Thoughts on 650 vs X300
Newbie to the forum here, looking for some feedback.
I'm a 55 year old male, about 6 foot, 170 pounds. Reside in the Seattle area. In my early 20's I rebuilt and rode for one summer (when it was running) a Honda CB400 (or maybe it was a 360?) on a learners permit. Then I got married, moved cross country, had kids, the usual stuff...
About 5 years ago I decided to get back on two wheels. My main motivation was my elderly parents, who live on the other side of Puget Sound. The backup for the ferrries across the sound can easily stretch to several hours on a summer weekend. I noticed that motorcyles have legal priviledge to cut the line, along with bicycles. So even on July 4th weekend, you can literally arrive at the dock 5 minutes before loading and get on the ferry no matter how long the line. So I signed up to take the 2 day MSF class. They offered both motorcycles and scooters for the class. I decided to take it on a scooter, both to see what they are about, and also cause I figured it would be a lot easier to pass (it was). 5 years later and I've got a Suzuki Burgman 200 ABS that I use routinely for that "mission", as well as running errands to the grocery store, etc. Absolutely love it. 40+ liters of storage under the seat, 45 liter Givi case on the back, and I can carry all the tools and other cargo I often need.
BUT now that I am getting closer to retirement, I'm starting to hanker for a "big boys toy". After getting use to Burgman, it absolutely has to have ABS. Our roads are damp to wet for approximately 8 straight months every year. And in the fall there is this nice slimy layer of leaves and other organic debris on top of that...
Currently I'm looking at two possible toys:
1. 2015 Versys 650 ABS with about 11k miles on it being sold by a dealer. Also has brush guards for the handles and Oxford heated grips. Pretty obviously it was someone's commuter.
2. 2017 Versys X300 ABS with about 1100 miles being sold by a private seller.
Both are being sold for roughly the same $$ (after factoring in accessories that I would buy for one or the other). I've test ridden both.
Until I actually retire, it will probably not get much use (the engineer in me says that is reason enough not to buy either). Once I'm retired, I'm looking to do some short distance (1-3 day) touring in our beautiful mountains, including on unpaved forest service roads (but not on single track).
My general concerns about the 650 is the size and weight. It's is a big step up from the Burgman (500 vs 350 pounds, 60 vs 18 HP). And also it's suitability for dirt roads.
My concerns about the 300 mostly relate to the size/power of the engine, and it's ability to deal with mountain passes at speed. If I get the 300, I might eventually sell the Burgman IF I can put enough luggage on the 300. If I go with the 650, I probably keep the Burgman as it is much more practical for my current missions.