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Old 27th September 2017, 14:02   #121
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Default Re: One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650

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Originally Posted by niranjanrvce View Post
Crazy Driver,

The route and pics look fantastic! Some of us are planning a similar route to ride this weekend. Can you please elaborate on where you had lunch and your start and return times? I am assuming this was a one day ride.

Thanks!
Sure. Should have done that during the earlier post itself, but was too lazy. Please note that we didn't have a particular itenary in mind, except to cover some good roads and get back home before evening. So the below plan may not sound, well, planned.
  • We started from Bangalore (Hebbal) by 5AM.
  • First stop planned was Preeti Canteen, Birur and if i remember correctly - we reached there by around 8:15AM.

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20170923075727_1200.jpg
  • Started by around 9AM post breakfast. Saw Bhadra Dam on the way, and stopped to click for a few photographs. Time was ~9:30 AM.
  • Started from there around 10AM. Destination was Koppalli. Since both the bikes were not having a mobile phone mount, or map device mounted - we ended up taking the longer route via Koppa. Reached Kavyasala by around 11:30 AM.
  • After taking some pics, we started from there around 12PM. Once back at Koppa, we decided not to take the same route for the return journey. Google map was suggesting a return route via Chikmagalur and hence decided to try it. However, few of the locals suggested otherwise - and as per them - the best way to go from Koppa to Balehonnur was via Sringeri. Decided to trust google maps and try out the direct shortcut suggested by it from Koppa to Balehonnur. This is where we struck gold with beautiful tea estates all around and nice and empty roads.

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-screen-shot-20170927-1.58.09-pm.jpg
  • Progress was slow from Balehonnur to Chikmagalur because the heat was taking a toll on my body, and I was struggling to ride the corners with full concentration. Lunch was unplanned because I really needed a break and we stopped at this small place, 23 kms ahead Chikmagalur town and just before the ghats starts climbing to Chikmagalur. Average place with nothing to fault really. Good for small refreshments and not lunch.

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20170923132716_1200.jpg
  • Alternatively if you want a better place to stop, you can try Bhadra Coffee Shop at Balehonnur. We didn't stop there, but looked pretty decent.

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20170924wa0032.jpg
  • Post lunch, headed to Chikmagalur. Took another break at the CCD there. ~2PM.
  • Chikmagalur to Bangalore and pretty eventless to describe with only one coffee break in between. I was back home near Yelahanka by around 6:15 PM.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 27th September 2017 at 14:08.
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Old 8th October 2017, 09:47   #122
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Default Yelagiri

Another weekend, another ride to remember - this time a solo. Had some office work to attend at 6:30 AM, which got over within 15 mins. Started by 7:15AM and was able to get out of Karnataka by 8AM.

Always wanted to try this shot!
One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171007082603_1200.jpg

Decided to head south because everytime I ride with the company of Bangaloreans - we end up heading north! Places like Chikmagalur, Sakleshpur, Davangere etc. So, this time - being an unplanned solo ride - I decided to ride down south. Breakfast stop was the A2B adjacent to BPCL COCO bunk near Shoolagiri.
One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171007090313_1200.jpg

A good cup of coffee to kickstart the brains. Till then I was confused whether to head to Yelagiri or Hogenekkal. Decided to make a quick dash to Yelagiri - a place close to my heart.
One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171007091839_1200.jpg

That's Yelagiri hills in all its glory. It basically looks like just a big rock in the middle of the plains - but the temperatures really do drop once you climb up the hairpins. And speaking of hairpin bends - there are 14 of them!

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img_5375b_1200.jpg

Parked at a spot where -

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171007103147b_1200.jpg

I clicked the below pics with friends. Yelagiri was one of the best rides I had with the Pulsar, and we rode down from Chennai back in 2011.

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It was a good feeling to be back, and trying to get similar shots.
One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171007111033_1200.jpg

Just that life had moved on! Bigger bike, but less friends. Anyways!

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Back home by 2:30pm. Final odo reading post the ride -

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171007142741_1200.jpg
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Old 8th October 2017, 10:18   #123
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Default Re: Yelagiri

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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
[center]Another weekend, another ride to remember - this time a solo. Had some office work to attend at 6:30 AM, which got over within 15 mins. Started by 7:15AM and was able to get out of Karnataka by 8AM.
Nice pics Crazy Driver! How are the roads on those 14 hairpin bends?
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Old 8th October 2017, 18:38   #124
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Default Re: Yelagiri

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Nice pics Crazy Driver! How are the roads on those 14 hairpin bends?
Roads are good, but watch out for the occasional sand and cowding patches on the road.

The main concern is the width of the roads though. Those were tight turns, especially if you are taking the inner one. Was testing my confidence level with the Versys. Loads to go before I get the confidence right!
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Old 29th October 2017, 16:55   #125
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Default Sunday morning with the Honda Africa Twin!

Dwarfed!

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171029093726_1600.jpg

Will post my first impressions of the test ride in detail soon!
One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171029wa0063_800.jpg
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Old 30th October 2017, 11:04   #126
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Default Re: Sunday morning with the Honda Africa Twin!

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[b]Will post my first impressions of the test ride in detail soon!
Sujai : Nice to know you got an opportunity to test ride the Honda Africa Twin

Look forward to a detailed first ride impressions and especially interested in comparison with Versys 650. You know engine to engine, handling to handling, ride to ride and other key aspects that you can touch upon

I already received this feedback from another V rider who rode it along with you (I'm assuming) but, would be keen to know your take too
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Old 2nd November 2017, 09:39   #127
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Default Re: Sunday morning with the Honda Africa Twin!

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Sujai : Nice to know you got an opportunity to test ride the Honda Africa Twin

Look forward to a detailed first ride impressions and especially interested in comparison with Versys 650. You know engine to engine, handling to handling, ride to ride and other key aspects that you can touch upon

I already received this feedback from another V rider who rode it along with you (I'm assuming) but, would be keen to know your take too
Avi, I know you've already seen the developments as a moderator - but here goes - My thoughts on the Africa Twin detailed in the below thread-

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/superb...-twin-dct.html (A Closer Look - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin DCT)

What I haven't mentioned there is my opinion about whether the Africa Twin is a good upgrade from the Versys 650? A similar question would be whether it is worth the extra money spent over and above the Versys 650?

For both these questions - I guess the answer is that it all depends on the amount of offroading one is looking at doing on a regular basis. The main advantage of the Africa Twin over the Versys 650 is that 21inch front with narrower tires and lot more suspension travel which should make it much better off-road. DCT gearbox and all that additional torque should make it better in the city and while offroading, and it feels a lot lighter than the Versys to ride as well, even though specs show otherwise.

But for those who are looking at a lot of highway touring - Versys 650 should present a good case for itself considering the price difference. Sure the Africa Twin has a lot more torque, but both feels almost similarly powerful and all that added torque coupled with the relaxed gear ratios make the Africa Twin feel a lot more relaxed over the highways. Good for interstate touring - but as you've seen me complain earlier with the Versys - the Honda will be even worse if you plan to ride 500kms and end up home feeling you did a short breakfast ride and nothing more. Also for those looking at touring only - the spoke wheels and tube type tires are always a risk factor that could cripple your ride at any point.

Hence for me personally - I'd like something with a bit more character and fun in touring. I'd opt for the Tiger series (But not new at current prices) or even the Versys 1000 among similar bikes, or perhaps the Ninja 1000 instead. Not that the Africa Twin is not a capable machine, just that I'm not the right kind of east-weat/north-south rider for it.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 2nd November 2017 at 09:44.
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Old 2nd November 2017, 09:58   #128
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Default Re: Sunday morning with the Honda Africa Twin!

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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Avi, I know you've already seen the developments as a moderator - but here goes - My thoughts on the Africa Twin detailed in the below thread-

Hence for me personally - I'd like something with a bit more character and fun in touring. I'd opt for the Tiger series (But not new at current prices) or even the Versys 1000 among similar bikes, or perhaps the Ninja 1000 instead. Not that the Africa Twin is not a capable machine, just that I'm not the right kind of east-weat/north-south rider for it.
I was waiting to hear that. So, Africa Twin is out of the window as the next upgrade based on your review (But, let me also test ride and trash it completely if i feel the same as you)

Personally, I would love to clock 1,00,000 kms on the Versys 650 as it is capable in every sense and do not see why I should upgrade it to any other motorcycle

Except the occasional greed for greater BHP, not a single time I got an urge to upgrade even after nearly 20,000 kms on Versys 650
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Old 2nd November 2017, 10:26   #129
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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post

Personally, I would love to clock 1,00,000 kms on the Versys 650 as it is capable in every sense and do not see why I should upgrade it to any other motorcycle

Except the occasional greed for greater BHP, not a single time I got an urge to upgrade even after nearly 20,000 kms on Versys 650
1000% agree with this. Its more than enough bike in every single respect for our road touring needs. Changing over just means we got our original priorities wrong, or priorities changed.
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Old 5th November 2017, 11:29   #130
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Default Re: One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650

Not a guy who prays regularly, but sometimes you need a small prayer before starting off -

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img_20171105_112710.jpg

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Old 5th November 2017, 16:50   #131
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Default

And the prayers were answered too!!!! Thanks for extending the invite Sujai 👍🏻👍🏻
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Old 5th November 2017, 20:38   #132
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Default Re: One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650

Kawasaki ZX10R experience -

Awesome power, as anyone would tell who just had his first experience on a proper superbike. The only other litre class machines that I've ridden earlier were the Honda Africa Twin and the Kawasaki Versys 1000. That said, for a newbie rider, I couldn't really kill myself because Kawasaki guys have the TD in a batch of bikes with a Marshall in front riding at 100 - 120 at the maximum speeds.

But tried the topend couple of times in the lower gears. The bike seems to wake up towards the upper range and suddenly starts screaming with a rush. Literally felt like the scenery started to blur backwards and the gap I had given with the bikers in front so as to test out the acceleration - felt like the gap was not even enough for a couple of seconds of acceleration. And this was in the mode with aggressive traction control keeping a sane throttle response.

Handling was brilliant too and I could feel the front end moving nicely where the mind thinks, though I didn't really get to test it out in the corners. Taking U turns - was such a pain - because I'm not used this aggressive riding stance.

But then, not my kind of bike. I didn't feel happy with it, despite the power and everything. That riding stance is just not me! I guess I'm not yet ready for superbikes or supersports, and that could just be one of the best things to happen to me recently.

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171105092315b_1600.jpg

Kawasaki Z900 experience -

But then, I asked for the Z900 test ride (after riding the ZX10R), and boy o boy - I shouldn't have!

Butter smooth motor, like its literally hot butter on knife. Smooth inline4 soundtrack that is made even better by the 'Two Brothers' end can on the test bike! Upright and comfortable riding stance with a slightly rear set footpegs, that could be a pain point during longer runs.

Good enough power of 125ps and no electronics trying to mess around. And the power is delivered in a good creamy linear fashion, with the upper ranges pulling equally well and the motor remaining extremely smooth even close to the redline.

That front console will put even a TVS XL to shame, and the bike looks small in the new '900 avatar. But brilliant and easy machine to ride. Like a big FZ with inline4 engine. Nothing like the heavy monstrous old Z800, which used to feel like its ready to chew your head off!

Was grinning ear to ear at the end of ride. Damn - I hate my love for inline4 machines.

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171105101132b_1600.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDestiny View Post
And the prayers were answered too!!!! Thanks for extending the invite Sujai
Welcome! You've been asking doubts about the Versys 650 - so it was only fair that I shared the news I received regarding the event. Hope all your doubts have been cleared and replaced with fresh ones! Lol!

If you noticed the other couple who were chatting with us - he is also a Team-Bhp'ian, but not an active poster. Recognised me with the pictures on this thread and was asking questions about the Versys, but he ended up clearly realising that the machine is not for him. He had the biggest grin after the Z900 test ride though. However, since pillion comfort is also essential for them - I've requested them to also check the Ninja 1000.

My Versys 650 standing tall in the parking lot and watching the proceedings!
One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171105083013_1600.jpg

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 5th November 2017 at 20:50.
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Old 14th November 2017, 21:02   #133
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Default Re: One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650

Got a couple of offline requests regarding the Ninja 650 above, where they found the size interesting. Hence thought of updating the pictures here as well -

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171105083015b_1600.jpg

One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650-img20171105083700_1600.jpg

Yes. It is as small as it looks and the size and weight has surely dropped. If you are looking at the Versys 650, but feel that the size (specially seat height) and weight of the Versys is beyond what you can manage - then you should surely have a look at the new Ninja 650. It is almost as manageable as the 300, but with a whole lot more bike in it. And at the current price of 5.49L, with the addition of ABS as well - its a steal compared to the 300.

It would surely loose out on the versatility of the Versys when it comes to bad roads, but surely has some advantages too. If budget and physical build (of the person, though it can be overcome with rider confidence) allows - I would still prefer the Versys 650 as a better choice for Indian conditions.
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Old 15th November 2017, 07:41   #134
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Default Re: One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650

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Got a couple of offline requests regarding the Ninja 650 above, where they found the size interesting. Hence thought of updating the pictures here as well -
The new Ninja 650 is a lot improved version from the previous one but, I personally do not like the overall design theme as Kawasaki is overdoing copying the Zx10R theme and pasting it across it's entry level models.

Design theme looked great on the Ninja 300 but, why copy the same for Ninja 650. Did their design thinking minds went numb at the drawing board?

Now don't even get me started with Z650. It is not even worth talking about. I don't even know why anyone should buy that motorcycle

In it's previous avtaar, Ninja 650 was truly handsome and beefy motorcycle but, new design theme makes it a lot smaller and if you glance at a Ninja 300 and 650 parked next to each other, it would be hard pressed to guess which is which

Any ideas if Ninja 650 is selling as much as before?
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Old 15th November 2017, 11:35   #135
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Default Re: One bike to tame them all! Introducing the 'Black Panther' - My Kawasaki Versys 650

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T

Now don't even get me started with Z650. It is not even worth talking about. I don't even know why anyone should buy that motorcycle
Quite agree, the Z650 is lost in the crowd and quite a cat among the other green pigeons. However, having test ridden the Z650 and V650 back to back, the Z felt quite handy. I liked the super comfortable V650, hands down but the Z650 was probably a little less of a handful (for obvious reasons) and provided a little more fun to rid (not that the V650 wasnt).
This kind of left me with a dilemma, though i started out writing the cheque on the V650. So, just holding on, the 2018 graphics (V650) kind of makes me hope and wait for an all black 2018.....or may be pick up a used one from the 2016 range
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