2009 Versys owner-to-be - need recommendations - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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2009 Versys owner-to-be - need recommendations

I'm heading out Saturday with my brother (a Kawi mechanic) to check out & hopefully purchase a 2009 Versys (green) with about 360 miles on the clock. The seller bought it, found that with a busy schedule, he had no time to ride, and is now selling it. He kept it garaged for a few years until, for some reason, he's had it sitting outside for the past couple months - in a coastal town. So there's some corrosion to the chain, some fasteners, and the lever adjustment knobs as far as I can see. There's a small scratch on the front side fairing & the same side shock cover/fender, so he probably dropped it in his driveway when he brought it home, but other than that, it looks great. He's asking $5k, I'm hoping to offer less, but my first question is: how much would you offer? I don't want to insult him, but KBB & nadaguides say $3500-$4100 is average for an outstanding condition bike with 6K on the clock. Suggestions?

Next, I'm planning to have my brother/mechanic do the service & break-in on it before I take it on a couple long rides Saturday (possibly) and Sunday (definitely). The bike's stock, and Saturday is a long road-only ride, while Sunday would be a long 95% road, 5% dirt/gravel ride. I have a KLR650 for dual sport riding, and I don't plan to use the Versys for full dual sport riding, but I do want to protect it with a skid plate & engine guards, as well as outfit it with grip guards, hard side cases that I can swap to my KLR650, and a tail case/bag/rack that I can simply use a bungee net to hold down my extra stuff that won't interfere with a pillion rider if/when she goes along. I'll also likely need a tank bag for easy access to my camera, gloves, water, etc.

I also would like to find more versatile/aggressive tires for it. I've run Avon Gripsters on my KLR650, and I plan to run Mefo Explorers next, but I don't see that the Mefo's are available in the right sizes for the Versys, and they might be overkill anyway. Something along the lines of the Avon Gripsters might work, but, again, your suggestions would be very helpful.

My main goal is to not damage the bike during my Sunday ride where a graded dirt/gravel road would be involved, and to be able to carry my gear (tire kit/first aid/etc) not in a backpack the whole way. I will be trying to keep up with a Triumph Tiger 800 xc and a VStrom, as well as a couple others.

Thanks for the help setting this up on the quick!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 12:42 PM
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I would look around at what other used bikes are listed for. The KBB and NADA prices you have listed seem pretty low.

The lack of use and neglect would concern me the most. If those don't bother you it is probably worth close to the asking price. You are in the middle of riding season so there aren't very many good deals out there.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 02:20 PM
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I recommend taking a deep breath first! You don't know if you even like this bike yet and I'd suggest riding for a while before you go too nuts on the farkles. I'm not sure how intense of dirt/gravel you are riding but I ride lots of gravel roads with my Dunlop Roadsmarts (I just ordered a new set of Roadsmart II's). After getting used to it, I can now zip right along on gravel. This is how I do most of my scouting for hunting, etc. I'd be screwed in mud.

I paid $5,800 OTD for my '09 when it was new.

I'm not sure about swapping cases but I really like my FAMSA tank bag. There are lots of threads on bags. I've never bothered with skid plates, engine guards, barkbusters. But I did put a fenda extenda on to keep the rocks off the radiator.

Have fun!
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by suprbst View Post
I'm heading out Saturday with my brother (a Kawi mechanic) to check out & hopefully purchase a 2009 Versys (green) with about 360 miles on the clock. The seller bought it, found that with a busy schedule, he had no time to ride, and is now selling it. He kept it garaged for a few years until, for some reason, he's had it sitting outside for the past couple months - in a coastal town. So there's some corrosion to the chain, some fasteners, and the lever adjustment knobs as far as I can see. There's a small scratch on the front side fairing & the same side shock cover/fender, so he probably dropped it in his driveway when he brought it home, but other than that, it looks great. He's asking $5k, I'm hoping to offer less, but my first question is: how much would you offer? I don't want to insult him, but KBB & nadaguides say $3500-$4100 is average for an outstanding condition bike with 6K on the clock. Suggestions?

Next, I'm planning to have my brother/mechanic do the service & break-in on it before I take it on a couple long rides Saturday (possibly) and Sunday (definitely). The bike's stock, and Saturday is a long road-only ride, while Sunday would be a long 95% road, 5% dirt/gravel ride. I have a KLR650 for dual sport riding, and I don't plan to use the Versys for full dual sport riding, but I do want to protect it with a skid plate & engine guards, as well as outfit it with grip guards, hard side cases that I can swap to my KLR650, and a tail case/bag/rack that I can simply use a bungee net to hold down my extra stuff that won't interfere with a pillion rider if/when she goes along. I'll also likely need a tank bag for easy access to my camera, gloves, water, etc.

I also would like to find more versatile/aggressive tires for it. I've run Avon Gripsters on my KLR650, and I plan to run Mefo Explorers next, but I don't see that the Mefo's are available in the right sizes for the Versys, and they might be overkill anyway. Something along the lines of the Avon Gripsters might work, but, again, your suggestions would be very helpful.

My main goal is to not damage the bike during my Sunday ride where a graded dirt/gravel road would be involved, and to be able to carry my gear (tire kit/first aid/etc) not in a backpack the whole way. I will be trying to keep up with a Triumph Tiger 800 xc and a VStrom, as well as a couple others.

Thanks for the help setting this up on the quick!
If you want dual sport tires I would recommend the Pirelli Scorpion Trails. The Versys is really a road bike with some extra ground clearance, not a dual sport bike so really aggressive dual sport tires would just be a waste and ruin the pavement performance. Mich. RP3's are an excellent choice for a sport touring tire and have a longer life and excellent grip.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 07:01 PM
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I just picked up an 09 Green a little over a month ago with 368 miles. Same deal, had tipped it over in the driveway while washing it but had already ordered and had on hand a new bar end and left cowl/decals. It had always been stored inside and other than a weak battery was in great shape. I purchased it for $4300 and drove it 200 miles home on back roads. I wouldn't worry worry about low miles being an issue, but around here last years leftovers can be had in the $5600 - $5800 range, I would definitely work the price a little..

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great responses & info. I did pick the bike up Saturday for $4800, and it's in better condition than I had expected from the pictures. My brother, being a motorcycle mechanic, is going to put some miles on it & do the break in service, then I'm going to pick it up later in the week. For now, I'll probably just put a tank bag on it & use my backpack for extra storage if needed. I did test ride it, and my first impression, being my first non-dual-sport bike, was that it is a smooth, well-balanced bike that was easy for me to maneuver & didn't feel nearly as heavy as my brother's Buell X1. I'm looking forward to becoming familiar with the bike & putting a lot of miles on it this coming weekend.

Although it may sound like I'm a little gung-ho to farkle the bike, I've had my KLR for quite a few years now, and I've done a little to modify it to make it a bike I won't likely ever sell. One thing I haven't done with the KLR, however, is add hard luggage to it, so setting the Versys up with a rack system that can accommodate a Kappa or similar rectangular hard case will be a good fit to allow me to set up the KLR with something that will allow me to swap the cases based on what type of long-distance ride I'll be doing at any given time. When I can use something on both bikes, it makes it much more flexible & cost-effective.

To the point of this sub-forum (performance modifications), has anyone used a power commander or tuner of any sort to change the engine characteristics for smoother running, more power, or other benefits (i.e. fuel mileage)? What would you recommend?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 04:48 AM
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As a first mod I would recommend installing SW-Motech engine bars. They will make your bike resistant to damage from a tip over or low speed low side.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 12:25 PM
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Here are pics of my KLR and Versys with the SAME soft bags (which have been to Alaska THREE times).
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File Type: jpg DSC08200.jpg (76.9 KB, 211 views)
File Type: jpg DSC08201.jpg (70.4 KB, 197 views)

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. I don't know if there's a specific forum for posting something like an ongoing buy, build, and ride thread, but I know we do that sort of thing in the regional forums of my Jeep & Subaru WRX forums. If there's a more appropriate place to post this sort of thing, let me know... meanwhile, here are some pictures of my buy & build, as well as links to some video I shot on my maiden 550+mile 1-day first ride.

PICS & VIDEO

I'm also working on editing some more GoPro video I shot while putting together the SW Motech skid plate & crash bars that show the noob (like me) how to put it all together, and in what order, because installing both together can be a pain if you don't know how much plastic, metal attachments for the plastic, and other items to move/remove before installing everything in just the right order to make it all fit...

Last edited by suprbst; 09-06-2012 at 04:54 PM.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 03:18 PM
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@suprbst . Your video will be useful to me. I have the sw-motech bars ready for install and am interested in how you fitted around the canister - what tools you used etc.

Looked at the Flickr pictures and you mentioned Bodie. I love Bodie. Been there twice in a cage. I was there about 2 weeks ago. The road in is very rough , loose stones and ruts with an ascent and descent. How did the Versys do and what tires are you running? Did youi stand a lot?
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 03:36 PM
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Just watched the vids. Answered some of my questions. Great videos if anyone else has not watched them.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 08:43 AM
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I purchased my green '09 in September of last year w/ 925 miles--$4500 in Iowa. It was completely stock, no damage and stored inside.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Sprocket View Post
If you want dual sport tires I would recommend the Pirelli Scorpion Trails. The Versys is really a road bike with some extra ground clearance, not a dual sport bike so really aggressive dual sport tires would just be a waste and ruin the pavement performance. Mich. RP3's are an excellent choice for a sport touring tire and have a longer life and excellent grip.
You can get spoked wheels from Woodys for off road riding etc . . . Really soaks up the bumps:




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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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You can get spoked wheels from Woodys for off road riding etc . . . Really soaks up the bumps:

So... how much did you spend for the wheels? And are you referring to Woody's Wheel Works in CO? I wouldn't mind having a second set of wheels with more aggressive dual-terrain tires mounted for long road rides that include some moderate loose or rocky dirt, gravel, and possibly a little sand. I usually try to stay away from that on the Versys (I bought it to be a daily rider for the road & road trips), but I'm planning to take a coastal week-long ride that will include some sand stretches (can bypass) and miles of poorly-maintained dirt road. The KLR685 is probably going to sit this one out in favor of the greater comfort and capacity of the Versys, so I've been looking at getting some Conti Trail Attack tires, although the rear will have to be 150/70-17 instead of the stock 160/60-17. I don't mind running them all the time, but if the price is right, a second set of wheels with tires ready for *some* dirt would be nice to have for trips that require them, while I run the stock wheels & street tires for everyday riding.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 08:15 PM
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Yep, that is the place. Here is how they price out (sealed for tubeless tires):




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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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WOW... if I'm doing the math right, and each item is added separately, it comes to over $1900! I paid right around $2K for a set of nice, lightweight, Italian wheels (x4) for my car with expensive tires mounted & balanced! I think I'll have to see if I can find someone's wrecked bike's takeoff wheels that they're parting out for a reasonable price... I can't justify spending that much on wheels just for the convenience of having a spare set to swap. The Conti Trail Attacks I found for just north of $300 for the pair, so I may just swap them onto my stock wheels and enjoy them for that price...
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 07:01 AM
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Backing off the spring tension and adding spoked wheels really helps if you ride off road. Yes, it is a big investment. However, a KLR is a bit too softly sprung and under powered for me. The Tiger 800XC does not have the low RPM grunt like the Versys. I decided to set it up like the below video . . . A 19" front will give you more ground clearance for roots like the below screen shot:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=relmfu&v=kMLJ-0V8YUI
http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=relmfu&v=mAhgDR2XyPM





Other V riders that off road:

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 02:09 PM
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...I don't mind running them all the time, but if the price is right, a second set of wheels with tires ready for *some* dirt would be nice to have for trips that require them, while I run the stock wheels & street tires for everyday riding.
Probably the Versys rider with the MOST dirt and gravel road miles would be "jdrocks". He initially ran Metzler Tourance 130/80 x 17 and 150/70 x 17 for MANY miles (I am running those, too), NEVER 'aired-down' for traction, and used the OEM aluminum wheels. MANY guys with little or no experience will tell you that that just WON'T work....

I'm here to tell you that it DOES. Look up jd's ride reports in "MEMBERS RIDES" for the WHOLE story, or visit his ADV threads: (which are different threads...)

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...hlight=jdrocks

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...hlight=jdrocks

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Probably the Versys rider with the MOST dirt and gravel road miles would be "jdrocks". He initially ran Metzler Tourance 130/80 x 17 and 150/70 x 17 for MANY miles (I am running those, too), NEVER 'aired-down' for traction, and used the OEM aluminum wheels. MANY guys with little or no experience will tell you that that just WON'T work....

I'm here to tell you that it DOES. Look up jd's ride reports in "MEMBERS RIDES" for the WHOLE story, or visit his ADV threads: (which are different threads...)

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...hlight=jdrocks

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...hlight=jdrocks
Yeah, I saw mention of his progression through modifications on ADVRider, too. I don't plan for the Versys to be my only bike, as I have a KLR650 (waiting for the 685 kit to be installed) for doing true dual-sport riding, but I have taken the Versys on rides where I wished I had more grip on the dirt. I did a 500-mile (roughly) one-day ride that was about 90% paved, but there was a section of rocky dirt, one mud-hole (very small, mostly water), and lots of graded dirt to rattle the hell out of my stock mirrors (which rotated like they were spinning windmills).

I'm keeping an eye out for some stock wheels to mount a set of Conti Trail Attacks, but failing that before the week-long 90% paved trip I'm planning to go on the first week of April, I'll probably just mount the Conti's on my own stock wheels & enjoy their versatility until I find a second set of wheels.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 01:46 PM
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i have an 09 and put an aftermarket exhaust on it, so i installed a power com V, ive tried a couple diff map downloads and it runs awesome, but did seem to hurt mpg a little. the programs are usually made for performance not mpg improvement.
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