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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Opinions welcome

I had an '89 Transalp bought new in '91 from a dealership in Buffalo. I brought it home to Ontario and tought myself how to ride. I rode alone most of the time but never had any trouble meeting other riders on the road. Took a trip out to PEI. Went thru Quebec on the way out, beautiful province but not overly friendly, particularily the QPP! Came back thru Maine New Hampshire and Vermont and spent a couple months trying to figure out a way to move down there permanently. The next year I took a trip down to New Mexico and Arizona. North to Wyoming then straight across under the border back to Ontario. Unbelievable trip. I'm looking forward to doing it again, next time with some company. Anyway I got married and had some kids and yada yada yada I sold my bike. Absolutely without a doubt the stupidest move I've ever made but there it is.

12 years went by......

Now I'm looking for a new bike. Because I deserve it. I'm having a hard time making up my mind. I live 20 km (12 miles) down a gravel road so the most practical bike for me is undoubtely the KLR but man.......thats a face only a mother could love. As far as looks go the er6n is a thing of beauty (from the pics anyway!). I also love the changes they made after hearing the complaints from our friends in Europe and Down Under. But it seems there is limited accessories available, specifically I'd like to put on a TBR slip-on and the accompanying juice box (not alot of Dynos in Northern Ontario for you PCIII fans) and the kid I talked to at Two Brothers says they have nothing in the works for the er6n. I also came across a wicked deal for an SV650 with ABS. New '08 for $1000 less than a new er6n, almost $1500 less than an '09 Versys. The thing is my shift mate has the same SV650 and I don't know if I can do that.

Then there is the Versys. Until finding this website I hadn't really considered it. Then I saw and sat on one in the Showroom. Now I'm all messed up. Looking forward to hearing from y'all.

'09 er6n
'89 Transalp
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world."
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 01:38 AM
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Where abouts are you in Northern Ontario? Its an area large enough to house two time zones.

I love the Versys, but with the amount of gravel you are doing daily I'd also consider a 650 VStrom. It isn't as high tech, or pretty, but its a lot closer to the Versys in power/ride than the KLR. I believe it has a 19" front wheel.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 06:59 AM Thread Starter
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Northeast, near Kirkland Lake.

The v-strom is closer to the KLR in ,um, appearance as well. The 20 km of gravel is the only dirt my bike will ever see. I have to ride on it to make it out to the highway but I'm not really worried about it as far as affecting my choice of bikes. Its a fairly well maintained road. I've seen guys from the states bringing their goldwings down it, just not quickly. The dust is another issue I'll have to address as far as maintenance goes. I'm hoping to use the bike for the daily commute into work until the snow flies.

'09 er6n
'89 Transalp
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world."
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 08:44 AM
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Is the road a fire road on a snow covered mountain? If not, the Versys will handle it just fine. Where I live, about 50% of the roads are gravel or dirt and I don't have any issues. (Of course, we don't have any significant elevation changes, either.) You could put dual-purpose tires on and have less issue, especially if the road is covered in mud or snow often.

Now whether the Versys is the right bike for you or not is another issue, but don't let the gravel road scare you.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Like I said in my previous post, I'm not worried. I think it's way more the competency of the rider than the bike. You could give me a Beemer designed by the factory for the Dakar and there are riders out there that would blow me away on anything from a Vulcan to a cbr125 on a road I've been driving for 25 years. But you bring up an excellant point, what exactly are my issues with the Versys?

I don't care for the green or the grey ('09 colors in Canada), I don't care for a speedo I can't read while wearing polarized glasses, I'm not crazy about the looks, the stock windscreen seems to funnel wind at your head which is a valid consideration considering the bulbous melon I've been lugging around all these years and no ABS! So what do I like?

I like the unique if not pretty silhouette, the adjustable suspension rocks, there's a blue '08 close by for a reasonable price, the engine is solid, I can take off for a 3-day blast and not worry about bringing a chiro with me, the value for the money is good, and none of my shift mates have one.

Maybe my I should change my username to indicisiveguy.

'09 er6n
'89 Transalp
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world."
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 09:18 AM
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Might want to have a look at the KTM 990 Adventure...Sweet bike, rode one at the IMS...To dual for me, but nice suspension, motor and the size is about trans alp...Good luck

If I new what I was doing, I wouldn't still be working
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Newguy View Post
Like I said in my previous post, I'm not worried... ...But you bring up an excellant point, what exactly are my issues with the Versys?

I don't care for the green or the grey ('09 colors in Canada), I don't care for a speedo I can't read while wearing polarized glasses, I'm not crazy about the looks, the stock windscreen seems to funnel wind at your head which is a valid consideration considering the bulbous melon I've been lugging around all these years and no ABS! So what do I like?

I like the unique if not pretty silhouette, the adjustable suspension rocks, there's a blue '08 close by for a reasonable price, the engine is solid, I can take off for a 3-day blast and not worry about bringing a chiro with me, the value for the money is good, and none of my shift mates have one.

Maybe my I should change my username to indicisiveguy.
Hmm, the issues you have with the Versys are valid and most don't have a simple solution. You could repaint the bike to a color you like, but that is time consuming and expensive. Never thought of the issues with the speedo but I don't wear polarized glasses while riding, only while driving. Don't see an easy fix to that one. Seems many have come to a reasonable solution to the wind issue but for me it was never an issue so I'm afraid I don't have much input here.

Not exactly sure what a "chiro" is. The bike is fairly unique, at least at this point. I think it is growing in popularity so in a few years you may see many of them.

Maybe the Versys is simply not the right bike for you. I'm not trying to scare you off as the Versys is an absolute joy to me, but there may be better choices for you. I'd suggest considering an FZ6 or (a used) Z750, but I have no idea what is offered in Canada. Sorry, guess I'm not much help.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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It's all good. I asked for opinions and I appreciate your response. By "Chiro" I meant Chiropractor. I was trying to say it seems like a comfy bike for a long haul. I really like the look of that z750 and I'm looking to see what there is out there used. I've got time to kill. Won't be riding here until april at the earliest.

'09 er6n
'89 Transalp
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world."
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 10:19 AM
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It's all good. I asked for opinions and I appreciate your response. By "Chiro" I meant Chiropractor. I was trying to say it seems like a comfy bike for a long haul. I really like the look of that z750 and I'm looking to see what there is out there used. I've got time to kill. Won't be riding here until april at the earliest.
Ah - chiro means chiropractor. Makes sense now. Yeah, I do think the Versys is a comfy bike, although on really, really long rides (>400km) the seat does start to cut in a bit.

I like the Z750 too, but at least in the states it's been discontinued. Also, not sure how good the wind protection would be for you. Good luck hunting.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 10:28 AM
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Yeah, you're right, a KLR has a face only a mother would love. It's just about the fugliest motorcycle on the planet. But anybody who has ever owned a KLR fell in love with that bike. I wouldn't discount it.

A KLR is virtually indestructible. It's got a nice, long, flat seat so you can move around on it. It's got a big, flat rack that you can carry almost anything on. It's easy to ride and can go almost anywhere. You can ride a KLR hard and put it away wet. It looks better when it's covered in muck. Accessories are cheap and easy to find. If you're doing some highway time you can buy a bigger windshield for it.

When I had my KLR people would stop me in the parking lot to talk about it. I think they admired a guy who had absolutely no sense of self worth when it came to motorcycles.

Most people like me who owned a KLR and sold it end up asking, "Why the heck did I ever sell that bike?" I had an '08 but some people like the old vintage better. You can always find a good, used KLR. You should buy one. If not, buy a Triumph Scrambler.

Last edited by charly; 02-13-2009 at 11:14 AM.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 11:12 AM
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Hi Newguy,

I have to agree with the appearance of the VStrom, just throwing ideas out there. FWIW I ride with polarized sunglasses and never have an issue with the speedo. Most LCD displays are fine if you are looking at them square on, which you are here. I have LCD instruments on my boat, and once I am looking at them by anything more than 30' off centre they blank but head on they are fine.

If you do a little searching you can find a decent rad guard, and there is an engine guard out there which also includes a belly plate. (Not pretty but it works.) There are quite a few after market shields out there. I found the Givi works much better for me, but other taller riders haven't. (I'm 5'9) There is a windshield tilting bracket that helps as well.

You may be able to find a blue one left over from last year at a dealer with a little phoning towards Ottawa and Toronto. I have an 07 Burnt Orange which is still my favourite colour, but I also like the blue, and green they've released.

The riding position is great if you have lower back issues. The seat is ok, not great, but the riding position is perfect. Happy hunting.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by splitmind View Post

I love the Versys, but with the amount of gravel you are doing daily I'd also consider a 650 VStrom. It isn't as high tech, or pretty, but its a lot closer to the Versys in power/ride than the KLR. I believe it has a 19" front wheel.
right this is stupid to admit but I've done 85mph (136kph) on a less maintained dirt road... I did have my brand new avon distanzias(sp) on though... I've rode a lot of dirt roads with it and it just gets better every time... the V is a all in one type of bike in my opinion, I think what you said is true though it's all on the rider...
as for the digital speedo, again I don't think its that big of deal, two reasons, if you know what gear your in you can basically know how fast your going by your rpms, and yeah sometimes you can't see it you just have to move forward a little but for me it never has been a problem... I don't think that should be a reason not to buy a great bike...
the windscreen, hmmm the er6n doesn't even have one, I flipped mine over and it's been great and it look a hell of a lot better...
for me it is amazing I've topped it out just under 130mph (209kmh) on the Bonneville salt flats, I've gotten 58mpg when settle into a cruise and I have over 11000 miles on it... so yeah good luck I guess...

08 Versys 32+k and counting


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