From potential to actual new owner
I just posted asking for advice about a possible versys purchase, and thanks to all who replied. I ended up buying the bike, and this is the promised actual self intro.
I have accepted that I am a serial monogamist when it comes to bikes. I buy them, keep them a year or so, then sell them and get something different. I tell my wife it's cheaper than girlfriends. In the past handful of years I've gone through (not inclusive) CB250, GL1000, VF750CD, XR400, FZ1, XR650, DL650, XR400, MT-16, VFR800, DL1000, GSF600. Yes the XR4 is there twice, it's the only bike I've liked enough to buy twice. Picking up the story recently, I bought the VFR8 in a non-running, stored for 9 years condition. Brought it home, mechanic'd it for a few days, got it running beautifully. Never gelled with it. Always got the feeling that it was just as good a motorcycle whether I was involved or not. Traded it for a DL1000, which was great. Huge, ugly, ungainly, but great for the dirt roads, paved roads, solo, with my kids, you name it. Sold it to buy a cheap car because one of my kids is starting to drive. Stuff is stuff, and if you're not willing to give up stuff then it owns you instead of the other way round. Used the leftover money to buy a beater, not quite running GSF600 for small money. Replaced the everything on it, got it running as beautifully as a 17 year old budget bike would ever run, and found out that I'm seriously not the I4 600cc type. Kept it for a few months, sold it. Went without a bike for nearly 4 days, which is a record for me. Narrowed it down to the following bikes, all within a few hundred bucks of each other. 2006 DL650, 2004 SV650, 2000 Duke II LC4, 1994 Sportster, and the 2008 Versys. The Sportster was nice, but the owner was not willing to come down to below retail BB. KTM had a bad rep for spinning lower end bearings. SV is a sporty bike, not my cuppa. Came down to the DL and the Vs. There's a saying, when faced with a choice between two evils go with the one you've never tried. I've never owned a Kawi, and I never so much as sat on a Vs. Went out, looked at it, test drove it, put it on the trailer.
Bike has been in a lowside recently. Scratches, scrapes, busted right fairing. PO replaced the handlebars, grips, mirrors, and has ordered but not yet received the fairing panel. Bike drives straight, no frame damage, etc. Bike comes equipped with the following, not inclusive since I haven't taken it apart yet: 65w osram bulbs, new brake pads front and rear, freshly flushed brake fluid, new fork seals, sw motech crash bars, highway pegs (binned as soon as I got home) R6 shock with a spring from something else that he said was a common swap, new chain and oem sprockets, full muzzy exhaust and some kind of skid/splash shield, PCIII, brake light modulator, TKC80 front tire and Shinko 705 rear, footpeg lowering brackets, some kind of big foot on the kickstand, lowered gel seat, a stebel nautilus horn, some kind of aftermarket fuse block, and all manner of stuff that's been plasti-dipped. 45K miles.
Plans immediately are to dump the giant clown foam grips, add heated grips, get some bark busters or similar, de-dip everything, remove every bit of non-stock wiring, see if I can get the suspension set up for me, and come up with a better mount system for the muzzy (which is stupidly loud, and this is coming from someone who had a D&D on their last bike, against my wishes)
I'm a former helicopter crew chief, and as such I have fairly high standards when it comes to mechanics. I plan to do the wiring my way, adding the heated grips, my GPS, re-power the nautilus, and add a powerlet for heated gear/battery tender. Probably respring the forks for my considerable weight, and add a trunk for the backrest so my daughter will feel more comfortable.
Anyway, more later but that's the bike and I in a nutshell, heavy on the nut. Opinions, facts, directions to good barbecue all appreciated.