Reader turning poster....in Montana - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Reader turning poster....in Montana

I've been reading / "lurking" for about a month or so, thought I should make a post and say: "Howdy!"

Some co-workers were looking at getting motorcycles, and naturally they started prodding me, and it was something I've toyed with in the past - so I said "Yea, I'm going to get one!"

I've never owned (let alone ridden) a motorcycle before, so I was very dependent on what I should look at getting. We started looking for a used Ninja 250 / 500 (500 was the goal). I hit up a couple dealerships, first being the Yamaha / Suzuki one...sat on various sport bikes n cruisers, some felt nice, but didn't quite have that "just right" feeling. I moved on to the Kawasaki dealership, sat on a few bikes - the Ninja 250, the Vulcan, and then there was a 2011 Versys ...... yea, about $7-$8grand...no way I could afford to make payments on that. Then I started drooling over a Suzuki Boulevard C50(?) - same issue, too much (plus it still didn't have the "just right" feeling of the V). Either way, kept checking Craigslist, wall postings, etc.. Then, about 2 months ago (to the day), there was a posting for an '09 Candy Blue Versys - with 2 trunk cases (Givi? - haven't checked the brand), handguards, 2-3 windshields, after market exhaust, always garaged, well maintained, and about 3,770 miles...only $4,200

Met up with the guy at lunch that day (the day after it was posted on Craigslist), he said he'd even knock off $200 because the back tire was "patched" and leaked air - he was hoping to have it replaced before anyone called about the bike. Turns out my co-workers knew the guy too...anyway, after some back n forth with the bank that day and the next, I had bought me an '09 Candy Blue V for $4k.

Sad part? The first day I went to a nearby high school parking lot with my co-workers to learn to drive....we took the hand-guards and threw them in the box that had the mounting plate for the smaller of the two trunk cases, and a bunch of screws.... the next morning, I realized that I left the box of all those goodies on the grass by the parking lot and forgot to grab it! ... I raced out there on my way to work, and it was nowhere to be found

Day 2 on the V, and I had "new boots" that I was going to use for the safety course; ... I couldn't feel anything under my feet, so when I went to stop, I had a FUBAR moment - completely lost control (was just about stopped) ...the bike was laid down - and either I was thrown, or had the natural instinct to think: "oh crap! get away now!" and I launched myself...either way, I did a nice combat roll and was sooo thankful for the jacket, gloves, and helmet ...to this day there is a small spot on my left knee, that if pressed just right, feels like a knife is digging in (bone chip?) .... hahaha ... Day 3: I'm still a lil shaken up (it was the very next day) ... I was getting frustrated and wanted off, my co-worker stopped me and said to get off and breathe; being ever so grateful that he read my mind, I went to get off as fast as possible......problem.....the V is not light enough to dismount like a mountain bike.....YOU NEED TO PUT THE KICKSTAND DOWN FIRST. ...as it was starting to fall over on top of me, I managed to - once again - launch myself away (an hour later my leg was partially numb)....and this fall busted the clutch lever; oddly enough, I've found that I like the shorter lever (I feel like I have more control) - it's about 1.25" shorter (there abouts)...so Pazzo's here I come - when I have the money

Anyway, I've been actually riding on a daily basis now for 2-3 weeks, and loving it! Getting better and better and more comfortable every time I'm out - I just wish Montana had all year weather for riding lol

Picture of my Versys and my co-workers Harley - this was my first trip out of the parking lot and on the road; we rode up to Blue Mountain (Montana) - it wasn't all that long of a drive, but we came across a deer on the way.


So yea...it was a rough start...but it got better...passed the safety course....and now I'm cruising around, runnin' errands with my new blue friend
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 01:12 PM
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sounds like you are getting all your bike drops out of the way so should be all good from here in.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Kiwi Yea, that's exactly how I'm looking at it lol ... there have been a couple close ones - moving into intersections of all places, but nothing to write home about
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 01:19 PM
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2009 Blue Versys.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 03:16 PM
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Welcome and congrats on the new bike, it's a great choice. The riding season in Montana can be a little short sometimes but worthwhile in terms of quality over quantity

This summer I passed through SW Montana where I grew up on this ranch. It had been many years since visiting and it was real trip down memory lane.

Happy Trails

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 03:22 PM
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Welcome! I saw you liked the C50. Its a great cruiser, my last bike. I can tell you this.... I am 40 years old, been riding cruisers all my life and this is my first "sport" bike. I am having a blast on the Versys.

Enjoy your V! Be safe and have fun!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techRob View Post
Anyway, I've been actually riding on a daily basis now for 2-3 weeks, and loving it! Getting better and better and more comfortable every time I'm out - I just wish Montana had all year weather for riding lol
I understand your situation. My bike went down a few times its first year or so - all at zero speed (and usually in situations that made me feel foolish). I am certain now that it is better to feel foolish than to actual impact things at speed.

Please recognize that the peak for crashes on motorbikes (if I remember my "Proficient Motorcyling") comes at the point where people begin to feel comfortable on the bike, but before the skills that are required to be safe are developed. I now have 3 years and just under 20,000 miles on my Versys and I wonder when I will have the skill set to stay truly safe on the machine.

Perhaps you are in the best situation. You can get a feel for the bike and then you can have a season off, where you can read about how to ride a bike safely. Then next spring, you will be ready to have fun and be safe.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!
@Rock-Solid - Which area in SW Montana (if you don't mind me asking)? I live in Western Montana...I guess, sorta south...maybe middle....lol - haven't looked at a map in a long time. ...btw, I was also wondering what kind of tires are on ur V in that picture?

@Capn Kirk - I'm enjoying the heck out of my V! Honestly, I don't think I could make the move to a cruiser - not yet. I'm not talking by age or anything (I'm 30 myself, 31 in January)....I just prefer the seating position on the V (and the get up n go feeling) - I noticed even at work, I sit with my legs bent under me (i keep saying "my next bike" is going to either be a Ninja or Harley Sportster - with the legs bent....i just can't fathom my legs being straight out)

@Mursili - Those are my thoughts exactly. Over the off season, I have every intention of reading up on best practices, and maintenance (I'll prolly still take it to the shop for most things though)...I'm toying with signing up for the Level 2 safety course next spring too (i think that's what it's called).
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 01:26 AM
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Welcome to the World of Versys

I am just finishing my second season on a bike and love the V.

This summer was great and included a 5 day tour.

Just don't get too confident too fast.

Cheers

Bigaussie

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


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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@bigaussie - That's exactly what I've learned On one of my practice ones around a residential area, I was feeling very confident....I went to turn left (2 way stop - East n West...North n South didn't....I was turning South); there are some trees right at that intersection that VERY much impedes seeing the South bound traffic. I've done this numerous times, no biggie.....yea well, too much gas, let loose of the clutch too fast, I came close to flying into the ditch across the way - but gained control fast enough to coast off the road onto the walking path instead. ... haven't had that happen, well, since then.

::EDIT::
So anymore, I look at it like leveling a video game character.
You can race through each stage just to get to the next level and try to beat the game (your character will be capable, but not well rounded).
Or, you can take your time and sweep each stage completely clearing it out before moving to the next level (now your character will be stronger and plenty capable of taking on the next / final challenge).

Last edited by techRob; 09-26-2011 at 01:34 PM.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 01:49 PM
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Thanks guys!
@Rock-Solid - Which area in SW Montana (if you don't mind me asking)? I live in Western Montana...I guess, sorta south...maybe middle....lol - haven't looked at a map in a long time. ...btw, I was also wondering what kind of tires are on ur V in that picture?
I grew up in Dillon, left there in the early 90s. What town are you in?

The tires are a Pirelli MT60 front and Shinko 705 radial rear. Apparently some peeps only get about 3000 mi out of the Pirelli but mine has 4500 and looks to make it 6k easy enough.

I've got a ride report in progress that has the Mont travels (and a few other places) if you're interested.
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=16454
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rock! Yea, I'm definitely interested in reading / following that thread. I'm up in Missoula myself....so I get my fair share of traffic (as far as traffic in Montana goes)

I ended up getting the Pirelli Scorpion Trail Dual Sports (previous owner was considering them, and my co-worker suggested them as well) - prolly best to keep those on the pavement huh?
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 03:39 PM
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I think you'll like the Scorps! Great tire on the pavement and pretty capable on Dirt & Gravel roads as well. Well, dry dirt!
Dropping the bike is part of the learning process, but aren't you glad you didn't get that new one?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Good to hear that about the tires - thank you! I have a pretty good idea that I may end up on some trail(ish) roads at some point. I have a friend out in Anaconda / Butte area, and I just have a feeling if I go out there, we may get a lil bit dirty

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aren't you glad you didn't get that new one?
hahahaha That's what my two co-workers that were with me said when I did it. My thoughts: Yes and no. Yes, because it prolly would have hurt me dropping $7-$8k bike and the slightest scratch / ding / break would have made me feel really bad. No, because every scratch / ding / break would be from me and my learning experience ...right now, I'm in the process of patching a few things from the previous owner (missing a screw & 1 or 2 push-rivets)...which may cut down on some of the vibration I'm currently getting - it's bad, and I'm fairly certain has a lot to do with the missing pieces.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 12:59 AM
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If Montana had a longer riding season I'd be living there. Northern Indiana winters are long enough for me. Montana is a beautiful place, for sure.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 01:18 AM
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take your time and dont push your luck too far. Search the forum and there are a lot of safe riding, taking corners and so on. Your mate is a big help but you need to put in some work on understanding what riding is all about.

Remember you are in contact with the slap with 2 wheel and a only a few inches of it is keeping you upright.

enjoy your ride and every ride is a learning curve.

Ride safe and ATGATT.

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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again

@Tony - Yea the winters up here have been really messed up lately. It's almost October, and it's actually fairly warm in the morning (before 9am) - two weeks ago it was brisk / chilly though. I'm keepin' her out as long as I can - I enjoy the short ride to work and sometimes extended ride home

@Fasto - the thought about the little bit of rubber on the pavement has yet to escape my mind...I'm finally getting comfortable putting significant lean on my turns - and that still leaves a lot of room work. ATGATT no doubt - especially after my spill on Day 2
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