Bryan from Florida - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Bryan from Florida -- update: bought one!

Hey everyone.

I'm Bryan, I'm 25 and I live in South Florida. I am new to motorcycling, I don't actually even have a bike yet, but I am going to get my license soon and am incredibly excited about it. I have tremendous respect for those who do any type of adventure riding and I would love to get out and do some of the things that many of you on here have done. I fell in love with the Versys when I started to research bikes last year, and would love to own one at some point.

I am at a point in my life where I have the opportunity to take a new direction. I graduated from college 2 years ago with the plan of going to PT school. Unfortunately that did not pan out, and it derailed my plans for the forseeable future. Since then, I've been working a steady job as a security guard, re-planning my life and saving up some money. Just when I thought things were going well and I had re-decided on a path in grad school, I had another momentous change: my 8-year relationship with the love of my life ended. So here I am now, with no commitments to anyone but myself, and virtually any path I want in front of me though none of them set in stone.

I have long dreamed of doing a cross-country tour on a motorcycle, and in light of the recent events someone suggested to me that I go out and do it. My immediate reaction was "no, I can't do that", and their response was "why not?". Well, I couldn't come up with a good answer, and thus my daydream became something of a more realistic daydream. I really do have no commitments right now, and I'm not sure when in my life I will be at a point like I am now where I actually have the opportunity to do something life-changing.

So here I am now, thinking I am going to take advantage of the situation I'm in, though I'm still a bit apprehensive about it all. I'm not saying I would go out and ride cross country right away, obviously, but getting a bike and beginning to train for such a ride is certainly feasable at this point.

Anyhow, sorry for the rambling, but that's pretty much who I am and where I'm at right now. A solid introduction I hope. Nice to be amongst of all of you guys; I have been lurking for quite some time but just never felt the desire to post because I was (and I guess still am...) an outsider. So, whether or not I get a Versys I would still love to be a part of the community, it seems like a great group of people on here that I can learn a lot from no matter what bike I end up getting.

Thanks for the time, especially if you read all of that.


-Bryan

Last edited by breakingbryan; 03-14-2012 at 07:28 PM.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 08:46 PM
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Bryan, the versys in my opinion is not a true adventure bike can be adapted to go more off road if you want but not in the stock condition. The versys is a great road bike, can be used on track and not embarrass itself and on gravel roads it handles itself fine but there are better bikes if you intend to go more off road.

All the best with whatever you end up with.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 08:58 PM
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Bryan:

The V makes a great first bike if you are fairly level-headed, and an excellent ADV bike. I say these things based on experience - it was my first bike - and I've taken one 41 day cross continent trip up to AK and the Arctic Ocean, and another 6 month cross continent trip to NW Canada and the Arctic circle.

My recommendation to realize your moto travel desires:

1) Start pinching your pennies - literally.
2) Start downsizing, which will help facilitate pinching your pennies, i.e., get rid of extraneous stuff that keeps you from living in a smaller cheaper place, and sell the extraneous stuff for cash.
3) Pay off all your debt, if you have any.
4) Start planning. This is pretty general, but it should encompass both getting yourself financially secure, as well as primary, secondary, and tertiary plans with respect to beginning your trip and, in some more important ways, ending your trip, i.e., getting a job when you 'get back'.
5) Search for deals on bikes, then buy one. Develop some riding skills and experience by racking-up a few thousand miles under your ass before heading out. And make sure they are quality miles, i.e., urban riding and riding on rough roads (I had about 6k miles of experience when I headed-out for my first 12.5k cross continent trip).

I'm temporarily down in SWFL, until spring, so if you would like to see V set-up for cheap long-distance travel in person, pm me.

Also, if you aren't familiar with it, check-out advrider.com. Lots of resources and inspiring stories over there to figure things out.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 09:25 PM
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Brian

Welcome to the V family!

I, like you, would love to take a cross country trip and I fell in love with the V when I first saw it. At this point I have had a 2011 V for almost three weeks and I am still having a blast riding whenever I can (Even in crappy rainy weather).

I can recommend to get some good gear with padding built in, it can save you a lot of pain and trouble should things go south. Granted that is all up to you.

We will see you around I am sure!

-Steve

Steve
34000 miles and counting!
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 09:33 PM
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 09:47 PM
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and hope you're able to buy a Versys some day. Now seems like the perfect time to experience the fun and adventure of riding a motorcycle and the joy of touring. Good Luck!

Mark Jags
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 04:53 AM
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 07:03 AM
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and this is for you buddy:-

“Whatever you have experienced in your life is carved in stone. But today- at this very moment you have the power to make the shift from where you are to where you want to be. You are never stuck…you always have a choice. You just have to give yourself permission to grow, to love, to thrive.”

DavidJl

God Bless you , wish you well and thanks for sharing your life with us.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the responses.

Kiwi: I am not expecting the V to do any offroading. The TAT is for some time in the distant future for me.

Ed: Thanks for the planning advice. I am actually fortunate enough that post-graduation, my parents offered me a room to stay in until I get more permanently settled. So, downsizing and selling things off are not an issue as I'm still at home. Embarrassing as it may be, it is also a blessing. I love ADVrider and frequent that board as well; these two sites are largely responsible for my dreams.

ZD: Thanks for the well wishes. I'm glad to see that a new V rider is having a blast! Finding good gear is very important to me, and the research for that began shortly after the research into bike last year. Being in an extremely hot and humid environment makes finding protective gear that is survivable in the heat very challenging (isn't that ironic??).

MJ: Appreciate it!

Kirk: Thanks, I feel very welcomed already.

Fastoman: I absolutely love that quote. Thank you. It is both inspiring and applicable to both my situation and is a great motto to live your life by. Who is DavidJl?
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 02:06 PM
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If you don't already have it... get Quicken and install it on your computer then track every single penny you spend... from your checking account, savings account and your walking around money... for at least the first year. You'll be surprised to discover how much money you might waste on things you don't really need or want.

I started with Quicken when it first came out (when I too was in South Florida - Homestead back in the pre-Hurricane Andrew days) and within a year I had been able to stop the hemorrhaging of "nickle and dimes" out of my pockets and bank accounts (even though I was unaware it was happening).

I mean... I was anal about it. If I spent two cents for a stamp and a nickle for a piece of Double-Bubble... I put it into Quicken and after several months, I'd think twice before swinging by McDonalds for fries and a coke... or buying that odd lottery ticket just because I happened to be at the 7-11 counter during a fuel stop.

Within a year of starting to use Quicken - due to my changed spending habits - I purchased four years of credit hours from the Florida Prepaid Tuition program (lump sum) and 15 years later, used it to put my daughter through UCF without any student loans.

You'll be surprised how quickly your sums will increase once you're able to accurately display spending data - and then use it to make sensible spending decisions on the fly.

I first started using Quicken as a "fun" thing to do... It was back in the Windows 3.51 time period... a new software package to try out. It wasn't at all aimed at altering my spending (and savings) habits... That was just a byproduct that I never actually noticed until several months later when I saw that for some reason I had more money in my checking account than ever before... It was because I now knew that if I spent $3.37 at the 7-11 on a soda, candy bar and a small bag of chips... eventually (that evening) I'd have to log into Quicken and enter it.

It changed my whole financial life and has allowed me to get to a debt free lifestyle but still have what I "want" and need to have... and No... I don't track things as closely as I did in the beginning... I guess I learned a lot and now it's all pretty much automatic.

Oh... and yes... make the long trip when you can. I do loads of 300 mile trips now... but have plans for a solo 5300 mile trip in July to Billings, MT and back. Prepping the Versys as we speak.

GeneHil - Mount Dora, FL
2011 Kawasaki Versys
Viet Nam: Dec67-Dec68 & Jul69-Dec72

Last edited by genehil; 02-15-2012 at 02:14 PM.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 08:30 PM
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allready and on the cheep too

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ghlight=versys
This is a steal, and its in your area.

If I could swing it, I would buy it, and have twins, but I can't, so someone should grab this.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowflyer43 View Post
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ghlight=versys
This is a steal, and its in your area.

If I could swing it, I would buy it, and have twins, but I can't, so someone should grab this.
Wow...I'm on the east coast but I'm sure I could swing a trip over to Tampa if need be. Great find. I also am eying the one posted here from SE georgia. A few hundred more with a lot more farkles...but also further away. Damn. Haha...which would would you guys prefer?

I sent the guy on ADVrider a pm asking some questions, and all of the info about the bike on here is clearly laid out. I actually just found one on Cycle trader in SE FL but they're asking 4500+ for it which is out of the budget right now. I am shocked to find 3 of them within a day's drive though, haven't seen this many listed before...

Last edited by breakingbryan; 02-15-2012 at 09:31 PM.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 03:07 AM
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Sounds like a good plan for that long adventure trip in the beautiful country. But fun doesn't need to be a long trip. I look forward to the ride when I ride, even if it's just commuting to work.

I've cross country in the US from FL to CA but in a MPV with my family. Was stationed in AL then. Enriching experience and wished digital cameras were in existence then.

Present Ride: Yamaha Super Tenere 2012
Previous Ride:
2011 to 2015 2011 Versys Spark BlackKawasaki Ninja 2010 to 2011 250R 2008 Plasma Blue
My V's Farkle Log:
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 09:36 AM
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Bryan, shouldn't you be moving to Portland?
http://www.ifc.com/shows/portlandia
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 09:52 AM
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Howdy Bryan...

If you've never been on a motorcycle, you might consider getting a cheap, used anything-bike (rebel, ninja, old enduro, etc) and putting a few thousand miles on it. You can sell those for 95% of what you buy them for, as everyone has the same plan about starting light and cheap. The V might be a bit tall for a first bike. Anyway, that's the route I went. Had a cheap cruiser that was really fun to ride (suzuki s50) for about 10 months, then bought the versys.

Cheers, Jeff
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2010 Versys
SW-Motech crash bars & bash plate
SW-Motech quick lock rear rack
Two seahorse 720 cases / panniers
Givi wind screen

Last edited by Jeff S; 02-17-2012 at 01:30 PM.
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Howdy Brian...

If you've never been on a motorcycle, you might consider getting a cheap, used anything-bike (rebel, ninja, old enduro, etc) and putting a few thousand miles on it. You can sell those for 95% of what you buy them for, as everyone has the same plan about starting light and cheap. The V might be a bit tall for a first bike. Anyway, that's the route I went. Had a cheap cruiser that was really fun to ride (suzuki s50) for about 10 months, then bought the versys.
I did consider that, for a long time, and it's still not completely out of the question. If I can find a good used V though, I think I'll go for it for the following reasons:

1) By all accounts it is a great handling, comfortable, upright riding position, all-around bike. I think that is desirable for beginners and a great platform to learn and grow on.

2) It's a 650. I am by no means getting a bike to set any speed records, but Kawi's 650 seems like it would be enough power to have fun with while also not being too overpowered for a beginner.

3) I would rather not have to go through the hassle of buying and selling a "beginner's bike" and finding a replacement if I can find something well-rounded that I can learn on and still enjoy after the learning phase. Again, by all accounts it seems like the V fits this bill.

The height I suppose is a bit of a concern, but it is still fairly light as far as bikes go and I suppose that offsets the fact that it's a bit taller. It's obviously difficult for me to gauge as I haven't been able to sit on the V and compare it to something right next to it with a lower center of mass.

I understand what a higher center of mass causes, but do you all feel that it is a significant concern when learning how to ride? I'll have to learn to adjust to it at some point anyway...it may make the process of learning to control bikes easier at first but after that there would be an adjustment period to the new style anyway.
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 01:29 PM
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Hey Bryan,

You make a lot of good points there (two learning curves versus one is the main one). First: go take the MSF class and use their bike. That will be 250cc cruiser, most likely. That'll give you a baseline. Then, find a dealer or friend and see if you can arrange a test ride on a V, or at least a test sit. A V-strom in a dealer would do, too, or KLR, just something tall. I rode a 125cc dirt bike as a kid, but had been off a bike for 20 years. For me, a cheap cruiser was well worth it. I bought the bike the weekend after I got my 'M' license, and sold it for what I wanted a year later. Easy-peasy. (and my 'cheap cruiser' was 800cc, so they don't have to be under-powered 250's)

Just my view, not trying to push you away from a V. I love mine, and I'm trying to arrange my own multi-month ride next spring.

One difference in your situation than mine: I commute on my bike 8 miles a day (prolly 3 days a week), but only really ride it on weekend trips (~200 mile days and the like). So, overall, it takes me a while to gather miles, so my learning / confidence curve might be different that yours if you can dedicate a lot more up-front time to riding.

Cheers, Jeff
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2010 Versys
SW-Motech crash bars & bash plate
SW-Motech quick lock rear rack
Two seahorse 720 cases / panniers
Givi wind screen
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 01:37 PM
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Great introduction Bryan! Riding will free your soul. The problem is work gets in the way of the good times.

Glad you joined in and may all your roads be smooth.
The Versys is a great first bike.

"The Road Goes On Forever And The Party Never Ends"
IBA #23562

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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 02:17 PM
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There are compromises that come with every decision a motorcycle designer makes which is why it is impossible to design the "perfect" all round motorcycle, especially at this price point. The Versys is a great/fantastic bike if you urban and rural back road fun riding is your goal. It will even handle limited touring with luggage but if are going to venture off road or ride coast to coast on the Interstate their are better tools for the job.
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 11:45 AM
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hi Bryan I live in Florida to and have been looking at the v for a couple of
months and doing research to and I gotta say this thing is a tank.it can do what u want
And then sum Thers a thread on here called (going south tell the road ends)
He pushed the v to its limits and then sum. But really man this bike well last
with no problem weather ur going adv or just riding around it'll handle it
hope to see u on the road some day to


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