New Versys owner in Seattle
Hi from rainy Seattle.
I've been away from motorcycles for about 20 years, but a new commute and a (very) patient wife have brought me back to the moto world.
My first bike was a 1980 KZ550; LOVED it, and it made me a Kawi guy.
A search for something bigger and more highway-friendly brought me to a 1981 GS850G. Yeah, it was a great highway bike but its bulk, a hilariously mismatched Vetter Quicksilver fairing (bringing wet weight close to 600lbs) and a horrible wrenching experience swore me off Suzukis for life, until...
...a couple months ago, when I started my new moto search. All signs pointed to the SV650 until I realized I'd need a fairing here in the Pacific Northwest, and the SV650s had clipons--a no go for an old fart in his mid 40s.
So I started looking at V-Strom 650s. I test rode one; nice bike, but it felt like a cross between a two-wheeled Subaru and a loaded porteur bicycle.
Then I read about Ninja 650s; I test-rode one and liked how easy it was to ride (and I liked the riding position), but it felt too much like a toy to me. (Apologies in advance to the Ninja folks out there; I'd probably have been perfectly happy on one.)
Which brings me to the Versys, which I wrote off for cosmetic reasons. (I don't like the looks of the '08-'09 version.) But I found and rode a 2010 bike, which instantly felt right: not as boat-like as the V-Strom, not as toy-like as the 650R--and brought it home.
The funny thing about all this is that on paper the KZ550 and the Versys are remarkably close: similar curb weight, similar wheelbase, similar power-to-weight ratio (very different saddle height). But I'll be more than happy to ride something with a more flexible engine, better brakes, fuel injection (hooray!), better highway legs and some weather protection. So it's all a win.
Happy to be here!