The reason you see “Think Bike” stickers all over the place is because most motorists on South African roads think ‘cell phone’, ‘radio’, ‘hot chick in next car’ but definitely not ‘bike’! Commuting to work on a motorbike each day can be dangerous, but when traffic congestion and fuel consumption are big issues, the bike is by far the better option.
So when looking at a bike, I normally try to see how well it will work for everyday commuting rather than what it was designed for — we don’t always have the luxury of using it for off-road and speed!
The Versys is a bit of a crossover between on-and-off-road (adventure bike), probably leaning more to the tarmac and less to the dirt.
When traffic congestion and fuel consumption are big issues, the bike is by far the better option.
The bike is tall, at a “respectable” 1.75 metres (average I am told in South Africa). Due to the ride height it handles the bumps and pot holes very well. The bike is also wide, but does well between slow moving traffic as the mirrors are tend to be higher than those of most cars on the road.
The upright sitting position is very comfortable and you are well shielded from the heat of the motor. The 1000cc, four-cylinder motor is strong and pulls very well and although it is a big bike, it’s remarkably nimble. I loaded a pillion on the bike and it felt pretty much the same as with only one rider.
Fitted with ABS and a three setting traction control, together, works well - even on sand roads the bike felt very sure footed, and with that stability in mind my driver confidence grew.
The Versys has a full dashboard with all the information, a proper petrol gauge and has a good range on the fuel tank to make it a very practical commuter.
The Think Bike sticker campaign was started by Tony Day of Cape Town in the ‘80s but in 2005 it was revived by a number of bikers who were discuss the alarming number of unnecessary motorcycle accidents. The campaign helps educate the general public about issues of safety when sharing the roads with cyclists and bikers. It’s also aimed at the biking and cycling community, to educate about safety issues and encourage the use of protective as well as high visibility clothing.
Think Bike now offers a membership option, to be part of a community forum with thousands of contributors, dozens of sponsors and has to date distributed over 180 000 leaflets, over 160 000 bumper stickers, and reached literally thousands of road users with its message.