Versys vs. SV 650 S - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Versys vs. SV 650 S

Hello from Finland!

First, thanks for this great and very helpful forum.

I'm thinking of getting Versys (2009 euro black) next summer as my second bike (I've now SV 650 S -05).

I'm wondering how V's motor (power) compares to SV. I must say that SV has enough power for my use, in Finland at least (I nead my driving license ). But I don't like the way how SV's injection is working around 2000-4500 rpm. Next summer I'm heading to Alps with my girlfriend as a passenger and I'm not sure if V has enough grunt for two-up riding trough the Autobahns?

PS. Sorry for my crappy English.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 12:25 PM
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Your English is far better than the Finnish any of us could give you.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 01:40 PM
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Shakey, If your happy with the SV's power then the Versys will not dissapoint, but for two up there is not a lot of passenger real estate. Based on some happy memories of some Finnish girls I once met, I think your girl friend will be happy back there, but if my memories are better than reality, then you might want to look elsewhere.

Steve
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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I believe that my girlfriend would be happy back there, at least it seems to have quite good room for her legs when we sat on a Versys in a showroom (a lot better than SV anyway)...

My other option is to buy a new KTM 990 SMT, but it's a way too expensive costing 16300 € (that's 20500 $) here in Finland, when Versys is about 9900 €... We got huge taxes for cars and bikes thanks to the our goverment.

Jukka (it's my real name)
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 05:39 AM
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I've just come from a 2004 SV650 to a 2008 Kawasaki Versys, and these are my opinions thus far:

The Good Stuff

- The Versys has far superior suspension, and soaks up the bumps a lot better than my SV ever did. Hitting rough surface mid corner is of far less concern to me now.
- The Versys is more comfortable long distance. More upright seating, better wind protection, more space for both rider and pillion (and luggage!)
- The Versys is a hell of a lot more fun through the twisties. The wide handlebars, and the way the bike seems to want to "fall" into corners makes for a bucketload of fun. The SV always seemed reluctant to lean into corners, but this made for easy hanging off the bike through corners. The Versys seems very eager to flow into corners, so is taking getting used to to hang off the bike (since the bike seems to want to come along with me), but I suspect once I get used to this it's going to be a lot of fun
- The Versys has a lot more aftermarket options when it comes to luggage, since it is a bigger bike
- The Versys is a lot less susceptible to damage if it falls over, especially off the bitumen. The SV's wide radiator was just asking to be wiped out the moment the bike fell over. I also like how the Versys has plastic panels to protect the fuel tank, repairing my dented fuel tank on my SV was very expensive.
- Seat of pants, the Versys feels quicker in general, but this could be due to the more upright seating position.
- Versys feels better balanced, lighter, and less top heavy than the SV, surprisingly.

The Bad.

- The Versys is very tall. Not a problem if you're not short like me.
- The Versys engine vibrates more. All through the rev range. The SV is most certainly a smoother engine.
- The Versys seems to drink more fuel than my SV did. This could be because I've only just gotten it and so have been a bit more throttle happy though.
- The Versys seems rougher in the lower revs, and really doesn't like dropping below 2000RPM. The SV wasn't happy there either, but it seldom complained.
- Not as much engine braking, which makes downhill riding a little less comfortable (for me). This is probably a personal preference thing though, since a lot of people seem to talk about not liking engine braking.
- The SV sounds better. Again, probably personal preference.
- Instrumentation on the Versys doesn't allow for clock AND odometer to display at the same time.

So yeah, all in all - as much as I miss my SV for a lot of reasons, I certainly totally dig my Versys. It's a totally awesome bike, and I think Kawasaki have scored gold with this one. Now if only I could shoehorn an SV engine into the Versys body...

~
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Last edited by demuire; 03-02-2009 at 05:42 AM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 05:42 AM
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Oh wow, that was a bit long. In summary, to answer your questions:

Does the Versys have enough grunt:
If you're happy with the SV, then yes. Versys is easily as powerful as the SV, and the power delivery is very similar (lots of torque through the midrange)

You don't like the EFI of the SV between 2000-4500RPM:
Unfortunately, I think you will like the Versys even less. It's a bit more snatchy and vibrates a bit more than the SV does.

You want to ride two up with a Finnish girl:
Versys is without a doubt more comfortable two up. The much taller rear seat also gives your pillion a better view of what's to come. SV gets you closer though

~
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks demuire, if Versys has better suspension and riding position, it's going to make make huge improvements over SV.

I'm looking forward to be able to do a decent test drive on Versys...

Jukka
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakey79 View Post
I believe that my girlfriend would be happy back there, at least it seems to have quite good room for her legs when we sat on a Versys in a showroom (a lot better than SV anyway)...

My other option is to buy a new KTM 990 SMT, but it's a way too expensive costing 16300 € (that's 20500 $) here in Finland, when Versys is about 9900 €... We got huge taxes for cars and bikes thanks to the our goverment.

Jukka (it's my real name)


LUCKY DUCK! That bike is dreamy! I hope KTM brings it to North America! Too bad it's so expensive.. but I'll bet it's worth it! It's the only bike I can think of that might actually meet all the criteria to replace the V!

2007 Versys Black, V35 Bags, H&B Bars, Skidmarx Hugger.Fender Ex., Avon Distanzia, Braided Lines, Hella 65W bulbs Arrow Can, DNA Air filter, GIVI tall screen (for winter), PCIII, Baldwin Saddle. **SOLD**

2011 KTM SM-T. Crash bars, E55 Top Box, Fender extender front and rear.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 10:14 AM
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what Demuire said- if only the SV engine was in the V chassis. I switched out a 1st gen SV I had for the V and it's a solid trade. The left side handlebar vibes are the biggest diff for me, but they aren't a deal breaker since there's many rpms where they aren't there, and don't make my hand go numb.
I like the new seating position (after the seat mod), the extra inch of suspension travel makes a bigger difference than I would have thought (SV was setup for sport riding ,though) and it's pretty easy to work on, like the SV. The brakes aren't as good, but I've yet to change the lines out, too.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 10:27 AM
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As other have said the if the SV has enough power for you the Versys will be just fine. I own both bikes. The SV revs better and the Versys makes a touch more power down low. The SV might be a touch smoother but it’s a non-issue actually. There is VERY limited room behind you on the Versys. My wife got her for ride on the back of the Versys this past weekend (she is actually the owner of the SV650S). She is on the small side (4'11" @a 100lbs) and her first comment was how little room there is between me and the topcase on the Versys. In fact 90% of the time she was pushed up against me (no complaints, sweater puppies are nice LOL). Neither one of us had an issue with sitting so close but its just something to keep in mind for you people thinking about riding two up on the Versys.

BTW I find the injection on the SV smoother than the Versys. Could be because of the PC and TRE?

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 04:44 PM
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gti20vturbo: Do you find the Versys has less space for the pillion than the SV650S? That's surprising...

My SV was running stock EFI mapping, just had a K&N air filter and an IXIL slip on exhaust, and it ran flawlessly. Popped and burbled when you shut the throttle down too, so much fun riding through tunnels Versys sounds like a sewing machine

~
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 04:51 PM
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I owned a sv1000s so it was a little bigger and alot faster, but the v is way, I mean way more comfortable. After about 80kms on the sv I was screaming, despite putting new bars gel seats etc.. nothing worked.

The v is a blast to ride both under acceleration and a calm riding attitude.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demuire View Post
gti20vturbo: Do you find the Versys has less space for the pillion than the SV650S? That's surprising...

Yeap I am pretty sure its because of the upright seating on the V. There isnt a ton more room on the SVS but there is more because the rider is leaning a bit more forward.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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demuire: do you have a stock silencer in your Versys?

I've Leo Vince on my SV and it sounds really nice, but I can't say it runs flawlessly (with stock EFI mapping). I think it would need some adjustment because emission laws in Europe forced the manufactors to adjust EFI systems not ideally at low rpm. I also liked the way my SV sounded riding through tunnels in our last summer Norway trip...

armcphail: with standard bars and seat on SV I can run only about 40-50 km until my lower back starts to hurt, but that's not happening if the road has enough curves...
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 12:54 AM
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shakey79: yes. And I'd like to keep it quiet, so I suppose I'm stuck with the stock exhaust, even though it sounds like a sewing machine...

~
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomla View Post
The left side handlebar vibes are the biggest diff for me, but they aren't a deal breaker since there's many rpms where they aren't there, and don't make my hand go numb.
After changing the bar to Pro Taper SE ATV Lo, the vibrations are vastly reduced!


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