Having been a member here since 2008 I finally did it, picked up an 08 Versys with 2000 miles on the clock. I thank God for being in a good position to purchase the bike. Having spent the last year vacillating between a 2nd generation Yamaha FZ1 and Versys, the Kawi was chosen. Comparing the two bikes was like comparing apples and oranges, however, they both were on the short list. I still think the FZ1 is very nice bike.
I spent much time getting price quotes on closeout 09 models. Out of nowhere a slightly used 08 popped up on Craigslist and the rest is history.
Last week I test rode a used 07 FZ1 but just could not bring myself to commit to a purchase. The I-4 engine was so smooth and effortless. I hit 65 mph in about .0002 seconds! I was tormented on making the purchase so decided to cool my heels and wait.
Previously I put 7000 miles on a 06 Ninja 650R, thus had a good idea of how the Versys would perform. I did not even have to test ride one block on the Versys and I knew this was it. Would 800-900cc be nicer? Sure it would, but the “little” 650 has enough steam to get the job done. I wanted something practicable, got good mpg, cheap to insure, easy to ride around town, commute 40 miles RT on the freeway, and ride 200 mile loops for weekend fun. It now sits in the garage…the Versys. With the Kawi you can “ride” it, if that makes any sense. Because it is a 650 you have the option of working it a little harder than a liter bike. In other words you don’t have to break the sound barrier to feel like you are going fast. A liter bike is so easy they don’t even begin to hit their stride until 80 mph and then you are into ticket territory and just trouble in general!
Above is a quick picture after unloading the bike in a down pour in Washington state.
Thanks to all the members here for contributing their Versys input.
I spent many a hour lurking, researching, re-researching, and second guessing. There are no perfect bikes but I will have fun with this one.