Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sydney, Australia
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Riding Update 2015 650
Just a quick update on the new 650V.
I'm currently on a 4 week trip in Tasmania (Oz). Have a quick look at a map. The longest straight piece of road in Tassie couldn't be more than 500 metres. Biking heaven! But had to drone down 600km of freeway to get there from Sydney. I bought the bike as an all rounder road bike. I have a DR650 as a dual sport. The V will do many tours. I'm retired, got the time for it and plan to do so before the body falls in a heap.
Firstly, I find it extremely comfortable. I've raised the screen abt 1.5 inches and the airflow is now over my head. The seat is very comfortable with a couple of 300km stretches without a stop. Vibration is a complete non-issue. Sure, you can feel a slight tingle in the bars but it is not intrusive and only time it is noticeable is when you actually think about it.
I am finding I fill up with gas about every 400 - 450 km. This still gives me some safety before pushing. The gas gauge starts to yell at me when it still has over 5 litres remaining in the tank. Most I have put into the tank so far is a bit over 18 litres. Dunno whether it really does hold 21 litres. I do not intend to find out that it really only holds 20 litres.
The handling is now good, but with a few quirks. Firstly, I changed the tyres early in this trip. The standard Sportmax did not instill any confidence. They got swapped for a set of Pilot Road 4's. Much more betterer. I am extremely impressed with their wet road performance. My recommendation is that, if you can, talk your dealer into swapping the tyres from the get-go.
The other handling quirk is a function of the suspension. The longer than normal travel means it sits up very dramatically if brakes are applied mid corner. Don't do this! Get braking done and dusted before the corner and everything is fine. Flip side of this is that the suspension just eats bumps in the road. This is what I was after in buying the bike - I'm getting too old to have my spine pummeled into submission on every ride.
I've added suspension preload at both ends (lots) and harder damping at the front. Its now good with the load I am currently carrying. Will revert to close to stock when riding solo without luggage. The suspension is good enough that I won't bother upgrading it, something I have done with many of my other bikes. The bike actually feels better with a bit of a load on it. The suspension actually works rather than bouncing me around.
I found I had to lower the screen to lowest setting in the rain. Not doing so means the visor on my helmet does not clear water properly and it fogged up extremely quickly. Low screen mitigates both these effects.
A riding mate had a decent ride on the bike. His opinion was that it was a far better road bike than his 650 VStrom. He's now looking at a trade. His other comment was that the Versys was very similar to ride to a Ducati Multistrada, with which he has some experience, but much cheaper.
This bike is definitely a keeper. The more I ride it, the more I like it. It now has 5,000km on it with another couple of thousand before I get home. Not bad for a 6 week old bike.
We still don't have genuine panniers available in Oz. I've fitted a set of Andy Strapz expedition panniers to the bike. These things are tuff! Chances are I will never bother with the hard panniers.
Regarding discussion on this forum of earlier Vs versus the 2015:
I did not really consider the earlier Versys. It had nothing to do with looks but everything to do with practicality. The 2015 has a much better fairing and screen, something I really appreciate. I had an ER6 some time ago. Great on short rides, but a pain on longer rides due to vibration. The rubber mounted engine is brilliant. It has a slightly larger gas tank, and repositioned footpegs for extra comfort. Both important to me.
I wouldn't even consider a Yammie FJ-09. Just doesn't suit me and the type of riding I do. I did test ride a VStrom, BMW GS700 and Tiger 800 before choosing the Versys. It suits my body shape (really short limbs - both arms and legs. Former puts too much weight on my wrists on most bikes) and my needs.
Hope this helps people trying to make a decision.
Last edited by bc6805; 03-01-2015 at 07:55 PM.