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|15th March 2016, 10:39||#1|
Kawasaki Versys 650:The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin :Completes 19,500 kms !!!
What I like
1. Suspension, & more Suspension (more on it later)
2. Size is perfect (not too big nor too small)
3. Top-Notch fit & finish (Except the rudimentary console)
4. Marvelous Handling (Would you like to sleep in the corners? Yup! You can do that on this motorcycle)
5. Butter Smooth and Vibration free engine (Have you tasted "Silk" Chocolate? Then you know what I am talking about )
6. Wonderful torquey engine with a great bottom & mid-end grunt (Power? Oh yeah plenty of it)
7. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) (Worried about a dog darting in your path? Nope! Need not anymore)
What I didn’t
1. Gears seem little hard in beginning (No, No. It’s not Harley clunk. calm down please….)
2. Clutch was harder in beginning but, eased out nicely (Brief exercise for your fore-arms)
3. Horn is very useful ( Akin to a cow with a sore throat "mooo'ing")
4. Brakes are progressive and lack immediate bite (Careful with that late braking, eh!)
5. Headlights are not impressive at all
P.S : Some of the lovely pictures on this thread were shot by fellow BHPian "2legit2quit"
Last edited by mobike008 : 15th March 2016 at 11:00.
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|15th March 2016, 10:40||#2|
I was looking to fill in the void that was left behind by a motorcycle that left a lasting impression in my mind. It was a very ordinary looking motorcycle but, the way it performed left me gaping and breathless during most of my ownership period—Yeah! It was none other than the retro classic-Triumph Bonneville. Check this thread if you haven't already ( http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/superb...r-sold-66.html)
Ever since I was back in India, thoughts of getting a motorcycle was tormenting my mind but, I was completely unsure which one to buy. Easiest decision was to get the Bonnie again which I had even seriously contemplated but, having enjoyed 11,000kms on that motorcycle, I felt I should be more prudent and explore other options that can help me enjoy a different experience before finalizing.
I started the journey with the cheapest option “buy the bull again” ( http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...s-home-26.html)
It’s < 2 Lakhs and decent fun—but, dismissed it within a few days as after getting used to technologically advanced, smooth and powerful motor, it is hard to go back to ancient and crude engines (though I still have and will continue to have a special feeling for bullets as I still feel having one bullet in a garage is a must for every motorcycle enthusiast—Now don’t ask me why but, that’s just my personal thought).
Back to the real-deal, I decided to keep an upper limit of 8 lakhs as budget and started my exploration trip; I started with the Benelli.
GT was a feature rich and good package but, it looked cheap and horribly shapeless. I was more impressed with the 600i but, I was clear that I did not want a naked motorcycle in the lines of a Street Triple, Kawasaki Z800 or Benelli 600i (cheapest in-line 4 and sounds great) as my physique and heavy build does not allow me to enjoy these naked bikes. After visiting the showroom and short-test ride, I decided it does not make sense to plonk in my hard earned money on a relatively unknown brand in India
This quandary increased with passing time and it was getting tough to choose a bike as Harleys were never even in consideration as I personally think Harleys with big displacements are the best and also can be enjoyed only in the states and not suitable for our road conditions. What was left of other popular brands were Triumph and Kawasaki. I was tempted for a short while and even contemplated in buying a pre-owned Tiger 800 (which means to up the budget by 2-3 lakhs) and even checked out a few but, good sense prevailed and this thought too quickly passed like in the past, primarily because I have a mental block for buying a used vehicle whenever I'm going through this buying process
Then immediately thereafter sometime in late November/December, I happened to read news on web that Versys 650 is coming to India ( Have known this brand for a few years but, always thought these type of adventure/sport touring motorcycles are too expensive and never released in India). Back couple of years ago, it was actually a pleasant surprise to see Triumph launching such category of motorcycles (Tiger 800) in India in a formal way and opening up this segment of motorcycling and should be fully credited for this initiative.
I decided to wait it out for the Versys and started haunting the Versys 650 thread on forum and it was a great way to keep abreast of latest news on this motorcycle
I started reading up bit on this motorcycle on international forums and more I read, I knew this would be perfect replacement to the Black Bruiser as there seemed almost zero negative reviews and everyone seems to be only raving about it. What impressed me was there are plenty of stories of a Versys 650 buyer selling an old model after crunching big miles and buying yet another newer model of Versys 650.
"What could be a bigger testament than this?"
What sealed the deal was the price range which was bang in my sweet spot. During December-end when Versys 650 was launched, I was on a road trip vacation to Kerala but, my mind was on its launch and kept following the news on the web
Fast forward, it was launched and a few BHPians got the first set of Versys 650 and their initial reaction seemed very positive which made me even more confident to take the plunge. I also took some offline inputs from the master of adventure touring on forum (Haroon) and his inputs finally sealed the deal for me. Thanks Haroon for patiently answering my noob queries!!!
Now my relentless follow-up with Kawasaki/KTM dealership started and I was practically bugging Ramesh (Heads the KTM branches in Hyderabad----All 6 of ‘em)
Trivia : Kawasaki sells all motorcycles under 800cc and which come to our shores in CKD format through their partnership with KTM dealerships. Rest of the larger displacement Kawasaki motorcycles which are CBU format is sold from their own dealership. Interesting but, weird in some sense
He was very cordial and sweet and kept updating me about when the Versys 650 will arrive (display piece). As most of you know, Kawasaki does not normally provide a test-ride but, looking at my serious interest, Ramesh offered me a test ride before even I made a booking and how he kept his promise. Kudos to him!
There were a few disappointments along the way. I would get information that V650 would arrive in 2-3 days and that timeline would change to a much extended one with reasons like logistics problem, container problem etc. I was getting truly impatient but, I told myself "all good things come to he that waits"
Finally, Ramesh called me one day and said it’s arriving on that weekend and asked me to come over to take a gander at it. I dropped all work and drove over to other end of city and got there just as they finished setting up the motorcycle on the glass pedestal in center of showroom. He was taken aback at the speed at which I reached the showroom from the time he made that call to me (LOL!!!)
When I saw the Versys 650, what struck me was its size. It was perfect. Not too big, not too small. I think it’s a great balance with respect to size. Whereas, Versys 1000 was massive and pretty intimidating
As promised, motorcycle was rolled out of showroom and I took several rounds (Test-Ride) outside the showroom basically circling the showroom
which was in a large commercial complex, to get a feel of the motorcycle and, as I read on the web, it met every expectation and out came the cheque and booked it instantly with a promise of delivery next weekend.
My motorcycle is the "2nd Versys 650" delivered in Hyderabad and what was super-sweet was the offer of selecting between 2 motorcycles which were fully crated. Ramesh is an impressive guy, he kept his promise and called me well in advance and on a Saturday we did an “uncrating ceremony” with help of some of my pals who came over to help me get over this exercise.
With finances cleared in advance, I was ready to take the delivery of motorcycle next day. They made a special exception for me and opened the showroom on Sunday ( they normally do not deliver on a holiday) and made arrangements of cake etc. and yet again it was a big occasion as most of my close friends dropped in and after delivery had an after-party (lunch) at a BHPian' s home located a few hundred meters away from the showroom.
An impatient & exciting wait had come to a fruitful and happy ending!!!!
A few pictures & video from the Booking/PDI...
Last edited by GTO : 15th March 2016 at 10:48.
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|15th March 2016, 10:40||#3|
Looks and Specifications
Kawasaki Versys 650 is a middle-weight sports, adventure styling motorcycle also known as KLE650. It should actually be slotted into a sports touring category even though the styling makes you believe that it's part of the ADV category motorcycles. The name Versys is derived from "Versatile" & "Systems"
In true sense, it’s a very capable sports tourer and would be happy to be ridden on tarmac & tossed into occasional broken roads/trails. But, it certainly would not be comfortable on off-road patches which I did try briefly at one of rides at a friend’s farm house and realized that neither the suspension, tyres nor lastly the weight is tailor made to take such punishment (Maybe if I change the tyres and adjust the suspension setting you “might” just scale through).
Well, bikes like Bullet, Bonneville, Iron 883 and even Softails have been to sectors like the Leh/Ladakh. So why not a Versys 650? Where there is a will; there is certainly a way
I can say this with utmost confidence that Versys 650 can tackle those roads with more ease and incredible comfort because of its tall size & styling, long travel suspension and outstanding seating-comfort. Well, an actual trip can only tell.
Internationally, it’s touted as a VFM (value for money) motorcycle and therefore, does not come with any electronic gizmos like ride by wire, traction control, cruise control, automatic suspension settings etc. But, what it comes with is a very important and much needed feature for long distance touring-----An amazing suspension/chassis set-up, long travel suspension to absorb the shock of bad roads better, self-adjustable windscreen to help you from wind-buffeting & the Anti-Lock Braking (ABS) system which is a boon for motorcycling safety
Styling-wise, it looks much better than the crudish looking previous gen (from what I can make out from the pictures on the web) and now comes with quintessential Kawasaki styling (theme similar to how Hyundai adopted the fluidic design across its model range) with familiar front-end (beaky nose) which looks bit like a vulture that is even further accentuated by the dark paint work.
There is no doubt cosmetically it looks fantastic
Unfortunately, Kawasaki continued with a basic display console which is a mix of analog and digital that looks bland and dated. It offers an Eco-Ride indicator (This symbol lights up when you’re at optimum speed in correct gear—usually when you’re riding < 100kmph)
Accessory ports are available for adding additions like electrical socket for charging phones/GPS etc. What is sorely missing is the gear indicator (not sure if international version offers one)
What is very disappointing which I’m sure all Versys 650 owners will concur is the unavailability of different color options. I would have lapped up the orange/black color combo with eyes closed if that option was offered.
Hope Kawasaki will release some bright colors for this model in coming months
Key Specifications of Versys 650
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder parallel twin
Bore x stroke: 83 x 60mm
Compression ratio: 10.8:1
Fuel injection: DFI with two 38mm Keihin throttle bodies
Ignition: TCBI with electronic advance
Transmission: 6-speed with positive neutral finder
Final drive: Sealed chain
Frame: Double pipe diamond frame constructed from high-tensile steel
Rake / trail: 25 degrees / 4.3 in.
Wheelbase: 55.7 in.
Front suspension/Wheel travel: 41mm hydraulic telescopic fork with stepless adjustable rebound and preload / 5.9 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Single offset laydown shock with remote adjustable spring preload / 5.7 in.
Front tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: 160/60 ZR17
Front brake: Dual 300mm petal-style rotors with two-piston calipers and ABS
Rear brake: Single 250mm petal-style rotor with single-piston caliper and ABS
Overall length: 85.2 in.
Overall width: 33.1 in.
Overall height: 55.1 in. (windshield low) / 57.1 in. (windshield raised)
Seat height: 33.1 in.
Curb weight: 216kgs
Fuel capacity: 20.8 Liters
Last edited by GTO : 15th March 2016 at 10:45.
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|15th March 2016, 10:40||#4|
Kawasaki Versys 650 apparently is made from a double pipe diamond frame made from high-tensile steel. With regards to its engine, we can only understand the reliability and bullet proofness since it’s doing duty on 4 different models (this cross platform thingy is such a big thing these days in competitive automotive world) namely:
ER-6N (Available in India)
Ninja 650 (Available in India)
Versys 650 (Now Available in India)
Vulcan 650 (Not Available in India)
This all-new 2015 model has several changes from the previous 2 generation models (Versys was first launched in 2007 and then yet again in 2010 with minor changes). The changes incorporated in 2015 model is almost short of introducing a brand new motorcycle including an all new exhaust system and major changes to ECU to deliver torque and power for better low-end grunt ( Now it starts from as early as 2000rpm)
The 650cc liquid-cooled, double overhead cam, parallel twin, four-stroke engine however, is remapped and retuned for more bottom-end and mid-range torque. The engine makes over 69bhp of maximum power at 8,500rpm and 64Nm of peak torque at 7,000rpm. Transmission is a six-speed 'box with an amazing 170mm of ground clearance. Even though it weighs 216 kgs, when the bike starts rolling out, what strikes you is the sense of lightness and gliding.
It is an amazingly easy motorcycle to ride. There are no surprises and is un-intimidating even for new riders. In a way, it reminded me of my first ride on Bonnie which is also such an easy bike to ride.
Maybe, I’m a sucker for easy stuff...
My objective of choosing a motorcycle is very clear. I’m not into racing, not into hard-core super long distance cross country riding nor off-roading so primary objective is a simple motorcycle that is smooth, powerful that can haul me comfortably on long distances (1500kms round-trip is the longest that I think will plan for a trip as beyond that neither have patience nor time to afford longer trips). Due to re-tune of N650 engine, now it pulls cleanly from as low as 2,000 rpm onwards not in a shoulder dislocating way but, very linearly. There is plenty of power available on tap and you never feel like sitting around and drumming your fingers waiting for the power to arrive. All you need to do is give it a small whack to the throttle and it’ll surprise you with its underlying power.
It’s a decently powerful motorcycle and can keep up with big sports motorcycles on the highway (even if it means riding right behind the pack).
It apparently is wheelie happy (didn’t try it myself yet) It reaches 90kmph at 4K RPM which makes it little easier for completing the run-in of the engine as recommended by Kawasaki.
It has a super broad power delivery that makes it both fun and very easy to ride. It accelerates quite strongly. Just give the throttle a little whack and you can put some serious distance between other commuter cars/motorcycles on road. Especially the power until 5th gear is extremely good. You can feel the rush of power waiting at the gates to be unleased. But, this slightly tapers down at 6th gear ( even in this gear you still hunt for a 7th gear but, that rush of power is slightly missing and you might have to open the throttle a wee bit more)
Engine is highly tractable and I have tried this many times (after the engine is warm), you can ride in 6th gear at 50kmph with utmost ease (actually sometimes I noted even at 40-45kmph it does not knock) and zero load on engine. You can just twist the throttle for you to lunge forward without giving an impression of loading the engine
A major shout out to the engine, it feels relaxed at high-speeds and zero vibrations
I prefer the wind-screen at “mid” settings for my height as highest setting obstructs with my view with part of the screen coming directly in-line with my vision
Claimed top speed is 220kmph for the Versys 650
Versys 650 exhaust note is very disappointing and sounds like a commuter motorcycle. When at cold, it makes a puttering sound which is quite embarrassing but, when the engine warms up it settles down to a low clean sound that is more acceptable. However, when you’re riding at highway speeds, engine is completely silent and sound free allowing you to enjoy the music of the nature (wind, scenery and your thoughts)
It comes with a 6-speed shift with 1-Down, 5-Up universal shift pattern and gears initially were not exactly smooth and looks like it will even out with more usage. It is slightly clunky but, is precise and comes with a positive neutral finder. Initially, clutch wasn't smooth but, now after covering 600+ kms, it feels whole lot smoother and I'm happy with this positive change.
Clutch levers can be adjusted with 4 different settings depending on the size of your hand/fingers
Here is a quick look at major changes to the Kawasaki Versys 650 2015 model over the previous generation model (2010):
2015 vs. 2010
1. ECU remap for better low-end grunt
2. Brand new braking system from Nissin ( Not sure which brand were on previous models)
3. Completely overhauled suspension system (front & rear)
4. Windscreen is completely new taken from bigger brother (Versys 1000)
5. Brand new design for front headlamps (Side by Side vs. Top stacked)
6. New and larger fairings re-designed for better aerodynamics (improved air-flow, reduced drag and better down force)
7. Rubber mountings for engine, handlebars and foot pegs
8. Rear suspension settings can be now changed with a simple twist of a knob (6-Settings Available). Rear shocks are new Kayaba shocks
with hydraulic preload adjuster
9. Larger tank increased by 2 liters ( 21 Liters)
Kawasaki Recommended Running-in for engine:
DO NOT cross 4K RPM for first 800 kms
DO NOT cross 6K RPM for next 800 kms (Until 1600kms)
1st Service : 1000kms
2nd Service : 8000kms
Thereafter, each service is at 8000kms intervals where they will perform oil change and other mandatory activities
Initially the clutch was not smooth. It was on harder side but, after clocking 650kms, it has smoothened out quite nicely and now it can be depressed with slightest effort
Gear-shifting took an effort initially. Both for upshifting as well as for down-shifting. Especially the first 2 gears made a slight THUNK when slotted. At current odometer (650kms), upshifting as become quite smooth and I can even do quick shifts effortlessly. However, I'm still not happy with sound when downshifting and it makes a rather loud CLUNK when say downshifting from 6th gear to 5th. Any tips???
My style of gear-shifting is to quickly upshift till 3rd and then wait for speed to pick up and then pull hard from 3rd gear onwards. I never revv hard in 1st and 2nd gear in all my vehicles. I'm a torque slave
Last edited by mobike008 : 15th March 2016 at 17:57.
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|15th March 2016, 10:40||#5|
In the new version of Kawasaki Versys 650, the major upgrade done to the motorcycle is the all-new, adjustable Showa forks. Unlike in previous version where the damping and spring function was in both forks ( hope I’m correct about this??), they have now separated these functions in each of front fork so as to give a better ride and also reduce the weight of the forks.
At the rear, a new KYB shock allows for a quick change to preload adjustments via the new remote-mounted adjuster (previous model you needed a spanner to get these changes done—so they made it darn simple even for newbie motorcycle enthusiasts). What it essentially means is that you can change the load settings depending on your riding single, with passenger or with luggage strapped on to the motorcycle
Ride quality is the highlight of this motorcycle. Simply put, it feels like you are sitting atop a “Stanley Leather-Seat Sofa” and, you soak in bumps as if they don’t exist
Seats are wide and very comfortable. I cannot comment about how the pillion would feel. But, I'm very happy with rider seat comfort. Some Versys 650 owners have issue about the front sloping of the seat but, I don't have any such problem. Infact, I love the front seat that contours up towards the back providing me sort of a back-rest. Well, I'm hoping can do atleast 250kms non-stop on this bike. This is quite a promotion the maximum non-stop distance that I tried on my previous motorcycles ; Bull (75kms-100kms) and Bonnie (150kms-175kms)
During my Bonnie ownership, when the front suspension of Bonnie dips into a pot-hole, there used to be a loud THUNK sound coming from the front forks. Here, there is no such sound, the long travel suspension dips into the pothole/speed bump and re-bounds back as if it’s going on a smooth road. There is absolutely no sound from front/rear suspension when you go over speed bumps, bad roads etc. It’s as good as that!!
It literally dispatches away bad patches and gives you a feeling that you’re gliding over the roads. Fantastic feeling !!!
Kawasaki recommended Tyre Pressure (PSI) :
Front Wheel (Single) : 33 PSI
Rear Wheel (Single) : 36 PSI
Front Wheel (Passenger Included) : 34 PSI
Rear Wheel (Passenger Included) : 42 PSI
Last edited by GTO : 15th March 2016 at 10:43.
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|15th March 2016, 10:40||#6|
Versys 650 comes shod with 17-inch alloy wheels with Dunlop branded tyres of 120/17 section at front and 160/60 at the rear, braking duties are taken care by 300mm dual petal discs at the front and 250mm petal disc at the rear with ABS available on both wheels
When I look back, 17” front wheel was one of primary reason for beautiful handling in the base model Bonnie whereas the T100 wasn’t as impressive in handling department. I think the 17” front wheel with shorter rake similarly contributes in making this motorcycle handle brilliantly
It is just unimaginable that a motorcycle of this size (height & width) can move so nimbly when in motion. I experienced it with the Tiger 800 and back then was taken aback as I loved it's handling.
I would love to compare the handling between the Versys 650 vs. Tiger 800 ( maybe sometime in near future) but, Versys 650 is super fun and extremely flickable in corners and you can just swerve left and right as if you are on a 100cc commuter motorcycle and what is even more impressive is the confidence it can give you when you take a sweeping corner at high speed, you can lean into the corner as much as a bikes that are made for corner carving and Versys 650 will be equally calm and composed and will come out that corner with guns blazing
I have a strong feeling Versys 650 would be much more nimble and can handle better than a Tiger 800 primarily due to the shorter wheelbase, lighter weight and smaller front wheels. Well, will test this aspect out to know for sure in near-future
In short, handling cannot be compared with superbikes which are razor sharp and they ride on rails. But, for its tallness and with such massive ground clearance, it’s awfully impressive
I so much concur with this video where the reviewer hilariously compares the flickability and it's handling with a psychotic rickshawalla.
No joking, Versys 650 can be ridden in traffic conditions like how you can ride the Duke 390 as claimed by the reviewer. Highly flickable and loves gaps and handles like a dream in tight spots. Super-happy with it's flickability !!!
Last edited by GTO : 15th March 2016 at 10:41.
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|15th March 2016, 10:40||#7|
Miscellaneous Stuff :
Versys 650 comes equipped with an adjustable larger windscreen of 60 mm range (maximum height level), which can be adjusted without the help of any tools ( couple of simple twists to knob and windscreen can be pushed up and down to suit your height/taste) and gives reasonable good protection from wind-blast
Been practicing standing on foot-peg and riding when encountering broken roads. It's really fun and easy thing to do. It helps reduce the load on the suspension and the foot-pegs are strong enough and happy to note they take my weight too
Horn on the Versys 650 is terrible. It's meek and makes a whimpering sound and an upgrade is a MUST
Headlights are also not that strong for long distance riding at nights. It's recommended to add "auxiliary" lights without tampering the main lights so as to avoid warranty issues
Rear-view Mirrors have the correct length of stalk for my height (6ft. 1 inch) and are very functional even though their shape is unique. A simple twist to mirror portion is enough to adjust as per you'r convenience
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|15th March 2016, 10:51||#8|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Thanked: 87,426 Times
re: Kawasaki Versys 650:The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin :Completes 1-Year & 11,500 kms !!!
Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!
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|15th March 2016, 11:13||#9|
Join Date: Nov 2011
Thanked: 874 Times
re: Kawasaki Versys 650:The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin :Completes 1-Year & 11,500 kms !!!
That's one super looking bike mate!! Congrats on the new buy!!
Is that a saree guard!!! man! you should get rid of it now!!
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|15th March 2016, 11:47||#10|
Join Date: Jul 2014
Thanked: 38 Times
re: Kawasaki Versys 650:The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin :Completes 1-Year & 11,500 kms !!!
Was Eagerly awaiting for an ownership review of V650. After having followed a lot of threads and international reviews, this one, closer home is very welcome! I think it was quite adventurous of you to have added that Saree Guard on the bike Please, please get rid of it when riding solo at least! Here's wishing you and the Dark Knight miles and miles of safe riding!
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|15th March 2016, 12:14||#11|
Join Date: Oct 2012
Thanked: 318 Times
Congrats Avi! Many bikers in Hyderabad were waiting for you to get a bike and give the weekend ride scene, a boost! Looks like the prayers have been answered, and we will see you in action with many more interesting trips and stories...
|15th March 2016, 12:19||#12|
Join Date: Nov 2015
Thanked: 80 Times
Congratulations on the buy! Looks really good for an adventure tourer.
P. S. Aren't you itching to remove that ugly saree guard? Looks very out of place.
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|15th March 2016, 12:22||#13|
Join Date: Feb 2016
Thanked: 48 Times
Congrats on the Versys 650 mobike008! The first ownership report of it on TBHP and the first bhp'ian to get one (pardon me if I am wrong)! You had a very happening thread on the Bonnie, and I'm sure this thread would be equally lively. Expecting travelogues of varied terrains now that you have an adventure tourer Have fun and ride safe!
|15th March 2016, 12:28||#14|
Join Date: Mar 2004
Thanked: 3,846 Times
|15th March 2016, 12:32||#15|
Join Date: Oct 2014
Thanked: 136 Times
I will be interested to know your feedback on the cushion comfort of the rider seat. How different is it when compared to N650 ? With N650, the max non-stop distance that I can cover without any discomfort to the butt is 120 to 150 kms. With padded cycling shorts, I can do an additional 50 kms. Having gel seats would help a lot while touring.
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