Why the Versys? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Why the Versys?

I have been out of street riding for a few years and have been longing to get back into it. I have a short list of bikes that I will post what I would like are comments why you think the Versys is a better choice. Here is my list.

Suzuki Vstrom either the Wee or the Vee I like the ABS option.




Aprilia Shiver A touch higher in price but damn it's pretty.



KTM Mini Duke One tough looking bike but less then the Super Duke.





The Venerable SV 650 again ABS but I hate that head pipe.




The Versys




That is the short list please discuss.

Last edited by Paladin; 04-29-2008 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Add something
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 11:33 PM
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Only the Wee Strom and Versys are really comparable in the all-around role and pricing.

The Aprilia Shiver, while undoubtedly an awesome bike, is more powerful than the Versys all around due to the 750cc engine, but is also nearly twice the price of a Versys. Aprilia's dealer network is sadly near non-existent, which means if the bike breaks on a long trip you might have trouble getting it fixed, and insurance is anything but cheap. This is the price of owning sexy Italian exotica.

The KTM 690 Duke looks tough and seems like it'd be a pretty stellar hooligan bike, but at a price point of nearly $10,000 there are a whole raft of other bikes I'd be looking at first.

The SV650 has a much more aggressive riding position than the Wee and the Versys, and so I wouldn't pick it for my only (primary) bike. Having said that, they're as common as apples so parts and service are inexpensive, it's easy to find a used one cheaply, and the community is huge.

Since you're on this forum, I'd say the two comparable bikes are the Wee Strom and the Versys. Buy the Wee if you spend more than 70% of your time on the highway, or more than 30% of your time in the dirt. Buy the Versys if you spend more of your time in the city commuting and don't care about doing much more offroading than the occasional dirt road.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 12:05 AM
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I don't even look at the V-strom as a competitor in my mind. The V-strom is built as an adventure touring bike where the Versys can be adapted to be an adventure bike if wanted. I just don't see it in the category in my mind.

I look at the Versys like a heavier Supermoto and it works wonderfully even with bags and touring accessories added to it.

After riding a BMW 650GS around for a year or so and owning a Gas Gas supermoto I realized I liked the BMW comfort for long rides but it didn't give me the excitement that my Gas Gas would give me when I rode it. After riding the Versys at a motorcycle show I found it suited me perfectly in giving me the thrill while having enough power and comfort to travel on it.

As far as the bikes you've posted,

I love Aprilia's (as a former RSVR Mille owner) and think they are beyond sexy but I can't go through the Italian electrical/parts nightmare ever again. It's just too much of a headache for me and I'd rather have a Japanese big 4 brand bike with ready parts and a dealer in the smallest of towns.

The KTM I have not ridden but if it's anything like the SM690 it's gonna be a blast to ride and a super hooligan bike, but the Versys has the definite motor advantage in my mind. It's just a smoother powerplant on the Versys with a way better power delivery. The KTM motor is pretty much off and on.

The SV650 is a good beginner bike but I would grow tired of it quickly. My sister's ex had one and I would take it out and flog it every once in a while. It's got good handling with decent power but once again, I feel it would lack in the motor department. It felt like it wound out too quickly and his didn't get very good mileage.

The Versys has a velvet smooth motor with plenty of power matched to that lovely supermoto style handling I've grown to love sooooo much. I would recommend one to anyone, even my father took it out for a ride this weekend and has nothing but amazing things to say about it (he's been riding for over 40 years and been an MSF instructor for over 20), not to mention I think I might have him sold on one as well.

It's gonna come down to what you want to do with a bike. I did the dirt/street adventure touring thing with my GS and just found it wasn't for me, I never once was excited with it and I just felt like it was transportation. With the Versys, I feel like a kid again. I can't wait to ride it again and I even walk by the garage door and take a peek in every once in a while for no reason other than to look at it.

I know this was one hell of a ramble, but I have to say, HANDS DOWN the **BEST** money you can spend on a motorcycle would be the Versys in my honest opinion.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks I like what I am seeing so far.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 03:57 AM
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Talking just my opinion

I have only had my Versys for a couple weeks now, but wow do I love the thing. It's great in any situation so far, I took it through the rain tonight and wasn't at all concerned nor did my pants get wet(light rain). You can get all sorts of bags for it, which you can't for some of the others you listed. The Versys is half the price for insurance then my previous Yamaha YZF600, I am getting 47mpg and the purchase price is good too.

I think the V-strom has way to much bulk for a 650(makes it look bigger then it is) but I have never riden one so that's all I got

Man the Versys is awesome in so many ways

Last edited by Vs.; 04-30-2008 at 03:59 AM.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 08:14 AM
 
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Blanch, my wife had a 650 V-strom and loved it, she had it 2 years and it never missed a beat.
She felt it a little lacking on power when out with other riders so she traded for a Coponord and was happy with the extra power but found it too heavy to push around and to park.
So next was the Versys, to quote her, "it feels as fast and roll on is as good as the Caponord".
She also feels the V-strom although a good bike would struggle to keep up with the Versys when the going gets more...... "spirited"

You pays your money, to take your choice!!

As for me, I've traded from a 1200cc bike and can't understand why I didn't do this before. On the back roads it is quick as anything unless you're on a death wish.

Out of the other bikes you have asked about the only other one I could fancy would be the Aprilia, below could be the reason
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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This is all really good stuff.

The bike will be a recreational vehicle with city driving a lot. With the way gas prices are going it will be a daily commuter.

I like my torque couldn't care less about top end.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 07:53 PM
 
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Hey everyone,

Paldin, I am currently in the same boat. Narrowed down between the sv650n with abs (with a small screen&luggage) and the Versys as my next addition in about a month. It'll be used as a bit of everything including primary transport(along with a cafe'd Triumph & klr-which I may get rid of since I don't go offroad anymore). Really wish we could get the ABS version here! I'll look forward to hearing everyone's input.

Enemy zero, you mention the sv lacking in motor? please explain? I know it has more hp & torque and a higher top speed than the Versys.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-30-2008, 08:51 PM
 
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The Versys is by far the better choice in MHO. I would test ride them all and make a decision based on your personal preference and not mine. I do know the ABS is offered in Europe and wonder if it will be available here in 2009.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hepcatz View Post
Enemy zero, you mention the sv lacking in motor? please explain? I know it has more hp & torque and a higher top speed than the Versys.
As Far as the SV goes:

I do have to say, when we switched off, I was coming off of an '05 ZX-6R so the motor in that case did feel as though it was lacking. Most things would coming off of a ballistic missile .

I just wasn't overall impressed with the bike. I could see it as a great platform for a starter bike that you could keep for years, it just felt like it wound out too quickly and didn't feel like it had a whole lot (except for torque) over the Ninja 250 that my sister's ex had sold to buy the SV.

In my opinion, it's a good looking standard with a lot of aftermarket support and a bulletproof motor. I just didn't get the same kind of excitement I get out of my Versys. The motor just seems so much smoother and it feels like it could rev to the moon and even though the SV has a very similar red line, it just felt like it ran out of steam earlier.

This is all my personal opinion though, maybe other people have ridden it and not felt this, but in my personal experience, if I had to choose one and only one to own for the rest of my days, I'd choose the Versys again and again.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 07:17 AM
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I can only speak to the KTM and not specifically to the mini Super Duke, but I did have a chance to ride the KTM 690 supermoto. The KTM had a lot of engine vibration in a broad rpm range while the Versys has a little bit of engine buzz in a very small small rpm range. Based on that experience I would definitely suggest a test ride on the Super Duke before purchasing.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 09:38 AM
 
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Exclamation "Ouch! Damn! #$^%$#%!!!"

Okay, I'll chime in with my own two cent's worth . . .

You've gotten great input about lots of different comparative advantages of the Versys, but there is one that I haven't seen mentioned yet. It is something that none of your comparison bikes offer - and that they couldn't be modified to encompass (unless you spent more than the bike was worth). It is also something that my passenger finds to be one of the top three reasons she likes the Versys better than any bike we have ever owned.

What is it? The under-the-motor muffler and exhaust. It keeps the center of gravity low and it keeps hot pipes and fittings completely away from your passenger, your luggage, your stuff that gets thrown across the seats during short stops and (when you're working on or around the bike after you ride and are changed into shorts) your own calves, thighs, arms, butt and fingers!!

I would guess that I'm not the only one on this forum who has a jacket, passenger and various limbs and digits that have scars from burns suffered because - in typical ADD fashion - "Damn! I forgot the pipes are HOT!"

Since I've owned the Versys, I feel much less vulnerable to getting an unexpected crisping. The muffler assembly is sufficiently large to call attention to itself, in the event I'm fooling around with something in its vicinity after a ride, so I don't think I'm going to have to have it plated in a DayGlo Orange alloy as a means of self-protection.

Of course, I like everything else the Versys has to offer: comfort, smoothness, quickness, agility, unusual looks, etc. It's my favorite ride of any that I have ever owned, borrowed or test-driven. Here's hoping you find your "ideal" bike, too!

Kevin
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Elllvis View Post
Okay, I'll chime in with my own two cent's worth . . .

You've gotten great input about lots of different comparative advantages of the Versys, but there is one that I haven't seen mentioned yet. It is something that none of your comparison bikes offer - and that they couldn't be modified to encompass (unless you spent more than the bike was worth). It is also something that my passenger finds to be one of the top three reasons she likes the Versys better than any bike we have ever owned.

What is it? The under-the-motor muffler and exhaust. It keeps the center of gravity low and it keeps hot pipes and fittings completely away from your passenger, your luggage, your stuff that gets thrown across the seats during short stops and (when you're working on or around the bike after you ride and are changed into shorts) your own calves, thighs, arms, butt and fingers!!

I would guess that I'm not the only one on this forum who has a jacket, passenger and various limbs and digits that have scars from burns suffered because - in typical ADD fashion - "Damn! I forgot the pipes are HOT!"

Since I've owned the Versys, I feel much less vulnerable to getting an unexpected crisping. The muffler assembly is sufficiently large to call attention to itself, in the event I'm fooling around with something in its vicinity after a ride, so I don't think I'm going to have to have it plated in a DayGlo Orange alloy as a means of self-protection.

Of course, I like everything else the Versys has to offer: comfort, smoothness, quickness, agility, unusual looks, etc. It's my favorite ride of any that I have ever owned, borrowed or test-driven. Here's hoping you find your "ideal" bike, too!

Kevin
I come from owning Buells.

God Bless Eric Buell and his crazy idea of putting the exhaust under the bike. People all laughed at him for doing it and he held firm and said it made more sense. If you look the KTM goes with the idea and I have even seen kits to relocate it on a gixxer.

What's next oil in the swing arm and gas in the frame.

I hate those big cans on the side of a bike and while under the seat may look cool it must produce some serious monkey butt.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 12:49 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for the info for Paladin & myself. The under exhaust is both a plus and a minus. I like the idea as long as it doesn't rust out more readily due to being closer to ground water, etc. Also means I would have to invest in paddock stands as all my other bikes can go on my lift for service. I so far have not found a nearby dealer with a demo Versys , though that seems to be par for the course for the big four dealers to only have a model or two as a demo for a round the block type ride. Thanks to all for any continued info, it is a great help. How's the Versys for interstate hops comfort & wind wise?

Last edited by hepcatz; 05-01-2008 at 12:51 PM.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 03:13 AM
 
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Paladin,
I too considered all these bikes, well, sort of.
The Strom, ugly, big, ungainly.
The SV, I do a lot of highway riding, and wanted something with a bit of wind protection, and a bit more touring capability.
The Shiver, $9500 and same concerns as the SV, although to a lesser degree.
Ah, the 690 Duke, this one almost swayed me, but again, $9350, and something more of a a riotous hooligan bike, less of a day to day distance bike, if I lived in the city, I might have gone this way. You will also pay a premium for upkeep on this beauty.
The Versys is a great bike and I am enjoying it, even being a pretty aggressive rider coming off sportbikes, good motor, snappy handling, freaky styling, woo-hoo!!!
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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All nice bikes for different reasons-VStrom-good for"adventure touring"- I haven't taken mine off road in 2k and don't intend to-infact I will make it even more for the street. The shiver is beautifull and i drool every time I see it in the showroom but it's a work of art and I would be too busy cleaning it and keeping it out of the rain. The Suzuki is more sport and I all ready have a sport bike. The Ktm looks like the perfect hooloigan bike. I chose the versys because I needed a mid size commutor thats not physically small, has plenty of torque to get me out of trouble in the city, some protection, reliability and non-exotic and reasonably priced . the Versys is all that and more. Every time I get off this bike I have a huge smile on my face and I am glad I made this choice.
It all comes down to personal requirements and this bike is perfect for what I need it to do.( well except I will enjoy it more when the mods are done!)
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 08:53 AM
 
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Well I will chime in. I was looking at the Wee Strom very hard until last weekend.
I then went to cookout/poker run at the Kawasaki dealership. While there I got to ride several bikes including the Versys,Wee,Ninja 650r,KLR 650,ZZR,SV650 and one of the new 08 500's.
I was really looking for a new bike for commuting and good mileage. I was very surprised what I walked away with. I was really digging the looks of the Versys but something wasn't just quite right, I don't know if it was the fit or what but that was the main reason I went to the dealer was to check it out.
I had never even considered a 650r until I rode one. I thought I would be all bent over etc.. but I wasn't and the seat height seemed to fit me quite well.
Then the dealership said hey we have a used 650r in back we just took in on trade, it had 4000 miles on it and was an 07. I wound up getting that bike for 5k out the door with a new helmet and it had new plates and inspection.
I would have probably gotten the Versys had I not been introduced to that used bike. The V was 500 more than a new 650r and looked nicer imho, even if the fit was a little off.
The Wee was just bulky as heck and I didnt want it for in town driving.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 10:53 PM
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I bought the Versys for the following reasons, mostly in order of importance.

1) I lust after Buells and Ducatis, but realize that as a beginner, neither company offers anything reasonably entry-level. The Versys has the kind of look that "does it" for me. It's probably a little more power than I wanted for a beginner bike, but my other bike is a 400cc 2-stroke dirtbike.

2) I'm tall and like the seating position. I don't cramp up or have to hold my legs at awkward angles with the stock controls. For some reason, I got cramps just sitting on the KLR650.

3) The Versys has apparently top of the line suspension for a "budget" bike. It's the only 'sporty' bike I've seen under $10k where motojournalists aren't constantly bashing the suspension bits ( see: Ninja 250, Ninja 500, SV650, FZ6 ).
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2008, 07:31 PM
 
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I had 2 vstroms..great bike, but the turbulence and buffeting they create from the too far ahead windscreen made it unrideable! U come off a cruiser with a tombstone shield, or some other poorly faired bikes , maybe u can stand it. And you can go on the wee sites and they all complain, and everyone has a magic shield or gizmo that cures it..I tried em all..Nothing made it any good except removing it completely or putting a acre of plastic on it that u had to look thru!..then it was so so.

So my advice is test one, and if you have ridden bikes with good windflow, u will know instantly what i mean. ..Otherwise it worked great! I had other bikes that didnt rattle my eyeballs, so it got gone!, Thats why i am looking at a versy myself..cool bikes! Good luck!
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2008, 09:15 PM
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why the Versys

I had the dl100 and loved it. It was so ugly I could not take it anymore. It was a very good bike. The versys is a lighter weight just as capable machine with a look that grows on you in short order. There is no debate that the shiver is a stunning looking motorcycle. I'm certain the insurance cost, maintanance is up there as well. It does not have the potential as the vstrom and versys. Versys IMHO is best of show.
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