Why not popular - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Why not popular

I've noticed that the Versys is just not very popular, at least around here. I'm pretty sure there are none (besides mine) within 30 miles of me and in 8 months of owning one, I have only seen two others and they were several miles from my house.
I see this bike as a jack of many trades but I get the impression that most people see it as a failure at everything. Ive had a few people approach me and ask what it is and they seem to be intrigued by it but I get the impression they don't know where to file it in their motorcycle brain file cabinet so they stick it in the Misc. file and forget about it. I, on the other hand file it in many folders.
It shoukd be mentioned that the majority of the riders in my area are weekend/fairweather Harley riders. Very few are true commuters. Maybe that's why they aren't seen here.
Does anyone see alot of them?
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 06:02 PM
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Because its not a sport bike, or a Harley.

08' Versys
Givi racks with V35 sides, and V46 Top-case, Garmin Zumo 450 GPS, Powermadd Handguards, Motowerks GPS Mount, Peg Lowering kit, Flat Foot, Arrow Exhaust, Adjustable Levers, GIPro Gear Indicator, Oxford Heated Grips
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 06:07 PM
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I agree with Hawkshot. I was talking to some other riders around the Seattle area, one person was saying the Versys is nice but it does so much that it fails at everything. When you look at it you won't use a track designed sport bike like it was designed for on the street, this is where the Versys excels. The V does not have the best brakes or suspension, or even the best engine, but it puts it all together in such a way that it is a more enjoyable ride that is capable of performing well on the street and twisty roads.
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 06:26 PM
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I've had tons of bikes, and really I think the best about the Versys is it's engine. Above 6000rpm it makes you forget it's only a 650cc, and it feels super light. I think the main reason for its commercial "failure" is looks and sound (both are a bit boring but can be addressed with a bit of money). And I suspect those that test ride it, are turned down by the seat and pegs ergonomics. Other then that the price is right, they are reliable, offer great range, and with a switch of tires you can expand the possibilities quite a bit. Also, tons of accessories available. Jack of all trades master of none fits it well. A sports bike for example is master at the track and that's it. I prefer a bike that can do a thing or 2
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 07:55 PM
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I get comments and/or questions almost everytime I stop somewhere like a restaurant.
There is always somebody walking over and taking a look at it.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 08:11 PM
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Well I have a confession to make. When the V firts came out I thought it was pure uglyness. I was riding my Z1000 and thought it would not last long. Fast forward to 7 months ago and I saw my V sitting in the middle of the showroom and standing out like a menacing black sore thumb. Now at 37 I had a different interpretation and it's updated looks really appealed to me.

So I guess that yes, looks can be a big factor when wanting a bike, but age and wisdom are also at play. My V gives me both at this point and I am happy but most people will only go with what looks good to them and fits their ego or social groups. The V does not fit into any group I see on the street and is simply an outcast. Think Buell and you kind of get the picture of what happens to a good fun bike with alot going for it but no friends to hang with. Luckily the press has not dogged the V like the Buell. Just my opinion.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 08:13 PM
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The sales figures for the Versys are very good. My dealer sells quite a few and never has any year end left over Versys. Guess it depends where you live.

The Versys 1000 on the other hand needs a restyling IMO. It looks like it got hit with the ugly stick. Why can't they put a beak on it for one thing?
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 08:37 PM
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AzItLies View Post
Ray... first off;

The versys is the most popular 650 cc motorcycle in the UK.

You may not have known that... but think... what does that mean?

1) people in the UK are more of a motorcyclist than the chumps here in the states
2) here in the states, as has been mentioned, we know 2 things... loud azz Harley or sport bike.
3) refer to point No. 1

basically, most of them here are not really riders, most of those here are posers, wannabe's, chumps, per-tenders, bar to bar hoppers.

If u think for one dang second that makes the Versys a lesser bike... anyone... you za moron...
I did not know they were so popular overseas.
I definately don't think it's a lesser bike and I agree with you about the type of people and the way they use motorcycles is much different here than in Europe. I'm not sure where I fall into the mix. I can say that my bike gets many more miles throughout the week than it does on the weekend and I don't spend as much time cleaning it as I do riding it and my motorcycles don't generally get plugged into the tender or get Sta-bil in the winter. Judging form what I see around me, that makes me more European, and the V fits that style much better than my chromed out cruiser (Honda Shadow) I had a few years ago.
People ask me "whats wrong" if I show up someplace and I'm not on a motorcycle. I kind of like that.
Some days the only things I see on two wheels are me and the scooter crowd (my hats off to those people, seriously, I wouldn't do it)
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 09:13 PM
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I see a few in my area, but not many. Most of the people I ride with, and all of the non-riders I know, have NO IDEA what this (un-badged) bike is. Part of its appeal to me.

The other part is that it is a great street bike. Not race track (where I don't ride), not dirt trails (where I don't ride) but GREAT on the streets, where I do ride.

Always trust your cape.

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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 10:35 PM
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+1 ATYC. I'm riding the hell out of it in the canyons. I've probably ridden my favorite roads at least 50 times, various 200 mile routes. I know every curve, every pothole. It's desolate California, highway 33, Lockwood Valley, Cerro Noroesto, Highway 1, Jalama, Foxen, Canyon, Tepusquet, 150. Just a blast and a perfect afternoon's mental escape route.

My V's debadged and most people have no clue. Ducati? ER6-N? It looks, well...serious. I'm in, gassed up, and out. No Starbucks pontification, or ADV posing. Just clearing the head and having a blast.

Someday is not a day of the week.

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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 05:59 AM
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 07:32 AM
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I get the same thing when I ride my KLR. Seems it you're not on a Cruiser, big all out touring bike or Smoking hot Sport-bike you're not a biker. I point out most cruisers only go 6 miles at a time, one bar to the next, where the "Biker Sheep" tell each other how hard they ride. Most Sport-bikes will break the speed limit in 1st gear and it's a lot more fun the ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow. Add to it that's all they are good for and the Police don't like you doing 120mph on their roads!

Then I point out I'm on a little 650 "Dirt Bike" and it's been to Florida, the U.P. Virginia Beach and all over the place on and off road in all kinds of weather hauling anything you could think of. My Versys will being doing the same in years to come. Just faster on road and not as much off road.

Try doing any of that on a Sport-bike or cruiser. I want to see you "Single Tracking" on your Goldwing! I may not be the fastest or "Coolest" or ride the sexiest bike out there BUT I can do just about anything and go just about anywhere, can they? You are better off owning a Do Anything bike than a whole garage of single purpose bikes, after all you can only ride one at a time and if you're a 1,000 mile from home then decide you want to ride a trail and you're on your $45,000 chopper you're just plain out of luck.

The thing is there are so many people living the Walter Mitty dream of being " The Last American Hero" all 50 million of them. OR believing they could be the next Great GP hero, they couldn't.

I ride what I want not what they want me to. After all, I don't ride for you. I ride for me. And I hope you're doing the same.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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2012 650 Versys

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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 08:34 AM
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I have 5 co-workers who ride, 3 with cruisers, 1 with harley and 1 with a custom bike. They knock mine, as being too quite, or lately it's ugly, my boss who used to ride wasn't sure what to make of it.

But one thing I've noticed with "dual-sport" style bikes like this, they tend to get ridden more in all kinds of weather. Since buying mine in May, I've only taken my pickup for work maybe 2 dozen times all summer, and still plan to ride until the snow flies. The harley only comes out on the weekend, the chopper only on the nicest of days, the three cruisers come out once a week. My wife's boss bought a Ninja the week before I bought the V, he's already parked it for the season, too cold. I've noticed a few of my nieghbors with sport bikes haven't been riding this last week as it's turned colder, but they will come out of hibernation on the weekends.

Two of the best compliments I've had lately came from my Dad's neighbor, he rides/races a heavily modified ZX10 and his wife rides a Ninja 1000, he was looking over my bike and took it for a ride. He was really impressed with it, he'd never given it much thought, but the riding position was comfortable, it has good power, and looked sharp. He'd seen them in the dealer, but it wasn't his style of bike. Would he buy one, maybe not, but a quick spin changed his opinion of it. The other, an elderly couple at the grocery store a few weeks back was a nice twist, couple in their late 70's, I had the bike parked on the sidewalk beside the entrance next to a stock harley. They stood there for probably 3 or 4 minutes looking over the bike, I was off to the side and then came up to get ready to leave. Even though it's dirty, they both commented on how well it sparkled and that it was really sharp looking, and a different style than other bikes they see.

'09 Candy Plasma Blue Versys 650 (the fastest color)
Givi DS 450 Windshield
SW motech engine guards
HT Teton Panniers
Acerbis handguards
Avon Distanzia tires
Garmin Zumo 665
dual power usb/12v plug
Givi trunk on custom mount

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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 08:36 AM
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There are plenty of riders that buy bikes because they feel the category suits them better. Younger riders on sport bikes or older ones on Harley's. It's part function but "identity" does overrule careful thought about how some people plan on using a bike in many instances.

My buddy on an R1 said he wouldn't mind trading his bike in for one like mine. I spoke with a 40+ Harley guy last weekend who told me he was on the fence to get a v or vstrom.
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post #16 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 09:51 AM
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The relatively tall saddle restricts it's market to those with 32" inseams or those who don't mind tippy toes stops.
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post #17 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jcctx View Post
The relatively tall saddle restricts it's market to those with 32" inseams or those who don't mind tippy toes stops.
I have a 30" inseam. I put a Speedy's lowering kit on it, and now I flatfoot the bike and it feels like it handles better in the corners.

Nothing's too cruel if it's funny enough.
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post #18 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Tigerpawed View Post
+1 ATYC. I'm riding the hell out of it in the canyons. I've probably ridden my favorite roads at least 50 times, various 200 mile routes. I know every curve, every pothole. It's desolate California, highway 33, Lockwood Valley, Cerro Noroesto, Highway 1, Jalama, Foxen, Canyon, Tepusquet, 150. Just a blast and a perfect afternoon's mental escape route.

My V's debadged and most people have no clue. Ducati? ER6-N? It looks, well...serious. I'm in, gassed up, and out. No Starbucks pontification, or ADV posing. Just clearing the head and having a blast.
I took my MSF course in June. A Californian, Ducati-riding buddy of mine suggested to 1) decide what kind of riding I was going to be doing, 2) whether or not I wanted to be part of a social club and 3) to go to a bunch of dealers and just sit on many bikes to see what fit. I took his advice and decided that what would bring me most joy was riding the Hoback Canyon and Teton Pass near my home. I don't want or need a social club. The best feeling bike for me was the Versys. Before buying the bike, I was in Europe for 2 weeks and saw TONS of bikes. Mostly BMWs, Aprilias and scooters, as people there seem to value functionality first. I came home, showed my buddy pictures of the Versys and his immediate reaction was that it was ugly! He started to come around after reading some press, seeing some YouTube videos comparing it favorably to the Vstrom and BMW and seeing one in real life, farkled out. Since buying the bike in mid JUly, I take it out almost daily for anywhere from a 50-150 mile ride...all alone, all smiles. Nobody ever comments on the bike because it only sits still long enough to pump 4 gallons in it and then I'm on my way. I love the bike, I love riding and I really don't think I could have made a better decision.

BTW...has anyone ever seen the Aprilia Mana 850... Tell me that doesn't look a lot like the Versys!

http://www.apriliausa.com/en-US/Mode.../Overview.aspx

'12 Versys
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post #19 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 10:55 AM
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To me, the fact that it's not that popular is one more reason why it's so cool. It lets me think that I'm smarter than the average rider.
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post #20 of 40 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 12:07 PM
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Being Canadian, my first Versys sighting was an orange (LOVE that color!) 2007 at a Kawi dealer in Calgary. I thought it looked STRANGE (my KLR was parked outside...), but then when the Red Deer dealer where I'd bought the KLR offered me a test-ride (), EVEN though I had NO intention of buying a V, I took his '07 out and "spanked-its-butt".

Hm-m-m - NICE power, great handling, comfortable riding position. This is OK.... (Did I mention I LOVED the color...?). Then we headed down to AZ for the winter, my KLR on the trailer.

My wife loves looking at 'show homes', so one day she made me come see some in Florence (we had a "park-model" in a Mesa RV park). I LIKED, so we made a deal, were told it'd be finished come September, and headed back to the "Great White North".

THEN "MOTORCYCLIST Magazine" declared the V MOTY, and, remembering that GREAT test-ride back in Red Deer, KNOWING that I'd have a garage in AZ come September, I made a deal to buy an '08 and pick it up at the time we'd 'close' on our new home.

And NOW I have TWO, one for EACH country!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jcctx View Post
The relatively tall saddle restricts it's market to those with 32" inseams or those who don't mind tippy toes stops.
I have about a 30 1/2" inseam, so I found the V to be pretty much as high as the KLR, so OK on 'tippy-toes'. THEN I put an R1 shock on, and now, with 45mm sag, it's STILL high to get onto, but I can touch BOTH feet down after it 'settles'.

Ed
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