'15 650 LT - First Weekend Impressions - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Puget Sound Area, Washington State
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
'15 650 LT - First Weekend Impressions

Finally - after waiting about 6 weeks for the bike to work its way from Puget Sound to the Port of Seattle to the dealership...I took delivery of my 650LT yesterday. As others have discovered, buying an LT means waiting for the bike...and then waiting more for the LT features - the bags and hand guards will be arriving later. Sometime.

Love the green color, you don't get a sense of the metallic sparkle factor until you see it in person (says my wife who describes it as"Iguana Green" in a complimentary fashion, even when I have pointed that it's more gecco or salamander or chameleon green...).

I rode it a bit in slowish Seattle traffic yesterday getting it home. Today, I went out for a few hours at different speeds, from windy slow spots to a little freeway time. I'm trying to stay close to the spirit of the Kawi break-in recommendations, but the sales rep at the dealership recommended working in a little MotoMan technique - so I've been varying throttle levels at various gears, letting it rev up to 6-7K before running back down to 3-4K (hard to do the break-in under 4K when the engine starts to lug and vibe at 3K !).

I'm coming from a Honda CBR250 - it was a great first bike for me.

ENGINE: I see how first-time-riders can get in trouble with a 650. The Versys will really get up and go in a heartbeat, with deceptive smoothness at mid-range gears. A little "thrummy" but smooth if that makes sense. The bike overall is just a touch buzzy but clearly better than the CBR.

HANDLING: A nice surprise, I've read some reviews that said it feels lighter than it is, and I have to agree. Handles slow-speed turns and curves better than the CBR did - a combo I believe of longer wheelbase, bigger tires, and great torque. No surprises, it's very predictable with the line through a turn. Even during the "slick" time of new tire scuffing, they feel just fine in dry conditions. I got caught off guard with one tight turn and the solid bite of the Dunlops took care of me. Rain coming up later this week.

Stable and well-planted on the pavement at freeway speed.

I need to tighten the front suspension just a bit - a little "divey" at some stops but otherwise the ride has been great.

RIDER POSITION/CONTROLS: More upright and a LOT higher than I'm used to. Yesterday I was a little concerned. Today, after the suspension and seat have broken in a touch, I'm pretty easily able to put balls of feet on the pavement (5 ft 11, 30ish inch inseam). Great view forward. The irregularly-shaped mirrors take some getting used to but they're growing on me, good view behind and beside you. The windscreen does a good job of preventing buffeting but as others have noted there is a LOT of wind noise unless you tuck down a bit, a result of the screen being more upright than the more slanted CBR. Earplugs will be much more common now. The seat slants down a touch at the front and tapers inward, so I find myself forward, wrapping the tank, in urban settings where I'll have feet up and down often. On the road, I move back, stretching out more. You do need to be careful at lights not to let it lean too much - that big tank does make it a little top-heavy so keeping a more vertical orientation is a must.

One issue - the LOCK position for the ignition key is hard to get to on occasion - it moves smoothly to it as you press down sometimes, and other times the key will not advance. Might drop a little silicone spray or some such thing in there.

Storage under the seat? Little toolkit there but anything else better be pretty darn small!

All in all - great bike! Really enjoy riding it and I'm looking forward to enjoying the more practical aspects of it for the commute when the bags arrive, as well as taking it on some longer jaunts. Three hours on the CBR was fun but tiring; the Versys just left me wanting to hop back on and go three more.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg VersysLT.jpg (67.0 KB, 219 views)
IslandBike is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 06:53 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Congrats! And thanks for the write up. Keep riding and recording your impressions. Interested to know if it keeps getting better for you. How many miles did you run up in the first two days? Got a trip planned anytime soon? What did your dealer say about break in?

Out
West
Out West is offline  
post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Puget Sound Area, Washington State
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanks!

Maybe about 100 miles? And even in that time the bike is smoothing out a bit. No trips planned. Yet

The sales rep was the one that said to push the break-in a bit, don't be as conservative as the manual says.
IslandBike is offline  
 
post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 08:13 PM
Member
 
saddlebag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Eutopia
Posts: 1,883
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandBike View Post
Finally - after waiting about 6 weeks for the bike to work its way from Puget Sound to the Port of Seattle to the dealership...I took delivery of my 650LT yesterday.
Congrats. Glad you're enjoying it. Just rolled 650 miles on mine today and changed the oil. Had a little under 500 yesterday and cleaned and lubed the chain. That's a chore I ain't had to do for a long time.
saddlebag is offline  
post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Puget Sound Area, Washington State
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I put some DuPont Chain Saver on today - might as well start early lol.

Found that both tires were woefully under inflated from the dealership so I brought them up to spec.

You know you're outta control when you look forward to getting up for work just to do the commute
IslandBike is offline  
post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 11:19 PM
Member
 
alba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 252
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Congrats on finally having it! Will have to do a Seattle Versys ride soon as there appears to be a lot of us these days
alba is offline  
post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Puget Sound Area, Washington State
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
OK, a real mixed bag ride today. Bike - pretty much all good. Really like it. And it got the "Mom" seal of approval (loves the green!).

Weather - reminds me of a line from the movie "Armageddon" on what will happen before Earth is destroyed.

"Pretty much the worst parts of the Bible"

A typical Seattle spring day. I rode the 650LT through sunshine, rain, hail, heavy gusty winds. Freeway traffic, city traffic, the Versys is really endearing itself to me.

Very stable even with gusty winds. My smaller sport bike configured CBR250 would get buffeted and leave me pretty tired out after a few hours. I was in the saddle for about 3 1/2 hours today and felt great. Very good protection from the wind and rain with the fairings and windscreen - still getting noise/helmet buffeting but my body is very well protected. Stayed warmer than usual given the lack of wind and rain hitting me. And I don't even have the hand guards attached yet.

Shifting smoothly, that feels very solid/intuitive. The neutral-first "kerTHUNK" that others describe? Yeah. It's there

Only issue I've noticed is that the bike LOVES to move. Stable, great tracker through curves, the stock tires did well in wet conditions today ( a little skitter on some tighter curves but a modest correction and it snaps into traction very well). Standing still, not so much - sitting at a stop light, the great height aspect (excellent visibility, comfortable ride) and the big gas tank ,which leaves the bike a bit top-heavy - they conspire to make me weave just a touch at takeoff from stops. Gotta be careful of the balance, too - we have a LOT of hills in Seattle and you do need to be at the top of your game regarding brake/clutch/gear/throttle manipulation at stoplights on an incline. Not hard to do, you just need to pay attention.

The stock seat...I'm still figuring out "THE" place to sit. My tush was a little tired out after a few hours. Sit back for distance riding? Snug up against the tank in the city? That's what I've been doing. Might just spring for a Corbin when they come out for the 2015. Time will tell.

So far so good - averaging about 50 MPG so far with a mix of road and riding conditions. Can't wait to get the hard bags on next week - they just arrived at the dealership. We'll mount the hand guards at the 600 mile checkup in a month or so.
IslandBike is offline  
post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 04:24 AM
Member
 
MaverickAus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
Posts: 2,039
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Garage
G'day, glad your enjoying the Versys. My bum used to get sore until I really started riding some longer distances and I also had mine reshaped at a local upholsterer. I have done an 8000 km and a 5000 km ride on mine and it's really comfortable. I also have rubber mounted bar risers and dropped my footpegs a little (The 2015 model has this already).
I like the green mine was only available in black so I had it painted green.





MaverickAus is offline  
post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Puget Sound Area, Washington State
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
My bum is happy to hear that we just need to give the seat a little break in time.

The bike looks very sharp in black, but I am certainly very partial to the green. Great paint job, It's a nice feeling to have a unique bike.
IslandBike is offline  
post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 02:34 PM
Member
 
IanThomas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: New Hampshire USA
Posts: 805
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Nice initial review of the bike. I hope you continue to enjoy it and write about your experiences.

- Ian Thomas
2013 Versys
IanThomas is offline  
post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Puget Sound Area, Washington State
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thank you. I was afraid people might be thinking "No, not another 650LT review"
IslandBike is offline  
post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Puget Sound Area, Washington State
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
OMG. "The Buzz" showed up yesterday, stop and go traffic, sitting at very low RPM idle I suddenly heard this belt sander start up....nope...just the cowl buzz. The seam around the display housing. Pinch it it's silent. But...holy cow that gets loud!

Off to Home Depot to get some spray can expandy-foam.
IslandBike is offline  
post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 03:10 PM
Member
 
saddlebag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Eutopia
Posts: 1,883
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickAus View Post
Sweet!
saddlebag is offline  
post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 08:10 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 735
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Congrats on the new ride. It will be fun to see your first mods or accessories. Keep us in pics. I had a sheepskin that I swap from my other bike, making the Versys seat workable. I stuck an extra thigh pad that came with my riding pants under the sheepskin towards the front, to relieve that "sliding into the tank" sensation.

You will get used to the height, and actually love it. It helps to see over traffic, and to "be seen" by cars. Keep your head on a swivel, ride safe.

Paul
unstable_rider is offline  
post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Puget Sound Area, Washington State
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
The buzz from hell has gone away today - of course, it waited until I bought the expanding foam spray can

I checked the suspension settings and found that things were not set to factory standard. I am 174 pounds, no extra cargo - even when I get the bags I'm not loading them down with much - so I went to factory settings and then went just a touch in the "heavier" direction for a little wiggle-room. Biggest difference was that I can get my feet a bit flatter on the pavement at stops. Haven't picked up a lot of handling difference right now. As I said before, the seat and I are still getting acquainted - staying more forward in the city, moving back on the highway.

Next plan is to do a quick oil drain and replace tomorrow - won't do a filter change, I'll assume it's doing its job for now - bags going on Tuesday. I'll probably at the 600 checkup in about 2-3 weeks. FYI for those that are new buyers, the dealership says that the first visit is about a 90 minute job. Mostly inspections, another oil/filter change, but no valve adjustments/etc.

Another observation - moving from a Honda 250 to the Versys, I suddenly have folks on KTM, Ducati, even a Moto Guzzi coming over and wanting to chat about the bike. I've "arrived" finally Well, the Versys has - I'm just along for the ride.
IslandBike is offline  
post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 01:51 AM
BKP
Member
 
BKP's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Garage
Congrats on the new bike... and thanks for the impressions.
Picking mine up on Monday... very psyched.
BTW, just a suggestion - I'd probably change the filter along with the oil at the 600 mile mark (I typically do it at the 50 mile mark with a new bike), if that's when you intend to do it. Your rings are seating in the first couple of hundred miles (sooner, if you do a hard break in, which I subscribe to), and most of the wearing in process during this time leaves minute metal particles in the oil... *lots* of them.... This is probably the *most* important time to change the filter (while you do the oil).
Again, thanks for the review... can never have enough...

Ride safe...
BKP is offline  
post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Puget Sound Area, Washington State
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

You're right - and if I happen across a filter tomorrow I'll snag it and replace as well. This is just an intermediate drain/refill, I'll be getting it done again in maybe 3 weeks at the 600 at the shop when they'll do the filter too. That oil looks nasty right now
IslandBike is offline  
post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 08:13 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 735
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Where or what did you do with the expanding foam spray???

inject the fairing someplace??
unstable_rider is offline  
post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Puget Sound Area, Washington State
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I didn't end up using it - the buzz went away and stayed away. If I do it it will be in the seam in the two black plastic framework surrounds for the instrument cluster.

Did the oil change - didn't do filter because I'll be at 600 in the next few weeks and I'll have the shop switch it out at that oil/filter change. Wow - filthy! Took it for a short ride after the change and maybe it's my imagination but shifting and general engine performance seem a touch smoother now. Nothing fancy - Castrol motorcycle 10W40. Oil level looks to be barely over top limit, I'll ride to work tomorrow (short trip) and check it again and if need be get a syringe and suck some out.

Didn't have a torque socket handy - never lend tools not even to family lol - so I tightened the drain plug to snug and about a 1/4 turn more. Again, they'll do it to spec in a few weeks at the first maintenance. You can tell why they call it a "crush washer" - the initial SNAP of loosening then off it comes. And I could certainly sense the squeeze resistance as I snugged down. Enough. Not too much. Goldilocks level of torque
IslandBike is offline  
post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 10:08 PM
Super Moderator
 
fasteddiecopeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kelowna, BC - summer; Florence, AZ - winter
Posts: 17,837
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandBike View Post
I didn't end up using it - the buzz went away and stayed away. If I do it it will be in the seam in the two black plastic framework surrounds for the instrument cluster.

Did the oil change - didn't do filter because I'll be at 600 in the next few weeks and I'll have the shop switch it out at that oil/filter change. Wow - filthy! Took it for a short ride after the change and maybe it's my imagination but shifting and general engine performance seem a touch smoother now. Nothing fancy - Castrol motorcycle 10W40. Oil level looks to be barely over top limit, I'll ride to work tomorrow (short trip) and check it again and if need be get a syringe and suck some out.

Didn't have a torque socket handy - never lend tools not even to family lol - so I tightened the drain plug to snug and about a 1/4 turn more. Again, they'll do it to spec in a few weeks at the first maintenance. You can tell why they call it a "crush washer" - the initial SNAP of loosening then off it comes. And I could certainly sense the squeeze resistance as I snugged down. Enough. Not too much. Goldilocks level of torque
You can buy 1/2" copper washers at O'Reilleys and Napa for pretty cheap.

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


'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
Ride to D2D 2013, June '13

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


Ride to D2D 2015, June '15

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


Ride to D2D 2016, June '16

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