Category Archives: Motorcycles

2008 Kawasaki Versys

2008 Kawasaki Versys Long Term Review – 1st Posting!

Fall, 2008

This is my 2008 Kawasaki Versys. I purchased it in September of 2008. Scroll down for newer stories and updates!

With Kawasaki Branded Givi Hard Saddlebags Installed.
My 2008 Versys with Kawasaki Branded Givi V35 PLX Hard Saddlebags Installed.

Specs: for detailed general specifications on the 2008 Versys, click here to go to and see their review and specs. I’m not repeating them, because that’s not what this page is about.
My personal specs. are as follows. I purchased the Versys with the accessory saddlebags from Phibbs Power Sports in Albany, New York. They were fantastic (for more on that click the Phibbs Power Sports link on the right). Price of the bike: $6199.00, plus bags: $521.32, plus tax title and registration: $576.17, plus Freight and setup: $225.00, Plus NYS inspection and documentary fee: $26.00, plus tire tax: $2.50 each tire for a grand total of $7552.49. Retail price of the bike was $6899 and the retail price of the bags was $819.90 for a total retail of $7718.90 before tax and all the other fees, so I think I did ok price wise…

First Impressions: My first few months on this bike proved that all the internet reviews of the Versys are accurate. This is a fantastic beginners bike! The only possible shortcoming for beginners is if they are short. The seat height is 33in. I am 6 feet tall with a 34″  inseam and if I was any shorter, I’d feel like the bike was a bit too tall for me. As it is, it fits me perfectly. I will say that my cousin Al Huzar drove it home for me the day I bought it (I wasn’t quite ready for the heavy traffic in Albany) he is only about 5’8″ tall and he did ok with it. He’s been riding since he was a kid. He had to reach for the ground at stops, but while riding, he said it was very comfortable and he thought it rode very nice.

The reviews I’ve read also say you can grow with this bike as it is good for veterans too and I believe that will be true. I have not yet tapped into the power available here. I am very conservative at this point. I do like to lean the bike over in corners (which it loves to do), but I do not go very fast. That being said, I think the bike will hold up well on long trips. So far I’ve ridden about 100 miles for my longest non stop trip and the seat was plenty comfortable. My throttle hand still gets a little fatiqued, but that’s got nothing to do with the bike. I just need to loosen up. As for riding off the smooth pavement (as I’ve read others do with this bike) the only “off road” riding I’ve done is in my yard. My kids like to ride with me. Jack rides in front of me and Grace  rides in the back. (Not at the same time!). The bike handles well in the grass whether it’s soft or hard. We have some small hills in our yard and I have to say that even as a beginner, I feel very comfortable on the bike on the grass (keep in mind that I go pretty slow with the kids on the bike, but sometimes that can make a bike less stable… not the Versys. It may be too early to say this, but I think it’s a champ!

Gracie and I head off into the sunset!

Front View with bags on.


Rear view - bags on.
Rear view – bags on.
Side view - bags on.
Side view – bags on.
Exhaust pipe at bottom-One of my favorite features!
Exhaust pipe at bottom-One of my favorite features!
Side view with bags off.
Side view with bags off.
I like this angle!
I like this angle!

500 mile service.

On 11/03/08, I had my first service done at Phibbs Power Sports. The bike had 591 miles on it and they did the first oil change, checked all the fluids, lubed the chain and adjusted all the cables etc. etc. They are the best! I love Jerry Phibbs. Even though I’m just some punk newby rider, he will spend his time answering my stupid questions for as long as I want. That is just unbelievable to me. No wonder they’ve been in business for so long.

Safety Recall from the manufacturer.

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Today, My wife told me I got a safety recall letter from Kawasaki! I immediately freaked out. What could be wrong with my bike! Am I going to die in some freakish accident because my brakes will fail? No. Actually, the saddlebags covered the side reflectors, so apparently this is a huge safety hazard. So they said “don’t ride the bike until you get reflectors”. So, I sent my card back to Kawasaki and they sent me two of the biggest and ugliest reflectors that they want placed right under the Versys logo on the bags. Not only will they not stick well there because of the shape of the bags, but they are darned ugly. So, I’m going to find some reflective tape and put a small stripe near the bottom of each bag. Anyone know where I can get some nice reflective tape?

1,000 Miles!

Friday, May 22nd, 2009


Well, today I turned 1,000 miles on my Versys. So far I’ve had very little to complain about. It’s due for it’s 2nd service, so I’ll be scheduling that soon… I also got to do a good deed today! My friend Gary ran out of gas on his way home and when I rode by him, I could tell something was wrong, so I stopped and used the hazards on my Versys to alert traffic while he pushed his Harley (which has no hazards) to the nearest stewarts to fill with gas. I’m real happy that the Versys has a gas gauge!

Second Service at Phibbs Power Sports.

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

1,150 Miles… They call it a spring service, change the oil check and adjust a bunch of stuff. I call it making sure Kawasaki can’t screw me if something goes wrong before the warranty is over… I Love Phibbs Powersports though. Look for my review in the list… I waited for the bike to be serviced and also purchased a new jacket (Olympia Viper) for colder weather and pants (Olympia Air Glide). Look for reviews on these to come soon. We also got a new helmet for Melissa who will be taking the MSF basic rider course on the 4th of July weekend. Good Luck Dear! I Love you!