Versys vs. 2008 BMW F650GS (new 800cc/twin version) - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
 
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Versys vs. 2008 BMW F650GS (new 800cc/twin version)

New to the forum...

Seeking a lightweight bike that I can use for light adventure touring/motorcycle camping... street-biased but fire-road capable would be ideal. Have my deposit down for a Versys and need to make a decision soon for the 2008 season.

Would really like opinions regarding the Versys vs. the soon to be released BMW F650GS -- new 2008 version with the 800cc twin (essentially a street oriented version of the F800GS -- NOT the previous 650cc thumper).

Here are some of my first impressions so far -- am I on track?

Versys...
-- this bike is just a blast to ride -- great all rounder but definitely more 'all-road' conditions oriented than light duty off-road -- I think I can live with this since the m/c camping gig has me trundling around campsites and access roads at low speeds not tearing down trails out in the woods.
-- storage -- big issue and I think the Versys with side cases, maybe top box and definitely a big u-bag across the rear seat should do the trick
-- hugger -- I worry about blowing a lot of dirt, stones, and water up the back of the Versys so am thinking a hugger makes sense -- would appreciate recommendations for a color-match red option
-- low cassette exhaust -- really like the look and ability to keep the heat away from the luggage despite a bit more vulnerabiity down low
-- reliability -- Versys derived from a solid platform with the Ninja 650r and naked Ninja (ER6?) over in Europe, also has been out on the world market for a year

F650GS 800cc twin
-- More off road capability since it's really just a detuned and lowered F800GS, but I may not need as much as this bike provides
-- storage -- looks like I can get full "Touratech (box)" style side and top cases which are proven solution for a/t
-- F650GS version of the engine makes 71hp and 55.3* lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm vs. 44.9 lb/ft @6,800 rpm for the Versys -- so more umph down low here with the beemer
-- reliability... as far as I can tell the F800ST/S from which the F800GS/F650GS are derived had a lot of engine/tranny issues early on -- so did BMW get it right with the GS versions?

(Here's a link to a comparo betwen F650GS vs. Versys vs. V-Strom:
http://www.canadianmotorcyclerider.c...4413e1-23.html )

So what do you think, does the F650GS twin get any of you guys wondering about that bike vs. the Versys or is the Versys a slam dunk, and if so why?


--dee

1998 Honda Magna V4
2006 Yamaha Majesty

Last edited by dfish; 04-27-2008 at 10:46 AM.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 11:17 AM
 
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versys v beemer

hi dee from here in the uk.
well i dont think its really a hard choice to make,, both bikes are different animals. the bm is without doubt more off road orientated than the V.
i suppose it really depends the amount of off road you want to do and yes the v would do light off road to gain access to camping areas ect ect,
as you know the Vs been out here in Europe since the end of 06 and it has proved itself as a solid and reliable machine, i love mine and its done all that Ive required of it. i dont use the supplied hard luggage but thats a personal choice i can carry enough in a soft tail bag for my needs.. the bike is a blast on the road and thats my main requirement. also Ive not rode the beemer so i cant make an honest opinion on that score.but i also believe its a great bike if its used in its designed area,,,, so there you go i dont think you would be disappointed if you chose the V it really is a top all-round funster...

Last edited by yoyo; 04-27-2008 at 11:20 AM.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 12:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfish View Post
So what do you think, does the F650GS twin get any of you guys wondering about that bike vs. the Versys or is the Versys a slam dunk, and if so why?


--
Hmmm... I'm thinking that to arrive at any conclusion without having ridden both would be... hmmm... how should i put this....foolish.

Paper comparisons although sometimes helpful,do not get us close to the whole story.

On paper, my Versys would be seen as twice the bike of my KLR 650. In reality, that would be a long way from the truth.

They are in fact, two completely different scoot and each brings a great deal to the party. I think the same might be true of the new F 650.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 02:00 PM
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Hey Dee,

The one thing you might also want to compare is maintenance cost. I was also looking at the BMW, but the maintenance cost is about 4 times higher on a beamer than a Versys. So in the long run it adds up.
BMW are fine machines as long as they are well maintained and a BMW bike without a maintenance log from the dealer is worth nothing on the market.

Just a tought!
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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Just buy a Versys, if you don't like it you can add some money and buy the BMW.
If you buy the BMW and don't like it it's a lot more expensive to trade down!!

Take the 1st option, you won't regret it
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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Hi, am new to the forum but saw this post and thought i'd add
I had the opportunity to test ride both these bikes about a week ago one after the other..I'm thinking of buying a Versys but felt i should try out a few bikes as it'll be my first proper bike after a UK learner, so I gave the BMW 650 GS a try
I rode the BMW first, its a nice bike but the engine felt clunky and I stalled it several times at lights (maybe put that down to lack of experience?) BMW also seem to use a non standard indicator set up which I found difficult and distracting to get used to on the test ride.
An hour later I tried the Versys and I felt instantly at home, the engine was far far smoother and had far more punch off the lights, whilst on the BMW I felt cautious weaving in and out of traffic on the Versys this seemed like the most natural thing to do. The versys was a just great fun and to be honest the BMW was just boring in comparison. I'd definatly go for a Versys over a BMW 650GS if its traffic and light touring you want. I think the styling loads better too.
OK the Versys is basically an 'on road' bike and the BMW has 'off road' potential but if you want a bike to ride on the road in town and out the Versys wins hands down in my opinion...I kept it an hour and a half and didn't want to give it back..its so much fun..i recon the BMW's just rough and dull by comparison
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 12:34 PM
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as a previous bmw rider of 5 years, switching over to the v was an easy choice. i spotted the V in a dealership last year, made a dash to it!, liked it alot, felt great the instant i sat on it, but walked away when the salesman told me it was a 650, i just came off of a r1150rt and figured the V would be too underpowered, was bummed out cause i liked it, but after doing some research online i had to go ride one, and that was all it took, the mechanic came out back ( an english guy) wanting to know who was gonna ride it, said " no one had shown any interest in it, so he was curious" told me i would love it, he was right.......bike has plenty of power, real world power that is.... comfortable and fun in town....i've got a 3 day ride coming up on the blue ridge parkway and can't wait! get the V.....
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 03:55 PM
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Versys on gravel

I just bought my Versys based on the fact that my friend has had his for over a year with no problems. We have a lot of gravel roads here in NZ and Dennis has set up his Vs with Avon Distanzia tyres. He finds it VERY good on gravel except for the limitation of the 17" front wheel in deep stones. Based on my limited experience on some of your "fire" roads, I would say the Vs would be fine.

In ALL other respects (in my opinion) the Vs just beats the F650GS so easily it's a "no contest".
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 11:34 AM
 
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Hi from the UK,

Just picked my V up from the Kawasaki Dealer last Saturday and its by far the best bike i have owned starting with:

DTR 125
CBR 600F
XTZ 660 Tenere
ZX7R

Save the best till last the Versys.

Looking back I find that the off road types Tenere and DTR were not as stable or planted to the road as the Versys. The Versys is big and tall and comfortable like an Off Roader but has the agility and road going capability of a super moto.

Basically if you put together a Off Roader and Super Moto you would get a versys. All of the benefits with the only draw backs being the off road capabilities. Its about the same height as my Tenere used to be, so in conclusion unless your going to do some major off roading then the versys is great all the benefits without the expense of the BMW badge........
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 02:23 AM
 
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Hi from down under, ride bikes since over 30 years now, at least 20000 km/year. Had my first KLR 650 around 87 back in Europe. The engine failed after 2 years of to much high speed usage, even it was regularly serviced. Generally was a good all rounder. Till last year I had for 2 years the ER 6 and thought generally lots of it (except the paint job), particular of it's punchy engine. The Versys has less horsepower and of course for it's purpose a different gear ratio than the ER 6 and when I tested it (hardcore) it didn't match in the off road section, compared with the KLR 650 and on road not even close with the Er 6. Since 8 month I own now the F650GS twin and wouldn't even think to compare this one with the ones, mentioned before. With the Acropovich (take the restriction out) pipe the thing goes 200 km/h and the throttle is all over sudden very responsive in comparison with the standard muffler. The finish is twice as good as the K's. I wouldn't recommend the factory lowered version, only if you have to,- for much off road usage (60 mm less spring travel as standard model), unless you buy progressive springs for the front fork, change the front (less teeth) and, or rear sprocket (more teeth), and buy more off road orientated tires. Basically these points also apply for the standard height version. This 800 cc motorbike runs in a totally different category as the single or twin cylinder 650's, particular the bigger F 8oo GS (85 hp) goes like hell. That BMW calls it a F 650 GS is a rather a stupid idea in the first place, when the engine has a capacity of 798 cc but that is another story. Indeed, the beamer has to have a couple of 1000 km's under it's belt (chain) before it really goes, where as the Kawasaki's seem to go very well from the start. Check the Japanese budget bikes 80000 km later for example and you'll see and feel the difference all together. In the top of the range section, I wouldn't say this about Kawasaki or any other brand from Nippon.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfish View Post
So what do you think, does the F650GS twin get any of you guys wondering about that bike vs. the Versys or is the Versys a slam dunk, and if so why?
No not at all because the Versys has limited to no off road capabilities in my opinion. Why would it be more off road capable than a naked SV650? I still dont get why people are looking at the V and thinking its an adventure bike. Its a Supermotard/Naked Sport Bike if anything but I guess its name implies it can do everything. If I were looking for any off road capability I would have never considered the Versys period. Its gearing and rim/tire size are all wrong for it.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 09:07 PM
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No not at all because the Versys has limited to no off road capabilities in my opinion. Why would it be more off road capable than a naked SV650? I still dont get why people are looking at the V and thinking its an adventure bike. Its a Supermotard/Naked Sport Bike if anything but I guess its name implies it can do everything. If I were looking for any off road capability I would have never considered the Versys period. Its gearing and rim/tire size are all wrong for it.
When it was first released in the US, Kawasaki called it a dual sport. Of course, it doesn't take long to see it's a street bike.



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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 10:08 PM
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When it was first released in the US, Kawasaki called it a dual sport. Of course, it doesn't take long to see it's a street bike.

They should offer an optional 19 inch front wheel for the bike. That would be pretty cool. You could put some decent tires on it, a larger back sprocket, high mount front fender and give her hell. Oh and the underbike exhaust would have to go but that would be pretty easy to solve.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-13-2008, 11:37 AM
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Here is an interesting comparo between the two bikes and the wee strom. The boys pick the Versys, the girl goes for the BMW. I guess that says it all. Are you a man or a girl?

Just joking. The BMW looks to be a nice ride. However, I was at the Toronto bike show last night and sitting on the Beamer. The seat was not that comfortable, hard and sloped forwards. In fact, all of the Beamers I sat on had a worse frontwards slope that the Versys and much harder. I was a little dissapointed and surprised. Would have expected more comfort from these.

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=dreoYlnlVQw

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-13-2008, 04:07 PM
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They should offer an optional 19 inch front wheel for the bike. That would be pretty cool. You could put some decent tires on it, a larger back sprocket, high mount front fender and give her hell. Oh and the underbike exhaust would have to go but that would be pretty easy to solve.
Yep, I agree. With that set up, I think the Versys would be better than the wee-strom off road.





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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-13-2008, 05:17 PM
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Wouldn't take my V off road. It's just not made for that, yea you can do it, but... If you want to do a lot of dirt road riding I'd get a GS800 or KLR.
It just depends on where you do most of your riding.
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 06:35 PM
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does anyone ever compare the V to the BMW f800s or st?
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 07:10 PM
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Wow, that's digging up an old thread.

Since the Versys and the F800s(t) are in different categories and price points, they don't get compared too often. I think one member moved from an f800 to a Versys for reasons of service cost and parts availability; although, I may be wrong.

The F800 models start around $10 or $11 thousand bucks, so it's not really a fair comparison.

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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 07:20 PM
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I think comparing to the F800 is ok. I rode both and bought the Versys, so it definitely stacks up well. About the only plus I could find on the BWM was the low maintenance belt drive. The extra power sure didn't show.
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 07:32 PM
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was there any difference in the vibration...?

i am surprised that you did not feel the additional power....

the bmer also had niceties like heated grips...
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