First Time Rider and V 650 owner - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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First Time Rider and V 650 owner

Hello!

Just wanted to drop a note to everyone and introduce myself as a NEW motorcyclist and owner of a 2018 Versys 650. My wife and I took the plunge back in May and are having fun riding (she's on a Vulcan S).

I learn some things the hard way though... Dropped the new bike in the driveway... twice (most recent resulting in a broken foot). Minor damage to a fairing, which I replaced. Just received a set of H-B crash bars.

Anyway, excited to create new adventures on the bike and learn more about the machine and people that ride them here on the forum.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by KBeck72 View Post
Hello!

Just wanted to drop a note to everyone and introduce myself as a NEW motorcyclist and owner of a 2018 Versys 650. My wife and I took the plunge back in May and are having fun riding (she's on a Vulcan S).

I learn some things the hard way though... Dropped the new bike in the driveway... twice (most recent resulting in a broken foot). Minor damage to a fairing, which I replaced. Just received a set of H-B crash bars.

Anyway, excited to create new adventures on the bike and learn more about the machine and people that ride them here on the forum.
Man, hope you heal soon.

Curious, seeing your two bikes have the same engine (somewhat) how do you compare them?

I watched a video recently of a Vulcan S out-accelerating a Triumph Rocket Touring model. Very impressive.
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Last edited by ACE50; 07-19-2018 at 06:48 AM.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 07:59 AM
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 08:21 AM
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welcome to the forum.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ACE50 View Post
Man, hope you heal soon.

Curious, seeing your two bikes have the same engine (somewhat) how do you compare them?

I watched a video recently of a Vulcan S out-accelerating a Triumph Rocket Touring model. Very impressive.

Thanks!

I actually haven't ridden the Vulcan but my wife absolutely LOVES it. She is short and wanted something she could comfortably reach the ground... the Vulcan is perfect for her. I think the broad torque range of the parallel twin on these bikes really delivers and actually offers some forgiveness to those of us learning how to shift smoothly.

Back to height: Obviously the Versys can be challenging in this respect, and I think it helped attribute to my drops. Of course, I just need to keep my head in the game while I'm learning, but the taller bike does add a bit of challenge. Anywhere out on the road or intersections, it's a pleasure, but even though I can reach the ground flat foot, moving it around the driveway while having a brain fart has resulted in my current condition, LOL. I'm still healing the foot and want to get back out on the road!
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 09:41 AM
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https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...ber-intro.html Only Semi positive thing is your broken foot happened at home. Sometimes breaking is way better than a sprain, that is what I have been told.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 05:10 PM
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...Sometimes breaking is way better than a sprain, that is what I have been told.
You've been told CORRECTLY!

MOST people walk before a sprain gets healed (has to shorten the muscle back to where it was BEFORE), while the sprain heals before the broken bone does, so you're better after the cast comes off. I found that out after shattering my right ankle in '75 (I'd sprained it in '65, and it just kept re-spraining till the break 'fixed' it).
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 07:10 PM
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2015 Concours 14 ABS, 2014 Versys 650 ABS, 2006 Vulcan 500 (sold)
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 09:31 PM
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Welcome! Tall bikes tip over more easily at a stop and we've all done it, LOL. Crash bars prevent swearing afterward

As you are a new rider I would suggest:

1) download the factory service manuals for both bikes, I have a copy if you can't find one on this site
2) obtain a front and rear pit stand if you don't already have them as well as a metric 3/8" socket head set and a set of metric allen keys and a cheap oil collection pan and funnel - you'll need these to install the crash bars anyway
3) don't be afraid to post questions on this site, there are lots of helpful owners here who have shared similar experiences with the identical bike

With those few things you can easily perform pretty much 99% of the maintenance both bikes and save yourself "uge" amounts of money at the dealership service department. Some very basic mechanical aptitude but no prior experience required.

Last edited by twowheels; 07-19-2018 at 09:35 PM.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Welcome! Tall bikes tip over more easily at a stop and we've all done it, LOL. Crash bars prevent swearing afterward

As you are a new rider I would suggest:

1) download the factory service manuals for both bikes, I have a copy if you can't find one on this site
2) obtain a front and rear pit stand if you don't already have them as well as a metric 3/8" socket head set and a set of metric allen keys and a cheap oil collection pan and funnel - you'll need these to install the crash bars anyway
3) don't be afraid to post questions on this site, there are lots of helpful owners here who have shared similar experiences with the identical bike

With those few things you can easily perform pretty much 99% of the maintenance both bikes and save yourself "uge" amounts of money at the dealership service department. Some very basic mechanical aptitude but no prior experience required.
Wow! It's like you read my mind! I've literally been thinking about all of your points above. I was on the Kawasaki website and they want $90 or the like for the service manual, so it would great if I could get a copy here. Can you let me know how to share that? Also - I've been looking at pit stands a lot and many of them seem to be similar in design and function. I only like to buy things once, so I'd love some recommendations on brand, etc. I have no problem doing some basic mechanical stuff on the bike (oil changes, etc.).

Thanks for the great tips!
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by onewizard View Post
Only Semi positive thing is your broken foot happened at home. Sometimes breaking is way better than a sprain, that is what I have been told.

Totally agree... This break was painful for the first few days (one of the bones was the cuboid, which bears weight... when broken, ouch!). Now it's just annoying that I can't do anything. I'm grateful that it is my foot and not ankle. Any damage to the ankle (sprain or otherwise) would have been a lot more painful throughout this healing process.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 07:53 AM
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if you ar new to motorcycling I suggest training for safety. MSF course if you have not taken already, then I find this guy on YouTube helpful to learn how to ride safe and defensively. https://www.youtube.com/user/kevinmorris22

also, I think after market horn is good add, even the most basic https://www.amazon.com/Fiamm-72112-F...reeway+blaster

and I like to add on LED front running lights to help in being seen. tons of low cost option on the web.

Ride safe and enjoy.

J
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JRW2007 View Post
if you ar new to motorcycling I suggest training for safety. MSF course if you have not taken already, then I find this guy on YouTube helpful to learn how to ride safe and defensively.

also, I think after market horn is good add, even the most basic
and I like to add on LED front running lights to help in being seen. tons of low cost option on the web.

Ride safe and enjoy.

J
Great advice! I've taken the basic MSF course which led to my license. Kevin Morris is great! Offers a ton of tips!

The LED front running lights... I'm installing the H&B crash bar, so are there options out there that I could mount to the bar? I'll have to take a look around. A friend of mine was going to install a freeway blaster horn as well, so I've been looking at those too. Thanks!
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 10:58 AM
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https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...hlight=manuals Read both posts by me .
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 02:15 PM
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The company I bought my lights from is gone. there tons out there on eBay etc. something like this should work. they even have harness, swtich and relay.

https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...ght/1699/4130/

https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...tor/1979/4454/

my lights look just like these have have been good for 15,000 miles so far

https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...0-lumens/1386/

I mount off the screw that hold front fender to fork because my crash bars smaller (SW Motech)

J
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by KBeck72 View Post
Wow! It's like you read my mind! I've literally been thinking about all of your points above. I was on the Kawasaki website and they want $90 or the like for the service manual, so it would great if I could get a copy here. Can you let me know how to share that? Also - I've been looking at pit stands a lot and many of them seem to be similar in design and function. I only like to buy things once, so I'd love some recommendations on brand, etc. I have no problem doing some basic mechanical stuff on the bike (oil changes, etc.).

Thanks for the great tips!
I have (and RECOMMEND - the T-Rex stands, including the triple clamp piece). Here's a pic of my '15 on THAT stand and a H-F rear, since replaced by another TRex one.

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by KBeck72 View Post
Wow! It's like you read my mind! I've literally been thinking about all of your points above. I was on the Kawasaki website and they want $90 or the like for the service manual, so it would great if I could get a copy here. Can you let me know how to share that? Also - I've been looking at pit stands a lot and many of them seem to be similar in design and function. I only like to buy things once, so I'd love some recommendations on brand, etc. I have no problem doing some basic mechanical stuff on the bike (oil changes, etc.).

Thanks for the great tips!
You need a 27 mm slug/pin to fit the steering stem for the Kawasaki Versys and I think also the Kawasaki Vulcan 650 with a front triple tree lift stand. The rear lifts by 8mm spools you install in the swing arm which is already threaded for them. (10mm spools for Versys 2009-2014 and 8mm for 2015+ models).

I have a venom rear lift stand that works great. The front one does not get high enough to lift the front wheel as the Versys is a tall bike however I get around this by placing 2x6 planks under the wheels of the front stand on either side when I lift the front with it, which provides the extra inch of clearance to elevate the front wheel. Some but not all front stands are adjustable for height. Front stands that lift by the hubs do not let you do fork work, a triple tree stand is more versatile for this reason. Pit Bull stands are the best but perhaps a bit overpriced. Others may have better advice. T-Rex are apparently excellent too.

PM me for the link to the manual, I cannot post a public link to my dropbox.
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Last edited by twowheels; 07-20-2018 at 07:20 PM.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by KBeck72 View Post
Hello!

Just wanted to drop a note to everyone and introduce myself as a NEW motorcyclist and owner of a 2018 Versys 650. My wife and I took the plunge back in May and are having fun riding (she's on a Vulcan S).

I learn some things the hard way though... Dropped the new bike in the driveway... twice (most recent resulting in a broken foot). Minor damage to a fairing, which I replaced. Just received a set of H-B crash bars.

Anyway, excited to create new adventures on the bike and learn more about the machine and people that ride them here on the forum.
welcome. heal fast and sure. you'll get used to the height and it will become second nature to you. very advantageous in town. moto werks has a lowering kit, which i have on my 2008. crash bars a good thing.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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welcome. heal fast and sure. you'll get used to the height and it will become second nature to you. very advantageous in town. moto werks has a lowering kit, which i have on my 2008. crash bars a good thing.

Thanks...

The kinda sad thing is that after about 450 miles, I was really starting to feel more confident and "one with the bike"... and then I had my mishap because I changed my driveway routine and wasn't paying attention. I'm eager to get back on the bike and pick up where I left off.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 11:28 PM
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for me, being OCD about doing things in a fixed pattern is so important, and avoid distractions. once, i was working on the V, drinking beer, and i let the bike down off the swingarm stand. one problem.... i had put the side stand up! i tried to catch her, but down she went. the crash bars saved the day though. an aside, i hate gassing up, as people always want to come over and gawk over the V. (is that a ducati?......) problem is that it distracts you from what you're doing, and you're liable to ride off with your gloves still on the back of the seat, or an assortment of other screw ups.

i had back surgery, and while I'm healing and can't ride, I'm going to tighten fasteners, and other things so that when I'm finally healed, the V will be ready to ride as well. can't wait.
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