new versys in september as a commuter - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
dadsafrantic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: The Hood, SF Bay Area Ca. USA
Posts: 121
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Garage
new versys in september as a commuter

tell me what i need to do to the bike to get it ready for an 80 mile round trip commute through the sf bay area. a nasty commute full of rude drivers and lane splitting. i ride in the rain too. mostly freeway.

Dadsafrantic

2018 versys 650 lt
0 miles- 8/15/19


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
dadsafrantic is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 09:49 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 459
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Rain gear and life insurance?

The bike itself is a great commuter. Luggage is the only necessary add-on. Most people hate the seat, but 80 miles should be easy.

Steve

IBA #37625 (Earned in 98 Awarded in 2009... Yeah I'm a little lazy sometimes...)


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
lonerockz is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 03:44 AM
Member
 
Hammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Pretoria South Africa
Posts: 171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonerockz View Post
Rain gear and life insurance?

The bike itself is a great commuter. Luggage is the only necessary add-on. Most people hate the seat, but 80 miles should be easy.


Get yourself a very visible lid and jacket it helps. I travel everywhere with my high beam on. (whilst lane splitting)
Hammer is offline  
 
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 07:07 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 384
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I make a 60 mile round trip commute on the Versys, have done so since last spring and I ride in the rain and cold, pretty much so long as the morning temps ar 30 and above I ride. (below 30 I worry about black ice).

For me the key items were a cover and luggage able to hold my brief case, cover and shoes on the way to the train station (I commute by train into NYC) and hold my jacket, pants and boots while I am at work. I also didn't want to spend a ton of cash. I ended up getting Givi E21 side cases which work great to hold my jacket and boots and a Givi E45N cheap top case which holds my helmet and riding pants.

Works perfect for me and the cover keeps eyes off the bike. I haven't ever once used a disc lock or locked the cover, but if you are worried a disc lock and cable for the cover are a good idea. (you route the cable through the eyelets of the cover and connect the cable eyelet to the disc lock on the disc.

I have three sets of gear, mesh jacket and pants for the hot weather, fully waterproof jacket and pants for the cold and wet and rain gear to go over my mesh. Usually in the summer I just keep the rain gear in one of the bags as a just in case. I also have a variety of gloves, Gerbing heated, Held street gloves (my favorite) and Rev'It winter/waterproof, it is worth having the right gear for the right condition. Same with my boots, I have Vendramini shorty for the summer, Sidi full sized for the cooler weather and Sidi waterproof boots for the colder weather.

I have accumulated my gear choices over many years, and while I upgrade my gear every few years, the basic options are the same.

I also invested a long time ago in heated grips, heated gloves and a heated jacket liner, for commuting they have proved invaluable especially in late October/November around here. Oh and I keep a hair brush in my top case to fix my helmet head when I get to the train station, don't laugh, it makes a difference and worth the thought.

Finally since I often leave at 5 AM when it is dark and live in the country of sorts, I swapped the low beam for an HID. A lot more light, but does not bother on coming drivers or drivers I am behind, also leaves me the high beam as an instant on (HID takes a bit to warm up and get fully bright) for flashing, etc.

Just remember, the thing about commuting is having a system/routine and giving it time to get it down right. At first commuting seems like a bitch, putting the gear on, taking it off and stowing it, putting it on again when all you want to do is go home. But I have it down to 5 min each time, in the AM, at the train station and then heading home, so while it adds time, the ability to ride my bike everyday and getting 55 MPH over my 18 MPG truck is all good.

Last edited by marc11; 08-21-2009 at 07:12 AM.
marc11 is offline  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 07:51 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I would recommend a top box, I'd be leary of side bags if you lane split. For rain a full rainsuit and a full face helmet. Some gloves you can buy have a squeegee on the pointer fingers to wipe your visor clean.
heavyhitter is offline  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 11:35 AM
Member
 
gti20vturbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 926
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
My Pelican cases ended up being no wider than my handlebars so lane splitting is still an option. Other than luggage (if needed) this bike was darn near built for California commuting. The high seating allows you to see most everything going on around you. I would rather commute on my V than any of my other bikes.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
gti20vturbo is offline  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 10:43 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SE Mich.
Posts: 1,161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
For all-weather riding, you'll want a hugger to keep all of the road crap off the underneath, and also a front fender extender to protect the radiator.

I use a headlight modulator on high beam. Some like them, some don't. But all that's necessary to shut it down is to go to low beam. The pass function still works, but it's modulated.

I also have Hyper-Lites installed underneath the tail light. It's 16 extremely bright red LEDs that are always on, and when the brakes are applied, they pulse for 5 seconds. I find that many tailgaters back off after I touch the brakes lightly three or four times.

If you split lanes, you might consider Barkbusters. A little pricey, but they'll save knuckles and levers if you nail a side mirror or worse.

10 Duc Streetfighter S (black)
09 Versys
00 KLR
67 Triumph Bonneville TT Special
USN 1959-65
ttpete is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 12:23 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: newfoundland canada
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
i commute about 80 miles a day also get a stebel nautilus air horn.
mack64 is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 12:48 PM
Member
 
Friendlyfocus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Friendswood, TX
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I commute 70 miles a day year round, marc11 did a nice summary, you do end up with a collection of gear to suit different weather. The one thing I would add is to get a tinted or mirrored shield for the afternoon, I leave in the dark in the morning with a clear, and swap for a mirror tinted in the afternoon for the blazing Texas sun.

You also get in the habit of checking the radar quickly before you leave, so you know whether to put the rain liner on or not. I have a little Accuweather icon on my phone now that I hit up real quick. You learn quickly that it can be beautiful and clear when you start and hit the nasty weather 15 miles down the road.
Friendlyfocus is offline  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 12:49 PM
Member
 
dallasdon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 1,253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mack64 View Post
i commute about 80 miles a day also get a stebel nautilus air horn.
I believe you might want to check out Harbor Freight tools and get the same thing as a Steblel Horn for a lot, lot less money. Two Options here.


http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40134 $15.99

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=94117

$39.95

'09 Versys -Green

TET'68 Survivor
dallasdon is offline  
post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 08:01 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Dutchess County, NY
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallasdon View Post
I believe you might want to check out Harbor Freight tools and get the same thing as a Steblel Horn for a lot, lot less money. Two Options here.


http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40134 $15.99

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=94117

$39.95
I like the looks of the $40.00 air horn. Do you have this horn? Is it as easy as they make it look.....just remove & replace horns using existing wiring?
Thanks
MAS1132 is offline  
post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 09:05 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SE Mich.
Posts: 1,161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAS1132 View Post
I like the looks of the $40.00 air horn. Do you have this horn? Is it as easy as they make it look.....just remove & replace horns using existing wiring?
Thanks
No. The Nautilus draws too much current for the original horn circuit. You use the original circuit to energize a relay that switches current direct from the battery through a fuse.

10 Duc Streetfighter S (black)
09 Versys
00 KLR
67 Triumph Bonneville TT Special
USN 1959-65
ttpete is offline  
post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 09:40 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Clayton NC
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsafrantic View Post
tell me what i need to do to the bike to get it ready for an 80 mile round trip commute through the sf bay area. a nasty commute full of rude drivers and lane splitting. i ride in the rain too. mostly freeway.
I have read the entire thread, and just had one question on the luggage section. I am also going to be commuting on a new versys in september, I have an 80 mile commute highway, not too much traffic due to offpeak times. I was wondering hard luggage (givi cases) or soft luggage (Kriega us 40 tailbag) I am mainly loogkin for something with place to put raingear, and my breifcase?

The other question is if the hard makes more sense do the v-35 cases hold a full face lid?

Thanks for the advice, I took a lot of notes.
ABN_SKI is offline  
post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 09:56 AM
Member
 
Element's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Springfield, MO
Posts: 2,241
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I commute every day on mine, 2 miles to my church. It is awesome!

My Album:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Element is offline  
post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 11:29 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Dutchess County, NY
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I have the Dowco soft bags. They are plenty big for extra gear, expandable too. I haven't tried fitting my helmet inside. When I commute to work, I bring my jacket & helmet inside with me. They do have a means to lock the bags closed, plus a means to lock them to the bike as well. I choose to go this route because they were way less expensive compared to the hard cases. The hard cases have many advantages, so consider what you really need, plus how much you can afford too.
MAS1132 is offline  
post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 11:33 AM
Member
 
gti20vturbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 926
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABN_SKI View Post
I am mainly loogkin for something with place to put raingear, and my breifcase?

The other question is if the hard makes more sense do the v-35 cases hold a full face lid?

Thanks for the advice, I took a lot of notes.
Sounds like you just need a topcase. Saddlebags would be over kill. Get the SWMotech topcase rack and the topcase of your choice and your set.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
gti20vturbo is offline  
post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-28-2009, 08:38 PM
Member
 
Mursili's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Los Alamos, NM
Posts: 642
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Garage
I added a Givi rack for a top case, but actually used a case from JCWhitney.com

http://www.jcwhitney.com/MATTE-BLACK...4603_10111.jcw

That case provides room for my full-face helmet and my riding pants (or my jacket, but not both with the helmet). Usually, I put my helmet and pants in the case and carry/wear my jacket. If necessary, I will use the helmet locks provided on the bike and then put both my pants and jacket in the top case. It makes the Versys a pretty practical commuter.

I chose the Givi racks since I was uncertain about the JCWhitney case (and if it did not work out, I would have purchased a Givi case). In hindsight, I would choose the cheapest rack and the JCWhitney case and then go about my business.
Mursili is offline  
post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-28-2009, 09:22 PM
Member
 
blipco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: boston, MA
Posts: 1,515
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
All the above is good advice. As far as routing is concerned, try to tweak your ride (with the aid of a good metro map) as to which way is the safest as opposed to which is the quickest. Find the less travelled roads, safest ways through dangerous intersections, nicer surroundings, resist your urge to run for the green light on crowded streets. etc. And keep your cool. You'll need it.
blipco is offline  
post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-28-2009, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
dadsafrantic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: The Hood, SF Bay Area Ca. USA
Posts: 121
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Garage
that is good advice. i have commuted over 40,400 miles in the last 3 years myself. my bike live inside at home and inside a parking garage right outside the guard shack at work. (free) i will bee adding the bags with the purchase i think and hand guards as well. the temp rarely dips as cold as you get here in the bay area. my commute is all freeway so maybe not the hid although i do love lights. i am pretty geared up clothing wise butg will be getting new winter gear as time and $$$ permits. i am looking forward to my 20k per year on the new bike.

Dadsafrantic

2018 versys 650 lt
0 miles- 8/15/19


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
dadsafrantic is offline  
post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-29-2009, 06:03 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 687
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABN_SKI View Post
do the v-35 cases hold a full face lid?
The v35's do hold a full face helmet but the bags do stick out quite far so (as others have said) if you're going to be lane splitting you'd be better off with the top box.
Mt. Versuvius is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Versys Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome