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Old January 10th, 2017   #1
Mick
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Default Back in the Saddle & New Bike

Last summer I posted in THIS thread about thinking I might be able to ride again because of some encouragement I received from a 200 mile ride on a BMW with a relatively flat seat. I speculated that I might be able to ride in total comfort in cold weather and decided to rent a BMW again in cold weather to test out my theory. I didn't rent a BMW but I did come across another bike that had a relatively flat seat, a 2009 Kawasakaki Versys. I bought it rather than spend almost $200 to rent the BMW for a day.

I did several rides on the Versys of 250 miles duration when temps were in the 40's and 50's. The test was an absolute success. On those rides, I also used an Air Hawk that has a channel right down the middle that relieves pressure on the perineum.Since then I have made multiple rides in cool to cold weather without any problems at all! Wahoo, I'm able to ride again even if it is just during cold weather.

Flash forward to last month. While on a ride on country roads I entered a corner and as I was exiting I saw a bunch of buzzards having a meal in the tall grass on the right side of the road. As I approached them, they took off and flew away from the road... or so I thought.

Just as I got very near to where the buzzards had been, out of the tall grass comes a buzzard taking off toward the road and directly into my path. I hit the Versys' brakes (non ABS) and temporarily locked up the front brake. I let go for a spilt second and tried again to stop quickly. Again the front brake locked up for a microsecond and I let go again. By that time I had managed to miss the buzzard (very close call) but all was not well as I found myself in a serious tank slapper! I came VERY close to going down.

For the rest of the ride I started thinking that I really needed to get a bike with ABS if I'm going to continue to ride. Most of the bikes I've had in the last 17 years have had it.

When I got back from the ride, I started looking for used ABS Versys'. Since it happened to be the end of the year, I also decided to look at new bikes thinking they might have significant discounts. As it turned out they did so I picked up the bike in the picture below. What a hoot this bike is. Handling and brakes are much better than the '09.

I'm back in the saddle on a new, Kawasaki Versys 650 LT.

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Old January 10th, 2017   #2
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Default Re: Back in the Saddle & New Bike

Outstanding.
Nice looking bike.


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Old January 10th, 2017   #3
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Default Re: Back in the Saddle & New Bike

Fabulous result from a scary situation.

Glad it worked out the ways it did.
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Old January 10th, 2017   #4
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Default Re: Back in the Saddle & New Bike

Born again!
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Old January 10th, 2017   #5
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Default Re: Back in the Saddle & New Bike

Happy to see that you found a solution.
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Old January 10th, 2017   #6
Mick
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Default Re: Back in the Saddle & New Bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibike2havefun View Post
Fabulous result from a scary situation.
There was a time when I had non-ABS VFR's and non-ABS ST1100's that I would practice braking about every other weekend. I felt I was pretty good at it and was ready for anything.

Since 1999 when when I took biking back up again, I've never had a truly panic situation where I had to rapidly come to a halt or hit something. The buzzard episode on the '09 Versys was my first real world panic stop.

The result of that buzzard encounter proves why ABS is such an important feature. No matter how good you think you are, when the feces hits the fan, you're liable to grab more brake than what you should.
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Old January 10th, 2017   #7
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Default Re: Back in the Saddle & New Bike

Glad you're back riding.

Very nice bike, especially with this color. This is a great bike; in all magazines, all the tests done with this 2015+ Versys ended on a very positive note. Keep us informed on your impressions as this is a serious contender for me when I get ready for something lighter than the ST. Some areas where I would like your comments; wind protection (need for a larger shield?), vibrations, overall quality (fit and finish), ease of use of the side panniers, etc.
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Old January 10th, 2017   #8
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Default

Great news Mick! And congrats on the new ABS bike!


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Old January 11th, 2017   #9
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Default Re: Back in the Saddle & New Bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick View Post
The result of that buzzard encounter proves why ABS is such an important feature. No matter how good you think you are, when the feces hits the fan, you're liable to grab more brake than what you should.
Also in panic situations one tends to brab more brake and swerve at the same time, which will put the bike on the ground pronto. I had two such incidents in 50 odd years of riding, both of which fortunately happened at ~5 mph.

But before we get all gushy about ABS, has anyone tested it for preventing the above mentioned problems? Will it stop a dump while swerving and overbraking? Inquiring minds want to know!

And another thing.

I have hundreds of thousands of miles and two decades of driving VW Bugs in upstate NY in blizzard conditions. Those cars had four wheel manually adjusted drum brakes and of course no ABS. No accidents or incidents. These cars have light front ends which make for totally unacceptable handling on snow covered roads by modern standards. Best practice is to limit speeds to 25 mph and pump the brakes enthusiastically when on snowy roads. Again no accidents or incidents.

WHen I got my 2009 Toyota Yaris it was my first car with ABS. The first time I drove it on snow and approached an intersection, I applied the brakes, the pedal chattered and pulsed, and the car went right through the intersection! The brakes plain did not work! I was going 20 mph about 75 feet before the stop sign before braking. Just like I did with with my Beetles a million times before without incident.

Also as far as I can determine, in the state of NJ there is no discount of an ABS equiped automobile for insurance purposes. Which indicates to me abs doesnt statistically prevent accidents. AT least in cars. It may in motorcycles especially among those new to the sport.

A German study on ABS cars revealed a slight INCREASE in accidents (probably statisticially meaningless according to the authors) on abs equipped cars vs non abs vehicles. The authors suspected overconfidence of the abs drivers made them drive faster and more agressively as the cause of the increase, but admitedly couldnt cite stats to prove it. Yet that was their strongly suspected conclusion.

Which raises a good question for motorcyclists. Is your ABS equipped motorcycle make you overconfident and aggresive in your riding habits? And just what will ABS do for you, if anything, as a motorcyclist?
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Old January 11th, 2017   #10
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Default Re: Back in the Saddle & New Bike

Glad you're back, Mick! Hopefully I'll see you out at an RTE soon.
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