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Offline Gustavo

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Re: Motorway riding?
« Reply #10 on: Nov 12, 2019, 05:28 PM »
*Originally Posted by Philistine [+]
OK well at least half the replies suggest I don't need to do any modifications, which is encouraging.  I'm not buying a new bike to immediately start trying to change it (especially since I don't really have a clue what to do).

So, you are not a very experienced rider.  But expecting bikes to be one-size-fits-all is not realistic.  When you get into a new car you adjust the seat, steering, mirrors, etc. to fit you better, right?  Bikes are not that different, except the manufacturers don't give you the tools (for the most part) to do it off the showroom floor. 

Take it for a test run, ride it under the conditions you are expecting would be typical and see what works and what doesn't.  If you identify something that doesn't work for you but are not sure what to do about it, ask here.  People here have modified their Versys to be everything from a track bike to a long distance tourer.  There are options to modify it to improve just about anything.  Just a question of what works bets for you.  Also, keep in mind that even if someone swears by some type of modification, it may not work for you.  It doesn't mean s/he was wrong, juts that you don't like the same setup.  Just go read about windshields in the accessories section...   :015:

Gustavo
Always yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again - Ken Morton

Offline jonnster71

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Re: Motorway riding?
« Reply #11 on: Nov 12, 2019, 06:24 PM »
*Originally Posted by Philistine [+]
OK well at least half the replies suggest I don't need to do any modifications, which is encouraging.  I'm not buying a new bike to immediately start trying to change it (especially since I don't really have a clue what to do).

Even with my total lack of expertise I know that a parallel twin isn't the best choice for smooth riding at higher speeds, but looks like it might be ok. I had a Suzuki GS500 before  (cue scoffing) which wasn't that bad in terms of the vibration but wasn't that comfortable for more than a couple of hours.

I bought the Versys on a gut feeling rather than a careful examination of the facts, so let's hope the gamble pays off!
You definitely won't need to make modifications, so yeah...just ride it and you'll work it out. Perfectly sensible to hold fire until you have a few kilometres under your belt.

Here's my short list for cheap mods/adjustments that made a difference and wish I'd known in my first year of ownership.

1. Suspension set-up - get a specialist to adjust it for you. Here in the UK this can be done for around 40. Makes an amazing difference to ride quality and responsiveness leading to a significant boost in confidence. IMO better than tyres for improving confidence.
2. Hand guards and/or hand warmers - if you're a winter rider, these are essential in my opinion (some love heated gloves but I haven't tried them).
3. Ear plugs - cheapest but best way to tone down wind noise. Nothing fancy, just some standard foam ones bought at the bike shop, or even an industrial supplier.

All the other mods that I've done or considered are good, beneficial and make a difference but I wouldn't necessarily call them essential.

Online Wal

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Re: Motorway riding?
« Reply #12 on: Nov 12, 2019, 07:09 PM »
*Originally Posted by Philistine [+]
OK well at least half the replies suggest I don't need to do any modifications, which is encouraging.  I'm not buying a new bike to immediately start trying to change it (especially since I don't really have a clue what to do).

Even with my total lack of expertise I know that a parallel twin isn't the best choice for smooth riding at higher speeds, but looks like it might be ok. I had a Suzuki GS500 before  (cue scoffing) which wasn't that bad in terms of the vibration but wasn't that comfortable for more than a couple of hours.

I bought the Versys on a gut feeling rather than a careful examination of the facts, so let's hope the gamble pays off!


i did over 30k miles on my Versys in Europe, huge amounts of M/way, its fine up to 80mph, (more if you want) it will sit comfortably at 75-80 all day, i did have 16t front sprocket, for me it was much better

Offline jkristjan

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Re: Motorway riding?
« Reply #13 on: Nov 12, 2019, 08:19 PM »
Odometer reading is spot on with the stock 15/46 sprockets and going to 16/45, for example, will slow it down by 6.25%. Just keep that in mind and make your calculations when thinking about maintenance and fuel mileage. It is not significant of course and you can just safely ignore the difference, but considering how people OCD over their drops of fuel consumed per inches of travel, let alone letting the oil sit in the engine two street blocks or 8 hours more than prescribed, I just have to mention it. Luckily the warranty for bikes tends to be unlimited mileage but then again, if the odometer does not read correct, the maintenance will not be carried out at the correct intervals so that would still void warranty if for some reason some case is taken to such an ugly level. Most people changing sprockets don't do it on brand new bikes under warranty, so in real life this will probably not be a problem.

Anyway, I don't consider the sprocket change necessary because it will not address the root of the issue - the buzz is there in certain rev range, if you go over that, it is smooth again. So with sprocket change you optimize it for a certain speed only. If you're using it as an adventure bike and ride on different roads and conditions, there will not be any overall gain. I would see a logic in optimizing for a certain speed only if you had a recurring commute or something where you know that you're going to spend time at some certain constant speed for years to come.

Last but not least, the Versys 650, at least the MK3 does not have any problematic vibrations. The buzz you feel is fine and good, no need to do anything about it. Oftentimes people who have not been riding bikes for their entire lives hear about the vibration issue and think that their twin-cylinder must have it. But to put things into perspective, test-ride a Royal Enfield or something and reach 80mph for a moment. The problematic vibrations have been eliminated in modern twins like the Versys 650 and what remains is just a very normal and acceptable characteristic of a twin cylinder engine.

Interestingly people pay for vibrations if it is a Harley (or a certain Hitachi device unrelated to motorcycles), but if it is a Kawasaki, they try to mod it to get rid of them.
« Last Edit: Nov 12, 2019, 08:28 PM by jkristjan »

Offline penry

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Re: Motorway riding?
« Reply #14 on: Nov 12, 2019, 10:30 PM »
My 60 mile a day commute is almost entirely motorway and dual carriageway. anything over 3500 rpm is pretty much a happy engine and at 4000rpm in 6th she does 54mph and is smooth for a twin, not in the least bit lumpy and willing to spin up if needed at short notice.
No solution is insurmountable...

Online Wal

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Re: Motorway riding?
« Reply #15 on: Nov 13, 2019, 07:06 PM »
*Originally Posted by jkristjan [+]
Odometer reading is spot on with the stock 15/46 sprockets and going to 16/45, for example, will slow it down by 6.25%. Just keep that in mind and make your calculations when thinking about maintenance and fuel mileage. It is not significant of course and you can just safely ignore the difference, but considering how people OCD over their drops of fuel consumed per inches of travel, let alone letting the oil sit in the engine two street blocks or 8 hours more than prescribed, I just have to mention it. Luckily the warranty for bikes tends to be unlimited mileage but then again, if the odometer does not read correct, the maintenance will not be carried out at the correct intervals so that would still void warranty if for some reason some case is taken to such an ugly level. Most people changing sprockets don't do it on brand new bikes under warranty, so in real life this will probably not be a problem.

Anyway, I don't consider the sprocket change necessary because it will not address the root of the issue - the buzz is there in certain rev range, if you go over that, it is smooth again. So with sprocket change you optimize it for a certain speed only. If you're using it as an adventure bike and ride on different roads and conditions, there will not be any overall gain. I would see a logic in optimizing for a certain speed only if you had a recurring commute or something where you know that you're going to spend time at some certain constant speed for years to come.

Last but not least, the Versys 650, at least the MK3 does not have any problematic vibrations. The buzz you feel is fine and good, no need to do anything about it. Oftentimes people who have not been riding bikes for their entire lives hear about the vibration issue and think that their twin-cylinder must have it. But to put things into perspective, test-ride a Royal Enfield or something and reach 80mph for a moment. The problematic vibrations have been eliminated in modern twins like the Versys 650 and what remains is just a very normal and acceptable characteristic of a twin cylinder engine.

Interestingly people pay for vibrations if it is a Harley (or a certain Hitachi device unrelated to motorcycles), but if it is a Kawasaki, they try to mod it to get rid of them.


i didnt change my sprocket to a 16 because of buzziness/vibes, i just wanted a more relaxed 6th gear, which the 16t gives, theres a small price to pay with less acceleration in lower gears but i was happy with that, std gearing had me going for 7th all the time...the 16t puts it just right for me, 16/45 would be over the top for me

Offline Dilbert

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Re: Motorway riding?
« Reply #16 on: Nov 14, 2019, 12:49 PM »
I had two and did around 21,000miles on each, rider only it's absolutely fine on any kind of road including motorways, as Wal it will cruise all day on a motorway if you want it to.

Slightly underpowered with a pillion and luggage, but still doable, the main problem we had was pillion comfort on a long ride, if that's a problem to you then you may be better with a bike with a little more capacity and a wider, flatter pillion seat  :028:
Just passin' through