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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I've got an 08 Versys that I'd like to make even more capable. What would you folks recommend for this task: I want to make the bike able to handle some light terrain. Basically just occasional gravel roads, a few wash outs here and there (no sand), and very rare light snow. Now I'm not taking it up the side of a mountain, or through a snowy pasture either. Just trips home to the rural Midwest and some 2wd Forest Service roads here in the Southwest.

Any thoughts? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The need for tires is what brought all this to mind. Where could one find a skid plate and engine guard for a reasonable price?
 

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I saw the SWMOTECH "skid plate" but I don't think it will keep much gravel off the engine if you raise the front fender (even with the Fenda Extenda installed). What other options are there and where can you buy them?

Tinner was making one similar to this one. You might check and see if he has any left. Noticed he had an ebay listing awhile back.


IMG_0090 by weljo2001, on Flickr


IMG_0099 by weljo2001, on Flickr
 

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Adding these suggested adventure tires and bike protection items will certainly make the bike more dirt worthy but will also make the bike less road worthy. So I take exception to the claim that this makes the V more versatile. This only shifts capabilities toward the dirt end of spectrum and makes the bike less versatile unless you intend to swap out tires regularly.

For a truly more versatile bike then consider a DL650 Vstrom with 17/19 adventure rubber and much better luggage carrying capabilities. Available 17/19 adventure tires can be had anywhere from pure street to pure dirt and anywhere in between. The middle ground 17/19 adventure tires do well in all situations.

I owned a Wee Strom for several years but sold in order to get 1000 Vstrom plus a 650 Versys. Two bikes were required to extend versatility of the 650 Vstrom.
 

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I saw the SWMOTECH "skid plate" but I don't think it will keep much gravel off the engine if you raise the front fender (even with the Fenda Extenda installed). What other options are there and where can you buy them?
The SW Motech skidplate is top notch! We put it through the tests last weekend and it came out with plying colors. I've even jacked the bike up using it, and it did fine. Pricey, yes, but much better than some of the other options.
 

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To extend the versatility of my Versys, I bought a 2002 KLR250! :D
 

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Adding these suggested adventure tires and bike protection items will certainly make the bike more dirt worthy but will also make the bike less road worthy. So I take exception to the claim that this makes the V more versatile.
I tend to agree. The DR has made some serious mods to his Versys that no doubt have created an awesome adventure touring machine. I love the look of his bike. However, for me, those same mods would not make my bike more versatile. For me, the simple addition of a top case instantly made my bike much more versatile. In the end, it all boils down to what you intend to do with your Versys. Mine in my daily communter and weekend short tourer so my farkle needs have been somewhat limited, but I have everything I need to make it as versatile as I need it to be.
 

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All you really need is some dual sport tires and lower the pressure. Next stage would be some case protection, skid plate, and hand guards.

If you want to go all out copy this.
How have you modified the suspension for off road use?

To the OP, visit twisted throttle and look at the accessories list for the Versys. Engine bars will pay for themselves the first time you drop the bike. A hard case or cases is very useful. Wind shield upgrade is important for comfort on the highway. Spend lots of time adjusting your suspension and don't settle for leaving it at the default settings. I'm still doing this but the results are making it is well worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mods only, I've no concern for adding or changing bikes. I do plenty of commuting, and on occasion I ramp the Versys into the back of my truck and go on rides from places where pavement is not always guaranteed for the entire ride. It pretty much boils down to gravel roads.

I like the skid plate, and I did see the one weljo2001 posted on ebay recently. Engine bars seem like a good idea if for no other reason than they look cool.
 

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The bike is super verstile stock. I ride mine as daily commuter, canyon-carving sportbike, and have taken it on a long 2-up tour of the west coast. It handles all of those tasks very well. I've also had it on several gravel roads and even a jeep trail - briefly. If you were going to ride a lot of gravel roads the skidplate might be a good idea, and maybe a radiator protector, but I don't think it would be necessary unless you were really riding a good bit on dirt and gravel roads. I added a rear-carrier and this has added a great deal of versatility. I also think it looks great - I actually like the look of the bike with the rear-carrier installed more than with it off. I thought about crash guards for a bit, but I realized I don't want to add any more weight than necessary to the bike as what I enjoy most is the excellent performance in the canyon twisties. As has been said, loading the bike down with a lot of adventure-touring style mods won't really add versatility, just shift its emphasis. It can definitely handle the odd gravel road stock, and the sport-touring tires I have work just fine in the dirt, provided you're not hauling ass.
 
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