Double demo day

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Double demo day

Postby Kwacky » 06 May 2017, 19:31

I spent today at DMC Kawasaki Birmingham

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First off was the 2017 Kawasaki Z1000SX


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Kwaks top selling sports tourer has been revised for this year following feedback from current riders. We now haave a wider front fairing, lower and more comfortable seat, double bubble screen, new screen which includes a gear indicator, LED lights and a lighter clutch with slipper assistance.

As someone who has spent over 2 years riding the SX I felt right at home. The small change in seat height is noticeable, as is the lighter clutch. The engine is the same peachy zx10r Gen 2 lump detuned for touring. You now sit more in the bike than perched on it so the riding position feels closer to the z1000.

The new screen looks a bit cluttered and to be honest it was only really the gear indicator I bothered with. The older screen is clearer as it has less information.

I did my usual route of going to work and back, there on A roads and motorways and back on the country roads I know. The OEM tyres are crap, so the steering is a bit lazy but the bike responds well to firmer steering input.

There's not much I can add as a review over what I've posted in my ongoing 2014 review thread. It's a good all round bike. It's gone a little bit more tourer than sports but not massively so.

Side by side I have to say I prefer the looks of the 2014 model . It's taller at the tail and the seat and the overall side styling is better. The new model looks a bit flat, with a large slab of green fairing next to a big chunk of dark panelling and frame. The engine cover on the new model is flat black and looks plastic, whereas the older one has metallic black with a nice sparkle, so it looks like some thought has gone into it

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The 2017 is a cracking bike, with a big tank and comfort for long distances but with shed loads of performance with a throttle and engine that seem to be in sync. In terms of value for money its hard to beat.

Next up is the 2017 Versys 650

This is the limited edition, which means nothing more than just a paint job.

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The Versys is a bit of an oddball. It's not doing enough to be an adventure bike, but that's what it looks like. It's not really a tourer, but with a 21 litre tank, strong sub frame and housing for panniers and a top box plus a large comfortable pillion seat, it can do it. It's certainly got no sporting aspirations and so it can't be a sports tourer.

On paper it's cheap, heavy and underpowered.

So why is it so popular?

Ride one and you find out. It's got a punchy little flat twin that revs higher than a small twin should. It handles far better than a tall bike on small tyres ordinarily allows and will happily cruise at high speed on a motorway as if it's a hypertourer.

It's a weird bike alright.

The brakes are a little soft for my tastes and the suspension will pogo if you grab a handful of the lever. But those were my only gripes.

You know that you're down on power but this doesn't ride like a 70bhp bike in a 210 kg frame. It's very spiritedly so you find yourself tittering inside your lid as you realise you've just taken the piss with a silly overtake on the approach to a bend. Despite being sat high up the feedback is still sharpp and the steering lets you makes timely changes.

If ever a bike had je ne sais quio, this is it. In time of mass produced low budget high sale motorcycles, this has retained character.

I fell in love. So I've bought one.

Bye bye SX, hello Versys. 2017 650 Grand Tourer limited edition. I got a very good deal which includes alarm and heated grips supplied and fitted. I pick her up next week.

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Re: Double demo day

Postby Itchy » 06 May 2017, 19:45

I like the paint job.
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Re: Double demo day

Postby C00kiemonster » 06 May 2017, 20:17

I like the front lights.
Nice.
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Re: Double demo day

Postby D6Nutz » 06 May 2017, 20:36

In the flesh it's not a bad looking bike. I'm not surprised you went for one at all, it's a massive box ticker, that sounds like a giggle to boot.

Hope out serves you as well as the sx did.
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Re: Double demo day

Postby Kwacky » 06 May 2017, 20:46

You don't buy one for the looks, that's for sure. But it's massively practical for everyday riding. You're seated high and it's got a massive tank. I suspect it'll be cheaper to run than the SX as well.
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Re: Double demo day

Postby Cav » 06 May 2017, 21:03

It's a good purchase mate! When I rode one I knew it was a bloody good bike despite the lack of power and lack of toys but it does not subtract from the fun you have on it.

It feels like a 300 to throw around the corners, the change of direction is very good, the damping feels plush and the hydraulic preload adjuster will be a life save when it comes to carrying a pillion.

Okay, the rebound is very fast on the rear and the fork preload was much too high on the one I rode but these are minor things. Redline interupts your fun and the brakes aren't the scalpel sharp system I'm used to on my "modified" ZX6R but it didn't bother me.

Really pleased for you mate - two great bikes you have in your stables!
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Re: Double demo day

Postby Kwacky » 06 May 2017, 21:15

Cheers Cav. The suspension will need a tweak but not much more.

Both bikes are all about having fun to ride. I'm never going to be good enough or fast enough to use the handling abilities and power most bikes throw out so I want to make sure I'm enjoying what a ride without thinking I'm only using a small amount of a bikes potential.
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Re: Double demo day

Postby duke63 » 06 May 2017, 22:57

Looks good. There is a reason that they make a popular base for a race bike.

Top box will be handy for the France trip.
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Re: Double demo day

Postby kiwikrasher » 07 May 2017, 00:38

I must say I am a bit surprised at the choice initially, but having had no experience with that bike I was only going off the looks.

But reading on and everyone else's comments it seems like a sensible decision and should be a great commuter.
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Re: Double demo day

Postby Kwacky » 07 May 2017, 07:45

The top box is massive, 47l.

Each pannier holds 27l
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Re: Double demo day

Postby kiwikrasher » 07 May 2017, 08:21

Kwacky wrote:The top box is massive, 47l.

Each pannier holds 27l


That's pretty similar to the Multi, top box is great, we can fit both helmets and gloves in it at stops rather than carry them about.
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Re: Double demo day

Postby Deegee » 07 May 2017, 10:01

Sounds like a hoot to ride Kwacky, a twin has to be better on fuel than an IL4 though, but what happened to the "I'm skint" comment after you bought the 675?
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Re: Double demo day

Postby Kwacky » 07 May 2017, 10:41

Well now I'm even skinterer

I got a decent trade in on the SX despite the high mileage and the obvious signs of use, with 2 years at 0% on the balance of the bike.

I've no idea what the MPG will be like. I presume it will at least be the same as the SX, which obviously has a much larger engine but it's happy at 5k rpm. Whereas the 650 will need to be revved a bit more.

It'll be cheaper to run. The 650 is group 9 against group 15 insurance for the SX. And a 160 rear tyre is loads cheaper than a 190/55. I've not looked at road tax.
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Re: Double demo day

Postby Monty » 07 May 2017, 12:33

Recon you've done the right thing there, those panniers will make a massive difference commuting and touring.
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Re: Double demo day

Postby Rossgo » 07 May 2017, 14:08

Superb purchase Kwacky sounds like it ticks all the right boxes for your daily commute and also cheaper to run so great result in my opinion! You've clearly enjoyed your ride with it and 2 years at 0% well seems like a steal really may as well enjoy your savings!!

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Re: Double demo day

Postby rocket » 07 May 2017, 14:43

Good bike i hired one a few years back and enjoyed it i found the front end a bit vague but i am not used to that type of bike at all it was good fun and we were two up. For the job you have bought it for i think its a no brainier and the panniers will make it even better
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Re: Double demo day

Postby Kwacky » 07 May 2017, 19:12

and the hate has started already on the SX forum :D

"you;ll be bored after 6 months"
"you'll regret it"
"you'll find the 650 seriously lacking"

Yeah, see ya.
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Re: Double demo day

Postby D6Nutz » 07 May 2017, 19:24

fanboi's gotta love 'em
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Re: Double demo day

Postby Kwacky » 07 May 2017, 21:25

I could always do a track day on it (lol)

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Re: Double demo day

Postby Cav » 08 May 2017, 07:29

My mate gets mid-50s riding 2-up on his Versys..
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