Bringing the Versys to the track this weekend - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Bringing the Versys to the track this weekend

Since I have room in my trailer, I'm going to bring, prep and ride the Versys on the track for a session or two this weekend. I'll be riding at VIR's South Course. I'll spend most of the time on my Gixxer, but the group said I could go ahead and tech two bikes, so I'll give the Versys a couple of sessions to see how it does.

Wish me luck!

Don
"ride more, worry less"
2005 Suzuki GSXR1000 (slightly bent) - Track
2000 Honda VFR800 - Street
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 08:41 AM
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Right on !! I look forward to hearing how the V performs....
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 08:59 AM
 
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Sounds like a blast! I know I can hit the tight turns and switchbacks harder/faster on the Versys than on my VTR.... and I still have the stock tires on the V.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 07:22 PM
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You gotta post some pics!

"When It Rains, Get Wet"
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 09:23 PM
 
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I went to a trackday at Little Talladegha Grand Prix and was so tempted to take it out there. Let us know how it handles out there and post pics.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 03:16 AM
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Had my V out on the Kilarney race track in Cape Town last weekend. I went along with the BMW club (tons of GS' and Dakars). I was one of two Kawas there, other one was a ninja.

Waiting for the fotos of the day to become available, then I'll pull some this way as well.

The V was sweet on the track, I left there feeling so much more confident in what my V can do if I let it

08' Diablo Black Kawasaki Verys
98' 3.0L V6 Colt Rodeo D/C (Engine rebuilt, Body lift, Monroe Shocks, 32" Wrangler MTR's, GME GX300)

Work hard, play harder. --Bob
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 05:30 AM
 
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That is awesome!!! I would love to get my V. on the track, it would do wonders for feeling out where the limits are... though, I must admit, I've done a great deal of that on the street. But the track is a whole different animal. You get to hit the same corners over and over and build everything up, and in an environment that is constant. Mos def would love pictures when you get them!!!
Aus,
Erik!!!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob View Post
The V was sweet on the track, I left there feeling so much more confident in what my V can do if I let it
I knew this bike would rip on the track much like the SV 650. Thats one of the reasons I got it. I heard that former AMA superbike rookie of the year Brian Livengood uses a Versys for endurance races. It is a fully capable track tool. Now I gotta get a track day in.

"When It Rains, Get Wet"

Last edited by antman325; 08-23-2008 at 03:21 PM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 06:02 PM
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How was the track Don? Did you make it to VIR this weekend?

"When It Rains, Get Wet"
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 04:08 AM
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not to hijack thread, but turns out pics of the BMW track day I had the V at will be slow in the coming Apparently the usual photographer (CircuitChaser) wasn't there, the other guy with a big lens was a professional photographer but a friend of one of the guys there, hoping to get hands on the fotos once guy makes them available to his friend.

See here (No V in sight though )
BMW forum after the track day

I see my buddy requested pics of the V on the track but no comebacks yet.

08' Diablo Black Kawasaki Verys
98' 3.0L V6 Colt Rodeo D/C (Engine rebuilt, Body lift, Monroe Shocks, 32" Wrangler MTR's, GME GX300)

Work hard, play harder. --Bob
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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I'm back and the Versys did great at the track. It actually did better than my Gixxer 1000, but I've been chasing brake problems with that bike for a whole season and this past weekend was no different. In fact, I packed up early and came home at lunchtime on the first day.

Back to the Versys, it did quite well. We were riding on the smaller VIR South course. There is a fairly long straight that runs uphill. While the speedo on my Gixxer would regularly show well into the 160s, the Versys maxed out at an indicated 115 mph. I definitely had the the slowest motorcycle in a straight line, but I was not the slowest motorcycle on the track by any means. It is fun to have a motorcycle on the track where you can basically turn in, crack the throttle to put some weight on the rear and then just go WFO at the apex. Fun!

For braking, I was expecting fairly poor performance because they seem fairly weak on the street. A nice healthy progressive tug on the brakes produced very good stopping performance. Here, the softer initial bite of the brakes allowed weight to transfer before the majority of the braking force was applied. Stopping from only 115 was not taxing and I experienced no fade during the 20 minute session.

The suspension is very soft on the Versys, so being smooth is a BIG plus in transitions. There is a hairpin turn on the back side of the course that leads to gentle right hand turn transitioning to an uphill left hand turn. If I rode aggressively through the transition the motorcycle would bob and weave through this section. By riding in "rain-mode" I was able to transition in a much smoother manner and keep everything composed. This would make an excellent rain riding (racing?) trainer.

The Versys also turns in with very little effort. I was able to ride hard from the drop of the hat and felt like I could drain a whole tank of gas at a time. On my Gixxer, riding in August), I'm soaking wet after 20 minutes. The Versys was a pleasure!

On my second lap, I was scraping pegs on both sides and having a ball. As an FYI, you still have a 1/2" (~1 cm) of tire tread once the pegs start to scrape. I was not able to drag a knee on Versys because of (1) short legs and (2) only one session with peg feelers still installed. I may try again at my next trackday.

The tires were fine and I didn't even lower the pressures to track-appropriate levels.

So, In summary, the Versys was a ball to ride at the track. Plus, faster riders won't feel pressured into a banzai hairball pass because they know as soon as the road straightens out, they can just blow by.

Pics as soon as they are available, I promise!

Don
"ride more, worry less"
2005 Suzuki GSXR1000 (slightly bent) - Track
2000 Honda VFR800 - Street
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 10:22 AM
 
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Very cool! Just an observation.... at only 155Lbs, I have less than 1 cm chicken strips left and have never scraped the pegs... (yet) I do tend to hang off a tad to the inside too though
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 03:21 PM
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Thanks for the report! Sounds like a fun time!!



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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 06:23 PM
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Your write up was awesome Don! I cant wait to get on the track now thanks to you. Do you moonlight for Motorcyclist or what?

"When It Rains, Get Wet"
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 08:59 PM
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BTW, how many miles on your tires when you did your trackday?

"When It Rains, Get Wet"
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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I had about 1800 miles on my tires and had a blast. I think sticky tires would tax the soft suspension even more.

Don
"ride more, worry less"
2005 Suzuki GSXR1000 (slightly bent) - Track
2000 Honda VFR800 - Street
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 04:40 PM
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That settles it... North Florida in October.

"When It Rains, Get Wet"
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Let the peg scraping begin!

Don
"ride more, worry less"
2005 Suzuki GSXR1000 (slightly bent) - Track
2000 Honda VFR800 - Street
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-03-2008, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Bummer! Picsofyou.com had a hard-drive crash so all the pictures have been lost!

That settles it, I'll have to do another trackday on the Versys to get some pictures.

Don
"ride more, worry less"
2005 Suzuki GSXR1000 (slightly bent) - Track
2000 Honda VFR800 - Street
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 02:19 AM
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no news on pictures from my side either, suxor

I really wanted pics of me and my V on the track..... it's not vanity... it's appreciation

08' Diablo Black Kawasaki Verys
98' 3.0L V6 Colt Rodeo D/C (Engine rebuilt, Body lift, Monroe Shocks, 32" Wrangler MTR's, GME GX300)

Work hard, play harder. --Bob
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