New Rider, New to me Red 2008 Kawasaki Versys! (Milwaukee, WI) - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Talking New Rider, New to me Red 2008 Kawasaki Versys! (Milwaukee, WI)

Hi All!

This forum was instrumental in me deciding to select a Versys for my first motorcycle! Thank you all!

I've always been a car guy in the past - I have a wonderful 1995 Mazda Miata that is absolutely a blast to drive. I've also tried to push the limits of Miata Is always the answer... And it has done amazingly well at it:



But my wife made the mistake of suggesting I take a motorcycle class... So now, not only do I have my Miata, but I'm the happy new owner of a 2008 Kawasaki Versys - in Red.



It has 12,166 miles on it right now, and with the exception of some minor scratches on the left side (obviously from a very low speed drop) it's in great condition. I think I got a great deal at $2800! Not only did it include everything in the picture (except the everlast bag and house), but the seller included a service manual and a Pit Bull rear stand.

I checked for cracks in the top engine mounts and didn't see any. My friend stated that the clutch was awkward, so we'll be replacing the clutch cable with a new one. We're also going to put stainless brake lines front and rear to help improve the feel.

It's in the garage, talking with my Miata (I'm not sure which one is more jealous of the other...) and I won't be taking it out until those items are fixed and I install some SW-Motech Engine Guards. Naturally, oil change, air filter cleaning, and general all-round check-over is in order as well.

What else should I be looking for and/or doing to a new-to-me 2008 Versys? How do I identify if the chain needs to be replaced/serviced?

I'm looking forward to becoming a part of this community!

-Lance

Last edited by NilesStonne; 07-13-2015 at 05:55 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 08:06 PM
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everything you need to know about the bike is right here in the forum. Just look up....by the by, chain tension is about 1" free play.

Enjoy your ride and ATGATT- Be safe.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 08:06 PM
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2009 Blue Versys.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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ATGATT most definitely!

And thank you for the advice on the chain - I'll have to look around and get a better understanding!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 11:24 PM
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Welcome Niles!

Hello from Minneapolis. Another red Verys Mk1, YES!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the welcomes everyone!

Looks like the first image of my Versys was broken. New image up.


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2008 Red Kawasaki Versys - Purchased 7/12/2015
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 08:50 AM
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Hey Niles,

I was just re-reading your post and saw you asked about some maint. type stuff. Others may hop in, but I will respond to your motor mount Q.

Yes, check them all- indeed. But the one I learned is a potential problem is, the front-right, or "passenger side" front. I got my 2008 used at about 15K, which your bike will be coming up on...

The front right motor mount was loose (the bolt) and it was "filing" a elongated oval to some extent in the engine's casting up there. It was mild, but had been loose enough to "oval" that hole a bit that I saw it when I was tearing the bike apart and putting crash bars on. You can also just see the end of the LEFT front motor mount bolt/nut on the far right edge of the image.

Here is the area in greater detail with the exhaust, radiator and fork out of the way. NOTE there is or should be a "captive" nut that sort of locks or drops into a slot in the engine casting. Expect to find this area nasty with crap, road debris, sand, etc. if you don't have a front fender extender. Worth a closer look.

I was also told to address the motor mount bolt/nuts with red loktite to prevent this, and even at that- they can still vibe loose on ya. The parallel twin a bit "spirited" and it essentially makes up the frame in the lower part of the bike if you look at it, great design, but like other bikes of it's style, stuff can loosen up from vibration. It's way ahead of a KLR from that aspect tho.



You asked about a chain and some other stuff, I will step down and leave something for the next guy to speak on, I'm a rookie myself.

Consider getting some engine guard-crash bars!!!

Again, welcome!

~Paul

Last edited by unstable_rider; 07-13-2015 at 08:56 AM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up

Thanks Paul!

I'll definitely take a detailed look. I'm a mechanically oriented guy, so I expect to have a bunch of fun with disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly over the next week or two. Before my first ride on it! I've already had all of the front plastics off within two hours of having it home - just for curiosity and learning!

Items already on order:
  • SW-Motech Crash bars (from Twisted Throttle)
  • Spiegler Stainless Steel Brake Lines (Front and Rear from STG) The 'natural/clear' ones are on sale right now - get fronts and rears for < $100 total!

I'm heading to the local dealership and getting the following:
  • Clutch Cable (My friend who drove it the 100 miles home said it was sticking a little)
  • Full Oil change set (Oil, Filter, Crush Washer)
  • Air Filter (Not sure - I think they are washable?)


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2008 Red Kawasaki Versys - Purchased 7/12/2015
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 11:17 AM
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Others have discovered that the clutch cable can bind-up, kink and potentially/eventually get pinched and damaged as it passes by the side of the frame just behind the fork, more or less. I read about it on this forum-- lots of conversation on it, so I don't take credit for discovering it or coming up with the fix.

Some, including ME, have re-routed the cable OUTSIDE of the bent coat-hanger wire retaining thing that is held by one single Allen bolt.

I just got my bike back on the street, and am currently running it without plastics, by chance that area can be seen below. I also put split loom on parts of the cable that I saw would rub on stuff. I ran my throttle cables totally in that black Chinese-finger trap riggers weave stuff, plus lots of other cables/wires. I DISPISE wire-rub through electrical failures ( I used to have a KLR... )

Hope this helps. Oh, LUBE YOUR throttle and clutch cable/s, even from brand new. There are some posts on how others have come up with unique methods, like hanging them straight and "filling them" with liquid lube that way..

I recently did stainless front brake lines. Watch how you route them. I put handguards-bars on at the same time, and must have re-routed them 5 times to keep enough slack to get full turns from the handlebars and not pinch anywhere. Get the DUAL LINE front set up if you can, to eliminate that crossover line on the front fender.


Oh, I was able to carefully remove my airfilter element and wash it up in some Dawn and hot water. After I dried it, I just re-oiled it and put it back in, they are rather spendy to replace. You will find your entire air box needs a bath as well.


Have fun!



Hey, did you find the shop manual and parts list on the forum yet?

I have the PDF's saved as docs into my phone and ipad.
PRICELESS.



ENLARGE for detail:

I have a flap of a tire inner tube rubber between my cables and the coathanger retainer bit.


Last edited by unstable_rider; 07-13-2015 at 11:26 AM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks a ton for all of the comments! I'll take a careful look at your routing advice and see what I can do.

I already ordered the 'direct replacement' front brake lines, oops! Well, in the future if I ever notice an issue, I'll switch over.


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2008 Red Kawasaki Versys - Purchased 7/12/2015
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 01:34 PM
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PROBABLY all your clutch cable needs is a bit of WD40. Here's a "how-to-do-it" in pics.

I buy WD40 in gallons, and use a 'straw' from a can and a small container.



Here's the cable and clutch perch.



Next I measure the distance from the adjuster to the cable so I can set it back to the same point later. (A tape measure works, too.)



Then loosen the adjuster till it contacts the perch, but w/ BOTH slots aligned.



Then pull the cable free of the perch,



then from the clutch lever.



Stick the 'straw' into the container of WD40



then put the finger OVER the end, closing it, and trapping the WD40 inside it.



Then put the open end of the straw by the cable



and remove your finger so that the WD40 goes INTO the cable-end, and move the cable back-and-forth so the WD goes into the cable-outer.



Do this several times till you get WD40 coming out of the lower end, near the clutch.



Then put the barrel end (you HAVE put a bit of grease onto it, haven't you?) into the clutch-lever



then pull it till the end of the cable-outer will fit back into the perch



and turn the adjuster till you have the same number of threads showing as when you started.



ALL DONE, and took longer to read this than to DO it!

Ed
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 01:36 PM
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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WOW!

That was an amazing response. Thank you so much! I'll give that a try tonight!


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 10:13 AM
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