Still Deciding..... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2020, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Still Deciding.....

It's good to be in a place with a ton of information--I'm still waffling between the Versys 650 and the V-Strom. I'm hoping to use all the data here to help me make a decision.

I've had bikes in the past, ranging from an old Honda CB450 to a Katana 750. The adventure bikes are a nice mix in the middle--great performance and comfort. Whichever way I go, I'll be happy. Right now, the Versys has the edge, since I'd rarely hit the dirt.

I'm looking forward to looking around!

Cor
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2020, 10:20 AM
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I replaced my '06 Weestrom with a '15 Versys. Haven't ridden it much yet, but so far, I'm happy with the choice. But, I was happy with the Wee too. I mainly changed cuz I wanted newer, and the VStroms had went to the stacked style headlights and beak. 'Twas merely a styling choice for me. The Stroms have a much longer wheelbase, which is good, but I couldn't get over their redesigned looks.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2020, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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I replaced my '06 Weestrom with a '15 Versys. Haven't ridden it much yet, but so far, I'm happy with the choice. But, I was happy with the Wee too. I mainly changed cuz I wanted newer, and the VStroms had went to the stacked style headlights and beak. 'Twas merely a styling choice for me. The Stroms have a much longer wheelbase, which is good, but I couldn't get over their redesigned looks.
So with that longer wheelbase, you'll get some stability, but how does it keep up in the twisties? I'll be looking at corners more than I will dirt roads. And what would your opinion be with the parallel twin feel vs. the v-twin?

Cor
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2020, 02:30 PM
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So with that longer wheelbase, you'll get some stability, but how does it keep up in the twisties? I'll be looking at corners more than I will dirt roads. And what would your opinion be with the parallel twin feel vs. the v-twin?
Preferencing my comments by saying I’m no street racer but as far as the twisties go the V650 is amazing. This is my first bike that (especially with a new set of rubber) is completely neutral in the turns. Throw it into a long sweeping turn and there is literally no push required on either side of the handle bar to keep it in the turn. Never had any issues with wobble either. The engine is bullet proof, hard to believe that kind of oomph comes from a 650cc power plant. A lot of low/mid-range torque. Just a blast to ride. The only downsides (in my opinion) is the seat and rear shock. Shock transmits a lot of the energy from the road to the rider. End up sliding forward on the stock seat. Handle bar risers and a new seat from Terry’s Custom seats really helped out a lot. My 2012 V650 is pretty much stock otherwise. Oh yeah, a taller windscreen and clip on wind deflector helped too!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2020, 03:14 PM
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I test rode both before buying the Versys.....I believe the Wee is a bit faster but not as nimble. Now if Suzuki made the Gladius with bags/trunk etc it would be a real kick in the pants.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2020, 03:55 PM
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So with that longer wheelbase, you'll get some stability, but how does it keep up in the twisties? I'll be looking at corners more than I will dirt roads. And what would your opinion be with the parallel twin feel vs. the v-twin?
I posted (back in '08) - that the V650 is the BEST handling motorcycle I'd ever ridden!

Now, TWELVE years and around 180 THOUSAND V650 miles later, I still feel the same.

w/ your choice!
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 05:51 AM
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Twisties = 17 inch wheels and shorter wheelbase. For me this is where the 650 shines. Really dances.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 08:01 AM
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I’ve ridden a few Wee-stroms over the years and owned an ‘11 Versys.

My opinion is that the strom is a better distance touring bike, and more comfortable for the passenger

The Versys, on the other hand feels like riding a large supermoto and is a hoot to ride! The tighter the curves the better.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 12:57 PM
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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TY! The wife is from Alberta.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 09:14 PM
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The V storm is head heavy (front) and not as nimble as the Versys. Take your time and decide.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 09:52 PM
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So with that longer wheelbase, you'll get some stability, but how does it keep up in the twisties? I'll be looking at corners more than I will dirt roads. And what would your opinion be with the parallel twin feel vs. the v-twin?
I have NO doubt the Versys would be much better on twisties. The added W/B of the Vstrom was more for stability, and gave more room for a passenger. I liked the Vstrom's engine. I've put very few miles on the Versys, but the most notable thing, for me, was the RPMs at speed. It just feels really "busy" down there, lol. (NOT buzzy, just busy)But that is something that will become less noticeable with more time on the Kawi. Actually, I spent much of last summer on a 1250 Bandit,(sold now) and rarely rode the Vstrom. The few times I did ride the Vstrom, it seemed like a pooch, which surprised me, but again, it's to be expected when I had become accustomed to the Bandit. Either V is a good bike. BTW, Stone roads were as far "off road" as I ever got with the Strom. For me, the Versys is more pleasing to the eye......for now,anyhow. I've had 40+ bikes in 50 years, so I get bored quickly!!!
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 11:23 PM
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So with that longer wheelbase, you'll get some stability, but how does it keep up in the twisties? I'll be looking at corners more than I will dirt roads. And what would your opinion be with the parallel twin feel vs. the v-twin?
My 2015 V-650 is the best handling street bike I have owned and I have had quite a few. A few of the most recent include Yamaha FZ09, Ninja 1000, and KTM 1190 Adventure.

I have ridden the Vstrom 650 and 1000. Neither one handles anywhere as good as my V-650.

Ride them both and you will see what I am talking about.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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The V storm is head heavy (front) and not as nimble as the Versys. Take your time and decide.
I will definitely have time--I'm still several months out before I can pull the trigger--I'll keep reading, and will get my leg over them both to see what's what. I'll look out for the balance issue!

Cor
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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I have NO doubt the Versys would be much better on twisties. The added W/B of the Vstrom was more for stability, and gave more room for a passenger. I liked the Vstrom's engine. I've put very few miles on the Versys, but the most notable thing, for me, was the RPMs at speed. It just feels really "busy" down there, lol. (NOT buzzy, just busy)But that is something that will become less noticeable with more time on the Kawi. Actually, I spent much of last summer on a 1250 Bandit,(sold now) and rarely rode the Vstrom. The few times I did ride the Vstrom, it seemed like a pooch, which surprised me, but again, it's to be expected when I had become accustomed to the Bandit. Either V is a good bike. BTW, Stone roads were as far "off road" as I ever got with the Strom. For me, the Versys is more pleasing to the eye......for now,anyhow. I've had 40+ bikes in 50 years, so I get bored quickly!!!
I appreciate the perspective. I've only had three bikes previously, so I'll take any advice from someone so exposed to so many.

Cor
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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My 2015 V-650 is the best handling street bike I have owned and I have had quite a few. A few of the most recent include Yamaha FZ09, Ninja 1000, and KTM 1190 Adventure.

I have ridden the Vstrom 650 and 1000. Neither one handles anywhere as good as my V-650.

Ride them both and you will see what I am talking about.
I will definitely get on each and see--I'm kinda surprised that the Versys out performed the FZ09. Cool.

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 10:25 AM
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I went from a V-strom to the Versys... and I'm glad I made that move. One thing about the V-Strom was that it always seemed just a bit too "big" as far as the overall size and handling; my Versys feels like a smaller bike but it's still comfortable for longer rides. Definitely more nimble.

My V-Strom was a 2007... so it still had a bulbous appearance that the newer 'Stroms don't have as much. The current-year 'Strom is a great bike, but the V is still a better overall bike to me.

Aftermarket may be more limited for the Versys, especially if you're looking for more off-road or ADV type things like bash plates and crash bars. Limited but not non-existent.

If you want to hit dirt and feel you need more circumference up front, there are tire options that give you a diameter that is similar to the 19" front of the 'Strom. That being said, I've taken my Versys on the same trails as I took the V-Strom (granted, no one will accuse those trails of being gnarly at all).

There's a lot of overlap between the two; a test ride will help.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 11:54 AM
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... I've had 40+ bikes in 50 years, so I get bored quickly!!!....
I CAN'T afford to get bored quickly!

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 12:00 PM
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A word I've heard to describe the handling of the VStrom compared w/ the V650, is that the 'Strom is ponderous.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AmbientMoto View Post
I went from a V-strom to the Versys... and I'm glad I made that move. One thing about the V-Strom was that it always seemed just a bit too "big" as far as the overall size and handling; my Versys feels like a smaller bike but it's still comfortable for longer rides. Definitely more nimble.

My V-Strom was a 2007... so it still had a bulbous appearance that the newer 'Stroms don't have as much. The current-year 'Strom is a great bike, but the V is still a better overall bike to me.

Aftermarket may be more limited for the Versys, especially if you're looking for more off-road or ADV type things like bash plates and crash bars. Limited but not non-existent.

If you want to hit dirt and feel you need more circumference up front, there are tire options that give you a diameter that is similar to the 19" front of the 'Strom. That being said, I've taken my Versys on the same trails as I took the V-Strom (granted, no one will accuse those trails of being gnarly at all).

There's a lot of overlap between the two; a test ride will help.
I don't think I'd ever go too far into the rough stuff, so it's good to know that the Versys can take the dirt/gravel/fire road stuff. That would be more where I'd be going, if off the pavement. How did the ride ergo feel going from the longer V-Strom to the Versys? I'm not a small guy at 6'1", 240lbs.

Cor
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