Mexican Paved Road Trip - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Mexican Paved Road Trip

I'm thinking of buying a Versys to take a trip on mostly paved roads in Mexico. Many of the roads have potholes and broken pavement, and especially speed bumps (topes). I'm afraid my ZRX 1100 would get hung up on the speedbumps, how much ground clearance does a Versys have?

I could just put pavement oriented tires on my KLR 650, but I'd like more power, especially when riding at 6000 - 7000 feet.

Should I put a skid plate on the Versys to protect the bottom?

Any recommendations on pavement oriented dual-sport tires?

Do the 2010 and later models have significantly less vibration?

Thanks,

Paul Streeter
Minnesota
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Streeter View Post
I'm thinking of buying a Versys to take a trip on mostly paved roads in Mexico. Many of the roads have potholes and broken pavement, and especially speed bumps (topes). I'm afraid my ZRX 1100 would get hung up on the speedbumps, how much ground clearance does a Versys have?

I could just put pavement oriented tires on my KLR 650, but I'd like more power, especially when riding at 6000 - 7000 feet.

Should I put a skid plate on the Versys to protect the bottom?

Any recommendations on pavement oriented dual-sport tires?

Do the 2010 and later models have significantly less vibration?

Thanks,

Paul Streeter
Minnesota
Hey Paul. The Versys is an ideal bike for touring Mexico. I live there, and have put on almost 35k miles in the country so far on my 08. You should not need a skid plate. Do keep your eyes out for topes however, as caught unaware I've bottomed out both front and back and gone airborne. As for tires, I usually run a Metzler Tourance in the rear, and an Avon Distanzia in front. I usually get around 11-13k miles out of each. I'll probably be upgrading my bike this spring/summer, and have pretty much decided on another Versys as I believe it has about the best mix of abilities to cope with the various roads here, from cobble stoned city streets, to tope laden carreteras, to dirt/gravel roads, to super-fast cuotas.

Michael
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- Terry Pratchett

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 04:41 PM
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I just finished 5,000 miles through Mexico and I had a great time on my Versys. I did about 150 miles of Dirt/Sand roads as well. The Versys did well. I was on the heavy side for deep sand and deep rutted roads (700lbs = Bike, Luggage, Myself). Perfect for gravel, dirt, light sand and whatever else your experienced enough or crazy enough to take on.
I did bottom out the front end on some surprise potholes and the topos or speed bumps are everywhere and can be quit a jolt. I have a skid plate, and in some towns such as Batopilas the topos were so high that the bike rocked on the plate every time i went over the topos.
The bike rode smooth on the long hauls and is plenty fast. No mechanical problems at all.

One thing to keep in mind about road travel in Mexico, you will be riding on dirt at some point. There will all ways road construction, detours etc... Its usually going to be short but there were times i hit 10 miles of dirt road detours. They arent so bad in the daytime but at night it is difficult to navigate detours much less paved roads. Stick to the daylight, watch your gas gauge, and ride the whole country with a smile. The people of Mexico are the best.
Viva Mexico!

p.s.
I think Barkbusters and the Sw Mototech crashbars have been my best investments that ive made. I have been down several times in the dirt,sand, and once I took a 40 foot slide on the highway. My bike has suffered no damage except scratches to the guards. I did break my windshield and snapped a footpeg in half on the long slide, but thats it!


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