Basic maintenance tips for a complete newbie? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Basic maintenance tips for a complete newbie?

Hey everyone!

Please forgive my complete lack of knowledge and experience with motorcycles. Last I handled bikes I was 12, had some crazy 2-stroke dirt bikes that I never cared for myself.

So any tips on what I should do on a regular basis that doesn't require mechanic knowledge or lots of tools? CAn I lube the chain myself for instance? How often?

I just had the bike fully serviced 2 weeks ago when I bought it used (and they said it was in great shape).

Any help appreciated. Thanks!!

// Martin

2008 Red Versys, 10K miles
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 02:34 PM
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Check Tire Pressure,Oil Level Daily or everytime before you ride.

Also you can lube your chain every two weeks to 30 days with chain wax



This a good start
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 02:40 PM
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Here is one of many links to the manual.
http://rapidshare.com/files/14466166/versys_manual.pdf
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=2846
This engine is low maintenance compared to the old two strokes. Just check your fluids occasionally, and like Southbark said, chain and tires are the essentials. I am no mechanic either, and I have had 10,000 trouble free miles. I do recommend getting at minimum a rear wheel stand, Harbor Freight has one for 39 bucks that works.

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Last edited by Element; 04-22-2010 at 04:18 PM.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 05:20 PM
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Rear stand

I haven't yet had the occasion to use my bike stand yet but me thinks I'm gonna want some knowledgable spare hands around before I try it on my own...Perhaps I'll try it on the lawn to prevent damage the first few times.....with the stand on a patio stone.....maybe not? Nobody likes those type of mishaps(slow and painfull) messing up their new bike!CHEERS

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 06:11 PM
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If you store it for a extended period without riding - put a cover over the muffler - critters love to crawl in. It can be as simple as a plastic storage baggie with a rubber band...


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 06:39 PM
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Martin - Look up Machog or one of the other Pugetopolis members and see what they do (and what tools they have been using successfully). It'll make your life a lot easier when you see how simple all the basic maintenance this bike requires is.

Gustavo


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 07:50 PM
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Martin,

Here is the link to the MSF Motorcycle links list.

http://www.msf-usa.org/index_new.cfm...gename=Library


The T-CLOCS list is a comprehensive checklist of simple things every motorcyclist should check on the bike before they ride. There is also information for new riders (and seasoned dogs).

Southbark is spot-on. Check the oil level, tire pressure, signals, head/tail lights and tire pressure.

I lube my chain with DuPont Teflon Wax Lubricant (blue can at Lowes) once every 300-500 miles and I wipe it down with WD-40 every oil change and re-spray with Teflon. My chain looks shiny as it was the day I bought it. Oil change on this bike is same as a car, with the exception that the oil also lubes the clutch and transmission. The clutch cable can be periodically sprayed with the same Teflon lube and you can do fine-tuning with the 5-position dial on the lever.

Chain maintenance is super easy (after the first fight to get the axle bolts undone). Your bike kit under the seat has the tools. They suck, but at least you'll know the right sizes so you can go to Harbor Freight and get some decent ratcheting box-end wrenches and a breaker bar. The markings on each side of the swing arm are accurate enough for my daily commute needs, although this is a point of contention amongst riders in the forum and has stirred the threads multiple times. It's a matter of personal preference.

Anyway, I'm a Unix admin in an IT department and I do all my own maintenance on the bike. I envy the guys that got to rebuild carbs as a kid, but luckily I don't have to be one of those guys to do maintenance on the V.

Enjoy your ride! I'm off to Bike Night. It's 86 out. w00t w00t!

2009 Versys
2000 Vulcan Drifter 800
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 09:36 PM
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Don't be intimidated. You know more than you think. Changing the oil for instance is easy there is a great step by step pictures on here on how to do it. Lube the chain regularly. Inspect lights and tires. Check air pressure regularly on them. The simple stuff makes a difference in getting on down the road safely there is not a lot to it and as you do some of the work you will want to do more. I have used this site and the manuels that are on here to do all kinds of stuff. I have changed the tires spark plugs cleaned the air filter adjusted the chain. I ride daily as a commuter so I must keep up with all these things on my own so I don't have any down time in a shop. Start slow as you get more confident you will want to do more stuff.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 09:44 PM
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Some stuff as well you will learn not to do. 90 weight oil on the chain only makes a big ass mess use something else. Dupont Teflon wax lube that stuff is the best every thing else is a mess. Don't clean the chain with a wire brush (plastic brush WD40) steel wire are bad for the O rings. If you clean it do a good job drying it then use the chain lube. Read what you can on this board it always has good pointers.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Oh wow thank you all so much for your thoughts and info on this!
Love this forum
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 12:51 AM
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Good stuff. Thanks.

Should i clean the chain before every lube or just at oil change times?
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 01:37 AM
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A clean chain will extend life of the chain and sprockets. Lube it frequently will help prolong chain and sprocket life and reduce vibrations.

Recomended lube for chain is at every 300miles.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 12:48 PM
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Air filter

Just got '09 Versys and it's been too cold to work out in the garage. Air filter location not obvious to me. How do you get it out. The servicing of it has already been explained in the forum, but not the removal. OK, already, I'm stupid.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 06:01 PM
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You will find it all here:
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=2846
There is also a vid somewhere on a step by step tank removal and air filter cleaning procedure. Try the search engine, its out there. Also, the manual can be downloaded(627pages!), which is somewhat helpful as well.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandpa Ron View Post
I haven't yet had the occasion to use my bike stand yet but me thinks I'm gonna want some knowledgable spare hands around before I try it on my own...Perhaps I'll try it on the lawn to prevent damage the first few times.....with the stand on a patio stone.....maybe not? Nobody likes those type of mishaps(slow and painfull) messing up their new bike!CHEERS
just remember that the bike wants to fall in the direction that the front wheel is turned, so it should be pointed left with the sidestand down. stand it up, left hand on the tail to steady it, it'll go on and off the stand easily.

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
Seal/CRAZY/misquoted


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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 03:51 AM
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Daily checks on oil and air, 300 mile interval chain lubing.....

How realistic do people feel this is? I probably check air every 6 months if Im lucky, probably even less. Oil levels, I let the oil light do that for me.

Lubing, maybe every 1000kms......

What do other people do?
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 07:47 AM
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I should check tire pressure each time before I ride, but I do it about once every 1-2 weeks, or when there is a significant change in temperature.

A quick glance at the oil level once a month, because it doesn't seem to move.
The oil light is more of a "you're too late now, sucker!" kind of help. If that comes on, you have either run with far too little oil for a long time already, or you need to turn around and pick up your oil pan off the street.

Chain lubing once every 400-600 miles, because it is so quick and easy when I put the bike on the rear race stand.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 11:22 AM
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I check my air at least once a week.

Oil is easy, a visual check whenever your standing there admiring your bike. Check the tighness of bolts, brake calipers, as well.

I clean my chain every couple of fill ups. Easier to clean if it is not that dirty.
I use simple green, non-toxic. Use a plastic brush. Gets tricky to keep the inboard faceing side clean.

Check and clean the front sprocket as well, soemone here recently posted a great break down on how to do that. Did mine for the first time after 11,000 miles, it was a mess. Don't wait as long as I did for that one.

Other wise the Versys is what I would call low maintenace.

Peace
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 11:41 AM
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Air filter cleaning, oil changes, cleaning/lubing/adjusting chain tension, and tire pressures are all easy do it yourself items.
Check the oil every day, or at least every gas stop.
look for bolts that vibrate loose regularly.

Congrats on the new ride.

Time alone with ones thoughts, is quality time.

They say there is a lack of jobs. Seems here to be more a lack of people willing to work hard, and take pride in the work they do.

Frank
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 03:07 PM
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If you find it hard to remember to check air pressures, check them at whatever pressure you use then put on your riding boots and give each tire a GOOD KICK straight onto the tread.
Then air down to, say, 25 psi and KICK them again.
Notice the difference in feel? If you did, refill to normal pressures, and between pressure checks with your gauge, before getting on, "Kick the tires and light the fires" as pilots say.

Ed
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