Build Quality - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Build Quality

Hi All -

In reading all the threads, it is a bit concerning that there is a vast array of troublespots with the bike that do not seem consistant. For example, vibration in the bars, I do not experience any, yet a lot of complaint threads, same with fairing buzzing (again none on mine).

Do you think this is inconsistencies in build quality or personal tolerances?

Also, relative perception may play a big role - if your used to a honda then you deem it too vibey, if your used to a suzi then the gear box is deemed rough....


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 09:17 AM
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What year is your Versys and how many miles?

I think most of the problems are consistent with the year the Versys was produced.
The other variable is the number of miles on your Versys. Most experience fairing buzzing between 400 and 1000 miles. The mirror issue has been fixed on the 2010, as some of the vibration with better footpegs and rubber engine mount dampening. Of course, not all will have the problems, but the posts on loose mirrors and vibration are quite consistent. Minor problems, easily fixed. The Versys is a quality machine, and Kawasaki prides itself in engineering and innovation. The nuisances we have experienced are well worth it in a motorcycle that is efficient, fun and reliable.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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I love mine - only had it for a couple of weeks - but already taken several long +200 mile trips. 6000 miles - used 2009. I am coming of a bandit 600 (suzuki) which, by comparison, is not even remotely in the V's league; IMO


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 03:11 PM
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Its a Kawasaki thing. They have NEVER been known for good build quality.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 04:36 PM
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Hmm i dont think so.Kawasaki is well known for its overall high reliability,moroless its a japanese habbit .The reliability is quality,maybe its noisy but you know it wont break.maybe its not so fashion but you know you will be home laterz...maybe it passes some vibration but you know its not gonna cut the frame if you push it too much...
and when you need a part,in some rare occasion,you WILL find it for the RIGHT PRICE.
European bikes are famous for braking all over....fancy collors going almost fast .you drive while having one hand in the pocket giving money all over....i dont think motorcycle as a luxury item.i believe people should have the right to ride bikes without taking lawns and selling body organs ...if you get me,in other words,i feel gratitude for industries like KAWASAKI.at least they are honest.-

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 06:06 PM
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Of the big four Kawasaki has been last for some time. Hey I even worked for them for four years. Having said that build qaulity and reliability do not go hand and hand.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 07:54 PM
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I have had a lot of bikes over a lot of years, and I argue with people about Kawi build quality on a regular basis. I think it was true before about 2000, and is still true for a few models. I think some of the paint on our bike suck and the finish on the heal plates sucks. But, the Kawi's have always been built tough at hell. There are a bunch of guys who have 50,000-100,000 (and maybe more) miles on ZX10's. Now, to make a bike that intense that commonly has no problems over that period of time is incredible!!!
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 02:05 AM
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yes i agree.the paint may not be as good as yamahas or hondas .but the engine and the "under the skin" quality is very good.i know people with klx or klr have done 300k km and still have them running.the ss category also demonstrates some beasts of power working flawlessly 15 years now ...
after all kawasaki made its name familiar with raw power over other japan factories and simultaneously was competitive in terms of reliability.think about it,its not an easy task...
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 12:26 PM
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like GTI said, quality and reliability are not the same. i don't question the reliability of the Versys. i'm sure it will always get me home. so will any other Japanese bike, or Triumph, or Victory, or most other machines.

build quality, otoh, is a different story. we're talking about how well the thing is screwed together and they have dropped the ball in that area. and it's not just the versys, the KLR is notorious for build quality issues.

i was talking to my cousin about my disappointment with the versys and when i mentioned the fairing vibes, he said that his bike does the same thing. it didn't bother him, he thought it was normal for a motorcycle, but his Z750 is the only bike he has ever owned. for me, after 100+ kmi on three Hondas, i'm not accustomed to the ragged nature of this bike. i test rode a Z1000 a few years back, it was the same way. this all makes me wonder what's going on at KHI. what are the doing in the QA department?

never say never, but this may be my first and last Kawasaki.

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 01:53 PM
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no offence mate but build quality and reliability goes hand by hand.motorcycle is supposed to produce vibes,then you would not know if its alive or not! its just that the engineers in akashi strategically designed always the bikes that way,to have personality.thats the kawi moto in contrast of the other japanese factories.for kawi the super sophisticated antivibe axis ,or the extremly shiny metallic red paint are of second importance.1st in the priority is the engine reliability,the power distribution over the rev band,the aerodynamical good properties ,the cornering and the braking ability via geometry,the frame quality to be solid and not to brake under pressure(look other ss companies to know...),acceleration and final speed.kawi always claimed the fastest road production motorcycle....bikes like versys is not typical kawi,its side products and you still realize that this darn moto has personality,its not electric, its alive!
anyways mate,just buy a honda xlv next time or a gs.you cant go wrong with that everybody loves em


Quality is conformance to customer expectations
Reliability is quality over time

kawa isnt for everybody

Last edited by naz; 04-24-2010 at 03:44 PM.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 02:45 PM
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green kool aid, huh? lol! i'm not gonna argue every point, i'll just say a few things:

1) JD Power separates quality from reliability -- auto industry standard
2) engine vibration should be tactile, not audible. it should be felt thru bars, saddle and pegs not heard from the fairing and instruments. i know we can fix these things, but we should not have to do so.
3) personalty: don't preach, i already know. if you're unfamiliar with the HawkGT, you should beg a ride if you get the chance.

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


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 03:36 PM
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The only part of this discussion I am going to get into is the fairing buzz. If they had used good adhesive on the rubber dampers that they originally installed for the buzz none of us would have that problem. They fall off the first time you remove the fairings if not before. There are several things that they could have done much better, but overall I have been satisfied. I don't think vibes in the bars has anything to do with build quality. Some people are bothered by it and some people aren't, but it is there in all of our bikes.

From what I have seen they don't have the build quality of a Honda, but they don't seem to have the price either. Ok, I got into more than the buzz.

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 03:48 PM
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finally its a matter of personal taste i guess.
i can put some adhesive and can fix some screws and to be honest i liked it when i did it.
a friend of mine says show me what you drive to say you who you are...but he is wrong
have good rides and think green
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 10:21 AM
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I have had a few Kawi's over the years, starting with an '89 EX500 and through a ZRX 1200R, Z1000 and now the Versys. Each one showed me improved build quality, even though the Versys costs a lot less than the ZRX or Z1k. I never have had any issues with Kawasaki and I never needed to head back to a dealer after break in for any problems other than scheduled maintenance. Contrast this to my Triumph Bonniville from 2005 which began shaking loose nuts and bolts from day one, to say nothing of the Ducati I had back in the early '80s!

I am happy with my Versys and have nearly 15,000 miles now in a little over a year. Plan to keep it for a few years more and I expect I will keep on enjoying it every mile...

Richard M. Poniarski
'09 Kawasaki Versys
AMA#: 674623
ROK #: 100024905
Everybody is entitled to the reality of their own choosing...

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 11:35 PM
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Think that most of the vib are caused by the Engine V Twin config. These vib move across to members of the frame and flarings. Bike's generally do cause some vibrations and over the year have learn to accept the fact.

Kawa has produce some remarkable quality for the money paid for. The bike is good, never has given any problem or do I live in fear of the next service and how much its going to cost me. Its cheap to maintain and its fun and easy to handle.

Except for one minor issue , mirror vib I dont have a problem with the bike and most beautiful part of it is. it can be made to suit your taste of ride. suspension setting is easy, lowerring is also easy and tonnes of add on's.

No Complaints and the V has again been declared the best of the lot by Bike Magazine-UK
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 04:08 AM
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For me the issues are minor and a great opportunity just to make the bike better. I did have vibe issues but these were solved with a little weather stripping where plastic parts come together. I did have a cold start stall issue but blip-ping the throttle to about 3k kicks it into "cold" mode. Anti vibration handlebars, lower foot pegs and a larger windshield (for cold air use) are my next options. The biggest issue for me is really the seat after an hour. If that thing was not the most expensive item it would have been done first. I just have to look at all the seat fixes floating around on the forum before plucking down big cash.
But think about it. No bike is perfect or you would not have such a huge after market need for upgrades in the first place. They just don't make seats and anti vibe handlebars for the versys only. Other bikes have the same issues. Before looking at the versys I came across cheap used Buell's. After doing research I found out why those bikes are cheap; complete engine failures and replacements. I will take vibe issues and sore butt any day over engine replacement.
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 12:30 PM
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A bike with superior build quality would be one that remains pretty much completely stock. Not one you take apart every other weekend to tinker with because this or that "bugs" you or does not function as desired. Interestingly enough my CBR and ST1300 are completely stock. My Versys, Concours, and Ninja 250 are not.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 01:00 PM
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But is that build quality or just poor design decisions/money saving short cuts? I am not sure everyone here is talking about the same thing. I thought it referred to how well they did things, not what they did.

Steve

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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 04:36 PM
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You want top notch build quality? Buy a BMW (if you can afford the repairs that is).
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharrison56 View Post
But is that build quality or just poor design decisions/money saving short cuts? I am not sure everyone here is talking about the same thing. I thought it referred to how well they did things, not what they did.
you have it right. you, me and GTI are on the same page. some other folks....




In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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Last edited by kevrider; 05-03-2010 at 06:11 PM.
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