I took the MSF course and I got hooked.... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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I took the MSF course and I got hooked....

Obviously, my next step was to begin looking for a bike to start riding. My background with riding includes a bicycle as a kid and the MSF from a few weekends ago. I tend to lean towards the more modern/ sportier looking bikes so I first hunted down a ninja 250 to sit on and see how it felt; at 6'4, I would say that it was less than ideal.

After that, I began test sitting the bikes that the salesmen would recommend to a newbie and I eventually came across the Versys. I felt very comfortable sitting on it, the handle bars and controls felt easily accessible for my build (there have been some issues with the rear brake peddle for me on cruisers).

So there is now the obvious question of, is the Versys an acceptable first bike? As a skydive instructor, I am all too familiar with people riding something that is too aggressive for their skill set. Perhaps the better question to ask is; Is the Versys docile enough to allow a beginner to make the mistakes that are bound to happen?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggy187 View Post
Obviously, my next step was to begin looking for a bike to start riding. My background with riding includes a bicycle as a kid and the MSF from a few weekends ago. I tend to lean towards the more modern/ sportier looking bikes so I first hunted down a ninja 250 to sit on and see how it felt; at 6'4, I would say that it was less than ideal.

After that, I began test sitting the bikes that the salesmen would recommend to a newbie and I eventually came across the Versys. I felt very comfortable sitting on it, the handle bars and controls felt easily accessible for my build (there have been some issues with the rear brake peddle for me on cruisers).

So there is now the obvious question of, is the Versys an acceptable first bike? As a skydive instructor, I am all too familiar with people riding something that is too aggressive for their skill set. Perhaps the better question to ask is; Is the Versys docile enough to allow a beginner to make the mistakes that are bound to happen?
Absolutely yes.





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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 07:09 PM
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The Versys is an excellent first bike. It might be the only bike you'll ever need. Just go easy on the clutch release your first time out. The Versys will pull a willie easily if you are not carefull.

I'm a late starter and working hard on catching up. My 2008 Versys is my first bike. Bough it used with onlt 1,100 miles on it for what was a great price at the time. I'm on my third year riding and have put a couple of tens of thousands of miles so far. I'm having a really hard time justifying anything else. However, if I were you I would also throw my leg over a new model VStrom 650 or a Gladius. They are similar to the Versys in many ways, just not as good

I'm vertically challenged so I got mine with the low seat. Some people do complaint about the Versys pegs not providing enough leg room for taller riders. That is easily fixed with with a peg lowering kit.

One thing I would recommend is to get a used one. In case the inevitable happens, and as a new rider the risk of dropping the bike is higher, you will not suffer as much when it does. I have not dropped mine and have no plans to do it.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 08:15 PM
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Don't know of a better bike for the money!





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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 08:16 PM
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ANOTHER YES

Sold 2005 honda vtx 1300 bought an '09 versys
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 08:24 PM
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The only thing I would think that would make the Versys a difficult bike for a new rider would be the high seat height and higher center of gravity, which is only apparent at a stand still. Since you are 6'4" I would expect this would be a non issue for you and more likely a positive thing. You can add lowering pegs if you need more leg room and a higher shield if you want more wind protection.

Google "Kawasaki Versys review", there are lots of positive reviews and comparisons out there in print and on youtube.com

I would defiantly consider adding engine bars to a Versys though, especially where you are a new rider. And maybe hand guards too - the kind with an aluminum back bone that attaches on both sides of the grip (eg. Barkbuster). On the Versys they will make the bike resistant to damage from a drop/tip over and pay for themselves the first time this happens. Dropping a bike on it's side at stand still or practicing low speed (~5mph) tight turns is something most new riders will do and almost all of us have done from time to time.

http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/3855/

If your looking at used bikes there is no real difference other than cosmetics between 07-09 and 2010+ model years. Some 07-09 bikes had a bad buzz from the fairing around 4000-5000RPM, at least mine did, but this can be eliminated with about $5 worth of foam weather stripping tape applied to the back of the dash panel. See threads on this site for more info on this. Hope this helps.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 02:57 AM
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A big yes
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 06:33 AM
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If you have self control, it will make a great first bike. Just don't push it faster than your skills can keep up!
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 06:38 AM
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You will probably need lowering pegs, Im 6Ž1 and it can get uncomfortable on the stockers, and maybe handlebar risers too, but these things depend on whether your gonna be touring on it. For local rides youŽll be ok. If you are looking at longer rides, change the seat too, its horrid.Oh , and get a longer windshield, and some grip puppies.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 07:03 AM
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Hi there.

I too was in your shoes recently. I'm a new rider, the Versys is my first motorcycle.

I spent months researching the perfect first bike. I too wanted something sporty, but I didn't want to be bent over a fuel tank resting on my wrists for hours at a time. I plan to ride this bike, not stare at it in my garage. I also wanted something that was equally at home on the highway or being driven as a commuter back and forth to work in town, oh.. and it should handle the twisties well.

The Versys fits all of those roles well. I also love how there are thousands of things you can do to modify the bike to better suit your individual likes, dislikes, and needs.

And the best part is... the bike is relatively cheap for a motorcycle!

I'm 6'02" and reach the ground just fine at stops, but the first thing I ordered after riding it a few times was a peg lowering kit from motowerk. This simple and cheap mod ($44) lowers the stock foot pegs about an inch and makes riding much more comfortable on your knees when riding for more than 30 minutes. I'm a complete idiot with tools and have no mechanical abilities at all and I installed this mod in about 15 minutes with minimal tools.

As far as which model year to purchase just know that the biggest difference in models has to do with the year it was made (obviously). Pre-2010 has different styling, mainly in the front/headlight area. Post 2010 has some upgrades to engine mounts and other minor differences. When shopping for aftermarket modifications (called Farkles here on the forum) just always be on the lookout for that "up to 2009" or "2010+" purchase option.

Personally I would visit the Kawasaki dealerships in my state, and search online, for nearby previous model years that are still sitting brand new with zero miles on them. There are great deals to be had out there on 2011, 2010, and 2009 bikes that have been sitting in showrooms and didn't sell. When I went shopping I found new 2012's that were about $9000 out the door price, but I bought a 2011 for $7100 (including tax, title, "shipping fee", etc) and it had zero miles on it. I also found some 2009's that were brand new, but surprisingly the price difference between the 09 and 11 was only $200. Don't let the fact that 1, 2, 3, year old bikes are still sitting on showroom floors scare you off (it made me nervous at first). This sitting around isn't a reflection on how good of a bike the Versys is, it's a reflection on how unique the people that buy the Versys are. This is not a mass-consumption bike. You aren't going to be pulling up to a stoplight and see another Versys rider sitting across the intersection from you. You aren't going to be seeing teenagers cruising the strip on these. It is that uniqueness that is a selling point for me.

These forums are a great resource of information filled with knowledgeable and nice people. I belong to more forums than I can count and have been around since the intertubes were invented and haven't found a more mature and helpful group of people than here.

Good luck and have fun.


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 07:05 AM
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x

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 07:16 AM
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Would agree it would be a great entry bike or long time ownership. It's a great bike in many ways.

The first thing I'd put on my list of changes would be a 44T rear sprocket (the oem is 46T). That change makes the V more of a 'road bike'. Essentially it changes the gearing in such a way that you can stay in a gear longer. The 'power band' of the motor can certainly handle this change. And it makes the ride less 'herky jerky'.

good luck with it.

I agree. My second purchase was the 43 Tooth sprocket to get rid of that "stump-puller" first gear.

Just to show you how much fun (and addictive) the farkles can be, I have owned my bike three weeks and have done the following:

Seat Concepts seat installed ($200 including install).
Grip Puppies (single best mod I have done and only $8)
Speedy's Flatfoot kickstand mod ($50)
Speedy's Footpeg lowering kit ($50)
Speedy's Handlebar Riser ($50)
Back-Off XP Brake Light Modulator/flasher ($40)
Mirror extenders ($20)
43T Sunstar Rear Sprocket ($75 w/install)
Swingarm Spools ($12)
Harbor Freight Rear Stand ($40)
Various Tank Pads/Guards while trying to find the right one ($40)
Oil Change after 70 miles ($20)
Two different kinds of chain lube ($20)
Not to mention the purchase of Helmet, Gloves, Jacket, etc.. ($400+)

Holy crap, I really shouldn't have added all of that up!


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 12:21 PM
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Double yes. This bike is a lot of fun and has matured enough to have plenty of aftermarket goodies to make her your own. One more thing to consider as Zatx mentioned at the end of his list, GEAR. No matter what bike you get, include good riding gear in the budget.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 02:57 PM
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One more thing. With any bike. Ride it for a while before you go crazy spending money in things you might not need or want. Farkling can be fun but it gets expensive fast. Every person on this site have 250K opinions about things they recommend doing to make the bike better. However, not until you get the experience to know what works for you you will know. In the mean time save your farkle money and spend it in gas.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 03:14 PM
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I can confirm everything that's been said.

Yes, it's docile enough.
Keep it bellow 5k rpm in the beginning and you should be alright. Fun starts above 5k, though.

Try to find a nice used one. Those usually come with all the accessories and modifications mentioned.
As a beginner, whatever you choose, you'll be more relaxed on a used rather then a shiny, new bike.

Just don't get the blue or red one. They are about 10hp slower.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 05:35 PM
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Reds are faster. They got here first.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 11:12 PM
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Double yes and definitely a beginners bike. Very easy handling and flickable just in care you make a mistake.



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