Versys as a starter bike? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Versys as a starter bike?

Hello, all.

I apologize in advance, this question has probably been asked several times before on this forum but search did not help and what I could find did not pin point answer for me.
I知 a beginner rider with the only experience being beginner rider class (did very well in it). Have not bought a bike yet but certainly will this summer. I知 interested in sport touring (more touring than sports). However, given that I have zero experience, getting a real ST bike is out of the question - need to start with a small bike. I知 gathering as much info from the net as I can (been slacking at work almost whole week on the internet ) and I知 getting a lot of opinions towards starting with a 250cc bike. I really do not want a sports bike (I want to ride in an up-right position within legal speed limits), nor anything even remotely resembling a cruiser. Given that, there are not that many choices for a future ST-er! If need be I will get a 250cc bike as a starter (I do realize I need to get skills as safe as possible), but what do you guys think about the Versys as a starter motorcycle? (I知 61, 180 lbs). Thanks!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 12:27 AM
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Ah, you're big enough for a big-boy bike!

The Versys would be a fine first bike, as long as you take it easy in the beginning. I'm not sure if there is a 250 street bike that would be big enough for you.

Where are you, just out of curiosity?

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Bear.
I'm in Cincinnati, OH.
Well, it is not really the physical size of the bike that concerns me and I do not care much how I would look on a small bike as long as I'm comfortable learning to ride on it. It is the power of a 650cc engine and stuff that I hear can be too much to handle for a newbie.
But, boy, does that Versys look fantastic and overal it sounds like the bike for type of riding I'd like to learn how to do.

Last edited by ovd; 05-31-2008 at 12:49 AM.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 07:16 AM
 
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Welcome.

It would be a good choice for a first bike. You are thinking of an inline 600cc which is a completely different animal. This is a 650 twin. You can still get in a lot of trouble on it but yet have a lot of fun and not "out grow" it too quick if at all. Who knows maybe by the time your comfortable with it you they have the 1000cc version out.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 09:43 AM
 
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If you do some internet searching and read the reviews of some of the motorcycle mags out there they all pretty much say that the Versys is a good starter bike. It has great ergos and the handling is very good. It has enough low end torque for low speed handling but will open up quickly, when needed, for higher speeds. Taking the safety course all ready shows you are a responsible person and you have your best safety in mind. Remember that while riding and you will not have to worry about the power of the Versys. It is all controlled by you and your right wrist. I know people who get in trouble riding 250's and others that learned on 1000cc supersports and have never had a problem. It is in the riders hands and head that make a bike do what you want it to. Congrats on taking the course and doing well, hope to see you out on the road.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 12:15 PM
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Make no mistake - the Versys has the POTENTIAL to get you in trouble. It is fast and it accelerates quickly under full throttle. That said, I've found it to be a very friendly and easy going bike to ride. I'm 6"2" 185lbs and the Versys fits me very well. Unless you're concerned about the "cool" factor and want to look like all the other racer/Superbikes wannabes out there, the Versys could very well be the only bike you'll buy. Bottom line: I think the Versys would be a great first bike for you.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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I'm 6'1 230-240 no issue with the Versys it is one of the few bike I would not have minded getting on a second day for a long ride.

Except for the seat but if I wore bike shorts I would have been fine.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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It would be a mistake getting anything smaller because you will out grow it in a couple of months and then be stuck loosing $$$$$$, unless you pick up a cheap bike then you have to consider the safety of the bike. You certainly do not want drum brakes. I have ridden 35 years and the Versys is the most fun bike that I have owned. Considering your weight and height it will be a perfect starter bike that will last you for 3 or 4 years and by then you have ridden you money out of it. It is very comfortable under all riding conditions; touring, backroads, commuting, mild off road... The insurance is reasonable because it is not considered a sports bike. The parallel twin is soooo much more fun than a 4 cylinder and the power is very controllable. Dollar for dollar there is not a better bike built. I did have Diamond rework my seat with NASA foam for comfort and install the GIVI windshield.

Be sure to take the MSF beginners course, it is well worth the money and time and could just save your skin. Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of motorcycling!
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 10:51 PM
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I am a beginner.

I never rode a bike until last automn when I decided to take lessons.

I purchased the Versys as my first bike just two days after I got my temporary license and I can say that it has been an excellent choice for me.

Some things that really helped my get accustomed to the bike as a beginner:

Smooth progressive brakes
Good low end torque
Very lightweight
Very good handling.

I put some Kawasaki (Givi) side case on it and I am ready for some serious touring this summer
I also purchased a rear stand for maintenance (chain)

I am glad that I did not purchased a 250cc bike.

Charles Leblanc
2007 Versys
Givi Windshield and side case
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 11:50 PM
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There you go, first hand account from someone in your position!! Can't get any better than that...


...and to the board, Charles!



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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 12:51 AM
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EXCELLENT Starter bike. I took the motorcycle safety course and within a few days bought the Versys. I talked to people, did the research, sat on the bike multiple times to the despair of the salesperson... And I'm not a month into motorcycling yet! (June 5 will be one month if you're wondering!)

I agree, most people told me to start with a 250cc bike. Two thoughts kept nudging me though: 1) I'd grow into the Versys rather quickly and 2) buying a brand new bike as a beginner CAN affect your subconscious to be extra cautions! (i.e. don't do anything stupid, stay alert, don't scratch it, watch out for everyone "they're all out to kill you" etc).

I also think that there's some psychological aspect to "a 650 is too powerful". Take it slow, do it easy, and don't panic!

So far, this has worked for me. I push myself every so gently every day, and I'm becoming more and more confident every minute riding the Versys. What a fantastic adventure!
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 08:57 AM
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I always recommend a used bike for beginner for just the same reasons as "nvoelsch" posted.

But, I love the Versys, and with the proper mind set a beginner will do fine on it. Just don't get caught up in keeping up with better riders, ego stuff, showing off will get you and your bike hurt seriously.

The point is to pile up lots of miles safely, build experience with a margin for error every time you ride, wear proper gear like today is the day for your first crash. Don't be over protective of the bike (because it is brand spanking new), you can replace stuff, but the body heals slowly!

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 03:35 PM
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I started on a 650 as a first bike - not the Versys, a BMW F650Cs. As other's have mentioned - it's in the hands of the rider - just about any bike will get you into trouble.

First off - see if you can have the bike delivered or have a friend ride it home for you. Worse place to be fiddling with a new bike for a beginner is on the first trip home. Do that on quiet side street or empty parking lot. You'll want to get used to the weight, the brakes, the throttle, etc. in a safe environment. Don't kid yourself - there's a lot to learn here.

Second - if you are afraid of messing up your pretty new bike - get some engine guards and frame sliders. Your bike is going to go on it's side whether you like it or not. It just happens and I'm not talking about a crash either, just moving the bike around in the garage or doing those slow parking lot practices.

Third - your MSF course is just the beginning of your motorcycle education. Learning about riding never stops, ever. Everyday you learn something new. Get some books and keep up that education - there are tons of great titles out there. I'll say it once and I'll say it a million times - read David Hough - Proficient Motorcycling.

Finally - relax and have FUN!
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, guys. This really does help alot.
Now, if I only could find it anywhere - no dealer has'em in the Cincinnati area!
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 09:27 PM
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All the good advice has been stated above...just adding my 0.02 here.

As a newbie in the US biking scene, I can tell you the Versys is a fantastic bike. My previous riding experience of about 8 years was in the 100 - 200 CC category and I'm glad I didn't get a 250 CC here as I would have quickly grown out of it.

Start slow and be careful out there.....Rubber side Down and Good Luck! :-)
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 11:19 PM
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I was in the same boat as you earlier this year. I wanted a bike that would last me for a bit. I saw a few reviews in the mags. Went into the dealership in Feb, sat on the bike and it felt comfortable. I did not want a sport bike where I was always leaning forward. I had never had a bike before, the closest I came was taking the safety course about 15 years ago, but I did not get my license. I got my learner's permit in Feb, was looking for used V, but no luck, picked my '08 V inthe middle of April, I had a friend ride it home as it was raining that day ( I am very he was able ride it home, as he is very expeirenced rider and was familiar on the break in procedures.) I did take the bike out the first to a parking lot down the street to practice at verrrry low speed. I must have stalled it more than 40 times. Then I started riding it around a couple bloack and started to get a tasted of all the positive feedback the bike has recieved. I the safety course and got my license at the end of April and I have been itching get on my bike as much as I can. I watch the weather more closely know as I am still no too confident in riding in the rain. One thing about a new is that break in period encourages you to take it slow and get a good feel for the bike. I just finished my breaking period. The only thing I have experience with is the yamaha virago 250 that was used on the course. I just love the responsiveness of this bike, as well comfortable riding position. I think it was great choice for me as first bike. good luck with your decision
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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If it fits...Ride it!

I'm 6'0" and learned on a 1972 Honda CB500. It had the same seat height as the Versys with the upright position and I loved that old bike. My brother, who is 6'3" took the MSF through Bumpus HArley in Memphis TN. They forced him onto a little Buell Blast 250. Talk about knees to his nose. His first bike became the Kawi Concourse 2004 model. While it's a large machine...he's what I call Bubba sized so it looks normal with him on it. You just have to find what feels comfortable to you and ride it.
Don't waste your money on a bike you don't really want. I did that on my current bike, cruiser..whole nuther story there...lol!
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 01:46 AM
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I started on a '81 Suzuki GS250. I still have the bike as it gets great mileage and is nice to have for around town. I got my Versys 2 weeks ago and I love it. Lots of good advice in the previous posts. You say your from Cincinnati? Dayton rider here, I know my dealer has 'em!
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 06:55 AM
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One thing about a new is that break in period encourages you to take it slow and get a good feel for the bike.

I agree with this statement totally. Even though I've been riding for two years and my old bike was the same cc as the new bike and similiar riding position - I was still slightly apprehensive about the Versys. I've read that it's common to have an accident within 2-3 months of getting a new bike. The break-in period helped me get acquainted to the new bike and keep it sensible until I got the muscle-memory going for the controls and switches on the new bike.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stremf1 View Post
I started on a '81 Suzuki GS250. I still have the bike as it gets great mileage and is nice to have for around town. I got my Versys 2 weeks ago and I love it. Lots of good advice in the previous posts. You say your from Cincinnati? Dayton rider here, I know my dealer has 'em!
Stremf1, which dealer has them?! I thought I called all of them between Indi and Columbus
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