Ive been lurking on here for a loooooong time. A couple of years ago my wife and I decided that a do everything bike is what was needed in our garage...to join my Fireblade, Blackbird and DRZ400 and here DRZ250.
I researched, to death it would seem, mid sized adventure bikes that could do everything relatively well, but not excel at any one particular riding style/genre. I read every possible review on V-Stroms, BMW GS's, TDM900 (not exactly mid sized), Versys, KLE500, KLR650, KTM Adventurers, Triumph Tigers...pretty much everything.
Value for money was a priority, along with reliability, fun factor, decent bitumen manners, reasonable gravel manners, and the option to lower the bike to suit my wifes relatively short stature.
After much deliberation, I narrowed it down to either the V-Strom or the Versys. And I struggled between the two for about 6 months...one month the V-Strom was the winner, the next month I had changed my mind! Then, as fate would have it, a cheap 2007 Versys with 30,000km came available and I bought it, sight unseen, without ever riding one.
This bike, due to some fairing scratches, was to be my wifes bike. But, that didnt stop me for taking it out for a spin to see how it handled around town, around the mountain twistys, and around the local gravel roads and firetrails. I was immediately amazed at how versatile the Versys was. I could throw it through mountain twistyes like it was my Fireblade, it felt great on the open road through sweepers just like my Blackbird, it was stable at speed (80 to 100km/h) on gravel even with Michelin Pilots
Then I thought, how does it cope off road? So I took it to a little test track I have that I use to set up my suspension on the DRZ400. Whilst I took it very easy, having road tyres on, I was again impressed at the obstacles this bike can overcome. I can only imagine that a decent set of dual sport tyres will improve it even more.
That being said, the Versys wont go where I take the DRZ...in fact, most sane people wouldnt walk to places I take the DRZ, but the Versys is very much capable of gravel and firetrail touring.
I bought myself a 2008 Versys with 23,000km on the clock just last weekend. It came with a full Givi luggage system, touring screen, Oxford heated grips, sheepskin seat cover, and some little 55w spot lights.
I realise Im preaching to the converted on this site, but the Versys is the funnest (is that a word??) bike Ive ever ridden. Its comfortable, its happy on gravel and in the twistys, I get 400km (245 miles) out of a tank before the fuel thing starts flashing...riding at 100 to 110km/h.
Oh, and Ive just fitted a Dan Moto exhaust on it and love the sound of the little parallel twin...sounds like my old Subaru WRX!
Im just simply amazed that for the money Ive paid out, that I can get so many smiles, in so many riding genres, from this one bike.
BTW..my name is Glenn, and I live near Canberra, Australia.