My Vertical Twin Motorcycle evolution... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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My Vertical Twin Motorcycle evolution...

Just a few thoughts about how the Versys is the height of Vertical Twin evolution.
I'm a "Twin" guy! Never have owned a bike with more than 2 cylinders and by now probably never will. Rode BMW's for years but always liked the vertical twin arrangement.

My first V-Twin was a 1967 Triumph Trophy 500 that I bought used in 1973. It wasn't in the greatest shape but fun to ride and handled great compared to what was available at the time. Paid $750.00 for it. Had a single carb and drum brakes and of course make me walk more than a couple times. Weird electrical issues common on Brit bikes then. Compared with what we have available today it was a very crude and simple engineered bike. But we didn't know any better back then!

My second V-Twin was a 1979 Yamaha 650 that I bought new in 1980. The bike had been around for about 10 years at this point and had a good rep for reliability etc. It wasn't slow but not very fast either. But unlike the Triumph it never leaked oil or made me walk either. I had a set of fiberglass saddlebags on it and a windshield. It was my cheap Sport-Tourer! Went to Sturgis on it in 1981 with my Harley buddies who couldn't stop bitching about me being on a "Jap" bike! On the way there we stopped for breakfast in a small town in South Dakota and one of the guy's who was riding a H-D Sportster mentioned how his motor was sounding "funny". Real "funny", It blew up about 5 miles down the rode and I had a strap with me and towed him back to town behind my "Jap" bike! HA! I'll never let him forget that either!

Traded my 650 Yamaha in 1983 for a 1980 BMW R-100RT. At the time that was the state-of-the-art Sport-Tourer. I loved that bike and rode it for 19 years from Key West, FL to Fairbanks, AK and lots of places in between. It didn't have a V-Twin motor but it was a great bike and I loved it!

My third and last V-Twin is of course my 2008 Versys!
My how they have brought this engine/bike design along! Dual overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, fuel injected, liquid cooled, counter-balanced engine...
Inverted forks and single shock swing arm result in a great handling frame design and the dual front, single disc rear brakes are just right for me.
It's like the Kawasaki engineer's designed it just for how I ride and what I like.
Unlike my older bikes just about all bikes today are as reliable as a car. And no fuel shut-off's or chokes, just turn the key on and hit the button. Also just keep clean oil and filter in it and lube and check the chain once in a while and that's about it for service. I've never ridden faster and safer too with the Versys. I'm becoming more of a minimalist as I've gotten older and this bike is all I'll ever need I think. I love to get on it and hate to get off.
I'm so glad I had the chance to be around this long to see how bikes have improved so much as shown by this great bike. Thanks Kawasaki!

Last edited by Versysbob; 08-06-2009 at 07:12 AM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 09:49 PM
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After reading that , I like my Versys even more! I've only had mine since 28th of July and I'm 40 miles shy of my first 500 miles. Can't wait to go up to 6000rpms! This bike is just waiting to be unleashed.
Great write up!!!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 10:12 PM
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Interesting article. I agree qwith everything regarding reliabily, performance, and fun. One note though, the versys is not a v twin, it's a parallel twin. Two cilinders but different arrangement.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 04:06 AM
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I think he's talking about 'v' as in vertical, no? Oh, and I like the post too. Like you, V-Bob, I'm drawn to
2-cylinder bikes and I think the Versys is the nicest one out there. Unbelieveably versatile. Yadda, yadda, it's all been said before but, as the Brits like to say, "She's a loovely little beauty."

Last edited by Mt. Versuvius; 08-06-2009 at 04:14 AM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boricua View Post
...the versys is not a v twin, it's a parallel twin. Two cilinders but different arrangement.
Yes, specifically a vertical parallel twin, since the cylinders are configured essentially up and down. V-twin's are configured in the shape of a V. (Visit your local Harley-Davidson dealer for examples at 45 degrees, 60 degrees for V-Rods...always fun to visit your Harley dealer on a Versys.)


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Sorry for the confusion. I was using the short cut "V-Twin" for vertical twin. I have owned a few Harley V-Twins and know very well what they are. My last Harley I sold about 10 years ago. It was a 1948 "45" Cubic Inch Flathead! Bought it to restore as a project and it was great fun to work on (then..) It had a 3 speed trans with a hand shift on the tank and foot clutch. Only had about 19 Horsepower and a springer front fork..
Sold it because it was just scary to ride on busy public streets. They were made for a different, slower era. Comparing my Versys to that bike highlights how far the motorcycle industry has advanced in 50 years. We've come a long way, that's for sure!

Last edited by Versysbob; 08-06-2009 at 07:31 AM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 10:29 AM
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I own one of each. The Triumph is very reliable and doesn't leak oil, because I built the engine correctly and used a few modern components in the electrics.


10 Duc Streetfighter S (black)
09 Versys
00 KLR
67 Triumph Bonneville TT Special
USN 1959-65
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 11:55 AM
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I prefer a V-Twin if it is only to have two cylinders, to bad Kawasaki thinks the future is in P Twins. If your going to build a P engine make it a triple. While I like my Versys I think a V-Strom would have fit in better for what I want to do with the bike. Oh well live and learn.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 12:19 PM
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I too had a Yamaha 650 vertical twin. Mine was a 1976. One of the reasons I sold it a couple of years ago was that it shook so much that it vibrated my eyeballs in their sockets, and my eyeglassed on my nose - that I couldn't see the countryside views as clearly as I would like. Sightseeing was difficult at certain RPMs and on bumpy roads (old school suspension), also poor wind protection.

I bought a Versys specifically because the specs showed that it had about 6 inches of travel, front and back, with modern cartridge forks, etc. I still have trouble sightseeing on bumpy roads now, but the fun I have on the smooth twisties makes up for it.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 08:29 PM
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My '73 Honda CL450

And now, one of the best parallel twins ever....



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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 08:50 PM
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That is one CLEAN bike!! Did you restore that Handkphil?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 08:59 PM
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That's one gorgeous 450!

(Easy, Bones, stop drooling...)


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 09:04 PM
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Before restoration

Yes sir, I restored it myself. Here's a pic right after I washed it, on the day I brought it home.


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 09:06 PM
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Man O Man

That pic brings back some most pleasant memories.

Thanks so much for sharing.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2009, 08:34 AM
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Nice bike! Isn't the 450 the one with the "torsion bar" valve springs?
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