2015-on Versys 650 (LT/ABS)

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by mcmann, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. Lee R

    Lee R Man in a Box

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    For those who adjusted/checked valves on your Versys.

    • What mileage?
    • Where they in spec?
    • What was the cost if you went to a dealer?

    My last shim under bucket bike (Tiger 1050) went 48k miles with the valves never going out of spec. The check intervals were 12k miles on that bike. It cost about 700-800 dollars to have that service (12k) done at a dealer so I learned super fast to do that at home. 4 services would have been $3200 in routine maintenance. Honestly, what does it cost to repair or replace an engine at that point if you just never check them. Thats $7400 for just services for 100k miles usage. Makes me wonder.

    For the Versys I see two intervals based on North America 15k miles. And outside NA, at 26k miles. I'm assuming this is a warranty thing or why would the same bike have different intervals.

    Based on my previous experience the clearances don't change very fast on shim under bucket bikes and you can get away with checking them at 25k miles or so, then again at 50 etc.


    What has your experience been?

    Mine currently is at 20,400 miles. I've had it for 2 years so it's just going out of warranty. This was a leftover 2017 i bought 2 years ago.

    I'm basically curious if this bike is always in spec at 15k/26k and actually needs to be checked or can it wait.

    I'll be checking/adjusting these myself in the winter months as my garage is like a furnace torture zone here in Alabama in the summer.
  2. Cactus67

    Cactus67 Been here awhile Supporter

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    How’s the headlight on these at night as far as low beam / high beam?

    YouTube reviews and extremely positive as to the bike being a great all around machine. I keep coming back to this and the Wee Strom for a bang for the buck pick. Both have a lot of fans!
  3. Lee R

    Lee R Man in a Box

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    I owned a 2008 weestrom for a few years as well. That model had extremely good headlights but they've been changed so I don't know about the latest models. The headlights on the 2015+ Versys are OK. Not the best or worst I've had. If i did a lot of night riding I would be adding some LED aux lights though.

    As far as the bikes themselves, weestrom is a more relaxed geometry bike and doesn't handle as well. Engines are great in either of them but the Versys is a much better bike on a twisty road. Depending on what your after both are reliable and run on 87 octane which helps if you commute or do a lot of miles.

    The V650 handles just like my much more expensive Tiger 1050 did, and similar to a Multistrada just with suspension and brakes that aren't as nice. Power is plenty as you can't use 1000cc 150-60 hp on a twisty road anyway.

    I'm quite happy with mine having had two 1000cc 100+ hp bikes previously. It tours really well too, just get highway pegs. I did a 12,000 mile trip on it last year over 27 days. I didn't until afterward and that would have really helped on the trip.
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  4. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    I checked/adjusted mine at 15, 31 and 45K miles. First inspection was the worst. All intakes were either at or just below the spec, so basically had to adjust all of them. Second inspection showed very little change, no adjustments needed, since I left intakes at the upper end of the spec the first time. The exhaust valves had not changed, but they were at the lower end of the range both times. On the third inspection the exhaust had gotten tighter, so I adjusted them up to the upper end. I should note that I saw no changes in the intakes this time.

    I wouldn't skip that first valve inspection or wait any longer. I haven't checked recently on the Versys forums, but it was very common to have valves at the lower end or below spec in the first inspection interval. Can't help you with costs, I do all the maintenance myself.


    Gustavo
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  5. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    I own both (Mk1 Versys and Gen2 V-Strom), and they are both good bikes. As @Lee R mentioned above, the Versys is sportier due to the chassis/suspension setup. If you like to file your pegs on twisty roads, that's the better bike for you. The V-Strom is longer, softer sprung, and has a slower steering geometry. It makes you work a little harder on tight twisty roads, but don't get the mistaken impression that it's "slow". It's just not a tall sport bike, like the Versys is.

    OTOH, if you like to do gravel/dirt roads, the more relaxed geometry makes the bike more stable in those looser conditions. If you ride with a pillion, it has a lot more room for two. The stock headlight is still better than the Versys, but that doesn't seem to be much of an issue anymore with aftermarket LEDs being as cheap as they are, if you want more light, it's really easy to add these days.

    When I bought the V-Strom, I was sure I was going to sell the Versys eventually. It's been 6 years, and it's still in my garage. Despite the fact that they get lumped in the same class, they are different enough that you could see a need for both... :D

    And, as I mentioned a lot earlier in this thread, if you buy used, you don't have to choose. Both are extremely reliable motorcycles, and a well maintained bike with 20-30K miles is barely broken in... :deal

    Gustavo
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  6. Cactus67

    Cactus67 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks for the owner feedback guys. Sounds like I cannot go wrong here. Need to take a hard look at my needs.

    I like the looks of the factory Kawasaki hard bags, and the 2 year warranty is nice. Front brakes might be better than the Suzuki based on reviews, but both are okay. Seems like the Versys has better wind protection.

    In the Wee’s favor, I like the highway stability, the dash, the standard rear rack, that smooth V-twin. Also, I prefer my Suzuki dealer to the Kawasaki dealer nearby.

    Of course I haven’t ruled out the new Strom 1050. Seen some deals on those already, and reviews are great. Different price range completely though. And sometimes I confuse “wants” with “needs” hahaha...
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  7. Lee R

    Lee R Man in a Box

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    The KQR luggage is a funny shape inside but holds a full face helmet and served me well on long trips. Never leaked and removes quickly. It also has integrated mounts if you like that kind of apearance. I had the TRAX luggage (not sure if Vstrom is still using that, was on the last gen, on my MG Stelvio. Also good luggage but leaked if you filled it (pressure on lid) or used straps attached to top lid (pulls it up just a little). Also those didn't hold a helmet and the aluminum dented really easy.

    Brakes on both were fine. I don't think they've changed a lot in the brakes on the Vstrom since the model I had. I rode the revision after and they felt the same. Both have decent brakes.

    Like Gustavo mentioned really determine if you want the bike more slanted in purpose toward twisty roads or gravel roads. Both will do the job but the Versys is more sportbike and the Vstrom is more relaxed and stable on dirt. Tires are more sportbike centered (17") on the Versys compared to the Strom (19" front) although options exist for both.

    My Gen 3 Versys is pretty smooth. Both the Strom and the Versys have no complaints from me there. I don't think either has much advantage. They both buzz a little at top RPM range and are very smooth in the midrange. The Strom may sound slightly better though. Excellent engines regardless in either and very reliable.

    In regards to the 1050, really take a look at if you will put the extra power to use. I had two much higher hp bikes previously and honestly didn't. I now appreciate "the right" level of power more and all the savings that comes with that. Better mpg, 87 octane, less tire use, smaller chains etc. It all adds up over time. By all means if you just like more power and it makes you smile don't hold back though.

    I would probably pick the 1050 Strom over the larger Versys because of cost and weight if I had to choose. But I'm sticking with the 650 class for the lower weight and the power works fine for me. The only time I miss the excess is in non-responsible passing situations like 4-5 cars in a row. That's literally the only time. I don't miss the feeling of "idling' a high HP engine 98% of the time and paying the extra cost for premium fuel, oil, chains all that for that larger engine. If you're honest most of the time you'll be at mid or lower RPM with a 1000cc which is perfectly fine if you like the overpowered mellow character. Actually using that size engine to it's fullest means in excess of 100mph for the most part. The 650 will keep up under that just fine. I've ridden with a few guys on Multistradas as fast as we could go without killing ourselves in the Black hills and never fell behind at all. Can't power wheelie as easy if that's what floats the boat. Won't distort reality like going WOT on an S1000RR lol. But plenty fun.

    On the Versys 650 i use the full powerband which I feel I'm getting all my money's worth out of the engine and I'm a subscriber to the "slow bike fast" is fun club. Not that the 650 is slow, but you can rev it out. Good luck with that on a Tiger 1050, you're over 100mph with a quickness.

    The Versys is cheap for oil changes as well, 2 quarts and a filter which is pretty nice.

    Anyway just some thoughts off the top of my head.

    O yeah, one huge one if range is important. The V650 has at least 250 miles to the tank unless you're railing on it or huge headwinds. And more like 275 if your not. Try to find anything other than the BMW GS with the huge tank or the Stelvio NTX with it's 8.5 gallon tank that gets that. The Tenere and FJR are close but the Versys is one of the best range bikes out there. Beats the Vstrom's and larger Versys in that department. The 1050 Vstrom is more like 200 miles to a tank. I hate refueling often personally.
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  8. alekkas

    alekkas Long timer

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    Like Gustavo and others have said, my Kawasaki experience has been similar - though not this motor.

    All go tight first time (if you do it and not the dealer). After that they stay pretty consistent over time.
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  9. Lee R

    Lee R Man in a Box

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    Thanks Gustavo.

    I'll be doing the checky myself. Probably have to open my house and let the AC fill the garage and start early as it's a sauna during the day here in Alabama. I've checked shim under bucket before, just not adjusted the shims although it doesn't look terrible. I've done screw adjusters a bunch of times.

    It's weird they have two check intervals by region.
  10. Lee R

    Lee R Man in a Box

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    I clicked your blog link. How do you like the concours? I almost bought one of those. Still wouldn't mind having one. But not sure how the knees would like it. I have busted knees that don't like to be bent for very long periods.
  11. alekkas

    alekkas Long timer

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    The c14 is a nice bike for exhilarating riding one up and two up comfort as well. My wife likes it.

    But a bike like the versys makes a lot of sense for a one up lighter touring and twisties bike.

    Spent most my life lusting after power from my '80 z1000 until today. May finally be getting smart enough to appreciate a 650.
  12. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    It's pretty easy to do, just tedious because you have to take everything off to be able to remove the cam cover. I spend most of the time on that, the actual clearance check doesn't take that long. That's probably also why shops charge an arm and a leg, they have to bill you for those 2-3 hours of fiddling with fairing, gas tank, airbox, etc.

    Do you have a shop manual? The procedure is explained out fairly clearly in the Kawasaki manual, worth going over before you start to make sure you get it done correctly. Especially getting the engine rotations/timing marks in place for the valves you are checking. Both Versys forums have a lot of thread and how-to's if you want to take a look before you dive in.

    Gustavo
  13. Lee R

    Lee R Man in a Box

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    I think the power thing comes with age/wisdom honestly. I went to faster bikes out of curiousity mostly, because they were there and faster. After a while I was just honest with myself and realized I didn't use it. I'm actually a really quick rider too. I just feel like you can't really utilize more than 70-90 hp under 100mph. By utilizing fully I mean WOT. Obviously some people use it to actually ride at a more mellow pace at lower RPM and that's fine.

    The Versys hits a sweet spot sort of like the Miata. That is a car a bunch of people don't get because it's not a HP monster. But after you ride one on a twisty road you realize it's fun as hell and you can actually rev it out. Same effect on the Versys 650 for me. I do wish it made italian bike sounds lol. Got spoiled there with the Moto Guzzi.
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  14. Lee R

    Lee R Man in a Box

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    I've done a few in the past, 4 on the Tiger but the valves never left spec. It is a royal pain depaneling everything and pulling the tank and airbox then fiddling with the valve cover. I think this one may be easier to get it off than the Tiger though, we'll see. I've never had to pull the cams to change shims so that'll be new. I'm not really afraid as I'm pretty meticulous and do my homework first. I have the shop manual and follow everything. I even add witness marks when I torque things to spec and leave labels on the cover with the valve readings for later lol. I come from aviation so I treat it like an airplane.

    Really it's the jungle sweatbox in my garage that is scaring me. I'll feel like Ace Ventura crawling out of that rhino's ass by the end of it.
  15. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer Supporter

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    When I had my FZ1, out of curiosity, I started paying attention to what max rpm I typically used day to day. Then I looked at a couple of magazine/internet dyno charts. My conclusion was that I never used more than 80 hp, unless I was messing around trying to use some of it. 80 hp in a 500 lb bike is all I'm likely to use or need on public highways. Any more than that is fun, but mostly wasted on me.

    The old maxim, "its more fun to ride a slow bike fast, than a fast bike slow" has staying power for a reason.
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  16. Lee R

    Lee R Man in a Box

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    That's the same process I went through. 80hp on a 500lb is about ideal. The Versys wouldn't hurt with a bit more, but it's not bad the way it is. Good MPG and less expensive consumables are a nice perk.

    It's very close to the same feeling of power that my MG Stelvio was with 105hp and @600lbs. I just got tired of the weight of that bike.
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  17. Ogre_fl

    Ogre_fl Long timer

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    I went through this same search for my Versys 1000.
    I ended up ordering a MRA SP sport screen for the 12-14 V1000 in Smoke Grey
    https://twistedthrottle.com/shop/er...dshield-for-kawasaki-versys-1000-12-14-clear/

    Its on back order, so I will have to update when it finally shows up.

    Near impossible to find a photo of it, but I did find this.
    This is the black version

    [​IMG]

    Now in a very round about way, it "should" fit.
    One of the guys on the V1000 forum has the Vario screen from the 12-14 bikes on his 15-16.
    Claims it bolted right up.
    That screen uses the SP sport screen as its base, but with the spoiler added.
    I liked that it is lower AND raked back.

    Versys-MRA-screen-Profile.jpg

    Stock-screen-size-Comp.jpg

    Versys-MRA-screen-11.jpg
  18. Hamamelis

    Hamamelis Inmate

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    Coming up on a year soon since I borrowed a buddy's Versys 650 for a few days - flew in to LAX, picked it up from his house in Long Beach, and then did 1000 miles up and down California. First 500 miles were all highway up the 5 to get myself from LA to Sonoma County, but then most of the rest were coastal twisties and urban surface roads, which the Versys was rather handy on. The tiniest bit top-heavy, but in a flattering way that made the bike a total delight in corners. It just wants to lean into everything, be it a long sweeper or a narrow hairpin. And, that massive highway blast wasn't too bad, this bike handles that zone around 80-85 brilliantly

    Brilliant bike, and I might just buy one pretty soon here. Giving it a little while longer, though, since my CRF250L Rally is plenty for commuting and proper lightweight ADV work. I also want to ride one or two more bikes in that triangle of sport suspension-adv ergos-touring comfort, like the Tiger XR and Wee-Strom, just for comparison
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  19. rhicks

    rhicks Been here awhile

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    The Rally is a great bike. Bought one, bought a 650LT, sold the Rally, bought a Tenere 700, selling the Versys. The problem I had with the Rally and Versys is deciding which one to ride (and doing the one car garage shuffle). The Rally and Versys compliment each other very well.
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  20. Hamamelis

    Hamamelis Inmate

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    I only really need two bikes in the long run (and at present, only really have space and budget for one...), the trouble's been that there are so darn many good midsize bikes - everything from Triumph Bonnies to Harley Sportsters to Yamaha FJ/Tracers have been on my radar lately - but the Versys really does end up as the mid-size bike that I absolutely know will do what I want for as much time/distance as I need