Versys vs. Buell Ulysses, opinions? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Versys vs. Buell Ulysses, opinions?

Hey folks,

I realize this is a biased group, but just wanted to see what you all think about this. I have been shopping around for a sport touring machine for a while. I have ridden the versys, various BMWs, Ulysses, Tiger, Vstrom, VFR, and Bandit. After a pretty comprehensive search I have narrowed it down to the Versys or a Buell Ulysses.

My price range is 6-7K. Basically I could get a new Versys or about a 2006 Ulysses with pretty low miles.

I basically like these 2 the most because they both have great upright comfy riding positions and I like the looks of both. Although the Buell has about twice as much displacement, the HP difference is not all that great. I think the Buell is maybe a little better (meaner) looking but they both look good to me.

Reliability wise, I think this is probably a toss up as well. Both are pretty bullet proof from everyting I have read. The Buell has a maintenance free belt instead a chain that is rated for the life of the bike. Both have available hard bags. Both weigh abouth the same (Buell is about 445# dry).

I do sort of like the idea of buying american and with the Buell you get a little bit of cred with the HD crowd. I ride a triumph now so I guess I dont really care about that. Also, they both have strong after market support.

The buell is probably more dirt worthy but I really just plan on using the bike for pavement so that doesnt matter much to me.

Any thoughts here? Im sort of at a dead lock with this.

Ryan
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:50 AM
 
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I have not ridden the Uly, but I've ridden an XB12 and XB9, and researched Buells for a long time. I love the look of the Buell more than the V, but I think the V is more comfortable and A LOT smoother. On top of that, Buells are loaded with stupid little issues (go read the Uly forum on badweb, the buell forum, it's 90% complaints). The Buell's also piss out a TON of heat from the air cooled motor.

If you're going to spend money on a bike you want it to be reliable. That is why I chose the V over a Buell. Buell just has too many little issues right now. Maybe someday.
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:52 AM
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I talked to a guy recently that owns a Ullysses and his belt broke around 15,000 miles. So much for the maintenance-free aspect.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:54 AM
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one reason i chose the V over the Buell when making my choice was the issue of repairs..my prior bike was a 1150RT BMW... finding dealers to service it were harder to find..i like the idea of knowing most any metric bike shop will do repairs if i'm on the road and have a breakdown...
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:59 AM
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I think you're going to buy the buell/

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**

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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peoriakid View Post
with the Buell you get a little bit of cred with the HD crowd.
Yes one of my life long dreams, if only those wonderful group of pirates would accept me but I had to go and become an individual

Seriously though I researched the Buell somewhat and they really seem like great bikes. Basically they make more of a bike that I like to ride for a lot of their models (and they only make a few) compared to Kawi.

For me though it came down to cost and dealer network, there are Kawi dealers all around me but only one Buell that's pretty far away, add to that over $5000 in MSRP I decided I didn't want a Buell that bad.

But if you could find a good deal on a 2006 it sounds like you are leaning to a Buell. I like how unique and inovative they are

fitz
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by tsunamichop007 View Post
..i like the idea of knowing most any metric bike shop will do repairs if i'm on the road and have a breakdown...
Exactly, it's one of those things you never think about untill it happens and when it does you tell yourself NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

fitz
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 10:54 AM
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I've never ridden a Buell, but the Buell looks cool and would certainly seem to give someone a boost up the social scale compared to a Versys (If you care and there are lots that do). I would imagine the Versys would get the nod in price, dealer network and reliability.

Depends what you want more, I guess. Riding is really about passion.

Dave

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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 11:28 AM
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If your gonna spend that kinda jack, bend all the way over and grab your ankles and take it like a man. Buy a BMW. I wouldn't spend $12,000 on any Buell. The bike looks neat though

Last edited by jhedges; 06-18-2009 at 11:31 AM.
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 11:32 AM
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I tried a Buell at a demo day. My complaints: so MUCH heat onto my right leg it felt like it was burning; and the steering lock is so restricted (and I was NOT aware it was restricted) that I was VERY close to dumping it on the turn around at the dealer's lot after the ride.
Ed
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 11:45 AM
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I was looking at the XB12XT the $13K fully loaded price tag forced me to think about what was going to do with the most with the bike. I dream of long tours 2 up with my wife through the backroads of the Rocky mountains, stopping for the night and camping under the stars. Then I woke up and realize the first my wife will not ride in the back of a motorcycle, second if I go on a long solo tour I would probably spend the night at the motel 6, and last I will spend 90% of time riding in suburban stop and go traffic from the house to the office. So I decided get the best commuter bike out there and save myself a lot of dough. At some point in the future I would consider moving to a Ulysses or a BMW. In the mean time I am enjoying my daily commute to work.
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 11:58 AM
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I dream of long tours 2 up with my wife through the backroads of the Rocky mountains, stopping for the night and camping under the stars.
That's a good dream, in a week I'm hoping to do just that, plus the 3000 mile round trip there and back

fitz
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 12:54 PM
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Personally, Id go with the new bike.
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitz View Post
Yes one of my life long dreams, if only those wonderful group of pirates would accept me but I had to go and become an individual

Seriously though I researched the Buell somewhat and they really seem like great bikes. Basically they make more of a bike that I like to ride for a lot of their models (and they only make a few) compared to Kawi.

For me though it came down to cost and dealer network, there are Kawi dealers all around me but only one Buell that's pretty far away, add to that over $5000 in MSRP I decided I didn't want a Buell that bad.

But if you could find a good deal on a 2006 it sounds like you are leaning to a Buell. I like how unique and inovative they are

fitz
If only that was true...most HD riders aren't even happy if you get a sportster. A buddy of mine rebuilt an old sportster from the ground up...very sano job. We went riding with some of my HD friends and my buddy was so proud of his bike (he should...it was very nice rebuild job), until the HD fellas asked "what do you ride?" He was baffled...until they said they assumed it was his wife's bike. He was crushed! Unless you are riding one of those rolling couches (full dresser), they still aren't happy. I cured that issue with them...anytime they say anything negative...I hand them the keys and say "try it b4 you run your mouth. Most won't...which prompts me to say.."too much horsepower?...handles too well?" If it continues...i pull out my title..so far none of em' want to run me. Usually they shut their racist, bigoted mouths after that. The one guy who actually took me up on the offer to ride the V....came back with a huge grin on his face..He is now trying to talk his wife into letting him get a second bike...a "V" So I say ride what you want, and to hell with the rest of em'!

Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.
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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 01:49 PM
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Versys: Great bike, great engine. Ulysses: Great bike, terrible engine (I'm not talking reliability either).

On an separate point: why would you buy a bike (or anything for that matter) just to gain acceptance from a group of people?

-Never mistake kindness for weakness.
-Harley Davidson rEvolution engine (V-Rod): Designed by Porsche, detuned by Harley.
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post #16 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 02:04 PM
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If you are really into the Uly and can write a good story, you can win one...

http://www.buell.com/en_us/experienc...uell%20ulysses

Still tryin' to recapture the magic of being 10 years old on a Honda Mini Trail 50...
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post #17 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 02:23 PM
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Get the bike that makes you happy. I've had a honda, aprilia, bmw and now the kawi. I lusted after each one at the time of purchase. The bmw f650gs was the only one I loved and waited 6 months after I bought the versys to even consider selling it. I,m hoping the versys will be a bike I love after the honeymoon ends. Get the bike you have to turn around and look at again. Versys, It's a very fun ride!
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post #18 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 02:50 PM
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Don't let a chain put you off. Get a scott-oiler http://www.scottoiler.com/ and you have a next to zero maintenance chain that will last for years.

I read a review of a Buell that had an aircooled V-twin in one of the Canadian newspapers. It compared sitting on it at idle to sitting on an operating paint shaker at home depot. It was that smooth. I think they look cool, and are probably fun to ride, but I wouldn't buy any of their aircooled machines. The rotax powered buell..now where is my wallet?

Last edited by splitmind; 06-18-2009 at 02:53 PM.
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post #19 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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I've actually owned both, so I'll throw my $.02 in here.

The Buell is faster; has better suspension; stops better; shifts better; has more room for a passenger; has a more comfortable seat; parts are cheaper; and maintenance is limited to basically oil changes and spark plugs. If you like effortless power wheelies, the Buell is the one for you. If my experience tells me anything, the Buell will be at least as reliable as a Kawasaki of similar age and mileage. The few typical XB Buell problems are well documented and easily fixed.

Annoyances? Sure. If you're inclined to ride in casual clothes (jeans etc.) you will feel the heat on your right leg. The headlight sucks. The rear cylinder has a cooling fan that is pretty noisy. The fuel "tank" is too small for touring, even though gas mileage is quite good. The dealer network is a joke, and even though they've come a long way from the tube frame days, Buells still seem a bit home-built in their overall state of refinement (some may say that's a plus, YMMV).

If I was going to get another Uly, I'd get an '08+ because there were some significant upgrades, including increased steering lock, an improved EFI computer, and a better oil pump. And, there is the rub. An 08+ Uly is going to cost $4,000-ish more than a new Versys.

I want to be clear that I think the Versys is an awesome bike, and I love mine. There are some areas where the Versys is better than the Buell, including fuel mileage and range. I actually like the overall size of the Versys better; you can use a (small) magnetic tank bag; and there are more Kawasaki dealers around.

It's not really a fair comparison because the Buell is a much more expensive motorcycle. The Versys is sort of like a mini Uly that's 90% as good and costs 60% as much. If money were no object, I'd probably pick a nice '09 Uly, but I think that the Versys is a better deal for the money, and in the end you'll be better off with a new Versys than an '06 Uly.
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post #20 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 05:53 PM
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Harley guys should learn that it's not the size of the motorcycle between your legs that determines your manhood.
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