Observations on a 2012 Versys - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 05:33 AM Thread Starter
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Observations on a 2012 Versys

My last four motorcycles have been Kawasakis, EX250, KLR650, ZX-6R, ZX-10R, so I might be a little biased. I set out to buy a used '10 up Versys to replace my '01 KLR650. I use it alot. It has about 100,000 miles on it and is showing its age but still runs well. It has been to 34 states including Alaska plus much of Canada and Mexico. I found a deal on a leftover '12 that was too good to pass up.

The Versys is very smooth, is tractible at low revs and has some punch once you get on the cam. It does everything pretty well, pretty good suspension, pretty good brakes, pretty good power. It ain't a sport bike but it doesn't cost $14K. I don't plan on doing anything to enhance power, brakes or suspension other than adding stainless Galfer front brake lines.

What I have found in the couple of weeks and 300 miles I have had it:

The gearing is off. It is doing well over 8,800 rpm (max hp) at top end according to reports on this forum. I changed to an O.E.M. Kawasaki 16T sprocket. Took about an hour. The counter sha. ft nut came off easily. It also gave me an opportunity to check the rear wheel alignment. It was off from the factory as has been my experience with every bike I have owned. The marks are also off. I check it using the string method with a couple of 8' flourscent tubes as "strings". Before I was doing about 5,500 rpm at 70 mph actual and now it is around 5,100. No problem moving off in 1st (or even 2nd when I am having a senior moment). It will still wheelie easily if I am acting like a hooligan.

The bike was set up horribly when I got it. I wanted about 1 1/2" of sag front and 1 7/8" rear. I don't think there was any sag on the rear and the front was very soft (I weigh about 170 lbs with gear). I let the rear preload all the way down and cranked the front most of the way up to get the sag I wanted. Put the damping to mid range for now.

I did a Motoman breakin (Google it). Factory oil came out pretty clean with no metal I could see but what looks like some paint and sealant. Oil looked like it contained some breakin/assembly lube. I used Delo 400 LE 15W40 as breakin oil. Changed oil and filter again after breakin using a Pureone PL14610filter at about 30 miles. Plan to go to Rotella synthetic at 1,000 miles then continue changing on 3,000 miles schedule.

Went to Grabon foam grips, moved the wind screen up. Cleaned up the tail with Evotech tail tidy (very nice piece). Got a rear rack from one of the guys on the forum, beautifull piece of work, fits perfectly, very well made and designed. He had it to me in a couple of days. I will add my old Throttlemeister as soon as a new adapter arrives.

I check the fuel consumption for the first time with everyting corrected, 48 mpg. Speedo indicates 68 at 70 mph (gps) and odo is way off indicating 10 miles but actually 10.9

This is going to be a nice bike.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-11-2013, 11:42 AM
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Thanks for a thorough and well written review. It's nice to have the thoughts of another KLR vet and real Kawasaki man.
No complaints on the OEM rubber? If you like the handling now, just wait!
No pads with the brake lines? Interesting. Gonna keep the crossover or go 2 from the MC?
As delivered, with the "off" gearing, the speedo and odo are normal, ie; accurate odo with a slightly optomistic speedo. I'm still running stock gearing so if you want to send me that front..
Most important, Black or Yellow?
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