Considering a Versys. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Considering a Versys.

Hello, joined up here to start doing some research on the bikes.
Having just passed my MSF course and am now shopping. Rode on the dirt from the age of about 12 till in my 20's. So lots of experience on 2, but no highway and street use, lots and lots to learn. It has also been 20 years since I was on a bike (welcome to my midlife crisis).

Its between the Versys and Vstrom for the most part. Honda CB500X is really appealing to me as well, but think I need a bit more HP for the type of riding I will have to do to get to my favorite camping spots. All highway, no alternative so need to keep it in the 75-80 MPH range to keep from getting mowed down by truckers.

Anyhow looking forward to reading over the tons of posts here!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 08:35 PM
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I had an 09 that handled highway speeds with no issues. Went from Texas To Cali cruising 85-95mph most of the way with the bike loaded down and hauling my big butt 280lbs at the time...

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 08:36 PM
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Welcome back to 2-wheels.

I too was away from riding for a little over 20 years. It comes back reasonably quick. If you are planning for long highway pulls I think you would do well with the Wee-Strom. Go over to the Stromtroopers site and check it out. Lots of advice there like here.

The Wee can be a little on the boring side at times. It handles well, especially if you run the preload up a bit in the back. It is very smooth and trouble free.

The Versys rides a bit more like a more upright (and more comfortable) sportbike. I have really enjoyed mine. I would enjoy it more if I could ride more often. I would also enjoy it more if it made 90 hp vs 60 something. The Versys is just as trouble free as the Wee and the engine seems peppier although I think the Wee actually makes a little more power. I have averaged 52 MPG (US!) since I've owned it, so I have save d enough in fuel to pay for the rear tires it consumes. Repeating the sportbike thing, if you become a competent street rider they will have trouble keeping up with you if the road gets bumpy! The Versys fits me quite well and is really all I need.

Be careful out there and be sure to purchase a couple of good jackets, boots, Modular helmet, etc.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 08:41 PM
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Welcome aboard. Can't speak about the Honda but here's my (and others) take on the Versys vs the V-Strom. Versys is more sporting, more agile, yet it's completely highway capable over long distances. It's well balanced, doesn't feel like it's half a mile long, and doesn't have exposed parts that could be easily damaged riding off road like the V-Strom. And it's a blast to ride (in my opinion).

The V-Strom has a longer wheel base combined with a 19 inch front wheel, making it slower to turn and less "flickable" in the corners. There are those who say the 19 inch front wheel makes the V-Strom more dirt capable. I can't attest to that. The V-Strom also has a huge muffler angled upward on the right side (the Versys has it's muffler tucked in beneath the right side of the frame just ahead of the rear wheel) and that means if you're going to mount side cases the right one will be narrower overall resulting in reduced capacity (to make room for the muffler). It also means the "beam" of a V-Strom with hard cases is something like four feet wide!

Still, both are very good, very reliable machines and don't cost an arm and a leg like many of the European alternatives. And, no matter where you may ride, there's a good chance you'll find a Kawasaki or Suzuki dealer.

Enjoy which ever you choose and ride carefully.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 09:02 PM
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
I had an 09 that handled highway speeds with no issues. Went from Texas To Cali cruising 85-95mph most of the way with the bike loaded down and hauling my big butt 280lbs at the time...
Good to know! I figured the 650 class of bike would be more highway friendly than the 500. Ive kinda become smitten with the 500x, but still think it is probably asking too much from it to do long highway runs. Guys over at the 500 forum said 80 no problem, but wouldn't be their first pick.

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Welcome back to 2-wheels.
Go over to the Stromtroopers site and check it out
Be careful out there and be sure to purchase a couple of good jackets, boots, Modular helmet, etc.
Thank you.
That forum is my next stop after spending a few days over here reading up.
Firm believer in ATGATT.

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Welcome aboard.
V-Strom with hard cases is something like four feet wide!

Still, both are very good,
HA! I noticed the tail pipe issue.

Everything I've seen or read on the difference between the two comes down to, "They are both good, go buy one." Shopping the used market, fortunate enough to have Southern CA in striking distance from me here in Vegas. So lots of both to pick from.
There is even one here that is for some reason very low priced for a 2011 that I am considering. It seems suspiciously low priced, but they have had it for some time. I keep wondering what is wrong with it for it to be that low.... Oh not enough post count to post links. But its a 2011 for $3000 with factory hard luggage.

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to the forum
Thanks!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle E View Post
Good to know! I figured the 650 class of bike would be more highway friendly than the 500. Ive kinda become smitten with the 500x, but still think it is probably asking too much from it to do long highway runs. Guys over at the 500 forum said 80 no problem, but wouldn't be their first pick.



Thank you.
That forum is my next stop after spending a few days over here reading up.
Firm believer in ATGATT.



HA! I noticed the tail pipe issue.

Everything I've seen or read on the difference between the two comes down to, "They are both good, go buy one." Shopping the used market, fortunate enough to have Southern CA in striking distance from me here in Vegas. So lots of both to pick from.
There is even one here that is for some reason very low priced for a 2011 that I am considering. It seems suspiciously low priced, but they have had it for some time. I keep wondering what is wrong with it for it to be that low.... Oh not enough post count to post links. But its a 2011 for $3000 with factory hard luggage.


Thanks!
Just caught your last post, trapped / deleted by the automated spam filter,no rhyme or reason, so far 16 wrong 1 right, not very good odds.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Just caught your last post, trapped / deleted by the automated spam filter,no rhyme or reason, so far 16 wrong 1 right, not very good odds.
Wondered why it took a while to show up, thanks.
I tried to post a link, that may have been what caused it. You guys have a post count limit (smart idea) before posting links. I deleted the link and then clicked on the post button.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle E View Post
Hello, joined up here to start doing some research on the bikes.
Having just passed my MSF course and am now shopping. Rode on the dirt from the age of about 12 till in my 20's. So lots of experience on 2, but no highway and street use, lots and lots to learn. It has also been 20 years since I was on a bike (welcome to my midlife crisis).

Its between the Versys and Vstrom for the most part. Honda CB500X is really appealing to me as well, but think I need a bit more HP for the type of riding I will have to do to get to my favorite camping spots. All highway, no alternative so need to keep it in the 75-80 MPH range to keep from getting mowed down by truckers.

Anyhow looking forward to reading over the tons of posts here!
Cruising on the highway, or passing, at highly illegal speeds on the Versys is not an issue. It will out accelerate any car you are likely to encounter.

Versys is a more modern bike than VStrom and quicker steering IMO. It also has a better engine and more adjustable suspension. Test drive both, most of us here have, and ended up on this forum.

The only reason to go with the VStrom IMO is if you are riding off pavement a lot. The larger diam and skinnier width of the VStrom front wheel along with longer wheel trail, will make it steer perhaps slightly steadier on loose surfaces but at the cost of slower and heavier steering on pavement. There is also more of a selection of offroad tires in the VStrom rim sizes and more of a selection of road tires to fit the Versys.
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Last edited by twowheels; 09-01-2017 at 10:22 PM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Cruising on the highway, or passing, at highly illegal speeds on the Versys is not an issue. .
Speed limits out this way are mostly 75 - 80 MPH. I'm not mister speed freak on a hayabusa, but don't want to be speed bump for a semi truck doing 85.

Good info on the off/on road differences. I will be doing some dirt, but everywhere I go for the most part I wouldn't hesitate to take a stock Honda Accord. That may change a bit as I get into it more. But I kinda plan this to be the starter bike to get me back out on it. Spend some time figuring out what exactly I am looking for and sell it off in a year or two and get what I need.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 04:39 PM
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...The only reason to go with the VStrom IMO is if you are riding off pavement a lot. The larger diam and skinnier width of the VStrom front wheel along with longer wheel trail, will make it steer perhaps slightly steadier on loose surfaces but at the cost of slower and heavier steering on pavement. There is also more of a selection of offroad tires in the VStrom rim sizes and more of a selection of road tires to fit the Versys.
I have to disagree w/ those comments. There was a comparo among the V, the Wee, and the BMW 650 single (when the V first came out), and it concluded that the V was way better off-road than the Wee.

I BELIEVE it's this one:


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2017, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Kyle E View Post
Speed limits out this way are mostly 75 - 80 MPH. I'm not mister speed freak on a hayabusa, but don't want to be speed bump for a semi truck doing 85.

Good info on the off/on road differences. I will be doing some dirt, but everywhere I go for the most part I wouldn't hesitate to take a stock Honda Accord. That may change a bit as I get into it more. But I kinda plan this to be the starter bike to get me back out on it. Spend some time figuring out what exactly I am looking for and sell it off in a year or two and get what I need.
My Versys tops out at about 160kph/100mph with a large touring shield. If you want strong roll on acceleration from 80mph you will require a large displacement motorcycle like a Multistrada 1200S or Versys 1000. On the other hand 0-60mph times are not that much different between a mid displacement Versys 650 (4.3 seconds) and a much larger displacement bike (~4 seconds) and you gain more agility with a lighter bike.

Last edited by twowheels; 09-03-2017 at 01:56 AM.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 10:26 PM
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I also just got back into riding after a 10 year break and ended up picking up a 2009 Versys with pretty low miles. It is an amazingly agile bike once the suspension is set up; previous owner never touched the suspension and had no idea how to set it, this Versys was his first bike and owner prior to that had it set full soft. It has zero issue doing 80-85 even up at 6000+ ft where I live. One other benefit I've noticed with it. The Versys is basically just as tall as a GS, so gets noticed a lot more due to the high profile, in my case the bright green color of the bike probably helps too.

I can personally attest to 500s being able to easily maintain 80mph on the highway, my first bike was a Honda CX500 and it easily would maintain 80, the flip side of that was it was screaming at 8000rpm to maintain that speed and the bike was very vibey at highway speeds. That old CX was probably 100+ lbs heavier than any of the current CB500 variants (that CX was a hair over 500lbs).
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