What bike to buy? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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What bike to buy?

Hi guys...haven't had a bike for over 20 years but I've got my L's and looking to buy a bike. I'm in Australia and will use the bike as a run around when the wife has the car and of course to have some fun!

I'm not entirely sure what bike to get and I've been looking around, test riding a few and slowly knocking a few off my original list.

The KLR650 and the VStrom are still on the list and I'm yet to get on the KLR but will do this week. The Versys is also another serious consideration...I also like the look of the Honda CB500X but it seems hard to get a test ride on one! The Vstrom was a great ride...

I guess I'll mainly be doing road riding for work but I like to have the option of going off the beaten track if and when I want to. I won't be doing any full on off road stuff, just a few fire trails and what I call dirt roads...jumps, crossing rivers and full adventure stuff won't be happening, which kind of rules out the KLR a bit

I've seen lots of conflicting reviews and opinions on all of these bikes but I'm here to get the low down on the Versys...how do you guys think it compares to the other bikes I'm considering and so on...

Cheers
Ryan
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 06:31 PM
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I HAD a KLR when I test-rode a V, a VStrom, BMW F800GS, F700GS, 1200GS, and I came to the conclusion that the V beats 'em ALL!

Since then I 'swapped' bikes on a ride for a Ducati Multistrada (I think) - it was red w/ either an 1100 or 1200 cc twin, and looked a bit like BIG RED....

IMHO the V handles better, altho' the Duc had WAY more power! Wouldn't want it tho', as I'd get in trouble PDQ!!!

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 07:07 PM
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I had a Vstrom 650 for awhile, and compared to the Versys, I found it sort of boring. It did not "get on the pipes" and scream like the Versys, was too quiet and "electric motor like".

I sold it and have a 2008 Versys now, which is really a nice all around bike.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 07:18 PM
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Just get the V you know you want one!





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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 12:06 AM
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THE VERSYS MATE
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 05:51 AM
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If you thought the V Strom was fun you would love the Versys. I had the Strom two bikes ago before the 650 Versys and as mentioned already it didn't have as much character and fun factor.

2013 Versys1000
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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I liked the strom as it felt secure and sure footed on the road. Compared to the Husky Strada I also tested it was far nicer. Dealer restricted me to ten minutes in each so I didn't get a long ride.

I've seen a Versys (is it V for short?)at another dealer. 2012 model with 11,000 kilometers on it and the balance of the 2 year warranty left - at least 6 months. He said go for a good hours test ride...can't wait

Last edited by Ryanwalus; 03-18-2014 at 08:47 PM.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 02:07 PM
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Hi Ryan,
the Versys is a road bike, it will handle good gravel roads however it aint a trail bike. Too big and heavy and the wheels are too small. It is an outstanding commuter, 1-up tourer and all round fun bike. On a good gravel road I have sat on 80 - 100 kph with no ill effects it just does the job.
If you liked the V-Strom you will find the V quite a bit different it is physically smaller and more maneuverable and an outstanding canyon carver (especially once you put better tyres on it) the V-Strom is, IMO, more of a touring bike. That doesn't mean the V won't tour, it will but if that's all you do the Strom would probably be a better choice.
Love my Versys



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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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What bike to buy?

Nice Maverick

I don't want a trail bike and don't expect the V is capable of that. The KLR is the other option if I want more off road capabilities I guess.

I'm not sure exactly what I want but all I do know is that I want a bike that will help get me back into it and help me get my P's.

Something easy to handle for someone that hasn't riden for years and is good/safe on the road but can handle a road that's not Tarmac...

Last edited by Ryanwalus; 03-18-2014 at 08:48 PM.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickAus View Post
the Versys is a road bike, it will handle good gravel roads however it aint a trail bike. Too big and heavy and the wheels are too small. It is an outstanding commuter, 1-up tourer and all round fun bike. On a good gravel road I have sat on 80 - 100 kph with no ill effects it just does the job.
If you liked the V-Strom you will find the V quite a bit different it is physically smaller and more maneuverable and an outstanding canyon carver (especially once you put better tyres on it) the V-Strom is, IMO, more of a touring bike. That doesn't mean the V won't tour, it will but if that's all you do the Strom would probably be a better choice.
Love my Versys
+1 to every point MaverickAus makes here, I have much the same experience and opinion. Including that I Love my Versys.

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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 06:04 PM
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Ryan - here is a U-tube comparo of the V, Wee Strom, and Beemer:


Interesting comments, and results.

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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that...interesting comments as you say.

I didn't realise the Strom was so much bigger but when I finally get to ride the V I suspect I'll feel that a bit. The KLR is still an option but of course thats a different style of bike and I'm not sure how comfy It'll be.
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 09:25 PM
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The Versys would be quite capable on Dirt roads with appropriate tyres.
The V-Strom would be for rough Fire Trails.
The KLR for Goat tracks.

Also be aware the V-Strom is 20kg heavier than the [email protected] (no fuel).
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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigitt View Post
The Versys would be quite capable on Dirt roads with appropriate tyres.
The V-Strom would be for rough Fire Trails.
The KLR for Goat tracks.

Also be aware the V-Strom is 20kg heavier than the [email protected] (no fuel).
Thanks mate

Goat track is pretty obvious but whats the difference between dirt roads and fire trails?
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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 10:43 PM
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Lol most of the tarmac roads in Aus are called goat tracks
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post #16 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, a bit like some of the golf courses I've played!

I just wanted to define exactly what I'm talking about when I say off road...

To me a dirt road is considered a non tarmac road that is a public access road thats passable in a 2WD car at slow speed but much easier in a 4WD...

And a fire trail is a dirt road thats only accessible by motor bike or push bike but passable in a 4WD...
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post #17 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 05:47 AM
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Exactly Ryan.

Fire Trails are those tracks that even AWD sedans can do and Soccer Mum weekend Warrior Chariots.

Goat Trails are for those with 4in Lift Kits, 33in Coopers and a boot full of beer swilling buddies to help you winch it out of a rut
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post #18 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 09:40 AM
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Most people who have bought a Versys or VStrom have done the comparison as these two bikes are similar. IMO the Versys is a little sportier and more fun to ride. Both are relaxed bikes to do long miles on though due to their comfortable upright seating compared to a race bike inspired sport touring bike. For me the Versys steered much quicker and felt more planted on pavement due to the 120/70-17 front wheel vs the 110/80-19 front wheel on the VStrom. It also has firmer suspension than the VStrom. The VStrom on the other hand was a little bit more plush. The Versys's suspension is adjustable for preload and rebound damping at both ends unlike the VStrom. You can make it a lot softer or firmer depending on how you ride and your weight. IMO spend as much time as you can on these two bikes. Both bikes lean fairly far over on their side stands, especially the Versys, giving them the impression they are more top heavy than they actually are.

The Versys and similar bikes don't really have a lot of off road capability though. You'll be fine for the occasional foray down a well graded dirt road (basically anywhere you would drive a 2wd car) but don't expect to have fun taking one down a rough ATV trail. On the other hand they will be a lot smoother and just perform much better on pavement than something like a KLR.

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post #19 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 01:07 PM
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I went to the dealer looking for a KLR....rode home a Versys. Much more suited to my 40mi commute everyday.
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post #20 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Tested a Versys today....it was a 2012 model with 11,000 on the clock for $8000 from a dealer. Comes with 3 months/5000 k's warranty and two Givi panniers

Really nice ride without setting the world on fire. I did feel a bit more cramped than the Vstrom, is there any way of increasing room? Moving the foot pegs down or any other adjustments?

I'd love to ride them one after the other for a direct comparison but it felt comfy and powerful enough for me. I took it for an hour so gave it a good run...

It made me kind of dismiss the KLR a bit in my head as its obviously more suited to the road and that will probably be the majority of my riding, but I've only sat on a KLR at this stage...if anything I'm going the other way from dirt style to cruiser style!

Overall the Versys is a strong contender.
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