Kawasaki Versys Forum - View Single Post - Goldwing to Versys 1000
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Aurora, CO
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
GL1800 vs Versys 1000

Originally Posted by Sailor Bill View Post
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...

Aurora, CO
USMC 1963-1967
2015 V1K Orange
Givi Crash Bars
Kappa Trunk
Givi Windshield
LED amber fog/driving lights
Panel mounted digital voltmeter
Garmin 2610 GPS (ancient like me)
Audiovox CCS-100 Cruise Control
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