Well, I guess we won't be riding much together! Part of the problem was that it startled me, I wasn't expecting the change.
Seriously, the bike felt very unstable, how does more speed improve that? How do you accelerate/decelerate through the "unstable zone", if that's all it is?
"unstable zone" is just in your heart and should be overwritten by your mind.
Let me explain. When I started riding DS bikes on dirt, I would not go over 80 Km/h. Even at that speed I was very scarred as the bike was very unstable. Hitting sand and loose stones just "snaked" the bike and the rear felt that it wanted to break out. But it was because I was going to slow.
Other guys would pass me at 160-170 km/h and I could not understand that crazy people. Then one day I told myself that today I am going to go fast even if I fall. So I did it and my mind had to talk to everything in my body that shouted that it just doesn't make sense and it is crazy "Slow down!". But i did not and as soon as I hit 120 km/h, the bike got very stable. Just like that it felt like I was riding on tar. I couldn't believe it.
Then the only other thing was to figure out how can I stop quickly from 120, which is damn fast. That is when the next thing (after chatting to the crazy guys) that baffled me worked. Use your front brakes
. Yes, use your front brakes more than the back. Again I had to practice this from slow to fast and took me more than a month's worth of dirt riding. It just did not make sense to use the front as my mind told me that it will slide out. But it did not.
So, I hope this helps. I have to say after not riding a few weeks or months, I have to start slow again especially the corners and front breaking. You have to stay in practice to do it right. But after the 2nd day everything comes back again and the bike stable.
So just try it once to go over 120km/h ( i think 75ml/h?) on a straight dirt road. It does not matter if it is a good or bad dirt road, just do it. Take a straight without corners and feel the stability of the Versys at that speed. You will be surprised and scared. But keep at it. Then later on try the corners slowly and then increasing speed. After that try to slide out the back tire into a corner by transferring your weight to the outside and pushing the bike down into the corner. But be careful at first.
when you accomplish this you will find that it is amazing fun and gives you a grin factor of 10. Ignore what people say about the V and the dirt capabilities. I am telling you there are lots of scared people that wants to bash every bike that is not BMW or KTM. Do understand that it is not the bike but the rider that makes a good DS bike. Passion and love. the Versys is a good bike and once my baby gets released from customs I will start putting up ride reports of the Versys in Africa. What most riders don't get is that a DS bike is not a MX bike. It is Duel Purpose (sport).
But as said before, I want to put on more DS orientated tires. The standard work for dirt roads but got me nearly stuck in a river bed with its thick sand and riding in mud it is like snot. So the only think I would like to change is the tires.
OK. enough said.