Lowered Versys Handling Question - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Lowered Versys Handling Question

I'm a short rider (5'4 120lbs 29"inseam) and was looking at getting a lowered Versys. But I did a search and no one really mentions how they handle lowered.
Some feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Some background before people start asking: I've been riding over 15 years. Ride both street and dirt and have owned several bikes including an f650gs, Ducati Monster and am moving from my 2nd Ninja 650r. My husband owns a V-strom so our routes are not always paved. While the Ninja handles it with surprising grace, I was looking for something with a bit larger touring farkle availability and a bit larger fuel tank.

Again, thanks for any and all feedback on the subject.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 07:46 PM
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G'day you will not know it's lowered, they handle just fine. And yes mine is lowered.




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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 08:17 PM
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Mines lowered and it handles great and has plenty of ground clearance

yes im a guy.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 04:00 AM
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I can only comment on my '15 V1K .. @ 35mm down on the rear unchanged at the front. Handles fine.. I wring it's neck, can scrape the center stand and the pegs if I try hard enough and it still sticks like ****e to a blanket ..

If you ride like Casey Stoner ( probs a bad example given his Suzuka efforts ) You need a ZX10 .. for the rest of us altering the geometry of the V a little wont make a too noticeable difference ..

Couple of other options would be a seat mod and Daytona Lady Star boots ..

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your input. This helps me greatly as I was a bit concerned about lowering it. The Ninja was a complete turd lowered. It handled great, but you didn't want to ride it because you took a stock crap suspension and made it crappier. I understand the Versys has better suspension to start with. So that's already a plus.

And thank you, I actually have a pair of the Daytona M stars! Fantastic boots! Well worth the money! 5 years old now and still look fairly new. Plus, they allow me to ride the Ninja unlowered.

We talked about also modding the seat if necessary. Spencer seat mods in Florida did a fantastic job with my first Ninja seat. He's at greatdaytoride.com I got the long distance foam and could go about 300 miles before I Started feeling it.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsyangel View Post
Thank you all for your input. This helps me greatly as I was a bit concerned about lowering it. The Ninja was a complete turd lowered. It handled great, but you didn't want to ride it because you took a stock crap suspension and made it crappier. I understand the Versys has better suspension to start with. So that's already a plus.

And thank you, I actually have a pair of the Daytona M stars! Fantastic boots! Well worth the money! 5 years old now and still look fairly new. Plus, they allow me to ride the Ninja unlowered.

We talked about also modding the seat if necessary. Spencer seat mods in Florida did a fantastic job with my first Ninja seat. He's at greatdaytoride.com I got the long distance foam and could go about 300 miles before I Started feeling it.
Neither a lowering link nor dropping the triple clamp on the fork tubes will change the suspension in any way. It will decrease ground clearance, OTOH it will also lower your center of gravity.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 09:00 AM
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About 1/3 of members (from survey) are vertically challenged for one of the tallest, if not the tallest bike around. There are many things: lift kits, (Lowered) gel seats, shortened Progressive shocks, and more.

All bikes are supported with lowered height kits, especially the Vs. 650 since it's so tall. You would be at the far end of the anatomical height spectrum, but that just means you would have to do everything available. If you go product by product for lowering solutions, you should get a lot of feedback. This really is the best motorcycle site there is from my experience so that is another reason to dive in.

The shortest I know of is Rimfire (who also rides dirt bikes) at about 5'-7" and I think she has done a lowering kit and a lowered gel seat: but she does not give any feedback and has just been trying to get her brand new 2013 dialed in while working a stressful job. Try to get a thread started with her and she can give you a lot of information you desire, and then others can jump in too for their own lowering solutions. ONLY someone close to your height that would use the same lowering options as you would be able to answer your handling question for sure.

From the Ninja 650 to the Vs. 650, you will love the midrange cam for a safety feature of getting out of the way for idiot cars (unless you enjoy doing over 130mph on you Ninja frequently :-) Drive Safe!
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 07:08 PM
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I'm a 5'4" woman with a 28" inseam. I have used Speedy's lowering links and the OEM gel seat on my 2008 Versys. That and lowering the suspension fore and aft brought it down from 33.5" to 29.5." The gel seat isn't great for long rides; I have to add an Airhawk, which puts some height back on. I have acquired some hip/leg issues, so I have to take more conscious care at stops. There is definitely a sense of "catching" the bike at certain stops, and the Versys will quickly remind you that it is top-heavy if you aren't paying attention. (Squats and lunges, squats and lunges, squats and lunges. Helps a lot pre-season.)

But I haven't found anything yet that I would prefer over it. Maaaybe the FJ09, if someone makes good lowering links for it, or the Versys 1K, since it has a centerstand. (It is the only drawback to my Versys. I don't believe the newest iteration has changed that, either.)

Hope this helps.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-29-2015, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you MZ33 , that does help.
I think I'll be lucky and just have to do the link and fork drop as the Daytona boots give me about 2". I sat on a lowered one yesterday and was pleased to find I flat footed.
I did notice they're top heavy. Alot like my hubby's Strom. But I love the engine on my Ninja 650r so am looking forward to a similar one on the Versys. Also looking forward to more long distance rides again.

It's always good to get input from women though as we handle things like weight and height differently from men. Maybe I'll refrain from filing that 5 gallon tank up all the way right away. Haha. Happy riding. Thanks again!
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-29-2015, 08:45 AM
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You do notice the difference with it filled, well I do anyway, it sloshes around a bit side to side. Once your moving you don't notice it.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-29-2015, 09:27 AM
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I had Speedy's lowering link + front suspension dropped as far as possible. Handled fine. I wanted to upgrade the suspension to Hyperpro Springs and found out they make lowering springs. I decided to go that route, so I removed the lowering link and had different springs installed front and rear by Klaus at EPM. The forks are still raised in the triples, just not as much. We played around with different springs to achieve some lowering and a nice ride. It's not lowered as much as with the link, but it's enough for me. I'm 5'4" with approx 31" inseam.

Also, Sargent makes a lowering seat. I opted for the regular height.

Bike handled fine with the link. Handles great with the different springs, too.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-29-2015, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by HondaGalToo View Post
I had Speedy's lowering link + front suspension dropped as far as possible. Handled fine. I wanted to upgrade the suspension to Hyperpro Springs and found out they make lowering springs. I decided to go that route, so I removed the lowering link and had different springs installed front and rear by Klaus at EPM. The forks are still raised in the triples, just not as much. We played around with different springs to achieve some lowering and a nice ride. It's not lowered as much as with the link, but it's enough for me. I'm 5'4" with approx 31" inseam.

Also, Sargent makes a lowering seat. I opted for the regular height.

Bike handled fine with the link. Handles great with the different springs, too.
And Progressive makes a lowered shock too for half the cost of a Hyperpro, but you are getting custom handling attention for free. I'd always wanted to go with Hyperpro on my BMW F650 ST, but my weight and their cost/shipping (even on ebay) are concerns. But since Progressive does not make a shock for it, I really don't have an alternative. They look very high quality though.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-29-2015, 12:47 PM
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At 120lbs you might want to respring the front and rear suspension.

2008 Versys 650

Been riding 8 or 9 years, and have owned 8 or 9 bikes; its an addiction I can't quit...
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-29-2015, 01:38 PM
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Neither a lowering link nor dropping the triple clamp on the fork tubes will change the suspension in any way. It will decrease ground clearance, OTOH it will also lower your center of gravity.
I agree.

Mine is lowered, front & rear.

Can't tell the difference.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-29-2015, 08:11 PM
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And Progressive makes a lowered shock too for half the cost of a Hyperpro, but you are getting custom handling attention for free. I'd always wanted to go with Hyperpro on my BMW F650 ST, but my weight and their cost/shipping (even on ebay) are concerns. But since Progressive does not make a shock for it, I really don't have an alternative. They look very high quality though.
I saw the Progressive lowering shock and was interested, but it only comes with one standard spring. I figured chances are it's more for the "average male rider", maybe 170 lbs. so it would be too stiff for me.

I just did a spring swap in my stock shock. Honestly, if I didn't live close to EPM, not sure I'd have gone that route. The lowering spring made for the Versys that Klaus ordered didn't fit correctly. He worked with me to find a spring that lowered a bit but wasn't too soft. Too soft and the undertray contacted the rear hugger! The lowering springs work by being soft to give higher sag numbers, therefore lowering the bike. I didn't want it that soft. We tried a few different springs. Klaus was awesome to work with. He did sag measurements front and rear and we got something really workable. I'm very happy with it!
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-30-2015, 02:15 AM
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I saw the Progressive lowering shock and was interested, but it only comes with one standard spring. I figured chances are it's more for the "average male rider", maybe 170 lbs. so it would be too stiff for me.

I just did a spring swap in my stock shock. Honestly, if I didn't live close to EPM, not sure I'd have gone that route. The lowering spring made for the Versys that Klaus ordered didn't fit correctly. He worked with me to find a spring that lowered a bit but wasn't too soft. Too soft and the undertray contacted the rear hugger! The lowering springs work by being soft to give higher sag numbers, therefore lowering the bike. I didn't want it that soft. We tried a few different springs. Klaus was awesome to work with. He did sag measurements front and rear and we got something really workable. I'm very happy with it!
Progressive has all kinds of lighter springs, single and dual rate. If you are 5' 4", then the lowered shock could be a little vertical relief you are looking for. They are real responsive once you get them on the phone at Progressive. Get the shock for the best deal usually on Amazon/ebay and then call them about the spring (or do it first either way.) They are kind of like Honda, being the biggest in USA, so they are very expert at half the price of other alternatives. I've been real happy with all the products I've tried on a half dozen bikes (mostly fork springs on BMW's before, and now rear shocks on Jap bikes.)

I got Progressive on the phone about maybe needing a HD spring like they offer on Honda Nighthawk 750's. They said they have a dual rate spring but first, all the sag is measuring the height sitting down on it from some reference point: it should be 3/4" to 1". He said try that first. I never have done that, but I heard having the right spring is over 90% of the battle. Well I'll try it, since it's not far off this time.

The Progressive stock spring is 900 lbs (static, not dynamic) which is bike, options, passenger(s), cargo, and gas/fluids. No, it sounds like is sprung more for a 225 lb American rider, lol. If you don't get an answer PST, dial zero and the operator knows all their hiding places and will get someone. Springs are about $90. I paid total $378 on Amazon for the shock new. Progressive retail for 465-1182 is $496. You might get them to swap it out if you do it from brand new (Girls on Versys get a lot of respect.) You'd have a lot of possible sales from this site if you could do that: I didn't know we had so many 5' 4" riders before.

And the shock is a definite part of a 2 or 3 way reduced height plan you really do need. Sell your old shock once you get the new one dialed in, which a Hyperpro 1/2 price (used market price) should pay for your new Progressive shock and spring either way. Used Hyperpros must go quick because I've never seen one on the used market You couldn't buy a reduced height shock from anyone but Progressive I (would almost) bet: that's the power of being number one in sales demand. Since the shock is the most expensive reduced height method, there must be a bunch of 5' 4" lady Versys 650 riders (it may be too painful for 5'4" guys

Last edited by kawdog; 07-30-2015 at 02:32 AM.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-30-2015, 03:28 AM
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I have lowed the bike and it was handling fine till I decided to go back to original set up and there is a little compromise in handling when you lower the bike. If you can manage the height try it.
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-30-2015, 09:14 PM
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Thanks for all the valuable info, kawdog
Something to consider should I decide to upgrade the shock. For now, though, I'm pretty happy with my set up. Klaus indicated he could also build me a Hyperpro shock with a spring designed to lower. Right now, I'd say it's only lowered maybe 1/2 inch. Works fine for me! Yup, I'm 5'4", but most all of my bikes have been on the tall side, so I'm used to it. Never owned a cruiser. Sportbikes all had seat heights around 32 or so. The V was just a bit too tall to manage, especially given that the pegs are right where I want to put my foot down, lol.
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Update:
I picked up a beautifully maintained 08' Versys this week. It came loaded with racks, windscreen, bar risers and kick stand plate. I was actually incredibly surprised at how well I could touch with just the addition of wearing my Daytona boots. I'm not flat footed, but I can atleast get the balls of my feet down most of the time. Which means I usually just stop with one foot down ,doing the 'Captain Morgan's' stance as we called in in dirt biking.

We dropped the preload, but the bike doesn't really register that I'm on it, so unsure how much that's helping. Maybe if I put an extra 50lbs. In my luggage. :-p But this bike handles great! Loving the engine and the upright seating. I just put on the lower foot peg brackets so I get to try those out tomorrow. If nothing else, they'll atleast stop the foot pegs from getting hung up on the top of my boots. (Yeah that's fun,not. ).
Lowering link also arrived so I'm just waiting on the shorter kickstand to arrive before installing it. I thank everyone for their input. Y'all have been super kind and informative. It's definitely appreciated.

I have to say Motowerks - holy fast shipping batman! I just ordered these things 2 days ago. And you're on the opposite coast. Great job!

13' Honda CRF250L
07' Ninja 650r
08' Versys

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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 08:27 AM
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Congrats! The stock shock is pretty stiff. Adding the lowering link will actually kind of soften it up, due to the change in the angle of the shock. With the link, I had mine on preload 4. It was better on 1, but the undertray came in contact with the hugger I'd installed. Something to be aware of.
I had the same issue playing around with the different hyperpro springs; had to find one that gave a good ride, but not so soft that bumps caused contact between undertray/hugger.
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