Kawasaki Versys 650 Mk 3

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Kawasaki Versys 650 Mk 3

Post by Beans » Fri May 22, 2020 9:17 pm

I went from a four cylinder litre bike to the Kawasaki Versys 650 early this year. I have a 2018 model Kawasaki Versys 650 and have put 2.5 k on it. Apart from these two bikes and a 125 I briefly owned, I haven't ridden or owned any other bikes so I am not an expert.
I bought the Versys as I use my bike to commute as well as riding for fun and I wanted to lower the cost of petrol and consumables.
The good things about the Versys are. I get 50 plus to the gallon all whilst trying to ride in a spirited way.
The riding position is upright giving good visibility.
It's lighter so easier to maneuver around the garage and driveway and if it starts to tip, there's a better chance of saving it.
The bad things about it are.
It has a shocking throttle which is either on or off. I have to use the clutch so much in first to third to try and manage this. The throttle response can make riding and cornering dangerous and unpredictable. Using the clutch in a corner isn't recommended but nor is bucking bronco on the throttle I spend too much of my attention on making the bike try to behave.
The vibrations from the parallel twin are significant and town speeds in second can lead to vibration white finger. Apparently previous versions were worse, presumably your fillings dropped out of your teeth.
The engine braking is significant.
Gear selection is important. But Down shifting is tricky due to the throttle response and engine braking. Some upshifts are tricky for the same throttle reason.
Going up from first to second is a big jolt.


Maybe this is the bike that will teach me how to ride. I missed out the mid sized bike and went straight to a 1000cc bike as soon as I passed my test. The litre Honda definitely made me lazy. But the Versys' throttle response is something I don't think I can overcome, no matter how much I keep at it, as I am as smooth on the throttle as I can be.

I would not recommend this bike.
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Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 Mk 3

Post by fullscreenaging » Sat May 23, 2020 5:35 am

It sounds like there is too much play in the throttle and you need to take it out.
As standard bikes come with 2-3mm play in the throttle. Apparently as a safety feature. I HATE throttle play and have taken it out of every bike I’ve owned. When I take them for service the dealership always put it back in unless I remember to tell them not to!



There will be an adjuster under/near the throttle. Have a look in your user manual and it’ll tell you how to adjust. Once you’ve taken the play out turn your bars lock to lock and make sure the revs don’t rise at any point. If they do the cable is too tight. Adjust until revs stay level.

Before you do this though you may want to check the cable at the engine to see if your cable has too much slack.

Again look in your manual. If you are not sure find a dealer and get it booked in. You shouldn’t be having to ride like this.

I hope this helps with your issues and you’ll be able to concentrate 100% on the road and not your gear changes and throttle response.
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Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 Mk 3

Post by fastbob » Sat May 23, 2020 3:16 pm

It should be easier to ride than that . I'm guessing it's fuel injected so it might need mapping . You shouldn't be struggling with a 650 twin .

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Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 Mk 3

Post by Throttled » Sun May 24, 2020 5:22 pm

The Versys is notorious for its throttle response. I did get used to it, once I realised no matter how often I had a squeaky bum moment as the revs rose more than I wanted, I was always able to control the bike. That on/off switch feeling applies to both the 650 and 1000 Versys.
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Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 Mk 3

Post by fullscreenaging » Sun May 24, 2020 6:44 pm

Throttled wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 5:22 pm
The Versys is notorious for its throttle response. I did get used to it, once I realised no matter how often I had a squeaky bum moment as the revs rose more than I wanted, I was always able to control the bike. That on/off switch feeling applies to both the 650 and 1000 Versys.
I don’t experience it on my VK1 at all......@Throttled

Well, I do if the dealer puts the play back in. Once I dial the play out it doesn’t happen. I know exactly when the power will be applied.... as soon as
I twist it.
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Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 Mk 3

Post by Beans » Mon May 25, 2020 11:03 am

Nothing to do with slack in throttle cable. I've took the slack out and then put it back again.
Quotes from the Versys forum put it well
Its the on off nature of low rev riding that's the pita, and the constant feathering the clutch to avoid that on off throttle/engine braking on small tight stuff and mini roundabouts, and riding in towns etc etc...above 4k is fine anyway
And
theres a confusion between "bad fuelling" and harsh engine braking/on/off throttle here, i wasnt bugged by the actual fuelling, but on,off throttle and engine braking were a pita under 25mph, constant clutch slipping just got on my wick for small roundabouts and corners, the versys is at its best between 30-90, unfortunately they forgot that a lot of riding is below 30

I shouldn't need to slip the clutch on corners!
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Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 Mk 3

Post by Beans » Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:28 pm

I bought the bike in January and I put 4000 miles on it. I ended up selling it as I never really got on with it for the reasons given, particularly the throttle response. I had two different mechanics looking at it and between us we could not resolve. As other owners have mentioned elsewhere (other forums are available), the on off throttle gets worse as the engine warms up.
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Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 Mk 3

Post by skyrider » Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:40 pm

that makes the ride a chore and not a pleasure :|
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Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 Mk 3

Post by Bender » Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:50 pm

I almost got one before I found the fazer, glad I skipped it now.
SNOODS GET THEM WHILE THEY ARE HOT

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=73218

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Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 Mk 3

Post by onesea » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:03 am

TDM 900's have similar issues, below 40 mph there is an air box mod or wire to disconnect that improves it significantly...
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