Introduction and Versys question. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Introduction and Versys question.

Hello everyone. My name is Matt. I stumbled on this forum while reading about the Versys, and I have found a lot of great info here. I have been bitten by the motorcycle bug pretty hard. I was bitten in 2003, spent months researching and reading, then finally squished the idea. In 2010 I was bitten again. This time I spent more time reading and researching. Finally squishing the idea again! Now of course it's 2012 and I'm tired of denying myself this.

I'm 30 years old, married and have a 1 year old daughter. I have scheduled the MSF course for the 24th of September and will not buy a bike until after the course. I may even wait until after the first of the year. My wife and I are having a house built and I will have a garage at that time.

This bike will be for pleasure riding around town and some trips. I would like to eventually, after getting some experience, ride two up with my wife for weekend trips. I really dig the looks of the versys. I've read a ton of reviews and posts on this forum and I think I want to get the bike. I'm a bit concerned about the height. I sat on a versys at my local dealer and I could touch, but not flat footed (I have a 30" inseam, 5'8" 220lbs). I did love the seating position and the salesman mentioned that you could see over most vehicles on this bike(something I have read here as well), which would be great for traffic.

I plan on buying the verys used, 2-4 years old. I'm mainly wanting to know if this would be a good bike for what I'm wanting to do, and if it would fit me. I have seen the lowering kit at motowerk.com, would this be recommended for me?

Also, I'm still torn between spending 2k-2.5k on a 250 to learn on first. I do realize it would just be a "first" bike and something that I would replace after some time. I'm not opposed to this route. In fact unless there is a majority agreement that this route is not the way to go, I'm getting a used ninja first.


Anyways, there's my "story". Glad to have found a forum. Let me know what you guys think!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 08:37 PM
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I did exactly the same thing you are doing just over a year ago. I took the MSF course and set out looking for a bike. I ended up buying a leftover 09 Versys. You should certainly see how you feel after the MSF course but for me getting a 250 just didn't make sense. I went from the course to my Versys and it has been great. It's very managable and easy to ride. Just take your time and only do what you feel comfortable with and gradually build your skills. You'll find the Versys makes a great starter bike.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 08:42 PM
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Welcome, the versys is a tall bike but does not bother me ( I am 5'8) as i come from off road/dual purpose riding background, My view is the v will do every thing you described but I would recomend the Ninja 250 as a starting point as it is cheaper and they are a good value bike but if you did get a Versys as your first bike, in my opinion they are a easy ride and very forgiving on a learner and you would not regret that either.

All the best with whatever you decide and keep safe out there.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 10:26 PM
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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The height of the V is my main concern over getting it as my first bike!


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I agree with decide after your Class. The main thing I'd be concerned with is that the V is so tall... a new rider is going to struggle. Hell I'm 5'8" also and I struggle with it. What I mean by struggle is being sure to not be stopping somewhere that might make it more difficult to get my foot (feet) down.

Other than how tall the bike is for us shorter people, it's a good all around bike. I just rode to California and went up US1 for a way with mine... it was awesome
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 02:55 PM
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I'm only 5'6" and I got a lowering kit installed and I now can touch on the balls of my feet. Which so far is all I've needed. I usually leave one foot on the peg and flatfoot the other leg so I don't look so short on my V I've dropped her once or twice but never had much of a problem.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 03:01 PM
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At 6' I have no problem flat footing the V- but luckily for you one of our most excellent forum members, Speedy, makes Versys specific kit that is top notch! His lowering kit should be your first consideration I would imagine. Check it out: http://shop.motowerk.com/Standard-Lo...-LK-STD-R2.htm

Having bought a few things from Motowerk I can recommend them confidently. As can I recommend the Versys. Best bike I've ever ridden. Period. And yes, you can see well over most traffic.



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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 03:34 PM
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Hi, Matt. I'm 5'7" with 30" inseam and I can just about (not quite) flat foot my Versys. I had my seat worked by Spencer (http://greatdaytoride.com/Home_Page.php) to upgrade the foam for long distance comfort and he lowered it a bit in the process. There's also a low seat available from Kawasaki (I've seen several on sale on the forum since I joined in 2008). If you're comfortable riding that 250 in the MSF course, consider getting a Versys for your own. Not much heavier but a lot more bike. I'm thinking if you buy your own 250 you'll be wishing for something bigger real soon.


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[SIZE="1"]Ride. Good.


2003 ST1300ABS
2008 Versys
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys. I enjoy hearing from people with the same vertical issues as me doing fine on the V. I really would rather start on it, if it's possible. I have seen the lowering kit from speedy and have his website bookmarked and ready to order the kit when I get a V.

What other upgrades would you consider necessities? Also, would crash bars help to prevent damage if I did drop the bike? If so, which crash bars are recommended?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 05:12 PM
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'd definitely consider lowering it if you get a V. But what about spending a year on one of these? http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/kaw...500_r_2005.php
Get your skills up first, then make the switch...... And you'll barely lose any $$ when you go to sell.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 09:18 PM
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I took the MSF course this summer and bought a '12 V soon after. I am 5'10" but also only have a 30" inseam. So far I've ridden about 2,000 fun-only miles and have loved every minute on the bike. My recommendation is to skip the 250's and go for it!

'12 Versys
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 09:54 PM
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Being an MSF ridercoach and a long time rider I also repeat the suggestion of waiting until after the course to make your first purchase.

And also see no problem with the versys as a first bike. I would suggest if they use any dual sports at the site you take the course at that you ride one of them during your course and that itself will give you a good feel for how the versys will feel as far as riding position and similar handling.

These type of bikes handle great and to me even with their height are great bikes to start on, and obviously stick with for yrs to come.

Once you get used to the height of it when it comes to getting a foot down when stopping. Or holding it up while stopped.

Hope your class goes well and you enjoy your first bike when you get it.

Beamed from my Gnex
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 03:24 AM
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5' 9" and the versys height is not a problem once you get used to it .
Very nimble , forgiving and easy to handle.

take it slow and you will love it.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 06:48 PM
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I've taken a couple of courses (various types here in Oz) and then rode my wife's cbr250r (felt like cruiser-low for me at 6.5 ft). After a total of about 10 hours of riding 250s I realized that they are too nimble for me and now I'm getting Versys.

My weight is a bit under 190lbs, so I guess for you 250 may feel even more underpowered very soon. Maybe try to rent a 250 a couple of times for a weekend and then decide.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 08:24 PM
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I would strongly suggest installing SW-Motech or Givi engine protection bars and maybe hand gaurds on your Versys. This will allow you to abuse it and drop it on it's side, to your hearts content, without causing any damage to the bike.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Good tip. I'm all for decreasing possibility of damaging the bike. There is a Versys for sale on ebay with every farkle imaginable, but it's in Indiana. I'm in Mobile, Al. Only 700 miles away. If I had already taken my MSF class I would jump on it.

Just saw a 2004 Ninja 500 on CL for 1700$ too.

Choices...

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I would strongly suggest installing SW-Motech or Givi engine protection bars and maybe hand gaurds on your Versys. This will allow you to abuse it and drop it on it's side, to your hearts content, without causing any damage to the bike.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 05:34 PM
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I'm 5'10" with 32" inseam. I dropped my bike in the dealers parking lot. I was in a dip, to much lean angle, and not use to the bike. It seemed top heavy at first, but you get use to the feel. I make sure where I stop, as to where I put my foot down. I've seen plenty of other people drop their bikes for one reason or another. I think if I was in your shoes, I would get the Versy, and then add the lowering kit.
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