Versys suspension not adequate?

Discussion in 'Kawasaki Big Bikes Thailand' started by KZ, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Ran into a bunch of (mostly) KTM riders at the local big bike shop here in Hua Hin. They were on their trip back to Malaysia, after crossing Thailand and doing some dirt in Laos. The Versys rider hit a nail or something and needed his rear tire fixed. I talked to him about his bike and how he liked it, especially running with the big KTMs. He said power was no problem since they don't race on the hiways, but he said the suspension sucked. It flexes in turns and doesn't inspire confidence. I asked him if he adjusted the shocks and he said he tried everything, the bike doesn't handle well on the street and not in the dirt either, but he blamed that on the street tires. He was considering getting Oehlin's to improve the handling.
    We also talked about the ER6 being available in TH; I was told that the thai version is so cheap because cheap parts are being used. The Malaysian version is more expensive because it has better suspension and other parts.
    I leave that open to discussion...
    The KTMs looked great, but the plastics seemed dull and a bit chintzy. Note the tires, Pirelli MT90s, good for hiway and dirt. Personally I prefer MT60s which are more street oriented.

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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Ahem, begging your pardon, but where'd your guy get his info on the ER-6n?
    I bought one and have already put 2600km on it and the quality seems just fine. Kawasaki must be fairly confident as the bike comes with a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty!
    The ER-6n being sold in Thailand comes from the same factory and same assembly line as the ER-6n being exported and they are identical except for some Thai stickers and a different thermostat on the Thai bikes to account for the hotter climate here in Thailand.
    In fact, some of the ER-6n's being sold in Thailand are bikes that were labeled for export and hence have the English/German/French stickers on them like this one:
    [​IMG]
    (Price is the same regardless of the stickers as bike is otherwise identical)
    Having said this, I'd agree that Kawasaki did use basic parts to keep the cost of this bike low. The rear shock is nothing fancy, Offset laydown single-shock with adjustable preload. Simple basic telescopic fork in the front. So, while the ER-6n doesn't have anything fancy like adjustable dampening or upside down forks, for only 225,000THB I'd say it's an awesome deal. You can use the money saved to upgrade components as you like.
    Happy Trails!
    Tony
     
  4. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    I don't care how well they handle, that Blue/Orange KTM is just plain UGLY in my opinion. :roll:
     
  5. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Tony, I'm glad that you are satisfied with your ER-6n (what a weird "name", Ninja or Versys okay, but ER-6n?? Sounds to me like emergency room...) and agree that if it's made in Thailand for export it wouldn't be different than a malaysian bike. That's why I put a "?" in the headline and left the info of that guy open to discussion. His opinion about the weak suspension was directed at his Versys which is supposed to be a versatile version good for street and off-road. The back side of versatility could be that it's doing everything but nothing well. Since there are no Versys bike for sale in Thailand there are not many comments on that.
    The ER6-n should be like the Ninja ride-wise, and I was impressed as I stated in another thread. Personally I'd try to get the complete fairing of the Ninja and bolt it on the ER6-n - what's the use of a bike that goes 200km/h when it blows you off the thing at 150km/h?
     
  6. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Cheers KZ,

    I don't know much about the Versys and it's not a bike I find very appealing. Like you say- it seems it can do everything well, but nothing great.

    Naked bikes, like the ER-6n, Ducati Monster, Triumph Speed Triple, Yamaha XJR, BMW K1200R etc etc do seem quite popular and sell very well.

    I personally prefer the look of naked bikes. I like to see the engine and frame. Covering a bike from tip to tail in plastic fairings seems a bit silly to me. But I do agree with you that some wind protection is required if you want to ride a naked bike fast, which is why most naked bikes come with a small screen or owners add an aftermarket screen.

    I've got a shop in Bangkok working on a custom screen for my ER-6n and I think once I've got that taken care of the ER-6n will be a very comfortable bike at high speed. (Right now without a screen I find that over ~160km/hr the wind does become punishing; over 180km/hr and my helmet wants to fly away :wink: )

    Happy Trails!

    Tony
     
  7. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    To me it's no fun to go faster than 130km/h with a totally naked bike, too much drag on the body and the helmet gets pushed into my face. I've installed a small screen, not much bigger than a sheet of A4 paper, and the improvement is amazing. You won't need a Gold-Wing style "window" for wind protection.
    There are a few companies out there producing good-looking screens in all sizes, unfortunately the shipping costs from the US to TH are sometimes as much as the product.
    By the way, I read on some thread that the Er6N is a bit thirsty, have you figured out the average fuel consumption on your bike yet?
     
  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Hiya KZ,

    Riding hard and fast I usually get about 200-220km before it starts flashing "fuel" at which point there are still about 3 liters left in the 15.5 liter tank.

    So, 200-220 km on 12.5 liters comes out to somewhere between 16-17.6 km/liter.

    I've also noticed that if you ride at more moderate speeds that the ER6n does get much better mileage.

    Happy Trails!

    Tony
     
  9. Azoulay

    Azoulay Ol'Timer

    Hi KZ, Hi Tony and Friends,

    KZ thanks for the comments on suspension for the ER-6N this was exactly my conclusion after the test trial I proceed month ago in France when Kawasaki Etoile Paris gave me one to test for the day.

    "
    -Driving position and confort : good for me it should be improve with a higher handlebar, it could not be qualify as a confortable bike for long trip.

    -Motor: some 72 HP, very, very good, with torque and very easy to run, the 6 gears are accurate and neutral position easy to find.

    -Choke absorbers and frame: not the best of this model, rear shock to be improve, overall a bit un accurate, maybe due to my 100 Kg.

    -Brakes: the model I tested did not have the ABS but it was more than efficient for normal use...has to be tested on a longer test.

    -Tyres: for stock model, that's OK, at least for the first mount

    -Exhaust sound: I think this should be improved, I don't like the 2 cylinder noise from this catalysor, sure it coudl be improve and the addition of a Power Commander couple to the catalysor suppression could for sure help to gain some additional precious HP for a low cost.

    In summary, I think this is a wonderfull light machine, for a Thai light price (a today good value for money) that one could easily improve by some small tunings even iff stock performances are more than enough for Thai roads.
    "

    I agree with you Thai or french models are the same but again I think this ER-6N is an excellent return for money, specially in Thailand. I won't comment on speed as for me regarding Thailand it's more than enough and as Tony rides it as a naked bike (such I drive my Ducati) over 150 KM/H it becomes a nightmare with the wind...But do we really need to go that fast with the bloody dogs and all the natural obstacles we could encounter on the road ?

    Tony, as you are really the One who rides the bike every day, did you ever thought atreplacing the shocks, what is your idea ? Friends talk about YSS ?

    On the noise/sound aspect did you do something ? I would imagine a more "big" sound which could (coupled with a FI tuning) "liberate" some velocity...On an other hand, do you know something about the availability of the bike at kawasaki dealers at present ? Did you get already your Green Book I saw the improvement you made at the rear of the bike but with this wave of arrests and impounded bikes I wonder if you have not better to consider a plate with numbers ?

    KZ 2 other issues:

    -1°) Hope to meet you soon around Hua Hin as I'll be in Cha Am around Songkran, arriving from France

    -2°) Where is this bike shop in Hua Hin ? Is there any big bike Kawasaki dealer around Hua Hin/Cha Am ?

    All the best Mates
     
  10. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Salut Azoulay!

    Always good to hear from you- nice to hear your impressions of the ER6n.

    As I said earlier, Kawasaki did use basic parts to keep the cost of this bike low. At today's exchange rate the 225.000 Thai Baht ER6n is even cheaper than the MSRP in the USA!

    The rear shock is nothing fancy, Offset laydown single-shock with adjustable preload. Simple basic telescopic fork in the front. So, while the ER-6n doesn't have anything fancy like adjustable dampening or upside down forks, for only 225,000THB I'd say it's an awesome deal.

    You can use the money saved to upgrade components as you like.

    I've got a Two Bros exhaust that should arrive next week and will cut a lot of weight off the stock can and add a few hp to the midrange. I've seen a number of aftermarket shocks available for the ER6n.

    I did finally receive my plate and greenbook just before leaving on a long trip and Sir Pikey at Tony's Big Bike was kind enough to let me use his workshop to hang my plate like this:

    [​IMG]

    Now I'm thinking about adding some flush mount LED turn signals but haven't found a set I quite like just yet.

    Many more custom parts are becoming available and I've posted pictures of many in the ER6n thread- go have a look!

    Happy Trails,

    Tony
     
  11. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    "1°) Hope to meet you soon around Hua Hin as I'll be in Cha Am around Songkran, arriving from France

    -2°) Where is this bike shop in Hua Hin ? Is there any big bike Kawasaki dealer around Hua Hin/Cha Am ? "

    Azoulay, let me know once you arrived, I'm not sure what I'll do or where I'll be Songkran, probably hunker down in a relaxed place until it's over...
    No Kawasaki dealer of any size in Hua Hin, you can buy small Kawas at the "Honda" shop which sells all kinds of small bikes, of course mainly Hondas. For big Kawasakis you have to got to Bangkok.

    Tony, let us know how the exhaust and shocks work out!
     
  12. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Cheers KZ,

    My new Two Bros should be arriving in the next 2-3 days and I can't wait.

    I've no plans to modify the suspension just yet. The stock set up, while quite basic, handles most road conditions quite well.

    Happy Trails!

    Tony
     
  13. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    Spoke to Alf the local sussex UK Kawasaki dealer and he confirms the ER6 is made in Thailand and is the same specification worldwide apart from minor detail such as High beam lights and emmission canisters.Malaysia is same bike .
     

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