Versys Wannabe Sez Greetings! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Member Introductions Just joined? Tell us about yourself and your ride.

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Versys Wannabe Sez Greetings!

Greetings folks,

My User Name is OldGaffer and I'm a long time rider but don't have a Versys - yet.
Most of my "riding" has been more parking & polishing than actual riding<WTF?>

Sad, but true. I started out with a '86 Suzuki Intruder 700(1st year they were 700
than 750cc after that). I enjoyed this Japanese Harley-Wannabe a lot and it was a
good first bike. I worked full time nites at the time and spent many a nite off in the
local mall parking lots and later back roads learning to ride. I was so clueless at first
the salesman had to ride it home for me! Well- true story.

Then came wife, kids, bills, and overtime in that order until the bike was sold in the
mid-nineties for much-needed cash. Then 2005 rolls around and a buddy let me ride
his Harley Heritage Softail and I got the Harley fever. I bought a FLSTN/I that year.
But guess what? It never got ridden much either. Why? Because I realized finally(!) that
Harley style bikes, although very cool cruising down the boulevard were just not what I
wanted to do with a bike which was something more sporty. You can say, "Well, that was
a costly lesson!" but again - the truth.

Now I want to fix up the Harley a little enough to sell it and hope to get a Versys this spring.
NO - I am not trying to sell it here. Just giving you some back ground is all by way of an intro.
I'm looking to downsize to something more practical and nimble. The Versys 650 ABS LT looks
like it would fit the bill but I have not totally ruled out the liter version either. Has anyone else
here made the "Get-a-Harley-Customize-the-Harley-But-Harleys-are-still-Boring-Anyway" trip?

Well, that's enough gab for now. I've been lurking here for the past couple of weeks and this
is a HUGELY helpful place to be. Thanks to the Admins. for making membership possible.

Howdy to ALL,

OldGaffer
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 01:36 PM
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I had an 09 Versys 650 now have a 2016 Versys 1000 both great bikes.....

IMG_0752 by weljo2001, on Flickr

P1010657 by weljo2001, on Flickr
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2009 Blue Versys.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Nice! And that looks like a great bike road as well.
Any riding/handling differences between the 2 sizes
that you could share? And/or - If you could have only
one then which one and why?

TIA,

OldGaffer
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 05:04 PM
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Tough call but for me i would choose the 1000 only because Im a big guy and like the extra power to haul my fat butt around. With the 650 i averaged over 50mpg. With the 1000 over 40mpg

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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When I first owned a bike I don't remember anyone back then using the phrase, "town bike."
Maybe they did but I don't recall it. Maybe there was a term back then. It was, "runabout."
But that sounds more like a Vespa or at best a Honda CB series. Of course, some folks would
be insulted to compare their beloved tourers as runabouts! But there was a time,... You know,
back in the Billy Jack days<wink, wink>. The Bad Rednecks messing with the Hippies on their
little whatever bikes until Billy Jack showed up to deal out some justice.

Nowadays town bike is a more commonly used term. I think the category of Sport Touring bikes
crosses over into the Town Bike category if the touring aspect is secondary. That describes a lot of
what interests me in the Versys line (although my Hippie days are 40+ years in the past!).
A sporty, nimble bike with hardshell luggage that can do the practical chores around town and
then go for short tours and bombing around some twisties as well. I think it will become a more
and more prominent category in motorcycles as things evolve.

OldGaffer

The "Versys" of the 70's??
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 10:24 AM
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I beg to differ, OldGaffer -- I put 95K touring miles on my '07 HD Electra Glide before I finally had a bad accident with it a few months ago and killed it. I can only pray that once I've finally recovered enough to ride the Versys (hopefully in a few months), I can take that HALF the distance I used to ride my Harley on road trips (usually 500+ mile days). It's just that the HD Heritage isn't made for that kind of riding -- and I should know, because I sold mine to buy this Versys back in August. No sir -- all Harleys are not the same, nor are all Harley models suited for touring.

But if you like more of a sport-bike riding position as opposed to the "easy chair" position of the HD Electra Glide, AND you have long legs, you'll love the Versys. As for me, with the injuries I sustained, I may never be able to ride the Versys again. Keep your fingers crossed.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Chris,

VERY sorry to hear about your bad luck! Hope you are back to 100% ASAP.

If you mean to say the rides we choose reflect what we each want out of them
then you & I have no disagreement whatsoever. Personally, I can't imagine
putting 95K miles touring on a 650cc anything but maybe that's me. And if so,
then fine. I will never put 95K total miles on any bike and that doesn't bother
me either so it shouldn't bother anyone else. Your post count is low like mine
but it's obvious that you have a ton of road experience. I hope that you & I will
both become long-time contributors here as you obviously have a lot to share.

Best Health to you,

OldGaffer
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 12:04 PM
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I live in the Los Angeles area. So i do a lot of town,city riding as well as canyons and mountains. Rode the V-650 from Ft.Worth Tx to LA one summer loaded down did 850 miles the first day and the last 550 the next cruising 80-95mph most the way and she just purred along.

IMG_0135 by weljo2001, on Flickr

2009 Blue Versys.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 12:16 PM
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aboard!

FWIW - I have OVER 67K miles on my '08 V; 62,790 kms on my '09 (38,930 miles) when it had an 'insurance write-off'; and have a '15 w/ 27,956 kms (17,333 miles), so, THAT comes to a total of about 123,263 miles among my THREE Versys 650s, and that includes three D2D (Dust to Dawson) rides.

Who sez you can't ride these a LONG way...?


Ed
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'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
Ride to D2D 2013, June '13

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGaffer View Post
Hey Chris,


Personally, I can't imagine putting 95K miles touring on a 650cc anything but maybe that's me. And if so, then fine.
I will never put 95K total miles on any bike and that doesn't bother me either so it shouldn't bother anyone else.
OldGaffer
Please Guys,

IOW, I was only talking about myself as should be obvious. I came to learn not fight. Say what you like I'm done with this.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGaffer View Post
Please Guys,

IOW, I was only talking about myself as should be obvious. I came to learn not fight. Say what you like I'm done with this.


Don't think anyone wants a fight. We all know the V is capable no matter what type of riding you want to do. But for me it has to include pavement

2009 Blue Versys.
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I'm not a Gynecologist. "But I'll Take A Look"

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 08:00 PM
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I'll be very disappointed if I don't put 100,000 miles on my '15 V. I just sold a c-10 Concours that had over 234,000 miles on it and it was not done. That bike and I have been to virtually every state, province and territory in North America. I intend a repeat performance from the V.

I haven't been to d2d yet, it's on my list, though. Sounds awesome. 2018 looks good, though it could happen in '17.

To steal a line from my friend roader Roy, ride fun.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
'98 KLR650


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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Well one things for sure - the Versys sure takes a pounding from some of you guys.
No denying that!

1.For those who've put on the longer miles/days in the saddle -
Ever a problem with "buzzing" coming through the handlebars?
(FWIW, there's one review on You-Tube that's states it's an issue).

2.Also, if you were taking delivery of a new, 100% stock 650 or 1000
Versys today what- if any- would be the first things your experience
would tell you to adjust, fine tune, or change in the stock version or
even swap out for something aftermarket?

I think the second question is especially relevant for new owners.

TIA,

OldGaffer
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGaffer View Post
1.For those who've put on the longer miles/days in the saddle -
Ever a problem with "buzzing" coming through the handlebars?
(FWIW, there's one review on You-Tube that's states it's an issue).
OldGaffer
I have an '08 that I removed the OEM bar-end-weights from when I installed handguards. NO issue w/ "buzzing" for me. Also a '15 which again has no "buzzing" altho' IT has the bar-end-weights still on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGaffer View Post
2.Also, if you were taking delivery of a new, 100% stock 650 or 1000
Versys today what- if any- would be the first things your experience
would tell you to adjust, fine tune, or change in the stock version or
even swap out for something aftermarket?

I think the second question is especially relevant for new owners.


OldGaffer
Add a DECENT horn (I use the WOLO Bad Boy horn from Harbor-Freight), and raise the front of the seat.

Ed
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'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
Ride to D2D 2013, June '13

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 11:04 AM
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Welcome aboard!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGaffer View Post
2.Also, if you were taking delivery of a new, 100% stock 650 or 1000
Versys today what- if any- would be the first things your experience
would tell you to adjust, fine tune, or change in the stock version or
even swap out for something aftermarket?

I think the second question is especially relevant for new owners.

TIA,

OldGaffer
I haven't sat on a 2015+ Versys yet, but for the older models, peg lowering blocks were my first purchase, and if I could only have one non-stock item on the bike, that would be the one I would choose. I have a 32" inseam, and found the stock pegs a bit too cramped. I would recommend these to anyone.

Dave C
2008 Versys (Red)
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGaffer View Post
Well one things for sure - the Versys sure takes a pounding from some of you guys.

2.Also, if you were taking delivery of a new, 100% stock 650 or 1000
Versys today what- if any- would be the first things your experience
would tell you to adjust, fine tune, or change in the stock version or
even swap out for something aftermarket?

I think the second question is especially relevant for new owners.

TIA,

OldGaffer
- adjust preload and damping on front and rear suspension for your weight with gear. It will make a big difference. Lots of how to videos on YouTube on this on how to set sag, etc. It is a two person job. Suspension is much more adjustable than a HD and makes a big difference if properly adjusted.

- readjust head light aim after suspension adjustment

- get and install crash bars if you ever think you might drop the bike on it's side, they will pay for themselves

- no kickstand, so you need a rear pit stand and some spools (8mm) to screw into the spool mounts on the swing arm if you plan to do any maintenance

- a tank bag like the Givi 3D603 (fits Versys 650 perfectly and uses a superior tank ring attachment system instead of straps or magnets) is handy to have if you commute or tour much

- think the LT comes with a 12v outlet, otherwise you need a cheap 2.1 amp USB outlet (avoid 1 amp USB plugs) or 12v outlet with 2.1 amp USB adapter to charge a phone or power a GPS

- heated grips are a really nice luxury if you live in Canada/Northern US or simply ride in cooler weather, aftermarket brands like Koso and Oxford work better than the Kawasaki branded ones and are much cheaper. A Cycle World magazine review of the Versys reported problems with the Kawasaki branded heated grips on multiple bikes.

- stock seat is fine for most including me, but there are lots of aftermarket options

- check the Twisted Throttle online catalog for a list of aftermarket parts available for the bike

I've owned two Versys, a version 1 and now a version 2. I've only had to replace normal wear and tear items like brake pads, tires, clutch cable, chain and sprockets, spark plugs, etc.

Last edited by twowheels; 12-30-2016 at 01:01 PM.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGaffer View Post
Well one things for sure - the Versys sure takes a pounding from some of you guys.
No denying that!

1.For those who've put on the longer miles/days in the saddle -
Ever a problem with "buzzing" coming through the handlebars?
(FWIW, there's one review on You-Tube that's states it's an issue).

2.Also, if you were taking delivery of a new, 100% stock 650 or 1000
Versys today what- if any- would be the first things your experience
would tell you to adjust, fine tune, or change in the stock version or
even swap out for something aftermarket?

I think the second question is especially relevant for new owners.

TIA,

OldGaffer

I've done the same things to both the 650 & 1000 to make it right for me. But went through 7 seats on the 650 Zero on the 1000 just took the lowering link off the 1000 because my hip is better and its no longer needed.

Here Ya Go....Its A Start

2009 Blue Versys.
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I'm not a Gynecologist. "But I'll Take A Look"

Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth...
Mike Tyson

"Ya'll can go to hell, I'm goin' to Texas!"...Davey Crockett
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 07:47 PM
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And if you look at other threads, a lot of us take the V very off road.

My last year's trip was to Alaska, next year is across WA on dirt on the WABDR - 600 mies of dirt from OR to BC

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 #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
...I haven't sat on a 2015+ Versys yet, but for the older models, peg lowering blocks were my first purchase, and if I could only have one non-stock item on the bike, that would be the one I would choose. I have a 32" inseam, and found the stock pegs a bit too cramped. I would recommend these to anyone.
The pegs are lower on Gen 3 650s, but I eventually put the lowering blocks on it too, making it even BETTER...!

Ed
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'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
Ride to D2D 2013, June '13

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