Finally got my first ride on the Versys today !
Well, got my riding safety class done over the weekend. Then got my endorsement from the DMV yesterday. And it's rained sheets with gratuitous lightning until 2 PM this afternoon. But I caught a break and decided to sneak in a cruise around town as more storms were moving in.
Not counting the weekend time on a bike in a giant parking lot, this is the first time I've been on a road bike in 25 years.
You don't know fear on a Versys until you ride out of your buddies garage and then ride his quarter mile deep gravel driveway. Dang this bike is tall! And I have long legs.
Got out on the road and putted in to town. I didn't ride it hard but I didn't honor that ridiculous initial break-in RPM either. Just moved the RPM's around a bunch, switching gears if I was at steady speed for any time.
After whining about teetering in the gravel, I love how tall this bike is! If my eye caught something ahead that I noticed, I was able to sit up and look across cars. Awesome visibility.
Second thing I noticed is that the bike is really nimble. Not twitchy, but effortless moving around, changing lines, etc. It doesn't ride like a 450+ pound bike.
Meandered through town giving everyone the "check out this bike" parade wave. A Gixxer actually made a U-turn to run back and look at it. He had that WTH look in his eyes. Back through town and then ran both roads along the river. I so missed this.
Came around a soft curve and spotted my first serious road hazard. A flippin truck tire casing. Hey wait a minute. The casing is moving ! And low and behold I saw the biggest snapping turtle crossing the road. It was way bigger than a 55 gallon drum lid. I slowed traffic to a crawl and then to a stop to let the dude get across. At that size, he had to be older than dirt.
And then the clouds rolled in and the lightning started and my ride was cut off just when it was starting to get really good. I'll do rain on a bike. I don't do lightning.
My driving awareness today stank to high heaven. I was probably paying a little too much attention to what the bike was doing. I wasn't checking my mirrors often enough and caught myself twice day dreaming and or with target fixation.
I had no problem going on danger watch at intersections though. I just mentally prepared to die at every one. My head was spinning like Linda Blair.
No close calls or anything, other than one woman that looked me dead in the eye and still pulled in to my lane close enough to make grab some brake and ditch a gear.
I'm hoping that my lack of mental acuity was associated with just the first ride.
Oh, and here's something I learned when I drove home in my truck. It doesn't lean worth a crap in the turns ! I actually caught myself LEANING in turns. Made me literally laugh out load.
I love this bike. We are fitten" to get tight, as we say in East Tennesee. I have a couple of nits to pick but all are correctable.
This bike is tall. Scanning/visual sight is fantastic. It doesn't feel tall from a response perspective. The couple of mild leans I did were very predictable.
Ive ridden tall bikes in the past and I found them to be unnerving. Not the Versys. Once rolling, pure awesomeness.
Ergonomics are amazing! Comfy as can be. Two adjustments and it will be perfect for me.
I like the throttle response and I haven't even jumped on it hard. I had a couple aggressive starts in to traffic and blew by the posted speed limits before realizing it. I had to watch my speed.
The MRA Vario visor is the bomb. Enough wind to move air through my jacket, pants and helmet. Felt very minor buffeting at 47 mph or so, only on the top two inches of my helmet. I'm 5'11".Once I jump on the highway, we will see how it goes, but personally, I'm keeping the Vario.
The brakes feel a little soft for my taste. Some of this is likely perception, doing emergency braking drills much of Sunday a GW250. And I read someplace that ABS systems can feel a little softer than conventional. Now the rear brake lever is something Im going to have to adjust, correct or alter. That thing has more throw than a Stair Stepper. I felt like I was kick-starting the bike when engaging the rear brake.
Handlebars need to come toward me a quarter to half inch. Not sure if the bend will allow me to rotate then enough but we shall see.
Suspension is shockingly stiff for stock. When I sit on the bike, the rear doesn't settle more than 1/4 inch. No way this is set for a 150 pound person. I'm 185 when I'm not stuffing bacon in my face. I'll check suspension settings tomorrow. If I can't sort it easily, I'll find a suspension guru to sort me out. I don't want to ride a couch, but right now I can count the number of grains of rice that I run over.
Don't let the above fool you. I am upside down over this bike. It is even better than I thought it was going to be and I haven't even broke 50 miles on it.
I'll sneak a mini ride here and there until Friday. On Friday, I'm riding SOMEWHERE........ANYWHERE !
2014 Versys 650 in glorious Kawasaki Green
Last edited by Zoomie; 07-14-2015 at 08:22 PM.