Versys vs KLR, Gladius, VStrom...... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Versys vs KLR, Gladius, VStrom......

OK guys and gals,
Give me YOUR opinion on choosing the Versys.
I tested the KLR and really like it, the size is perfect except for a mild groin pull everytime I get on it. I'm 6'3", 240 and 58 years old.
THEN I sat on the Versys and I REALLY LIKE THIS. This is a KLR gone street.
The last parallel twin I had was a 83 CB900C and it vibrated worse than my 73 Sportster. Before that it was a 67 Triumph Bonneville which was the best bike I've ever owned.....then again I was a stupid 15 year old then....

GIVE ME YOUR LIKES AND DISLIKES, MAINTAINENCE INTERVALS, ETC......
Real World Stuff....

David

Never met a dog I didn't like or a motorcycle I couldn't ride.......
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 01:47 PM
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I'm 54 5'11 I bought a 2010 model to replace my Thundercat and BMWK75RT
it was cheep and I took the interest free deal.
Its sole purpose is getting me to work and back some 50 miles a day.
It is supprising good at everything with enough power to have fun and overtake in the fast lane of the motorway it much better than its figures suggest.
its also very agile and economical and light making vedry easy to push around

The only thing im am going to change is the screen, the older models may be better as they are wider.

I would strongly recomend one and the reviews are spot on.
My only consern is will it stand up to the british winters as the exhaust is rusting already with only 3000 on the clock.

what I also like is the big digi speedo easy to read for old person not like my thundercat where they squeezed 160mph on the small clock.

I'm sure the Versys is the right choice and it will not dissapoint
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 02:02 PM
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You can not really compare a KLR to a Versys. These are two very different bikes. The KLR can travel across the Rubicon where as the Versys can not.

However, on the street, the Versys is going to be the better bike in many ways. Handling is going to be superior on the street to the KLR. The seat is built more to accommodate a passenger, whereas even though you can do that with a KLR, the passenger will not be as comfortable.

In regards to technology, the KLR is old school. The Versys was built to compete more to the V-Strom, but even so, it is still different from that bike. The V-Strom is built more for off-road as opposed to the Versys, but the Versys will still be a little bit better on the road to the V-Strom.

Even though I recently bought my Versys, I have owned over 20 bikes over the last 20 years of riding, and I can tell you that the Versys is a quality product. For the money, it is a lot of bike. Maintenance wise, the Versys has been rated bike of the year a couple of years now, and it has also been rated as one of the cheapest bikes to maintain. If you treat her right, she'll treat you right.


I hope this helps,

Texas

2010 Kawasaki Versys
Givi Shield, Givi PLX V35 Side Cases, Givi V46 Top Case, Powered Tank Bag, Corbin Seat, RAM Mounts, Venhill SS Smoke Brake Lines, HID 5000K/3000K, LED Marker Lights

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Loaded

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Last edited by Texas; 09-16-2010 at 02:14 PM.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 02:32 PM
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Here is a great thread on this. I too had a dilemma as a current KLR owner. This is a long thread, but well worth the read. I chimed in around post 50 or so with my decision dilemma & got lots of good input from these great forum members.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=8856

To make a long story (or read) short, I decided to make improvements to my KLR to make it more hi-way capable because I just could not give up the superior off-road capabilities the KLR has over the Versys.

So did the 685cc big bore kit, had my head ported, got my carb re-jetted & flow tuned & had some airbox mods done. I am very happy with how it transformed my KLR for better hi-way/super-slab riding & improved the off-road tractability too.

Since I can only have one motorcycle right now, that was the main factor that drove my decision in this direction. Hopefully the future will bring me another motorcycle & I can tell you now it will probably be the Versys. But, that new Triumph 800 triple has my interest perked too.....

http://www.triumphadventure.com/

Evilnut (Tim)
Possible Future Versys Owner
Current 2008 KLR650 (685) Owner
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 03:01 PM
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I ride my '04 KLR from April to October here in Alberta (47,000 miles), and my '08 "V" from late-October to early-April in AZ (16,500 miles). I DON'T ride single-track any more; basically I'll go where pickups can go, and that is in AZ on the V (street tires) as well as in AB on either D/S or K270 rubber, and I run 36 PSI F/ 42 PSI R on both bikes.

I've run as much as 80 miles of dirt in a day on the V (some at pretty high speed with a bit of sliding in corners), and, of course, MORE on the KLR (as much as 1,000 miles over 4 days), but this is more a function of the available roads in each area for me to ride. I WILL state that the KLR has a higher comfort level on loose dirt/ gravel than the V has, but I've dragged 'pegs on the V but NOT on the KLR, on pavement of course!

I have "Speedy's" mirror extenders and 'peg lowering on the V as well as Zeta "bark-busters" and a Simpson modded seat raised 9/16" at the front, while the KLR has a Corbin flat seat and DR650 'pegs. BOTH have GPS, Vista-Cruise Universal throttle-locks and either Stebel Nautilus or Wolo Bad-Boy horns, and I LOVE 'em BOTH!

Where the V shines over the KLR is its ability to cruise ECONOMICALLY at far higher speeds, ie 80 mph vs 65 mph, tho' the KLR WILL cruise 80 if you're willing to put in the gas as well as regular infusions of oil (that it doesn't use at 65 or lower).

I guess my opinion is that the V is the better of the 2, as long as you don't want to ride gnarly single-track! (Or, conversely, buy ONE of EACH...!)

Ed
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 03:17 PM
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I've owned multiple KLR's and the big Strom. I got talked into trying the V-Strom because of all the owner-riders raving about how it was the poor man's replacement for the big GS.

If the big GS is as tough to pick up when loaded as the V-Strom, I would recommend against riding alone for any long trips. And the Wee-Strom is only about 25 pounds lighter.

As for the KLRs, I found them to be the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden, ergonomics wise (I'm 6 ft, 210 lbs, 32-inch inseam). The trick to getting along with the KLR's seat height is to use the left peg like the stirrup on a horse saddle. Put your left foot on the peg, rise up on the peg and then swing your leg over; let the bike settle under your weight, then raise the kickstand. This allows you to set the suspension on firmer preload for good ride, but not 'pull your groin' as you so clearly stated in your post.

Now to the Versys: Compared to the KLR, I love the power and smoothness of the twin; torque is about the same due to similar displacement. The sixth gear is nice, and the bike is very flickable. I prefer the flat seat of the KLR for moving my butt around on long rides, and the extra fuel capacity is nice, but not mandatory for riding in the U.S. Easier for a do-it-yourself mechanic to work on the KLR (carburated bike), but the fuel injection of the Versys suits me just fine. More aftermarket farkels available for the KLR, (it's been around longer) but the Versys is catching up, rather quickly.

So I would say, for you, decide what percentage of off-pavement you want to do, and whether you want to do any single-track (KLR would be better choice for it, although not the perfect choice).

Whatever you decide, ride and enjoy.

pegrider

"It is the journey, in the end."
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 05:54 PM
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If you're going to do mostly off-road/adventure-touring, go for the KLR. Or, if you just like the looks/idea of it better. Otherwise, the V smokes it.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mydogyuma View Post
GIVE ME YOUR LIKES AND DISLIKES, MAINTAINENCE INTERVALS, ETC......
Real World Stuff....

David
I see you asked here as well. I posted a lengthy reply on the VR forum.

to the Versys forum! Pull up a chair and read a while. This is a friendly bunch and there is already a wealth of information on just the subjects you asked about. You wont find a nicer bunch of riders IMHO than those on this forum.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 10:28 PM
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As my first non-cruiser bike, my choices were the Versys and the Gladius. You know what I picked. Here are my thoughts on the Gladius ( which I test rode 3 times for about 60 miles );

Pros :
- I LOVED the noise, the motor was smooth and sounded VERY nice. Good pickup.
- It has a gear selection indicator, a good thing for me at the time.
- It was lower to the ground than the Versys so it handled a little better ( at least to me ).

Cons :
- Lower to the ground so it was a little more 'firm' than the Versys.
- The seat was absolutely horrible. I have no issues with the stock Versys seat but the Gladius seat made me sore after 20 miles. At the time, there were no other options for the seat as it was a new model ( 2009 ).
- At the time, it cost about $1500 more than the Versys. Not sure that is true anymore as the one I test drove is STILL at the dealership ( I don't think there is a 2010, they didn't import any ).

All in all, I think it depends on what you want. If I could get the motor from the Gladius in a Versys body, I would take it in a minute. When I get a little more money, I have been toying with getting a Gladius as my 'second bike', the one that you take when you don't need to carry much and just want to hit twisties all day ( not that I don't do this already on the Versys but man, I love the sound of the v-twin ). FWIW, I also rode a WeeStrom ( Vstrom 650 ) and I found it 'heavier' than the Versys and it looks old with the huge front cowl and analog gauges. It manuvered fine, just felt a little archaic compared to the Versys.

Toys : 2009 Versys ( Blue ), 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Needs : 2016 Mazda CX-5 ( RIP Mazda5 ), 2007 Honda Civic
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 10:44 PM
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I have 07klr650, 07dr650 and Versys. For me the Versys is mostly for pavement but when I decide to leave the pavement, I don't have to worry about trashing it like I did my RD400 Yamaha. I didn't think I was hurting it when it was happening but the centerstand was beating the frame between the engine mounts. I traded the rd400 and dt400 in on a xt500. I like all my bikes for what they are but if I could only have one it would be klr. Versys is a fine bike and will be better if someone gets the Zen on tires. The front end geometry just isn't up to most of the mods most are proposing. I'm 70 and still get around pretty good for an old fart but the klr is still the best doitalleverything and there is plenty of things the other two do better. Trying to make a GS out of the Versys will need a 21 front wheel and a different triple tree. If that's what you want, it will save a few bucks and it should be a great ride, but I don't think it'llbe as versitle as the klr.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 10:57 PM
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And welcome aboard Muley. A pleasure to have you join.



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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 10:22 AM
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Here's my take. Had a KLR (685 w Russell and about a million farkles). That sucker was a bear to hoon around in the dirt. Too heavy. Bought a KLR 250 and IT WAS GREAT. I put street tires, Givi's and a 10 inch screen on the 685 and rode it as a street bike. It was fine, I was happy until.......

I rode a friend's Vstrom. Pure street bike. Handling, frame rigidity, engine, and brakes were light years better than the K. Not even close. It made me reconsider using the 685 as a street bike; but I wanted something lighter and more flickable than the Strom. Enter the V.

Now my 'Strom buddy always wants to switch while coming back from a ride.

That sez it all.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 10:45 AM
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Really Good - Fuel Injection
Kinda Bad - a little buzzy, but it ain't a 'Wing, is it?

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"I don't want a pickle, I just want to ride my Motor-sickle"
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 11:10 AM
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I can't stand looking at a V-Strom. It's like looking at an ugly woman. I know beauty is more than skin deep, and looks aren't suppose to matter but they do. Hope this helps.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 11:58 AM
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OK guys and gals,
The last parallel twin I had was a 83 CB900C and it vibrated worse than my 73 Sportster.
Wasn't the CB900C an inline 4?
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 12:25 PM
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I can't stand looking at a V-Strom. It's like looking at an ugly woman. I know beauty is more than skin deep, and looks aren't suppose to matter but they do. Hope this helps.
I feel like the one guy who was not let in on the joke.
Contrary to popular custom, I don't mind the V-Strom. Overall it is not that bad, perhaps like an unremarkable, not wonderfully shaped woman.

The Versys, on the other hand, is more of a "dreamboat body, shipwreck face" kinda gal.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 01:11 PM
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The Versys, on the other hand, is more of a "dreamboat body, shipwreck face" kinda gal.
That just makes your JUICES FLOW!!!

Ed
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 06:38 PM
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If you want to ride...grin...ride...grin...and ride some more...Versys.

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 07:34 PM
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I checked the VStrom 650 before I got the Versys. VStrom larger bike a bit more comfortable for two up, long rides and carrying stuff. Larger well base. Better off-road but not a dirt bike, too big. KLR will beat it in the dirt.

Versys handling will leave the VStrom in the dust in the twisties. Is an excellent commuter I ride to work every day on it. I also go canyon carving onthe weekends and put much larger sport bikes to shame on the twisties and I'm not a daredevil or pro rider.

I also tour with the Versys. Yeah there is the saddle issue (mine has a low gel seat, I'm vertically challenged). My solution was an airhawk air pad. I can put 300 - 400 mile a day with no problem. I've done 300 miles in one shot with only a stop to refuel in one afternoon. Longest weekend ride was about 1,500 miles in four days. Had a lot of fun.

Some people say the Versys is ugly. I say it's different. It's like one of those gals (apologize for the sexist comparison) that you look and say she's not necesarily pretty (by this I mean it does not conform to the normal definition of pretty) but is attractive.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 04:18 PM
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I think it comes down to how much dirt riding will you really do. I was torn between the KLR and the V, but decided that I would actually not be riding that much in the dirt so went with the V--super glad I did! Plus, the KLR has issues--the "dohickey" problem, burns oil, is cold-blooded, etc.--that the V does not have. I'm a motocrosser at heart, and in my mind, the V is the best all-around street bike made for a person who rides dirt bikes. All things considered, maybe the best all-around street bike made, period.

Last edited by RockyMoto; 09-18-2010 at 04:21 PM.
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