Kawasaki Versys Forum - View Single Post - NY to Alaska
Thread: NY to Alaska
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
Lee R
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12,101 miles, 3 rear tires, 1 front tire and I'm on my 3rd chain (replaced 2 on the way). The stock seat with a sheepskin and airhawk was comfy enough but the knees were in pain after 8 hours or so. Highway pegs or lowered pegs are in my future as my right knee still hurts after the trip. 27 days total average 448 miles a day.

Versys had no issues other than OEM chain toast at 8500 miles, replacement toast at 4500 miles after that and 3rd chain is probably toast early. Lubed every 500 miles or so. I think it's the stock front sprocket rubber bushing causing a lot of extra heat wearing out the o-rings early. The chains are hot to touch initially vs warm and you can see the wear on the chain from the bushing. For anyone using the stock chain be warned and carry an extra if you don't want the overpriced dealer option. First replacement (all they had in prince george) was the exact same DID chain as OEM. Wore out very fast. Currently an EK SRO6 on it now which is a budget o ring chain but all that was available. All adjusted in loose end of spec. Prior bikes went 15-25k per chain so this is kind of shocking for me to see chains go this fast.

Only other issue for the 3 bikes was a flat in south dakota from a 3" screw in the NC-700 rear tire. Mushroom plug kit couldn't seal it so it took 3 of the slime ropes to keep air in the tire. That got us to the black hills (200 miles) for a replacement rear as it would lose air fast in corners. I'm keeping those slime ropes in the stop and go kit from now on.

I didn't ride up to Prudhoe bay on the Dalton as I just find the Versys too punishing to ride over rough stuff unless you go very slow which I didn't have time for on this trip. My buddy made it up and back in less than two days on his Super Tenere averaging freeway speeds (he races motorcross). Doable on Versys with knobby's and keeping the speeds down but the suspension travel is for the street and it'll take a beating.

Overall the 650 did pretty good, not the best highway bike at 75 as it gets pushed around a lot more than 1000cc heavier bikes but it's got plenty of power for it. Gas mileage was about .25-.5 gallons less than the Tenere and .5 more than the NC700 most of the time. Around 40-58mpg depending on speeds. The Tenere gets amazing mpg for a 1200 but uses premium. @38-51 for the Tenere. Below 60 the lower cc bikes get much better MPG, at highway speeds it's very close but the NC700 and Versys use 87 which is a large price difference over 12k miles.

I used Avon Spirit ST to get to whitehorse, these are amazing tires. Fully loaded the Rear was wearing for 8k miles (super rough roads up there remember) and the Front easily could have done the entire trip had a imbalanced rear tire not caused it to wear strange, probably 15-20k miles at it's wear rate. I'll be running a lot more Avon's in the future. I liked them more than Pilot Road 4's. Replacements were Continental Trail Attack 3's which were not great, the rear wore out in 4500 miles, the front is still on and wearing well but very loud. Last rear was a Shinko 644 to get me home, wearing reasonably for a more sport tire and no complaints in rain or dry. It'll last about as long as the stock Dunlop.

Stock Kawasaki Luggage is very good, no leaks no complaints.

The charging system handled charging two battery packs (10k mah and 25k mah) and my heated gear (jacket and gloves) with no complaints. I used the packs to charge my DSLR, phone, Sena headset, flashlight and Inreach for the trip.

I used a KLIM Hardanger one peice for the trip and it's excellent. Keeps the rain out and great ventilation. It's not as tough as the Aerostich but far better ventilation. Comparable in materials to the Aerostich light version.

I'll get some pictures of the trip in this thread once I get a bit more free time to process them.
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Last edited by Lee R; 07-04-2019 at 11:00 AM.
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