Versys Impressions - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Versys Impressions

Hi all.

I'm a soon to be new rider.... well at least on concrete. I grew up racing dirtbikes, got out of that in high school, picked it back up at the age of 37 and I'm still going strong at 46. I am considered a decent intermediate MX rider. I've pretty much ended up with a list that narrowed down to two bikes. The Versys and the Triumph Street Triple (not the SPEED Triple). I've sat on both but have yet to ride either.... it was a freaking down pour when I went to the dealerships today.

I was originally thinking Motard but after a bunch of searching and reading I narrowed it down to the Versys and TST. I'm 6 foot tall and the V seems to fit me better based on my usual dirt/mud covered riding position. The TST is dead sexy. The bike will be used for mostly commuting. I never considered a street bike until diesel got so retarded... and I drive a near monster truck sized Excursion so it will only get decent mileage when doing highway driving. Big freaking tires KILL city mileage. My question is.... Why would the V be better suited for me than the TST. Cost isn't to be considered... and the difference isn't that great between the two.... about $1K.

I ride aggressive on the MX track, pretty much drive the same way, but I have a feeling that will tame down on a street bike because of the visibility issue. Driving a 7.5 foot tall truck has made me extremely aware of situations on my blind (right side) so I would imagine that I would project that awareness to street riding.... Always leaving a space cushion around me and positioning myself to be most visible at all time. Can you tell I'm nervous about the street? LOL It's not problem being bar to bar hauling into a corner on the dirt... but bar to car door?!? That math scares the hell out of me.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 10:28 PM
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Well, I don't know which bike would be better for you, but the Triumph has about 40 more horses. If you're looking for a great performance ride, that bike is on the short list. But if the hp doesn't seem as important, the Versys is a great riding bike, & you say it fits you better, that's important. A man has to be comfortable when riding...



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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 12:51 AM
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I am a recent convert from a 4x4 Chevy Silverado to motorcycling. Primarily due to $4 gallon gas (i.e. 14 mpg vs. my last tank of 49 mpg on the bike). Yes, there's the cool factor too, but my poor truck hates me right now for leaving it in the driveway for a few weeks now. I think it gets pissed when I move it out of the way to wash the bike.

Looked at the Triumph, didn't like the price. Am VERY pleased with the Versys and continue to invent reasons to ride it every day.

I miss the "steel armor protection" that my Chevy has, but if today's excitement proves anything, the bike is far more maneuverable to get around and/or avoid dangerous situations. Did I say I'm pleased with the bike?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 03:35 AM
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Hi TwinSpar,

I did loads of reviews and impressions reading on the V to make sure I was getting the right bike (Apart from just absolutely loving the looks that is).

I don't know the Triumph but at least the following things always seem to come through for the V:
  • Upright riding position helps a lot for visibility in traffic.
  • Peg positions allow you to easily stand up for even better visibility.
  • Counts as a short wheel base bike and is very maneuverable in traffic.
  • Based on the Kawa Ninja, with shift to lower end performance, also good for traffic, because you have the power low down to get out of a sticky situation.
  • Good fuel consumption.

I also drive a truck (although over here we call it a "bakkie", closest pronunciation would be "bucky"), and if the online converters are correct the following is what I get in my truck:

95 liter Fuel Tank = 25.096 344 974 gallon [US, liquid]
Fuel Consumption 5.6 km/liter = 13.1720167 miles/gallon(US)

Whereas the V's consumption seems to be in the range of:
19+ km/liter = 44.6907708 miles/gallon(US)

And I agree, in my truck I have "road presence", everyone else makes sure they know where you are relative to them cause you can cause a lot of damage when something goes wrong. I am also nervous about getting the V and going through rush hour traffic, but I think that is good , as long as you are nervous you are alert, I see guys shooting between still standing traffic at 80km/h+ (50mph+), they are just begging for some tired, half aware driver to spot a gap and switch lanes without looking.

Good luck with your decision , if you buy the Triumph you would at least have to come pledge your undying admiration for the V and make plausible excuses for not choosing it in the end

08' Diablo Black Kawasaki Verys
98' 3.0L V6 Colt Rodeo D/C (Engine rebuilt, Body lift, Monroe Shocks, 32" Wrangler MTR's, GME GX300)

Work hard, play harder. --Bob
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 04:08 AM
 
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Triuph vs Versys

My previous bike was an Triumph Speed Four, since 2 weeks Iím driving the Versys.
The only thing that I miss is indeed the Horse Power, there is a serious difference.
Everything else is better on the Versys.
Things you really notice is that the position on the bike is much better.
The engine makes a lot less noise
When you arrive with the Triumph, you really are noticed, you got a lot of positive reactions (in the Netherlands)
The fuel consumption, the Triumph uses for 13 kilometre 1 litre fuel, the Versys drives 22 kilometres on 1 litre fuel.
I had some technical problems with the Triumph. With a lot of rain 1 cylinder stops (so I had a 3 cylinder as well), something you donít expected from an English bike .
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoop View Post
I had some technical problems with the Triumph. With a lot of rain 1 cylinder stops (so I had a 3 cylinder as well), something you donít expected from an English bike .
You obviously never had an old english roadster (e.g., Triumph car, MG) with Lucas electrics. If you did, you would not be surprised at electrical problems in the rain.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 09:48 AM
 
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Well I helped a friend with his Reliant, so I can't say that I was not prepared.
But I read that the builders from Triumph had paid a visited to the Japanese factories and hoped the learned something.
Compared to the problems with the Reliant, my problems where very little.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 09:53 AM
 
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Dealer network - period. If you travel and something breaks, good luck finding a triumph dealer or anyone to work on it.

I do have to agree the TST is a sexy bike and has an awesome sound. However all in all the V is going to be a more comfortable bike all around.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 10:01 AM
 
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The Triple is a hell of a bike. From reading your posts I think your aggressiveness will rear its head on the Triple more than the V.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the comments! It's a tough call to make for me. I still tend to favor the V with the practical side of my brain (or what little is left of it). I really need to focus on what my goal is: A good commuter platform that has a form factor that won't require a huge deviation of riding style that is vastly different than that of a dirtbike.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSpar View Post
Thanks for the comments! It's a tough call to make for me. I still tend to favor the V with the practical side of my brain (or what little is left of it). I really need to focus on what my goal is: A good commuter platform that has a form factor that won't require a huge deviation of riding style that is vastly different than that of a dirtbike.

You sure you're not looking for a dual sport? A DRZ, an XR, a DR, these are closer to your current riding practices. There are many good DS bikes to choose from. A Versys is a street bike, make no mistake about it.

Of course, the up-right riding position of the Versys is a nice comfy fit for an old dirt biker...



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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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I originally started out going down the DS/SM path but came to the realization that running +70mph for 20 minutes on a single cylinder dirtbike would most likely drive a person insane after a while. I guess they could be geared to run at those speeds without needing the check valves every week.... LOL
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 02:19 PM
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I came from a KLR to the Versys due to the fact that it was a very similar riding position and that the V is very agile which makes it a very good commuter.

On the plus side, you just need to browse through the site to see all the great mods that can be done
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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Thumbs up Triumph or Versys

Well i have been lucky enough to have rode various Triumphs in recent years, Here in the UK they are regarded as a top machine, And so they are ,and the triple power plant is awesome,, with an ample power spread across the rev range.. BUT and A BIG BUT, In the real world of bike riding that's getting the bike out for fun rides, commuting, or long distance Turing, How much power do you really require, How much comfort do you need, The Versys has a top speed up around 120mph plus, and for most of us that's above the legal speed limit, but certainly fast enough for most day to day riding, The Versys low down power curve is awesome for fast overtakes, (just when you need it ) and it has a great spread of power throughout the rev range, I really do believe that my Versys is the best all-round bike that I have ever used on the road, ( and that's what it was designed for ) Yes I have rode some mad bikes on the track and off road,, But again that's what they were for Track days and dirt riding, So your choice has to be YOUR choice and the Triumph sure is a fine bike, But the Versys really is a Versatile machine and unless you want a really Hooligan bike, The V will serve your needs.....
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 03:38 PM
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Magic Versys

Owned about 70 "modern" bikes in the last 13 years, wasted lots of money, finally realised (at age 56) that what you NEED is :-

Comfort
Control (that excludes clip-ons!!)
Enough Torque (44 is enough in the right places)
Enough HP (60 is fine thanks)

Good economy is handy these days as well, and easy/cheap running costs and maintenance. My Versys friend just did his 25K service himself, all sweet, shims all good. Tyres are cheap (I use Distanzias).

It's been said before (by me many times in error) but the Versys IS the best all-round bike I've owned.

As you guys say.....YMMV.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-29-2008, 02:47 AM
 
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youed be suprised how far a little power goes with a bike though, the V is pretty quick, and defently turnes heads, from what ive noticed anyway, as tough as it sounds for you, i dont think you could make a "wrong" decision, just one that could have been a little better
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 10:50 AM
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If you go with the Triumph make sure you have a quality dealership nearby.

The Versys has more service options. I learned the hard way about buying a niche market bike - in my area motorcycle dealerships are far and few between and the niche market bikes are even more rare. Around here they can treat you anyway they want and charge you whatever they care to get away with because where else are you going to go?

I left BMW because of this situation and I won't be going back. It just wasn't worth the hassle.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 11:15 AM
 
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One thing I noticed is the Versys handles like a Motard.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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It's been a while but I finally found a bike that fit my wallet and personality. My wallet was impacted by life and I was forced to look for a used bike. I had my heart set on an FZ6 when I realized I wouldn't find a Versys that would be affordable. An 03 Bandit 1200 came up for sale. Used to have a fairing but was taken naked/streetfighter. Once I got on the bike and rode.... I was sold! It's got power everywhere and really is a joy to ride. Even though it's old tech... It handles really well. I thought naked would be annoying when commuting on the highway but it's not bad at all for the 34 miles a day that I do.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 04:28 PM
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Congrats on your bike. Sounds like you found a winner.





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