Have I bought a turkey? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Have I bought a turkey?

Hi All, I recently bought a low mileage Versys as my daily commute, after a number of older middleweight bikes.

I would love to say that I am enjoying the Versys but unfortunately I am not. My other ride is a 1995 Honda XRV750 Africa Twin, that is slow and steady but floats over anything I throw at it and has more character than a crate full of modern bikes.

The Versys has a great engine, is quick and has great handling and it is really fun to ride at speed on the back roads. But it also has a horrible jerky fuel injection system (better since doing the throttle body vacuum sensor mod but still not great) and the suspension is rock hard regardless of what I do (I'm 170lb and don't carry luggage) no pre-load on rear and hardly any damping. At moderate commuting speeds (up to 50 mph) I just don't enjoy it, I feel every bump in the road and the throttle surges when cruising almost regardless of revs.

Any advice gratefully received. Otherwise it'll be up for sale in the spring!

It has a lowering kit which I will gladly remove if it will help.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 09:50 AM
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I think you've already came to your conclusion. I'll spare you any advice other then put it up for sale. No one can convince you if you're not satisfied with your bike. Go out and purchase a different one and feel good about it. Life is too short and they're way to many good bikes to be riding one that doesn't do it for you.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 10:18 AM
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Hyperpro progressive rear spring improved the ride quality for me.

I'm at 2 bucks not a buck 70 though

Quote:
Originally Posted by sje294 View Post
Hi All,
......
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Any advice gratefully received.
.....
......

Last edited by Seeya; 10-04-2013 at 10:23 AM.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by King.Versys View Post
I think you've already came to your conclusion. I'll spare you any advice other then put it up for sale. No one can convince you if you're not satisfied with your bike. Go out and purchase a different one and feel good about it. Life is too short and they're way to many good bikes to be riding one that doesn't do it for you.
I should say I don't want to sell it. The power delivery is great for what I need, the riding position is excellent (I'm very fussy about that) as is the fuel economy. When I ride it hard it's fantastic - but I can't ride like that all the time.

I want to know if the problems with the jerky throttle and hard as nails suspension are just bad tuning and therefore easily solved or something I have to live with (or not).

If I could resolve these two issues, I can see myself riding it for many years to come.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Seeya. I was thinking of a hyperpro progressive spring so I'll take a look, it's good to know its worthwhile.

I'd like to have the suspension set for my daily commute with reasonable headroom for adjustment either side. Right now I've dialed out all of the preload and still I don't get enough sag and it is almost on the softest damping setting.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 12:01 PM
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Try going to a 44 tooth rear sprocket to ease out the jerkiness. I noticed a lot smoother transition from throttle to coast after changing my gearing, and the engine braking isn't as severe. Make sure you don't have too much slack in the throttle cables too. As for the suspension, it is a bit stiff stock, but certainly not the worst out there. Coming from an EX-500, I love the V's suspension...
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 01:23 PM
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YOU DIDN'T BUY A TURKEY BECAUSE;

1/Give it a chance & you will get used to it, it isn't what you're used to riding

2/ Turkeys have beaks,wings'n'feet & make "gobble-gobble" noises!


There.....I hope that helps.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sje294 View Post
I should say I don't want to sell it. The power delivery is great for what I need, the riding position is excellent (I'm very fussy about that) as is the fuel economy. When I ride it hard it's fantastic - but I can't ride like that all the time.

I want to know if the problems with the jerky throttle and hard as nails suspension are just bad tuning and therefore easily solved or something I have to live with (or not).

If I could resolve these two issues, I can see myself riding it for many years to come.
My Vs w/ Yamaha R1 shocks ride VERY "plush".... (I'm about 180# plus gear - ATGATT!)

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 06:53 PM
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I am about your weight and have the lowering block also. I get a smoother ride with the preload set at 5 or even 6 if I have luggage than if set lower. I also run the damping at 5 clicks. If I try to run with the normal suspension sag that some say you should have the 2 stage damping of the Versys rear shock is already in the firm range, more spring preload and less sag the 2 stage shock is still in the softer range. The Versys seems to be different than any other motorcycle I have owned in this regard. Might be worth a try. My fuel injection preforms great , no surging like I have had on other fuel injected bikes. I did have to adjust to excess slack from my throttle cable.

Long-travel high-tech suspension is critical to the Versys’ multi-role mission. A Showa rear shock with two-stage damping firms up progressively as the wheel moves through its stroke, providing an initially plush ride that firms to near-sportbike levels as suspension loads escalate.

Last edited by shilohsam; 10-04-2013 at 07:13 PM.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 09:30 AM
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Yuz guys really know your chit.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 10:07 AM
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I hear you about the stiffness of the springs. I have an 84 CB700SC that has really soft springs, it's a much softer ride. I would love to upgrade the springs on the V, but don't have the money for it.

I'm curious to hear more about the surging you mentioned. I had some surging too that at first was mild around 3000 RPM and then eventually on a 2500+ mile trip this summer got so bad I practically limped her home. Turned out to need a new Throttle Position Sensor. Is it surging when cruising or is it just a little jerky when you first open the throttle? It took me some time to get used to the response when opening the throttle, I often feather the clutch now to smooth it out and have also just gotten used it. But I do like the smooth response from my carburated bikes too.

My guess is that you're issues should be fixable.

Keep us posted!

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Last edited by BaileyMan; 10-05-2013 at 11:40 AM.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 01:41 PM
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 03:06 PM
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When I first got the versys had come from a 650 cc BMW GS and that suspension was so plush, did I just run over a log, well did not fell much kind of thing.

I did soften up my versys suspension so to speak but found it wallowed through corners on more spirited rides so my normal setting is closer to a track set up now but its always a trade off, maybe if you have the $$$$ put a R1 shock on as been done before.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 04:35 PM
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Because the versys is my first bike I don't have much to compare the throttle response and suspension characteristics to.

I wasn't sure if the throttle was suppose to be as punchy/over-responsive as it is. And if the suspension is stiffer than normal.

Glad to hear I'm not as much of as a rookie as I think I am.

See you out there
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 05:12 PM
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Another chime-in on the surging...not a common complaint here so if it's as bad as you say, it's likely something is wrong or off kilter. Two suggestions are to see invader's adjustment threads and download a PDF of the Service Manual from this site if you haven't done that already. Good luck.

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 06:10 PM
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Each time I've sold then bought a different bike in the past few years (I think i'm on number 6 in 7 years) I've gone for something "different." I didn't want the same thing I was selling, if I was gonna do that, just keep what I've got.

Point is I think it can be somewhat unfair to compare DIFFERENT bikes. I don't know what a '95 Africa Twin is so can't comment on THAT bike but I can say the Versys, for only 650 cc has an incredible amount of power and is very responsive to the throttle.

Perhaps you are simply very used to what you had on the Africa Twin and something as different as the Versys is going to be very uncomfortable.

IF there is a mechanical issue with the throttle perhaps getting that fixed would go a long way in making you happier with your Versys.

On the other hand, as King.Versys states in the second post, life IS short and there ARE other bikes out there. Get something that DOES make you happy. It may be wise to cut your losses NOW rather than investing what can quickly add up to some serious money in your quest to make the Versys in to something it is not . . . a '95 Africa Twin.

I'm absolutely NOT trying to be a smart ass nor disrespectful . . . just saying!! I really hope you can find happiness on 2 wheels . . . be it the Versys or some other bike. Good Luck!!!
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 06:26 PM
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I found mine a little harsh as well but after a few miles had rolled by the suspension worked in and/or I got use to it. My KLR was the same way even after I upgraded the rear and front to Moab and Racetechs with CD springs. But in a about 2000 miles I found the edge was gone even if the bike was stiffer than the floater the stock is.

BUT you have to make your mind up to what you can deal with. Good luck and ride safe.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sje294 View Post
But it also has a horrible jerky fuel injection system (better since doing the throttle body vacuum sensor mod but still not great) and the throttle surges when cruising almost regardless of revs.
Vacuum sensor mod? The left TB's left vacuum hose for the inlet air presure sensor should be left alone. Vacuum hose mod is best with just a 6" long 5/32" ID vacuum hose on capped fittings... You could also try rotating main throttle sensor counterclockwise by about 0.5mm to cure the lean surge by adding fuel at low to mid throttle opening.

Mine rides much better now with a 800 lbs/in rear shock spring. OEM spring was way too stiff at ~940 lbs/in to be compliant even on deep bumps with 210 lbs rider. Forks are good with 10W synthetic fork fluid, at near maximum preload and about 1/2 turn out on rebound damping.

Tires should be inflated to 32 psi front and 36 psi rear, cold... Is it still on the mediocre OEM tires?

Last edited by invader; 10-05-2013 at 07:15 PM.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 07:09 PM
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I have not had any problems with surging but the thing rides like a log wagon. I have changed the rear shock spring to a Hyperpro progressive spring and front fork spring to Hyperpro progressive springs. that helped a lot but I am still not happy. Next step is a R1 rear shock. Love the engine does great 2nd gear wheelies Carl
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sje294 View Post
Hi All, I recently bought a low mileage Versys as my daily commute, after a number of older middleweight bikes.

I would love to say that I am enjoying the Versys but unfortunately I am not. My other ride is a 1995 Honda XRV750 Africa Twin, that is slow and steady but floats over anything I throw at it and has more character than a crate full of modern bikes.

The Versys has a great engine, is quick and has great handling and it is really fun to ride at speed on the back roads. But it also has a horrible jerky fuel injection system (better since doing the throttle body vacuum sensor mod but still not great) and the suspension is rock hard regardless of what I do (I'm 170lb and don't carry luggage) no pre-load on rear and hardly any damping. At moderate commuting speeds (up to 50 mph) I just don't enjoy it, I feel every bump in the road and the throttle surges when cruising almost regardless of revs.

Any advice gratefully received. Otherwise it'll be up for sale in the spring!

It has a lowering kit which I will gladly remove if it will help.
Suspension - you can adjust preload as well as damping on both the front and back. Download the service manual for how to info. Better yet find a suspension guru in your area to set up your bike for you. Ensure you are using 32/36psi in the tires. With no preload and damping backed off you can have the softest ride ever but you give up control at higher speeds. The Versys does has firmer suspension than bikes like the VStrom but also has better higher speed handling as well. My point is there is a trade off in every suspension adjustment.

As for jerky throttle, this is unusual. Ensure chain slack is set ok. First gear may be a little jerky but this is due to first gear being so low compared to most street bikes.

Last edited by twowheels; 10-06-2013 at 07:04 AM.
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