Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,670 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, as posted recently, I traded my 2015 ninja 650 and my 2009 Vulcan 900 classic LT on a Versys 650 LT ABS. I thought I would give you all some initial impressions of the bike.



I have generally had 2 bikes for the past 6 years, I have always had sport / sport tourers over the years and originally got the classic as a good 2 up touring bike. Having had it since 2008, I have done several long 6000 + mile trip all over the US pulling my trailer. Due to work and family constraints, I really don't have the opportunity to do this any more. I also had issues with my insurance company over rate increases despite a perfect driving record and no claim ... ever, so I decided to go down to one bike.

I have looked at various bikes over the past 6 months and ended up on choosing the Versys. I am familiar with the 650 ( same as my ninja) power plant, though the versys has been tuned for lower mid range torque, sacrificing top end HP. It also meets current Euro 5 emissions.

I bought the bike fully loaded, side cases are standard, so I added the OEM top case and color plates, gear indicator, accessory plug, motec crash bars, OEM LED fog lights, rad guard, fender extender, fork sliders, rear jack stand spools, rear hugger, heated grips and a tinted (25%) larger shield.

I picked it up around 3 weeks ago, but due to rain being in the area, I just rode it home and parked it.

Last week end I got out for a 150 mile plus ride and here are my initial impressions.

The bike is tall, I am 5 10" and can barely flat foot it. The seat is 1 piece and well shaped. The tank holds around 5 US gallons. The handlebars are high, wide and offer good reach, the pegs are well placed and the over all riding position / ergonomics are outstanding. The bars, pegs and motor are all rubber mounted, so there is little if any vibration.



The rider comfort is outstanding for long (2 hrs plus) stints in the saddle, I had no issues with seat comfort despite being new and certainly not broken in.

Being a high bike with bags, getting on means I leave the bike on the side stand and stand on the pegs to throw my leg over, last thing I want to do is scuff the bags. All switches are in the usual places and pretty standard.

My windshield is manually ( 5" height) adjustable, I have a aftermarket shield, its tinted and around 25% bigger over the stocker. I currently have it set at the lowest setting, I will play around with it over the next few rides. Gauges offer 2 trip settings, trip mpg / lts per 100 kms, range available and a econo LCD light.




The motor is a water cooled, FI twin, offers some where around 65 hp at the rear wheel. It has a 6 speed transmission and abs front and rear. I have added a 16 tooth front sprocket .... this corrects the speedo and drops the rpms a little.

The bike runs smooth and has smooth power thru the rev band ... no surprises there. Remember, I am still breaking the motor in , there for no massive acceleration or high rpm's. My ninja would get up and on it when asked, I have no reason that this bike should be any different. You Tube idiots show me the top speed is somewhere around 117 mph .. I doubt I will ever confirm that, I will take their word for it.



The bike is wide with the bags on it ... if the "naked" look is desired, the bags just slip off leaving a clean un - bracketed look.

The one thing that really impressed me was the fuel consumption, I averaged around 55 + mpg and my good old trip computer told me I had a range somewhere around 440 kms ( 270 miles)per tank ... bare in mind I was not hammering it, but after all, that's not bad for a new motor.

The front forks have pre load and rebound setting and the rear shock has a easy, on the fly pre load knob offering super easy adjustment.

I am really impressed with the neutral riding position, lots of room and the legs do not feel scrunched up, the bars are wide and offer good wrist and elbow positioning, mirrors offer a good unobstructed view and as I said before, no buzz thru the grips or pegs. The bike handles well, corners good and offers no surprises ... it does inspire spirited riding. I cant comment on its off road capabilities, not sure I will ever find out.



There is a fair bit of plastic on this bike ... at present it is quiet and non rattling, we will see if that holds up in the future.

I will use this bike primarily as a week end warrior ride, I doubt it will ever hit the dirt , certainly not with the stock street tires on it anyway. The hard luggage gives me the option for light / week end touring ... but I sure would not shy away from longer trips. .. the top case holds 47 lts of gear and the side cases are a "odd shaped" 28 lts each . giving a total of 103 lts capacity. I have the "1 key system", the ignition key is used to both open and unlock all the bags for removal.

I look forward to laying down a lot more miles ... even though it is a tall bike and looks a little top heavy, I think I bought the right bike ... for me.

Ride on ....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,159 Posts
I love the look of the Versys since it changed a couple of years ago, and yours is even my new favorite motorcycle color! Great looking bike. I hope you have many fun miles on it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,670 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I love the look of the Versys since it changed a couple of years ago, and yours is even my new favorite motorcycle color! Great looking bike. I hope you have many fun miles on it.
Hey there Greybush ... haven't heard from you in a while, I did not mind the gen 2 versys .. but on the gen 3 they have done a real nice job on the bike ... good to hear from you. Maurice
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,670 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
new favorite motorcycle color
Its funny because when you come up on somebody they all hit the brakes and think your a cop ... LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
Yeah, the newest gen of the Versys is a lot better than the 2011 and prior years. I had the 2011 650 base model and it was ok. I am tall and could flat foot sitting on the bike. The engine performance didn't take anytime to get accustomed to and became boring. Also, the gauge pod rattled like heck and had to stuff foam behind it to get it to stop. The seat sucked. It would literally push your family jewels into the gas tank. This was my first "sportbike" ever and I felt disappointed. Yeah, the engine sounded cool getting into the higher RPM's, but it sounded too much like the thumper on the KLR. Plus, it had a hell of a time out running small 4 bangers and you could feel the engine flatline after a certain RPM. I did enjoy the different footpeg location, but my knees hurt after longer rides.

I want to get another adventure bike in the future, I just hope I can find one that fits. The KLR fits me well, but the thumper is too underpowered to be a viable highway traveler, especially in 40mph head winds. I might look at the Vstrom. It uses a v-twin engine and has a huge cult of riders. But for now, I am enjoying my 900 too much.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,670 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Here is a pic for those who are interested ....



The riding season is almost upon us here in Canada .... Waaaaaahoooooo
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top