Questions for 2-up Touring
I'm having a hard time thinking between the 2018 Versys 650 SE and the 2019 Versys 1000 LT. These are Canadian models, so we can get the LT without the LT SE.
A little background
My wife and myself having been doing 2-up touring with a Honda ST1300, but as it happens we need to get another bike. We've been looking at a lot of the options (including a used ST1300, FJR and Super Tenere) and have been strongly gravitating towards the Versys 650 or 1000. The first bike we went riding on was a 750 V-Twin Honda which had more than enough power for us. Although it did have a lot of torque which may have been a good part of that.
My question is really for those that do 2-up riding with a full load of gear, do you find that the Versys 650 has enough power for rides in hilly terrain, through mountain passes and the like without struggling? Do your pillions find it comfortable enough for long rides and when going over bumps?
All bikes I've owned you could feel the difference between a passenger with stuff for a day trip vs a passenger with stuff for an extended trip (plus bringing stuff back) but its never really been a problem for us.
The biggest upsides that I can see for the Versys 1000 over the 650 is the wider seat (might be more comfortable for my wife), the center stand (not available on the 650 I hear), the cornering ABS (I'm having difficulty finding if this is the LT SE only or LT as well) and the fact that it is orange (which matches my helmet and looks awesome.)
Biggest upsides that I can see for the Versys 650 over the 1000 are the Sargent seat available without having to send in your seat pan and the price.
Our 750 was chain drive and had no center stand, so oiling the chain was never too much fun. Longest trips on that was 1,300km days, so oiling the chain was a daily occurrence and never as fun as it could be with a center stand. Of course, we're no longer doing distances that high a day, but we still want to be able to do 500 to 700 kms comfortably.
On the same note, how often do people in this scenario find that they are adjusting slack on their chains? The 750 I used to take tools (including a torque wrench) for the necessary slack adjustments.
I appreciate any feedback. I know that we'll be happy on the 1000, but trying to determine if we would still be happy on the 650.
PS. Not a very fast rider so pure power is not a big concern as long as it has enough for 2-up touring with gear. If the bike can hit 70 mph I'm happy and both the 650 and 1000 should do so.
Going to try to head to the dealer this weekend to try one out, but they only have new stock and I'm not sure how much we'll be able to tell without a full load (and a 650 should be more than fine with just my wife and me on it.)