Goldwing to Versys 1000 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Goldwing to Versys 1000

Hello,
As a new member I don't want to wear out my welcome but I have a ton of questions to ask before I abandon my Goldwing for a Versys. I recognize that I have to give up a shaft drive and I see that the 2019 is $5000 or more above the price of a new 2018. My questions sort of revolve around what I have to give up if I buy a 2019 and what can be done with a 2018 to come close enough. My main reason for entertaining a new bike is that I am getting old and want to keep riding including touring but the Wing is really heavy. The things that I like on the Wing are the amount of storage, self cancelling turn signals, a lot of protection (I have a V Stream windshield and Baker air wings) cruise control (absolutely needed) ride off center stand, smoothness, reliability, relatively long tire life (when I bought the bike it had 17K and I put tires on it once with a lot of miles left at 43K) The electronic suspension and cornering lights are not that important to me on the 2019 but some engine controls that keep me out of trouble seem great. I also can drop the Wing with no discernable damage. Sorry for the long post but maybe that could eliminate a few. Thanks for any guidance.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 11:29 AM
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Hello,
As a new member I don't want to wear out my welcome but I have a ton of questions to ask before I abandon my Goldwing for a Versys. I recognize that I have to give up a shaft drive and I see that the 2019 is $5000 or more above the price of a new 2018. My questions sort of revolve around what I have to give up if I buy a 2019 and what can be done with a 2018 to come close enough. My main reason for entertaining a new bike is that I am getting old and want to keep riding including touring but the Wing is really heavy. The things that I like on the Wing are the amount of storage, self cancelling turn signals, a lot of protection (I have a V Stream windshield and Baker air wings) cruise control (absolutely needed) ride off center stand, smoothness, reliability, relatively long tire life (when I bought the bike it had 17K and I put tires on it once with a lot of miles left at 43K) The electronic suspension and cornering lights are not that important to me on the 2019 but some engine controls that keep me out of trouble seem great. I also can drop the Wing with no discernable damage. Sorry for the long post but maybe that could eliminate a few. Thanks for any guidance.

Question....Why don't you just convert your Wing over to a Trike. They have some great conversion kits for them and that should take care of the weight issue for you without giving up the benefits of the Wing. I'm 57 with 2 bad knees and a hip. Right now I'm on crutches and the thoughts of maybe having to give up riding soon has me thinking going that route. I'm riding a 2016 Versys 1000 but not sure for how much longer.....Good Luck..
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 01:02 PM
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Welcome.

In the same vane as Joe, take a look at Tilting Motor Works - High-performance trike kit for your Harley® or Gold Wing

You can still lean into the curves and have stability when stopped.

Back to two wheels. You can't just consider the weight of the motorcycle but also where the Center of Gravity (CG) is located as well as the seat height which provides or takes away from how far out you can put your feet from the bike.

My 900lb Harley Road Glide is a lot easier to handle than my 600lb Concours 1400 was.

You must be looking at the upscale Versys 1000 SE LT when stating the costs. The 1000 LT is $5k less but can be bought as a leftover for around $10k. You can't upgrade an LT to an SE LT+ by bolting on parts.

If you want to stay away from a chain drive and don't want to go to a 'cruiser' style bike take a look at Moto Guzzi. They are coming out with the V85 this year and it is shaft drive and can be had with luggage.

BTW: The Harley Road Glide touring bike is no more 'cruiser' than the Honda Goldwing.

My Versys Travels:


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 01:25 PM
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I keep thinking about the eventuality of the time when I feel it's time to give up riding. I'm 71 and have a few nagging health issues and they seem to be slowly adding up.

FWIW , I have ridden trikes and bikes with sidecars and felt that they take away most of the fun and experience you get from leaning a bike, accelerating through the turns and the feeling of being "one with the bike".

I believe the Versys is such an easy and fun bike to ride, it's probably extending my riding years an additional 5 years!

I'm thinking of going with a convertible when I finally give up two wheels.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Bob,
I'm with you. I am 81 and keep thinking another 5 years. I also will buy a Camaro or Mustang when two wheels becomes impossible. I usually take a trip in early June and for at least a month in advance, I push myself to take the stairs two at a time without cheating by pushing on my knees or using the handrail. Before I encountered a heart rhythm issue, I also would walk approximately two miles with at least a couple hundred yards running. I am now lobbying the doctor to do an ablation. I understand the nagging issues but we have to be our own advocates and do all we can to overcome them.

I do want to thank the other two of you for your input. I actually wanted to buy an FJR a few years ago but after visiting their forum, several people spoke of the bike being top heavy.

I also know that I want more than two cylinders and a bike that has a lot of dealers throughout the country.

If I end up with a Versys I will have the seat cushion reworked to be softer and at the same time a little lower. I am 5' 9 1/2 inches tall and 163 pounds if that puts things in some perspective. As I get older, the Wing seat has also gotten harder. Go figure!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 02:52 PM
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I think a critical data point is how tall are you, and how much do you weigh? The Versys is tall, and the vertical CG is very high (IMO) due to that tall seat and high fuel tank.

Personally, I think I am going to be looking for something smaller/lighter than my Versys 650 in another 10 years (I'm 55). Say a X300. But I guess I'm a wimp.

Probably the only way for you to know is to a longish test drive.

-dm
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 03:52 PM
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I will second the high center of gravity problem. If the Versys leans a little too far (while standing still and especially if the front wheel is cocked too far) over it goes with me on it. Done that twice. My plan when I can not balance it is to either go to more of a cruiser (thinking like a Suzuki Intruder in about 800ccc) which is lower AND shaft drive. Or, if I still want to cover some long stretches of road, I might check out the Can Am. I am sure guys can say a lot of negative things about them, but I have heard that they at least corner a little bit like a two wheeler compared to a Harley Trike. I bicycle with a lady that rides a Gold Wing trike. She loves it for the balance, but says it is a very bumpy ride on her butt. Yes, I asked about the suspension. Sailor Bill - at 81 (I am a fit 70) I think you should skip the Versys 1000. Especially if you do not have a lot of upper body strength and/or you are not reasonably tall. GOOD LUCK - keep us posted.

Forty years away from 2 wheel fun. Sure is great to be back smelling the roses!!!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 04:32 PM
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Bob,
I'm with you. I am 81 and keep thinking another 5 years.
I bow down to you sir! I'm just hoping I am alive and have all my faculties when I am 81!

At 81 my Dad was on too many pills a day and pretty much watches the news or hallmark channel if Mom is sitting with him. Now at 84 he has totaled one car and wrecked the replacement by driving off the road (said he was avoiding a wreck). He only drives within a 5 mile radius of his house.

I'm 57 and have dropped down from 6-8 bikes and an average of 25,000 miles a year to 2 street bikes and last year maybe got in 5000 miles. I am only pleasure riding now instead of commuting and riding to work locations around the country.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 06:36 PM
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Bob,
I'm with you. I am 81 and keep thinking another 5 years. I also will buy a Camaro or Mustang when two wheels becomes impossible. I usually take a trip in early June and for at least a month in advance, I push myself to take the stairs two at a time without cheating by pushing on my knees or using the handrail. Before I encountered a heart rhythm issue, I also would walk approximately two miles with at least a couple hundred yards running. I am now lobbying the doctor to do an ablation. I understand the nagging issues but we have to be our own advocates and do all we can to overcome them.

I do want to thank the other two of you for your input. I actually wanted to buy an FJR a few years ago but after visiting their forum, several people spoke of the bike being top heavy.

I also know that I want more than two cylinders and a bike that has a lot of dealers throughout the country.

If I end up with a Versys I will have the seat cushion reworked to be softer and at the same time a little lower. I am 5' 9 1/2 inches tall and 163 pounds if that puts things in some perspective. As I get older, the Wing seat has also gotten harder. Go figure!
I actually went with the 650LT and really enjoy the bike for the type of riding I do. For long trips, I would certainly prefer the 1000LT. Even though I can flat foot the bike as I'm 6'0", I installed the Moto Werk lowering kit which lowers the bike 1.5" and it make a huge difference in the center of gravity and removes most of the top heavy feel. They also make the kit for the 1000. There is another lowering link for the 1000 that will even lower as much as 3".
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 07:07 PM
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Bob,
I'm with you. I am 81 and keep thinking another 5 years. I also will buy a Camaro or Mustang when two wheels becomes impossible. I usually take a trip in early June and for at least a month in advance, I push myself to take the stairs two at a time without cheating by pushing on my knees or using the handrail. Before I encountered a heart rhythm issue, I also would walk approximately two miles with at least a couple hundred yards running. I am now lobbying the doctor to do an ablation. I understand the nagging issues but we have to be our own advocates and do all we can to overcome them.

I do want to thank the other two of you for your input. I actually wanted to buy an FJR a few years ago but after visiting their forum, several people spoke of the bike being top heavy.

I also know that I want more than two cylinders and a bike that has a lot of dealers throughout the country.

If I end up with a Versys I will have the seat cushion reworked to be softer and at the same time a little lower. I am 5' 9 1/2 inches tall and 163 pounds if that puts things in some perspective. As I get older, the Wing seat has also gotten harder. Go figure!
on your search for a G-wing replacement.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 07:30 PM
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I'm 57 with 2 bad knees and a hip. . has me thinking going that route. I'm riding a 2016 Versys 1000 but not sure for how much longer.....Good Luck..
Oh no Joe, say it's not so.

Man so sorry to hear. Are you looking at getting off the crutches anytime soon? I have driven a pair several times in my life and they are not fun.

Hope you get better soon.

Tim.

Cookin Wid Gas

2015 V-650 of course it's green...it's a Kazawalski.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 09:25 PM
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Tilting bikes are the way to go!





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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 09:45 PM
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WOW from a wing to a versys... that's a far stretch! I'll offer what I can. I don't have a wing, I have a bmw k1200lt. I have had a couple older voyagers. I currently also own a kawasaki concours 14, and a versys 1000. I just sold my versys 650 a few months ago.

So it depends on what you want, both 650 and 1000 versys' are tall, I'm the same height as you. I had to lower the 650 with a hyperpro shock spring and sliding the forks up. On the 1000 I have a corbin seat and it makes my seat height / reach to ground about the same as my modified 650. the 650 wins in the light and agile dept. It has enough power. The 1000 has about 3.5-4" longer wheelbase, so it's not as nimble and it's heavier than the 650, but balanced very well. it is very easy to ride slow. It has plenty of giddyup. It would be perfectly able to tour all day, whereas for me I would be more fatigued on the 650.

The chain sucks after having shaft drive. Unless you want to change gearing, then the chain is cool. the versys 1000 is a great candidate for more relaxed gearing too, it can be really wheelie prone with stock gearing,

Weather protection... nothing like your wing. if you are riding in the cold, rethink it. If you ride in the heat like me, I am really enjoying the air I get on the versys, either 650 or 1000.

I'm also very familiar with the concours and fjr's. I don't find either top heavy, and they lose their weight once moving, but yeah, you're still looking at 700# MOL, and the don't like to be dropped at all, so various tipover protection is a must.

I'm sure there's more, but that comes to mind pretty quickly. Hope it helps.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Steve,

Of course I will rethink as I get more input from people like yourself but it would seem that getting a 300 lb. lighter bike is a prudent move. I won't buy one without at least sitting on it and I need to make sure that there is tipover protection before it leaves the dealer. I know if I go to the Versys, it will be the 2019. There are a ton of bikes that I could ride around locally but touring wants to be a pleasure, not an endurance. Cruise control is a basic necessity. It seems that it is possible to lower the bike about 1.5 inches by using Soupy's link and adjusting the forks. Another inch could easily come out of the seat. I don't know who's crash guards really protect but front and rear are a necessity because as i age I know that a drifting mind is in the cards when I am sitting still. I am extremely good at being alert when I am moving but I know the bike will drop at some time. what I never see is a ride off center stand. That is a really great feature on the Wing as well as the various wind wings. Thanks again.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 11:25 AM
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GL1800 vs Versys 1000

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Originally Posted by Sailor Bill View Post
Hello,
As a new member I don't want to wear out my welcome but I have a ton of questions to ask before I abandon my Goldwing for a Versys. I recognize that I have to give up a shaft drive and I see that the 2019 is $5000 or more above the price of a new 2018. My questions sort of revolve around what I have to give up if I buy a 2019 and what can be done with a 2018 to come close enough. My main reason for entertaining a new bike is that I am getting old and want to keep riding including touring but the Wing is really heavy. The things that I like on the Wing are the amount of storage, self cancelling turn signals, a lot of protection (I have a V Stream windshield and Baker air wings) cruise control (absolutely needed) ride off center stand, smoothness, reliability, relatively long tire life (when I bought the bike it had 17K and I put tires on it once with a lot of miles left at 43K) The electronic suspension and cornering lights are not that important to me on the 2019 but some engine controls that keep me out of trouble seem great. I also can drop the Wing with no discernable damage. Sorry for the long post but maybe that could eliminate a few. Thanks for any guidance.
I currently own a 2004 FJR1300 and a 2015 V1000. I also owned a 2001 GL1800 until a few months ago. I bought the GL1800 in 2015 because I hoped my wife would enjoy riding with me (she used to ride with me several years ago). She did come along a few times if conditions were perfect, not too hot, not too cold, etc . It seems the thrill is gone .

I found after owning 3 bikes for about 4 months that the Wing was not being ridden. I had to force myself to take it out to keep the fuel fresh and the battery charged. It is true that the Wing had the best wind protection, most luggage capacity, more comfortable seat but the FJR and the Versys are much lighter and more fun to ride in my opinion. I think there is about a 50 pound difference between the Gen1 FJR and the Versys (Versys lighter). Add about 300 more for the Goldwing . The Goldwing was harder to move around in the garage and a little harder to get up on the center stand. The Versys is very easy to put up on C/S.

I have added electronic cruise, (McCruise on the FJR and CCS-100 Audiovox on the Versys). If cruise is important to you it is not that hard to add to the Versys if you're handy with tools. You can install the Audiovox for about $200 or the McCruise for about $800 (I think). I did a write up on this forum and the Versys1000 forum a couple of months ago outlining the basic steps to install cruise.

I added bigger windshields and custom seats to the FJR and the Versys for cool weather and ass comfort. Also added tip over protection, driving lights, heated grips, GPS to the Versys. The FJR is probably about 50 pounds heavier than the Versys but not really noticeable in my opinion. I don't ride enough miles anymore to prefer a shaft drive, I would rather have slightly less weight. The electric windshield on the FJR is nice but also not that important to me because I don't mind pulling over to adjust the shield on the Versys. Both bikes have ABS which is one feature I insist on having.

If you ride at night the GL1800 lights are superior to any bike I have ever owned with the possible exception of the V-Strom 650 which was also excellent. Because of advancing age and glaucoma I no longer go out after dark so lights are not a factor for me anymore. I have converted the lights on my Versys to LED and always have high beams on in daytime for visibility (no one has objected yet by flashing me). I also ride with amber fog lights on.

The premium fuel requirement for the Versys 1000 might make a difference to some but it isn't a factor for me. I have a friend locally who uses regular fuel in his 2015 V1000 without any problems so I'm not sure if the requirement is valid. We are in the mile high city so that probably makes a difference.

You might want to get an insurance quote because the coverage is more expensive for the V1000 than either the GL1800 or the FJR. I think the V1000 is considered the same an the 1000 Ninja by the insurance companies, I don't know why.

Feel free to ask if you have any more questions...

AuroraTom
Aurora, CO
USMC 1963-1967
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Givi Crash Bars
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 04:03 PM
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I'm kind of in the same boat, except I have an ST1100A, and I'm a little bit younger. The ST seems to get heaver every year, but it is still significantly lighter than a Wing, albeit not as well balanced.

I'm wondering about a 4-5 year old FJR. I rode one once and it felt like a toy compared to my ST. A former ST rider who is TALL went from an ST, to an FJR to a Versys 1000. He couldn't get the air management right on the FJR, probably because of his height. At 5'8" I don't have to worry about that. The prices of these bikes are reasonable. Helibars makes some barbacks. I'm not sure of the windshield options, but I know Madstad does not have one listed for it.

I was thinking about a Versys 1000 too, but after reading this I'm not sure it is for me. I have short legs.

I've had my eye on an R1200R. It has the lower center of gravity and cruise. It comes stock as a naked, but Madstad makes a windshield for it, and I've seen an aftermarket fairing for it. Looks like the pistons act as a lower fairing. What I like about it is 500 pounds and a low center of gravity. Of course, It isn't Japanese.

I also have a Versys 300 that I bought last year. My Russell seat came at the end of the riding season, so I'm not sure how much I'm going to ride it. If I am able to use it for semi local day rides, it may be all I need. I can relegate the ST to interstate long haul duty. You may want to consider getting a much smaller bike and keeping the wing for long haul rides.

2017 Versys X300 Russell Sport, Madstad windshield, Moto Werk 1" lowering kit

2000 Honda St1100 ABS Russell Day-Long seat, Works shock, Helibars
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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I'm appreciating all the input. Right now, I would like to look at and sit on the 2019 but the four closest dealers neither have one nor have one on order so I need to travel a bit. If I go through with this, it will be the 2019 as I think I will enjoy all the electronics. I intend to lower it and add front and rear crash bars. I haven't seen anyone who clearly states that their brand protects everything like the Wing. Someone seemed to indicate that a lower seat was an option but the Kawasaki site doesn't indicate that. Being a lightweight, it seems that the stock seat could be modified fairly easily to get perhaps an inch lower out of it without any detriment to the comfort. I will contact Astech seats in Indiana to see what they say. I am going to have them modify the Wing seat just in case I keep it. (It just needs some softening not lowering) With a seat mod, Soup's link and sliding the forks down, it seems like 2" is quite doable. I will probably have to see how the windshield works on my first trip and live with whatever it gives me. I intend to buy a new helmet soon no matter the bike. Hopefully it will be quieter than the one I have.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 05:31 PM
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Sailor Bill - hats off to you sir. At 65 I sometimes think I'm getting on in years. But I'm just a lightweight compared to you!!

I ride a Gold Wing, and a year ago picked up a 2012 V1000. They are certainly different bikes - but I love 'em both. My plan was to get rid of my Wing. But I couldn't bear to do that. In fact, over Christmas I struck a deal to trade my 2004 337,000 km (205,000 mile) GL1800 for a 2012 GL1800. So my Versys is now on the market. But deep down I hope it doesn't sell, as I like both bikes very much. The Versys for around town, and the Wing for longer hauls.

The point I want to make here is that it is possible to almost "Gold Wingize" your V1000. I've added lots that I had on my Wing, and could ride the Versys all day if needed. With respect to the oem seat (which I didn't care for), I had it rebuilt by Terry's Custom Seats (https://www.terryscustomseats.com/). Terry was highly recommended by members of this board. I also had Terry add a Utopia backrest (remember what I said about Gold Wingizing your V1000?). Haven't ridden it yet, but it feels great sitting on it.

Gold Wingizing included Utopia back rest, highway pegs, center stand (ride off might not be necessary), Doran TPMS, GI Pro gear indicator, Koso heated hand grips, plug-in for Gerbings electric clothes, taller windshield, side and rear cases (with running, brake and signal lights on the top case), fenda extenda, GPS, Barkbuster handguards with LED's, engine guard, rad guard, grip puppies, tank bag

I've thought about cruise control, CB and music. All I've done in that regard is buy an Omni Cruise Control throttle lock.

Good luck in your decision.

Paul
2012 Kawasaki Versys 1000
2012 Honda Gold Wing 1800

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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I'm back again. Thanks to those of you that have helped educate me. I just returned from a 2800 mile trip on the Wing and all was good. I did begin to notice that I had a more difficult time in the twisties than I remember. My friend on a Triumph Trophy seemed to handle the turns a little easier. The other thing that I noticed is my arms getting sore after over an hour of fairly intense riding. Probably the wheelbase and weight of the Wing were the contributing factors. I'm now again researching a lighter bike. I did look at a 2019 Versys and the black and white is (IMO) atrocious. A question that I would pose is: What would I really be missing if I bought a used Versys 1000 LT and spent the money on a cruise control. It would be thousands less money in case it just was not suitable after owning it for a while. Also, are their differences from 2015 to 2018? My friend is looking at a Yamaha Tracer GT as a good compromise but I am beginning to think that it may be a little too small for the interstate roads that are needed to get to the good places. We both bought Wings eight years ago because the Vulcan 900 and Suzuki 800 seemed too small for touring in the wind and other situations.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 02:21 PM
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...I'm now again researching a lighter bike. I did look at a 2019 Versys and the black and white is (IMO) atrocious....
Check around - I'll bet you could get a smokin' deal on a non-current year V1000 in a more suitable color, OR -you could get that '19 painted....

Ed
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'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
Ride to D2D 2013, June '13

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Ride to D2D 2015, June '15

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Ride to D2D 2016, June '16

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