Just got my new Motorcyclist !!! WOW - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Just got my new Motorcyclist !!! WOW

Yes ,WOW. When they give an Eight you are talking Good !! Marc Cook's corner gives a run down on what the numbers mean. The new Ducati Scrambler got a Five. I am impressed and happy with their number.
I looked at the new Versys and just thought that it was a face lift. It's more than meets the eye. I will have to try one out. Looks like they got more tour in with the sport.
I have had two Versys and I can't think of a time when I have had more than two of the same bike. I was thinking of the Scrambler, was is the clue here.
Test rides are going to be fun when the snow melts next month.
I was thinking less weight, lower seat and maybe a power boost. Kawasaki is not sleeping with a face lift and a new 1000. Hope they have more coming.

Buz

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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 12:48 PM
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 03:08 PM
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Right! Just read the same article and posted some of their good words and their "less inflated" rating of eight in response to a member's post regarding possibly buying a 2015 650 LT. Very tempting.

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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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You sold your 2009, are you up for a 2015?
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 09:36 AM
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And the more I ride our test bike the more I stand by that 8. On pure performance grounds, the new 650 is a good performer, but when you factor in the price and features, it becomes unexpectedly good.

Marc @ Motorcyclist
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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mcook View Post
And the more I ride our test bike the more I stand by that 8. On pure performance grounds, the new 650 is a good performer, but when you factor in the price and features, it becomes unexpectedly good.

Marc @ Motorcyclist
Your article along with others is why I have a deposit on a 650 LT!

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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 10:30 AM
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Is there a chance to get to read that article online? I'm from Europe, no idea where to buy that magazine.
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 10:38 AM
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You sound excited, but I am having a hard time understanding. Yes, they appear to have tweeked with some of the specs with the Versys 650. The best upgrade, or what you might call an upgrade is the adjustable preload knob on the rear shock. Nice feature. No lost weight, a slight upgrade in power at the expense of running 91 octane fuel, same seat, and the looks of a typical mainstream sport bike. Overall a great bike with decent looks at a great price.

I hope there is more coming too. I'm a big Kawasaki fan and was hoping they would release an "adventure touring" version of the Versys with touring sized wheels, like Suzuki did with the Strom. There is a huge void in the Kawasaki lineup. Either that or throw the Versys engine in a better looking, up spec'd KLR. Again, I hope there is more coming.

I'm not stupid enough to say that Kawasaki has no concept of marketing. I'm sure they have things figured out. But considering how little it would cost to change a few parts to broaden the market share. I can't help but think they have done some things wrong with styling and specs.
Where did you get the info about running 91 octane fuel?

I think another change everyone likes is the elimination of vibration with the additional rubber mounts. This apparently plagued previous years. And yes, IMO, it looks much better.

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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 11:05 AM
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I think another change everyone likes is the elimination of vibration with the additional rubber mounts. This apparently plagued previous years. And yes, IMO, it looks much better.
The vibe damping is the biggest in my book. My buddy's Ninja 650 was a hoot to ride, but that throaty, vibey characteristic that made it a kewl motorsickle on short jaunts would have driven me crazy on longer rides.

And approve or not, most people buy bikes at least partially based on looks. And the lil Versys went from looking like something set over in a dusty corner of the bike shop with a discount tag hanging off it, waiting for some tightwad, old codger to give it a home to bike they can showcase on a pedestal in the middle of the dealership. Not an insignificant upgrade either if ya ask me.
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 11:30 AM
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The Versys is a buzzy bike, no doubt about that, but it is not noticeable all the time and in the highway it is not a problem. No doubt the new one must be better, but I'm more intrigued by the engine, mpgs and larger tank.

Either way, I have made a long term commitment to my '14, it would be too damn hard to sell when it is less than a year old and already has over 20,000 miles. Not to mention that Kawasaki in Mexico has a warehouse full off overpriced '14 Versys they can't sell, so they won't be bringing the '15 any time soon... And when they do, it will be priced the same as the FJ-09, so...
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post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jmarleau View Post
<snip>

What vibration? I have owned an 08' and have driven a 13'. I have owned a few bikes over the years ranging from V twins, to inline fours, to single cylinders, and now parallel twins. You would have thought I would have noticed a problem that has "plagued everyone". Sounds like you got the sales pitch.

<snip>
This thread has a big discussion on it. All of the motorcycle mags mentioned it. I haven't ridden a Versys so I can't speak from experience.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=12652

2015 Versys 1000 LT

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post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 02:36 PM
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OK... This forum has a big discussion on it. All motorcycle magazines in the world are talking about it. So it must be true. I have had blinders on Kidder.

Oh yes, I have ridden the Versys before. Many, many miles. Both the 2007 - 2009 and the rubber mounted 2010 - 2014s. I will be testing the incredibly smooth 2015 soon, and I WILL get back to you.
I look forward to your totally unbiased review.

And, on another note, the new 2015 Versys 650 has a minimum requirement of 87 octane.

Page 62: http://www.kawasaki-techinfo.net/sho...8&lang_code=EN

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post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 04:50 PM
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My 2012 is about the smoothest bike I've ridden on, including almost all BMW's and a 93 Nighthawk 750 (and several others.) IMO, the problem is the 6 gear box requires you more so to be in the correct gear to eliminate engine oscillation effects. Shifting down immediately one or two gears will eliminate that instantly. In that Vs. Forum thread, Chris Brown said about the same thing and he is one of the smartest riders I've known (I quit reading there.)

I'm not saying it can be better, and I'm sure it is, but if people drive it like a 6-gear box should be, then it's all smiles and no bitching. Of course it's happens all the time, since it's hard to always be in the right gear with all the sh*t going on in the highway. But it's fixed in a down shift or two, and I am smiling again. And unless my bike is a special one of a kind Vs. 650, I think all of you have the same incredible bike. Sometimes (not always of course) big mags get guys and girls who have only been riding for 6 months to get a better audience representation (and of course, they are much much cheaper and just parrot what the boss says.)

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post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 10:12 AM
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I had a 2012 Versys 650 and loved it. Eventually, I upgraded the suspension, the brakes, and geared it up so the highway vibes were less intrusive. Are the vibes a deal-killer? No. But this is a small parallel twin with a 180-degree crank; it's going to have a certain amount of high-frequency vibration. It's the nature of the beast. (Yamaha's FZ-07, with 90 degrees between the crankpins, has a different kind of vibration, something between a parallel twin and a V-twin.) I never really minded the '12 bike's vibration, but it was always there. Sizzling through the tank. And the dash buzz! Fixable, but...really, Kawasaki?

I'll tell you, the smoother engine was the first thing I noticed on the 2015 bike. It's really much smoother thanks to that extra set of rubber mounts. Plus the bars are rubber mounted now. Kawasaki said in the press introduction that it wanted to take the Versys line a bit more toward the touring end and so these changes made sense. (Also explains why the bike wasn't put on a diet, but that costs money and the low MSRP of the bike is probably a fair exchange.)

The brakes aren't superbike spec but I could see being happy with them as is. I know a lot of Versys owners never upgrade brakes and are still happy. It's probably context for me. I ride so many different bikes that the Versys became an outlier. I had to do something, and did, but I wasn't super happy spending the money to fix what I felt was a basic shortcoming.

So for me the upgrades to the new bike are more than a sum of the parts. The better brakes, improved aero, reduced engine vibration, slightly roomier riding position, and the really nicely integrated luggage are all huge plusses for me. I really liked the previous bike. I _love_ this one.

Oh, Kawasaki did screw up one thing. If you fit swingarm spools and try to use your trusty Pit Bull stand...you'll find the stand's main bar interfering with the fender extension. And not by just a little. If the white bike I'm on stays in the fleet, I think it might just accidentally get backed into a hacksaw.
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post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 10:14 AM
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Is there a chance to get to read that article online? I'm from Europe, no idea where to buy that magazine.
Here you go.
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post #16 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 10:24 AM
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Marc,
Is there a possibility the new one might become a long term test bike?
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post #17 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 10:34 AM
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<snip>

Oh, Kawasaki did screw up one thing. If you fit swingarm spools and try to use your trusty Pit Bull stand...you'll find the stand's main bar interfering with the fender extension. And not by just a little. If the white bike I'm on stays in the fleet, I think it might just accidentally get backed into a hacksaw.
That sucks! Looks like this will be my first mod!

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post #18 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 10:58 AM
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Mr. Cook, I saw in the pics of the test in Sicily that there was a GPS mount on the 650. Can you shed some light on this? Is it a Kawasaki accessory? I don't see it listed on the Kawasaki USA site.

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post #19 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 11:52 AM
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That article is from December though. Will the new one be put on the website, too?
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post #20 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 03:19 PM
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Hi, Lambow. That was the story from the original press launch. We'll have more from an upcoming test soon.

And, yes, there's definitely a chance we'll keep one around as a long-termer.
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