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Motorcycle Paradise

Kawasaki Versys 650

Motorcycle #10

People say the number of motorcycles needed is N+1. (where N is current number) But owning more than one motorcycle at one time has never appealed to me. Perhaps because I have been changing them frequently.

But actually its the road taxes, insurance, tyres and servicing all multiplied that always stopped me, and the thought that well I can only ride one at one time anyway.

However for a short while I owned two motorcycles - in two countries. This is my 2007 Kawasaki Versys 650 I had in Ireland.
The idea was simple enough. Buy a motorcycle for a long tour (or two) and sell afterwards.
Something I had already achieved in the early 90’s with an old Ford Transit campervan. In hindsight a Contiki bus tour might have given me more, but not as much adventure. I just bought the van in Essex and with no clue set off to Norway. You can do anything when young.

Lady luck was travelling with me. Driving all over Europe before the Euro zone with borders every country my paperwork was never checked until I was nearly back at Calais for the ferry where upon it turned out I had been driving illegally the entire time with no insurance. Say what you may about the French police but I shall be forever in their debt as they let me go with instructions drive direct to the ferry and if anyone asks we never met. 

This time I obtained a vehicle with correct paper work and insurance via Motoferme in Cork who also stored the bike for me. The Versys, part of the Kawasaki ER series was very good. These bikes do it all, no weak points other than it was a bit of a ugly duckling headlight wise. The 650 parallel twin has 64hp which for me in real life riding was ideal. I believe it is better to be able to use all of an engine often than have an overpowered one rarely in its sweet spot. The Versys is actually very similar to the BMW GS700/800 just without the bigger front wheel and costing half as much. Even less 2nd hand. The above low mileage bike came with new tyres, grip heaters, full luggage and even a Garmin GPS for 2000 Euro. A lot of bike for that money.

However I never did complete the full tour. An injury cancelled my first trip and also made me adjourn the 2nd. The idea predated my leaving Australia faced with long haul expensive flights. Easier now to fly from Tokyo but my views changed after riding more in SE Asia. My long held interest in Europe faded as I asked myself what exactly did I expect to find there that eluded me in my previous trips. But I think the buy and sell method has merit. Perhaps I can do this somewhere else in future…


  1. I like my motorcycles to have a little more punch, each to their own i guess. It's not to say you don't have fun on a smaller capacity bike. You do, I just like a little more power.
    When I got the 15 R1 it's power was intimidating to be honest but after owning it for 3 years I sometimes find myself saying I wish it had a bit more. Must be a male thing.....

    1. I think many people still want power. I am the odd one.

      At one point I just decided riding with my (then) focus on power and speed was too one dimensional for me and I seriously considered giving road riding away.

      I switched to riding solo so I could try find my own style rather than being in a group with every ride turning into a competitive near death experience and started to enjoy riding again.

      I found I enjoyed riding very smooth, no gassing it or hard braking in between corners, merely roll on and off the throttle not being in a rush to complete the ride, looking around more, I started taking photos and that lead to this blog.

    2. Haha sounds like when I ride by myself I ride like you but when I ride with friends I like the devil you described above. I think once the R1 goes I'll be a lot more mellowed out.


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