Versys v. FZ6 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Versys v. FZ6

Hi folks. This looks like a nice forum. This is my first post.

I'm only in my second year of riding, having started late. I began on the wonderful Ninja 250, then this Winter I bought my dream bike, an FZ6.

While there's much to like about the FZ6, I find myself critical of it in many ways. I have an recurring urge to find something different - but what?

Some of the issues I have with the FZ6 are:
  • A high center of gravity, coupled with a high seat, (and a binary clutch,) makes stopping and low speed maneuvering difficult. I'm 5'-10", 190#, with a 32" inseam.
  • The engine is a detuned R6 engine, but it's still a 14k screamer. Yes, it really roars north of 9k, but I rarely ride that way.
  • The I-4 engine is buzzy. This was a real problem at first, but at 4k miles about 60% of the buzziness is gone, thank God. But still the engine lacks the nice smooth feel to it that the 250R had. With earplugs the 250 sounded like a small Learjet; all I could hear was the whir of the gearbox. It was ethereal, meditative. The FZ6 grinds away, and when I'm cognizant of it it's annoying.
  • The stock lighting sucked. I've since hooked up the second low beam, and now it's not too bad. Next step would be an HID-projector retrofit, but first I need to decide to keep the bike.
  • To my surprise, the FZ is no better, and maybe worse, than the baby ninja regarding wind turbulence, even with a Puig racing screen, and despite being 33% heavier. This is an important issue for me as I'm on the highway frequently.

On the Versys side, I've never ridden one but my observations are:
  • Also high seat, but CoG is low.
  • I like the looks - except for the face. And red is not my color. (My fz is blue and I like its black frame).
  • I'm concerned about only having one low beam. My night vision is not the best and I want to ride at night. Is the low beam adequate? Is an HID-projector conversion feasible?
  • Doesn't seem to be much of a used Versys market. I suppose they're in demand.

I've also looked at the Ducati Multistrada, which the Versys seems to be inspired by. A lot to like there, but some real caveats as well, such as cost of upkeep and perhaps fuel economy. I doubt I'm ready for a liter bike and I think I'll stay away from there for now.

I'm currently getting a bit north of 50 mpg on the fz, average riding. I suppose the Versys is comparable. More is better here.

Any thoughts on these issues would be appreciated!

paul1149 is offline  
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 07:11 AM
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I can comment on a few of these,
I have a 32in inseam and have no problems with the height of the bike. I can maneuver the bike surprisingly well,I think the engine is smooth,The stock low beam is OK but put it on high beam and wow! I commute to work at nite and have ran the high beam on secondary roads and so far oncoming traffic has yet flashed at me.I can see as well as I can in my pickupI run limited highway and it seems to do well there to and mileage at the last fillup was 52mpg.Just went over 700 miles on the bike so it may improve. This just seems like a great overall package that is quite capable.

Welcome to the site
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 07:25 AM
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I've had an FZ6, and a Versys.....IMO the Versys is a MUCH better bike. I also found the FZ1 "peaky", "buzzy", and it sat too high, with no way to lower it. We sold it after about 2 months. On the other hand I have an 05 FZ1, and it's one of my favorite bikes.

The Versys might be my most favorite bike ever, and I have been riding a long time. The Versys is my wife's bike, but I ride it every time she doesn't. We have lowered it with Speedy's lowering kit, and sliding the fork tubes through the triple trees. It handles great, the seat is decent. The stock seat height (33") is way too high for most people, i am 5'10" with a 30" inseam, and couldn't stand it when stock. The power is much smoother, and it has a much better torque band than the FZ6.

I don't think you can go wrong with the Versys.

'15 DL1000
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for those replies. With the FZ6 fuel economy hung in the low 40's for 1k miles, then crept up to the low 50's by 2.5k miles. It was an education to see the engine mature slowly (and I did a somewhat aggressive break in).

Thanks for the headlight info. If I got this bike I def would consider an HID projector retrofit.

As to the FZ6, it seems you either love it or hate it, with most loving it. It seems to me that Yamaha came very close to making a historically superb bike, but fell short time and again, starting with putting a detuned race engine in an all-rounder. There's a lot good about the bike, but the shortcomings keep weighing on me.

How did you deal with the high seat? With the Kawi low-cut?
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