Gen 1 vs Gen 2 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
akb
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Gen 1 vs Gen 2

Hello folks - I've been looking for something that could be fairly fun to ride and handle long stretches of road - so naturally Versys 650 kept coming up in my searches and after a multitude of articles and videos I'm thinking it's probably a good way to go.

I'm potentially looking at taking a longish trip across the country in the next couple of years (like the idea anyway) so, to maximize bike's value to miles I'm looking at either Gen 1 or Gen 2 (hopefully under $4K), so my questions are:


1. Is there a noticeable difference between the two in riding experience or reliability?

2. Is there anything out of the norm to watch out for when shopping for this bike?

3. How are the inverted forks maintenance-wise - I'm a bit suspicious of these for leaking...

4. How reasonable are the overall maintenance costs for these?

5. How long do these bikes generally last before major components call it quits - I've seen a wide range on this forum and other sites, not sure if there's a good rule of thumb for the lifetime range...

6. How hard/easy is it to perform the routine maintenance and is getting a center stand worth it

7. How do these bikes handle drops, knocks and other unfortunate situations - just wanted to make sure I can ride away from my embarrassment... (+ towing is expensive)

8. How do these bikes do with extended periods of storage/ non-operation or even low miles (e.g. if a 2008 bike has 5k miles, should I be concerned)

9. Is there a good resource for used bike listings other than CL (I've checked out local shops, ebay and cycletrader and most of them were either slim pickins or over my budget).


Well...Didn't quite make it to 10, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time... Any input on the topic is much appreciated.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 12:13 PM
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I have a Gen 1 ('08) w/ 85,219 miles on it (ORIGINAL owner) as well as a Gen 3 ('15) w/ 69,xxx kms, so I can't compare to a Gen 2, BUT...IMHO

2. Is there anything out of the norm to watch out for when shopping for this bike? Nope

3. How are the inverted forks maintenance-wise - I'm a bit suspicious of these for leaking... I replaced the seals on my '08 at about 60K miles, and on my '15 at 22,800 kms (under warranty)

4. How reasonable are the overall maintenance costs for these? I change oil/filter each 5K miles, plugs/air filter each time I "do" the valves, brake fluid each couple of years

5. How long do these bikes generally last before major components call it quits - I've seen a wide range on this forum and other sites, not sure if there's a good rule of thumb for the lifetime range... NONE have failed on my '08 in 85,219 miles

6. How hard/easy is it to perform the routine maintenance and is getting a center stand worth it Valves are a bit "finicky", but just take a careful approach, and I see NO need for a center stand. I use TREX pit-stands for maintenance in my shops



7. How do these bikes handle drops, knocks and other unfortunate situations - just wanted to make sure I can ride away from my embarrassment... (+ towing is expensive) Put crash-bars on - I 'low-sided' at 20 to 30 mph in AZ, and they saved me from any serious damages

8. How do these bikes do with extended periods of storage/ non-operation or even low miles (e.g. if a 2008 bike has 5k miles, should I be concerned) EACH bike gets a six-month storage every year, w/ STABIL in the gas, and battery removed and on a 'maintenance charger' for 10 mins/ 24 hrs

9. Is there a good resource for used bike listings other than CL (I've checked out local shops, ebay and cycletrader and most of them were either slim pickins or over my budget). Watch the FOR SALE Forum in this Forum
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'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 07-02-2019 at 12:16 PM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Cool, thank you - that's a lot of miles...
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 02:00 PM
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I have to change my answer in one of your questions:

5. How long do these bikes generally last before major components call it quits - I've seen a wide range on this forum and other sites, not sure if there's a good rule of thumb for the lifetime range...

There is a weak spot - the voltage regulator - it's a SHUNT type, meaning that it outputs at 100% ALL the time, causing the stator to OVERHEAT AND possibly burn-out, and I had the one in my '08 die at around 55,000 miles, after I'd replaced the voltage regulator w/ a series R/R... a BIT late it would appear!



and the one in my '09 was replaced at 53,592 kms, [then that V650 was replaced about 10K kms later w/ a '15 V650 LT] while I put a SERIES regulator [supplies ONLY the required voltage, so runs MUCH cooler] in about 400 kms later (a Compufire R/R).

When I got the '15 I searched out a series R/R from "onewizard", then replaced the OEM one at 28,589 kms w/ a Polaris R/R.



HOPE I'm not scaring you away from the V650s - I LOVE them!

-
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Cool, thank you - it definitely helps
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 10:55 AM
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Versys MK-1 & [email protected] & MK-3

Several advantages to the MK-1 & 2, if you are looking at converting to a LED headlight , those work, not so for the MK-3. The MK-3 is closed loop and now that Steve has a new flash for the 2015 / 2016, a awesome bike and superior to the MK-1 & MK-2 if you go with the new flash . One caution, the regulator is a issue and the conversion to a series regulator basically eliminates or greatly reduces stator failure. Generally if you have the tools and are willing to learn, the most expensive task is the valve shim check , vacuum sync. there are photos with step by step including tools needed on this forum, the cost of DIY if you bought all the tools is about 1/2 of what it would cost to have a reputable shop do it. I highlighted that because it is hard to find a reputable shop and many of us doing the valve shim, finish with all settings to maximum clearance, it has been found that once done this way, you are generally good for double or say 40,000 KM.
And there are several bikes available on this forum.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by akb View Post
Hello folks - I've been looking for something that could be fairly fun to ride and handle long stretches of road - so naturally Versys 650 kept coming up in my searches and after a multitude of articles and videos I'm thinking it's probably a good way to go.

I'm potentially looking at taking a longish trip across the country in the next couple of years (like the idea anyway) so, to maximize bike's value to miles I'm looking at either Gen 1 or Gen 2 (hopefully under $4K), so my questions are:


1. Is there a noticeable difference between the two in riding experience or reliability?

2. Is there anything out of the norm to watch out for when shopping for this bike?

3. How are the inverted forks maintenance-wise - I'm a bit suspicious of these for leaking...

4. How reasonable are the overall maintenance costs for these?

5. How long do these bikes generally last before major components call it quits - I've seen a wide range on this forum and other sites, not sure if there's a good rule of thumb for the lifetime range...

6. How hard/easy is it to perform the routine maintenance and is getting a center stand worth it

7. How do these bikes handle drops, knocks and other unfortunate situations - just wanted to make sure I can ride away from my embarrassment... (+ towing is expensive)

8. How do these bikes do with extended periods of storage/ non-operation or even low miles (e.g. if a 2008 bike has 5k miles, should I be concerned)

9. Is there a good resource for used bike listings other than CL (I've checked out local shops, ebay and cycletrader and most of them were either slim pickins or over my budget).


Well...Didn't quite make it to 10, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time... Any input on the topic is much appreciated.
I've owned both models.
  • Gen 1 650 is 2007-2009, Gen 2 650 is 2010-2014, and Gen 3 is 2015+, The primary differences between Gen 1 and Gen 2 is styling and improved engine vibration mounts, 2014 and later bikes have ABS
  • Nothing out of the norm to watch for, fairing rattle is common but easy to fix, see threads on this site.
  • I did my forks last year at 30K km. Oil was dirty but seals OK, I replaced them anyway
  • Like all Japanese bikes reliability is excellent although they require far more preventative maintenance per mile than a car. Valve adjustments should be done every 30K km or so.
  • How it has been driven and cared for is just as important than miles
  • You need swingarm spools and a spool stand to do maintenance and a center stand if you want to change a rear tire on the road. A spool stand is better than a center stand and cheaper for working on the bike. You need to download the service manual from this site, it provides guidance in all maintenance.
  • If you want to make your bike stand up to drops you need crash bars like the SW-Motech ones (gen1 and gen2).
  • I would immediately do a service on any purchased bike (oil, filter, air cleaner clean, throttle adjust and cable lube, chain adjust, valve adjust, throttle body sync). You can do all of this yourself with the service manual and some basic tools. Chain state is a good indicator of how the bike has been maintained.
  • Do not remove the side fairing panels on the Gen 2 before first reading the service manual on how to do this. The process is not obvious and you can easily break the tabs. 95% of the used fairing panels on eBay have broken tabs.

Last edited by twowheels; 07-07-2019 at 12:57 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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I'll prob leave the valves to someone who knows what they're doing, I should be able to manage the standard stuff (still don't like taking off tank to clean air filter though). Regulator does sound like a good idea...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Do not remove the side fairing panels on the Gen 2 before first reading the service manual on how to do this. The process is not obvious and you can easily break the tabs. 95% of the used fairing panels on eBay have broken tabs.

Good advice! Id like to add one thing: apply some grease to the rubber grommets and the pins. If you do this the first time you remove the plastics, you wont have any trouble with them ever again! I can have my bike naked in under 10 minutes as the panels all pop off with no fight.
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2011 V650 in Black, well accessorized.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 11:11 PM
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grease?

There is a product you can get at NAPA auto parts its called SIL-GLIDE its good for the rubber and is not at all messy. Perfect for lubing all rubber.Great to use when installing O-Rings ETC.
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Smooth is fast.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 11:38 PM
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Nothing much to add as all has been highlighted above- Rock solid bike.
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