Some V questions - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Some V questions

I am thinking about replacing my '08 Ninja 250R with a Versys. I really like the 250 but, at 6'1", I want a better fitting bike with nicer suspension, no carb and more power. I have only been able to sit on a Versys but I have a few questions for those who have lived with the thing.

The footpegs seem to get in the way when you "duck walk" the bike. The shed where my 250 lives is in my back yard and very close to the house so I have to do some jockeying to get the bike inside. The 250's pegs are back a bit and the saddle lower making this exercise a snap. I can always just slip the clutch and use the engine to creep along but sometimes you gotta move the bike while it's off. Has this been a bother for anyone?

As the Versys sits your body more upright than the Ninja; how do you find the stock windscreen works on highway rides? I'm not looking for full coverage, but don't want it to feel like a naked while going 70mph. The Ninja allows me to sit up if I want some wind to cool off and tuck forward to make a calmer ride. The Versys does not seem to encourage the forward lean but, again, there is only so much you can tell from sitting on the thing in a showroom.

And, one more. Does heat from the engine cause discomfort in Summer? The Ninja's fairing does a good job of keeping the heat at bay.

Tim

Last edited by mcteague; 02-06-2009 at 05:46 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 05:25 PM
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Pegs might get in the way if you 'duck' walk as you call it. There are some peg extenders out there that could move them slightly forward or aft.

Engine on the V is amazing, I hear great things about the 250, but you'll notice the difference. Its has plenty of grunt up to about 90, even two up its still great.

I've still got the stock windshield and I like it, I'm about 5'11" and it directs the wind at the top of my helmet. There are a ton of options for aftermarket screens.

You do sit up more on the V, but it will cruise all day at 70-85mph or more and its comfortable for me. Its the first bike I've had for years that doesn't give me pain between the shoulders-not quite sure why, but it doesn't.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 08:03 AM
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Seems like if the 'pegs are in the way' thing that you could rig up something to keep the pegs folded up until you get the bike out of the back yard? Or maybe see if you can have someone rig up a pair of peg mounts that allow you to keep the pegs in the up position like the way the passenger pegs work.

Windshield - if you go with the V, do what Machog says - try it with the stock windshield. It's actually very good and does have three slots for adjustment. I have the Kawi shield with the adjustable visor. I like that one a lot - but there are many others out there. The Givi is also very popular choice.

Tucking in - yip, you can do that on the V. I do it all the time (when I last rode it - winter, here). When I'm on the highway and or some back road and I'm twisting the throttle deeply - I'll tuck in. Feels great - cops hate it but I like it.

Heat - nah, not a problem. The heat flows out nicely and you don't feel much at all coming from the engine. This bike is very well designed and is an absolute bargain for the price. You get so much bike that you can do so much with. You'd just have to flip through the modifications posts to see what we've done with these bikes. Anything from naked hooligan bikes to serious adventure bikes with aluminum cases and skid plates. It's up to you - it's a Versys.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 10:07 AM
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Hey mcteague, one of the best things about a Versys is this website. You don't have to stare at your bike and think, "Will grommet A attach to widget B using thingamabob C?" because you can talk to people who have done it already. It's a very helpful group.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 12:35 PM
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Forgot to mention heat-or lack of it. I regularly ride my V in 100 degrees heat in Palm Desert CA. It probably produces the least of any bike I've ridden.

You do get some on your knee when the fan kicks in-put not an issue even if you are only wearing jeans. Having the exhaust under the engine and away from everything, including your feet makes a huge difference.

Only other bike I've had with a similar low heat signature was my KLR. Honda ST1300 was the worst, but still not intolerable.

Machog


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 12:49 PM
 
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Machog,
I see you live in Redmond, WA. I think it was in 2001 that the Natl. BMW M/C Club had the National Rally there. What great country you live in! I've been to many M/C Rally's over the years but that was one of best locations, by far. I went from there over to the coast then spent some time traveling up to Vancouver Island. What a great trip that was
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 01:36 PM
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My two cents:

1. Versys foot pegs are not in a great position to duck walk and I bang my shins from time to time (usually putting the kickstand down). But, it is not a big deal.

2. You will want to make some additions/changes to your V and a taller windscreen is probably one of them. I'm 5'9" and needed the taller shield. Handguards are another.

3. I think engine heat IS a minor problem on the V. It's great in the winter and while moving, but I can feel moderate heat at a standstill in the summer.

4. You'll love the Versys vs the 250 -- the power, the smooth engine, the control, the flexibility, more riding options, etc. are the reasons we love this bike. And, if you want to hit a dirt road or trail, it will handle light off road very well.

Good luck, G.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 01:55 PM
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My wife rides a 2008 Ninja 250. I've ridden it and think its a great bike. The Versys is much roomier and more comfortable for me and I'm 5'9 with a 32" inseam. The peg duck walk thing annoyed me at first but I simply adapted and forgot about it with a weeks of ownership. The power difference is significant, especially below 4000 RPM where the 250 is anemic. You don't rev this bike nearly as much to produce power/torque. Try to demo.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitmind View Post
My wife rides a 2008 Ninja 250. I've ridden it and think its a great bike. The Versys is much roomier and more comfortable for me and I'm 5'9 with a 32" inseam. The peg duck walk thing annoyed me at first but I simply adapted and forgot about it with a weeks of ownership. The power difference is significant, especially below 4000 RPM where the 250 is anemic. You don't rev this bike nearly as much to produce power/torque. Try to demo.
No demos. I have not found any dealer around Baltimore that will let you demo a new bike. When I first sat on one I thought it was just too tall and wide. I was afraid I would be like a sail on the thing. On my 2nd sitting I just closed my eyes and tried to feel the position and, I must admit, it felt very natural. The 250R is more upright than supersports but not fully standard. No man's land maybe. I keep leaning forward to get out of the wind and then sit up to see what is ahead and give my back and arms a rest. Plus, I want more power, not for 100+mph, but better midrange than the 250. Also would like FI, radial tires and more, dare I say, versatility.

I was thinking about the 2009 650R but I think the fit is not much different than the 250. Plus, I guess I want to get away from the squid image of sport bikes and the "too cool for school" look of cruisers. The V just seems like the thinking man's bike.

Tim
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Versysbob View Post
Machog,
I see you live in Redmond, WA. I think it was in 2001 that the Natl. BMW M/C Club had the National Rally there. What great country you live in! I've been to many M/C Rally's over the years but that was one of best locations, by far. I went from there over to the coast then spent some time traveling up to Vancouver Island. What a great trip that was
After getting home tonight it occured to me that the BMW Rally was in Redmond OREGON!!!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 07:37 PM
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I rented a Ninja 250R in Malaysia for a few days and put about 1500k's on it. It's a great little bike, easy to ride and quite comfortable.

Picked up the "Team Green" vibe, and when I came back to Australia, I swapped my SV650 for a Versys, and while the Ninja is a great little bike, the Versys is just spectacular. The Ninja is relatively quick, but has no torque, and acceleration isn't fantastic so overtaking always requires a bit of pre-planning. The Versys has bucket loads of mid range torque, right where you want it for everyday riding. It's very easy to ride, more upright and comfortable than the Ninja.

I'm 5"7 and the stock screen at the highest position puts the wind right at eye level, but then again my forks have been dropped about half an inch so it's not stock geometry. I've been up to about 185km/h on it and it feels rock stable, compared to my SV650 where I used to feel like a windsock anywhere above 170km/h. That said, I've been past 150km/h on the Ninja and it felt very stable too (even though the engine sounded like it wanted to take off into space)

I haven't had any issues with the pegs, but then my legs are short so my "duck walks" are very short.

For me, pro's of Versys vs Ninja:

- heaps more power, marvelous flexible engine with bucket loads of torque in the mid range
- More comfortable, especially for long rides
- Can take more luggage

Cons:

- More difficult to filter, being a larger, less maneuverable, heavier bike
- Too tall. Only a problem for tiny people like me.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 11:25 PM
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Hi Tim

The footpeg do get in the way but the Versys is a light bike and walking with it is not a problem. You will probably forget about them soon enough.
The handle bar is fairly wide so you should check the width of your shed door.

The stock windshield does a good job unless it's starts to rain. I also have the Givi windshield that provides more protection but I think I will end up using the stock windshield most of the time next summer. I slapped a pair of side case on it and did a 1600 milles trip in 5 days with the stock windshield and it was very nice.

In the hottest days of summer, I flip down the stock windshield and ride with a T-shirt and a half-helmet. I never felt heat from the engine.

The Versys is fairly different from the Ninja 650 even if it shares most of it's components. The V gets better fuel economy and has a more advanced suspension. I my opinion it is a better touring bike. It has a more upright riding position with is fine for me but not for everyone.

Charles Leblanc
2007 Versys
Givi Windshield and side case
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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