On the fence - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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On the fence

Hi All --

I've been reading (and occasionally posting) here for a few weeks. I'm a new rider (just completed my BRC) in my mid-thirties. I've been looking very seriously at the Versys, but I'm starting to have a couple doubts.

My primary concern is this: I'm *very* tall: 6' 11". No, that's not a typo: One inch short of 7'. I sat on the Versys a month ago, and yesterday. The only difference is about 10 hours of practical BRC training. I started looking at the V because of the styling (which I like very much) and the high seat height.

Last year (long before I heard of the V) I rode my good friend's KLR650 for a few minutes. I didn't think too much about it, having no point of reference. Yesterday, after feeling my way around the Versys pegs for several minutes, I sat on the KLR... what a world of difference! I sat pleasantly upright, had no problems on the pegs, reaching the gear shifter or rear breaks. I didn't feel crunched up, at all. The problem is, I don't like the look of the KLR650 at all, and I have no interest in off-road riding. (I'm looking for an urban commuter, with occasional twisties.)

It was when I compared the comfort of the KLR to the seating position on the Versys that I really started to have serious doubts. I'm ready, cash in hand, and I'm putting on the breaks until I'm sure I'm not going to make an $8,000+ mistake (price out the door, inc. ext warranty).

Any advice anyone here can give is warmly appreciated! I'm not a brand-snob. I'm just looking for something in my budget (V was at the top), which fits, which I like the look of.

Thanks, all!

Jesse
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 03:02 AM
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I am 6'8" and I got my V last month. I ride it every day as a commuter and I love it. I am comfortable and the bike is agile and responsive. I am very satisfied with my purchase and I am sure to have this bike for some time. If you are in doubt just read through this forum. Everyone that owns a V loves it.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by thegrandwazoo View Post
I am 6'8" and I got my V last month. I ride it every day as a commuter and I love it. I am comfortable and the bike is agile and responsive. I am very satisfied with my purchase and I am sure to have this bike for some time. If you are in doubt just read through this forum. Everyone that owns a V loves it.

Thanks for the feedback! I do see how everybody loves it. (Though, admittedly, a pre-filtered group here, no?) I've read... a dozen reviews, and scarcely have seen an unkind word.

You're 6' 8" and have no problems? I've read a couple people here complain that the pitch of the seat causes them to be pushed forward. (One even described how he put a rolled up towel at the front of the seat to keep himself pushed back.) After sitting on the bike, I can kind of see that. No problems for you? (I almost wish I could sit in the passenger seat!)

When I sat on the Versys, I was wearing shorts and sandals -- not boots and jeans, as I would when riding. Still, it took a bit of fiddling to get my left foot under the shifter, and to keep off the rear brake. I'm not fat, per say, but I'm not bony, either. On the V my legs felt like they might be a little cramped after 15 minutes. (Also, I didn't feel like I would have the ability to easily rise off my seat for a bump in the road, etc.)

I'll be honest: What you say is music to my ears. I'd love it to all work out, and not have problems. I'm just having a bit of PTSD, remembering back to high school, wedging my size 16 feet into a pair of UK size 15 Dr. Martins. They looked great, but the agony! And, at $8k....

Out of curiosity, have you ever sat on / rode the KLR 650?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 03:32 AM
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Yeah the seat does pitch you forward but until I can make a modification or buy an aftermarket seat like the Corbin I just kinda squeeze the tank with my legs works just fine. I wear a 13/14 shoe and after a about a week I was shifting and breaking with no problem. As far as raising up off the seat I have not experienced a need to do that but I don't think it would be to much of an issue. The longest ride I have taken is about 45 minutes and I feel the rider triangle is just about perfect for me no cramps or feeling tired.

No I have not had an opportunity to ride the KLR. The V was the only bike in my sights.

Last edited by thegrandwazoo; 07-13-2008 at 03:34 AM.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Yeah the seat does pitch you forward but until I can make a modification or buy an aftermarket seat like the Corbin I just kinda squeeze the tank with my legs works just fine. I wear a 13/14 shoe and after a about a week I was shifting and breaking with no problem. As far as raising up off the seat I have not experienced a need to do that but I don't think it would be to much of an issue. The longest ride I have taken is about 45 minutes and I feel the rider triangle is just about perfect for me no cramps or feeling tired.

I was checking out the Corbin seats tonight. They have a Versys seat on their website now. It doesn't look like they've really addressed the pitch problem. (I see a little bump in the front, but not much.) I guess there's only so much they can do.

My dream V seat would be one which eliminates the 2-up position and puts a seat somewhere about 1/3rd back from where it is now. Ok... back to reality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrandwazoo View Post
No I have not had an opportunity to ride the KLR. The V was the only bike in my sights.
Yeah, me too. I've been fixed on it for a while. I feel like me rational brain just whacked my reptilian brain with a socket wrench. Now, it's on! Will the reptilian brain beat back the forces of evil practicality and caution? You won't know until you see me on a V, or a used KLR. (*sigh*)

-Jesse-
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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I am 6'8" and I got my V last month. I ride it every day as a commuter and I love it. I am comfortable and the bike is agile and responsive.


I was wondering -- do you have any picures of yourself on the bike? I'm curious how your legs look in profile.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 09:34 AM
 
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I'm 6'8" and a V rider as well. I came from a much smaller Kawasaki EX-500, Ninja 500, to a Versys because of seat height only. The EX-500 had a much sportier riding position and at first I hated the seating position of the V, but once I test rode it a few times I fell in love. I sit with my lower back/but all the way back against the rise in the seat for the passenger and rarely ever do I have issues sliding forward besides with heavy engine breaking. Now take into account that my longest trip thus far on the V is only 36 miles. My bike has a little over 500 miles on it.

If you do decide to go with the V and it gets a little cramped I have had some people suggest Vario Pegs with eight positions available that can give you an inch or so of space.

What's your inseam? I think thats more important than height. I am measured 37 1/4".
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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I'm 6'8" and a V rider as well. I came from a much smaller Kawasaki EX-500, Ninja 500, to a Versys because of seat height only. The EX-500 had a much sportier riding position and at first I hated the seating position of the V, but once I test rode it a few times I fell in love. I sit with my lower back/but all the way back against the rise in the seat for the passenger and rarely ever do I have issues sliding forward besides with heavy engine breaking. Now take into account that my longest trip thus far on the V is only 36 miles. My bike has a little over 500 miles on it.

If you do decide to go with the V and it gets a little cramped I have had some people suggest Vario Pegs with eight positions available that can give you an inch or so of space.

What's your inseam? I think thats more important than height. I am measured 37 1/4".

Thanks for the feedback!

You got some long legs there, my friend! My inseam is about 36 1/2". If you don't mind me asking, what's your build? I'm medium/large (waist 44", with a little pudge in the middle).

I'll check out the Vario pegs. Do you have a link to a particular product?

A test drive would seal the deal (one way or another), but that seems impossible in New York City.

Do you have any pics of you on the bike? Particularly, I'm curious about your leg length and angle at the knee and ankle.

Warmest,

-Jesse-
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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I am a large man for 6'8", I wear a size 44" waist as well and weighing in at 290lbs. I carry about 20% body fat so its not all fat but my center is pretty rotund.

I don't have any pictures of myself on my V and I am still waiting (4 weeks and counting now) to get mine back from the dealership, I slide out on some gravel and there is a part on backorder, I will gladly snap a shot for you if I get it back in the next week or so.

As for the Vario Adjustable Pegs, Waxrash was kind enough to post a link to them in a different thread of this forum. I haven't tried them myself but I think if I ever do any longer touring they will be purchased for some more leg room. Here is the link:

http://forums.kawasakiversys.com/sho...io+pegs&page=2
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 11:13 AM
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KLR vs Versys????

The KLR is a great bike for its purpose, which is b-road carving and fire road trips but it is not a highway cruiser. The versys is as comfortable at 120km/h as it is at 50. I just purchased mine 3 weeks ago and already have 1300+km on it and I find myself looking for excuses to ride it more and more. The KLR is a taller, softer bike, but it has limitations to its usefulness. It is good on gas, cheap to own and insure and buy, but it is an all purpose bike. It doesn't do anything spectacular, isn't fast, isn't great on corners, isn't great looking, isn't great off-road or on pavement, but it doesn't do any of these badly either. The KLR is like the ok looking chick when it's last call at the pub. She's willing to do just about anything, but hard to get excited about.
The Versys is similar in some respects. There are faster bikes, better cornering bikes, bikes more suited to commuting compfort (eg. the V-Strom 650) but the Versys does everything very well. It corners beautifully, is inexpensive to maintain and insure and own, looks teriffic, is plenty fast and can do just about any duty called for. Add bags, its a highway cruiser. Put tires like the Pirelli Scorpions on it and its nearly a dirt bike. Where the KLR doesn't do anything badly, the Versys does everything well.
If you can get over the seat issue with a few mods like adjustable pegs, taller windshield or modded suspension, I think that the Versys would be a terrific buy. If not, there is always the Triumph Tiger 1050.

Last edited by Mjr.Rage; 07-14-2008 at 11:57 AM.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 12:53 PM
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I can feel your pain, although your situation with looooong legs is exactly the opposite from mine!

The link below is for Spencer seat mods. Many riders over on the BTK Kawasaki forum have had great luck with seats modified by him, and his prices are extremely competitive. If I were in your shoes, I'd drop him a line with your questions about possible mods for the Versys seat.

I'll bet a modified seat and possibly the adjustable pegs mentioned above would tailor the bike to your body size quite nicely, and at less total cost than for those of us who need a lower seat.

www.greatdaytoride.com

"Living the Dream... One Day at a Time"
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 09:01 PM
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Here is a pic of me on the V. It should give you some idea of position.


Last edited by thegrandwazoo; 07-14-2008 at 10:52 PM.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 10:03 PM
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I don't want to talk you out of the Versys, 'cause I think it's a better bike for what you want it for.... but for size, you might want to check out the BMW G 650 Xmoto since you're considering the KLR 650. A friend of mine just bought one and loves it. It sits about 2" taller than the Versys. Caveats are that it's X-pensive, ($9100), the seat is even less comfortable than the Versys, it has a single cylinder so it's not as smooth, and it's a BMW, (can you say "expensive parts/repairs"). Actually after thinking about it, I think the KLR is a better bike, and especially for the money. Put some street tires on it and be the only fully on-road KLR rider on your block.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 01:17 AM
 
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Hey Wazoo,
As a big guy to a big guy question... what type of jacket are you sporting there? I have a XXXXLT Tourmaster Intake that I bought two seasons ago, it fit great back then but I am 30lbs lighter and looking for something with sleeve length and doesn't billow in the wind.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 01:28 AM
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http://www.firstgear-usa.com/fgweb2....1?opendocument

I wear 3XL and it fits loose to snug depending on how I cinch it up. It is great here in Phoenix when temps get to be 110F/43C. Heavy but good air flow it only really sucks at a stop light. :-P

Last edited by thegrandwazoo; 07-15-2008 at 01:38 AM.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 01:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mjr.Rage View Post
I just purchased mine 3 weeks ago and already have 1300+km on it and I find myself looking for excuses to ride it more and more.


I think you need excuses to NOT ride your Versys rather than to ride it
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 02:17 AM
 
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So.. I've in the past 2 weekends, done about 700km ( Miles or something like that) and these included sporty runs, long distance, home-work-home travel, and even a dirt trail adventure.

All done on a Stock Kawasaki Versys

- Sporty Runs

I have not yet pushed to max RPM but have managed to get a true top speed of about 190 km/h, the Versys can summon more power from the 649cc P-Twin engine but i wouldn't suggest it until you are totally and 100% in charge and confident in your riding skill. She rides really beautifully at this speed, the engine sounds awesome, vibration is almost non-existent and COG and weight balance seem to be very well engineered. In-fact, i was racing a ZX9 through medium traffic, whizzing between traffic at around 160-170 km/h and beat the socks out of the ZX9 just because of the power in 6th gear between 5k and 8.5k and the ease at which the bike handles in and out. Or maybe i was just lucky...Mmmmm

-Long Distance

The V is a dream at long distance, the stock seat for me is perfect! Yes, we don't all have the same butt size or are not as fat as others :P but there are alot worse seats out there, alot! So don't let posts like "the seat sucks man" put you off...These are usually guys who have been riding for 10's of years and know exactly what they want. Engine handles perfectly, stock tyres are good enough, fuel economy is good but I'll get back to this...

BUT

You will need a aftermarket windshield !! The stock windshield is good enough for the city and day to day riding, but long distance will tire you out very quickly as your constantly fighting the wind turbulence, this it seems also to affect fuel economy as it obviously causes alot of drag but all-in-all It's an all-round great touring bike ! and i would recommend it over the Wee storm any-day.

-Home-work-home travel

What can i say, Perfection...

-Dirt Trail

Ok, so this bikes not made for Dirt and I'm not saying it cant be modified for Dirt, but i had great fun.

So, as said many many times before, You will need a Aftermarket Windshield !! And other than this the world is your doorstep.

This is not so much a technical review but a personal review of what i experienced.





Last edited by Hanebil; 07-15-2008 at 02:41 AM. Reason: Meh...
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