Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Macclesfield, Cheshire, UK
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
for what its worth
I passed my UK bike test in Late Jan 2009, done 11,000 miles or so since then on a Versys.
its got enough power to take you to almost anywhere you want to go
the bike doesn't excel at anything in particular, theres lots of bikes which are better in a specific category, but it does do a heck of a lot very very well indeed, its perhaps not the ultimate all rounder but its pretty close except iots not really an off raod bike, fitted with off road tyres it can be an off road bike (sort of)
if out and out speed is your issue, then don't buy a vee
if pose factor is an issue, then don't buy a vee
if you want to go serioulsy off road (read nearly alwasy off road), then don't buy a vee
if you want to commute
if you want to have fund in the twisties
if you want a modern, relatively cheap bike
if you see yourself as not quite fitting one of the easy tick boxes for bike riders
if you want to have fun
...all good reasons to buy a Versys
theres a few problems, but seemingly fewer than many other bikes
..reported rectifier/wiring harness faults, some issues over frame alignment, some problems with build quality and finishing. but you are getting a heck of a lot of bike for what you pay.
theres sufficient bits to tweak the bike to your preferred layout, Id recommend a fender extender and rear hugger and probably engine bars as well, theres other stuff such as Speedy's flatfoot.
theres not a lot fundamentally wrong with the bike, the engine has been around for a while, its slightly detuned compared to the same engine in the ER6. its pretty reliable.
ultimately the right bike for you is out there, but whether thats a Versys, Wee Strom or whatever is up to you. it depends on what brings you to riding, what do you want to do, where do you want to go. if you plan on riding with your mates then I'd suggest it may make sense to get a sort of similar bike to your mates.
dont' discount the likes of the hornet.
I don't know where you are on the bike trail in terms of experience, In the UK you cannot ride a bike over 33kw, roughly 30 BHP, without a full licence or undertaking training. I used to ride bikes in my late teens, early 20's and Im actually glad I didn't pass my test then, Ive learned a lot from taking the tests doing the training and so on. so Im a lot less overconfident than anybody riding from scratch. if you are not taking any training right know then Its possible the Vee may be a bit of a handful.
As I've styled it elsewhere the Vee has enough power to scare but not enough to terrify. it may not be 'the' bike to last you a lifetime, t may be enough to get you over the first year, but its a competent bike, well set up and pretty forgiving without being a wollowing lump of lard.
so If I were you
gets some training (learn by trashing someone elses clutch and if needs be applying war wounds to their bikes, rather than your own).
if you have a choice consider whether to wear the gear (helmet, gloves, boots, jacket & trousers). its one thing to be macho and a rufty tufty I don't need gear because Im a good rider, or I'm baaaaad assed SoB, its another to think in terms of they may well be out there trying to get me. in the UK you have no choice, you have to wear a helmet, having scraped my palms 25 years ago I won't ride without gloves, and at age 49 I won't ride without boots, jacket & trousers.. my choices. personally seeing people riding without gear scares me, but if soemone elses wants to take those risks that their choice.
ultimately only you know what you want to do with your riding, sound people out, but if you can sound out people who are competent that you know. talking to your MSF instructor may well be a good starting point