro strip from the front brake-lever, re-install BOTH saddle-bags, then 'stow' the crutch, WD40, and Velcro back into the saddle-bag, and ride away. I do not wipe the excess WD40 off the chain while 'on the road' - I'll clean-up the wheel AFTER I arrive back at home!

Time...? Start-to-finish I figure about ten to 15 minutes, TOTAL.

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Old 09-04-2019, 06:07 PM
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Thank you guys!

One observation Eddie, if you look at the painted link, the rivet is not moving (rotating) in relation with the link, right?

I have a new device for chain cleaning, coming soon with more details!

Now we can stop hijacking the thread

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Old 09-05-2019, 02:23 PM
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...One observation Eddie, if you look at the painted link, the rivet is not moving (rotating) in relation with the link, right?...
IF I understand you correctly - I BELIEVE the OUTER link is hard-attached to the pins, while the INNER is able to move (rotate).

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Old 09-05-2019, 07:03 PM
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IF I understand you correctly - I BELIEVE the OUTER link is hard-attached to the pins, while the INNER is able to move (rotate).
yes, that's the idea.... so the inner link is rotating around the rivet that holds the outer link.
that's important to understand where to clean and what to clean for example.. the space between links and around the rubber seal (O or X)

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