1 new V, 1 mod, 3 weeks, 3.1k miles - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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1 new V, 1 mod, 3 weeks, 3.1k miles

I've been lurking around here for some time, posting only a little, as I first researched the idea of buying a Versys and then decided that was definitely the way I wanted to go. Some time ago, I decided I'd be happier if I never owned another bike over 500 pounds, but I wanted a light sport-tourer I could fit with hard bags and wouldn't break the bank. In the end, the Versys was clearly the best bang for the buck that I could find.

After shopping around, I bought a leftover new 2009 blue Versys for $4900 plus title fee and such, getting out the door, including 6.5% sales tax, for a shade under $5,350. Typically, I buy year-old used bikes to take full advantage of depreciation, but in this case, the deals on new leftovers were so good I couldn't find a used bike that seemed to make sense. My condolences to anyone trying to sell a used bike in the current economy.

I dallied long enough that I had to rush to buy the bike and get it equipped before a long-planned trip from my home in Ohio to Maine, with stops in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania for a variety of commitments, both business and pleasure. I called sporttour.com first thing Tuesday morning the day after Memorial Day to make sure they had in stock what I needed and in about 27 hours I had my Givi bags and rack. Couldn't ask for better service. A few hours later, I had time to mount the racks and bags.



Mounting the rack was simple. What took longer was getting the turn signals relocated. But the end result was what I wanted. I considered the V35 bags, because I really like the looks of them with the color-matched panels, but preferred the narrower width of the E21s and the top-loading feature. I know you've all seen this before (an entire thread devoted to E21s), but here's a rear shot of how they look with the turn signals relocated.



With that, and 521 break-in miles in the first week, so I could do the initial oil and filter change, the Versys was ready for its first trip.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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The outgoing trip to my turn-around point in Maine didn't provide a lot of time for sightseeing, but the return trip allowed enough time to stay almost exclusively on two-lane roads, hit some good riding, and do some photography.

A few highlights:

I took a detour onto Bear Notch Road just off the Kancamaugus Highway in New Hampshire.



Of course I had to take the scenic route and ride NY 97 through Hawk's Nest and cross the Delaware into northeastern Pennsylvania on the historic Roebling Bridge.



I gave the Versys a short breather on the road up to Hyner View State Park in central Pennsylvania.


Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Final stats for the trip were 2,610.0 miles and average gas mileage of 49.9 mpg, so I'm quite pleased that I have indeed created the lightweight, economical sport-tourer I wanted. Normally, I'm not a farkle hound. My other two bikes are largely stock. But I do plan some more mods to the Versys: heated grips, maybe handguards, swingarm spools to ease maintenance, maybe a different seat or seat mods. I've been researching all of the above on this site over the past few months, so thanks to all of you who have shared advice.

Tomorrow will be three weeks since I bought the bike and it has 3,149 miles on it. That pace won't continue, of course, but I do expect the Versys to be my traveling motorcycle for a long time to come.

It's only been three weeks, but I'm happy to say my Versys has already been to the ends of the earth.


Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 11:13 PM
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Awesome post and pics. I sure hope you keep racking on the miles though.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 11:33 PM
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Bike looks great, and so does that road

My Album:
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 05:25 AM
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Keep the good ride coming and thanks for sharing.
Awesome pictures/roads.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 05:56 AM
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Nice journy, great pictures to, glad you are enjoying it.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 07:58 AM
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You are certainly doing it right.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 10:30 AM
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Nice pics, roads look awesome!


Oh, and it's about time!!!



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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 11:02 AM
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what they all said...

John in AZ
'08 Versys
'11 Victory Cross Roads

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 01:48 PM
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Outstanding looking road and bike!! How did your tires hold up? oem's?


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Fishing and riding,doesn't get any better!!


2009 Lime green Versys
Baldwin reg. saddle w/lime grn. thread and gel insert
Hepco & Becker crash bars
Givi side carriers w/ E21's
Fenda Extenda
Motowerk foot peg lowering blocks & mirror extenders
cut tail fender
black lower panels
Mikesshields Gran Touring, clear
Alaskan Leather Pillion 1 buttpad (trip use only)
Sw-Motech 20mm riser

Versys gone..replace with Victory Hammer
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the positive comments from everyone. Now that I actually HAVE a Versys, I may have more to contribute to the forum.

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Originally Posted by Bear on a bicycle View Post
Oh, and it's about time!!!
True, true.

Sometimes I tend to overthink things, I admit. I've been thinking about a do-it-myself lightweight sport-tourer for two years.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Outstanding looking road and bike!! How did your tires hold up? oem's?
Still wearing the Dunlop D221s it had in the showroom (fortunately -- I'd hate to have to replace tires within the first three weeks of ownership). The front shows almost no noticeable wear, the rear is just very slightly squared off in the center from the highway miles, but it doesn't look like it's anywhere close to being halfway used up. The temperatures were below average during all but one day of the trip, so that probably contributed to reduced tire wear.

I know some people complain about the stock tires, but I really have no complaints. I think the tires are as capable as the bike.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 11:33 PM
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I always loved the top load cases...no jazz just function. Suits the "V" well.
Blue was my first love too...BTW.
That is until a green stool my heart.

Awesome combo!
Your Blue's lookin' Fine indeed.

to the "Verse", "Moto'.
Happy Trails.


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Aerodynamically sound since 1959. So says the good folk @ Lockheed, Atlanta GA.
The KLE 650 VERSYS: It can't replace the Love of a good woman but...
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My Bike is my solitude amongst the multitudes

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"Wounds heal, chicks dig scars...Glory, lasts forever!"
TRUE PATRIOTS QUESTION EVERYTHING
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 11:39 PM
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Nice pics! I'm going up to pennsylvania from texas next week but sadly I have to take the car.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 12:21 AM
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NIce roads and super ride, Motociclista.

and Many, many more to come...

My V Blog:
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Ride safe,
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 10:01 PM
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That is called "living the dream."
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagehand38 View Post
I always loved the top load cases...no jazz just function. Suits the "V" well.
Blue was my first love too...BTW.
That is until a green stool my heart.
I would have been happy with green, too. I almost flipped a coin.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 11:17 PM
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I see you took my advice on the Bear Notch road (sporttour.net).....hope it worked out for you. I'm seriously considering a move to a new Versys.

BTW, was there any particular reason why you chose Givi racks opposed to SW Motech? Just asking for future reference.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
I see you took my advice on the Bear Notch road (sporttour.net).....hope it worked out for you. I'm seriously considering a move to a new Versys.

BTW, was there any particular reason why you chose Givi racks opposed to SW Motech? Just asking for future reference.
I did take your advice and it did work out. Thanks again. There were hordes of motorcycles on the Kanc because of Laconia, but nobody on Bear Notch, and personally I consider it a lot more fun.

No serious reason I chose the Givi rack over the SW Motech, just personal preference. The Versys is not my only bike, so I don't worry about being able to return it to baggage-free status quickly. I have two other bikes with no luggage, and I plan to leave the bags on the Versys all the time. So since the quick-release SW Motech offered no advantage for me, I went with the bolted-on Givi rack, which might provide a very slight advantage in security.

I don't think you'd go wrong either way.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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