Bike Shopping - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Hi guys. I currently ride a 2004 Suzuki vstrom 650 (original owner) and am shopping for a new ride. I know you guys are biased but I'm looking for your honest opinions re: the Versys in the areas of: reliability, all day riding comfort, vibration (handlebars and footpegs), wind protection, anything else you feel like sharing. I do Saturday morning rides in the 300-400km range. I normally do about two weekend trips each summer with rides in the 700-800km range. I think this bike would be a good fit. Speaking of fit I'm 6'1" (the bike looks nice and tall with ample leg room). I look forward to hearing from you.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 03:49 PM
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Greetings, Reliabilty is great I have done over 26,000 miles on my 09 with no issues, just regular oil changes, lubeing the cables and such. I have changed sprocket and chain twice once for a gearing change and the second time for a rusty chain from being outside for the winter -my fault. I do a lot of 250 to 300 mile days and my butt will get a little soar as the day progresses, but its manegable. I went with an aftermarket screen for better wind protection on my 09, not sure how the newer 2010 and up models are for that as they have a different design. Vibrations never bothered my feet but there is a slight vibe/buzziness in the bars again its really not an issue though. and most people here would recomend speedy's foot peg lowering blocks to help with leg room. The only real problem might be your face getting soar from the never ending smile this bike will give you. Hope this is helpfull. Enjoy.


Those who say money can't buy happines haven't bought A VERSYS.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 05:40 PM
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All day riding comfort great in my opinion on stock seat others will disagree
Very reliable
Vibration, not enough to wipe smile off my face and i don't really notice it much.
A bike like the Versys would be a good fit for what you want to do/
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 06:01 PM
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Opinion on vibration seems to be mixed, and may vary between machines. Many claim it's hardly noticeable, others (myself included) will put it slightly on the buzzy side of things. I get tingly hands or occasionally feet after a couple of hours, otherwise it's not bad. Height and reach are great for those of us taller folk, but the seat-to-footpeg span folds my 34" inseam just wee bit more than I'd like. Speedy's peg lowering kit is said to be a fantastic and easy fix. Another notable beef is with the turbulence the screen introduces around my helmet. Experimentation seems to be the only remedy here, and there is extensive documentation available here with a search. Experience on this point differs GREATLY between riders. Stock tires have fantastic wear but relatively poor wet performance. Brake feel is a little fuzzy, but there's more than enough stopping power. And as a final thumbs-down, resale value is poor.

On the positive side, reliability is nearly uniformly excellent, and the seat is reasonable after a bit (quite a bit, really) of break-in. Handling is exceptional for the price class, though I and others find the stock rear shock slightly sub-optimal. Fuel economy is great as well; I manage 50mpg +/-2 in warm weather. Aftermarket support is surprisingly strong, and many Ninja/ER-6 bits will bolt right on. Also, there's a fantastic forum for when you can't figure something out on your own.

Lots of cross-shop goes on between the Versys and 'Strom. More off-road oriented types favor the Suzuki, with road warriors like me biased toward the Versys. A more DS-like V can be done and done well (just ask jdrocks), but it doesn't fit the bill right out of the box. I will now cut myself off before this post devolves into terminal ramble.

Jon
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 10:32 PM
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Not sure I understand you totally. You do two weekend trips a summer. And the rest Sat day runs. I would think a Harley Ultra would be the best for that. Wind protection and lots of room. Good two up riding! other than that (+1 to Lucky's glowcat13)





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Last edited by MTS; 03-03-2012 at 10:35 PM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 11:17 PM
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I've had a VStrom DL1000 and Harley Electra Glides and a Versys in my past. I'm not sure you'll find a huge difference between the VStrom and Versys.

Every bike I've owned gets a better seat and sheepskin and Airhawk pads. I've done 1500 miles in 24 hours on a Harley Electra Glide and have done 1000 miles in under 24 hours on a Versys.

I didn't like the VStrom seating position. Maybe the V stands for the angled notch you sit in.

I suppose you need to ask yourself why you want to make a change and then determine which bike meets that need without losing other benefits you already have.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 01:46 AM
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I very happy with my 2011 Versys, bought it the end of July... I will have 10K miles on it this week. I've done several 300 & 400 mile days on it without any comfort issues. Great in the twisties, handles great even when fully loaded with travel & camping gear. Decent gas mileage (about 45mpg fully loaded - at highway speeds). Some people claim 50 or over. Probably naked & mild to moderate speeds. I think I got 48-49 before I installed HT metal boxes, a tall touring windshield & handguards.

You really should do a test ride on one. Kawi will be having their test drive events around North America again this year. Very worthwhile to participate. You get to ride for 20-30 minutes at a time at a pretty spirited pace. And they usually give out demo dollars (was $500 last year) It sold me... I bought one within a week of the Kawi event.

KJ

2013 Suzuki V-Strom
2013 Honda CRF 250L
2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650-ADV
2011 Kawasaki Versys
2008 Yamaha TW200
2009 Kawasaki Vulcan
1979 Suzuki GS425 (long gone)
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 02:59 PM
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If you've wanted a smaller, nimbler bike than the Wee, are willing to put up with a few trade-offs, but don't want to give up the practicality and versatility, the Versys could do well for you.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 03:34 PM
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I test drove both the Versys and VStrom extensively before buying and found a huge difference in how they felt behind the controls. VStrom - softer, more relaxed ride and slower steering with much more trail, Versys - nimbler, quicker steering, firmer ride. I guess it depends how you ride if you will notice these differences. I wish the Versys had a outside air temp thermometer on the dash like the VStrom.

I would say an aftermarket windshield like the Givi is in order for long distance comfort in cooler temps.


Last edited by twowheels; 03-04-2012 at 03:43 PM.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 12:02 AM
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Welcome! I have done 14 hours riding and the butt only requires shifting more frequently to avoid the 'butt hardening effects' after about 10 hours of riding. Rode 2 up, fully loaded with top box, soft saddles, and tank bag. Didn't feel tired or that the bike was beginning to be difficult to handle.

BTW, Twowheels, you can always install a thermometer to the V. I prefer to know the coolant temperature.

Present Ride: Yamaha Super Tenere 2012
Previous Ride:
2011 to 2015 2011 Versys Spark BlackKawasaki Ninja 2010 to 2011 250R 2008 Plasma Blue
My V's Farkle Log:
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 07:23 AM
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My bike right before the Versys was a Wee Strom which I had for about a year but just couldn't get to like it like I thought I would. The Versys for me is like night and day in the fun and handling department, it is a lot better on the twistie roads and in traffic due to it's quicker handling and flickability.
I am 6'1 and with Motowerk peg lowering blocks and bar riser it fits me perfectly for riding position and comfort. I have been on several 200-400 km day trips with no problems at all and easily have ridden further.
I have many more miles on the Versys in the year I've had it compared to the Wee just because I just want to ride it every chance I get.


2013 Versys1000
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 08:37 AM
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the versys is a tremendous bike, but you might be disappointed in the wind protection coming from a vstrom. For me, i loved most things about the versys with the only 2 exceptions being leg room and wind protection. I am 6'4", however the upper body wind protection wasnt the issue, for some reason the air seems to flow right around the tank and into the inside of your legs and crotch area (a place most men dont want to get cold). I ride year around in NH so i see temps as low as the high 20s when i head out in the morning, much colder than that i take the cage. Also on weekend rides the group meets up between 7 and 9 am so it is much cooler then. So if cold weather wind protection is a must i would search elsewhere, but if you are just concerned with wind fatigue the versys will cut the wind well enough.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 11:14 AM
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Bought my FIRST (got 2 now) Versys after test riding V-Stroms, BMW 800GS and 1200Gs, as well as a friend's Ducati Hypermotard. Liked the V the best.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the imput guys. Helpful and appreciated :-)
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 07:29 PM
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the wee in the video is the old one, now superceded.

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
Seal/CRAZY/misquoted


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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi 41 View Post
All day riding comfort great in my opinion on stock seat others will disagree
Very reliable
Vibration, not enough to wipe smile off my face and i don't really notice it much.
A bike like the Versys would be a good fit for what you want to do/
WHAT HE SAID.....
I sometimes think Kiwi and I are the only ones that love the stock saddle LOLOL

Vibes are there but that doesn't mean it';s a bad thing. It was annoying the first weeks on the bike but like most things you are not used to....all it takes is is time to become acclimated to the bike.
Vibes haven't been an issue for many thousands of miles.
Just my two cents.


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The KLE 650 VERSYS: It can't replace the Love of a good woman but...
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 08:13 AM
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When I bought the Versys it was because of the Kawasaki ticket to ride demo event. I went there thinking the Ninja 1000 would replace my Ninja 650. Test rode the Ninja 1000, Concours, Vaquero, Voyager and then for the last ride of the day decided to try out the Versys (which they only had one in the lineup so I guess they weren't pushing it). The Versys put an immediate smile on my face. The fit, the ergonomics, the first gear blast of power was perfect. This bike can be everything from a hooligan machine to a long distance backroads touring machine. I can push the corners harder than I ever dared on the Ninja. Fun, Fun, Fun. The riding position is definitely sportier than the V-strom which I prefer.

My Versys Travels:


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