Buying a Versys - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Buying a Versys

I am new to the Post, 51 years old, I have been a rider most of my life and have owned a few bikes. Just sold a Honda VLX 750 and still have a VLX 650. But I really do like the Versys look and style. I have never been on this style of bike but it really fits my personalty. Most riders here in the south have Harleys and Crusiers. I guess I just don't fit in and really never have. I am looking at the BMW vs the Versys. I need some help from riders, is the 650 enough bike for me, the 650 honda is not enough, slow and needs another gear(if you know what I mean). I am really looking to do some 30-60 mile runs most of the time, but would like to do some 200 mile runs some times. Let me hear from you guys as I need to make up my mind asap. Thanks
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 10:29 AM
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I'm 49 the main reason for the versys for me was the riding position of it. in-expensive and good gas milage. But its alot more motorcycle than that. I added a 16T front sprocket works better for me. I ride local and long distance and every trip i'm more impressed with this little machine. I didn't think a 650 would be enough for me always had 1000cc or more but the versys has worked out well usally cruise in between 80-95 mph on the freeway with no issues. just did a 1400 mile trip with no issues. I do have an after market seat as well as highway pegs to make long trips more comfortable. I'm 6'2" 270lbs before gear and the bike hauls my big butt fine. Heres a photo while heading out to cali and you can see the bike was loaded before i sat on it again no issues except i thought the bike might fall over while on the kickstand a couple of times.


IMG_0135 by weljo2001, on Flickr

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 04:39 PM
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you don't say which beemers you're looking at, but you don't seem to be asking for anything that a versys can't deliver. bmw bikes aren't the most reliable around. this is the main reason i'm on a versys. i wanted to get rid of my last bike in partial trade for something newer. the two offers i had were versys and bmw x-country or some such. the beemer would have sufficed for the job (primarily short-distance commuting) but i couldn't trust it. research verified that i should front a little more cash and go with the kawi, which was much better looking to boot.

as for *enough bike* i'm pretty sure a ninja 250 has more getup than a vlx. i think you'll just about double your horsepower with a versys. you'll need to exercise restraint until you get used to it. yes, it's enough for anybody riding solo, who hasn't just ridden a speed triple.

weljo: omg! next time, just bury him!

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Last edited by kevrider; 06-30-2011 at 04:44 PM.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 04:52 PM
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I broke away from the cruisers last year after 22 years of riding them. I have never had more fun. This bike sits upright and does not hurt like the racing style bikes. I am 39, 5'8" with 30" inseam, lowered the bike and could not be more pleased. I ride 2 up from time to time with no issues. I ride some 300 mile days with no issues.

in your search for something fun! I get a little teasing from my cruiser buddies. They puzzle over my departure from their style but admit that I seem to have much more fun than I used to.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevrider View Post

weljo: omg! next time, just bury him!

Yep went through more than a couple border checks on the trip and could not believe they didn't pull me out to search the load.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 06:55 PM
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MCN comparison of the BMW F650GS vs Suzuki VStrom 650 vs Kawasaki Versys

2008 Review



2010 Review
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 08:50 PM
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When I bought the Versys 4 months ago, the other bike I was considering was the F650GS but on doing a lot of research I just didn't trust the reliability or maintenance costs of the BMW. I am 6'1 225 lbs without gear and the V has plenty of power not to mention the "grin" factor. I just did a 230 mile day trip up to Whistler and area and I was a blast!!

2013 Versys1000
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the video links, sounds like you guys just helped me make my final decision. The BMW has a lot of comforts but twice the cost for sure. Where I live, it would take a 2 hour drive just to get it serviced. So what would you do on a road trip? I am 6'1 and about 220, so we are about the same, thats great. Thanks again!!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 08:17 AM
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Good decision! Enjoy the bike.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 03:28 PM
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i too am considering a versys. i'm 6'2", 180lbs so the height seems about right, but i'm a bit concerned about power. i know, i've heard piles of great reviews, but waiting for my demo ride this weekend to get that grin on my face. i'm coming from an 04 r1150gs adv which is a hoot to ride, a mile eater on trips, but a bit much around town which is where most my riding is these days.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebyte View Post
So what would you do on a road trip? I am 6'1 and about 220, so we are about the same, thats great. Thanks again!!
I'm 6'2" and about the same weight. I tour a lot. I recommend a bigger windscreen. I've got a Givi screen. I'm kinda interested in the Vstream screen however. I still get a bit of buffeting at 80 mph unless I tuck my head a bit. Also recommend an Airhawk seat pad. I have a Corbin seat, but it doesn't take all the @ss-burn out of an 8-10 hour day in the saddle. The Airhawk which I just bought is a big improvement. Leaving on a 7k mile ride next week, so I'll have a full report afterward. I've got a Givi top case as well as givi side cases. The side cases have seen a lot of rough service and are still operational. The Givi top case rack is under-designed IMO. I've welded it twice, and doubled up the area that broke the last time. It seems to be holding up well now. I also put on KTM Super Duke mirrors, and they're a big improvement over the OEM mirrors. The only time I even remotely think a BMW 1200 would be kinda cool is when crossing 800 miles of flat/straight highway. Occasionally I think I'd like a GPS, but then I remember my most fun times seem to be when I'm getting lost.

Michael
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 08:38 PM
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The Green Hornet

So I didn't know what my next bike was going to be.

I'd grown tired of my '08 KLR 650 and sold it to my son. I surfed craigslist for a couple of months and there it was: an '09 Versys w/500 miles on it, for $3,500. I grabed a handful of cash and bolted. 1/2 hour later I was standing in front of the bike: yes, 534 actual miles and it was quite dusty but no damage and the title was clear. I bought it and we loaded it into the back of my truck. I got it home and immediately set about detailing it and inspecting it. No damage to speak of, and it cleaned up rather nicely. (I have photos in jpeg format that I can post but I'll need some help as this program asks for http/: sites to download from). Be aware though, that it's metallic light green... Hence the Green Hornet moniker. My son thought I should name it after a Praying Mantis because he said that that the front looks "buggy".

I had the dealer do the 500 mile initial service and we/I are running regular oil until 5k miles as per his rec. Then I plan to switch to full synthetic. I like to have the dealer do the initial service as all recall items are handled. After that, I like to do the servicing myself. First valve adjustment on this bike is at 15k miles, which is neat.

I've owned the bike for a month now.

Why did I buy this bike? Low cost, recent year, no damage and low mileage. Period. A "Garage Queen". And this is my 4th Queen in a row. My 24th bike owned overall. Because I did not fall in love with this particular model of motorcycle I can be objective about it.

First: I am 57 years old, 6', 200 lbs. I can back-paddle the bike, and even uphill, unlike the KLR 650. I don't have to leap off the seat.

Second: You'd better like the seat, because there's no place else to go. No sliding around, setting up, weighting and un-weighting the front end. So no Supermoto/dirt bike tricks. Can't do supermarket/curb jumping/hooligan tricks. Don't take it where you might not be able to get it out. My longest ride so far is 200 miles and my butt hurt and my wrists hurt and my knees hurt (from trying to get my butt off the seat).

Third: I continued the break-in instructions to the letter to 1,000 miles and am now exploring the powerband. This bike hauls ass for a 650. First gear power wheelies are there. Passing with alarcity is available in the top 3 gears. Even in 6th it pulls hard. handling is good but not great. As it is not "sweet". But they say that better rubber cures this. Will find out as soon as stock wears.

Fourth: The stock windshield is a joke: read bikini. But I guess the forward angled riding position is offset by wind blast so no big windshield needed? Anyone out there with a bigger windshield care to comment?

My wish list: footpeg lowerers, handlebar raisers, gel seat pad, much larger windshield, better bar vibration cancellation devices.

What I like best about the bike so far: the mid-range power is really fun/powerful. Be careful with your wrist! Kids think the color is "cool".

What I like least about the bike so far: Ergonomics and seat. The color. The fact that Progressive insurance wanted to raise my rates by 40% over the KLR 650 because the KLE650 is classified as a "Street and Sport" motorcycle. Geico changed all that line of crap.

Will stay in touch with you other owners for fixes and mods and let you know if I plan to keep the bike. I've got two neighbors who want to buy it off me.

Other rides in stable: KLR250, DR200SE
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 09:43 PM
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Welcome , I live in Conway and bought a used 08 in May of 09. I had just sold my 06 Dr 650 for something that I could ride with some sports bike friends. I knew that I did not want the lay down style of a sports bike. It had about 5500 miles on it when I bought it, now has about 13,000. We ride mostly Northcentral Ar. Like I said, I ride with mostly sports bikes. While my riding skills are not up to most of theirs, I can keep up without alot of trouble, The bike would have no trouble. The bike is a little tall and can seem alittle top heavy at times. I've had mine up to 115 in the straights, and run 70 to 80 in the curves and twisties. I have made many a 350 mile rides, and one 450 mile day. I get about 350 a tank and since I ride with the group that I do, they usually need to fill up before I do. I feel that the Versys is the best bike for the type of riding that I like to do with a upright sitting style. You can't get a better bike for the money. You may need to do some aftermarket add-ons, seat changes, tires, spocket size changes, and personal items. There are many, many helpful threads on this site. If you live in central Ar. check back with me and maybe we can meet and you can check out my bike, I live in Conway. Again welcome.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. jones View Post
i too am considering a versys. i'm 6'2", 180lbs so the height seems about right, but i'm a bit concerned about power.
I am 250 lbs and thought I was in third gear when I went to overtake a slow car on a country road by a lake today.

When i finally got a dotted line I cranked the right wrist and went from 20 mph to 60 in a few seconds and almost lifted the front wheel. When I got back to something close to the 35 mph speed limit I realized I was in second.

The V has more than enough power for me.

Good luck with the test ride - I hope there are lots of curves for you to experience.
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