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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Considering a Versys

Hi! I have been riding a 1996 Honda XR650L for about 14 years. I would really like a Transalp, but Honda will not import them to the U.S. The Super Tenere seems like a great bike but I do not think I will ever need anything that big. The V looks like a good choice. There is a 100% chance that I will take my V off road. I am really looking for a bike that is more comfortable for long highway travel, but when I come accross a dirt road, I don't want to be afraid of it. I am not thinking of the V as a dual-sport, but more of a scambler (if that makes scense.)

What do Versys off/road riders think of its performance?

I am concerned about the lack of tire choices and the low exhaust.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 01:05 PM
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For tires, definitely limited by the front wheel size. For the exhaust, if your going extreme off-roading maybe it could be a problem. You might want to consider something like a Tiger 800XC instead if off-roading is your main goal. There's no bad bikes, only bad ways to use them
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cucamongus View Post
Hi! I have been riding a 1996 Honda XR650L for about 14 years. I would really like a Transalp, but Honda will not import them to the U.S. The Super Tenere seems like a great bike but I do not think I will ever need anything that big. The V looks like a good choice. There is a 100% chance that I will take my V off road.

What do Versys off/road riders think of its performance?

I am concerned about the lack of tire choices and the low exhaust.

Every dual sport bike is a compromise. The traits that make for great off pavement performance usually make for bad on pavement handling and vise versa.

As a dual sport adv. bike the Versys has a very strong bias towards pavement performance. Even calling the Versys a dual sport is a bit of a stretch. It is quicker and more agile than the competition on pavement and IMO just more fun to ride on paved roads.

Think of the Versys as a fantastic, fun to ride, comfortable, versatile sport tour bike with longer travel suspension that can occasionally be used to explore smooth, graded, dirt and gravel roads at moderate speeds. A 95% street/ 5% dirt road bike. If your riding is more off road focused though or you want to go down roads/paths where cars can't, there are bikes other than the Versys in a similar price range that will perform better in that role, bikes like the Kawasaki KLR, BMW Sertao, etc.

Last edited by twowheels; 09-22-2012 at 09:50 PM.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 08:10 PM
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Kawasaki called the V a "dualsport" but I don't think there are many owners who would call it that, at least without modifications.
If you want an off road machine Im thinking keep what you have, if you want more road capabilities but still want to go off road, get a KLR. The new KLRs are about the best off road/on road compromise you will find. They're biggest drawback is they are short on power. They will do it all, just not as fast as most bikes. Keep in mind, I went from a KLR to a V last year. I loved my KLR and wish I wouldv'e kept it AND bought the V because they are totally different bikes. I love my V as well but the most off roading it sees is the occasional gravel road and the back yard.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 08:33 PM
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A few people have been successful doing hard core off roading on the V. There are a couple of choices for dual sport tires. MT60 and Scorpion Trail.

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 09:04 PM
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I thought the Continental TK80s were now available in 17s front and back.

I would not consider the Versys any more of an off road bike than the UJMs from the 70s.

For what you describe I would look at the 800XC or maybe even the weestrom.

What I love about the Versys is that you can set the GPS on shortest distance and just go.

My Versys Travels:


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 10:37 PM
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The Versys is a great street bike, and it works OK on relatively smooth hardpack dirt roads.
But don't expect it to work off road like your XR does.

2009 Kawasaki Versys
2007 Honda XR 650L
2005 Kawasaki Brute Force 750

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 11:31 PM
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the feedback! I realy appreciate it.

Last edited by Cucamongus; 09-23-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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If the V can handle dirt roads that cars can handle, that is all I am looking for. Thanks for information.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 01:00 PM
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Yesterday I did I trip that included dirt and road. I ride over 100 miles of highway to get to the 10 or 20 miles of dirt road. The Versys is great for what I do. I would not give up the highway (specially the canyon carving) performance for more off road performance. I ride with scorpion trail. Excellent choice for th 95-5% I do.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 01:20 PM
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Wanna know about the Versys on dirt...?

Go to this thread: http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=5480
and read it. Dave does GREAT work!

Ed
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'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cucamongus View Post
Hi! I have been riding a 1996 Honda XR650L for about 14 years. I would really like a Transalp, but Honda will not import them to the U.S. The Super Tenere seems like a great bike but I do not think I will ever need anything that big. The V looks like a good choice. There is a 100% chance that I will take my V off road. I am really looking for a bike that is more comfortable for long highway travel, but when I come accross a dirt road, I don't want to be afraid of it. I am not thinking of the V as a dual-sport, but more of a scambler (if that makes scense.)

What do Versys off/road riders think of its performance?

I am concerned about the lack of tire choices and the low exhaust.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cucamongus View Post
If the V can handle dirt roads that cars can handle, that is all I am looking for. Thanks for information.
It will work fine for that.

2009 Kawasaki Versys
2007 Honda XR 650L
2005 Kawasaki Brute Force 750
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 06:18 PM
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If the V can handle dirt roads that cars can handle, that is all I am looking for. Thanks for information.
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Originally Posted by DK35vince View Post
It will work fine for that.
Any bike will handle dirt roads that cars can handle.

A little beach sand on the Versys.


My Ninja 650 and a buddies Harley on a gravel road.


Voyager visiting a historic cemetary.


More exploring on the Voyager.

My Versys Travels:


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