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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2012, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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New to Versys

HI Everyone,

As of two weeks ago I became a new 2011 Versys owner. It was a really big step for me to finally sell my sport bike and buy a bike like the Versys. I have owned some very powerful and performance oriented bikes, and I was worried that the Versys would not hold my interest.

Sometimes I miss the outright performance of my old sport inline 4's but the thing with them is that whenever I was in the RPM range where the engine liked to work, I was already going fast enough to lose my license - I just can't afford for that to happen at this point.

The Versys reminds me of why I got into motorcycling in the first place. The best thing about the Versys is that it is really made for the street, not the race track. For those of you thinking on getting one, go for it! It has enough power to survive the highway (and then some), a very comfortable seating position and a punchy engine despite having only 60 horsepower. So far I have 2200 kms and counting (in two weeks!).

My first question for people in this forum is about the stock OEM D221 Dunlop Sportmax tires. I am interested in hearing what people have to say about them. I have leaned over on these tires pretty far with no complaint, but I have also heard some of the horror stories over the internet. Any comments would be appreciated! Cheers,

Stephen

Current bike

2011 Kawasaki Versys

Past Bikes

2004 Kawasaki ZX6 636 | 1996 Kawasaki ZX9
2007 BMW R1200S | 1998 Yamaha FZR1000
1992 Honda CBR250RR | 1988 Yamaha FZ 600
2003 Suzuki SV1000S | 1995 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1999 Honda CBR 1100XX | 1987 Honda CBX 250
1998 Honda CBR 600F3
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2012, 11:39 PM
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Welcome Stephen, do not Underestimate the versys on the track as a i have suprised many bigger sports bikes, apart from long straights it will hold its own.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 04:48 AM
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 08:26 AM
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With the possible exception of the high powered exotics, most bikes are built to a price point, and that includes tires (or tyres as known to some of us). Everyone has their own opinion and experience with replacements, and I'm no different. My preference is the Bridgestone BT023 which, for me, is an excellent choice, offering good grip and decent wear.

There are no doubt better choices for those who ride faster and lean more than I do (Social Security age rider) and hopefully others will chime in with their preferences.

Again,

Arion

"Plan? Plan! There ain't no plan."
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 08:51 AM
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Welcome to the forum. You're right the Versys is a fun, versatile bike.
As far as tires, I just switched to BT023's a couple weeks ago, not because the Dunlops ever felt bad but more of my own distrust of OEM tires in general and reading several posts on this forum about their poor performance in the wet (which I don't unless I get caught out in it).
On my supermoto a few years ago I switched out the tires right away and I did notice a huge difference but on the Versys, I didn't notice as much and I do lean in pretty good on the twisties and big curves.
In hindsight despite the BT023's feeling great, I probably would have waited until the OEM's wore out.

2013 Versys1000
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 10:57 AM
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Hey Stephen, congrats on the new bike and welcome to the forum.
You have gotten to the heart about what's best in the Versys- a sporty bike built for the street, not the track. I wasn't fond of the OEM tires but used them up anyway, 5k miles. Replaced with Roadsmarts for another 6k, better, but nothing to write home about. Conti Motion Sumo tires were next, and they were a revelation. For about 3k. I then put on a set of the Pirelli Scorpion Trails, the 160/60 was just out. A good versatile tire but it felt better to me at lower pressure than recommended, consequently not great wear, about 4k. I tried the Michy PR2s; the front wore funny and the rear picked up a screw so I was done with those at 3k. Went back to the Scorps, this time with the 150/70 rear, and I tried to keep more air in them. Not sure if it was the balance of the bike being different (1/2" higher in the rear), or just more meat on the rear tire (deep treads!), but my front was shot at 4k while the rear looked to have a lot more life in it. I got a set of the new Bridgestone S20s last month and have 2k on them now. They're a little twitchy straight up on chip-sealed roads, but feel superb leaned over. They feel good at higher pressure and appear to be wearing really evenly. If they can go 5k this is my new tire.
Unless I want to be doing more gravel and dirt roads.
And that's the crux of it, the best tire for your bike depends on how you ride it. Some folks will recommend a Sport-Touring tire that works for them, but if that's not your style you may not like it as much. For me, the Dual-Compound ST tires (Roadsmart, PR2) don't work that great on the V. The transition area from hard to soft compound wears away and leaves the tire with a humped profile that takes the fun out of the bike.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the warm welcome guys, and for the advice on tire selection. I should have mentioned that I am looking for something a little sticky. I would rather replace the tires a little sooner than having my front end wash out

I think I will leave the OEM Dunlop D221's on for now, and keep my eye open for a deal. A couple of guys recommended the Bridgestone BT023's so this may be the way to go.

Cheers!

Current bike

2011 Kawasaki Versys

Past Bikes

2004 Kawasaki ZX6 636 | 1996 Kawasaki ZX9
2007 BMW R1200S | 1998 Yamaha FZR1000
1992 Honda CBR250RR | 1988 Yamaha FZ 600
2003 Suzuki SV1000S | 1995 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1999 Honda CBR 1100XX | 1987 Honda CBX 250
1998 Honda CBR 600F3
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 05:29 PM
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And my 2 cents on the tires.......I slipped in the rain early on but found that it could have been in part my fault. From the factory the tire pessure was way too much. I run them kinda soft now and love them. So be sure and check the tire pressure!





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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen57 View Post
I think I will leave the OEM Dunlop D221's on for now, and keep my eye open for a deal. A couple of guys recommended the Bridgestone BT023's so this may be the way to go.

Cheers!
Got BT 023's on Ninja 1000 and the versys, seem to be able to lean right over with no issues, run on track okay and work real well in wet conditions and in my view handle heavy rain real well.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 10:29 PM
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Recommend the Michelin Pilot Road 3's (Sport Touring tires) as they have great life as well as great grip due I guess to their dual compound construction. They also get consistently great reviews and are probably one of the better tires in the sport touring category. You can get sticker "sport bike" tires but they'll have a shorter tread life due to softer rubber compound. Their slightly greater traction would probably be a waste unless your a knee down type of rider. The Pirelli Scorpion Trails are currently the only dual sport tires available in stock sizes. Just installed a set. Basically they are street tire with a slightly more aggressive tread, a 95% on pavement/5% off road tire which I think is a good balance for the Versys being it's really an on road bike.

Last edited by twowheels; 06-05-2012 at 10:37 PM.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-10-2012, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MTS View Post
And my 2 cents on the tires.......I slipped in the rain early on but found that it could have been in part my fault. From the factory the tire pessure was way too much. I run them kinda soft now and love them. So be sure and check the tire pressure!
Yeah, what's with the tire pressures from factory anyway? 36 psi is way to hard. Where I notice the difference with tire pressures is when I lean the bike over. The lower the pressure (up until a point) the more rubber is on the road.

Lots of people have different opinions I'm sure, but 32psi is a good compromise between tire lengevity and sticking to the road. I would rather have the tires wear out a little bit earlier than have the front end wash out braking, or in the corner.

Today we had a very hot day in Toronto, and I got a good lean on the Dunlop D211's. They seemed to stick very well. I'm over to the bead on the front tire with just a little strip left on the rear

Current bike

2011 Kawasaki Versys

Past Bikes

2004 Kawasaki ZX6 636 | 1996 Kawasaki ZX9
2007 BMW R1200S | 1998 Yamaha FZR1000
1992 Honda CBR250RR | 1988 Yamaha FZ 600
2003 Suzuki SV1000S | 1995 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1999 Honda CBR 1100XX | 1987 Honda CBX 250
1998 Honda CBR 600F3
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-10-2012, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Recommend the Michelin Pilot Road 3's (Sport Touring tires) as they have great life as well as great grip due I guess to their dual compound construction. They also get consistently great reviews and are probably one of the better tires in the sport touring category. You can get sticker "sport bike" tires but they'll have a shorter tread life due to softer rubber compound. Their slightly greater traction would probably be a waste unless your a knee down type of rider. The Pirelli Scorpion Trails are currently the only dual sport tires available in stock sizes. Just installed a set. Basically they are street tire with a slightly more aggressive tread, a 95% on pavement/5% off road tire which I think is a good balance for the Versys being it's really an on road bike.
Thanks for sharing. I have had a a number of Michelin Pilot sets and I have never had an issue with these tires. I haven't tried the sport touring Road 3's, but if they are a dual compound it's worth taking a look at.

I left my knee dragging behind me with the purchase of the Versys! Knee dragging on the street, in my opinion is an invitation for trouble! You'll get away with it 99 times in 100 but eventually it leads to a low side. I'm not in my twenties anymore....I don't want to do anymore low sides!

Current bike

2011 Kawasaki Versys

Past Bikes

2004 Kawasaki ZX6 636 | 1996 Kawasaki ZX9
2007 BMW R1200S | 1998 Yamaha FZR1000
1992 Honda CBR250RR | 1988 Yamaha FZ 600
2003 Suzuki SV1000S | 1995 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1999 Honda CBR 1100XX | 1987 Honda CBX 250
1998 Honda CBR 600F3
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 06:10 PM
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kiwi 41 View Post
Got BT 023's on Ninja 1000 and the versys, seem to be able to lean right over with no issues, run on track okay and work real well in wet conditions and in my view handle heavy rain real well.
Ah, there you have it. If BT 023s work well in Middle Earth how could anyone go wrong with a set?! After all, it's a magical land making most other places rather ordinary.

Arion

"Plan? Plan! There ain't no plan."
Pig Killer, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 09:36 PM
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In my opinion, the stock tires are fine for beginners, I purchased my Versys 4 months ago. I started to lean more aggressively with not a single issue. I think the lower power and nimbler design would lessen the negatives of any tire. My problem is that once I started to get comfortable with the stock shoes, I received a nail dead center in the rear (tire). 2,000 miles later the nail is still in the tread, although the head has worn off, and I plan to replace the rear with Kawasaki's recommended aftermarket Scorpion Sync. CycleGear only has the rear sync, so i'm contemplating Rosso II for the front. Any input on this idea?
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 10:24 PM
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-12-2012, 08:53 PM
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and on the DUNLOP, try to ignore what you read and see if your feel safe with the tire. If not than go for BT 016 or BT 023 from Bridgestone.

Oriental Bikes works well with Bridgestone.IMHO

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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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In my opinion, the stock tires are fine for beginners, I purchased my Versys 4 months ago. I started to lean more aggressively with not a single issue. I think the lower power and nimbler design would lessen the negatives of any tire. My problem is that once I started to get comfortable with the stock shoes, I received a nail dead center in the rear (tire). 2,000 miles later the nail is still in the tread, although the head has worn off, and I plan to replace the rear with Kawasaki's recommended aftermarket Scorpion Sync. CycleGear only has the rear sync, so i'm contemplating Rosso II for the front. Any input on this idea?
Dude, I can't believe you were driving around with a nail in the tire!!! Weren't you worried about blowing the tire? Was it the front tire or the rear? At anytime a nail could result in a blow out which may cause you to loose control of the bike (especially the front tire).

I would strongly suggest not mixing tire makes for the front and rear. Tire sets are are meant to work together i.e. they expand and contract at the same temperature, their grip on the asphalt matches, etc.

Current bike

2011 Kawasaki Versys

Past Bikes

2004 Kawasaki ZX6 636 | 1996 Kawasaki ZX9
2007 BMW R1200S | 1998 Yamaha FZR1000
1992 Honda CBR250RR | 1988 Yamaha FZ 600
2003 Suzuki SV1000S | 1995 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1999 Honda CBR 1100XX | 1987 Honda CBX 250
1998 Honda CBR 600F3
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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and on the DUNLOP, try to ignore what you read and see if your feel safe with the tire. If not than go for BT 016 or BT 023 from Bridgestone.

Oriental Bikes works well with Bridgestone.IMHO

I have ridden on the Dunlops for 3600 kms now. I feel I have enough experience to say that they have some stick to them. I don't treat them like Dunlop Q2's (race tires). I don't push them at all if there is any chance that the asphalt is wet or in the rain. Finally, all of my leaning is done on newer asphalt in weather above 25 celcius.

When I go to replace them, either BT 016 or BT 023 would be a good choice.

Current bike

2011 Kawasaki Versys

Past Bikes

2004 Kawasaki ZX6 636 | 1996 Kawasaki ZX9
2007 BMW R1200S | 1998 Yamaha FZR1000
1992 Honda CBR250RR | 1988 Yamaha FZ 600
2003 Suzuki SV1000S | 1995 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1999 Honda CBR 1100XX | 1987 Honda CBX 250
1998 Honda CBR 600F3
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Welcome Stephen, do not Underestimate the versys on the track as a i have suprised many bigger sports bikes, apart from long straights it will hold its own.
Hey Kiwi41,

If the versys is going to compare to my old race bikes in the handling department, I think it needs a new rear suspension (like an Elka), stiffer springs in the front, braided brake lines and an upgrade on brake pads.

The stock front brakes are a little weak to me. The reviews suggest steel lines and brake pad upgrades.

I was just wondering if you made any modifications to your versys before going on the track?

I plan on doing some work to the bike in the winter. I am not trying to turn the Versys into a race bike, but I think some of these mods give more control to the rider and actually make the bike a little bit safer.

Current bike

2011 Kawasaki Versys

Past Bikes

2004 Kawasaki ZX6 636 | 1996 Kawasaki ZX9
2007 BMW R1200S | 1998 Yamaha FZR1000
1992 Honda CBR250RR | 1988 Yamaha FZ 600
2003 Suzuki SV1000S | 1995 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1999 Honda CBR 1100XX | 1987 Honda CBX 250
1998 Honda CBR 600F3
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