Please advise me on buying new Versys 650? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1
Please advise me on buying new Versys 650?

Hello, All:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I decided to buy myself a new Versys 650 for Christmas. Can you please advise me?

I live in the suburban NYC area (New Haven, CT). So there is a big choice of which dealer to use. I am 47 years old, 5'9" tall and a very experienced rider. This bike will be used to replace the 1200 Sportster I sold in the spring.

The primary purpose of the Versys will be my rowdy 4-mile daily commute through a heavily-armed, potholed urban wasteland into the center city. On a good day, I can even get free air off railroad tracks and construction sites. I have other bikes for touring, etc., so I don't need an all-around bike.


My impression is that there is quite a bit of back inventory of Versys at the dealerships in the Northeast. I even might be able to find a NOS 2010 model. Are there any significant upgrades between the 2010 and 2013 model years?

In the dead of winter, I'm thinking between $6,700 to $7,200 including any freight or setup charges. (but not including sales tax or licensing). I can pay cash or finance it. Kawasaki's current offer of 5.8 percent interest is only slightly less than my credit union and seems hardly worth taking the time to fill out the form.

...I'm thinking that the yellow 2012 model would be about at the sweet spot at $7,250

I would love to have storage, but the tail trunk on Kawasaki's web site looks awkward. I wonder if the hard saddlebags are any good, or if the handgrip heaters are worth it. Are there other worthwhile cost-effective accessorie?.

WHEN: I have the option of buying before New Year's or afterward. Which do you think gives me more leverage with the dealer?

Thanks, with best New Year's wishes.

PS: If you are a Kawasaki dealer or someone selling a low-mileage, perfect 650 Versys in NYC or Southern England, please feel to pitch me directly at
snowshoe is offline  
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: St. Marys, ON
Posts: 102
Good morning and welcome.

First my condolences for having to live in New Haven. I resided there whilst attending university and remember it being a real cr@phole. My prayer is it is much better now than it was in the 80's.

From what I understand the big upgrade was between 2010 and 2011. Since then, mostly colour. Can't comment on dealerships in your area, but I recently picked up a new 2011 for $6K plus pdi/tax. I compared to some found in the U.S. and saw that pricing was about the same. Check cycletrader for new Versys (can search by zip code). There is also a site which will let you search craigslist ads by region, versus strictly by city.

Upgrades are up to you. Since I got mine last mine I have added heated grips, handguards, engine guards, lowering link, fender extender and a 12v adapter. All that is left is my luggage racks - next paycheque.

Enjoy the hunt and good luck.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 09:34 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3
Just wanted to tell u your looking at the perfect bike! super flickable and believe it or not ....plenty of power! I have a a 2012 bought it down in Ar. with only 800 miles on it 9got lucky) I believe the only changes are colors post 10' makeover.....but u may want to double check that. I put a two brothers exhaust on it, those folks on 95 will be able to hear u and you wont wake sleeping babies when u head down Wooster st. to grab some Pepe's
! awesome bike man go for it! P.S. go for the hard bags they make life so much easier.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Eugene Or.
Posts: 373
I just bought a 2012 for $6999 plus DMV fees of $274. Found the lowest price listed in the state and presented that to my local dealer and told them "If you can match that price, I'll buy it right now." They did. According to them, there was no factory rebate or anything going on yet, and they didn't know when or if there would be one. I had even told the local dealer that I wouldn't mind waiting a couple months for a factory rebate so THEY COULD MAKE MORE $$$ on the deal, but they were in the dark enough about anything coming up that they did this deal instead. Kawasaki's "big" promotion right now is the 5.95% financing.

I'm also 5'9" (30 years of intermittent riding experience, coming up on 46 years old) and have to tippy toe the bike. I only need to put my feet down 4-5 times on my 13 mile commute. I'd probably lower the bike if I rode in much stop-n-go traffic. I've added swingarm sliders/stand spools, 12 volt accessory plug, Greenlight trigger, and a Crampbuster. I've also ordered heated grips, handle bars guards, and engine cages. Next will be a taller windshield, sideracks (I'm still trying to figure out "what's what") and probably either Seahorse or Hardigg Storm cases for saddlebags. Then I might get my seat "Spencerized".
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 01:48 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 993
Hey Snowshoe, I think you'll like the bike a lot. You might want to make that commute a few miles longer, just to make sure the oil gets hot enough to get rid of the condensation.
The Versys was revised in 2010. That is also the most rare year here in the states; Kawi had a bunch of unsold '09's to get rid of and they did not import a lot of the 2010's.
As far as factory options, the Vario windscreen seems pretty popular.
The factory luggage can be color-matched, but the racks make you choose side bags or a top box. The bags are Givi and you can get their rack system as after-market as well.
Heated grips are nice, as you probably know. Are they worth what Kawi wants when you can do aftermarket for a lot less?
If good tires and brake pads can be added, that would be an awesome "factory option".
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 06:26 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,113
Not many 2010s were made because too many '09s were made. If you are taking shortcuts and cutting it close on lane changes the side bags might not be for you. If you are not doing that then i would recommend the GIVI V35s with Admorelighting LEDs added to them. Gives the bike a wider lighting stance from the rear. Also Denali LED running lights mounted to SW Motech mounts for added visibility from the front. The Vario windscreen looks good and does allow for more coverage when you want it and less when you need more wind. Heated grips are plug and play, but there are cheaper options. For a short commute I would go with Oxford heated grips over the Kawasaki ones. The OEM grips take longer to heat up than the Oxfords I have on my Voyager.

Where you live and ride doesn't sound like fun to me if you can't filter to the front at the lights.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 07:47 PM
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enjoy the hunt and good luck.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 226
Bike buying

I have a 2008 which I purchased in 2010. It sat the the dealers back room for 2 years because the Versys didn't really sell well here in Arkansas, Which is strange because there are more hard packed dirt roads that blacktop roads.
Anyway, I am 5 foot 8 and lowered my bike right away. The seat is a "ballbuster" for me and got a "Baldwin" but I will order " Russell Day Long " this week.
I have been riding for 45 years and have never purchased as many "frakles"? as I have for this bike. I also have a Yahama Venture but at times I want to play down some back roads and the Versys lets me play.
If the bike is "new" but a few years old get for "their cost" plus an oil/filter/battery change. I also changed the brake fluid.
If you lower the bike try to get the kickstand plate that will help the bike's angle when parked.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 12:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 74
I like my factory/givi bags, but if I were to do it over I'd get the SW Motech mounts that sit closer to the bike. The stock mounts stick out 3 to 4 inches on either side. I'd much prefer that 8 inches reclaimed by a snugger fit.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 02:30 AM
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Location: Kent, WA, USA
Posts: 61
I'm going to be the outsider here and say that since you don't need an all around bike maybe look at something else. The V is an amazing bike and I love it to death, but it seems like you might be better served with a Supermoto for your heavily armed urban wasteland. Since you say that you have other bikes for other purposes, the Sumo would be a great bopping around town bike. They are not heavy and are not hard to maneuver at all. Also, since they are tall (like the V is) you get a great view of everything around.

Ok, I am done causing trouble here. Cya
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 05:08 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Oztrailia NSW Royalla
Posts: 266
What attracted you to a Versys in the first place? Did you ride one?
Cause that should sell itself for a cheap all rounder... but you said you didn't want one of them so why not then? You ride potholled rail-lined, speed jumped roads with armed bandits at every turn.
With that kind of riding experience you need a Multistrada for the flick of the switch change of mind/mode that will turn your day into bright light and lighten your back pocket load. Givi rocket boxes too.. Sound like a deadly joint what sorta dealerships you got there?
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by nemisis714 View Post
I'm going to be the outsider here and say that since you don't need an all around bike maybe look at something else. The V is an amazing bike and I love it to death, but it seems like you might be better served with a Supermoto for your heavily armed urban wasteland. Since you say that you have other bikes for other purposes, the Sumo would be a great bopping around town bike. They are not heavy and are not hard to maneuver at all. Also, since they are tall (like the V is) you get a great view of everything around.

Ok, I am done causing trouble here. Cya
Most magazines call the Versys a supermoto like ride when comparing it to other so called "adventure" bikes. Look at the latest issue of Cycleworld.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 08:18 PM
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Location: Province of Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,279
I would definitely consider installing a set of SW-Motech or perhaps Givi crash bars. These will pay for themselves the first time you drop your bike on it's side and will save you a boat load of cash if you ever crash and slide.

Maybe braced hand guards like the Barkbusters ( they have an alum. backbone that is attached at both ends ) provide similar crash protection for the controls and enhance the look of the bike.

A taller touring wind (Givi) screen is very nice if you do much travel on the highway or at higher speed.

A lockable top box is very handy for commuting or touring and can function as a back rest if you have a passenger. Recommend the alum. SW-Motech rack and not the heavy steel Givi rack for this.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 10:01 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 15
What to buy ...

I had a 2008 with V35 bags and now have a 2012 with 33L Trekkers. In 2010 they put rubber mounts on the motor to reduce vibration. Personally, it didn't matter to me much - I like to feel the engine. But it did help with vibration - which was easily solved otherwise with some padding here and there.

In 2010 they switched from Japan to Thailand for the build. I was concerned about this initially, but I find the quality of the build better, particularly with weld splatter. The big change was from 2009 to 2010 - fairing and the rubber mounts. Other than that - not much.

I don't like the look of the tailbags alone. However, I have a tailrack that I put another 33L Trekker on for trips. Doesn't look bad with the side cases on. Alone - I don't like the look.

Both the V35's and the Trekkers are good. I prefer the Trekker as I commute to work and the square lines and flip top make it easy to load and unload. The downside on the Trekkers is that if you put your foot down on a turn - like when you slide on sand, you can catch your foot on the case. The V35's are better in this instance due to the contour.

I have stock grip heaters and hand guards. I had these on my 2008 as well - but they were not OEM as they were not offered at the time. The hand guards also protect the bike well in case of a drop.

You will want to put swing arm spools on for lubing the chain.

I have other stuff too - but it is all a matter of preference. However, I try to keep the look of the bike clean.

Good luck!
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