Decision time... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Decision time...

Everything's in place to shop for my second bike. My current ride (I'm keeping) is a Yamaha Stratoliner. Love the awesome, smooth power. Now, I want to add something to commute on, and occasionally take touring, but with a sportier feel.

I had decided on a Versys. However, I also have an option to pick up a new '08 Yamaha FZ1 at a significant discount. I understand how the two bikes are different (have ridden the FZ1, and a Ninja 650R). However, they both share some qualities that are high on my list... upright ergos, sporty handling, good looks, can take bags.

My question: Since I'm used to a very powerful cruizer, lots of torque, etc., will I eventually lose my enthusiasm for the Versys? Will it seem pedestrian in terms of power at some point? Would I be better off with the additional power of the FZ1, or is it overkill?

I'm a mature rider, meaning that I enjoy acceleration and performance, but I'm not a hotdog on the roads. Don't need wheelies, or track time, just a crisp spirited ride. I believe the Versys will do that, but honestly, I enjoy the power in reserve that my cruiser has; it's one of my favorite attributes in that I don't have to thrash it to maximize it's potential power.

Any opinions or experiences would be appreciated. Thanks very much.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 03:10 PM
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Hmmm, comparing any sport bike with a cruiser is a tough one.

You talk about power, but no mention of how a bike handles. The V would out run that huge cruiser on just about any road with twisties or turns. If you live in one of those flat straight road states you would probably find the V boring if your main interest is dragging.

IMO

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I'm struggling with how to phrase the question. I live near Houston, very flat and boring. However, I get almost 3 months a year to travel, and my wife and I ride out of state, and to other parts of the state. I've ridden dirt bikes, standards, and cruisers, but not too many sport bikes (3 or 4?). I just don't want to have to whip the V to get it to move when I want to move. I've probably been on the cruiser too long. I've ridden some smaller standards whose engines felt like squirrels in a box. I'm 6'2" and 200 pounds, and I don't want to feel like I'm maxing out the 650 twin every time I pull away from a stoplight. Wish our dealers would allow test rides. Thanks.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 03:44 PM
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The V will out accelerate your cruiser in pretty much any circumstance, but it is not a relaxed cruiser. Your cruiser will feel sluggish after riding the V. It is very lively and quick. If you do lots of touring, or ride 2 up lots, I would recommend a different bike. Not because the V has any particular shortcomings, but because there are better distance machines out there. However, the V is priced pretty attractively.

I just test rode a Triumph Tiger, which is a 1050cc machine, and it didn't feel that much quicker than the V. However, with the larger motor, you are turning way fewer revs on the highway, and you hold your gears for longer That's a plus. The FZ1 will definately have more go on the highway, but it will require downshifting to get the power. Similarily, with accelerating, the FZ1 is a little lackluster, especially for a liter bike, down low. It comes into it's own further up the rev range, but it is a little peaky.

Since you like the torque of your big cruiser, you will also like the way the V lays down power. You drive the torque more than the HP.\

Good luck!

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 #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Whenever we travel straight roads, I'll probably always take the cruiser. But when we travel *to* twisty roads, I'll always take the V. I tend to shop a long time and play devil's advocate before purchasing; usually, I'm a lot happier with my decisions that way. The V still seems like the best choice, and if it's power curve is like I imagine it to be, it'll always be fun, but I gotta be sure.

Also gotta decide whether to take an '08 at a great price in a color I don't like, or an '09 in my favorite color... Don't know how hard it is to disassemble a V for repainting. I did it with my cruiser, and that was plenty of work. Hmm...

Again, thanks for your comments.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 04:17 PM
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I ride an FJR that has a little bit of torque and power. I use it for different purposes than my Versys. The FJR is for longer rides and for two-up. The Versys is my daily go to or my play on the backroads all day bike. (Yes I am way more fortunate than I deserve and I have no idea why SWMABO tolerates my vices!)

I do not find that the Versy lacks power, it just comes on differently than the FJR. Yes, adopting a different mindset when on the Versys is good for your long term health. For example, I have to remain aware that it will not pass other vehicles in the same space as the FJR. On the other hand, I'd rather take across a mountain gravel connector on the Versys any day.

Realize that it takes a few minutes to reacquaint when you switch back and forth. This may likely be your biggest issue. The character of your Stratoliner is so way different from the Versys that you will have an even bigger adjustment than I do...not sure the difference w/ the FZ will be any less.

And fitz is spot on, the Versys will leave a heavy cruiser in the dust in the twisties.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that each bike fits its niche very well and I would greatly miss either of them if one had to go.

Montani Semper Liberi
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 05:24 PM
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If you can get the FZ1 for close to the same price as a Versys get the FZ1. Its a no brainer if you ask me. Ether bike will pretty much blow the cruiser away anywhere anytime. Cruisers feel fast but they are not.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gti20vturbo View Post
Cruisers feel fast but they are not.
Now there is a topic we could probably write quite a lot about.

For instance, if a bike gives you the perception of going faster at a slower speed wouldn't that satisfy our speed demons better than going 150mph on a bike that feels like you are going slow?

We should start a scale for all bikes judging the "fun factor".

The V seems to run pretty high for most people.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
The V will out accelerate your cruiser in pretty much any circumstance, but it is not a relaxed cruiser. Your cruiser will feel sluggish after riding the V. It is very lively and quick. If you do lots of touring, or ride 2 up lots, I would recommend a different bike. Not because the V has any particular shortcomings, but because there are better distance machines out there. However, the V is priced pretty attractively.

Good luck!


A quick google search gives me the following stats;

- Star Stratoliner 758lbs dry, 75hp = 10.10 lbs per hp

- Versys, 399lbs dry, 60hp = 6.67 lbs per hp

....I wouldn't worry about the V seeming down on power. I actually have found it to feel quite powerful given it's modest hp; probably 'cause it has good torque and doesn't need to be wound out to 10,000 rpm to make power.

2 cents,
Dave

2008 Versys, 2008 ZX6R, 2006 EX500, 2002 KLR650
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 07:12 PM
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I've had a numerous cruisers, HD, Valkyrie a Sport Tourer, KLR etc etc.

Versys is the best bike I've had as an all rounder.

Great on long tours two up, outstanding in the twisties, it will wheelie if that's your thing. Does 50mpg, holds 5 gallons.

It will cruise all day at 85+ on the freeway. I did 300miles on Sunday in pouring rain and it is a wet bike. But, I was warm and dry with Gerbing heated gear and lightweight rain suit.

It revs to 10.5k and loves to go there, so don't worry about flogging it too hard.

Machog


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 07:26 PM
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Versyraider,

I believe you had probably tested the Versys.
For me, I had only FUN on the V since trading in BM gs.
With decent side/top bags, commuting to work and going for R&R trips is an easy affair. Many prefer decent windshields and comfy seat which can be solved wth many aftermarket choices.
Mileage is good and power is always on tab with it's ninja engine.


My V Blog:
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Ride safe,
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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It's great to have access to this forum and get the benefit of experienced owners/riders and hear different angles. I appreciate it very much. My mind has been mostly made up for about a month, but went to a dealer this afternoon to sit and look again. Given your feedback, I'm certain it's the best choice for me. I hope to report back before too long with some pics of my new versys.
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