Kawasaki Versys-X 300

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by shyam334, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. severely

    severely almost a noob

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    Hi Pekes, I recently purchased a 2017 VX300 and looking to change the rear tire and possibly the gearing to do the same as you, lower engine speeds at cruising speed. I noticed the suggestion of Shinko 705 130/90-17 and wondered if you were still happy with the change? I currently have 15/46 gearing and stock tire on rear and fairly happy with engine speeds but wonder if I couldn't get a little more with a 44 or 43 tooth rear sprocket WITHOUT the ECU alarm issues. I hope these questions aren't terribly redundant as I've searched the last 3 or 4 days. Thanks; Ken or Bullwinkle or anyone else please feel free to respond with your experiences.
  2. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    For whatever it's worth, I'm on my third Shinko 705 rear and first 705 front. Spring will see new 705's on both front and rear.

    EDIT: Yes, the 705 front has been there through all three rears.

    ...ken...
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  3. flexiflyer

    flexiflyer Been here awhile

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    With the bike having several thousand miles and proven itself on a few adventures I had readied it for the NEBDR. Went thru it like one of the racebikes and it was golden. With the NE travel restrictions I had punted for the year and was just going to take the Klr on a trip south and save the ready X for next season. Had the KLr packed, then I unpacked it and moved to the X because it really is a fantastic bike to travel on. It just never ceases to amaze me what all they wrapped up in this thing.

    With health forcing me down to two bikes and no sports touring rig I just take the roads less traveled. I decided to take a few hundred mile day diversion from the itinerary to see Nicky Haydens memorial in Owensboro. It required me to take the interstates up to get the trip in a day (and take the backroads/gravel back to camp). This little gal will sit at 9500rpm all day and ask for more....not a whimper. I think some just have a mental block they are killing the engine or just can't unwrap their head from big bikes idling along at speed. That's not a knock on anyone....just an observation. Is it as simple as ripping along on my old VFR or Connie?....no. But it's fine. You can't bend time and space but it moves along the continuum just fine hahahaa.

    So once again the little bush ninja made memories in the breeze, I'm so glad I gave it a home.

    IMG_6889.JPG IMG_6894.JPG IMG_6899.JPG IMG_6901.JPG
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  4. severely

    severely almost a noob

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    Are these rear tires the 130/90-17 spoken of? Any comments on my gearing question? I appreciate the response, thanks.
  5. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    Apparently I have been guilty of stating the wrong tire size in here previously, as @Bullwinkle has pointed out. So I checked my maintenance records for all three tire purchases; then I went and checked exactly what's on the bike right now, just to be absolutely certain I get it right.

    It's 140/80x17. I apologize profusely if I've misstated the size previously. Put it down to Oldtimers.

    @severely I have no comment on your gearing question. I can only offer my own experience. I've been running 15/46 since shortly after I bought the bike in spring 2017. With those sprocket sizes and the oversize Shinko rear tire, the bike occasionally feels a wee bit overgeared.

    After 4 seasons with the bike I'm totally comfortable with the revs. As @flexiflyer says a couple of posts back, the bike is tatlly happy at 9-10,000rpm and can run there all day long and I'm comfortable with that. But the reality is that if I run anywhere near the speed limits around here I'm mostly between 7,000 and 8000rpm in 6th with the effective gearing of the oversize front sprocket and oversize rear tire. When I accelerate gently at those rpms I get some vibration (shudder) until I get it wound up a bit.

    I didn't really have this issue until the last two riding seasons. Last year and this year the winds out here on the Prairies have been particularly strong and gusty. I can probably count the number of non-windy rides this year on one hand. Two choices: run in 5th at those speeds or run in 6th at a speed that's enough higher than the posted limit that I get really uncomfortable.

    I'm planning to continue to use the 140/18 Shinko 705s. I like them in every respect. I'm getting decent mileage out of them. They're decently quiet. They let me scrape the pegs on both sides on mountain twisties with complete confidence. They are just aggressive enough to let me do the little bit of non-pavement riding I do. And I like the effective speedo correction with the oversize tire. So I'm going to switch back to stock front sprocket this winter and see if the small amount of extra revs help.

    That's my experience. Others may vary.

    ...ken...
  6. Pekes1956

    Pekes1956 Adventurer

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    Hi Severly, I see Ken has beat me to the punch, but yes, I echo his sentiments. Since I do mostly highway riding, I like the lower rpms - even if I'm only running @ 55mph or 90 kmph. So the gearing is more like 1.5 - 7th instead of 1st to 6th.
    I have NOT realized a noticable improvement in mpg.
    Plus, top speed is in 5th, not 6th.
    I chose the shinko 705 to have off-road capability, but I think a Kendra Big Block Paver might be quieter, and probably more expensive.
    If you go 15/43, you'll get error msg. Mind you 14/43 = 15/46 approx = 7% rpm reduction. Going 130/90 reduces another 3% without triggering error.
    I know experienced riders like Fuzzy74 advocate for stock setup - and for good reason. For me, the gearing changes I made fit the way I use the bike, and the 130/90 choice was the icing on the cake.
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  7. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Enthusiastic curmudgeon Supporter

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    Just to confirm what Ken said, he and I both run a 140/80-17 rear 705. The original purchase was a lucky compromise on the first order (we've stuck with it as a result), and the larger tire looks, rides and wears fine. It has the added advantage of virtually cancelling the stock speedo error.

    Others have stayed with the stock width of a 130 rear, but have gotten it in a /90 cross section instead of the stock /80 (i.e. 130/90-17), and report a similar speedo correction factor. Not having tried it personally, I can't speak to the ride and wear characteristics (perhaps others who have this combo can chirp in), but I'm sure it would be fine, and being a slightly smaller tire should weigh slightly less, which may be desirable. Your choice may well depend on availability and price from whomever you get your tires from.

    For the riding Ken and I do, the 705 is an excellent tire. Great price and availability, good wear and superior traction on pavement, gravel, moderate dirt and especially good in the spring when pea gravel/grit and sand are still on the roads from the winter. Obviously, if you have a particular type of riding you want to concentrate on and bias your bike to, there may be better choices, but as a replacement for stock rubber the 705 represents an excellent all-round choice.

    As for your gearing question, I can't say what will upset the bike's computer, but IMO the need for a smaller rear sprocket is not really required. The 15 tooth front sprocket is an easy (i.e don't need to lengthen the chain) modification that gently biases the bike to a higher speed range with slightly reduced revs. Only rarely in strong winds or on steep hills, the bike may struggle to hold its speed, but a downshift to 5th easily remedies that shortcoming. With even taller gearing, I think there would be more situations where 5th would be required, probably negating the advantage of that tall a gearing choice. Again, the riding conditions you favor may drive your decision differently.

    JP
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  8. Pekes1956

    Pekes1956 Adventurer

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    Btw, 140/80 is approx same circumference as 130/90 when installed on the Vx300 stock rim. The tire wider tire is pinched, rendering it...taller. Perfect.

    Plus I agree, the speedo correction is a bonus.
  9. gavmac

    gavmac Long timer

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    I have recently put on a 705 in 130/80 x 17 ie stock size. I run 15t front sprocket as well. Speedo error is there 104 kmh indicated is 100 kmh gps. Odometer is absolutely accurate now, just did a 200 Km ride this morning,
    I have a Shinko 804 on 100/90 x 19 std size on the front. I run quite a few dirt/gravel roads & I like the deeper bite on the front with a blockier pattern.
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  10. severely

    severely almost a noob

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    Thanks, I really appreciate the response. How is the handling of the 90 series tire compared to the stock tire? I'm now veering away from gearing changes if I can get a 3% change from a tire replacement without handling impediments.
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  11. Pekes1956

    Pekes1956 Adventurer

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    Severely, I think it handles fine. But I confess I'm not a good enough or aggressive enough rider to discern. For me, I really can't tell the difference from stock other than the bike being about 5/8 inch taller - at least I feel it, inseam wise. Also noticeable if you have centerstand, the rear is only about 1/4" off the ground. In short, the bike looks bigger. Plus, I like the look of the tire and deep tread pattern. Just make sure your installer puts it on the rim with the correct rotation. My guy put it on backwards so had a do-over.
    FWIW, I plan on getting a 705 for the front too. I like it.
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  12. severely

    severely almost a noob

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    Does this combination work on the tarmac? How's the handling? Thanks for the reply.
  13. David JM

    David JM Been here awhile

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    Severely, If you all ready have switched to the 15/46 gearing and you still want to lower your rpms. on the freeway, there is an easier way to do it. The next trip you take on the freeway, just leave the Versys in 5th. gear for about a half hour while cruising at about 70 to 75mph, then shift into 6th. You will be amazed at the results, the rpms will feel just right. It works the same way with speed. If your used to 55 mph and you get on the freeway and have to cruise at 75 mph. the first half hour feels really fast, then it feels pretty good and you find out that the Versys is just as good at 75 as it is at 55mph.

    With the 15/46. 5th gear is your super gear, it will pull nicely from about 30 coming out of the curves to about 85 mph. and then top out at about 90 mph. on the speedo. It will climb almost any hill on the black top, and is good for passing. Don't ruin it. If you add a big tire to your 15T you will pretty much turn your super 5th. into a stock 6th. well almost.
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  14. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    That's a pretty good description of why I'm going back to the stock gearing with the oversize rear tire. More and more I find myself running in 5th for long stretches on windy days, and we've had a ton of them this year. Everyone thinks the Prairies are dead flat but they really aren't around here they're somewhat rolling. In strong headwinds you really notice the speed start to drop on the uphill side of a dip. It's hard to keep anything like a steady speed when the throttle is already nearly pinned.

    After 4 seasons on the bike I really don't notice revs at all any more. I've even ridden for some pretty good distances in 4th at 90-100kph when we're in the mountains on long uphills. So back to the stock front sprocket for spring.

    ...ken...
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  15. gavmac

    gavmac Long timer

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    Yes, brilliant! I tend to crank bikes over well in bends, it just sticks, no problems wet or dry.
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  16. manybike

    manybike Omnipresent Supporter

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    Just had my 12k km valve check.
    All valves were in spec.
  17. twaldron

    twaldron Dudeman

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    What were the measurements?
  18. manybike

    manybike Omnipresent Supporter

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    #1 cylinder exhaust valve was at .22 mm which was the only one that was at min spec. I only know the others were within the spec range. i could probably get the exact data.
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  19. twaldron

    twaldron Dudeman

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    Mainly I was interested to see how close to minimum the exhausts were. Thank you
  20. manybike

    manybike Omnipresent Supporter

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    I will get the other clearances on the exhaust valves. They are the ones that seem to always need an adjustment.
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