New to motorcycles - questions! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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New to motorcycles - questions!

Hello all,

I'm Ed from San Diego/Flagstaff (NAU).

I'm looking at buying my first bike in a month or so, and I've been heavily leaning towards a 2012 Versys. The only other bike I've been thinking about is the Suzuki V-Strom. I like the standard ABS and V-Twin engine on the Strom, but I feel like the Versys might be a little better suited for what I'm doing.

I don't plan on touring, and I want a light(er) bike that is still sporty for commuting or weekend fun. I sat on a 2011 V-Strom today and it feels pretty bulky. I was looking at the Ninja 650, but I like the slightly more upright style the Versys provides. I won't be doing any aggressive riding, or super crazy cornering. I just want a nice bike, good value, and I feel as if the Versys delivers.

Any thoughts or advice?

Thanks!

Last edited by Sykes; 12-13-2011 at 11:16 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 11:59 PM
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Welcome to the site, Ed. I am in the same boat as you. I'll be going with the Versys. Because it's my first bike, I am leaning towards a low mileage used model. That way I won't have to kill myself for dropping/crashing a brand new bike.

Hoping to become a rider soon
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
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I won't be doing any aggressive riding, or super crazy cornering.
Ha, you are new. Just remember this when you scrape the pegs for the first time.

Welcome to the best hobby (that usually turns into a way of life) on earth.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 02:13 AM
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Dont get the versys as you do not want to do any super crazy cornering as this bike will do it with out the riders permission
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 03:49 AM
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Versys is such a good bike for beginning, when you're tall or not. Anyway, for having tested both, V-Strom sounds more cocoon compared to Versys.
But what attracted my attention for Versys is the lower price and the more fun provided by.

Anyway, in both cases, you'll make a good choice and insurances will not be abusive IMHO.

"Un intellectuel assis va toujours moins loin qu'un con qui marche" (Michel Audiard)

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: 15/09/09 : 9948km - 02/04/12 : 71283 + 53km

Last edited by banditmaniak600; 12-14-2011 at 03:52 AM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 05:37 AM
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Suggest a test ride if you haven't. Only way to satisfy your decision. Good Luck.

My V Blog:
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Ride safe,
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 06:09 AM
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The V is the most fun bike I have ever owned! I don't even ride my Honda any more! Ha! Ha! Ride free and be safe!





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( RIDE FREE BE SAFE )
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Last edited by MTS; 12-14-2011 at 06:13 AM.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 06:11 AM
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Welcome...the Versys is a great commuter bike and not bad for long trips with a just a few mods. Your are obviously going to get a biased opinion of the Versys on this forum. A friend has VStrom and likes it but he really likes my Versys.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 06:24 AM
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You say you want a "nice" bike, "sporty" but not "aggressive". How do you plan to approach motorcycling? Are you interested in learning how to become a more proficient rider over time, or will the bike mainly be to get out on the open road and smell the breeze? I ask this because if skill development is your objective, the better place to start IMHO is on a smallish dirt bike. If you want to just cruise then frankly a cruiser is a better option: far more stable than the Versys, lower cog, more mellow power delivery, etc. While the Versys/Ninja is not a hardcore sportbike, it can still spank the novice, as evidenced by the high number of crashed 650's available for parts (allowing jdrocks to stay in business). There are lessons to be learned in the dirt, and don't forget when Kenny Roberts invited his friends over for a tear they did it on little dirt bikes. And we all know what that led to. Sorry for the lecture.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I think some of you hit the nail on the head. As I said, I'm new to this addicting hobby, so I think I probably made it sound like I was holding myself back a lot. I do plan on getting the full experience... commuting, for fun, twisties and all. I just need some time to build up to it I think.

I think maybe I just said that to try and not sound crazy. But honestly, I am a little crazy! Haha... Been riding/racing bikes (bicycles) since I was 12 and I loooove descending and going through tight turns. I had a bad crash a couple months ago, but the way I see it... cycling for so long with all the dangers has me in the right mind set for doing the same thing, but with a motor attached. I just need a little experience.

Thanks for the welcome guys! Hoping to be actually be an official member in a month or so with a new addition to my family. I just hope my Volvo station wagon doesn't get jealous!

Last edited by Sykes; 12-14-2011 at 07:21 AM.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 08:01 AM
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I would never sugest the Versys as a starter bike. I think I moved up to it too soon when I renewed my license for motorcycles. I bought a nice little used ninja 250.

I still love the little ninja 250 and the fact is it was a good all around motorcycle and if it hadn't killed my wrists after installing a riser I probably would have it still.

In short I love my Versys but I would never class it as a beginner motorcycle. Intermediate definitely. It can be pretty aggressive if you aren't careful. A smaller, lower center of gravity motorcycle or a nice little thumper dirt/road motorcycle is a better place to start.

That being said it is a great machine and the amount of accessories (another part of why I upgraded) makes it a good all around fun to drive machine.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input!

I rode around on my friend's 85 Honda Shadow (700cc?) and it wasn't too powerful or anything for me. Although I wasn't riding in traffic or freeways, so i guess I can't really tell.

I definitely am a fast learner, but I'll take things as slowly as I need to in order to feel comfortable, especially on a motorcycle where unconfidence can have very bad results.

Keep the comments coming! I appreciate the vast amount of knowledge and array of opinions on these forums.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 09:40 AM
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My last bike right before the Versys was a new 09 V-Strom. I have been riding a long time so there was no issues as far as a beginner bike or not but I just found it to be heavy and cumbersome feeling.
Most of my riding is commuting and local riding and the odd highway day trip and for myself the Versys is way more fun to ride. It is more agile and flickable. I have put many more kms on compared to the Wee Strom...
Just my personal opinion...

2013 Versys1000
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 09:56 AM
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I agree V-COASTER. However I still get an itch for the little 250. In terms of just slinging it around and having fun it was a great little machine. I think it would have been better for me to keep the 250 a bit longer to re-teach myself a bit more muscle memory and slowly work my way into the Versys. Sadly I don't have a stable to store two babies in so it was an all or nothing deal. The first time I cracked the throttle on the V I literally smiled from ear to ear and nearly threw myself off because in terms of pickup the V just rocked my little 250.

I <3 my Versys as my daughters would text.

Who knows I may add a little 250 to the stable for fun in the future. I think the 650 is where I am most comfortable on engine size.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi 41 View Post
Dont get the versys as you do not want to do any super crazy cornering as this bike will do it with out the riders permission
Kiwi means that in ....A VERY GOOD WAY!!!!!!!
(and not in a...OMG! what the hecks going on!!! kinda way)
The bike really is quite unique in that it does do many things very well at a very affordable price.
Also, the "V" is my first...and every time I saddle-up I thank my lucky star that I choose so wisely.
BTW... to the best-est forum on the planet!


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Aerodynamically sound since 1959. So says the good folk @ Lockheed, Atlanta GA.
The KLE 650 VERSYS: It can't replace the Love of a good woman but...
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Last edited by stagehand38; 12-14-2011 at 10:13 AM.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I love the enthusiasm here!

I'll definitely keep everyone posted on how this all goes. But it's gonna start coming down to hard choices here... black or yellow? I'm liking the sleek black look. Should go well with the sweet metallic black Shoei helmet I've got.
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