Midlife crisis?? Maybe. Versys lover?? TOTALLY!! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Question Midlife crisis?? Maybe. Versys lover?? TOTALLY!!

Hi folks. New member here, but I've been silently stalking in the shadows for a few weeks.

I have had a strong interest in bikes for as long as I can remember. I rode a friend's tiny, little dirt bike a ton of times as a kid and remember loving it. I just turned 40 a few months ago and have been nearly obsessed with finally getting a bike of my own. While doing the research, reading the reviews, and looking at the different magazines and manufacturers websites, I came across the Versys. Honestly, it was a magical moment with the choirs of angels singing the "Allelujah Chorus" when I first laid eyes on it . Now, I'm totally fixated on it. I've spoken with several friends who have bikes of different styles, shapes, and sizes and it's unanimous. They all have good things to say about the Versys and feel it would be a good bike for me based on my size (male, 6'2", and almost 200 lbs.)

I'm getting my permit and taking a Motorcycle Safety Class in about 3 weeks. I will be wearing "all the gear, all the time" (I'm a trauma nurse in a busy city hospital. I've seen what happens to those that don't, and I'm here to tell ya it ain't pretty). I have thought about getting a gently-used, older bike to start out on, but I know if I do that, the likelihood of my wife approving a new Versys in a year or two is about an ice cube's chance in hell. Plus, one of the reviewers stated the the Versys could be a "rider's first and last bike."

I'd like to hear from the experienced riders too, but most especially from any other first-timers on a Versys. Did you find this good bike for a newbie? What were your successes and challenges? Any input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks and I look forward to riding with you guys soon.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 10:22 PM
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Welcome TraumaRN!

I also had the same dilemma when I got my license. I chose to buy a cheap old bike, a '79 Yamaha. Rode it around a bit, not very exciting, hard to ride, bad at turning and everything else. Constantly had problems associated with old bikes and cruisers in general. Finally got tired of it, after only putting about 100 miles on it still felt very uncomfortable riding. I decided I needed a new light bike, one that I could sit up straight on (bad back) and that wasn't too short (6'2 here). I shopped around for about 6 months, all sorts of bikes. Ducati's, triumph, yamaha, you name it I sat on it. I finally saw a versys and had to get on. After sitting for only about 3 min I asked to put down my deposit. Felt perfect. Honestly, the first ride was a bit scary. After my first turn I realized this thing was like riding a bicycle, way easier than anything else I had tried. Then I opened the throttle...didn't expect that at all! Now I ride it every day, and soon it will be my commuter. I never wanted a flashy bike, just something useful and fun to ride. I pretty much learned on this bike, the 100 miles on the oldie were just around the block over and over, no traffic or highway or anything else more dangerous. I never regretted my V after riding it once. It is a very forgiving bike, however, GET THE CRASH BARS!!! You'll drop it at some point, likely not your fault. I dropped mine in the first week when a cage nearly killed me. Get the crashbars and never look back.

Happy riding!
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 10:33 PM
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I'm in the same position as you only I have had my Versys for almost a year now and am 47 years old. It's a great first bike and I don't really need anything more for solo riding. It's comfortable, handles well, and is fast. Well, maybe I don't know what fast is yet since this is my first bike but it's fast for me and I like speed.

I have a girlfriend though that I would like to take riding so am looking at sport touring bikes now as well. I think I would keep both if I get one though. The Versys for commuting and the sport touring bike for trips two up. We'll see.

Good luck with your choice
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 10:34 PM
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Welcome to the site. I personally believe the Versys is a great first bike IF you feel comfortable on it & it fits you.

Have a look:

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...=beginner+bike

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...=beginner+bike

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...=beginner+bike

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...=beginner+bike

And there are more, but I'll let you search for those...










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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 11:05 PM
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TraumaRN, I'm 46 and got my first minibike at age 5 and have been riding something ever since and I can honestly tell you that this is the best bike I've ever owned. It is so easy to ride and has plenty of power for me. I'm 6'2 and 260 and was concerned that this bike would be too small for me both in size and power but I was very surprised at how good this bike has performed. The last 15 years I've been riding cruisers both Kaw and Harley so going from one of those to this is a whole new world. I admit I need to get a more comfortable seat but I've done that with every bike so no big deal. My wife and I have ridden two up (she's 130 lbs.) and the bike did great. I was concerned that it wouldn't have enough power but it did just fine. The handling was just fine too with both of us on there. I haven't ridden a motorcycle without a fairing or at least a big windshield for a long time so getting used to the wind is different but I think some of that can be fixed with the proper windshield. I guess I'm a little spoiled. I haven't had to clean bugs off my helmet for a very long time but I'm getting plenty of practice and it's not that bad, especially for the fun I'm having riding. I feel like a kid again and just can't wipe that big grin off my face every time I get on this bike.

I say go and test ride one if you can and I think you'll be sold like so many others.

Jeff

2009 Lime Green Versys (the fast one)

We're losing our country, does anyone care?


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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 03:49 AM
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Apart from riding a few 50cc 2 strokes as a kid and commuting for a short while more recently on a 150cc scooter, the Versys is my first bike and I am loving it! I am 45 years old, 6ft4 and approx 220lbs and it was an easy bike to ride from the moment I got on it, although I must admit to being almost fearful of its power at first. Go for it, you'll love it!

"Only dead fish go with the flow"
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 06:27 AM
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Whatever you buy, a motorbike is a whole lot cheaper than a mid-life crisis.

You can help make Clem a household name

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 06:40 AM
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I am 53 and bought my first bike (a Versys) a year ago. For me it is a perfect bike (although about an inch too tall). I commute on it almost everyday, I ride the twisties with the sport bikes on the weekends and have done a few two up rides. It is a great commuter because it is tall enough for you to see over the cars (plus you sit UP) and for them to see you. It handles the twisties with the best of them and it pulls two up just fine. It does have a few warts (small ones), but if you have been on here for a little while you have probably figured that out.

I bought mine new, mostly because I plan to keep if for a long time. So far I have put 12,000 miles on the first year without a single problem. Just normal maintenance, which is easy to do yourself.

Go for it, you will love it!

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 #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 06:51 AM
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If you want to have a midlife crisis buy a Harley, put a handkerchief on your head, and start acting tough.

The Versys is for having fun and going places.

Last edited by Shatrat; 07-10-2009 at 07:05 AM.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 08:06 AM
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I see the affects of people who don't wear their gear and wreck daily. So I'm with you bud, wear it!

I am about your size, 6-1,230, and this was my first bike ever. Fits me so much better than any other bikes I tried, very comfy riding position for the tall guys. I to was going to buy a used bike, then decided "screw it." I like new stuff that hasn't been abused, and having a warranty is nice too. Go buy a new one! Greens the coolest!
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 08:38 AM
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I'm one of the younger guys, 28, in this crowd. Despite that, my story is much the same as those posted above. I'm 6'2, the Versys is my first bike and I never rode any kind of motorcycle until I took the MSF course last year. At first I was very interested in the KLR 650 but the more I looked into it and considered what kind of riding I would actually be doing that was when I decided on the Versys. I made sure I passed the MSF course before I purchased the Versys because I wanted to develop my riding skills before went out on the road. For the course I rode a tw200 which was the tallest bike they had. It was a good introduction motorcycles. Well I passed the course and got my license. I had a hard time finding a Versys last year, so I put down a deposit with out ever sitting on one. When I got the V I followed the engine break in procedure. Doing that prevents you from going too fast and it makes you learn the gear/rmp/mph ratio of the bike. I think it is really a new rider break in procedure. I had the bike for less than 2 months and I took it on a 800 mile round trip from PA to VT and back. I now have over 5,000 miles on my V. There have been some close calls out on the road but I have yet to lay the bike down. I'm a much better rider than when I started but this bike has grown with me. Yes it is a bike a new can easily get into trouble on but if you are cautious, controlled and just ride smart I think the Versys is an excellent choice.


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for everyone's input. I truly appreciate it.

I was at my local Kawi dealer yesterday and sat on the Versys, and while the Versys was taller than I anticipated, my feet were still on the floor comfortably and the position felt great. I liked being up higher and having a straighter posture. I can see this will be much better for seeing the traffic ahead.

For comparison only, I sat on a couple of other Kawis and a couple of Hondas and they felt too short. When I put my feet on the pegs, I felt like I was sitting on a bike that belonged to my little brother or someone much smaller than I am - knees were up much higher, back was more hunched over, just not a good fit.

OK, I'm satisfied. When I finally get it, I'll post some pics and I'm sure I'll probably be seeking more help (maintenance, mods, rides, etc.)

Thanks again for all the help. Be safe!
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 08:50 AM
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Trauma>

Glad you liked it, and had a chance to sit on one. I'm 21 and it's my (Second) bike. I had a 250 Honda Nighthawk last season and have rode my Versys plenty and love it.

One thing you'd want to do after getting it is to adjust the suspension for your weight. I'm 5'10 and 125 lbs so the bike at full height and set for 150 was rideable but once I put a lowering kit and adjusted the suspension it was a whole new bike. I think adjusting it to your weight would help you as well once you get it, and is 'really' easy to do.

Good luck and happy riding.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 10:03 AM
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I have had my V for about a month now, and have put 1,000 miles on it since! Lovin every minute of it! I am 46, and this is my first street bike, my kids have dirt bikes that I have rode and repaired, so I have always ridden but very little on the street. I decided to try it and took a MSF BRC one weekend and have been hooked ever since! You have the right attitude, take the course, get the gear, find the right bike. I wasn't looking for a V originally, but I found a great deal on my V as a repossessed bike I could not turn it down. And it fit for what I was looking for in a bike, as a daily commuter, and some rides. It is very easy to handle, rides great, plenty of power. Now my speed days are long gone, and as long as you respect the throttle, you will be able to get around fine. I was a little nervous when I was considering the V as a new rider, but now have no regrets buying the V as a first bike! Smilin' and having fun in 'Bama!
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 11:11 AM
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hhilde, the Versys is fine two up. My wife and I have been all over the place on it.

Save the money you would spend on another bike and get all the best gear for your GF. Don't forget to get some armored pants along with the other stuff.

Machog


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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 12:07 PM
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I second Machdog, I got my girlfriend all geared up as well. Only way to go and to be as safe as you can.
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 05:28 PM
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cymbal crash?

welcome, TraumaER-6N....okay, bad joke, but it's like intubation or a foley on an opera singer, you don't always get it on the first try.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-12-2009, 10:11 PM
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Welcome to the darkside!
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-12-2009, 10:27 PM
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Don't forget the Engine (Crash bars)

They are frequently back ordered.

GelSeat
HB Engine Bars
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 01:44 AM
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I bought a Versys as my first bike after completing mandatory training and passign a test.. y'have to do that in the UK to ride a bike in the UK. OK so I was a returning rider having started riding in my 20's and never quote passing the test.

at age 49 returned to riding. decided I didn't want a crotch rocket, wanted a sit up style of bike.

I don't regret for one minute buying a versys. as Ive said to friends elsewhere it feels right for me, seating position fine, controls fine, it feels comfortable on longish distances. Its got sufficient power to be fun, or as I style it sufficient power to scare and enjoy, but not enough power to terrify. its a blast through twisties, it does virtually any/everything you want of it.

if you want to pose its not the right bike, if you want pretend you are a Moto GP racer likewise. if you want to go for a pootle with some mates its a great choice, given the riding position you tend to be looking out over and above the trraffic, you have a good range 200+ miles its a comfortable roadbike that does nothing specatacularly well, but does virtually everything very competantly.

ultimaktely its about whether the bike fits you. and I'd suggest you will only ever really know that by going for a ride on one prior to buying. although a 1 hour test ride isn't enough to shake out the foibles of a bike its better than nothing. I bought my bike secondhand, i knew within 10 minutes of getting on it that it was 'the' one for me., and 6 months and 8,000 (leisure) miles later it still is 'the' one
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