I think I made a mistake by passing on a 2009 Versys - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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I think I made a mistake by passing on a 2009 Versys

Had a chance to buy a versys on kijiji for the right price and low milage, walked away from it over $250. The next person bought the bike.

It was a 2009 with 9000 miles. I see a 2007 listed for a little more money with more miles on it, it has 38000 kms.

What should I be looking for when I look at this bike? Is 38000 kms a lot for the bike?

I'm a new rider, taking the class later this month. Is this too much bike for a beginner?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 09:00 AM
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I have an 09 with 47,000 kms.

I have kept a running record of maintenance for the exact reason you are bringing up now: I think it's important information to provide to a prospective buyer if you are making a private sale. So, ask if there are any maintenance records or receipts.

The first valve check is due on the V at 42,000 kms. so keep that in mind. Although the valves are likely in spec or very close to being in spec, if you can't do that service yourself it could cost you a few hundred bucks.

With 38,000 kms on the '07 for sale, consider the following from my Versys experience:
@ 36,200 kms: replaced original brake pads front and rear
@ 39,000 kms: replaced original battery
@ 39,500 kms: Valve check (in spec) and replaced original chain
@ 40,300 kms: replaced original coolant

If these things are done, and the bike appears clean and undamaged, and there are some maintenance records, then you may be in for a good deal. Make sure when you go see the bike that you get to start it when it's cold.

Good luck.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 09:12 AM
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38000 km is not much providing that it has been maintained well. Ask for records and take a knowledgeable person with you to look the bike over and test ride it if possible. Little things like testing the air pressure of the tires, condition of the chain, lubed and smooth lever action, colour of the oil etc will give clues as to the seller's attention to details. Ask to see the valve clearance check record, it should have been done at least once. Don't get hung up on the cosmetic appearance, mechanical details are what counts.

The V is not too much bike for a beginner, providing that you have received proper training, always wear protective gear and ride within your abilities. The first thing I would do is find a large empty parking lot and practice slow riding drills to become familiar with the bike.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply, I think part of my problem is I see lots of bikes in the 30-40 k range. The low milage ones go real quick. The other problem is as a new rider I don't want to be buying someone else's problems and I'm not sure what to buy yet. Lots of advice around, all contradicts itself for new riders. Until I take the class and get on some bikes, I don't know what I want to buy.

I'm a bigger guy 6'3" 230 lbs so the 250s feel small but I need the bike to be forgiving if I make a mistake.

I've looked at a number of bikes too and none of the sellers are really good salesmen that push the sale and overcome my objectioons. As a new rider I need to be sold.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
The V is not too much bike for a beginner, providing that you have received proper training, always wear protective gear and ride within your abilities. The first thing I would do is find a large empty parking lot and practice slow riding drills to become familiar with the bike.
All those things are a given can't wait to join the community.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 09:27 AM
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Regarding whether it is too much bike for a beginner depends on the beginner.

Do you have extensive bicycling experience?

Do you understand the principles of clutch and gas control?

Are you tall enough to flatfoot when straddling the seat?

Are you strong enough to muscle the bike around the garage?

These are only questions for a beginner. Obviously, an experienced rider can deal with bikes that are physically too big for them.

Also, do you have a lot of experience driving a car in traffic? Learning the roads and dealing with traffic is more forgiving in a cage.

My Versys Travels:


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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I Understand what you are saying. As a beginner I'm not young and can answer yes to a lot of the questions. I can understand the advice when there are a lot (not all) who are young, know everything and just want to go fast.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 10:15 AM
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Is this too much bike for a beginner?
It depends,, Are you controlling the bike or will you let it control you ??
If your answer is #2 then it is to big for you !!!
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 10:24 AM
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i have a 08 with 36xxx MILES and it still runs strong... now days its easy to see 100xxx+ with maintenance

yes im a guy.
Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 10:34 AM
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I have a 2011 with 71,000kms on it and the bike has been stone wall reliable for me. I'm not the kind who pampers his bikes either. I ride it year round whatever the weather, ride it off road, don't clean it when I put it away and don't lube the chain as often as I should. I get it serviced by the dealer every 12000kms (or so) but other than checking the oil every once in a while (the level never moves) I just ride it. I had the valves checked (they were in spec), replaced the battery once and chain twice. This is my 2nd bike and the cost of ownership has been a fraction of my first, a Piaggio maxi-scoot.

As far as being a first bike I would say it is borderline. If you get on okay with your training and are reasonably mature then yes, this could be a great first bike. The throttle is a bit on/off when closed but this seems to be a "feature" of all new bikes these days (according to online reviews). It has enough power to get you intro trouble real fast if you let it, so be honest in your assessment of yourself.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 10:34 AM
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I think it's too much displacement for a beginner.

I realize that you're mature, and that most of the people here will disagree with me. Maybe they're right. After all, there's no magical number, no bright line, that separates beginner bikes from intermediate bikes, whether you're talking displacement, power-to-weight ratio, saddle height or weight. In other words, no one can say that 648cc is a beginner bike and 649cc is an intermediate bike, just because of the 1cc difference.

My first motorcycle, bought six years ago when I was 46, was a Ninja 500 -- a fun but not-too-powerful parallel twin with a rather low saddle. (Not nearly as powerful as a 4-cylinder Ninja 600 sportbike.) I rode that Ninja 500 for almost a year and a half, then bought the Versys. For me, that was the right way to do it. The Ninja 500 had less torque, so I was less likely to lose control if I twisted the grip too fast, and the lower saddle height was nice for a beginner like me.

I would have learned more slowly, and been less safe, if the Versys had been my first bike.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 11:50 AM
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No sweat, look at the For Sale section on this site. There are many great deals, and many are ready to deal down too.

It's never too late to start all over again, (Steppenwolf.)
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 12:52 PM
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I bought a Versys 2 weeks ago, and i finally rode it last night. I've been riding for about 9 years and owned 8+ motorcycles in that time. The first thing I did yesterday was go to an empty parking lot and practice riding this bike. Slow speed maneuvers, braking, leaning, ect ... every bike rides and handles so differently that you need to take your time to gain comfort.

Your height and weight will be helpful; I think if I was new to motorcycling the versys would be too tall for me. But you'll have to sit on it, and see how it feels. Good Luck on your search, and we'll hopefully see you around here! Cheers
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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I can flat foot the bike, I'm 6'3" so the size feels right. I'll check out the for sale section.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 02:31 PM
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Agreed with folks above, generally. Good thoughts. The 650 parallel twin is friendly for a new rider, I think. Since you can flatfoot it, I think it's a good beginner bike (but also a ton of fun for riders like me who've been riding for 25+ years!). If you couldn't flatfoot it, I'd say no, because as a new rider you'll make sudden mistakes, like stalling, where you'll need to get a firm foot down quickly.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knarfdotca View Post
...Is 38000 kms a lot for the bike?...
My '08 has 57,xxx MILES, my '09 52,xxx KMS. BOTH bought new, and I EXPECT to get over 100,000 miles on each. Neither uses oil, and both have been on LONG trips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knarfdotca View Post
...Is this too much bike for a beginner?
My FIRST bike (and the one I did my first motorcycle ride on) was a 1962 Triumph Thunderbird, a year old in '63, bought from my brother. Rode it all over, then drag-raced it as a top fuel bike. Of course, it ONLY had 30 HP (at first...) compared w/ the V's 62 or so, so take it easy and it should work for you.

BTW - "weljo2001" is BIGGER than you, and had great luck w/ his '09!


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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 12:45 AM
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Plenty of people start on 650s. What do you feel comfortable on? Sit on some. Does it feel manageable to you just sitting on it? I knew when I first started that I needed to start small, so I did. It was the perfect way for me to go. After you take the class see if you can test ride one. I imagine that you could be fine starting on a 650. Finding a used one that you won't mind dropping can be a good route for a first bike.

Welcome to the forum and have fun out there!

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knarfdotca View Post
Had a chance to buy a versys on kijiji for the right price and low milage, walked away from it over $250. The next person bought the bike.

It was a 2009 with 9000 miles. I see a 2007 listed for a little more money with more miles on it, it has 38000 kms.

What should I be looking for when I look at this bike? Is 38000 kms a lot for the bike?

I'm a new rider, taking the class later this month. Is this too much bike for a beginner?
You will definitely want some form of tip over protection like SW-Motech engine bars. You can add these after you buy the bike.

If you are tall the Versys will make a good first bike as is. If not you might do better installing a lowering kit and lowering it 1 inch for your first year. The issue is that it has a higher than normal center of gravity which novice shorter riders may find challenging. It is however a fantastic all round bike. IMO the best all rounder in this size range and the motorcycle magazines agree with me. Since a bike leans in turns the center of gravity is non as issue for handling unlike a car, it really only factors in when holding the bike up at a stop. It is also less forgiving of mistakes like applying the front brake in sharp turns because of the height.

I would check out prices in larger cities like Montreal as they are usually much cheaper there. It is cheap $20 to rent a UHaul motorcycle trailer to retrieve it. You will need to purchase hold down straps someplace like Princess Auto as these are not supplied with the trailer.

Also factor in the cost of tires, chain and sprockets you may need to replace on some bikes. Many sellers ask outrageous amounts in the spring and then sit on the bike waiting for it to sell until the fall. The best time to purchase is fall and early winter. Prices are much lower then.

Another option is to get hold of a cheap used beginner bike like a Sherpa and buy a Versys in the fall, when prices go down, and resell your Sherpa the following spring when the market is hot.

As a new rider, I'm a novice MSF riding instructor, suggest you don't cheap out on gear too much, particularly on a jacket, as you'll end up replacing it later at a greater cost when you discover how much more versatile, wrt tempature, the better ones are in the Canadian climate. Have a look at something like the Olympia Airglide 3 season mesh jacket, Nomad, or other similar multi season textile jackets. Separate wind/water and insulation liners are important for versatility. Prices online are cheaper.

Last edited by twowheels; 04-04-2015 at 09:29 AM.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Found a 2012 versys 650 for a good price, pick it up next week. Paid more then i wanted to spend but hopefully ill have it a long time. The bike just fit me right. Hope to be around here for a while.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 11:03 PM
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I'm a bigger guy 6'3" 230 lbs so the 250s feel small but I need the bike to be forgiving if I make a mistake.

I've looked at a number of bikes too and none of the sellers are really good salesmen that push the sale and overcome my objectioons. As a new rider I need to be sold.
The versys is a great starter bike. Remember, the bike will only do what you give it. I would gear it down to a 44t in the rear, maybe a 45, to lower some of the low end torque, until you get used to that, then go back up for more fun when you are experienced. Maybe that bike has 44t already.

I feel off put when someone is pushy on a used auto/bike sale. I had looked at a truck once. The oil was brand new.... And the perfectly new looking coolant that was on the front shocks was apparently no big deal. I had to shake this guy off me as I tried to leave. Very uncomfortable.

Make sure those maintenance records are avail. If not, figure 700 into maint. and a couple more for gear, if you don't have any.


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