Scrambling Versys Thoughts

Some home-made Versys diagrams of what a high/scrambler
type exhaust might look like – it looks good!  I have to wonder
why Kawasaki never did this with the bike…

A more all round capable Versys…

The asymmetrical nature of the rear shock (only visible from the right side of the bike) means that, aesthetically, a high pipe might look balanced running up the left/empty side.

The pipes and muffler are all usually mounted at the bottom – not ideal for off roading where soft exhaust components can get pounded flat.  Having them wrap around the left hand side of the bike and finish up under the rear frame means a protected exhaust.  I’ve always wanted to try custom exhaust building, this might be my chance.

Pipes and muffler out of the way mean more ground clearance even with a steel skid plate installed.

At five kilos lighter and with a four horsepower bump, the Akropovic tail pipe for the ER6 motor (what the Versys has a version of) would lower weight while offering a gain in power.  The titanium tail pipe would also look good while not taking up too much space under the rear fender.

Creating a custom metal heat shield around the pipe would protect from burns while also protecting the pipe.  Most scrambler style/high exhaust pipe use this as an excuse to decorate.  The ER6 parallel twin is a very efficient and cool running engine.  Even the exhausts don’t get nuclear hot.  With some careful routing and smart use of heat shields, this should be doable.

The new exhaust might upend the fueling, so this would be an ideal opportunity to try out a Power Commander and get into computerized fueling control for the first time.

The next step would be to find some scramblery tires.  A road focused tire with some off road capability would do the trick.  Fortunately, Pirelli’s MT-60 dual sport tire not only gives the Versys some real off road capability, but it also improves road handling over the stock tires.  They come in Versys stock sizes (120/70-R17 fronts and 160/60-R17 rears) and cost about five hundred bucks for the pair online.

At under four hundred pounds the Versys is already a light machine.  The goal would be to make changes that don’t add significantly to the weight.  This light weight, multi-purpose Versys makes for an interesting Swiss-Army knife of a bike.

You’d be hard pressed to find a
more neutral riding position.
A 1 inch seat rise only makes it
more relaxed and usable.

A taller rider online said that increasing his seat height made the bike an ideal long distance tool.  A number of places seem to offer that very modification.

The stock windshield is a bit weedy as well.  I got a Givi windshield for the Concours and think it a great piece of kit.  The Givi item for the Versys is slightly taller than stock (not a problem, I’ll look over it anyway), but looks good.

The only other thing I would add is a top box, allowing for carrying smaller items while keeping the bike as narrow as possible.  I installed a Givi topbox on the Ninja and it worked well without being too bulky.  It also allowed my pillion a place to rest against.

I’ve found well used (’07, 80+k kms) Versys for $2800, and much less used (’09, <10k) Versys for $4500 online.  If I can unload the KLX for $2500, my son’s little Yamaha for $600 and the XS1100 for $1000, that’ll give me about $4000 to put into a relatively new, dependable, fuel injected bike that I can then begin modifying!

The mods listed here are as follows:
Custom pipe         =  tbd – most of this would be diy
Akropovic exhaust   = ~$500
Power Commander     = ~$400
Pirelli MT-60 tires = ~$500
Custom seat rebuild = ~$700
Givi windshield     = ~$180
Givi topbox & hw    = ~$400
                      $2680 + diy exhaust piping            
Twisted Throttle’s Versys ADV makes me want to add to this.

More Versatile Versys Links