Safety amongst Versys owners - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Safety amongst Versys owners

Guys im sooo close to getting the beautiful green V at my dealer.
I grew up riding dirt, I have taken the MSF course, I have been lurking here and in some other forums for about 6 months.

Safety is still the thing that is holding me back. As I read accounts of accidents and read the statistics, it seems that a large factor in riding safety has to do with rider age, bike type, riding gear, and attitude of the rider.

Am I fooling myself here? I feel like the crash rate amongst this community might be lower than the sportbikers.

My wife has major concerns over safety, but I am thinking that commuting with a proper bike (the V), wearing proper gear, and riding intelligently will be a reasonably safe thing. Some people respond to my thought of riding a bike as if I have decided to risk my life.

Any feedback? How safe is this? Are you guys really risking your lives daily that much more than the cagers?

Thanks in advance for your input
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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 08:36 AM
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I commented on the V rider community before, we do seem to be an older group, but most everyone here seems to balance fun and responsibility pretty well. You will find that the V is a great bike in traffic because you sit up high and can see what is going on around you. I commute on mine whenever it isn't too cold or raining. This is my first bike and I am really comfortable on it.

Just stay alert and wear your gear. The MSF class should have given you some great tools for staying safe. Just make sure you always expect the other guy to do something unexpected.

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 08:36 AM
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Any time you throw a leg over a motorcycle you assume a certain amount of risk. Common sense is the prevailing thought process hear. Your wife risk her life and limb every time she gets into a car so she is not entirely without risk. I have been riding for 45 years and have never had an accident. If you pay attention to what's going on around you and don't ride foolishly, your chances are pretty good you'll be fine. Yes, you risk your life more on a bike simply because you are exposed more. You pay your money and you take your chances. That's probably not what you want to hear, but it's the truth. The thrill of a motorcycle needs to be tempered with the sense of the rider.

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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 09:18 AM
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saftey

I agree that there seems to be more senior riders on the versys ..I've been riding off and on for over 30 yrs....I think a big factor in avoiding accidents is driving defensively..I always slow down when approaching intersections even if the light is green..when I see a car on a road up ahead waiting to turn, I assume he doesn't see me and am preparied to stop...always keep an eye on your rear view mirror when resting at a stop...always leave plenty of distance between u and the car in front of u...U really have to be aware of whats all around u at all times...(its also important not to be too over cautious as this can cause accidents as well)..I would not let what people say about the danger stop u from getting the bike..most of those people never rode a bike....most accidents are caused by carelessness or excessive speed..U can't go wrong in choosing the versys...its a fantastic bike..anyway thats my opinion and good luck..
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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 09:36 AM
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Well with about 40 yrs of riding experiance i also must say that common sense is the best preventive measure to staying safe . Yes you are more exposed & therefore are more at risk , but i do feel that my awareness is much higher on my bike than when im in my Truck .
I really turn the radar on when approaching intersections and always anticipate peoples other moves as perhaps they may not see me . I have never been in a bike accident on the street and work hard to keep it that way .
There is always that risk factor every time you jump in the Car , Jump on a plane , or just cross the street on foot . So get that bike , wear the proper gear , as they say dress for the crash not the ride.. and enjoy every moment you have on 2 wheels, it doesn't get any better than that


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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 09:56 AM
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Personally, I think the bike has less to do with safety than the rider & his/her mindset. If you don't feel safe on a bike, don't get it. I've always said, it's better to get a bike you feel comfortable (& safe) on, than the latest/coolest/fastest/best color/what your friends are riding... you get the idea.

A motorcycle will only go as fast as your wrist will allow. (I know, there's more to it than speed, but I think that statement sums up what I'm saying about mindset.)


Coming from dirt bikes, you should know, just because you crash, doesn't mean the end of the world. Also, I believe that background will help you on the street in 'sudden decision' situations & help you avoid many crashes.



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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 10:11 AM
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My opinion is that it seems the type of riders that ride the V are mostly, like myself, a bit older, from a dirt riding background, or have had bikes in the past. Been there done that on faster machines so to speak. We can't take the riding position of a sports bike (my hands would be numb in 15 minutes) but want the performance of one, without the all out speed to where you can't keep the front end on the pavement. I don't care about getting to 140 mph in 3 seconds, I just do not want to go that fast. I want enoungh power to handle road conditions, get out of the way if needed, and mostly have fun.
Like dallasdon said " The thrill of a motorcycle needs to be tempered with the sence of the rider". My motto, when in doubt slow down. Study the stats to know where accidents occure and learn from them. Talk to guys that have been riding a street bike for years and learn from them. Ride smart first, know your limitations, don't be in a hurry. Seems to me from your attitude so far dfreshb you'll last on the road just fine, taking the rider safty class before heading out on the road is something everyone should do, I did and I learned a lot. It also gave my wife some confidence I had my mind right for a bike, lets face it, when your married it helps if the wife is cool with things.
People who don't ride respond like you are risking your life, thats true. These same people said when I surfed I was going to get eaten by a shark, when I kayaked I was going to drown, and when I ski I am going to run into a tree. Good thing I don't listen to these people.
I thought I would feel more "at risk" on the road than I do. I feel confident on my V, and I watch my back all the time. If I'm burnt out on any given day, I ride the next.
I reccomend the book SPORTS RIDING TECHNIQUES by Nick Ienatsch. Lots of good information in there.
If you do decide to get a bike, you'll absolutley be happy with a Versys. Fun to ride, handles easy around town and in traffic, good visability, good on gas, plenty fast, and my favorite attribute, excellent in the twisties!

Have fun, ride smart.
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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 10:18 AM
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+1 on all the above. But if I can make a "must" recommendation that you should/ must have, its reading David Hough's "Proficient Motorcycling" (available Amazon). Watching out for cagers is a big part, but understanding the dynamics of what makes a motorcycle work ( braking, chassis, throttle etc.) will take you a long way to making your scoot a lot more fun & safe. A lot of the riders here are seasoned and do things subconsciously, i.e. countersteering, maintenance throttle, that you will need to practice.
Mr. Hough explains all this and more, order it now and read it. You will have a lot more fun on that shiny V...

If I new what I was doing, I wouldn't still be working
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 10:40 AM
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Exactly contractor.
The first thing I praticed on my V (and still do every time I ride) is stoping it, quickly.

Hey the sun decided to come out, all this talk about the V .... excuse me, gotta go ride!

pmac
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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 10:44 AM
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+1000 on the ride...

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post #11 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 01:16 PM
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Be a student of riding. Riding a motorcycle is a skill, and we all can benefit from sharpening up our skill set. David Hough also put out More Proficient Motorcycling, with more analysis of riding well. Motorcycle Consumer News has a monthly column under the heading Proficient Motorcycling, too.

I am also a firm believer in "see/be seen" on two wheels. For me that means added lights, a high viz jacket and a yellow helmet, lots of reflective material on me and the bike, and smart positioning of the bike in order to make it easier for cagers in my vicinity to see me. Even with all that, I ride under this assumption: I am invisible to motorists, and on the off chance they do see me their intent is to run me over.

Acknowledge the truth: you are vulnerable. Know your machine and your skills. Understand the risks and actively mitigate them. Enjoy the ride.


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[SIZE="1"]Ride. Good.


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post #12 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 01:27 PM
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I've been riding motorcycles on the road since 1980, and it still freaks my mom out. I've never had a bad wreck, but I've crashed a couple times, not hurt badly enough to need a doctor. If you put in enough miles, it's gonna happen. But it doesn't have to mean the end of you or even the end of your motorcycling.

You prepare yourself and your bike. Wear the appropriate gear. Make sure your bike is safe. Make sure your mind is in it -- always! 90% of what goes wrong happens in the rider's head. Too fast for the conditions, not paying attention, riding impaired. I've had days when I've just not felt right, and that was enough to decide to hold off on riding and take the truck.

You prepare every time and every ride, and you follow those simple rules, and you will significantly reduce the chances. But no one can tell you that the worst thing you can think of isn't going to happen. It still can. Your wife will always worry. But human beings were not meant to live our lives in a bubble. The thrill and the passion that comes from living life is what makes it worth living.

Go for it! And good luck!
dm

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post #13 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 07:26 PM
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I commute to work on my versys whenever I can (as long as the temp is above 30, no ice, and no rain), which amounts to a lot down here in Texas. No wrecks so far. The versys is nice because you are high up and sitting eye level with everyone but semis. Wear a helmet from the first time you sit down and it becomes second nature. I always wear gloves and a jacket.

I'm a young guy and had thought about riding forever and one day decided to do it. I don't regret it for a second. Now I believe I have found myself a new lifelong love. I once thought about having a garage full of cars, now I am deciding how much room to make for more bikes.

I am sure there are a lot of great books out there. I find even the little articles in motorcyclist are helpful at keeping my mind in the game. Close calls will happen, they will only make you better as long as you learn from them. Always remember that family and friends like having you around, so be safe. Sorry to ramble.

Saddle up.

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post #14 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 06:30 AM
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+1 and i'm only 31 years old...
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post #15 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 07:32 AM
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"ride under this assumption: I am invisible to motorists"
.
.
.
.
advice to LIVE by!

Montani Semper Liberi
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post #16 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 07:16 PM
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or..."they can see you and will actively try to hit you when you're not looking:
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post #17 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 07:44 PM
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Just remember that it is hard for them to see when they are on their cell phones!!!! Whenever I see someone around me on a cell phone I immediately expect them to do something stupid. They rarely look where they are turning or to see if someone is coming!!!

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #18 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 10:32 PM
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Back in Oct. '07 I got mowed down on my KLR by a woman who blew a .28! I did everything right, was decked out from boots to Shoei, and still ended up in the ICU with sundry internal injuries and a broken wrist. I was 39 and it was my first moto. Took a MSF class, had years and years of "out there" experience riding road bicycles, etc. I even made eye contact as she sat in the left turn lane, but at .28 BAC, there wasn't anything going on behind those eyes!

I'm a year+ older, have another child ( that makes two ) and just picked up my new blue V two weeks ago. When some of my family, friends and neighbors hear I got another bike you'd think I just told them I shot Mother Theresa! They honestly think I'm trying to die. I politely point out that I didn't buy a ZX-14, and I have every intention of watching my kids grow up and growing nice and old with my wife, who is also quite incredulous...

I just couldn't let a life long dream, only just embarked upon, to be wiped away by some twit with a bottle of vodka in her lap! So here I go again. I will take a refresher MSF class in the spring, then sign-up for the advanced class. Probably gonna take an off-road course and maybe look into a track class. I don't think you can ever learn enough. I'm All the Gear All the Time, reflective, hi-viz and caffeinated when I ride. I know I can't control the idiots, so I ride like I'm invisible. There's risk in everything we do, all you can do is mitigate and be smart.

I hope you get the bike and have as much fun out there as I'm having. Cheers!
JP

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'09 Versys
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post #19 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 12:51 AM
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Jimp, I love your attitude!

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post #20 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 04:19 PM
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Thumbs up If you look at the statistics...

If you look at the statistics - most of the fatalities in the U.S. happen to motorcyclist who had some or all of these issues:

1) Were not wearing a helmet.

2) Had some alcohol in their system.

3) Did not posess a valid motorcycle operator endorsement on their drivers license.

If you keep this in mind you will greatly increase your odds of staying safe on your bike.

Also single vehicle accidents are almost as prevalent as multiple vehicle accidents. So the rider really has to control himself, and continually read the road surfaces he is riding on. If you are in a turn, and traction goes away, you fall down, right now. Don't ask me how I know.
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