Right bike for a novice? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Right bike for a novice?

Hey all,

I searched the forum and I couldn't find something specific to this topic, so apologies in advance if this has already been asked a million times:

I'm in my 3rd year of riding (30+ rider), I started on a CBR125R and moved to a Ninja 250 this year. I've put 10k km on the Ninja and loved every minute of it. Despite that (or because of that), I'm thinking of moving up next year, and I'm pretty sold on sticking with Kawi for the next bike, but I'm not sold on the model yet.

If anyone has been in a similar situation I have a few questions:

- After looking at a few of the insanely cheap liter sport bikes, I'm convinced that these things are twitchy and a bit horrifying. How would this bike be characterized in terms of power delivery? Smooth/jerky, linear/sweet spot based (if you drive a N250, you know what I mean). Will this thing pop up on me and cause me to dump as easily as a RR style bike, assuming a minor throttle mistake?
- What's the ergonomics on the Versys? It looks upright to me, but is is more so than the N250? Does it almost feel cruiser like, or closer to other sport touring (CBF1000)?
- 5'6" ... too short to flat foot?
- The front fairing looks a bit small, how much wind are you getting vs. a regular 600cc sport bike? I do a ton of highway commuting and reasonable distance day trips, this is a bit critical.
- The N250 is a bit uncomfortable for larger passengers, any better here?
- What made you choose the Versys over the N650 or ER6N? (the sales guy says they're basically all the same bike, not sure if that's true or not).
- Does it feel as responsive and flickable as the N250? If not, does it make up for it in other ways?
- Is there anything else to know about this bike, that I wouldn't even think to ask because of my background?

If it helps, these are the bikes I've been considering:

N650 - Love the looks, haven't sat on one yet. This is currently #1 in my mind (well, until tonight when I read the reviews of the Versys).
GSXR600 - Friends have them and are utterly fanatical about them.
FZ6R - Looking at a group buy with a buddy in spring, he's already sold on it. The Yamaha guys seem to hate this model for some reason, something about gimped power compared to the older model.
ZX-6R - Other friends who are also fanatical and think the GSXR600 guys are idiots
CBF600 - New to Canada for 2010, saw it at a demo day, sounded amazing, tons of features but looks are so-so.
SV650 - Looks are kinda strange, but haven't seen a single bad review of it.

Sorry for the long posting, I'm sure I could have answer 95% of this by taking a test ride but I'm guessing you guys would have more informed answers.
patw is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 10:40 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Belmont, California
Posts: 775
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Talking

Its a great bike...Take one for a ride...Bikes IMHO are totally subjective to likes and dislikes... Although everyone enjoys their V on this forum we have all done something to trick the bike out to make it better for our indivgual tastes ie, mirrors, lowered pegs, lowered bike, power commanders, seats etc...Good luck

If I new what I was doing, I wouldn't still be working
contractor is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 02:44 AM
Member
 
healdem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Macclesfield, Cheshire, UK
Posts: 959
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
theres quite a few posts here already
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ghlight=novice
for one
healdem is offline  
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 06:19 PM
Member
 
Boricua's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 1,236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
If your 5'6" you might want to get the low gel seat. I'm 5'7" with 29" inseam and with the low seat I cannot quite flat foot. It is pricey but worth every penny for me. The V is an awesome every day, do everything well kind of bike. If you are looking for a bike for everyday use it's hard to beat. A bonus for me. V's get a lot of attention here in Colorado. Other riders stare at them trying to figure what the heck it is. Is it an adventure bike, super moto, sport, or tourer.

It's hard to explain that it's none and all at the same time. So when someone ask what kind of bike it is. I just answer a nice one.
Boricua is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 09:29 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Utah
Posts: 45
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I'm tall which is one of the main reasons I like the versys. I started off looking at the 650R and if I was 5'6" that's what I would get.

The Versys is great, I just can't see getting a bike that doesn't fit and the "fixing" it.

The FZ6 was cramped for me but maybe it would work for you. I like the looks of it, the riding position is good. Totally different engine than the versys.

The FZ6R has less power than the FZ6, a steel frame, and I don't care for the full fairing look. Otherwise I think it's the perfect bike coming from a 250R.

You really should at least go sit on a few bikes and see what you think.
Goblin is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 10:13 PM
Member
 
johnmichael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southern Louisiana
Posts: 121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I learned to ride on my brother's Ninja 650r...great bike, but I am MUCH more comfortable on the Versys. Being 6'3", I can very much appreciate the added height...the extra Torque down low and better suspension make it more fun for me as well than the 650r.
johnmichael is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 12:37 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by patw View Post

- After looking at a few of the insanely cheap liter sport bikes, I'm convinced that these things are twitchy and a bit horrifying. How would this bike be characterized in terms of power delivery? Smooth/jerky, linear/sweet spot based (if you drive a N250, you know what I mean). Will this thing pop up on me and cause me to dump as easily as a RR style bike, assuming a minor throttle mistake?
The 1K are cheap for a reason because they are twitchy and horrifying. Those bikes were designed for Rossi no novice should be on one. Everything about the V is smooth, very easy bike to ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patw View Post
- What's the ergonomics on the Versys? It looks upright to me, but is is more so than the N250? Does it almost feel cruiser like, or closer to other sport touring (CBF1000)?
I have a cruiser and it feels nothing like it, feels mostly like a dirt bike with sport handling. (around town this is a GOOD feeling)

Quote:
Originally Posted by patw View Post
- 5'6" ... too short to flat foot?
Yes, you will need the lowing kit from Speedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by patw View Post
- The front fairing looks a bit small, how much wind are you getting vs. a regular 600cc sport bike? I do a ton of highway commuting and reasonable distance day trips, this is a bit critical.
I have a 600cc sport bike that I take to the track and have taken the V to the track and drive on the street. The V is much better at highway speeds for the comfort and the wind protection that the small windshield provides. Going any faster than "highway" speeds it's a struggle to keep your head and body down, the 600cc allows you to "rest" on the wind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patw View Post
- The N250 is a bit uncomfortable for larger passengers, any better here?
No, I get a lot of complants from my passengers when riding the V.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patw View Post
- What made you choose the Versys over the N650 or ER6N? (the sales guy says they're basically all the same bike, not sure if that's true or not).
Only thing that's different is the ergonomics and the suspension, and of course looks. My wife liked the upright sitting position better and the green color. The V was mostly bought for her (novice rider).

Quote:
Originally Posted by patw View Post
- Does it feel as responsive and flickable as the N250? If not, does it make up for it in other ways?
Very flickable

Quote:
Originally Posted by patw View Post
- Is there anything else to know about this bike, that I wouldn't even think to ask because of my background?
In my 26+ years of motorcycling I think I've covered the whole spectrum from dirt bikes, cruisers, sport bikes etc..

From the bikes you have listed looks like you are trying to choose between a street bike and a track bike. Are you planning on going to the track? If not stick with a standard street bike. The 600cc sport bikes are a blast but they get VERY uncomfortable on the street and it's anoying to have the bike YELL at you to constantly go faster. It's like buying a thoroughbred race horse and taking it on the trail. And in my opinion a novice buying a race bike is just plain stupid

Quote:
Originally Posted by patw View Post
I'm sure I could have answer 95% of this by taking a test ride .
Not really, unless your test ride equals 20-30+ miles.

fitz

"One day last week I was riding my bike, I can't remember exactly what day it was, maybe Tuesday, around 3:00pm or was it 4:00pm, not sure but I think it was 3:00pm when I noticed the fuel gauge started blinking, you know the last bar on the bike telling you need to get gas, so I looked for the next gas station, right down the road was two gas stations an Exxon and a BP, both had exactly the same price, so I couldn't decide, so I just picked one, after filling up I continued on my way." --fitz
fitz is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 01:35 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fitz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by patw
- 5'6" ... too short to flat foot?

Yes, you will need the lowing kit from Speedy
Lot's of good info Fitz, however this is not entirely true. I'm 5'6" with a 29 1/2" inseam and do not feel the need for the lowering kit. I cannot flat foot with both feet, but rather lean off to one side and plant one foot firmly on the ground. The bike is so light and well balanced sometimes I just use both feet with tippy toes I was apprehensive about the seat height while sitting on it in the dealership, however feel more and more comforatable after every ride (little over a 1000 miles now) and don't give it much thought. I am a little more attentive when coming to a stop to make sure I don't reach for ground when it isn't there

Patw, good look with your search, but don't let the height be a deterrent.

Brian P.
09 V (the faster Lime one!)
03 Genuine Stella
HiVizStich is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 05:27 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Hillsburrito
Posts: 1,018
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Pat - I think you don't really qualify as a novice any longer. When people post this kind of question here, they typically mean this will be their first motorcycle. Having had 3 years of riding on the CBR125 and Ninja 250 puts you well ahead of most "novice" riders. This also makes a huge difference on your ability to handle a taller bike.

Flat footing is way overrated. If you have the riding technique down, you don't need to plant both feet down when you stop. Sure, you have to pay more attention when stopping than a taller rider would (stopping over a pothole could mean you have no chance of reaching the ground before the bike start falling over), but it's a minor detail. I know plenty of short riders that ride stock height bikes without mods, sometimes not even a lower seat.

The Ninja 250 is a great bike, it's small and light. You wont find a big bike that feels that flickable due to simple physics. OTOH, the Versys has very good handling, much better suspension and significantly better comfort. It's a trade-off. Bikes like the Ninja650 could be a good option if you are worried about the height issue, but I wouldn't let that be the determining factor to make your choice. The CBF600 is also a very good option, as is the SV650, both about same height as the Ninja650 and lower than a stock Versys. If ergonomics and comfort are priorities, don't even bother with he supersports (GSX-R600, ZX-6R, R6, etc.). They are great if you do a lot of trackdays, not so comfortable the rest of the time. Also, if you have no experience riding inline 4's try to get a long test ride before buying one. That configuration is good for producing high rpm power, but the engine has a very different character from a V or parallel twin. For daily use, I much prefer twins, even if they give up some power at the top end to the inline fours.

Back to the Versys, the seating position is more upright than on the Ninja, the fairing gives reasonable coverage. Comparable to what you'd get from the FZ6R, CBF600 or Ninja650. The lack of lowers is mostly cosmetic, the bike is narrow past the tank, your lower legs and feet will get wet, but not much makes it past the knee height at speed. I live in the Pacific NorthWet and I find the protection adequate at speed (when you slow down, nothing short of being inside a car will keep you dry).

Gustavo


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

Last edited by Gustavo; 10-03-2009 at 08:20 PM.
Gustavo is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 11:35 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustavo View Post

The Ninja 250 is a great bike, it's small and light.
Indeed, notice the young lady on the green bike behind me coming up FAST (I'm on the #13 bike)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20090913-IMG_5178-2.jpg (298.6 KB, 91 views)

"One day last week I was riding my bike, I can't remember exactly what day it was, maybe Tuesday, around 3:00pm or was it 4:00pm, not sure but I think it was 3:00pm when I noticed the fuel gauge started blinking, you know the last bar on the bike telling you need to get gas, so I looked for the next gas station, right down the road was two gas stations an Exxon and a BP, both had exactly the same price, so I couldn't decide, so I just picked one, after filling up I continued on my way." --fitz
fitz is offline  
post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 10:05 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Posts: 224
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I have nothing extensive to add other than I strongly suggest you think hard about your wants and needs before buying a bike; the GSXR and ZX6R are COMPLETELY different animals from a Versys or an SV, etc. etc. I have both the ZX6R and the Versys sitting in the garage and they are nothing alike.

2 cents,

Dave

2008 Versys, 2008 ZX6R, 2006 EX500, 2002 KLR650
2010 KTM 300XCW, 2007 KTM 200XC, 2006 KTM 200 XC,
2004 CRF250X, 2002 CRF150
DPelletier is offline  
post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Holy heck, this is lot of great replies.

I think I've messed up my account setup on this board, I didn't see any of these come back to me in email, so sorry for the delayed thank-you, to everyone. I actually assumed no one answered

I need to enjoy the bike all day long and I haven't done a track day yet, so I think I'm going to scratch the RR's off the list. That narrows it down to all the P/V-twins.

I'll try to get some seat time in all of them before I decide. Thanks for the input!
patw 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