Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
V-Strom / Versys Comparison
Since there are a lot of questions of comparison for these bikes, I will offer my recent insights. I own both bikes -- bought an 2008 Versys in July and a 2004 Vstrom 650 in December. Both bikes have about 1,800 miles. The Versys has been lowered and has gel seat, Givi large shield, Givi E21 bags and handguards with all else stock. Vstrom is all stock except for hanguards I added. I put 150 miles on both bikes back-to-back recently during our batch of good weather, so here is my take.
Versys Positives - smoother power, lower center of gravity, better on corners, quicker flickability (is that a word?), faster low end overall, faster top end acceleration, better visual instrumentation.
Versys Negatives - poor kickstand, poor kickstand to peg positioning, seat sucks, more handlebar vibration.
Vstrom Positives - Excellent stock seat, slightly faster top end at stable speed, better stock windshield (at highest setting), better overall wind protection, more comfortable peg/leg position, better stock tires (Tourance), better tail storage area.
Vstrom Negatives - weight center is higher, slight surge in second/third gear (probably needs a tune-up), just seems much bigger than the Versys.
Conclusion - I would rather ride the Versys every day than the Vstrom, but both bikes are very smooth, reliable and fun. I will ride both bikes off-road this summer and offer an off pavement comparison then.