Mandatory upgrades? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
hcb
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Mandatory upgrades?

Okay, so, this is my second post. I'm still not a spambot.

For a more important and relevant post I wanted to ask which/what modifications/upgrades are actually really important for the Versys, if any?

I just bought a 2013 Versys, brand new. I have a KLR, bought used. I know from having the KLR that there are some mods/upgrades which are considered kind of mandatory for the health of the machine. I consider the ThermoBob and the Doohickey to be "mandatory". Damage from a failed Doohickey (either a broken spring or insufficient chain tension) could be significant. As for the ThermoBob, keeping the engine temperature more consistent is a good thing for wear and part tolerances, and I think it's a must-have for a machine the owner intends to keep for a long time. That's my thinking, anyway.

Are there any such concerns with the Versys? "Hey, if you don't fix this or change that, a failure can occur or it won't last very long" type stuff?

I should have known this before buying the machine...but the price was too good to pass up so I kind of impulse-bought the thing. Nobody said I was the brightest bulb on the strand.

Thanks for your time and input.

--HC

BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Huffy...anything but a Harley.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 06:26 PM
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I have a '12 Versys bought new as a left-over last year plus a couple of Gen I KLR, '01 and '07.

I put a rear rack on my Versys and a Kaoko throttle plus a 16T front sprocket and a Scottoiler. Rack came from one of the guys on here, very nice. I put about 12,000 miles on the Versys first year. Oh, yeah, put a 12V socket with factory relay.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 06:35 PM
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Welcome to the Gen 2 family.
The sky is the limit with mods. But IF you are 6' tall or over, mirror extenders, lowered pegs, bar risers, Seat concepts seat, and a better windscreen are needed for longer ride comfort IMHO. My mods are MANY but most if not all were for a specific style of riding and roads traveled.
As for the Thermo-Bob, I did it to mine since I ride in the spring and fall here in AK where temps are quite low. I don't think that the Versys cooling system is as bad as the KLR but could use the benefits of the kit.


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There is no inappropriate temperature to ride a motorcycle…just inappropriate layers of protection.
2011 ADVersys
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 07:17 PM
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I don't think there's anything "mandatory" like the doohickey on the KLR. The thermobob seems pretty good and lots of people like them, include Motorcycle Consumer News. I'd consider putting one on mine once the warranty runs out or if I didn't have the extended warranty (which by the way has more than paid for itself. I had kind of a flukey TPS though).

The Versys is pretty strong bike and lots guys have some pretty good mileage on them. One of the service managers at the shop where I got new tires recently told me of a customer of theirs with 100K mi on their '09. I haven't seen it personally, so take it with a grain of salt. Mechanically, the Versys is pretty reliable.

BTW,

2011 Imperial Red
Givi V46 / V35's SW Motech mounts
Skidmarx hugger Moto Werks bar riser
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 08:22 PM
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No mandatory fixes or common failures, although there is a thread that keeps popping up where people are getting failed stators.

My Versys Travels:


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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 08:41 PM
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Welcome

If I was to do anything 1st - have some fun.
Try and push a brick wall over!
Smoke stock rear tyres up...
and then buy better rubber - best 1st mod!!!!

One of the 1st couple of mods I did on my Mk2 were:
Therm-o-Bob
Pro-Oiler Chain Oiler

The Pro-Oiler Chain Oiler is a lazy mans maintenance item. Electronically controlled precise oil delivery method. SEt it and forget it. Easy to adjust for riding condition eg rain or dust/dirt.

I bought the bike 2nd hand and the Original owner thought these items were important and already installed for me:
Rag guard
90 deg metal tyre valves
Pirelli Angel ST tyres

I have since got many many MANY more mods - and some Farkles - and all compliment what I want from the bike!
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltermitty View Post
I have a '12 Versys bought new as a left-over last year plus a couple of Gen I KLR, '01 and '07.

I put a rear rack on my Versys and a Kaoko throttle plus a 16T front sprocket and a Scottoiler. Rack came from one of the guys on here, very nice. I put about 12,000 miles on the Versys first year. Oh, yeah, put a 12V socket with factory relay.
Thanks for the reply.

A rack on the back is going to be necessary for my intended use of the machine. I'll look at commercial stuff first but I may have to build what I want. Recommendations on what commercial stuff I should look at? I have a set of TourMaster soft bags on my KLR which I will be putting on the Versys instead, so something to support them will be needed.

Is the factory sprocket up front smaller or larger than the 16T you put on?

I've got an e-mail floated out to Kaoko re exchange rates. I found two sites selling the lock, presumably from the USA, for about $140. From South Africa, with shipping, it'll be about $100 if I did the currency conversion correctly. I've asked them to confirm this. But it looks like a good item and much more attractive than the original VistaCruise (yuck).

The Scottoiler is a new one on me. I looked at that...jeez, 300 bucks. That looks like a good idea but it looks like the kind of thing that begs for a home-grown DIY version. I'll get around to messing with that. Maybe.

I'll be putting a lot of electronics on it (well, a lot for me...I saw a guy who was a F-16 pilot in the AF and he'd put so much junk on his GoldWing that it looked the cockpit of that jet, I bet). I'll definitely add the outlet, a double, which I already have several of here for various vehicles.

Thanks again.

--HC

BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Huffy...anything but a Harley.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaJeff View Post
Welcome to the Gen 2 family.
The sky is the limit with mods. But IF you are 6' tall or over, mirror extenders, lowered pegs, bar risers, Seat concepts seat, and a better windscreen are needed for longer ride comfort IMHO. My mods are MANY but most if not all were for a specific style of riding and roads traveled.
As for the Thermo-Bob, I did it to mine since I ride in the spring and fall here in AK where temps are quite low. I don't think that the Versys cooling system is as bad as the KLR but could use the benefits of the kit.
Hello, thanks for the reply. I am going to first try taking the mirrors off and then the windscreen. I get a little buffeting of the helmet and I am going to try to find the source. I did find that I could use the mirrors fine at the height they were at. Personally, if I do anything with them, I'd like them to be further down to eliminate the "antennae" look. The bar risers might be necessary as I do find I load my wrists pretty good (not like a crotch rocket, but still).

The seat has been pretty good to me so far and I'm sure my bo-bo will toughen up after I ride regularly for awhile...I think.

On the Thermo-Bob, is there any documented information regarding the heat fluxuation in the engine like there is for the KLR? I should look at their site.

I'll try to be good about posting what I do and how. I appreciate the information others post and I'll try to give back.

--HC

BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Huffy...anything but a Harley.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
No mandatory fixes or common failures, although there is a thread that keeps popping up where people are getting failed stators.
Thanks for the reply. It would be nice to know more about what kind of loading these users are putting on the machine. I've read a thread where at least one person mounted a voltmeter on their Versys so they can see if they're over-taxing their charge system. I've got a HAM radio, heated jacket, heated gloves, and GPS which may all get used at the same time so I'll put a voltmeter on mine (at some point) so I can watch that. The taillight seems to be LED already (unless I've gotten too stupid to recognize an LED from an incandescent). I will look at changing the other bulbs on the machine to LED. Mostly I'd like to change the headlight operation to shut off the low beam when the high beam is on. That'll save some juice plus, as the salesman who sold me my Honda told me, I like to ride with the high beam on during the day so, if I blow my most-used beam (high) I can still ride at night without blinding oncoming traffic. There's no point in running the high beam during the day to "save the low beam" if it's also on all the time.

--HC

BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Huffy...anything but a Harley.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigitt View Post
Welcome

If I was to do anything 1st - have some fun.
Try and push a brick wall over!
Smoke stock rear tyres up...
and then buy better rubber - best 1st mod!!!!

One of the 1st couple of mods I did on my Mk2 were:
Therm-o-Bob
Pro-Oiler Chain Oiler

The Pro-Oiler Chain Oiler is a lazy mans maintenance item. Electronically controlled precise oil delivery method. SEt it and forget it. Easy to adjust for riding condition eg rain or dust/dirt.

I bought the bike 2nd hand and the Original owner thought these items were important and already installed for me:
Rag guard
90 deg metal tyre valves
Pirelli Angel ST tyres

I have since got many many MANY more mods - and some Farkles - and all compliment what I want from the bike!
Thank you for the reply. That's not a knife...now that's a *knife*. Are you sick of Crocodile Dundee jokes/references yet?

Anyway, okay, new tires. I'm not a hardcore rider so I'll get the life I can out of these then I'll look up some Michelins if they make such a tire (I'm a fan of Michelin). Just my preference based on how happy I've been with their car and light-truck tires.

That's +2 for the ThermoBob. I'll go check that out. And +2 for the chain oiler, I'll go look up the Pro-Oiler. Okay, $226. Hmm. Yup, cries out for a homemade solution. Not sure I'm the guy to get it done...but you can bet I'm going to play with it.

I've not even checked let alone added air to the tires so I'll see how big a PITA that is but the 90 degree valves sound useful.

Thanks again.

--HC

BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Huffy...anything but a Harley.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 12:46 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

A rack on the back is going to be necessary for my intended use of the machine. I'll look at commercial stuff first but I may have to build what I want. Recommendations on what commercial stuff I should look at? I have a set of TourMaster soft bags on my KLR which I will be putting on the Versys instead, so something to support them will be needed. The rack made by the guy on here is far superior to anything I have seen elsewhere and at about the same price. KTM? something

Is the factory sprocket up front smaller or larger than the 16T you put on? Factory is 15T

I've got an e-mail floated out to Kaoko re exchange rates. I found two sites selling the lock, presumably from the USA, for about $140. From South Africa, with shipping, it'll be about $100 if I did the currency conversion correctly. I've asked them to confirm this. But it looks like a good item and much more attractive than the original VistaCruise (yuck). Kaoko won't sell to you directly, already checked.

The Scottoiler is a new one on me. I looked at that...jeez, 300 bucks. That looks like a good idea but it looks like the kind of thing that begs for a home-grown DIY version. I'll get around to messing with that. Maybe. The vacuum version is much cheaper

I'll be putting a lot of electronics on it (well, a lot for me...I saw a guy who was a F-16 pilot in the AF and he'd put so much junk on his GoldWing that it looked the cockpit of that jet, I bet). I'll definitely add the outlet, a double, which I already have several of here for various vehicles.

Thanks again.

--HC
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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ThermoBob ordered.

--HC

BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Huffy...anything but a Harley.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcb View Post
...As for the ThermoBob, keeping the engine temperature more consistent is a good thing for wear and part tolerances, and I think it's a must-have for a machine the owner intends to keep for a long time. That's my thinking, anyway....
I would put crash-bars (I have SW-Motechs) and hand-guards (Zeta XCs for me) as primary, as, SOMETIME your V will land on its side, and those will ameliorate damage (I low-sided at about 20 mph once). Then, next on the list is the ThermoBob.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcb View Post
On the Thermo-Bob, is there any documented information regarding the heat fluxuation in the engine like there is for the KLR? I should look at their site....
Yes - Bill has detailed some VERY extensive data-acquisition he did before and after.

Ed
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 04:30 PM
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Flat foot would be one of my "must have" items... if only for the peace of mind it provides once installed. No concerns for any soft soil or hot asphalt once you have it on the bike. Cheap insurance.

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 06:48 PM
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Flat foot would be one of my "must have" items... if only for the peace of mind it provides once installed. No concerns for any soft soil or hot asphalt once you have it on the bike. Cheap insurance.
I had forgotten I had that on my bike. I would 100% agree with this. The first few months I had the V I was always looking for something to put under the stand.

08' Versys
Givi racks with V35 sides, and V46 Top-case, Garmin Zumo 450 GPS, Powermadd Handguards, Motowerks GPS Mount, Peg Lowering kit, Flat Foot, Arrow Exhaust, Adjustable Levers, GIPro Gear Indicator, Oxford Heated Grips
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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 09:16 PM
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I rode mine stock for two years and thought it was just fine. This year I put on a VarioX screen and new rubber, What a difference these two items have made. I loved the bike before, but now it's brought it to a whole new level of enjoyment.

The stock screen and stock tires suck. All the great handling characteristics of the versys are really enhanced with a good set of tires.

Lovin every minute of it!
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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 09:44 PM
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Mine has a huge list of mods already installed when I got it, including a taller rear sprocket (makes it less frenetic at highway speeds), a Givi windscreen (little short for me, I need a spoiler for the top of it for it to be truly effective), Acerbis handguards, Pelican hardbags, a Givi top box, an SW-Motech tankbag, SW-Motech crash bars (haven't laid it down yet, but just in case..), a kickstand foot (not sure who made it, but it's great), a Baldwin seat (comfortable enough as long as you aren't trying to spend more than 1.5hr in the saddle at a stretch), a GPS mount (it's gonna go away, though, thing buzzes more than the cluster), and some aftermarket Velcro handgrip heaters that currently don't work right.

I'm adding a Powerlet and a BrakeAway as soon as they come in, because those were the two things I really needed on the trip home from Salt Lake City where I bought it. My Cardo died about 6 hours into both days of riding, and my right hand still cramps up 3 days later.
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcb View Post
Thanks for the reply. It would be nice to know more about what kind of loading these users are putting on the machine. I've read a thread where at least one person mounted a voltmeter on their Versys so they can see if they're over-taxing their charge system. I've got a HAM radio, heated jacket, heated gloves, and GPS which may all get used at the same time so I'll put a voltmeter on mine (at some point) so I can watch that. The taillight seems to be LED already (unless I've gotten too stupid to recognize an LED from an incandescent). I will look at changing the other bulbs on the machine to LED. Mostly I'd like to change the headlight operation to shut off the low beam when the high beam is on. That'll save some juice plus, as the salesman who sold me my Honda told me, I like to ride with the high beam on during the day so, if I blow my most-used beam (high) I can still ride at night without blinding oncoming traffic. There's no point in running the high beam during the day to "save the low beam" if it's also on all the time.

--HC
I have a few of these i can use on my 12V outlet that i keep with my tools on the bike ....http://www.amazon.com/Cigarette-Lighter-Voltage-Digital-Voltmeter/dp/B00UCEAKYU/ref=sr_1_38?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1431918061&sr=1-38&keywords=12v+voltmeter
Have one of these too...

Untitled by weljo2001, on Flickr



Had a Battery Bug mounted on the dash...

IMG_0390 by weljo2001, on Flickr

2009 Blue Versys.
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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
I would put crash-bars (I have SW-Motechs) and hand-guards (Zeta XCs for me) as primary, as, SOMETIME your V will land on its side, and those will ameliorate damage (I low-sided at about 20 mph once). Then, next on the list is the ThermoBob.



Yes - Bill has detailed some VERY extensive data-acquisition he did before and after.
Thank you for your reply. I have SW-Motechs on my KLR (they were on there when I bought it). They look good (functional) and I'll look into getting some for the Versys. From reading your post, the hand guards will do some to mitigate damage in a lay-over. See, I can use those 10 dollar words, too. <GRIN>

You don't see "ameliorate" on a daily basis...at least I don't.

I did read the ThermoBob data. Some companies make products and don't seem to put any thought into them other than "do they sell?". I appreciate the thoroughness Watt-Man seems to have put into his data.

Thanks again.

--HC

BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Huffy...anything but a Harley.
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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by genehil View Post
Flat foot would be one of my "must have" items... if only for the peace of mind it provides once installed. No concerns for any soft soil or hot asphalt once you have it on the bike. Cheap insurance.
Thanks for the reply and I love the icon (WTF).

I looked up the FF. I like the concept. But, like the chain oiler, this sounds like a mod which is crying out for some DIY. I do metal fab (small shop, just me, only CNC is plasma cutting) and I think I can do something with this. I'll put it on my mental list and see what I come up with. If I come up with something useful, I'll post about it in the Mods section. The stock foot is tiny and it has caused me concern already twice (three days into ownership).

--HC

BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Huffy...anything but a Harley.
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