Why I ride a V - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Why I ride a V

Swapped rides with a buddy and rode his Shadow today, for a very short ride. Bad ergonomics, locked in position, forget about shifting your weight off the saddle, and talk of ass pain? Mine was numb within ten minutes.


It was a windy day and I had the unique experience of having my boots blown off the footpegs, which made me reflect on the fact that I've always seen the 'cruiser' riding position very similar to that of a woman in stirrups on a gynecologist's table. Can't get that image out of my mind. Great for birthing, but a crappy position to ride a motorcycle.

Big (fat) (wannabe) tough guys (shaved head, goatee), with the proper grimace attached, love that image, but I just don't get it, and it really does restrict the proper use of what should be an agile motorcycle. Stick to muscle cars you slowpokes, and quit backing up traffic, it's getting embarrassing.

No offense to L. He'll appreciate the poke.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 06:54 PM
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my husband just got a shadow (vlx600) a few months ago.. i have to say its a fun poke around and not bad for a jot down to the store but i like my versys far more. but to me its a big improvement over the 200cc i started him on. now we can ride together on longer rides and at higher speeds so as lonng as he is happy thats all that matters....... what shadow does your friend have?

yes im a guy.
Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 09:19 PM
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When I first got my licence I borrowed a Shadow for a week - I gave it back after 4 days.

They aren't for me.

Although I have had Miss Jaffa (Burnt Orange 2007 Versys) for a while, I still have a lot to learn.


"The happiest people donít have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything."
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 05:13 AM
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Upright dirt bike riding position is by far the safest and arguably the most comfortable way to ride a motorcycle.
Versys has this in spades compared to most others & at bargain basement prices.
Even the Euro's are starting to see its merits as it is / was the official bike of the 2016 Giro D'Italia... doesnt Italy make bikes!?
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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What shadow does your friend have?
2007 750 with shaft drive. Very minimal ride. Single front disc, no tach, no trip meter, no information other than a couple of idiot lights.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 07:34 AM
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Smiley, how did your buddy enjoy the Versys?

Always trust your cape.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Smiley, how did your buddy enjoy the Versys?
He really liked the acceleration and the engine braking, but he was a bit hesitant in the twisty bits. I let him lead and although I was far behind him in the straight sections, I caught him in the curves.

He did like the fast steering and minimal bar input needed to change line. Vastly different than the much firmer push required to change direction on the Shadow.

I usually leave him behind in the tight curves but am surprised how fast he does corner the Shadow. He has had to slow it down a bit after grounding some hard bits and scaring himself.

He found the V footpegs and shifter hard to use, probably due to the set-up of my shifter for my huge feet. He also mentioned the pegs hit his legs at a stop. I told him 'don't stop!'
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
2007 750 with shaft drive. Very minimal ride. Single front disc, no tach, no trip meter, no information other than a couple of idiot lights.
theres a trip meter but no none of that other stuff =p and ya a very minimal ride

yes im a guy.
Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
Swapped rides with a buddy and rode his Shadow today, for a very short ride. Bad ergonomics, locked in position, forget about shifting your weight off the saddle, and talk of ass pain? Mine was numb within ten minutes.


It was a windy day and I had the unique experience of having my boots blown off the footpegs, which made me reflect on the fact that I've always seen the 'cruiser' riding position very similar to that of a woman in stirrups on a gynecologist's table. Can't get that image out of my mind. Great for birthing, but a crappy position to ride a motorcycle.

My first bike was a 650 Vstar. For all these reasons alone I will never go back to a cruiser. Upright, adventure style seating is now the only way I will go

14 Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS (kawi green)
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
Swapped rides with a buddy and rode his Shadow today, for a very short ride. Bad ergonomics, locked in position, forget about shifting your weight off the saddle, and talk of ass pain? Mine was numb within ten minutes.


It was a windy day and I had the unique experience of having my boots blown off the footpegs, which made me reflect on the fact that I've always seen the 'cruiser' riding position very similar to that of a woman in stirrups on a gynecologist's table. Can't get that image out of my mind. Great for birthing, but a crappy position to ride a motorcycle.

Big (fat) (wannabe) tough guys (shaved head, goatee), with the proper grimace attached, love that image, but I just don't get it, and it really does restrict the proper use of what should be an agile motorcycle. Stick to muscle cars you slowpokes, and quit backing up traffic, it's getting embarrassing.

No offense to L. He'll appreciate the poke.
L.. all the hate out there..LOL
I'm not big, fat, am a little hair deficient though (involuntarily) and I have no issues getting on a cruiser.. Probably never as a primary Bike, But I test rode both an Africa Twin, and a 2015 Indian Scout over the weekend, and absolutely loved the scout.. 100 HP, way comfy seat comfortable ergo's and handled wonderfully. I would certainly jump on it before the Versys if I were to do some serious highway miles. I would never have one as my only bike, but would have absolutely zero issues having one in the stable!
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 10:07 AM
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one thing i found about my husbands shadow is you have to really lay back into it almost like a lazyboy to get were my wrist wouldnt go numb

yes im a guy.
Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 10:29 AM
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My "missus" has got a 750 Shadow & while it fits her 5ft 6" frame perfectly (& she just lurves them thar cruisin pegs!!!) my 6ft frame shouts in agony if l ever have to take it anywhere for her!

I did however have a 1100 Shadow American Classic when l lived in Vegas & that felt reasonably comfortable for my Strip cruisin' days!

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 01:06 PM
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Rode 375 miles alone yesterday spur of the moment, for some intentional rustic-gravel-scenery touring.



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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 03:28 PM
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I know this is a cruiser bashing thread more than a love my Versys thread, but in the years I have been on this forum, the number of uncomfortable Versys rider posts are very plentiful.

Many posts on the seat locking you in.
Many posts on the forward slant.
Many posts on the cramped legs
Many posts on needing risers.
Many posts on better windscreen.

Also saw many posts where Versys riders try to replicate the cruiser riding position with a Corbin seat, handlebar risers, and highway pegs. Even a rider backrest for some!

I guess we are all built different and prefer different riding positions.

Some of us like multiple riding positions because we realize there is no one perfect riding position for all types of riding.

The Versys is a compromise bike. Any bike that is Versatile is going to be a compromise bike. Not great ant any one thing, but good enough.

I guess some people have to trash what they don't have in hopes of making what they do have look better, instead of focusing on the merits of what they do have.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 03:33 PM
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My first bike was a 650 Vstar. For all these reasons alone I will never go back to a cruiser. Upright, adventure style seating is now the only way I will go
If you are judging all cruisers based on riding that little bike, you are missing out, but whatever.
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 08:24 PM
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Bikes are very sensitive to individual setup and use.

I did over 30,000 miles on a middleweight cruiser with a good Mustang saddle and pegs, no issues. But took 10,000 miles to get my position dialed in and learn how to let my feet roam around. Stock seat and position was hell.

Versys (which I don't ride much) stock seat, not much to write home about. Make friends with that tank!! Now has wider aftermarket plus air ventilation / no slip pad. Much better, very intuitive position. I would need a bit more bar rise and reach, just a little bit. Mrs. Toaster is well fitted now.

Another ADV bike, my VStrom 1000, custom Sargent seat, no slip pad, and I need the bars up at least an inch. Kinks my back. Even the 1/8" I got with washers made a big difference. Exactly where the bars are for balance is the difference between post-ride creaky back and effortless miles, as little as 1/2" in bar position. Being able to pull up on the seat a bit, or push back also makes great difference.

Most comfy and easiest to ride by far is my current cruiser, Guzzi California 1400. Took lots of adjustments, still coming along. 2" ROX to raise the bars, reroute the clutch hydraulic line to do that, air hawk and no slip on the seat to get the rise. Can move about 2" fore and aft without any trouble on the seat, maybe more. Can run a back rest. Can lean back and have feet well up on the floorboards, or go straight armchair with end of heel just leaving floorboard, or toes on back edge of floorboard (best for twisties) and for a rest on the highway, heels hooked on the passenger pegs. That kind of variety is what really makes a difference on a cruiser. Locked in on a stock seat without setup is always hell!

So I don't think there is simply comfy or not. It's how it's set and how it's used.

Dr. Toaster: Guzzi 1400 California, VStrom 1000
Mrs. Toaster: 2009 Versys 650
Located 50 miles W of Deals Gap aka Dragon
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 09:04 PM
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one thing i found about my husbands shadow is you have to really lay back into it almost like a lazyboy to get were my wrist wouldnt go numb
Not all croozers are created equal.
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 09:15 PM
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Not all croozers are created equal.
nope just the shadow is that way, the rebel get freaking unstable if you try to lean back like i do on the shadow

yes im a guy.
Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 05:10 AM
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nope just the shadow is that way, the rebel get freaking unstable if you try to lean back like i do on the shadow
Once upon a time, I bought a Yami Warrior as my first foray into croozin. I bought it from a dealer a couple hundred miles from home as they make smokin, no hassle deals.
When I got it home, I was mortified. That was about the most uncomfortable I'd ever been for a few hours in my life. I hate pissing away money and that seemed like a doozy.
After a little research, I found some floorboards, a small windscreen, handlebars, and after some surgery on the seat with organ donation of some bicycle gel seats, the ride was superb.
That Yami had some of the best brakes ever too. Only problem with it was I was using it to commute to work at ~80 mph. And at that speed, I got a lot of vibration thru the handlebars, putting my hands to sleep.
I ended up trading it for a Victory croozer that was even more brilliant 'cept for the brakes.
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saddlebag View Post
Once upon a time, I bought a Yami Warrior as my first foray into croozin. I bought it from a dealer a couple hundred miles from home as they make smokin, no hassle deals.
When I got it home, I was mortified. That was about the most uncomfortable I'd ever been for a few hours in my life. I hate pissing away money and that seemed like a doozy.
After a little research, I found some floorboards, a small windscreen, handlebars, and after some surgery on the seat with organ donation of some bicycle gel seats, the ride was superb.
That Yami had some of the best brakes ever too. Only problem with it was I was using it to commute to work at ~80 mph. And at that speed, I got a lot of vibration thru the handlebars, putting my hands to sleep.
I ended up trading it for a Victory croozer that was even more brilliant 'cept for the brakes.
ya so far with my husbands shadow ive added....
saddle bags (so he cant use the excuse of cant carry soda to work)
new foot pegs (partly because the stock one was broke in a crash)
put the stock windscreen from my versys on it
added a phone holder+usb charger
and even added a cup holder the other day =p
im not huge on the angle of them (but my husband like them)but the handle bars are pull backs on rubber mounts (that i personally hate..feels so detached )


might i also add that its the 600vlx with a "wide ratio" 4 speed transmission, so it kinda feels like a scooter to me (almost never have to shift gear feels like)
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Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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