Versys or not? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Versys or not?

Hi All

Just sold my Daytona and was pretty sure about buying a versys......until I scrounged a ride on an FZ1S (gen 2 fazer) and the doubts crept in; awesome machine. I realise that the two are completely different animals but having ridden the big 4 I am now wondering whether Versys can still compete in terms of both grunt and handling.

Even wondering about a Bandit 1250S.

Anyone ridden them both/all. Thoughts appreciated.

Cheers

E
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 07:45 PM
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Well I can tell you this. I sold a 1250S Bandit and bought the Versys. My buddy rides a new FZ1 and we have traded bikes a few times. The Versys will out handle the FZ and the Bandit in the tight stuff. I'm much faster through the mountains than I was on the Bandit. The bottom and mid range are excellent on the Versys (perfect for the mountains). I ride in the mountains 95% 0f the time. I have always had big in line 4s and have a couple of speed triples. The triple is the only bike I have owned that will out preform the Versys in the mountains. I don't need a 120 - 140 HP bike when you can't use but 50 or 60 HP in the mountains any way. The only thing the Bandit and the FZ will have the advantage in is top end. I personally don't give a rip about top end. It will depend on your normal riding conditions and style, but the Versys is an excellent bike that gives me 50mpg even when I'm railing her through the twisties. Oh yea, the insurance is 1/2 of what the Bandit was.....

Graham

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 12:39 AM
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You know, of course, this is the wrong place to ask whether or not to buy a Versys.

That said, I was also tempted by the Bandit and the FZ6 (the 600cc version of the FZ), but I already have sportbikes. The Bandit is a very good all-round bike that can do pretty much everything the Versys can, maybe better. The FZ is obviously a bit more sharply edged, but also a very good general-purpose bike.

What neither the FZ nor Bandit will give you is a fantastically lightweight bike that is very comfortable and eminently easy to use. Neither four-cylinder bike will have the easy powerband of the Versys' twin—even if it is only a 650. The Bandit and FZ probably handle better than the Versys (just as my Ducati 750ss does), but the Versys is much easier to use and have fun without pushing the bike or the rider to extremes. That alone is worth the price.

I have been riding European bikes for the past 20-ish years and one thing I have learned is that sheer performance means little if the rider is neither comfortable nor confident with his bike. For example, I ride my 350cc 1978 Moto Morini around so-called modern sport bikes up in the mountains all the time. I'm not the fastest rider around, but I can push the Morini to near 100% of ability with confidence. Doing the same on a Bandit or FZ1 would be hard to do and would frankly scare the bejeezus out of me. I am still learning my Versys, but I feel very comfortable on it and know that, even if I am not careening about as fast as others, I am having more fun and can keep it going all day without breaking a sweat. Or is that what my girlfriend said...

Geez, I need to go to bed.
HTH
d
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 07:14 AM
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While shopping around, you should take a quick look at the Ducati Multistrada 620. It is very similar to the Versys, but has some nice differences that make it stand out from the Kawasaki. Plus, they are a steal on the used market!!

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 07:58 AM
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My neighbor that I used to ride with rode a KLR and then decided to move up to the Bandit 1250S. Very nice bike and wicked fast - just a twist of the throttle and he was gone. There was no way my F650Cs could keep up or that I'd even try. After a few months of that I could see that things had changed - he began to fear the bike as he learned it's upper limits. The seat was terribly uncomfortable for him (a common problem with that bike) and was causing back pains - that was the last straw and he traded the bike for an ATV and no longer rides. He thinks about riding again but said he'd get something smaller and more fun. I see him eye'ing my Versys - maybe he'll get one and we'll ride again.

Just one person's situation. Comes down to what you want in a bike - I think the litre bikes are just a bit too much for general purpose riding. You can't beat the versatillity of a 650cc machine. It's got plenty of power for highway, touring, two-up, and more. And they are easy enough to handle for the day to day run.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 11:29 AM
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Get the V. More than 2 cyl is overkill and as Hooligan pointed out, you can't use all that HP on the street.
You will have tons of fun on it!!

Bill
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F650GSD
FLSTSCI
XR650L
Tri Scrambler
XR50
SRX600
Zuma 125
T100R
Aero 50
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 08:09 PM
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First post here, but thanks to all those who do because this along with a couple of other website/reviews helped make my decision. I'm in my early 40s with kids and took a break from cycling while the pups were little. I owned a couple of dirt bikes and late 70s KZ 650s, one of which was modified as a cafe type racer and this was back in the mid-80s. Now that the kids are 10ish I felt safe to buy a commuter and have been looking at bikes for a while. I was set on a Honda 919 because the price was right but when I described what I wanted - simple comfortable bike for commuting, good handling, etc., I was shown a V on the floor. Dealer wanted MSRP + set-up and it was a bit out of range with price. I found one used (haven't seen one since) and bought it sight-unseen early this year. It was delivered while snow on the ground (I'm in Wisconsin) via pickup truck. The owner's phone number was taped on the inside of the top rack and I felt even better because some of the first words out of his mouth were "you'e gonna like that bike". Turns out he has a lot of money and buys 2-3 bikes a year just to ride them. Here are my thoughts about 1000 miles in, mainly commuting:

1. Plenty of power for me, it'd probably take the old KZ in a race but at lower RPM so nicer to drive. I don't find myself having to wind very high to cruise traffic, highway included. Mine has a 16 front sprocket for better mileage. If you wind it out....plenty of fun.
2. Handling excellent - wide bars are great. It's about 10 miles to work, mostly highway and no problem at highway speeds.
3. Exhaust low is cool, I've been picking up my daughter at school and no worries about leg burnage.
4. Replaced the windscreen with GIVI - better protection on the road but the stock might be fine for some. I'm kind-of a wide body (fat).
5. There is some vibration at low RPM, best stay above 3000 - not problematic but noticeable.
6. Technology & dependability for the money would be tough to beat.....fuel injected, liquid cooled machine seems to run fabulous and I expect years of low maintenance durability.

Bottom-line is I love this bike for my use. I would like to ride some other newer bikes in the same category but this fit the bill now. Vstrom felt good to sit on but too much $$ at the time - I paid less for the Versys than guys were asking for 2-year old stroms with 5K miles. BMW GS looks cool to me but I think the 650 would be a step down in performance and the 1200 is very pricey.

Good luck and although I rolled the dice on not riding this bike I'm happy with it. If you can ride several models, that would be the best way to shop.

T
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 08:25 AM
 
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Ask the same question here: http://yamahafz1oa.com/forum/index.php

I am 64 years old. I own a Kawasaki 1500cc Classic cruiser, and a 2004 Yamaha FZ1 (first generation, carburetors). I must say, I do enjoy romping about on the FZ1. It surely will get the adrenalin pumping. It has been said that the first generation has more low-end grunt, and better ergos than the gen 2 (I can't say, never ridden a gen 2). I only have liability insurance on the FZ1. Given a good rider on an FZ1 and that same rider on a Versys, through the same set of twisties........I wouldn't bet the farm on the Versys. Some of these FZ1's (set up right) can really rail. You can also pick up a low mileage, 1st gen (2001-2005) for $4-5K.

That being said, I am seriously considering the Versys as a replacement for the FZ1. You have to be really on top of your game, and focused when you let out the FZ1....and yes, it can be intimidating. But you can ride it like a grandma too....but that's not what I bought it for. I have a feeling the Versys would be more user-friendly to me at this stage of the game.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the thoughts.

I have ridden the V and liked it. I have ridden the FZ1S and liked it lot. Not sure about how much I will want to get on it for a bit of fun without feeling in "attack mode" though, that is the issue. Am taking a 1250S Bandit out on Sat so should have a good idea by the end of the day.

Cheers

E
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericf View Post
Hi All

Just sold my Daytona and was pretty sure about buying a versys......until I scrounged a ride on an FZ1S (gen 2 fazer) and the doubts crept in; awesome machine. I realise that the two are completely different animals but having ridden the big 4 I am now wondering whether Versys can still compete in terms of both grunt and handling.

Even wondering about a Bandit 1250S.

Anyone ridden them both/all. Thoughts appreciated.

Cheers

E
FZ1 is (was for me) a really nice bike, I owned one (07 model) for 3 months... Then the main frame cracked at the welding for no reason... I don't do wheelie or abuse the bike in any way... Never dropped or crashed the bike.

If you check out the FZ1 forums, you will find that there are a number of 06,07 FZ1s have problem with crack frame. Some of the R1 also have the same problem.

Yamaha will not replace it with a new bike for me. They wanted to give me a new frame and have them move everything over... I was very upset... Waited three weeks and no frame from yamaha... I just trade it in for something else.

Good luck on your next bike.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 01:46 AM
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Good luck on your choice. The bandit 1250 seems too heavy for my tastes and the FZ1 is definitely a sexy bike. I rode one and the power is definitely intoxicating, I just didn't feel it was as lightweight flickable as the Versys. I got to take a nice demo ride for the first time at the Phoenix MC show back in October and I've been hooked ever since.

I know my money has already spoken, but I don't think there's another bike out there that I would trade my V for. I've owned all kinds of bikes from starters all the way to 18k exotics and I wouldn't trade the V for any one of them.

Great bike, great handling. Could possibly use a few more ponies, but it's more than enough for a good weekend romp all the way up to a multi state trip. I absolutely love it.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 10:34 AM
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+1 on can't use the big HP on the street. My GT has 152hp, when I ride local (not going on a trip) I always find myself sitting on someones rear waiting for a place to pass, and the corners are always to easy at speed limits.

Now the Versys, is great fun, easy to ride, fun to go the back roads and speed limits are fine, just fits better. I don't use it for 2up long distance of course, but I don't have to.

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08 Ninja 250r (wife's)
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