I spent a lot of time on BADWEB and ADVRIDER, I posted this over there, thought it may be fun to post here as well.
So, a little sniffing around at the dealership for Oil and such and Sat on a versys 650. That was Friday. Friday Night did some research out of curiosity. Saturday Morning, I was at their door with a check and title to my Uly. We worked a deal, yes it happened that fast.
Background section here: I have owned that Uly for about 3.5 years. It NEVER let me down. However I had a love hate relationship with it, as it would simply cook my right leg in my daily commute traffic, and cook my rear end on those long rides. Then engine had a lifter that ticked occasionally and it had developed a rattle around 3 grand that had gotten slightly worse over time. The decision I had to make was, do I love this bike enough to drop the engine down, tear apart the top end and fix rattle, or maybe swap engines. Soul searching led me to say No. Especially with it being an 07 and potential crank failure right around the corner at any time, and some other glitches I had.
O.k back to present, with that in mind, Friday night I read rave reviews about the little 650, and watched all the videos I could.. Then I searched for common problems. Seems there are no common problems, other than a possible stator. It was wonderful reading through pages of people simply trying to modify it or farkle it because they wanted to, not asking , " why is this happening, or what is that noise, is this normal?" Etc.
The biggest obstacle was my EGO, going from the Uly to a little 650 was going to be hard to swallow. Its the.. " Hey what do you ride?" Oh I ride a 650.. " Oh that's all, how cute!"
To the point..
Where the Uly sounded like an enraged lion with the Drummer Exhaust..
The Versys sounds like Bunny farts.. and yes I have heard them with various other exhaust system, they still sound like Bunny Farts, just Bigger Bunnies.
The Uly had top notch suspension, the ability to adjust on the fly was great.
The Versys (at least my 14) you need a Spanner wrench, and it rides like a road wagon on concrete blocks. Ill let it break in a little more to see if it softens before I manually soften it up. Its supposed to be set from the factory for 150 lb rider, I'm 193.. I cant imagine this being correct.
The Uly had power everywhere, Not Ferrari power, more like Mustang fast with Cummins torque. It was addictive. Pulled hard, and two up through the mountains was fun.
The Versys feels like a Tacoma with a 5th wheel attached to it, UNTIL you get up in the rpms then its pretty lively. It does have decent power, but I attribute much of that to gearing. I remember when I was a kid, everyone bragged about the old 300 six in ford trucks about how torquey it was.. Well it wasn't, it was just geared like a tractor. Again, this is expected going from a 1200 V to 650 Parallel. I have to adjust my riding style, no Biggie.
Now with all of that being said .. It is an absolute BLAST to ride.. the gearing does make for a lively, spirited run through the gears. The Ergos are perfect, its light, turns quick.. Oh and so quiet! The Fueling is Spot on,I love the looks, having Brakes that actually stop me, and most importantly I have a piece of mind that will allow me to wander further from home than I previously was because I never had full faith in the bike I was on. To me, that alone is worth shortcomings in other areas. I woke up this morning with a smile on my face awaiting my commute to work.. something I hadn't done in a couple of years when faced with riding to work through town.
Power.. with more miles it is becoming more lively, I am enjoying it. My Uly I could pull 15 mph up to redline above 90 mph comfortably in 3rd gear. The Versys likes to be revved and shifted, I am adapting my style and REALLY enjoying more on my morning commute through town.
Sound: O.k, maybe bunny Farts was a little demeaning.. However I have come to enjoy the quietness of the bike. The ULY with the Drummer was loud. And After an hour on it your ears were nearly bleeding. I Enjoy the Bunny Farts compared to the loudness now.
Still a sore spot, literally. There is absolutely no way this bike can be setup for 150 pound rider from the factory.
I did find part of the problem, My front and rear tires had almost 50 lbs of air in them. Bad on me for not checking them initially. I now am around 32 in each and it is way better. I will eventually end up softening it a bit and hopefully that will alleviate some of the complaints. I see this as nothing more than fine tuning and adjusting the bike to my likes and not necessarily a check mark against the bike.
Spanner Wrench, useless. I will probably go old school with a hammer and punch.. Worked fine for decades, no need to change now Is suppose.
Vibes.. Almost had me ready to sell the bike , but as people predicted it seems to smooth out a bit with more mileage. I will be doing its first Oil change this coming weekend, hopefully that helps a bit.
So far i'm at a solid 7 out of 10 on the Rons Bike Scale. Once it smooths out a bit more Ill be a solid 8 I believe