Advice to a new owner - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Advice to a new owner

What advice do you wish you had been told and can now pass on? I am switching from 125cc to 650cc versys in two weeks.... never ridden a versys and never ridden above 125 cc. Sat on my new versys plenty of times and the height is good, both feet flat on floor.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 07:27 PM
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The Versys will have much more power than the 125, but it's very manageable. Just take it easy until you get used to it, then enjoy the heck out of it.

I don't care what you ride, just ride.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 07:27 PM
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Get the following accessories:
1) SW-Motech crash bars, they'll save you money and grief in the long run and prevent all kinds of otherwise preventable damage to bike
2) Buy cheap swing arm spools on ebay (10mm for 2009-2014 bikes, 8mm for 2015- bikes)
3) Buy a rear pit stand which is a requirement for any kind of DIY maintenance
4) A lockable rear top box, or saddle bags, are incredibly handy for securely carrying stuff on bike and replacing car for commuting. Top box is cheaper than saddle bags and makes passenger feel a lot more secure on bike as it does double duty as a passenger backrest.
5) Download the service manual from TECH section of this site
6) Try and do all maintenance yourself even if you are initially intimidated. Manual and help on this forum makes it easy and you'll grow your tool collection and level of expertise plus you'll save a lot of money. The only thing I've found not worth doing myself is mounting tires on rims.
7) If you live in Northern climate and are going to ride much in spring cheap heated grips are really nice to have to take the chill off, eg. Oxfords.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 08:23 PM
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Start getting everything you will need now, like oil/filter and wrench for your first change. I did the Motoman breakin and changed my oil at 20 miles.

Like someone else already said, order a rear stand with spools, and a front stand too if you have the cash.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 09:48 PM
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Spent some time to get the feel of the bike and don't push. Ride within your limit and the bike will follow you. Super bike for new rider and very forgiving.

Safe ride and enjoy your ride-ATGATT.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 08:15 AM
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The most dangerous period during your transition to a bigger bike is when you think you finally "own it".

Me and many of my mates have crashed badly during exactly this period by trying to do stuff way over our abilities/skills/experience. Leave room for some doubt in your mind, even/especially when you think you rock.

This of course is much much easier said than done, just keep it at the back of your head...

Shall we ride, or what?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 01:10 PM
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 01:57 PM
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Most motorcycle crashes happen to those with less than 5 months experience with the bike they are riding, regardless of experience.
Get to know your motorcycle, practice lifesaving skills - braking, swerving, turning.
Consider taking an MSF BRC2 or other intermediate "bike bonding" course on your motorcycle.
Consider doing so on a regular basis - spring tuneup for instance.

Most motorcycle crashes are between a motorcycle and another vehicle - 3/4 - vs single rider accidents, 1/4.
Most motorcycle crashes involving other vehicles are at intersections (not just places with stop signs/lights) while single rider accidents happen most often in curves.
2/3 of single rider crashes are rider error while 2/3 Motorcycle vs Motor vehicle are due to drivers violating MC right of way.
Most motorcycle crashes involving other vehicles occur within the rider's field of vision.

Stay conspicuous - add lights to the front and rear of your bike, dress in clothing more likely to get you noticed, position your motorcycle appropriately for conditions - be seen.
Remember that intersections are any place anything intersects with the road - play a constant "what if" and leave yourself escape routes.
Ride within your abilities, keep a margin of safety beyond what you think you need & depending on conditions.
Wear good gear at all times, I recommend full face/modular helmets.

Practice, practice, practice - especially braking from speeds you normally travel.
Motorcyclists will typically have around 2 seconds to make all of the collision avoidance decisions they will make.
Practice is critical, allows you to respond, vs react, whenever possible.

Ride your own ride at all times.

There are some good books out there, Lee Parks "Total Control 2" & Nick Ienatsch's "Sport Riding Techniques" come to mind, read up.
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Practice doesn't make perfect, it makes permanent.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 02:24 PM
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Safety gear ALL THE TIME!!! Don't push your limits. Your skills and ability will increase with time. I live in a very congested area of Nashville with cars around me at all times so I make myself as visible as possible. Wear high viz gear if you can, keep your head on a swivel, anticipate vehicles cutting you off and get a LOUD HORN!!!!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 02:11 PM
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BEST advice?

You ARE invisible, and EVERY other driver is TRYING to kill you!

Forget THAT and you'll probably learn what "hurt" is....

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 03:24 PM
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take it easy and have fun... also take in mind your bike is much heaver now so be mindful of where you park... the kick stand can sink into softer ground easier then a 125

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

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"closed mindedness causes bliss in simple minded people"
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 06:26 PM
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First gear is quite "short" - there are plenty of threads where gear changes will help with that. Also, the compression braking is much more acute than smaller motorcycles (I came from a 250) so throttle control takes some practice to be smooth. The bike is really top heavy with a tank full of fuel. Those are the things I remember that surprised me when I made the switch. Have Fun and Be Careful!!!

Forty years away from 2 wheel fun. Sure is great to be back smelling the roses!!!
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you to all you versys riders for your sound advice. I am gping to try and persuade the dealer who i know to run my bike in for 20 miles and perfprm oil change....will see what he says!
I am a middle aged 47 something rider who had just spent too many years on 50cc moped and now a year on 125cc, so ready for the excitement of a larger beast! I chose the versys because it is not a speed machine but still has some excitement and will allow me to commute as well as go away on a road trip.
Thanks for your replies. All the way across the water in the island of jersey, uk.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digby View Post
...I chose the versys because it is not a speed machine but still has some excitement and will allow me to commute as well as go away on a road trip....
What I can NOT get over, is that, when I started riding in 1962, the Triumph Bonneville was considered an EXPERTS ONLY bike (had 40 HP), while today, the Versys w/ around 65 HP is considered a BEGINNERS bike.

Go figure....
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
What I can NOT get over, is that, when I started riding in 1962, the Triumph Bonneville was considered an EXPERTS ONLY bike (had 40 HP), while today, the Versys w/ around 65 HP is considered a BEGINNERS bike.

Go figure....
I agree with Fast Eddie. I had read lots of reviews and this forum before I got my 2016 LT and I was surprised at how much grunt this bike has for a 650 twin as it will snatch the front wheel off the ground just by grabbing a handful in first. No clutch up needed.

It certainly doesn't have the top end rush of a four cylinder liter bike, but I don't ride like that (anymore, I'm 70).

Whats really cool about this bike is that it isn't intimidating and it's so easy to ride. Just plain fun!
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