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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Basic things to know?

So (hopefully) as of this weekend I'll be picking up not just my first Versys, but my first street bike overall.

I'm coming from a background of performance-oriented cars - handling-oriented mods on Miatas and a heavily modified WRX. From the car world there's both basic rules both all around and vehicle specific. Things like "when in doubt, flat out" (generally, not always), "steer into the slide," etc. Or for a WRX in specific, things like "Don't get a CAI without a tune," and other specific, but general rules.

What are the "general rules" of biking, and what are the Versys-specific things to know?

If this is already compiled in an obvious location, please just point me there. So far most of what I've found through google for "rules of motorcycling" has been more along the lines of how to give a biker wave than how to handle a slide.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 09:02 PM
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Just ride the bike and fix what you don't like.. I had a bad hip and knees so comfort was a big deal for me. I went through 7 seats and one of my favorites which was also the cheapest was a Seat Concepts Kit. Then i bought quite a bit of stuff from Motowerks...https://motowerk.com/collections/kawasaki-versys-650

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 09:41 PM
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First rule is that people are stupid & even more so when they're enhanced by modern technology.

It doesn't matter why they didn't see you...it will still hurt if you don't see them first.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 09:47 PM
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You state that this is your first street bike. So I take it that you have owned at least one dirt bike. I believe dirt biking is the best way to learn how to ride a bike. Therefore you should already know the basic rules. Wear proper riding gear. Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly. The more you ride the quicker you and your bike will click as one. As Weljo 2001 said make the bike fit you and make it comfortable for you. It's all about fun and enjoying the ride.
You also stated you are coming from a background of performance-oriented cars - handling-oriented mods on Miatas and a heavily modified WRX. If you are looking for a track style bike, the versys is not the bike for you. It is not a sport bike. However it does have punch, handles extremely well in the twisties, and will put a smile on your face that makes you look like the cat that ate the canary. You didn't mention which Versys you are getting.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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You state that this is your first street bike. So I take it that you have owned at least one dirt bike.
Started out on a 1981 XR100, then an 07, then a '97 WR250, and a 1983 TT600 (had it running all of one glorious day). It's been a good while since I've been on anything though. Unfortunately had to sell the WR and TT, had already traded the 07 XR for the WR, and the '81 lost a couple piston rings and hasn't been put back together yet. Definitely going to be wearing full gear, and trying to make sure I stay on the hi-vis side of things.

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The more you ride the quicker you and your bike will click as one.
Well that should be a pretty quick process then, I'll be putting at least 30mi/day on it, if not 40-50+.

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Originally Posted by Skypilot 69 View Post
If you are looking for a track style bike, the versys is not the bike for you. It is not a sport bike. However it does have punch, handles extremely well in the twisties, and will put a smile on your face that makes you look like the cat that ate the canary. You didn't mention which Versys you are getting.
Oh no, I'm specifically staying away from track/sport bikes, at least for a good while. I know what youthfulness and I have done in a car, and I don't need to be doing any of that on a bike. This is going to be my daily commuter, road-tripper, and weekend fun. It'll actually end up being my sole mode of transportation, I'm thankfully lucky enough to live somewhere that rarely gets really truly bad weather, and on the few occasions it does my work can be done from home.

I'm looking to go pick up a 2009 this weekend, looks in the pictures to be very well kept up with nothing more than a Yoshimura slip on, and it'll only just roll over 20k on the ride home. I've had my time with stupid fast (see: wrx) and horrifically unreliable cars (see: also wrx), this is just to get me to and from work, and finally get me on two wheels like I've been waiting years to do.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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First rule is that people are stupid & even more so when they're enhanced by modern technology.

It doesn't matter why they didn't see you...it will still hurt if you don't see them first.
Yup, most my friends are already aware that I'll be leaving events earlier than I used to simply because I won't be able to afford driving home tired anymore. Thankfully driving the Miata's around helped me learn quite a bit about not just paying attention to the road conditions and other drivers, but they're so dang small and I'm surrounded by massive lifted trucks everywhere I go, that I've gotten quite used to just assuming I'm not seen. Expecting it to be magnified on a bike, but it's at least helped me to get started on the mindset.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 09Greeny View Post
So (hopefully) as of this weekend I'll be picking up not just my first Versys, but my first street bike overall.

I'm coming from a background of performance-oriented cars - handling-oriented mods on Miatas and a heavily modified WRX. From the car world there's both basic rules both all around and vehicle specific. Things like "when in doubt, flat out" (generally, not always), "steer into the slide," etc. Or for a WRX in specific, things like "Don't get a CAI without a tune," and other specific, but general rules.

What are the "general rules" of biking, and what are the Versys-specific things to know?

If this is already compiled in an obvious location, please just point me there. So far most of what I've found through google for "rules of motorcycling" has been more along the lines of how to give a biker wave than how to handle a slide.
#1 dont be a dick.
#2 take care of your bike and it will take care of you,
#3 helmets are magical cloaks of invisibility. once you put one on people in cars, pedestrians, and animals will not see, (or if they do somehow target you.
#4 dont be a dick.
#5 when you stop in traffic dont stop in the middle of the car in front of you, stay off to once side and a good 10'+ away from them.
#6 practice practice practice.. practice emergency maneuvers like quick low speed turns and hard braking.
#7 dont out ride your sight...
#8 never push to hard on an unknown road (and remember a road can change in a snap so once you are to the point you want to push your skills do it on a place that you have checked thoroughly at a lower speed. bikes have a MUCH lower friction (traction) area compared to a car.
#9 every one crashes at some point and we never go out planning to crash. so always wear proper gear. (helmet, gloves, jacket, boots, pants and i dont mean blue jeans. invest in some at least armored riding pants they will save your knees)
#10 did i mention dont be a dick? i know at some points its hard to not get hot headed , like when some one cuts you off, you tail gates you, or what ever. remember what i said in #3? its better to not be hostel and just let it go as much as you can because anger reduces metal clarity and that is when the worst of things happen.


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. You didn't mention which Versys you are getting.
my guess from his name it would be a green 09

yes im a guy.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
Just ride the bike and fix what you don't like.. I had a bad hip and knees so comfort was a big deal for me. I went through 7 seats and one of my favorites which was also the cheapest was a Seat Concepts Kit. Then i bought quite a bit of stuff from Motowerks...https://motowerk.com/collections/kawasaki-versys-650
I'm definitely expecting to change stuff out. I really can not leave anything from a single one of my hobbies stock, I already have a considered mod list that's 150% the cost of the bike!

I'll definitely add the seat to it though. Already have the Motowerks lowering kit and footpeg lowering blocks on the list, and I'm looking at SW Motech's footpegs as well which offer 15mm inherently. I'm not an exceptionally tall person (6ft, but only 30in or so inseam) and will be spending quite a bit of my existence in the saddle, as well as spending a good bit of that time in traffic. Yay, Dallas...
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 11:39 PM
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I'm definitely expecting to change stuff out. I really can not leave anything from a single one of my hobbies stock, I already have a considered mod list that's 150% the cost of the bike!

I'll definitely add the seat to it though. Already have the Motowerks lowering kit and footpeg lowering blocks on the list, and I'm looking at SW Motech's footpegs as well which offer 15mm inherently. I'm not an exceptionally tall person (6ft, but only 30in or so inseam) and will be spending quite a bit of my existence in the saddle, as well as spending a good bit of that time in traffic. Yay, Dallas...


Well heres a list of stuff i did to my 09. You might see something that catches your eye...http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...rkle-list.html

2009 Blue Versys.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Well heres a list of stuff i did to my 09. You might see something that catches your eye...http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...rkle-list.html
Gosh dang, I don't even know what half those things are! Thank you for the list, guess it's time for me to go do more researching.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 09:34 AM
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You do have experience riding and being paranoid(Is it really paranoia if they are really trying to kill you?). I would highly suggest a Beginners Riding Course.

After that, look at doing something like this:

2nd Annual Sport-touring School

I know of one or two riders from Houston and another from near Conway AR coming over for it.

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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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You do have experience riding and being paranoid(Is it really paranoia if they are really trying to kill you?). I would highly suggest a Beginners Riding Course.

After that, look at doing something like this:

2nd Annual Sport-touring School

I know of one or two riders from Houston and another from near Conway AR coming over for it.
I've completed the MSF BRC as it's part of the licensing requirement here in TX, but I definitely will be looking for some other courses. Due to current life situation I'll actually have at least a week to play with the bike in parking lots before I'm commuting with it, so I'll be practicing all the things we did in that class.

Would that course (or similar types, I haven't looked into courses much yet) be recommended for a brand new rider, or should I get some more basic skill and knowledge down first?

Last edited by 09Greeny; 02-22-2018 at 11:10 AM.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 01:14 PM
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I've completed the MSF BRC as it's part of the licensing requirement here in TX, but I definitely will be looking for some other courses. Due to current life situation I'll actually have at least a week to play with the bike in parking lots before I'm commuting with it, so I'll be practicing all the things we did in that class.

Would that course (or similar types, I haven't looked into courses much yet) be recommended for a brand new rider, or should I get some more basic skill and knowledge down first?


Heres a guy in your neck of the woods.....https://www.youtube.com/user/kevinmorris22

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 09Greeny View Post
I've completed the MSF BRC as it's part of the licensing requirement here in TX, but I definitely will be looking for some other courses. Due to current life situation I'll actually have at least a week to play with the bike in parking lots before I'm commuting with it, so I'll be practicing all the things we did in that class.

Would that course (or similar types, I haven't looked into courses much yet) be recommended for a brand new rider, or should I get some more basic skill and knowledge down first?
With your past of riding, I would think you are pretty close or are good to go. I was thinking on the BRMC for help with the street smarts.

This is a traning course, not a regular track day, BTW.

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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Heres a guy in your neck of the woods.....https://www.youtube.com/user/kevinmorris22
Looks like some really good videos, thank you! I'll definitely go through these.

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Originally Posted by SteveJ View Post
With your past of riding, I would think you are pretty close or are good to go. I was thinking on the BRMC for help with the street smarts.

This is a traning course, not a regular track day, BTW.

It's been a couple years since I was on the dirt though, and I never did anything more serious than just trail (pasture) riding. It got me the absolute basics of how to control and ride a bike, but not much more.

That's good to know though. I'm not looking for a track day (yet), I'm just looking to up my skills as well and quickly as I can for surviving in daily usage. I'll move to performance pushing later on.
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-25-2018, 01:09 PM
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-25-2018, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 09Greeny View Post
So (hopefully) as of this weekend I'll be picking up not just my first Versys, but my first street bike overall.

I'm coming from a background of performance-oriented cars - handling-oriented mods on Miatas and a heavily modified WRX. From the car world there's both basic rules both all around and vehicle specific. Things like "when in doubt, flat out" (generally, not always), "steer into the slide," etc. Or for a WRX in specific, things like "Don't get a CAI without a tune," and other specific, but general rules.

What are the "general rules" of biking, and what are the Versys-specific things to know?

If this is already compiled in an obvious location, please just point me there. So far most of what I've found through google for "rules of motorcycling" has been more along the lines of how to give a biker wave than how to handle a slide.
Welcome!

Suggest you invest in a set of engine bars/crash bars. They will save the bike in an inevitable tip over and pay for themselves. Also a rear pit stand and spools to hold the bike up for basic maintenace tasks. You can download the service manual from this site in the TECH section.

If you want to stay safe, ATGATT.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-25-2018, 10:02 PM
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Since you've already done the basic course, you can do the advanced course on your bike. This will pay huge dividends in the future, because you learn the handling characteristics of your bike.

Here's to the first of the day...
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Riding a bike is by sight...it will go where you lock your sight /eyes.. keep you sight locked on the direction of travel..slow in a turn and fast out and drop one gear on approaching a turn..

my 2 cts thought on riding a bike, though there are may you will learn along the way..take it easy and enjoy your ride within your limits.

wish you well and safe ride.ATGATT.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-25-2018, 10:31 PM
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You state that this is your first street bike. So I take it that you have owned at least one dirt bike. I believe dirt biking is the best way to learn how to ride a bike. Therefore you should already know the basic rules.
I have heard this said numerous times, and still can't quite figure out how the two are related. Other than learning basic clutch/shifting technique, how is dirt bike riding similar to street riding in any way, and how is it the best way to learn? This is coming from someone with both dirt and street riding experience, I just don't see how the two are related.

Here's to the first of the day...
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