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Discussion Starter #1
Not really thinking of getting a new bike but after reading about the Versys LT+ today it seems like it would be a nice alternative. Anybody here test rode one? If so, what was your opinion of it compared to the N1k? I like the Versys analog tach/digital speedo setup alot. Also like the idea of the electronic suspension.
 

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I haven't rode one,,. I always thought it would be an interesting alternative to the N1K, sort of a Multistrada type ride, especially if you were inclined to do a bit of off road/gravel/dirt road, go to Alaska,. I would like it as a second bike with 80/20 tires, crash bars and a skid plate,,. (yet to see one set up that way)
Gotta be tons of torque on that bike as they flattened the torque curve even more then the Ninja,,,,, 20 less horsepower & pretty heavy curb weight of 587,?,!!
 

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I test rode the 2020 V1k SE LT+ at the Kawi Demo Ride event. If I were 6' or taller, I'd probably like it a lot more. Or if I expect to run on a lot of rough roads, the longer travel suspension might prove more compliant. As is, I found it to be too tall and too upright. IMO, it might be okay going over smooth fire roads, otherwise, it is an adv more in styling than substance. Kawi doesn't even pretend, and that's wise on their part. T31 OEM tires clearly identifies this one as a sport touring motorcycle. With beaucoup leg room.

The electronic suspension is great if you go back and forth between solo and 2-up heavily loaded often. Otherwise, I much being able to set static sag manually and exactly to my riding weight. I have electronic suspension on my K16GT and, for me as a solo rider, it's more gimmickry than useful. On other bikes, once I get the suspension setting clicked to my liking, I rarely ever touch it again. I know exactly how the bike will behave at any time, even if that means it might be a bit stiff over some rough roads. But heck, I tune the suspension for the fun bits, not to be a 2-wheel'ed Buick.

I do like the instrument panel compared to the TFT-only 2020 N1k.

Curiously, Kawi went with 180/55 rear on the larger and heavier V1k. Yet another indication that 180/55 should do just fine on the lighter N1k.
 

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Just my opinion:

When it comes to ADV bikes, advertising material is much more glamorous and exciting than reality. Reality is usually a slap in the face of what the advertising glamour would have us believe. There are quite a handful of "ADV" bikes that are never meant to go beyond a smoothly groomed dirt road. And then there are sturdier, purpose built ADV bikes that CAN handle rougher terrain. Finally, there are a handful of bikes that are purpose built to be a true Enduro, or a close cousin of an Enduro bike. The latter class are what is fun off road. The former two, they will make you work REAL hard off pavement, and can be scary. Having lots of power is NOT an asset off road that's for sure. In the same vein as an N1k is not for beginners or even semi-intermediate riders for taking to the track. A noob would be frustrated, or worse, hurt, off road riding around in a liter class "ADV" bike. Even an 800 class ADV bike will be a handful off pavement at anything beyond 35-40 mph! Off road, bikes move around underneath you 3-5x more. Imagine a 500+ pounder moving around down there and you trying to control it! LOL! It's daunting.

But that won't stop me from buying a VStrom 1050 XT! LOL! Or a Honda Africa Twin. I just won't be taking it beyond just a smooth gravel road.
 

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The electronic suspension is a gimmick, just like Volfy mentioned. Although it does play with damping, the spring rate is fixed. This means you need to fit within a fairly specific weight range to have any chance with it. You really cant change springs because the damping is set up to work around stock spring rates.

Plus, it's still built with all the compromises you have with a stock bike. Things like rider weight, passenger, luggage. That all has to be figured into the problem. They get by with it because stock suspension is bad, so anything feels like an improvement. For half the money, you can have a custom shock and fork cartridges built for your weight.

The paint is really nice. You can see its several steps up from what we have.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So a 2020 N1k with a suspension upgrade would seem to be a better deal than the Versys. The electronic suspension on the Versys is what I thought would set it apart in a big way. I do, however, like a center stand.
 

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I think the V1k offers a great alternative package to the N1k, for those who prefer it. I just don't see it as being worth $5800 more.
 
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Where's your sense of value? That's only $100/lb.:grin:

For me, bigger, taller, heavier does not make a better ride. A buddy of mine has a Vstrom 1k and an FJR. The Vstrom is the bike of choice until the winter potholes around here get filled in. It also lets him stretch his legs a bit more. I think Adventure bikes are a lot like big 4WD SUVs: more of a fashion statement than a useful tool. No way the shiny tough looking machine is ever going to get dirty.
 
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When you call to have your custom suspension built, the first thing they ask you is your weight. Then they drill down and makes sire that includes gear. During the conversation they keep mentioning weight. They want your real weight, right now, not the weight you hope to be in six months.

That's how important that is. Now, it's not a killer if you say 185lbs and are really 200. That's workable. But if you say 175 and are really 225, that's a problem. If you wont give them a weight, they wont take your order.

The factory cant do that, so the suspension is geared around the mythical, average rider who weighs "x" and sometimes carries a passenger. That's too large of a target to ever be very good.

Plus, its damned expensive to service. Suspension pieces should have the oil changed in them every 10,0000 miles, or so. Google "BMW ESA" service or repair. Kawasakis system is way higher quality than that, but it's still going to need servicing .
 

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Cockpit adjustable suspension is VERY nice to have. I rode my friend's S1000R with it. In the twisties you can set it to sport and it firms up the damping nicely for spirited runs. On long stretches, you can set it to "Tour" and the damping softens things up nicely, the throttle is more gentle, etc. Of course the BMW system is much more complicated. I'm not sure if the V1k suspension adjustments are damping only, or also affects throttle response. I know it does on the BMW.

It's a nice luxury to have. And once you've experienced it, you kind of miss in. However, it's not necessary.

Having said that, I really liked being able to ease up on the damping on long highway rides where you just want to chill.
 

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If you ever have the suspension set up for your weight, you will find there really is not a bunch of different settings that you need. I've had mine since 2014. I've had to reset the preload as I, or the bike, gains or loses weight, but that is pretty much a fixed adjustment. When your compression and rebound damping is set up properly, based on that, there really isnt that much more you would want to mess with.

If you added a passenger, or luggage, that would be nice to push buttons to compensate for. I can see that. Otherwise, it becomes like the rider power modes. One that works, and one that feels right, and a whole bunch of other ones with exaggerated features.
 

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Plus, its damned expensive to service. Suspension pieces should have the oil changed in them every 10,0000 miles, or so. Google "BMW ESA" service or repair. Kawasakis system is way higher quality than that, but it's still going to need servicing .
Rcannon brings up a very good point. This, for me, (maintenance and servicing) is the deal breaker on electronic suspension.

Here is an article from 2014, comparing two bikes with electronic suspension to our Ninja. I have included a quote from the article ahead of the link. They liked the handling and suspension of the Ninja in spite of what we know about the stock rear shock on the earlier models being under sprung and not well damped.

"No complaints were logged regarding the Ninja’s suspenders, and it came in a comfortable second in the suspension category of the ScoreCard, which also contributed to the Ninja winning the handling category of the ScoreCard despite feeling a little less nimble than the Italian duo."

I would bet that if the Ninja had a 190/55 it would have been a much stronger result.

https://www.motorcycle.com/shoot-outs/middleweight-sport-touring-shootout-aprilia-caponord-1200-abs-travel-pack-vs-ducati-multistrada-s-touring-vs-kawasaki-ninja-1000
 
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