Versys vs.XJ650....help a new guy! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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Versys vs.XJ650....help a new guy!

Hello everyone, great forum with lots of useful info here - thank you.

I've been devouring as much info as I can find on the Versys and frankly, at this point, I'm looking for a reason NOT to buy one. Unfortunately I'm unable to test ride any here in my area so I'm hoping some of you may be able to draw a comparison for me.

I'm new to the sport, picking up an old but well kept '82 Yamaha Maxim 650 late last year, and loving every minute of it. I've got about 5000 miles under my belt and I've been ready to take the plunge into something more "modern". I have a few friends that ride cruisers and for a brief time I had fallen in love with the Kawa Nomad - but after a friend dropped off some motorcycle mags to me I began to read about the Versys and the intrigue set in.

When I originally picked up the XJ650 I was sure the 650cc thing would be short lived as a starter bike, but really the only problem I have with this bike (aside form overall comfort) is it's cruising at highway speeds. She'll get up there but she sounds awfully uncomfortable at 80mph and beyond.

My big question is: How will the Versys twin 650 compare to the XJ's 4 cylinder 650?

My cruiser friends think I'm nuts getting another 650, and with all the talk about a possible 1000cc Versys on it's way I wonder if I should hold off. The appeal of great gas mileage and the high praise this bike has gotten "as is" makes me wonder if I need the 1000cc's.

I was told by a buddy that a new bike is going to feel much better all around than my current 27 year old steed. This makes sense to me but if anyone can expand on this comparison I'd be greatly appreciated as it's the only source of comparison I have.

Thanks in advance - happy riding!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 08:18 AM
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80mph is no sweat, trust me. The bike starts to run out of beans a little at 90 or so, but will pull up to 100mph easy. 120 is the V's max speed. Holding the bike at highway + speeds is no problem, and it's stable and comfy.

I'm coming off a 1000CC FZ1 by the way. No regrets, the Versys is way more fun and comfortable, it just doesn't have as many beans (not even close) as the liter bike did. The bikes have roughly the same 0-60 times, but the FZ1 would pull away at higher speeds. Do you really want to go 160+mph?

For the riding I enjoy, twisties and back country roads, the V is perfect, and it can handle the highways just fine as well.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 08:38 AM
 
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I rode a Tiger 1050 for the weekend , and was only too happy to be back on my V on monday , there is not much difference in acceleration up to about 110 mph , after that the bigger bike will still pull strong . I am more comfortable on the V , lighter ,more agile ,more fun .Only possitive with the bigger bike is the pull in any gear at very low rpm .

I was considering the Tiger as my next bike until I spent the weekend on it .
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Yeah for me, top speed is not the issue. And I keep hearing the V handles the highways just fine...so why do I need a bigger motor?? I know this is an ongoing debate and for most it's simply a matter of choice.

I like hearing the V pulls "80mph no sweat" as 80-85 would be my sweet spot cruising the highways. Does she sound like she's straining at those speeds? How about rpm's around 85?

Also, it seems that many riders of the Versys seem to migrate from sport bikes which makes sense, but has anyone come from the cruiser side? Benefits or regrets (or do you have both!)? And I love to hear from anyone who can compare the V to an older XJ650 like I'm currently riding.

Thanks for the reponse!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 08:55 AM
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I don't know the exact rpm at 85, maybe 6k... it doesn't sound like it's straining at all. It'll still pull up to 100 easy just by rolling on the throttle, it's right at it's peak power output cruising above highway speeds in 6th gear.

I have a hard time believing a Versys will hang with the 1050 until 110....my FZ1 pulled INSANELY hard and would have walked away from the V above 50-70mph, even if the V can keep up at 110, if they're both accelerating at full throttle I'd think the big bike would be pulling ahead fast once past 60mph or so. Not that it really matters. I was following a buddy on the highway, he was on a 900RR that my FZ1 used to smoke, and he was pulling away hard on the beltway when he opened it up, but I was able to keep up (within a couple hundred yards) because there's only so fast you can go, just don't expect to keep up with a WOT liter bike on the V.

Back on topic, bigger motor = more weight. Yeah, you can go a lot faster and get there quicker, but the bike will be heavier. The light weight of the V is part of what makes it so much fun and quick handling. Sure, an R1 might not weight too much more, but you're not going to be anywhere near as comfortable as you would on the Versys. Not even close!

I've got no idea about cruisers.....
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks man.

As far as cruisers go; I had always admired cruisers - their laid back styling and sitting position appealed to me as well as the rumbling exhaust. I easily envisioned myself riding one. My Maxim 650 is a far cry from a modern cruiser but has given me an idea of how my back will feel on one which has given me reservations.

Along comes the Versys and it's acclaimed ergos, so I've taken notice. The more I read about the V the more I realize that it suits my riding style better than a cruiser (not to say I wouldn't like one as a second bike).
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 09:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by between2wheels View Post
Yeah for me, top speed is not the issue. And I keep hearing the V handles the highways just fine...so why do I need a bigger motor?? I know this is an ongoing debate and for most it's simply a matter of choice.

I like hearing the V pulls "80mph no sweat" as 80-85 would be my sweet spot cruising the highways. Does she sound like she's straining at those speeds? How about rpm's around 85?

Also, it seems that many riders of the Versys seem to migrate from sport bikes which makes sense, but has anyone come from the cruiser side? Benefits or regrets (or do you have both!)? And I love to hear from anyone who can compare the V to an older XJ650 like I'm currently riding.

Thanks for the reponse!
Im going from my "V" to a 1200 cruiser bike on Friday and will be doing many miles so i will be able to give you my opinion from that angle after the weekend.

But the V rocks ! For longer distances and regular motorway rides though, a aftermarket windscreen is really needed to ease the wind turbulance that you get with the stock windscreen. Thats all really... really cool bike tho' !!
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Awesome Hanebil! I'd really appreciate feedback of your experience.

Have a great time!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 11:01 AM
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I have a 2005 Suzuki GSXR1000 that I ride exclusively on the track. In my opinion, a 650 is perfect for a street bike. Don't worry about it not having enough power. I think the only time you would want more power is 2-up with luggage on the Interstate going up a mountain.

Twins are just different from Fours, I think Fours are smoother than Parallel Twins. I would also guess the Versys makes more power/torque than a 600 Supersport Four until about 8000 rpm or so. So, they have a much better powerband for the street.

Don
"ride more, worry less"
2005 Suzuki GSXR1000 (slightly bent) - Track
2000 Honda VFR800 - Street
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 09:37 PM
 
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Well I guess I am qualified to answer your question. I traded my 1700cc Yamaha Warrior cruiser in for the 650cc V and have not regretted a minute of it. The V is just so much more fun for the way I ride. I was scraping pegs and holes in my exhaust on the Warrior and now only scrape pegs on the V . If you plan on doing any solo touring the V would be fine, if you plan on touring with a pillion alot you may want more motor. It really depends on what you want. A nice agile fun bike or a cramped screaming crotchrocket or a (usually) loud slow in the corners cruiser.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 10:10 PM
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Does top speed really matter??? I seem to remember we have a speed limit around 70 in this country and the V does just fine at any speed you want that will keep you out of jail!! Plus a bit more if you are so inclined.
It is a great bike except for the seat, I think Sargents is going to get some of my money!!

Bill
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-27-2008, 08:59 PM
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Howdy,

I'm in the same boat as Baddone. I traded a Vulcan 2000 for my Versys. Before the 2000 I had a Vulcan 1600. I spent the last five years riding big cruisers and IMO the Versys is a better bike in every way. It's more comfortable. It cruises at highway speeds better. It will destroy any cruiser on a country road and it's a blast to ride in town. Another big plus in my book is that the Versys is still a unique ride. There aren't many out there. I like that, a lot. That's one reason I bought the Vulcan 2000. Not everybody and their brother had one. I've been riding since I was 18 and I just turned 50. I've owned a lot of motorcycles and the Versys is the best one so far. My sentimental favorite was a CB750 I bought brand new when I was 18, but the Versys is the best bike I've ever owned. I can't say enough good things about this motorcycle. You will enjoy the cruiser, you'll love the Versys.

Si vis pacem para bellum
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-27-2008, 09:57 PM
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Just today i did a 230 mile ride, half back roads and twisties, the other half highway....i'm 6'2' 185 lbs....changes made to the V at this point.....vario windscreen....barkbusters... bike is a blast to ride, will cruise the interstate at 80mph all day no sweat, with plenty of passing power left, runs right at 6k at 80mph, i have the 16 tooth sprocket but haven't put it on yet, curious how much of a rpm drop i'll get.... for long trips i'm gonna need highway pegs, my knees start to cramp, but that's expected, thinking of installing a taller set of handlebars, and some seat mods... after that ...this will be a cross country ride... for sure.....I sold my bmw r1150rt to buy the V....NO REGRETS!!!... i think it has way more potential, good power to weight, lighter, better suspension... better bang for the buck..just my 2 cents...
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