Switching rides - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Switching rides

Hello all,

I've been riding for about 18 months now and am thinking of trading in my Harley for a Versys. I use my bike to commute only. I've found over time, that HDs require a deep wallet to customize. How about the V? If I feel comfortable on it, is it something that I can ride daily and not worry about upgrading?

Thanks, from Southern AZ
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 03:51 PM
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First. No one says you have to customize a Harley. What model are you currently riding?

Second. There aren't many "customize" parts for a Versys so the temptation isn't there.

The only negative of a Versys coming from a Harley is going to be chain maintenance. It is no big deal to those who do it all the time, but it can be messy, and requires a place to perform the maintenance.

The Versys will have better suspension, will sit you up higher so you can see what is going on further down the road.

I personally spent an extra $3800 on my 2011 Versys adding hard luggage, crash bars, windshield, seats, etc. Some spend more if they want true off road wheels. Nothing I did I would call customizing. They were all necessities to make the bike able to tour on.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 04:56 PM
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 05:27 PM
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Welcome to the forum. I think you will find the Versys is less expensive to own, operate, insure, and customize than a Harley. I've a friend who until recently had a Harley bagger and he called it his $100 motorcycle. Almost every time he rode it, it would cost him $100. Translation: he would find a new farkle or more commonly something would malfunction. Not so with the Versys in my experience.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 06:44 PM
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My brother is on his second Harley and wants to get rid of it for the same reason...too much money and upkeep. First was a Fat Boy and now an Electra Glide. On one of them, can't remember which, he had to convert something related to a cam chain tensioner to prevent it from blowing up someday, and the bike was brand new. He's looking into a Versys now that I pulled the trigger on one.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazyb8s View Post
Hello all,

I've been riding for about 18 months now and am thinking of trading in my Harley for a Versys. I use my bike to commute only. I've found over time, that HDs require a deep wallet to customize. How about the V? If I feel comfortable on it, is it something that I can ride daily and not worry about upgrading?

Thanks, from Southern AZ
Only a pit stand is a requirement. The crash bars are more a nice to have thing. Pretty much everything else falls into the category of features you may want or not want depending on individual requirements. A lockable top box like a Givi or Shad one however will make it a lot more practical commuter.

* adding tip over protection $200 (not a requirement but a money saver if you have a drop)
* rear pit stand and spools (~$50 required to perform basic maintenace tasks unless you purchase a more pricey kick stand)
* lockable top box with rear rack ~$250+ (important for commuting to carry gear and laptop, also securely stores helmet and gloves)

* heated grips (nice to have in cool weather and $100+)
* aux high intensity LED driving lights and versys specific mounts (~$200)
* taller touring windshield ($100+ - not advantageous unless you spend a lot of time at highway speeds or are taller than 6ft)
* tank bag (~$150 for a good quality one)
* hand guards ($150, mainly a cosmetic enhancement)


Nothing much goes wrong with these bikes. You should expect only the costs associated with regular maintenance, most or all of which you can do yourself. Things like oil changes (7200 miles), tires (~10K miles), lubing and adjusting cables (~5K miles), brake pads (~15K miles), chain and front sprocket replacement (~20K miles), valve adjust (~20K miles), wheel and steering bearings (~45K miles), etc..

You can download the service manual from this site in the TECH Section.

Last edited by twowheels; 08-18-2017 at 10:06 PM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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I currently have a 1200 Custom. Originally I bought it to just cruise and tour, but I don't have time to just disappear all day from the family. So commuting duty is the only time I can ride.

I've come to appreciate practicality over style at this point.

I'm looking at the 650LT as it has the cool saddle bags already. That would double what I have with a sissy bar rack.

After riding home tonight, how bright are the lights?

How often do you lube the chain?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 04:27 AM
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Hard bags are nice, I like soft better. Can stuff like mad, less expensive to replace when there's a tip over. Trunk is most useful.

Lubing chain depends a bit on the use. I'm using PJ something or other black. Was using chain wax but found it harder to wipe off and never seemed to be doing as good a job as I'd hoped. Likely just my prejudice. Regardless, every 500 miles at least I add some lube and wipe off. Can rig a small jacking system (various) that pops the rear wheel up by lifting the right side of the swing arm with the kickstand down, allows lubing and such while traveling. I clean chain thoroughly every oil change and inspect sprockets. Kerosine & brushes.

Wind protection is current project. Working on turbulators. Have to get a yarn tuft study done yet.

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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