View Full Version : Kawasaki Versys experience/opinions...

June 4th, 2012, 07:38 AM
I'm considering getting a street bike to commute and play on and one I'm looking at is the Kawasaki Versys. I'm still a new street rider, owned a 2007 Yamaha FZ6 which I rode for a year before selling it for a new dirt bike. I have been riding dirt bikes/motocross for 3-4 years. So I do have motorcycle experience just limited street. Does anyone have a Versys and if so how do you like it. Looking for the positives and negatives with experience. Thanks.

June 7th, 2012, 09:12 PM
For a commuter / play bike you could do a lot worse. I haven't ridden the new version but took a long look at these when they came to the US in '08. Handling is crisp but not twitchy, power delivery spools out nice and evenly. Personally I found the cockpit a bit cramped for me, the engine was a little vibey at higher revs, and I was a little shy about buying a first-year bike even though it had been in Europe for a couple of years. I ended up with a Suzuki V-Strom and have been thoroughly happy with it. If something happened to mine tonight, I might consider the Triumph Tiger 800 for a while ... but likely end up with another V-Strom since it fits so well in the gap between my loaded touring bike and dirt bike.

Ask you question on ADV Rider site and the Beasts sub-forum (http://www.advrider.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=5) and you'll get gobs of feedback.

June 8th, 2012, 01:12 PM
Thanks for the input. The engine vibes is an issue I've come across in some searches but apparently Kawasaki installed new rubber engine mounts and foot pegs on the 10's and up which were supposed to help. Just looking for real world experience in this area with the power and hanlding. Thanks for the links also, I'll check them out.

Jeff Mason
June 11th, 2012, 11:07 PM
sorry for the late reply. I have an 09 Versys that I picked up new last August. I have 2,500 miles on it so far. Longest ride was up to Estes Park, over Trail Ridge via Old Fall River Road, and back through Winter Park to Denver.

My only prior experience was limited to occasional rides on some dirt bikes growing up, and a few times as an adult (including the broken collarbone from 3 years ago while riding a Ninja).

I'd love to tell you what it is good and bad at, but all I know is that I like to ride it, it hauls my fat ass around without any problems, and I can sorta kinda keep up with bigger bikes in the twisties (would probably be able to keep up with them if I had more riding experience). The bike is vibey, but it does not bother me. Identifying make/model of vehicles in the rear-view mirrors is a pain, but there are some fixes for that.

The bike probably tops out in the low 100s, I've not tested the top end too much. It does seem to have good pulling power from 3 - 4k to 9500 rpm in all gears.

I've had the bike on gravel a few times (including Old Fall River Road). The bike seems to like dirt/light gravel, but considering that the tires are definitely for the road and the fact that the bike has a lot of top end weight, it is kinda unnerving for me. I think more practice will help overcome my problems. There seem a number of people around the world that have taken their Versys on pretty rough roads.

Oh, I've also found out that with the long travel front end, aggressive front braking at low speeds will cause the front to dive pretty harshly. Combine that with a sharp turn at low speeds and you might have a tendency to dump the bike... ;) I think I have seen threads on the Kawi forums of ways to minimize the front-end dive, but have not looked at them too closely yet.

Let me know if you have any more questions and I will try to answer them.