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  #1  
Old 21 Nov 2010
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Kawasaki Versys

Hi all, anybody done any serious mileage on a Versys.
Went to the local dealer and the frame looked strong, as far as i am aware the motor has been taken to 30k with little trouble.
The bike looks to have a strong frame, to much tacky plastic for my liking, hopefully touratech can supply some tough stuff.
Looks pleasing on the eye, but thats no good on the all manner of roads.
Will have a demo when the weather breaks
atb
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  #2  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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Never ridden one, but they do appeal to me also for their relative lightness and adequate power.
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  #3  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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I have one. A 2008 model that I bought from new, to replace my bavarian piece of crap (Commonly known as bmw).

I have been round europe few times since (around France, and 2 weeks spin from London to Tallin loop trip last year).
I have done about 10,000 with it in 2 years. Not huge but I do not use as commuter.

It is nicely comfortable on long rides, has a fuel range of at least 220 miles (I never pushed my luck, also my husband has a 15l tank on his Shiver so need to stop every 5 minutes to refuel).
It is responsive, very easy to ride, very forgiving, and unlike my F650 you don't feel she wants to go down. I have had the back wheel skidding and sliding all over the place on few occasions (gravel, emergency brake on paving stones or simply very slippery surfaces) and never felt I was about to go down.
It turns on very tight corners, you can push as much as you like and beyond... I just can't fault it. I love it and bring a smile on my face. I will be devastated when I have to sell it (when we go travelling again).

Note however this is not adapted to offroad (what with the exhaust under the belly!) but can handle a bit of rough.

Overall, you should go for a test ride and find by yourself. But I am sure you will love it.

Ho and also, even if I leave it outside for weeks on end in the winter, without using, It will start immediately when I try!
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  #4  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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Maria, what do you get to the gallon? Is it heavy on tyres and chain and sprockets?. Why a new steed before your next adventure atb
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Old 24 Nov 2010
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Maria, what do you get to the gallon? Is it heavy on tyres and chain and sprockets?. Why a new steed before your next adventure atb
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  #6  
Old 25 Nov 2010
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Hi Floyd!
Hmm, I'm French I don't speak in gallons!!!

That's a very "Man" thing to do I suppose, calculate how many litres per kms you consume.
I would say maybe about 15 / 17 miles / litres. Overall it is very good (if I compare with my husband's Shiver which is always thirsty). The good thing is that the fuel economy is good even when you go above 70mph. You can cruise at 80/90 mph (in the continent !!!) and you don't feel like bleeding fuel like on my F650.

Chain and sprockets are impeccable for now. I occasionally remember to grease the chain. I could not bother with some of those lubricating kits. They never seem to last and work for long. And we are sick of having oil all over the paving stones in our front garden.

Tyres: I still have the original ones. The back wheel will need a new tyre soon. I will wait until spring. I just got the bike serviced and there was no comments there.

Servicing cost usually about 80 to 120 pounds. Fairly reasonable.

AS for the next trip we plan to go from London to Sydney via northern Asia, crossing Mongolia and Siberia. After spending 1 year around South America with my "Bavarian piece of crap", I've learnt some very valuable lessons:

1 - don't ever buy anything with the Bavarian logo on

2- a lighter smaller bike is much much much better when the tarmac vanishes.


Mongolia and Siberia will be tough. I don't want to be limited on where I can go because I have a bike that is too heavy too big and not really off-road. The Versys is a fantastic tourer but not adapted for a trip like that. We will get a couple of DRZ400. They're simple, tough and light. And if I was on my own I would probably stick to a little 125 fro that trip to be honest!

cheers,

Maria
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Old 26 Nov 2010
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The Bavarian can't be that bad if you are going on a long trip for a year.
Whats the story with it anyway!!! How long have you had it and what probs on the way?

The Versy looks fairly tough apart from some tacky plastic ad ons.
Could do with some tasty spoked wheels.

Cripes a DRZ, you must have some good padding on the/your rear lol

To be honest i have a nice Bavarian bike on offer to buy at a good price!!!!

Also a tatty 05 Suzuki DL650 WHICH COULD CUT THE MUSTARD.

Anyway you live in the good ole UK now so you need to use the modern imperial measurement. Better than those flouncy Euro rubbish thingamebobsCool
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Old 29 Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
The Bavarian can't be that bad if you are going on a long trip for a year.
Whats the story with it anyway!!! How long have you had it and what probs on the way?

The Versy looks fairly tough apart from some tacky plastic ad ons.
Could do with some tasty spoked wheels.

Cripes a DRZ, you must have some good padding on the/your rear lol

To be honest i have a nice Bavarian bike on offer to buy at a good price!!!!

Also a tatty 05 Suzuki DL650 WHICH COULD CUT THE MUSTARD.

Anyway you live in the good ole UK now so you need to use the modern imperial measurement. Better than those flouncy Euro rubbish thingamebobsCool
The Beemer electrics melted basically. All list of what was wrong with it is on my website. sold it 2 years ago. But to be fair my husband's Dakar was fine.... maybe I was just VERY unlucky!

We'll see about the DRZ... all our plans could go out of the window as the opportunity to move to Rio on a permanent basis (for work) may come our way! We should know in next couple of weeks...
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  #9  
Old 30 Nov 2010
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I bought an 08 new and loved it. got around 45mpg, but I had a heavy hand. I traded it in on a 1200gs. Wish I'd kept the V. There are some nice accessories out for them now, and I saw one with heindau knobbies that looked like it would do well on gravel.
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  #10  
Old 1 Dec 2010
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Just want to add, the Versys subframe is not great.

Kawasaki won't sell you a back box and side boxes together because with a pillion, it could break !!

One up, it should be fine though...
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  #11  
Old 26 Jul 2011
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Versys

Completed a 3600 mile trip through Europe in June 2011, two up with panniers and top box on '09 Versys. 180 kgs is Kawasakis advised total load limit. 10 kgs each side and 8 for top box, total including luggage. I'm 90 kgs, pillion 60 so we were pretty much maximum loaded

Quick stats run down....Total Average 58.77 MPG. Best 79 worst 46.9
17L max refuell 220 miles on that tankfull.
Tensioned chain once, lubed every 1,000 miles negligible engine oil used.

All round capable tourer, excellent solo sporty ride. Accessories to add will be Rear Hugger, Handguards, bigger screen. The only added accessories from standard for this trip were, aux socket, Givi pannier and top box frame with Kawasaki branded (Givi) luggage and a fender extender.
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  #12  
Old 26 Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadruns View Post
Completed a 3600 mile trip through Europe in June 2011, two up with panniers and top box on '09 Versys. 180 kgs is Kawasakis advised total load limit. 10 kgs each side and 8 for top box, total including luggage. I'm 90 kgs, pillion 60 so we were pretty much maximum loaded

Quick stats run down....Total Average 58.77 MPG. Best 79 worst 46.9
17L max refuell 220 miles on that tankfull.
Tensioned chain once, lubed every 1,000 miles negligible engine oil used.

All round capable tourer, excellent solo sporty ride. Accessories to add will be Rear Hugger, Handguards, bigger screen. The only added accessories from standard for this trip were, aux socket, Givi pannier and top box frame with Kawasaki branded (Givi) luggage and a fender extender.
Interesting statistics roadruns. How was the bike two-up? I mean the room per person/comfort factor. I have more or less given up looking at this size of bike for riding with a pillion for any distance, especially with a pile of luggage; any thoughts about that? Did you have the pillions' helmet banging against the back of yours each time you brake?
Incidentally, the F650GS produces very similar MPG/litre, range between fill ups etc figures with a tank of the same size as the Versys. Not too surprising for modern, fuel injected engine design.
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  #13  
Old 27 Jul 2011
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My usual bike for pleasure riding and touring is a Hayabusa. The Versys was bought as a complete change, and a build up to a tour I hope to do solo next year.
So, Once we got used to sitting upright, helmets at the same level, helmet clashing wasnt an issue at all. Without the Top box the pillion feels exposed as the seat almost ends at rear of body. I'm 5'11'' 90 Kgs and had no problems with comfort. With the top box, the pillion can sit further back and feel safe, Its a surprisingly large seat.
Fully laden, 2 up, you can motorway ride at 85 MPH, although 70-75 is better with less vibrations, more relaxed feel. When riding Stelvio Pass I slipped the clutch as i was often caught in the wrong gear, gear changing was still new to me We literally got off the Hayabusa and went touring on the Versys. No issues at all with the fitted panniers and top box, the pillion needs to practice their mounting as it is a tall bike and with luggage fitted you need the nack.
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday on it.
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  #14  
Old 27 Jul 2011
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Thanks roadruns! Excellent factual information which is always welcome. I understand what you are describing because I used to ride a Blackbird and I am now sitting up straight.
Yes, the torque from that type of engine makes us all lazy with the gear lever :-)
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  #15  
Old 2 Oct 2011
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Versys 2008

I just bought a 2008 model here in the states with about 10,000 miles on it. So far I find it a great bike, even at my height of 6'7" aka 200cm. I plan to spend some time on it before taking a long trip, but it seems like this is a bike for paved roads only.
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