As of Dec. 8th, 2016 I became the new owner of a 2016 Kawasaki Versys 650LT. The bike was used and had only 1700 miles on it.
I started looking for a bike about two months earlier. Already having a Yamaha XT225 dual sport and Yamaha V-Star 1300 tourer I was looking for something that would be in between those two and a mid-sized adventure bike seemed to fit the bill. (I really like the twisty back roads) Did lots of research on the web and read comparisons and reviews of bikes like the Suzuki Vstrom 650, Honda NC700X, Honda CB500X and Kawasaki Versys 650LT. Was leaning towards the Honda CB500X, mainly because I would be able to flat foot it at stop lights. (5’ 7”, 160 lbs, 30in inseam) Then became worried that it may struggle to keep up out on the interstate. Went to a dealer to look at the Suzuki Vstrom 650, they didn’t allow test rides, it was the highest prices bike of the bunch and Honda CB500X even inched it out in one of the comparisons. Really liked the looks, reviews and price point (bang for the buck) of the Kawasaki Versys 650LT.
Found a Kawasaki dealer in Fresno, Ca. that allowed test rides. (That’s a whole other story) Only learned one thing form that very short test ride; that bike was a lot taller than I was used to. Tried to get an out-the door price from the dealer. The dealer told me that they didn’t give OTD pricing until a customer was ready to buy. Here is some advice; if you are wanting to purchase a Kawasaki don’t waste your time with the dealer in Fresno Ca.
The more I thought about it I figure I would get use to a taller bike and decided to pursue the Versys. Started calling dealers and getting OTD pricing for a 2016 orange LT. Best price I got was $9,250.00, thought that was fare and was ready to do the deal. Then looked on Craig’s List and a dealer in Mesa Az. Had a used 2016 LT with 1700 mile for $6400 OTD. Found a flight from Fresno Ca. to Mesa Az. for $70. Got an Uber from the airport to the dealer and by 3:00 PM on December 8th. the deal was done and I was on my way back the central California coast on my new used bike.
The trip from Mesa Az. to Morro Bay Ca. would be 640 mile. I was a bit concerned riding a new bike that far because of my bad back. The first day was form Mesa to Needles Ca. 200 miles, about 4 hours. By the time I got to Needles my legs were a bit fatigued but that was it. My arms, back, and seat all felt fine. Was most impressed with how the bike kept up on the interstate. 75 – 80 miles per hour no problem. The bike seemed very nimble and because of the high seating position I felt very comfortable in the congested traffic around Phoenix. Much more so than I would have on my curser. The next day was 400 miles to Morro Bay. Drove straight through, only stopped to get gas. Took about 7 hours of driving. The last 35 miles were on a very windy back road. Couldn’t believe how this bike handled the twistys. After 7 hours on the road I felt great. That amount of time in the saddle and no butt pain, now that’s impressive.
In the past four weeks I’ve put another 1200 miles on the bike on all types of roads; interstate, 2-lane, back roads, gravel roads, …etc. About the only thing I can say is I’d still like to be able to flat foot it while stopped. I’ve ordered the Sargent low seat to see if that will help. I just hope it’s as comfortable as the stock seat. After riding this bike for about four weeks and putting 1800+ miles on it I’m really considering getting rid of my V-star 1300 tourer.
I’ve got lots of future plans for my new used Versys:
- Driving Lights
- Lower Seat (Sargent)
- Headlight Modulator (Kisan)
- Louder Horn
- Sequential LED Tail Light (MotoDynamics)
- Dual Sport Tires (Shinko 705)
- Crash Bar
Thanks much. Looking forward to spending more time on this forum. Maybe finding another Versys riding partner in this area.