Uncertain potential owner in Delaware - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Uncertain potential owner in Delaware

Good evening.

I'm a 70 year old "returning rider" whose last bike was a Honda VT500.

Have been seriously considering a 250 class machine (TU250 or CBR250) as I feel that would actually suit my needs rather well but our local Suzuki dealer has a 2009 Versys for sale that looks to be in very nice condition.

One problem was I could not get on the bike! I posted on AdvRider and got some suggestions regarding lowering the bike or trying a new technique so plan on trying again. Rather embarrassing.

Only owned three motorcycles in my riding career and all were bought new so a little concerned about getting a used vehicle (especially a Kawasaki from a Suzuki/Triumph dealer??) but this may be the best approach.

Decided to join just to get some idea of problems or quirks of this model.

Thank you.

Ned
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 06:43 PM
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I love 250cc bikes especially if your just gonna be riding around town 45-55mph max and skipping the highway. Being honest, I am 5'8" and when I am 70, I will not be throwing my leg over bike as tall as the Versys. My $.02 - Buy a smaller bike, one that you have the strength to move around well and can mount easily.

Don't get me wrong, the Versys is a great bike and fun to ride but your intro leads me to believe it is not the bike for you. And keep us posted!! We like all bikes here..

Last edited by Capn Kirk; 07-11-2013 at 07:36 PM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 07:18 PM
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If you are looking for a 250cc bike and are considering the Versys because it is a bargain, then I say don't do it. Don't buy a bike you will have to spend a lot of money on modding to make it fit you. There are a lot of used bikes out there that will fit you out of the box. The Ninja 650, the 650N, Ninja 300, Triumph Bonneville, etc.

Good luck.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 08:16 PM
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Greetings OldEd,

I'll contribute my two cents to the discussion. I'm a somewhat youthful 68 (or do I kid myself?), am 5' 11", and have been cursed with a 29 inch inseam. I've also had my Versys for about three years and though it isn't as light as a 250, or my wife's Suzuki S40 thumper, it isn't yet too heavy to handle comfortably. It's certainly lighter than my BMW K75S.

My mounting technique may be amusing to watch but it works for me. It goes like this: I stand facing the saddle, lift my right leg and grab the pants cuff to "assist" my size 11 foot over the saddle, then I slide on. As I said, not elegant but it works, particularly since I have Givi V35 hard bags mounted and an Axio hard top tail pack on the passenger portion of the saddle. The bottom line is that I couldn't have swung my rather short leg over that rig 40 years ago!

With my inseam, and no lowering kit (yet) I can comfortably touch mother earth with the balls of both feet - so far so good I might add.

If the Versys had a center stand, I'd mount like my long time friend and mentor. He mounts his V-Strom like a horse. Places his left foot on the left peg, stands and swings his right leg over, then sits and rocks the bike off the center stand. It's become my default mounting method for the BMW because it also has hard cases and top box mounted. All I manage to do if I try the traditional "right leg swing over" is to kick something that wasn't meant to be kicked.

If the Versys doesn't feel comfortable to you and you're short list includes the sweet little Honda CBR250, you might also wish to take a look at Kawasaki's Ninja 300 - IMHO it's a very nice lightweight but peppy machine.

Successful aging requires adaptation!

Arion

"Plan? Plan! There ain't no plan."
Pig Killer, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Last edited by Arion; 07-11-2013 at 08:21 PM.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 08:53 PM
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Hello not so OldEd
I would say that you should consider a bike that will suit your needs. I would not like to be riding the highway on a 250. I have one, a KLX250S, that I ride in the desert. Has enough go to ride the freeway for a short ride, but not the best. I will be turning 69 next month and just bought a 2013 Versys this year. However I am 6" 2", so have no problem mounting it.

A couple of riders in our group mount their bikes like a horse, with the kickstand down, then kick it up while they are on the bike.

The key is what you are going to do with the bike. A 250 is good around town, but not the best on the highway. Get the bike that is the best for you, not what the dealer has on the floor.

Good luck

I really like the bike, but getting used to it.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 09:51 PM
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If I were in the market for a small displacement bike, if seriously consider the Ninja 300, like the 250 but with enough added power it handles the freeways with ease.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 10:44 PM
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The V is a tall bike! You might want to look at smaller framed bikes.





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Last edited by MTS; 07-12-2013 at 05:42 AM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arion View Post
With my inseam, and no lowering kit (yet) I can comfortably touch mother earth with the balls of both feet - so far so good I might add.
Glad to see that! I have a 30" inseam and can't imagine lowering the Versys (well, maybe for my daughter to ride it). But a lot of people my size seem to feel otherwise.

As far as mounting it's much easier to stand on the left peg with your left foot, then step over the bike.

I sometimes have a top case mounted on my pillion seat, and when I do I usually use an even easier mounting method. Same as above but on the higher side: I stand on the right peg with the right foot, and then step over. Without tipping the bike over of course.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 08:16 AM
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Lowering the bike really isn't going to take off much height for getting on it. I would say get a bike that you have no issues getting on/off.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by kenr74 View Post
I would say get a bike that you have no issues getting on/off.
If you know the easier way to do it not many people would have issues getting on/off any bike. The bike might still be too tall to lift off the sidestand. But getting on or off shouldn't be an issue.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 07:36 PM
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I say if a 250 is gonna do everything you need it to, buy the 250. I saw a Versys-ified Ninja 250, kinda has me thinking about doing something like this for my wife to ride (too short at 5'2" for a LOT of bikes).
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 08:30 PM
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Ed, take a look at Honda's new CB500F. It's a naked 500cc parallel twin, fairly upright seating without a tall saddle. They also offer a CBR fully-faired version and a CB500X adventure bike version, but I think the F version would be a good all around bike.
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