Setting up my Versys for touring - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Setting up my Versys for touring

I picked up a new 2012 Versys recently and want to set it up so I can comfortably do some touring. I would like advice on a few items.

Custom seat. I got an air hawk which makes the stock seat much more comfortable but it still wants to make me slide forward. I was planning on getting a corbin or sargeant seat. Any thoughts on these seats? Passenger comfort is also important. We had a Corbin on my R1100GS and my wife and I both loved it.

Tank bag. Looking for something that will fit the tank on the Versys without being tiny. Magnetic or straps, whatever works.

Tank Panniers. I never used these before but they look like a good idea.

Hard bags and tail trunk. I'll probably go with Givi on these but can't decide between the E-21 or V-34 cases. I know the E-21 are much smaller but also should be lighter and are much less $.

Crash bars. I want to get these for protection as well as a place to mount some highway pegs.

Any thoughts or advice from those of you who have these things is greatly appreciated.

A pic of my new bike:

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post #2 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 12:55 PM
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I went through 7 seats on the Versys. A less expensive and good route would be a Seat Concepts Seat. Got rid of the forward slide better than all the seats i had. I prefer the Hepco/Becker Crash Bars. Motowerks has highway peg mounts, No need to attach to the crash bars and they have tons of adjustability. I always preferred soft saddle bags on the V with an Givi E-55 top case with a backrest for the pillion. Thats a Terry Adcock Flat Seat in the photo...No cushion for a passenger...

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post #3 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 12:56 PM
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I'm not trying to be a d-bag, but you should try the search feature of this website. There are 1000 posts that will cover every aspect you ask about. Very detailed and lots of photos.
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post #4 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 01:57 PM
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I have one of the faster black '12s that I have put about 10,000 miles on since November.

1. 16T front sprocket.
2. Kaoko throttle lock.
3. 12v outlet for GPS
4. Rear rack. Check out the one made by a guy on this forum.
5. Scottoiler.
6. Stainless front brake lines
7. Silverstar Ultra headlight bulbs

I have found the seat and stock windscreen completely adequate. I did move it up to the top holes.
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post #5 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 03:59 PM
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I'm a Givi V-35 fan. They're a good size, and they look good on the bike IMHO. The only change I made to the V-35s was to replace the rear reflectors with Admore Lighting LED lights that function as running, brake, and turn signal lights - really very clever.

My Versys came with a Corbin saddle and it suits my backside very nicely, so I'm a fan of it as well. Crash bars are wise mostly because no one plans to crash but topple-overs do happen. Seems to me that Hepco-Becker bars are popular among members of the forum.

Magnetic tank bags can be problematic because of the plastic side panels although I found a smallish Joe Rocket magnet bag that stays put. It's probably better to get either a strap mount or one of those fancy fuel tank ring-mount jobs. Givi also makes one of those as I recall.

You might also want to consider hand guards (lots of folks like them), a windscreen that offers improved protection, and a rear hugger - it will keep a lot of crud off the back end of your bike (and bags). Mine is a Skidmore product though there a bunch of other brands available. Then, of course there's always a GPS mount, cup holder, cell phone holder, and the kitchen sink!

On a more serious note, a tire plug kit and mini air pump can be worth their weight in gold. I'm not a fan of CO2 cartridges because once shot, if not enough to inflate as much as you wish, you're stuck. I believe the technical term is screwed. Others may disagree.

This is fun - spending some one else's money, that is.

Great photo by the way. Are you Army aviation by chance?

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Last edited by Arion; 08-05-2014 at 04:13 PM.
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post #6 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 04:22 PM
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I know that you said Givi, but here's an alternative idea.
Tusk 37L aluminum sidecases with Happy Trails mounts and mount kits.

TOP loaders.

Total $556 new.

The seat is a foam/cover seat from "Seat Concepts" at $169. They will install it for $20 or you can do it yourself. VERY comfortable but be aware that it raises you up an inch or so.

Givi D410ST aftermarket windshield.

The bags (as mounted) are 37 1/2" wide. You can shave 3" off of this if you use Givi mounts.

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post #7 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 08:11 PM
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Here's some shots of my '09 with Givi bags and SW Motech Bags Connection City tankbag. The City bag is a perfect fit. The new model equivalent is, I believe, here. Pricey, but a really nice fit.

http://www.twistedthrottle.com/bags-...ounting-system

Givi E21s, E360s and a small Givi tailbag.

Baldwin seat.
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post #8 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kballowe View Post
.
.
I know that you said Givi, but here's an alternative idea.
Tusk 37L aluminum sidecases with Happy Trails mounts and mount kits.

TOP loaders.

Total $556 new.

The seat is a foam/cover seat from "Seat Concepts" at $169. They will install it for $20 or you can do it yourself. VERY comfortable but be aware that it raises you up an inch or so.

Givi D410ST aftermarket windshield.

The bags (as mounted) are 37 1/2" wide. You can shave 3" off of this if you use Givi mounts.

.
.

Wow! Those are amazing hard cases, but, "Honey, do these bags make me look fat?"

Arion

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post #9 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 10:08 PM
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I just tonight ordered the Wolfman Explorer lite tank bag, and Wolfman Tank Panniers. I think I'll like the extra space. Links for both products below:

Tank bag on a versys (1st gen, same tank): Post #7:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=561988

Wolfman Explorer Lite tankbag:

http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/...FfA-Mgod-TIAww

Wolfman Tank Panniers on a Versys:

http://www.hotnrare.com/en/wolfman-t...SSORIO=WMM4103

Consider the Kappa K33n cases, made by Givi (My entire set up shipped in Givi boxes). http://www.tourandride.com/ sells them. I have them on my Versys and love them. The top case is quite nice as well. Also, as an added bonus, I was able to nab the side cases, top case, and all mounting frames and hardware at 50% off. Pic below for reference:


Last edited by adurbin; 08-05-2014 at 10:15 PM.
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post #10 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 12:01 AM
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I also have the Kappa 33's with a Kappa 42l top box, Givi tank ring tankbag, SW-Motech crash bars, Kawasaki branded MRA windscreen, RadGuard, BarkBuster Storms and had my seat modified by a local upholster. My indicators rubbed on the saddlebags so I got a Custom LED integrated tail light











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post #11 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 12:24 AM
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I have Kappa crash bars. Like Givi only cheaper. Don't want to mount highway pegs to them, but I can sort of rest my feet on them if I want. I have mounted a video camera to them before.

They've worked well, but if I were choosing crash bars again I'd consider HB. The one thing I don't like about the Kappa bars is I have to remove the left one for access to the countershaft sprocket. I don't think HB bars use that same mount point near the CS sprocket cover. As I recall SW motech bars do use that mount point, and would probably have the same issue mine do.

OTOH Kappa bars are I think are both cheaper and lighter than HB or SW Motech.

I have a Famsa 244/48 strap-on tank bag, which is custom fit for the Versys. I like it, and I prefer it to magnetic bags (of which I have 4 in the garage now), but I suspect fuel-filler mount bags are better--never had one though.

If passenger comfort matters to you, you won't like my topcase solution: givi adapter mounted to the pillion seat.

I have both Givi E21 and E360 side cases. The latter are really wide on our bikes. If I can get by with the smaller ones, it's better. Even the E21s mounted to my SW motech side racks are slightly wider than the bars. The E360s are wider than the bar and the restaurant.
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post #12 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 06:32 AM
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I have the SW bars with some highway pegs mounted to them along with some cheap soft bags for storage.

I went with the Seat Concepts solution and find it to be pretty good. The foam seems a bit too firm for my liking but it's shaped right and eliminates the forward slide into the tank.

If the V were my primary bike, I would look into some good hard bags. Soft bags are OK, but nice sturdy and waterproof hard bags would be better.


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post #13 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kballowe View Post
.
.
I know that you said givi, but here's an alternative idea.
Tusk 37l aluminum sidecases with happy trails mounts and mount kits.

Top loaders.

Total $556 new.

The seat is a foam/cover seat from "seat concepts" at $169. They will install it for $20 or you can do it yourself. Very comfortable but be aware that it raises you up an inch or so.

Givi d410st aftermarket windshield.

The bags (as mounted) are 37 1/2" wide. You can shave 3" off of this if you use givi mounts.

.
.

holy crap!!!! :d

My Versys Travels:


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post #14 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Arion View Post
Wow! Those are amazing hard cases, but, "Honey, do these bags make me look fat?"
Oh yeah. Baby got back.

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post #15 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 02:23 PM
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I second djg's recommendation of the Bags Connection City tank bag. Every time this subject comes up, I feel the urge to shout from the rooftop: Bags Connection City tank bag! Expensive, but man, I love mine. I've had it for four years, commuting daily, and it looks brand-new. The design and workmanship are top-notch.

For touring, it helps to have sturdy handguards -- like Barkbusters, with the metal rib. That's because one day, you're going to be tired or distracted and you're going to forget to put your sidestand down and you're going to drop the bike, and handguards will protect the levers from breakage.

I've done quite a bit of touring on my Versys and I have done it without highway pegs. My next long trip is in October and I'm going to have highway pegs. I'm sure I'll appreciate having them.

Get a rear hugger.

I recently got Clearwater Glenda lights. I think I'm gonna enjoy having them on my next trip, especially when I ride at dusk. Expensive, though. If had to choose one, I'd spend money on a saddle rather than riding lights. I like my Corbin.

Tank panniers are too nerdy.

And buy Rok Straps instead of bungies. They're great for strapping things (like a sleeping bag) on the passenger seat. They're handy and secure, and maybe you won't need nerdy tank panniers if you load stuff on the passenger seat.

2009 Versys
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post #16 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 03:04 PM
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OK, I dragged it outside for some better pics.
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post #17 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. I have been doing a lot of research but there a few new ideas on this thread. I am leaning towards the Givi E21 bags and a small top box. I have a Givi E52 on another bike so I could use that if really needed.

Although I said I was setting this bike up for touring, sport touring with a little adventure riding would be a better description so I am concerned about putting too much weigh too far back on the bike. I have seen this mentioned in various places but have any of you actually had any problems with handling and a lot of weight in the back?
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post #18 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arion View Post
On a more serious note, a tire plug kit and mini air pump can be worth their weight in gold. I'm not a fan of CO2 cartridges because once shot, if not enough to inflate as much as you wish, you're stuck. I believe the technical term is screwed. Others may disagree.

This is fun - spending some one else's money, that is.

Great photo by the way. Are you Army aviation by chance?
A tire plug kit is one of the first things I put on the bike. I have one on all of my bikes or in the case of my KLR, tire irons and spare tube.

No I am not Army Aviation but I did learn to fly in this:

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post #19 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 04:30 PM
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...The one thing I don't like about the Kappa bars is I have to remove the left one for access to the countershaft sprocket....As I recall SW motech bars do use that mount point, and would probably have the same issue mine do....
Yes they do, but I just loosen the other bolts, then 'rotate' the bar till I can access the countershaft cover bolts.

IF you might want a "skid-plate" - I couldn't add a SW-Motech skid-plate when I had H-B bars, so I replaced them w/ SW-Motechs. I used the GiVi bag mounts that were mentioned as being 3" narrower - they ARE! The pic's a bit dark, but notice where the signals are....
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post #20 of 77 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I have been doing a lot of research but there a few new ideas on this thread. I am leaning towards the Givi E21 bags and a small top box. I have a Givi E52 on another bike so I could use that if really needed.

Although I said I was setting this bike up for touring, sport touring with a little adventure riding would be a better description so I am concerned about putting too much weigh too far back on the bike. I have seen this mentioned in various places but have any of you actually had any problems with handling and a lot of weight in the back?


NO !!

IMG_0135 by weljo2001, on Flickr

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