Leftover 2014 or Wait on a 2015 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Leftover 2014 or Wait on a 2015

I really like the new 2015 Versys 650 but have been seeing some great deals on leftover 2014s I can afford the 2014, but would have to wait a year or so on the 2015s until the price comes down. It’s got me comparing the two feature for feature to decide whether it’s worth waiting. I love the 2015 LT’s hard bags and new looks, but the 2014 has a distinctive look that I think is cool. I like the remote preload adjuster on the 2015, but regret it lost the rear rebound adjustment. I like the new tool-less adjustable windshield, reduced vibration, and apparently they’ve made some other changes to the front suspension. I’ve also read that the brakes are much improved. Is it hard to upgrade the 2014 and earlier to the same level? Another thing I noticed is the redline is 500 rpm lower on the new bike even though it has five more horsepower. What does everybody here think of the new version? How does the suspension compare – do you feel it’s a major loss to lose the rebound adjustment on the rear shock? I know they’re both great bikes, and can’t go wrong with either.

Really, if I found a 2014 for 5k like others apparently have, I would get it, but I don’t think it’s too likely. A local stealer had one listed for that price, but it was a bait and switch, and I don’t see any others around.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 05:00 PM
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If you are patient a 2015 in a year will be a good deal. The 14 will be considered two years old and will depreciate even more. You will also benefit waiting for the 2015 because the first buyer will have taken the biggest hit on depreciation. With Rider naming the 2015 BOTY, prices are going to go down at a dealer any time soon either. I'm cheap and would be willing to wait to save a buck or two. Bonus, keep saving money so you can buy more farkles when you buy next season.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 08:24 PM
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I too debated a 14 vs 15. In the end I bought the 15 and have been pleased so far. I don't have much experience with the earlier gens, but some posters have complained about vibrations. Maybe it's me but I don't seem to notice much at highway speeds. The grips, pegs and seat are pretty smooth. I do get a tingle on my knees at some revs but it's pretty tame. You get better wind protection too. I added the Kaw branded (Givi?) side cases, and they are stable & easy on/off.

If wind & vibs don't bother you much then save the cash and go 14, but you do get something extra for the 15.

Okay, to be honest, the 14 was team green and I wanted the white. I call her ghost.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 09:17 PM
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Guess it depends in part on what you're riding now and if you want to wait. I like my 2013, I actually like the look better than the 2015. Got it all farkled up including Givi bags. I installed steel braided brake lines and Vesrah RJL pads which helped a lot. I also put Hyperpro springs in front and rear.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Guess it depends in part on what you're riding now and if you want to wait.
My current ride is a 2001 Honda ST1100. I’d like to get something newer with ABS that is lighter, more maneuverable and capable of some light dirt/gravel road exploring. I’ll probably keep the ST (at least at first). I'm in no hurry.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by HondaGalToo View Post
Guess it depends in part on what you're riding now and if you want to wait. I like my 2013, I actually like the look better than the 2015. Got it all farkled up including Givi bags. I installed steel braided brake lines and Vesrah RJL pads which helped a lot. I also put Hyperpro springs in front and rear.
I like Honda Gal's farkled up 2013 too. That would be my top choice if I was looking for a hold over.

But between the 2014 and 2015, I'd take the 2015. You will be happy with any of them though. Whatever you get, you will need about $2k extra to make it safer on the road It's your safety and insurance tied up in most if not all of those extras!
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Whatever you get, you will need about $2k extra to make it safer on the road!
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 09:18 AM
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Ignore him, eventually you'll get used to his nonsense rambling. The bike is perfectly fine as it comes out of the factory and there is nothing about it that makes it unsafe. But according to kawdog, the ABS will kill you, so it has to be removed, and you have to get iron rotors or mythical copper brake pads (regular EBC HH pads, for some reason he believes they are some sort of gift from the gods).

By the way, why don't you get a used one? Get an older Versys, decide if you like it or not. That will let you know if just the addition of ABS would be fine (leftover 2014), if you need the newer '15 or if the Versys is just not for you.

Last edited by Süsser Tod; 08-28-2015 at 09:23 AM.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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By the way, why don't you get a used one? Get an older Versys, decide if you like it or not. That will let you know if just the addition of ABS would be fine (leftover 2014), if you need the newer '15 or if the Versys is just not for you.
I really do want to get ABS and few of the used ones have it. Also, there aren't many used ones around here, and the ones I see are not that attractively priced compared to a new 2014 for 5k. If I saw a great deal on a used one in excellent condition with ABS (and hopefully some farkles), I would definitely consider it.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 09:55 AM
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I wanted the 2015 with the changes and added gear...now that I have priced luggage and connection hardware..I kind of still do..

I did end up buying a left over 2014 ABS and am pleased. They go for about $6k around Portland but was able to find one at $5k a few miles south...I've added a tail and saddle bags and have been pleased for the past 1800 miles. Really a fun bike to ride, in town, back roads, long-hauls...it will do it.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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After seeing a couple posts about people getting 2014s, I decided to check around and see what was available. Sure enough, a local stealer had one listed for under 5K. I went there to check it out and saw one outside with a plate on it. I figured, oh well, too late. I went in and the sales guy said there was another one in the warehouse. I sat on the bike and it seemed comfortable (I was thinking that the seat height would be too high but it was good). I asked for the out the door price and he quoted me over $6300. I asked him how we got there from 5k and he gave me some spiel. I said I had to be all in at $5500 which I felt was fair. He said he’d have to ask his manager. It was taking a while, so I left my number, took his card and left. I never heard back, so I emailed him the next day. He emailed that his manager told him wrong and that there wasn’t one in the warehouse. Then he told me about the 2015s and a 2007 Buell Ulysses that was available. I guess it was the old bait and switch!
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Süsser Tod View Post
Ignore him, eventually you'll get used to his nonsense rambling. The bike is perfectly fine as it comes out of the factory and there is nothing about it that makes it unsafe. But according to kawdog, the ABS will kill you, so it has to be removed, and you have to get iron rotors or mythical copper brake pads (regular EBC HH pads, for some reason he believes they are some sort of gift from the gods).

By the way, why don't you get a used one? Get an older Versys, decide if you like it or not. That will let you know if just the addition of ABS would be fine (leftover 2014), if you need the newer '15 or if the Versys is just not for you.
Toad is just a bad spammer and generally wastes owners' time, money, or risk their lives without thinking twice. He may be an immature 16 yo or younger.

These additions are mostly not tied to this supermoto tourer model but are general changes to ANY bike you get to customize it to you.

Things you will need (not all at once) will be crash bars, rear rack, dual or air horn, front fender extender to keep nails from giving rear flats. rear fender to keep clean easily, lowered pegs (if you can touch the ground) or lowering kit (if you can't touch the ground), some sort of seat alteration/pads/cover to make it more comfortable, new tires as the stock ones will wear bad quickly, a trunk w/reflectors to carry things you use commonly (on rear rack), unless you get a 2015 - a different windscreen that has some coverage, and copper bit EBC brake pads if you like to stop.

Extras may include LED brake flasher light, hand guards (and extra bar end weights to compensate for hand guard weight), heated grip elements with dial controller, grip buddies if you are 6' or taller or have big hands, electrical outlets/charger wiring, charger, portable air pump/flat tire kit, extended mirror aluminum fixtures, a centerstand to work on your bike or check your tires anywhere, a shock sock to keep it clean, if you are heavy - another shock possibly, after you screw up your first chain - a DID gold x-chain and sprockets, a complete chain guard (included in some rear fenders), voltage meter light, radiator fluid temp gage, and then by the time you have got all this customized to you, you will need a valve adjustment in your first major tune up (around 10k miles or so - but it will run 'fine' after that.) The list goes on (including garments you wear) in more detail, but those are the highlight changes most may consider if they know about them or read this site some.

Personally, I do not need saddlebags, gear indicators, steel brake lines, or several other things commonly sold, but everyone is different.

Safety First! ymmv.

Last edited by kawdog; 08-28-2015 at 12:46 PM.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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I get you - you're just talking about the stuff you'd do for most any bike and not something specific to the Versys. I'm a firm believer in ATGATT, so I have a lot of the safety gear already, and a lot of the other stuff (crash bars and racks etc.) I'd do gradually as I could afford it.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 03:47 PM
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...I like the remote preload adjuster on the 2015, but regret it lost the rear rebound adjustment....What does everybody here think of the new version? How does the suspension compare – do you feel it’s a major loss to lose the rebound adjustment on the rear shock?....
SOMEWHERE I read that the spring AND rebound are BOTH adjusted by the remote adjuster, but I just looked thru both my OWNERS and SERVICE manuals, and can't find any mention of damping....

At 6,xxx kms on my '15 (including my 3434 km ride to Beartooth Pass a week back) - I LIKE it! Kawasaki has made SOME maintenance jobs easier, and I find that my '15 650 has VERY GOOD suspension, and I'll say that the rear shock is ALMOST as good as the R1 shocks I used on the other Vs. The '15 is ALSO much more thrifty on gas...!


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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I find that my '15 650 has VERY GOOD suspension, and I'll say that the rear shock is ALMOST as good as the R1 shocks I used on the other Vs. The '15 is ALSO much more thrifty on gas...!
Glad to hear the suspension's working well for you. Would you say it's better than the earlier models in spite of losing the rear rebound adjustment? What kind of mpg are you seeing on your '15?

Last edited by RobbieAG; 08-29-2015 at 07:43 AM.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 11:37 PM
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Definitely worth the wait for the 2015. I was at the exact same decision point not too long ago. I had the money, but I'm just cheap... Did NOT want to buy new either.

Anyway, I test rode a blacked out (new/old stock) 2012 V650 over a year ago in Austin and LOVED it!! Almost pulled the trigger due to a good price ($5600 OTD I think)

My older brother (and moto mentor) urged me to wait until the 2015s dropped to see if the new technology and pricing would be worth the wait (for a few grand more).

Glad I listened. Imho, the 2015 strongly pulls away from the previous version in terms of overall improvements/updates. You can feel ALL the changes too!! Fwiw, I also tested the Yamaha FJ-09...

The 2015 Versys 650 LT was the best $8,600 I've ever spent. Without a doubt, 100%, it will be worth the wait.

All the best to you and future Versys adventures :-D
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 07:39 AM
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I recently bought a 2014 and had this debate myself. In the end the $$$ difference was just too much to justify the minor improvements on the 2015. One of the things that brought me to the Versys was it's distinctive look and I feel like the 2015 has lost some of that appeal. To me it looks like an FZ-6 from the front. I am a lifetime motorcyclist and every bike I have owned has been a compromise of some sort, there is always something that you want that is more than you can afford at the time. I also feel that perfection is the enemy of good enough. I'm old enough to realize that I am not a motogp racer, that I don't have time for a long distance adventure tour, and that I no longer have a place to ride offroad. Most of my riding is commuting and an occasional weekend 2-3 hour ride with friends and my Versys is perfect for both of these things. I have added a few things, larger windshield, givi e21's and racks, a tank bag, a +1 front sprocket, and a 12v outlet. I have had the bike for 2 months and 1400 miles I have ridden the Cherahala skyway, visited every covered bridge in Georgia none of which would have been possible while saving for a 2015. I read a quote that said a motorcycle will get you through times of no money a lot better than money will get you through times of no motorcycle. My $.02 by the 14' and RIDE it. In the winter your savings may end up going somewhere else ! You can't enjoy a 2015 that you may get at some point.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 11:59 AM
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Glad to hear the suspension's working well for you. Would you say it's better than the earlier models in spite of losing the rear rebound adjustment? What kind of mpg are you seeing on your '15?
Yes to question 1. An UNEQUIVOCAL "yes", BTW....

For question 2 - check MEMBERS RIDES for my Beartooth Pass ride last week. Overall mileage I got was 25.3 kms/L which translates into 71.3 mpgImperial or 57 mpgUS, and that was over 3434 kms (2129 miles), and loaded down....

PDG I'd say!!!

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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 08-29-2015 at 12:02 PM.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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I'm old enough to realize that I am not a motogp racer, that I don't have time for a long distance adventure tour, and that I no longer have a place to ride offroad. Most of my riding is commuting and an occasional weekend 2-3 hour ride with friends and my Versys is perfect for both of these things.
I've come to many of the same conclusions; one reason I like the Versys. I take a couple 3-4 day camping trips a year and would like to start doing some dirt/gravel road exploration. I'm also holding out hope that some day (after retirement?), I'll be able to do some long distance tours.

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I have had the bike for 2 months and 1400 miles I have ridden the Cherahala skyway, visited every covered bridge in Georgia none of which would have been possible while saving for a 2015. I read a quote that said a motorcycle will get you through times of no money a lot better than money will get you through times of no motorcycle. My $.02 by the 14' and RIDE it. In the winter your savings may end up going somewhere else ! You can't enjoy a 2015 that you may get at some point.
Fortunately I have another bike so that's not really an issue, though I do like that quote.

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57 mpg US

PDG I'd say!!!
Indeed, that's excellent fuel economy.
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