Researching a new 650 LT switch from Tiger 1200 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Researching a new 650 LT switch from Tiger 1200

Hi All, I'm an ancient rider and started with my first bike a Triumph Bonnieville in 1968 for a few years in college then a 15 year break and started up in the 80's with a Suzuki 850GS (which is not like a BMW GS). Wow did that Bonnie teach me to be a mechanic. Triumph Motorcycle, making mechanics of of men since 1902. I've had a slew of medium metric cruisers, Suzuki 800,Kawasaki900 and Hondas 750,1100 , a BMW R90/6, a Honda Pacific Coast 800 then a Triumph Thunderbird 1600 and just "downsized" to a Triumph Explorer Xc. Saw a few too many "Long Way Round" and got the "GS fever" For the record a 600 lb bike loaded with luggage totally sucks off road. I soon swapped the knobbies for Michelin Pilot Road 4 tires and that's that for off road for me.


Petite wife has also been riding a long while and recently sold her Victory Vegas and purchased a Kawasaki Vulcan S. She recently dropped her bike while taking a police sponsored motorcycle safety course and shattered her elbow. Now recovered she has lost her mojo with big 'Merican cruisers and when she sat on the Vulcan she fell for it.She has rediscovered the thrill of being a back road hooligan. The 1000 mile break in soon approaches then watch out for the blue lights in the mirror time.

I predict a Vulcan S 1000 very soon. You heard it first here. Got me thinking that perhaps I could shed a few hundred pounds and move "down" to the Versys 650 LT. Got me thinking that light and nimble is fun fun fun.



I do hate chains, really do not like them but now since I'm taking care of one anyway what's 2. So this is opening up a whole new range of smaller options for me to consider. I'm 5'10" and 32" inseam and can about flat foot the 650 but would not mind a bit lower.
It's going to be tough for me to give up the awesome growl and ergonomics (and shaft drive) of the Explorer but I'm doing my homework and reading a lot of this forum to see what I'm up against. I currently get 50-60 mpg with an easy 200 mile range. I think the Versys 1000 and my Tiger are in the same ball park. Tiger has more stuff but also costs a lot more. Triumph dealers and parts are scary to think about but my owners ship of Triumphs of late is comparable to Honda and Suzuki. It's been GTO. Gas. Tires. Oil.

I can see that already would need:

•new low seat-Sargent or ? as I can see factory seat suxxx
•center stand SW Motech
• Kako cruise control (no chance of 'electric cruise that I can figure out. had a vacuum system on Pacific Coast)
•Crash bars SW Mother-forker brand
•driving lights (factory option 500 bucks ZOMGWTFBBQ.) Rigid Dually 20211 with Denali wiring harness from Revzilla
•lowering kit maybe
•top case
•bigger and lower rider foot pegs
•Maadstad windscreen
•Barkbuster hand guards (perhaps not as the factory ones might be better than I think)
•Worse of all NO Farkking turn signal cancelling. What a crock. Had to add a Kisan signal minder to wife Vulcan already.

All the above already done on the Tiger. Damn it talking myself out of the lighter bike already.

Any suggestions welcome and I'll lurk on as time allows.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 06:26 PM
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The Versys 650 is a very capable bike for most types of riding. I had a Versys 650 then went to an FJR and knew i made a mistake. Was looking at the Big Tiger, Ducati Multistrada and the BMW S1000XR test rode the Versys 1000 and traded the FJR in on one. I do miss the shaft drive and electronic adjustable windscreen but Love the V-1000 Handles like a much lighter bike....

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 06:29 PM
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I know this is not the answer you want, but only you can decide what you want. We can only tell you what we like or dislike about our bike. I own a 2013 versys 650. Is it the best bike made? nope. I am 65 and have owned a lot of bikes. I own 5 at present time. I have a triumph daytona that will easy run off and leave the versys. I have a Harley heritage that is smoother and a lot more comfortable than the versys. I have a harley fxst that looks a whole lot better than the versys. You know then when I think about it the versys is not the very best of all bikes at anything. BUT!! of all the bikes I've owned, with out a doubt it is one of the funnest bikes I have ever owned. It's light, has punch, and handles mountain curves very well. The cons are: the seat is uncomfortable.( a riser block under the front of the seat helps alot, and it's cheap. check with member rawkstar he makes and sells them for about $15.) The rear brakes have a wooden feel. Stainless steel brake lines and a good after market brake pad will help a lot. I don't care for the windshield, and am searching for a better one now. If there was a bike that I liked better than the versys, I would sell the versys and buy it. But I can't. the versys is too much fun, and I'm not ready for the fun to end.
Buy the bike that puts fun in your life. After all motorcycles are more than just transportation.

Somebody help me get down off this soap box.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 06:38 PM
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to the forum. Let me say that many of the things you said aren't available actually are, http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...s-650-abs.html

some you posted I would never buy because there are cheaper and better ones, the seat I just modified, I am apparently 1 inch shorter, so 5'6" with 30 inch inseam, I lowered it and have both the footpeg lowering blocks and highway peg mounts and a ton of other stuff.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 06:56 PM
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I agree with your distaste for chain drive. For a solo rider the Versys is one of the best bang for the buck bikes out there. If you want light, lower seat height, and fun factor, check out the Yamaha FZ-07. 400 lbs wet.

My Versys Travels:


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 08:07 PM
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I love my SCOTTOILER for my chain. I should have bought one years ago. As for the Versys, it is a fun bike. Maintenance is easy, I have done all my own, valve adjustment can be done with basic tools. OEM parts are not that expensive either. Also a lot of knowledgeable and helpful people on this forum.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 10:29 PM
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Like Weljo, I was looking at the Ducati Multistrada and the BMW S1000Xr, but those two bikes are expensive and I'm sure the repair and maintenance is expensive too. I settled for a 2017 Versys 1000, black with the red pinstripes. I have about 700 miles on the bike and love it. I changed out the stock windscreen for a Puig 5999 and that provides an extra 5 inches on the height and a few inches of width on both sides. I did a lot of research and this bike gives the owner a lot of bang for the buck. The removable panniers can fit a helmet and attach/detach in seconds.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 08:57 AM
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You may want to forgo the Sargent Low seat. I just returned mine to Sargent. The seat is a bit lower but its also wider. The end result is that it doesn't help the flat foot problem at all. It's a little more comfortable but not $400+ more comfortable.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 10:59 AM
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I've also been riding many years (since 1963) and had many of the same bikes you've had. I've enjoyed them all even if I've never had a perfect bike (which doesn't exist). I've had my 2016 650 LT since last September and have modded my bike to suit me and am not regretting this purchase at all. I feel it's probably the best fun, fun, fun bike you can get for the money. I'm 6'0" and 213 and with lowered footpegs and handlebar risers, it's a good fit. At this point in my life, the power is just right for me; I don't mind rowing the shifter and let it rev when necessary. If I was a real big guy like Weljo2001, I probably would go for the V1000. I believe he's 6'2 and close to 300lbs.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motor_psycho View Post
...I do hate chains, really do not like them but now since I'm taking care of one anyway what's 2. So this is opening up a whole new range of smaller options for me to consider. I'm 5'10" and 32" inseam and can about flat foot the 650 but would not mind a bit lower....
When you set your 'sag' you SHOULD find that you flat-foot it - I'm 5'9", 30" inseam, and have NO problem flat-footing since I set my sag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motor_psycho View Post
...
•new low seat-Sargent or ? as I can see factory seat suxxx ....
NOT if you raise the front of your seat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motor_psycho View Post
...
•Crash bars SW brand
•lower rider foot pegs
•Maadstad windscreen
•Barkbuster hand guards (perhaps not as the factory ones might be better than I think)
Any suggestions welcome and I'll lurk on as time allows.
AGREE w/ the above list - Motowerk sells footpeg lowering blocks.

Ed
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Big thanks to all who gave me some food for thought.

Scottoiler-what a great invention.Had not heard of one ever so put in an order and I just finished installing one on my wife's Vulcan S.

Several good points raised especially about being 2 up and underpowered. That brings me back to the Versys 1000 and it's only a few. pounds lighter than my Tiger Explorer. Thanks for the heads up on the Sargent seat.

I will check out the suggested FZ-07 and do a Versys 1000 test as well next week.
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