Join Date: May 2017
Location: Westchester, NY
Hello from Westchester
Hi all, owner of new 2015 650 ABS in Candy Matte Orange here. I live in Westchester, NY and work in Manhattan. I'm a new rider and have been using my Versys so far for fun on the weekends and for commuting.
I decided on the Versys after a lot of thinking and research, and I've been very happy with my decision so far.
Because of the speed of traffic in the greater NYC area and because I want to be able to do longer trips (e.g. Adirondaks, Pittsburgh, DC) eventually, I needed something that could be comfortable at 70+ for long periods of time. That took basically anything under 400cc out of the running.
I wanted something with an upright position, because I know from bicycle commuting that a forward position makes my neck and shoulders sore after more than a half an hour, and then I get a headache and don't want to ride for a few days. That took most sport bikes out of the picture.
Riding in Manhattan traffic has taught me the importance of eye level height, and I think there's something reptilian about how people treat you better when they have to tilt their head upwards to look at you. My car is a VW Golf, and I know that being eye level with a box truck driver would make a difference. I also figured it would help with awareness in traffic if I can look over the top of compacts like Honda Civics and Subaru Imprezas to see conditions ahead, so that took cruisers out of the running.
A desire not to get my ass kicked by the wind all the time took most standard and naked bikes out of the running, although I was tempted by a few (the FZ-07 in particular). I know you can add windscreens, but I'd rather have something that's designed to be what I want from the start rather than buying a bunch of add-ons. I don't plan on going any more off-road than a campground, so dual sport capability would be wasted on me, and I don't like the look of most of those bikes.
So the adventure/touring segment seemed like the best fit. Price concerns took the non-Japanese brands out of the picture. I might one day have $16k to blow on a BMW, Ducati, or Triumph, but that day isn't going to come in 2017. I narrowed down on the CB500X, V-Strom, NC700X, and the Versys more closely. After reading all the reviews and comparisons and looking at the overall market (aftermarket parts, secondary sales, local dealer specializations), my finalists were the NC700X and the Versys. That storage compartment in the NC700X was a huge factor for me and almost made me pick the Honda, but the weak sales (anecdotally, 7 for sale within 150 miles of me on CycleTrader versus 130 for the Versys), more limited aftermarket parts, infamous "Honda boringness," and the beak (hate those damned things) made me go with the Versys.
I think the 2015 redesign is gorgeous, and I have gotten "badass" as a general response when I show people. Practicality is really important for me, but I'd be lying if I said looks and fun factor don't matter a lot, too. I've put about 850 on the odometer so far, and did the 600 mile dealer service, and everything has been great so far. Most of my miles have been in Westchester and northern Jersey so far, and I started commuting this week. I really love this bike.
A few pictures (sorry for no link, new posters can't do live links):
I'm glad to see there's such a good community around this bike! I also spotted my first Versys in the wild - a white gen3 on 4th and Bowery last week.