Knee Down - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Knee Down

Hi Guys,

This only my second post (after introducing myself some months ago).

I've been working on my street/performance riding. Been to the track a few times. No chicken strips on my tires and I'm on my 3rd set of tires in under a year. I've never gotten my knee down and I was beginning to wonder if it was even possible, given the height of the bike.

Found a older thread but I'm unable to post to it, as I don't think I have the requisite number of posts and permissions. Anyway, everyone was pretty much saying they couldn't even scrape the pegs although they did scrape boots. Same deal here--I've scraped my boots but that's it. Since I have no chicken strips, I don't think there's any more lean to be had.

Anyone have any different experiences? Or tips? Thanks!
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 07:27 PM
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Very rarely ever scraped my pegs on the Versys..But on the FJR i scrape them a lot.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 08:21 PM
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I only scraped my pegs after NOT making the corner..
motorcycles or rather..motorcyclists go through tires all of the time...I doubt that I'll get a year out of a set..unless I do a lot of riding with the Harley guys (they're SLOW..not scrubbing off tires with them)...obviously some tires will last longer..sticky vrs not so sticky..
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 08:40 PM
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The whole knee down thing is more about body position. If you look at pictures of people getting them down is takes a major lean. Basically you should have one whole ass-cheek of the bike and you should be trying to kiss your mirror.

The idea of getting your knee down is more about keeping the bike from leaning more than it has to. If you notice, the bike will turn more sharply when you shift your weight over regardless of how far the bike is leaning.

Look at pictures and videos to get a better idea of body position. There's even a youtube video of a guy on a versys getting his down.

Search "versys knee down"

All that being said this is a tall ass bike.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 09:19 PM
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The V is not the easiest bike to get your knee down for your first time, but it can be done with some commitment.

First disadvantage for a first timer is the seat height and the general height of the bike. Sitting that high makes it feel like you have to lean WAY far over. If you aren't used to getting serious lean then the sensation from the V can be intimidating. So, practice getting low and emulating a racer posture. Its not going to help you if you are sitting all tall in the saddle like the V encourages.

Second is the V has very limited ground clearance. The pegs drag quite early. Sure, that's relative, but compared to any other bike that's designed as more of a sportbike, the V's pegs are low. This means you're really gonna have to hang off. This is also intimidating to somebody who's never touched knee. Its easier to lean a proper ZX over and keep tight to the bike, than hang your body out. Beginners lack the feel for anchoring on the bike let alone hanging off like a gymnast. But it can be done.

Get Lee Parks Total Control book and read over body position and weight distribution. What's awesome is if you have somebody who can video from behind. You'll feel, claim, and think you're hanging off like a loose saddlebag, then you see the video and realize you haven't even moved half a butt cheek off the seat.

I've got my knee down riding cruisers, Bonnevilles, almost a TW200 (oops), a KLR650, and almost all sportbikes. Don't rush into it, take your time and try to learn the correct body position and learn how your weight and angle affect the bike. It looks cool in track day pics, but its nice to also learn why you are doing it too.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 09:49 PM
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After taking an advanced rider course at the Ron Ariel school in Gilbert, AZ, I was able to drag the footpeg feeler on the LEFT 'peg several times (at least five...).

And I BELIEVE that was on OEM Dunlops, but I can't say that for SURE....

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-07-2014, 03:03 AM
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Guys,

Thank you all for all of your great feedback! For some reason I didn't get any notification of replies, so I apologize for only seeing this now.

I've definitely improved my body position and gotten very comfortable with leaning--no chicken strips on my V. And yet my sliders remain immaculate. I'm heading to the track next week and so I'm checking to see if getting my knee down is really pushing it. I'm 5'11" and using Continental Road Attack 3 tires (love them).

Any more tips and ideas are most appreciated.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Oh yeah, by the way, I forgot to mention, I have not modified my V except for an exhaust can and suspension tweaking for preload and rebound. My buds are telling me I need to drop the tripe clamps and I agree. The front used to get squirrely coming out of corners until I fixed my body position. Thing is, with the handlebars so high, I just can't get my upper body and head down far enough.

Never expected the V to be such a great bike in sport mode.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacucaracha View Post

All that being said this is a tall ass bike.
Exactly! That's what has me wondering whether getting a knee down on the V is stretching it...I want to keep the bike shiny and scuff only the pucks.

Thanks, brother!
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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More background info: My previous adventure-tourer bikes were a Honda Transalp and an Africa Twin. I thought the V would be similar and boy was I wrong. This baby loves to corner like the previous bikes could never and I've loved exploring what it can do. Thing is, I think it's pulling me over to the dark side of sportbikes...Anyone else feeling the same?

Thanks again!
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 07:28 AM
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I've got a photo somewhere of a KLR rider with a knee down in a parking lot.

Dragging pegs on a street bike on the street and using proper riding techniques, you would have to be in the reckless driving ticket realm.
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Last edited by twowheeladdict; 08-31-2015 at 04:10 PM.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMirasol View Post
...Anyway, everyone was pretty much saying they couldn't even scrape the pegs although they did scrape boots. Same deal here--I've scraped my boots but that's it. Since I have no chicken strips, I don't think there's any more lean to be had.

Anyone have any different experiences? Or tips? Thanks!
I took an advanced riding course from Ron Ariel in Gilbert, AZ several years back. I 'scraped' the feeler on the left 'peg three or four times, but NEVER the right one, and did NOT get a knee down, tho' I TRIED.

I was riding (in a spirited fashion) on AZ 366 (goes up Mt Graham), one of the TWISTIEST roads I've had the good luck to ride.

I was 'hanging-off', trying to get a knee down, when I changed my line in a left-hand switch-back because of gravel, ONTO the yellow-line and immediately low-sided at about 20 mph! Seems they used plastic to make the lines - NO traction...!



Bent a few things, broke a rib. Oh well....


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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
... immediately low-sided at about 20 mph! Seems they used plastic to make the lines - NO traction...!



Bent a few things, broke a rib. Oh well....

Dang. Sorry to hear it, Fast Eddie.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
I've got a photo somewhere of a KLR rider with a knee down in a parking lot.

Dragging pegs on a street bike on the street and using proper riding techniques, you would have to be in the reckless driving ticket realm.
WOW, that's awesome, especially seeing as how he's on knobbies!

So, from what I'm hearing overall I guess it's safe to say that YES, you CAN get your knee down the V but it's probably stretching things a bit to the point where you're compromising safety.

I just wanted to know as I'm up for another track day next week and wanted to know if I should push just a bit more...

Thanks, guys!
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JMirasol View Post
...I just wanted to know as I'm up for another track day next week and wanted to know if I should push just a bit more....
There was a Brit on here some years back, AWESOME rider. He posted videos of him during track days w/ things like "Gixxers". He ALWAYS reeled them in in corners, while they PULLED him on the straights. GREAT vids IF you can find them. His 'handle' was something like xxxhp. (the X's represent numbers).

AND here it IS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7ivn5PeQz8

There's ALSO a part B.

Ed
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
I've got a photo somewhere of a KLR rider with a knee down in a parking lot.

Dragging pegs on a street bike on the street and using proper riding techniques, you would have to be in the reckless driving ticket realm.
And on knobbies!
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 04:57 PM
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There was a Brit on here some years back, AWESOME rider. He posted videos of him during track days w/ things like "Gixxers". He ALWAYS reeled them in in corners, while they PULLED him on the straights. GREAT vids IF you can find them. His 'handle' was something like xxxhp. (the X's represent numbers).

AND here it IS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7ivn5PeQz8

There's ALSO a part B.
Now that was good fun. And he was seriously hauling behind to drag the pegs. I assume if your bike isn't lowered, 99% of the population won't need to worry about it.
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Guys,

Went back to the track again. And just missed knee down by about an inch. Again.
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMirasol View Post
Hi Guys,

Went back to the track again. And just missed knee down by about an inch. Again.
try hanging off more

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