Versys vs F800R
I've been researching new bikes for a long time now and apart from being occasionally distracted by bikes with more power than I need, I had pretty much settled on the Versys some time ago. This morning I finally had the opportunity to test ride one, but before I did I took a BMW F800R for a ride and I have to say the Versys is a way better bike.
Although the F800R was infinitely better than the Suzuki GSF250v I have been riding, there were several things that really stood out as soon as I rode it:
1. The throttle was very snatchy at low revs. I know this can be a trait of fuel injected bikes but I was surprised at how bad it was on the BMW.
2. The engine ran quite rough. Again I was expecting this coming from a 4 cylinder but I didn't think it would be that bad.
3. The grips weren't wide enough. Maybe I have freakishly shaped hands, but they kept on pressing against the edge of the bar ends which was very annoying
4. The numbers on the analogue speedo were too small and hard to read.
5. It sounded like a wet fart - seriously, that has to be the worst exhaust tone from any vehicle I have heard.
Heading to the Kawasaki dealer I was a little concerned about what the cheaper Versys would be like, however once I was on one and moving that all changed. The throttle response was super smooth compared to the BMW, the engine had a nice lumpy-ness to it without sounding like it was going to stall, the riding position was way more comfortable, the large digital speedo could be read at a glance, and the exhaust gave a nice raspy burble that I could happily listen to for a long time.
Needles to say, after a bit of negotiating I paid my deposit and will be picking up my new 2010 Versys early next week!!!! And the best part is I paid about $3000 (AUD) less for a new Versys than I would have paid for the used F800R.