Torn Between the Versys and Ninja 1000 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Torn Between the Versys and Ninja 1000

This is my first post, so hello to all and thank you for having me. After a couple of years paying my dues on a 250cc cruiser and 94 BMW k75, its time for a new, sportier bike. Heres my riding style... I commute to work about 22+ miles. Bear in mind, my work is only two miles away, the other 20+ comes from getting out of there afterwards (usually around midnight) and wondering around finding new, long ways home. I like to cruise. I like to hall a**. I like to take the bike out on a Sunday for 150-300 miles with no real plan. I'm like Bruce Lee in that way... "become the cup". Heres the rub, and I hope you guys can help. I test rode a Triumph Speed Triple a couple of weeks ago and was so jacked up after I couldn't sleep that night. I was hooked on that low end torque. After a couple of days, I came down from the high (with a freshly printed bank check for 9k) and said "okay, I'm getting a new bike but lets be a LITTLE more practical". Now, the Ninja 1000 is getting great reviews, and its new owners seem to love it. As does the Versys of course. My question is this...Is the grin factor there on the V? Coming off a 750cc K-bike (not very fast, but okay 0-60 in a little less than 5 sec. top end 120???) will I get that, again "grin factor". I want something with that famous Kawasaki kick, but with nice ergos and sport touring capabilities. Is it worth the 4k extra up front, and god knows how much on insurance for the Ninja 1000? Im willing to spend the money for the bike (1000) especially if I drop 6 -8k on a Versys and think to myself "eh, its not that big of a difference." Any and all help/input is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 02:48 PM
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I have a Ninja 650, but same engine. If you wanna cruise, I like the 650r. Standard seating position, 50mpg. If you wanna cruise, including occasional off-road or adventure touring, the Versys. These 650's do everything well. Handling almost as good as a 250. Very good gas mileage. Enough power to go fast, or tour, including 2-up.

I may look at the Ninja 1000 in a few years IFF my 2-up touring increases a LOT, otherwise the 650 suits pretty much anything I want to do. Plus, in a few years the Ninja 1000 will be established. Right now its new, and hot, and therefore $$$. If I wanted a 1000 right now I would look at a Z1000 with aftermarket fairing, or Bandit with aftermarket fairing. Both will be cheaper, with an established aftermarket.

Finding insurance rates is a simple phone call. Be aware some companies rate by CC's, so they rate the 650 more expensive than a 600SS!

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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 02:49 PM
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If you want that rush from speed and power. Get the Ninja. If you want a pratical good all round bike that can get up to speed well then go with the Versys

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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 02:56 PM
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I suggest riding both and then picking your favorite...... with your decision. They are very different bikes so you shouldn't have problems deciding what you like better after you get a chance to ride each of them.
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the timely response. Yeah, Squrreltoe I am thinking the same thing as far as "riding both". Only problem is, who is going to let you test ride? Thats why Im here trying to feel it out. I was actually thinking of flying to a Kawi Demo day just to see.
I'd rather put that $$$ on a down payment though. Yeah, two different bikes that are JUST similar enough to drive me crazy.
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 05:04 PM
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Went through this same dilemma a few months ago...ended up with the Versys. It was a lot less money, a lot less insurance, more comfortable for a passenger, and better MPG than the Ninja 1000. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the better bike for what YOU want to do!!!

The new Ninja 1000 still appeals to me very much, but because I wanted something that could handle rougher roads, gravel roads, etc., I felt the Versys would be a better choice.

You'll likely enjoy either...but if you gotta have rip-your-arms off acceleration, better go with the Ninja.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 06:00 PM
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Thanks guys for the timely response. Yeah, Squrreltoe I am thinking the same thing as far as "riding both". Only problem is, who is going to let you test ride? Thats why Im here trying to feel it out. I was actually thinking of flying to a Kawi Demo day just to see.
I'd rather put that $$$ on a down payment though. Yeah, two different bikes that are JUST similar enough to drive me crazy.
Sorry, I didn't realize that it was hard to get a test ride where you reside. I have not experienced that problem!! The dealer in Des Moines has never been stingy on offering test rides. Good luck again!
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 06:26 PM
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As a former K bike owner ('02 K12RS) I too thought I would miss the rush of having a powerful bike. I bought a used '10 V (450 miles) just to have a second bike over the summer, but never intended to sell the BMW. At summer's end, I ended up selling the BMW. The weight and handling difference were significant factors, and the V has all the real world power you'll ever need. You'll find yourself shifting more to squeeze all the torque out of the 650, but getting more out of a smaller motor versus holding back a bigger one is far more satisfying.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 06:30 PM
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Doc i can relate, i've never been to a dealer of Japanese bikes that offers test rides. but i have test driven a few speed triples and i assure you, you will not get that thrill from a versys. fun to ride, sure, all bikes are fun. but not like a speed triple.

based on your criteria, i'll echo cerebus and suggest you add the z1000 to your list. you'll be able to get your hands on a used one to save a few pence, if that helps.

question... why not get a speed triple? it will certainly do the job you've described.

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 08:03 PM
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I suggest you ride the Ninja 1000, the Versys and also the Z1000.

I rode the Ninja 1000 and the Versys. My buddy rode the Ninja 1000 and the Z1000.

The Versys put the bigger smile on my face. The Z1000 put the bigger smile on my buddy's face.

You really do need to ride them.
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 09:31 PM
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A test ride is in order, YEAH!!!

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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 09:43 PM
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The Z1000 "Urban Legend" video is pretty awesome.

I guess both the Versys and 1000 are fast enough to break the speed limit... Sure is a tough choice.

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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Doc i can relate, i've never been to a dealer of Japanese bikes that offers test rides. but i have test driven a few speed triples and i assure you, you will not get that thrill from a versys. fun to ride, sure, all bikes are fun. but not like a speed triple.

based on your criteria, i'll echo cerebus and suggest you add the z1000 to your list. you'll be able to get your hands on a used one to save a few pence, if that helps.

question... why not get a speed triple? it will certainly do the job you've described.
I do in fact love that Speed Triple. The motor, the sound, cool looking. Two problems though...I failed to mention I am 6' 3". I feel a little cramped and there is no wind protection. I dig the fresh air on my little 250 cruiser but only up to a point. As said earlier I need a jack of all trades bike- hence my interest in the Versys. I know, the Ninja 1000 isn't quite "jack of all trades" but it is an upright sport tourer with some nice power. I wont be hitting the fire roads any time soon, BUT there is one other thing I failed to mention, I live in New Orleans, home of the worst roads in all of America. Crime as you may assume is wretched here too. I kind of need a gnarly looking UFO
of a bike that can handle the "off"- like on road conditions that no one wants to steal. HMMM sounds like a V too me.
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 10:49 PM
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Everytime I test another bike, I discover how great the Versys is.

In the last year I've ridden on the Triumph Sprint GT, BMW 1200 GS, 1200RT, and K1300GT.

Only the K1300GT could tempt me away from the Versys but the $$ are too high.

Below 90k/55MPH the Versys is absolutely better then most out there. Its light, you sit high and see everything, add the mirror extenders from Speedy, and a better windshield and 90% of the Versys short comings are sorted.

The only area I find lacking is punch uphill in the mountains at higher elevations, as well as getting a really quiet area at highway speeds with any shield. The wind protection is fine, its just buffeting noise. The Ninja addresses the power issue, but from what I've heard the shield on that bike is worse than the Versys for noise. The other thing that irks me is that it isn't offered with ABS in North America.

My dream ride would be a Versys with ABS, and the Ninja 1000 motor. Make sure it has a buffet free zone for my lid, and can be ordered with three bags out of the box with heated grips and seat for us Northern riders.
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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 10:52 PM
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The Versys is a tall mans bike! remember it will still blow the doors off just about any car off the bridge that isn't made in italy!
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post #16 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 10:55 PM
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At 6'3" you have to be on the high side of 200 pounds (unless you are real young) you won't find a better suspension on a budget or not!
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post #17 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-27-2011, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Everytime I test another bike, I discover how great the Versys is.

In the last year I've ridden on the Triumph Sprint GT, BMW 1200 GS, 1200RT, and K1300GT.

Only the K1300GT could tempt me away from the Versys but the $$ are too high.

Below 90k/55MPH the Versys is absolutely better then most out there. Its light, you sit high and see everything, add the mirror extenders from Speedy, and a better windshield and 90% of the Versys short comings are sorted.

The only area I find lacking is punch uphill in the mountains at higher elevations, as well as getting a really quiet area at highway speeds with any shield. The wind protection is fine, its just buffeting noise. The Ninja addresses the power issue, but from what I've heard the shield on that bike is worse than the Versys for noise. The other thing that irks me is that it isn't offered with ABS in North America.

My dream ride would be a Versys with ABS, and the Ninja 1000 motor. Make sure it has a buffet free zone for my lid, and can be ordered with three bags out of the box with heated grips and seat for us Northern riders.
Thanks man. I think you and I are on the same page. I know its a bit of a stretch comparing these two bikes but your comments bridge that strange gap Im fishing to understand. Im not looking for top end. I'm looking for that 0-60/ 60-80 roll on. That good low end and mid range. I too rode the Triumph Sprint and liked the connection I felt on the throttle right away, but the ergos kind of bugged me. As far as mountains, I wouldn't sweat that, Im 9 feet below sea level. And yeah man, ABS and the Ninja motor-forget it, it would be a done deal tomorrow. But with that said, I may not even need that extra 400cc. Thats what Im trying to feel out.
By the way Splitmind: Did you test ride a BMW R1200R by chance?
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post #18 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-27-2011, 11:08 AM
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I do love my Versys, and at 6 foot 1 I still haven't lowered the pegs yet, but still find it comfortable to ride. Mine is an 09, and the suspension has sunk a bit since it was new, but it is indeed comfy. I love the bike less on the freeway, which lately has been a lot of riding as I am commuting 55 miles a day. That is when I wish I had a bigger motor, something in the 1000+ range and a big old fairing on the front. I am not a fan of the naked bike at freeway speeds. One you get over 50 it gets nasty quick, IMHO. If I had the means to get another bike, I would look at the Triple for sure. Or, the 1200R. I am sure the BMW is silky smooth on the freeway, but everyone that owns them bitches about the cost of EVERYTHING.

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post #19 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-27-2011, 11:14 AM
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I am going to say that you need to seriously evaluate your wants and desires. From what you have said so far, I think the big Ninja is going to be the bike you WANT.

If you go with the V, I am sure you will like it, but you might wind up with a little buyers remorse, and that niggling feeling that you should have bought the Ninja. You will likely pump a bunch of cash into the V in a relatively futile attempt to boost the power, and still not be anywhere near the rush of the Ninja.

That being that, if you can live without the massive HP rush from the Ninja, the V is an awesome all rounder, and has enough poop to keep a smile on your face.

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post #20 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-27-2011, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Another thing guys, what about all the vibration talk I here about? I know that can be found in other threads, but I wanted to hear it from the Gents that have been helping here. There is a 09 V in town for 5g's, and the 11' for about 7. Is two thousand dollars REALLY worth it for a better headlight and rubber mounts???
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