Bike for newbie - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Bike for newbie

Hi Everyone
I am getting my licence this spring so I will be a new rider. No previous riding experience on bikes.I look forward to meeting as many members as possible. being a newbie I have a question I hope the senior riders can help me with. I very much want to get a Kawasaki bike and am looking at a couple different options for myself. In the cruiser department I was looking at a Vulcan 900 LT. Then I came across the Versys and liked the sports tourer. I was wondering if the Versys 650 would be a good starter bike to learn to ride and get comfortable? or is there another model you would recommend? I am 5t 10" and weigh 225lbs, so I want to make sure the Versys 650 would be big enough for me as well. Also on the highway does the Versys wind shield provide good wind protection as I will be doing a combo of city and highway cycling. I welcome any advice you may have. Thanks in advance.

Darren
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 10:31 AM
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If you take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation class you'll get great training on a smaller bike (250) that you can apply to the Versys. Take it easy and you should have no problem with it as a starter bike. Easy on the throttle and easy on the brakes and you should be fine. It will definitely be big enough for you. The stock windshield does not block a lot of wind but there are numerous aftermarket choices out there for you.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 10:49 AM
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i'm 6'2" 300 lbs and it easily hauls my big butt around

2009 Blue Versys.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 12:00 PM
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First Bike

I bought mine 09 Versys in Dec '12 and so far I have enjoyed it and not found it too much for a starter bike. I'm 5'10" 240lbs and I shied away from the traditional starters (read: 250 cc) for the same reason, but the V will move me around very easily. I would also strongly recommend taking the MSF class before getting the bike if they have a dual sport in the class selection, ask if you can use it for the class. The handling is great and the throttle and brakes are all you need for starting riding. Definitely go with the V over the cruiser.

I can't speak for the stock as mine came with the GIVI. It works fine at 80 on the state roads.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 04:53 AM
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Hi mate. You'll have a lot of fun learning your road craft on this bike and I dare say will forever more say it was the best bike you've ever had.
Get proper riding gear too mate is my advice and then the Versys, it is a remarkable machine and possibly the best Learner to Expert rider's bike I've ever ridden. Cheap to live with... you will not get bored riding this
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 06:09 AM
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Welcome and im 5'8 and think stock shield is ok and done over 30,000km with it
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbk23 View Post
Hi Everyone
I am getting my licence this spring so I will be a new rider. No previous riding experience on bikes.I look forward to meeting as many members as possible. being a newbie I have a question I hope the senior riders can help me with. I very much want to get a Kawasaki bike and am looking at a couple different options for myself. In the cruiser department I was looking at a Vulcan 900 LT. Then I came across the Versys and liked the sports tourer. I was wondering if the Versys 650 would be a good starter bike to learn to ride and get comfortable? or is there another model you would recommend? I am 5t 10" and weigh 225lbs, so I want to make sure the Versys 650 would be big enough for me as well. Also on the highway does the Versys wind shield provide good wind protection as I will be doing a combo of city and highway cycling. I welcome any advice you may have. Thanks in advance.

Darren
The Versys and the VStrom are probably the best "all rounders" in the under $10000 price range IMO. The Versys handles better on pavement and is more fun to drive due to quicker steering and more suitable wheel size/rubber for pavement but the VStrom has slightly more off pavement performance due to softer suspension and larger, narrower front tire.

The Versys is even better with a few accessories. In particular a touring screen is desirable if you ride in cooler weather or do many highway miles. SW-Motech engine bars will protect your investment when you drop it on it's side and pay for themselves many times over. You will also need a cheap rear track stand and some spools on the swing arm as there is no kick stand.

IMO cruisers like the Vulcan are bikes that make functional compromises to meet cruiser styling requirements. On the upside they give you a low seat height which can be reassuring for a beginner but they also have a few draw backs like raked out front forks that provide slow steering response, a feet forward peg position that prevents using the pegs to weight the bike in turns, a low ride height suspension gives very little suspension travel (translates into rougher ride) and limited cornering clearance, and the narrow angle VTwin engine every cruiser must have vibrates a LOT and only revs to about ~6000RPM and has a low HP/displacement ratio.

Last edited by twowheels; 02-02-2013 at 11:23 AM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 05:18 PM
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I would suggest the Versys over the cruiser.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 11:28 PM
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I have to disagree with one thing in Twowheels post. The Vulcan 900 LT motor vibrates no more than the Versys.

I always recommend a used bike for a first bike. You will probably drop it at some point in time while you are getting used to it.

Whether the Versys is too small or too big or too powerful for you is very subjective. If you have a 32" inseam and have some muscle you should have no issues holding the bike up. If you have extensive 2 wheel experience with bicycles you should have the basic riding and balancing skills. If you have driven standard shift cars you should have little issue getting used to the clutch. If you have very good concentration and situational awareness you should survive your first year of riding. If you don't have the above then I recommend you wait until you pass the MSF course before you even think about purchasing a bike. Depending on how you do in the class you might want to choose a beater bike that you can practice on and then sell when you are ready to move up.
good luck.

My Versys Travels:


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