Future Versys Owner? (little long) - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Future Versys Owner? (little long)

A little history:
I'm 34, have been riding street bikes for 17 years, dirt bikes for 22 years. Have owned every type of street bike out there. Like many guys always wanted the biggest, fastest bike available. Had the Honda VTX 1800 for a while. Loved the torque of the VTX, but quickly got tired of scraping the foot pegs in the curves. Sold it and did a total 180. Got a CBR 1000RR. The CBR was insane. Fast, loved curves, but sooooo uncomfortable and could be quite a handful on backroads where the pavement was less than smooth. Sold the CBR and thought I was done with street bikes for a while. After going to the extremes of a power cruiser and a sport bike, just wasn't sure if there was a bike out there that really fit what I wanted. Then, ran across an old KLR 650 at a good price and said what the heck, I'll try it. The KLR really opened my eyes. Absolutely loved the seating position. Upright, wide handlebars, felt like riding a dirt bike on the road. At first I missed the top end speed and horsepower of the bikes I'd owned in the past, but after a few trips to the mountains, hitting the twisties and completely embarrasing sport bikes that easily cost twice what the KLR cost I thought, hmmmm, I'm on to something here. Loved the ground clearance and the way the bike just soaked up the less than perfect pavement that I ride on most of the time. A short time later the Ducati Hypermotard concept bike came out and started getting a lot of talk. So, I started doing some research on the supermotard bikes and liked what I saw. Lots of ground clearance, lots of lean angle and a lot of suspension travel. Felt like I was pushing the KLR to it's limits (unsafe limits) and it was time to move up. Had my sights set on the Hypermotard, but the KTM 950 SM came out first. So, sold the KLR and bought a 2006 KTM 950 SM. That brings us to present day. Still have the KTM and absolutely love the bike for what it is intended for. For ripping up backroads and twisties I truly believe the KTM can not be beat. Having said that, it lacks in everyday use. It seems I've gone back to what burned me on street bikes many years ago, always wanting the biggest, fastest machine available. The KTM is purpose built for one thing. It's a blast when running it wide open, but for daily commutes it's uncomfortable and boring. And for me it's just too much bike for everyday use.

Here is what I'm looking for in a bike. Something that is comfortable for an everyday commute, but can still gets the adrenaline going while in the curves. Most of my riding is done solo, but do a couple of weekend rides per year with a group that covers 400-500 miles. Would love to be able to take the girlfriend on these rides without both of us hating each other by the end the trip.

If you are still reading this, thanks for hanging in there with me. Here are my questions about the Versys:

- The Versys has been described as a good entry level bike, but has motard like handling. Can an experienced rider push the Versys in the curves without pushing the bike's limits?

- How does the Versys do at highway speeds? 70-80 miles per hour?

- I can deal with the a bike not being the fastest thing on the road. But, how does the Versys rate in real world usable power? The KLR was great with this.

- Anybody ridden the Versys two up? How do passengers rate the Versys? Haven't seen any comments on this.

- How do you rate the Kawasaki accessories? Hard saddle bags and top box?

I've heard nothing but good things about the Versys. Hoping this is the bike I've been waiting on!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 06:16 PM
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Outactrl,I have been riding for 40 years total,with a long period without my own bike.Last year,picked up a DR650SE,'07' for commuting.Loved it for that,but decided I could not do the offroad thing anymore,my old body did'nt like it.So,researched for a couple of months online.Found the V,and lurked on every V forum I could find.Bought the V on June 7,and am having a blast on the thing.The only other streetbike I ever had was a '72' Norton Commando 750,back in '75'.I rode many other bikes owned by friends.I cannot speak to '2 up' riding,but for mobility on the twisties,I am very satisfied.This thing IMhO is every bit as nimble as my DR was.It is smooth on the highway.I got carried away recently on a long stretch of 4 lane with no cars within more than a mile around me and was 'cruising' at 115 (indicated) for over a mile smooth as silk.This is my 5th bike total,and I can't imagine I will be looking to trade any time soon.Also I commute on it every day,rain/shine,and it has performed well so far.A couple of experienced riders have taken it for a 'spin' and both were impressed. Cheers.......Lefty.

Last edited by haw paw; 06-28-2008 at 06:18 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 06:38 PM
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I'm a 40 year vet too...I have owned one of everything...two of some! I love this bike. It has the seating position of my Vstrom and the agility of my Speed Triple.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 07:56 PM
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Old fart here at 62, rode a lot of bikes, motocrossed tm250 and tm400 suzuki in 70s, enduros, couple of dyna glides, magna 1100, shadow 1100, X1 buell. Thought I quit riding 3 times, let the endorsement expire, too much risk, too dangerous, then would get another bike for one reason or another.

My mom at 88, said to me once "when you gonna get another motorcycle"? I go, what, thought she would be happy that I didn't ride anymore. But she knew, deep down I was the most happy when riding my motorcycle.

Against my better judgement I bought a K1200GT, but it just takes will power (I lack a lot) to ride it and not get a ticket or put in jail. But I do get tired of always being on the rear bumper of something looking for an open road to romp.

Now, that is where the Versys comes in, likes back roads, will run 80 on the interstate till you need gas. Easy to handle, light nimble in twisties, lots of gears, plenty of revs to mess with (I hardly ever go past 7000 tho), water cooled. Pretty good suspension once you get it sorted.

Now my wife does not like it 2up (that is what the k1200GT and FXDX did to her, spoiled) but she will ride it for short trips. But honestly the Versys is more fun alone. Great mileage, run it pretty hard, city, hiway, cruise, I still get 53-56mpg on regular. I am still on the OEM tires which are hard and slippery, but I have got used to them so will wear them out. But you will hear others excited about how well it does with new tires, I can't wait.

I think you will be like me and after you go a while on the Versys, you will smile and be pleasantly surprised how fulfilling the ride is on the Versys little 650cc!

I am very pleased with sw-motech rack and givi panniers (I have always hated baggers, now I have 2). Pretty cool to go play golf and just put my jacket in one side and my helmet and stuff in the other when I arrive.

07 K1200GT
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07 Tiger 1050 (on the way)
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Last edited by versys_guy; 06-28-2008 at 08:01 PM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 10:50 PM
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Hey outactrl - I lack the riding experience of many on this forum, but have taken my girlfriend, (all 110 lbs. of her), on a couple of 2-3 hour rides. She says she's very comfortable, ( but she hasn't been spoiled with a bigger cushier bike). For what it's worth, I love the bike and don't think I'll be shopping for a bigger/better 2 wheeler anytime soon. Good luck with whatever you decide, but as you asked this forum and you know we're preaching to the choir most of the time, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you go the distance and buy the Versys.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 11:16 PM
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The V will do everything you are looking for. There are a couple of folks on this forum that can weigh in on the two up thing. Every time I get on mine it seems to go over 300 miles before I get back home.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 11:16 AM
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I last rode a motorcycle in '91 or '92 a mid or late '80's Interceptor 500cc. The current high gas prices got me looking at cheaper transportation and as I've always loved riding started the search.
I did some searching on the internet and came across the Versys. All the reviews of it were great. The other bike makers seemed to offer strictly hi-perf racing street bikes or the traditional chromed out cruisers, neither appealed to me. Then came the Versys, it seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
The test ride was a little shaky for me as it had been so long since I had ridden, but the Versys made it easy as it is a very forgiving bike. I've only had it for about 3 weeks now and I feel like a pro on it, but not succombing to any overconfidence with it.
Just a great all-around bike.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 12:58 PM
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This bike has plenty of usable power and can go down the highway pretty well. At 80 MPH its revving about 6,000 RPM. I don't know about 2 up yet but probably fine on short trips. I use it for commuting and errands when I dont need my truck and just for fun too. It works well for this and has plenty of power to be fun. Based on what you said in your post I think you will like this bike.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 09:09 PM
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First post here....

I'm looking for the GPS mount for sale in the states... but I'll comment a bit on 2 up riding. My wife is small. She loves the Versys. OK, after 6 hours or so our buts were hurting, but nothing a coffee break and a snack didn't fix. I'm going to look into modding the seat some day. My only other street bike was an FZ1. The passenger comfort on the Versys is WAY better. The suspension on the Versys seems to be much better as well, I cannot even feel my wife on the back, but on the larger FZ1 I always knew she was there.

I LOVE my new Versys. Compared to the FZ1, the ONLY place the FZ1 is better is on the highway at 100mph or greater (OK it will also outrun the Versys in a straight line, 0-60 1/4 mile etc). In the twisties and around town the Versys is much better, my old FZ1 used to slide around a lot in the turns, due to power, weight or suspension. The Versys craves back roads and tight turns. I'm pretty sure, equal riders, the Versys will outrun most any liter in the twisties, and with much more comfort and confidence. It's just so easy to ride. It's more comfortable, smoother, better ergos compared to my old bike (and all the other liter bikes I've ridden or sat on). I liked the Versys because I ride dirt bikes a lot. I really like the upright seating position and added leverage on the bars. I was shopping for a comfortable, fun economical bike. I have no regrets about my purchase. My wife and I managed 180 miles of pure backroads yesterday, and I rode it solo most of today. It's the most fun I've had on a bike in years. 80mph on the highway is no problem, but if you buy one you'll be trying to figure out new back roads to everywhere you're going.

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