Cycle News Magazine Review: Kawasaki Versys
"A hybrid of 'versatility' and 'system', the name does well to describe the all-around purpose of the bike. Whether it's sport riding, urban assault, commuting or light touring, Kawasaki says the 'Versys has your back', and they're not kidding. "
Cycle World Magazine Review: Kawasaki Versys
“The riding position is not unlike that taken by grapplers during face-offs. Weight over your feet, knees bent, arms up and wide, ready to respond to whatever your opponent -in this case the road, oncoming traffic, etc. -throws at you. There’s a strong sense of being in command.”
Location: Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois
Way back in May 2007, Bike (the great Brit motorcycle magazine) did a feature on the Versys that began, "The best bike Kawasaki make isn't a sportsbike or a big cc muscle bike or even a ballistic tourer. It's a trailie styled 650cc parallel twin called the Versys. And it's a revelation." They tested the Versys in commuting, on the freeway, in the city, with a pillion passenger and during "Sunday Blasts." They loved it! By the end of 2007, they ranked it as #15 in their "Bike of the Year" competition . . . and that was a long way ahead of anything else in its class. Since the Bike editors and writers are often highly partial to track-oriented sportsbikes, their admiration for the Versys struck me as especially noteworthy.
See if you can find a back copy and check out the article (pages 136-141).
I am the proud owner of a new versus 2008. I went to the dealer to get my 1988 yamaha v max inspected, and ended up trading it in and bringing home the versys. I currently have 700 miles on it, and love the bike. My friend I went riding with has a 650 v strom, and he test rode the versys, and said the versys had more power. He also added that the v strom handled better in the dirt roads due to larger front wheel, but he has more aggressive tires. My next set will not be stock, more dual purpose oriented. I like the torquey motor, if you are not in a hurry you do not have to shift much. (and i weigh 250 with gear) Hope this helps you out, Craig
I am considering both now and read the Vstrom has vibration in the handlebar. I dont mind a little vibration but cant stant that buzz that is typical of multi's. What is the Versys engine like?
I also dislike inline multi-cylinder buzz. That is why I had to ride the Versys before buying it. The V-Strom has the advantage of being a v-twin and thus evidences mostly secondary vibrations which are generally not annoying; parallel twins can be in perfect primary and secondary balance but still have a rocking couple that is unpleasant. Thus far, the Versys is nearly as smooth as the 650 V-Strom in my experience. It has a slight buzz from 3000-4000rpm (exactly where you have to ride it during break-in ) but, even then, it is barely noticeable.
Now that I can actually use the motor, I find it very smooth. I keep thinking of the BMW K-series bikes when trying to explain the feel of the motor. Very smooth and torquey, with a nicely linear response and a very mechanical sort of connection between the wrist and the back wheel.
I recently traded in my 2005 Suzuki C90 for a 2008 Versys. I was originally looking at a bandit 1250, then the ugliness of the Vstroms started to grow on me. After reading reviews I was leaning toward the wee over the vee and thats when I discovered the Versys. The main reason I traded the 1500cc super comfortable cruiser in was because of the chrome and constant cleaning and buffing. So was a bit worried about riding a bike nearly 900cc smaller with significantly narrower saddle. The Versys is nearly as comfortable as the C90 and definitely out performs any of my previous bikes. I live on a gravel road and drive about 120 km of rough and smooth pavement to work everyday. The Versys really is at home on all surfaces. Its about half the insurance and gets at least double the gas mileage and so far get an equal amount of 'nice bike' comments. The only thing I miss is the ear bleeding sound of the big vtwin.
"A coward dies a thousand deaths...a soldier dies but once." (Tupac Shakur)