Kawi are you listening

Discussion in 'Kawasaki Big Bikes Thailand' started by Hoghead, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    I understand that you currently have about 50% of the motorcycle market in Thailand - want the rest of the big bike segment?
    No sense in giving me a 20 year old KLR with FI. You need to stop dithering about and bring on a modern KLR styled bike with a Versys engine at a made in Thailand price.

    Surely if a fellow Canadian can build one himself, your Engineers could do so too. Use the parts bin bits you currently have and build me a modern KLRE 650 like this:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=640772

    No more cruisers, weenie dirt bikes, sport bikes, bigger Versys, or whatever segment your so called Marketing gurus are telling you; but a big bore, modern, adventure tour style, DP bike IM(LT)HO is what the market needs. Not so difficult to do if you put your mind to it.

    How about a GT Rider forum survey to convince them that this is what we want next - or do they even listen?
     
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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Erm, nice rant, but actually Kawasaki has something like 5% (or less?) of the motorcycle market in Thailand.

    The vast majority of the bikes they produce in Thailand are for export. Some day they'll update the KLR, but seems right now they're much more focused on road bikes which are the best sellers.

    And if you want a KLR with a Versys engine, why don't you build one? There have been plenty of well documented KLR/Versys hybrids. The example in your link is a sharp looking bike-
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    I omitted the words "big bike" as most riders here do not consider shopping carts as a real bike.

    To be more precise, "I understand that Kawasaki has 50% of the big bike market in Thailand". Before you go all pedantic on me, note that this is my understanding and while not an insider, is backed up by the Nation article on big bikes in Feb 9/12

    If Kawi gave me access to their parts bin and the Govt importantly would allow the import of a frame I would build one.
    As you well know it is impossible under the current import laws to build my own, and it is I must rely on Kawi to listen to what I think the market wants

    What do the GT-Rider members think that they should introduce next?
     
  5. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Way to diss all the guys riding smaller bikes. In my book if it's got two wheels and puts a smile on your face, it's a "real bike".

    It's a shame that you always take a "glass half full" attitude to the biking scene in Thailand.

    Compared to 5 years ago the choice of fully legal dealer supplied bikes in Thailand has exploded, and new models and brands are appearing all the time.

    You already have a Versys in Thailand- why not throw some KTM forks (check advrider and some of the Versys forums to see which forks are a straight swap) and spoked wheels in your luggage next time you fly over and build something like this:
    [​IMG]

    Source the parts in North America and it'll be cheap as chips and still 100% road legal in Thailand. :happy1:

    Let the Good Times ROLL! [​IMG]
     
  6. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    Tony

    If you knew me, you would realize that I am not a glass half full type of guy. I leave it to those that do know me to render judgment on your comment
    While I am more than capable of trading personal insults, I choose to take the moral high ground.

    Back to the topic please
     
  7. NickyBKK

    NickyBKK Ol'Timer

    I have to agree with you. They should sell a modern KLR 650 (or Yamaha should sell a XT 660 as an example). I have had numerous big bikes in Thailand but I am still not satisfied.
     
  8. husskydog

    husskydog Member

    Now now, don`t you be upsetting MR.Kawasaki bb-bkk, if you speak nicely he will put a word in....
     
  9. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    We mean Nothing anyway so No One will listen to our requests! But if they do Listen Mine would be for the XT660! Of course a KLR650 would be an acceptable gap filler! Given the increase in Big Bike activity and models avalible in Thailand over the last few Years it must be only a Matter of Time before one of the Big Guns actually Sell a Bike along these lines? What about a Thai Assembled Ducati similar to the Old Cagiva Elephant using the Monster 795 engine? That would be a Neat Adventure Tourer!
     
  10. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    Ian is right and given all the press from Canada a year ago over this KLRE650 project, Kawi is not listening.

    With my recent cartridge fork project on my Versys I have figured out how to increase the front fork travel. The more I think about it, I could fit a 19" front wheel, high pipe, bash guards etc to a Versys and make a "light adventure" bike at a reasonable made in Thailand cost.
    I am sure that the factory could do better but this would be an easy entry level bike until someone makes what we want

    In any case no time now as it is riding season, but maybe with a bit more thought and time .....................
     
  11. nikster

    nikster Ol'Timer

    Well Ducati is rumored to make three new 820cc bikes, one of them a mini MultiStrada... and a hypermotard and a "cruiser"... see my post in the Ducati section... I think they'll all be made in Thailand. At least I hope 'cause that's going to be my next bike :)

    Not sure of the appeal of these monster dirt bikes like the KLE or XT660. Do you really want to go offroad with a huge bike? And if you don't want to go offroad... there's a Mulitstrada, or a Versys...

    Those dirt bike capable tourers like a GS are the SUVs of motorbiking. Most of them are never taken offroad.
     
  12. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    I guess defining Off Road is like saying How Long is a Piece of String? Myself Personally don't like Single Track and fighting through Scrubby little Trails! Dirt Roads, Fire Breaks and the Likes are great Fun and No Dramas on a Big Enduro Bike like a 650 or 660. Roads in Neighboring Countries are in some Places in atrocious condition so a Bike like these are well suited. The Bikes like Versys. Multistrada and Triumph Tiger and the Likes are not!!! Sure You can take them but not much fun.
     
  13. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    The Triumph Tiger 800XC should do the job Ian.
     
  14. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Still Too Big, and Expensive Ron. Same as the 800GS. Anyone who have Ridden Big Single Dirt Bikes will know what I mean? While both Great Bikes and Capable, the 650cc range should feel lighter and Easier to ride? The KTM 690 Enduro is in the correct League but Unfortunately it's Price and issues with Registration and Servicing put it out of consideration!!! I think a Price of Anything more than 500.000 Baht will really Limit any chance of Sales success? Most Guys would probably say 300.000 Baht is too Much! If You are compare Prices to other Countries 3 to 500.000 is the range but T.I.T so Prices aren't really relevant sadly!
     
  15. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    I would be looking at a gravel runner rather than a dirt bike
     
  16. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Versys is no dirt bike but handles gravel and dirt roads just fine... :happy1:
     
  17. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    As I well know, but I think that it would be better with a 19" front wheel. The ability to turn off the ABS in gravel may be handy at times.
    The low exhaust can work both ways as in gutted stock form it allows one to use it as a lifting point. OTHO a high exhaust moves all out of the way and would allow for a centre stand.
     
  18. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    So why not throw a 19" or 21" wheel on the front (search the Versys, Advrider and Kawiforums for a list of plug and play wheel options)

    Very easy to add a switch and relay to turn your ABS on and off. (I just pull the ABS fuse under the seat when I know I'll be riding mostly on dirt/gravel/sand.)

    If you're worried about gutting the exhaust SW Motech makes a tough looking skid plate or have one fabbed locally.

    Personally I prefer using the KLX for dirt and the Versys for roads (paved or not).

    It can be fun to take the Versys off road, but it's pretty damn heavy and not much fun to pick up when you drop it. That said, the KLR is no lightweight either. KLR 650 Curb weight is 432 lbs compared to the Versys which weighs in at 454 pounds.
    [​IMG]

    Some day we'll get the KLR650 here in Thailand, but Kawasaki makes their marketing decisions based on the global market, not the Thai market. Until such time as the global market demands a KLR with FI we'll have to make do with what's available or spend big $$$ on an imported KTM/BMW/Yamaha etc.

    While the KLR 650 generally receives very positive reviews, the biggest complaints are the fueling and the fact that the bike only puts down about 31 horsepower from it's 651cc single. I'll take a 6-speed, 70hp Versys twin over a 5-speed, 31hp KLR any day of the week. But that's just me :mrgreen:

    Ride on!

    Tony
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    As I said several posts back, I know how to do the 19" wheel.

    By gutting the exhaust, I mean leaving the stock can and removing the guts and in particular the CAT.

    The drawbacks of the KLR are well known, this is where this post started from, and why I really do not want a 20 year old KLR but a modern chassis, Versys powered KLR
     
  20. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    I'm really not sure what you're looking for...

    Are you looking for a big heavy gs-style touring bike that can cover great distances and will never see real off road, or are you looking for a large displacement dirt bike?

    If you want a bigger front wheel and spokes, git er done. If you want longer travel suspension, do it. If you plan to do any real off road you will need a bash plate to protect the oil filter, headers and exhaust. If you want to be able to turn your ABS on and off, do it.

    I've looked in to all these mods and in the end decided that it would make much more sense to just buy a dirt bike for dirt and keep the Versys for gravel/dirt/paved roads.

    As mentioned before, there have been tons of Versys conversions to make it more off-road worthy, but at the end of the day, it's still a road bike. Up to you what you want to accomplish with it.

    22,000km from France to Mongolia on a near stock Versys:
    [​IMG]

    You probably heard about the Malaysians who rode 4 heavily loaded stock Versys from KL, Malaysia to London, UK in 62 days- (http://em1m.shakespot.net/)
    [​IMG]

    A couple other Versys runabouts-
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Happy Trails!

    Tony
     
  21. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    Tony

    If you are confused see the OP
     
  22. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Well, I understand "modern big bore dual purpose adventure bike", but you lost me with the next bit... "IM(LT)HO"???
     
  23. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    I also don't know what else about the KLR you seek...

    I just sold my KLR - because it was shithouse to ride on even the shithouse roads, with shithouse speed limits in Australia, and I wasn't getting any off-tar riding in...

    The brakes can barely contain it's 30hp...

    The rear suspension is too soft for a single rider, let alone pillion or luggage...

    The front suspension is too soft and without much adjustment...

    The bars are too wide for traffic, and combined with lack of screen, turns you into a wind sock at even low speed...

    The seat is uncomfortable...

    The cockpit is featureless...

    The max speed I got mine up to was 178km/h, and it was like a cat on a hot tin roof... even at 120km/h it is very uncomfortable...

    I know a lot of people have a love affair with the KLR... It is useful in it's simplicity, which makes it suitable for long adventures, on unsealed roads, away from civilisation (like through South America)...

    LIke many 'jack of all trades' I believe it is a master of none...

    Some of those Versys look great, but I don't know how suitable for proper offroading they would be...

    the guy second from the right - not just heavily loaded with luggage :D ...
     
  24. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Living and working in northern Canada, and quite excited about buying myself a bike for next spring. Lower purchase prices, and higher earnings etc etc make for sizable choice of models after years in Thailand. And funny enough, recently inquired about a year old KLR650 for sale; after describing my intended use the seller advised me against buying his bike. Not directly mind you, but the seller was actually originally from the area I currently live.

    With out the KTM 620 and the BMW X-country on the market that leaves only the DR650 and the XR650L (for me). Known as commuter bikes in Canada :roll:. But the crazy thing is, the choices available (buying new) are honestly the same bikes I rode extensively 20 to 30 years ago; 350 lbs'ish, air cooled, carb'ed, street legal DS. They even look the same. The big 4 are not listening, and the category for lighter weight dual sport, or economical adventure bike, is one bike market they does not appear to change or evolve. Selection is small and buyer excitement factor is low with the current offerings, and given the steady improving demands for more economical chooses in all areas, a bike described in the OP may be well received unlike others from some of the non - big 4 manufactures. :thumbup:
     
  25. nikster

    nikster Ol'Timer

    OT but awesome Versys mods pix, Tony.

    I don't see anything wrong with a Versys as a sort of ersatz-F800GS - 19" front wheel and ABS switch and you're very close. Been wanting to do the ABS switch myself, I really want to turn that off at the back...

    For offroading here in Northern Thailand though I'd probably just get a cheapo CFR250 ....

    @Ian at least you have good reasons but don't you think a Versys would be just fine on any Fire trail if it had the ABS off and those huge monster knobbies of the round-the-world version above?

    I think the KLR is most a case of "the grass is always greener"....
     
  26. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    But is it not a KLR that I want as the drawbacks are well known

    From the OP :
    "No sense in giving me a 20 year old KLR with FI. You need to stop dithering about and bring on a modern KLR styled bike with a Versys engine at a made in Thailand price."
     

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