Test rode a 2015 Versys today... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Test rode a 2015 Versys today...

Well, went to my dealer to ride a 2015 he had on demo today and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised. As I have posted, I am thinking of selling my Tiger 800 for a new 2015 Versys LT and I am very glad I had a chance to compare.

Some things I would comment on are:

- Very nice looking bike and it seems very well put together....love the metallic white.

- Not as refined or powerful as my Tiger but I knew that coming in. The Versys is pretty gutless down low (it IS a 650 after all) but the Mid range on up pull is pretty darned good. The motor is adequately flexible.

- Comfy seating position....more compact than my tiger but I don't see it as an issue and a Baldwin tall seat will help (I am 6' and I could flat foot the bike). The stock seat wasn't too god awful btw.

- Sounds crappy when cruising but great when you wind it up Not sure if I would ever get an exhaust though.

-The wind management around the bike is very good...I was pleasantly surprised by this. No buffeting in any screen position but it created a lot of helmet wind noise....nothing an aftermarket taller screen wouldn't fix.

- Handles and brakes very well.

- Very smooth at cruising speeds and effortlessly does 75mph which is good....it does 5K at 70 but it is smooth at the bars and everywhere else. an occasional slight tingle on the pegs is it but nothing i would ever complain about.

Overall, I really liked it...not going to lie and say I was blown away by it but the LT version is a steal and I will say I liked it enough to own one. SO...that being said, I have some thinking to do. Going on a 5 day trip on my Tiger on 4/22 and when I get back, there is a strong possibility that it may be for sale and I will pick up a Versys LT in White. We will see......
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 02:48 PM
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I don't think you'll ever "rue the day" you get a V...!

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 03:17 PM
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Midrange is where it's at, especially for heavier guys. It not only gets you there quicker, but you can have a blast at lower speeds under the speed limit. Triumph's are nice, but they do not have supermoto suspension, midrange cams, superior Japanese electronics, AND touring capability. It's a one-of-a-kind motorcycle package at a discount price. And yeah, those white ones look pretty nice from all angles.

Hurry up and join the party, and tell us about all the nice new 2015 features!
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kawdog View Post
Midrange is where it's at, especially for heavier guys. It not only gets you there quicker, but you can have a blast at lower speeds under the speed limit. Triumph's are nice, but they do not have supermoto suspension, midrange cams, superior Japanese electronics, AND touring capability. It's a one-of-a-kind motorcycle package at a discount price. And yeah, those white ones look pretty nice from all angles.

Hurry up and join the party, and tell us about all the nice new 2015 features!

Actually that is not true of the Tiger 800. It has a Showa suspension, an awesome motor that will pull away clean from 6th gear all the way down to 2K RPM (probably main reason I bought the bike...the motor is a gem) and some of the electrics are indeed Japanese sourced. The one issue I have is the uneasy feeling of long term reliability (although plenty of people have upwards of 30K on them now) and the lack of what I would call an adequate dealer network. When my local dealer lost it's franchise I was pretty ticked off about it and began my search for something similar but cheaper priced (kid in college, lol) from one of the big four and the Versys popped up. I like the new Versys quite a bit I must say so I have some hard thinking to do.....
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by kawdog View Post
Midrange is where it's at, especially for heavier guys. It not only gets you there quicker, but you can have a blast at lower speeds under the speed limit. Triumph's are nice, but they do not have supermoto suspension, midrange cams, superior Japanese electronics, AND touring capability. It's a one-of-a-kind motorcycle package at a discount price. And yeah, those white ones look pretty nice from all angles.

Hurry up and join the party, and tell us about all the nice new 2015 features!
"Supermoto suspension?" Que?

1. From what I read, the V650 has a damping rod fork and a shock that most everyone who rides them hard upgrades to an aftermarket part.

2. Wanna bet where Triumph sources their electrics these days? It ain't 1960 anymore yannow...

I won't argue which is a better bike as I have no idea, but you gotta esplain me points 1 and 2 in more detail.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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"Supermoto suspension?" Que?

1. From what I read, the V650 has a damping rod fork and a shock that most everyone who rides them hard upgrades to an aftermarket part.

2. Wanna bet where Triumph sources their electrics these days? It ain't 1960 anymore yannow...

I won't argue which is a better bike as I have no idea, but you gotta esplain me points 1 and 2 in more detail.

Haha...spot on, thanks and I would like him to explain too. The reality is, the Tiger is a nicer bike over all.....but is should be at 11 grand. However....I will give the Versys props for being an excellent bike that is priced right and there is a good chance I will get one. I could definitely live very happily with one.

If anyone is interested I will give them a deal...LMAO!


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 12:43 PM
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"Supermoto suspension?" Que?

1. From what I read, the V650 has a damping rod fork and a shock that most everyone who rides them hard upgrades to an aftermarket part.
Versys has catridge forks, not damper rod. They are pretty crappy cartridges, but they are cartridges:



Those came off my 2014 Versys. Same cartridges were used on all Versys from 2007 to 2014. I'm pretty sure they are KYB, for 2015 they changed to Showa.

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Originally Posted by CRFan1 View Post
Actually that is not true of the Tiger 800. It has a Showa suspension, an awesome motor that will pull away clean from 6th gear all the way down to 2K RPM (probably main reason I bought the bike...the motor is a gem) and some of the electrics are indeed Japanese sourced. The one issue I have is the uneasy feeling of long term reliability (although plenty of people have upwards of 30K on them now) and the lack of what I would call an adequate dealer network. When my local dealer lost it's franchise I was pretty ticked off about it and began my search for something similar but cheaper priced (kid in college, lol) from one of the big four and the Versys popped up. I like the new Versys quite a bit I must say so I have some hard thinking to do.....
What for do you need a dealer? I get all my parts on-line and even though the dealership I got both my Versys is pretty close to my place, I'll never let them touch my bike. (The irony, they are also a Triumph dealer, they sell 10 Triumphs for each Kawasaki).

Honestly? I'm more wary about the long-term reliability of the V than I'd be about the Triumph. The Triumph is a much higher quality bike, in every single aspect. This is my 4th Kawasaki, every single one of them has been an example of cost cutting and poor fit and finish.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by CRFan1 View Post
Actually that is not true of the Tiger 800. It has a Showa suspension, an awesome motor that will pull away clean from 6th gear all the way down to 2K RPM (probably main reason I bought the bike...the motor is a gem) and some of the electrics are indeed Japanese sourced. The one issue I have is the uneasy feeling of long term reliability (although plenty of people have upwards of 30K on them now) and the lack of what I would call an adequate dealer network. When my local dealer lost it's franchise I was pretty ticked off about it and began my search for something similar but cheaper priced (kid in college, lol) from one of the big four and the Versys popped up. I like the new Versys quite a bit I must say so I have some hard thinking to do.....
My roomate has a nice Triumph 900 twin, but has the old telescopic forks (w/leaky seals) and a radiator that looks like a oil cooler (small.) It does have pea-shooter mufflers and looks nice, but old to me. It's not a 1970's bike, so that was my comparison base. A lot of the differences in quality can be made up in 3rd party accessories on any bike. Balance and harmony are the key.

I understand parts logistics because I would never own any company smaller than BMW (#6) due to parts: cost, lead time, availability, options. And even BMW makes every option an engineering feat because no one makes any. Just going from BMW to Honda and Kawasaki is night and day difference. I may revive my BMW F650ST, but it will never be my 'Prime' everyday motorcycle. Riding on the coat-tails of the Ninja is pretty nice in every respect.

Because an engine runs good is not all there is. Other than availability and ongoing concern of the model, there is also engine compactness for handling safety; and nothing beats a vertical twin or single cylinder for handling (the "essence" of motorcycling" - Saddlebag, aka Deerslayer II, not included The Vs. 650 w/ a midrange DOH cam is perfect in many respects. ymmv.
=============================================

Last edited by kawdog; 04-12-2015 at 03:14 PM.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Versys has catridge forks, not damper rod. They are pretty crappy cartridges, but they are cartridges:



Those came off my 2014 Versys. Same cartridges were used on all Versys from 2007 to 2014. I'm pretty sure they are KYB, for 2015 they changed to Showa.



What for do you need a dealer? I get all my parts on-line and even though the dealership I got both my Versys is pretty close to my place, I'll never let them touch my bike. (The irony, they are also a Triumph dealer, they sell 10 Triumphs for each Kawasaki).

Honestly? I'm more wary about the long-term reliability of the V than I'd be about the Triumph. The Triumph is a much higher quality bike, in every single aspect. This is my 4th Kawasaki, every single one of them has been an example of cost cutting and poor fit and finish.

All good points and I am weighing everything as this will not be an easy decision. It is partially one of cost savings as well. As of now I am about 50/50 but I have the feeling after my trip I will probably want to keep the Tiger but I am not sure yet.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 04:28 PM
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All good points and I am weighing everything as this will not be an easy decision. It is partially one of cost savings as well. As of now I am about 50/50 but I have the feeling after my trip I will probably want to keep the Tiger but I am not sure yet.
Is there something you don't like about the Tiger? Not that I'm trying to influence you one way or the other, I'm just curious why you would want trade such a new machine on a machine that is so similar. I've known plenty of guys who buy a new car every year just because they can. I'm the type that would stew over that continuous depreciation hit even if I had money to burn.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Is there something you don't like about the Tiger? Not that I'm trying to influence you one way or the other, I'm just curious why you would want trade such a new machine on a machine that is so similar. I've known plenty of guys who buy a new car every year just because they can. I'm the type that would stew over that continuous depreciation hit even if I had money to burn.
Really its just driven by the fact that my local dealer closed and the nearest one is pretty far away. That being said I guess I can just get parts on line anyway as I do almost all of my own maintenance except for valve adjustments. In all honesty, there is really nothing I don't like about the Tiger except the lack of dealer network and the greater chance of issues over a typical Japanese bike. I do have 5K on mine and it has been rock solid though. You are talking sense into me the more I think about it, lol.

In all honesty, I was hoping the Versys would be "better" than I thought it would when I rode it but it was just "ok" coming off what I have. Not taking anything away from it either as it seems to be a lot of bike for the money!

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 09:25 PM
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Curious if you have the XC or regular triumph?
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 10:45 PM
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A versys would be superior in dealer availability for sure. Parts, with the internet, is pretty much tomatoes.. Is the tiger more expensive to maintain, in general?

I wanted one so bad, but ended up with the V because I got such a good deal on it. 800 triple to a 650 twin. I would think the Tiger can do better anything better than a V in practice, but marginally. Hmm.


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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 01:32 AM
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I think you have almost answered your own question. I have owned both bikes. I had a 2014 Versys from new. It not the perfect bike, but it's great for the money. I bought the Tiger cheap as it had been dropped at very low speed. All repaired with low mileage. It looked like new. I had both bikes in the garage. I couldn't keep off the Tiger. When I couldn't sell the V I panicked, a got rid of the Tiger. A week later I sold the V. I wish that I kept the Tiger. In short I'm 6' 3. The Tiger fitted me better. The build is far superior and most of it standard. Braided lines etc, like most European bikes. Take a look at the Benelli Trek. You get everything, but you pay the price. And that triple engine is a peach.
I wouldn't worry about longevity of the Tiger. I would never use dealers for service unless I have to. Find yourself a local guy who can look after the Triumph and keep it.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Curious if you have the XC or regular triumph?
I have the roadie version with SW Motech Alumatrax bags, Altrider skid plate and radiator guard, Sargent seat and (now) a Madstad shield.. Just put some Mitas E-07 tires on for the trip too.

Before the Sargent seat and skidplate...


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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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A versys would be superior in dealer availability for sure. Parts, with the internet, is pretty much tomatoes.. Is the tiger more expensive to maintain, in general?

I wanted one so bad, but ended up with the V because I got such a good deal on it. 800 triple to a 650 twin. I would think the Tiger can do better anything better than a V in practice, but marginally. Hmm.
Well, Its not any more to maintain but the dealer service costs are higher of course. I 12K mile service is 800-1000 bucks but I would not have them do everything anyway. The Tiger would be better than the V in just about every aspect except maybe hard core street handling....but even than it is no slouch.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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I think you have almost answered your own question. I have owned both bikes. I had a 2014 Versys from new. It not the perfect bike, but it's great for the money. I bought the Tiger cheap as it had been dropped at very low speed. All repaired with low mileage. It looked like new. I had both bikes in the garage. I couldn't keep off the Tiger. When I couldn't sell the V I panicked, a got rid of the Tiger. A week later I sold the V. I wish that I kept the Tiger. In short I'm 6' 3. The Tiger fitted me better. The build is far superior and most of it standard. Braided lines etc, like most European bikes. Take a look at the Benelli Trek. You get everything, but you pay the price. And that triple engine is a peach.
I wouldn't worry about longevity of the Tiger. I would never use dealers for service unless I have to. Find yourself a local guy who can look after the Triumph and keep it.

Thanks to everyone here for your honest opinions...it is very much appreciated! Eddie, you are pretty much right on and I will most likely keep the Tiger.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 10:06 AM
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Valve adjustments aren't all that hard, and on the Tiger you can't even drop the cam chain into the block.

This guy has very good videos on the Tiger 800 maintenance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeXlpX3Vdow

Valve adjustment isn't all that hard.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 11:07 AM
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All motorcycles do things well that can be appreciated. It's just the Jap bikes let you do EVERYTHING at a cost savings. It looks like you have money to burn, so I wouldn't worry about it. I like a twin for handling and safety with a midrange cam. You like more raw power. The main thing to worry about now is safety, and your accessories will cost if you can get them period. Of course you don't really need those either.

I've had Nortons, BMW's, a Honda, a Yamaha, and Kawasaki's (and singles, twins, triple, and 4 cylinders too): I liked them all. I'm glad that I've got the cheapest now, due to technology, but I do have to tweak the accessories to optimize it for safety: the MAIN thing. I enjoy doing that part at a cost savings

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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All motorcycles do things well that can be appreciated. It's just the Jap bikes let you do EVERYTHING at a cost savings. It looks like you have money to burn, so I wouldn't worry about it. I like a twin for handling and safety with a midrange cam. You like more raw power. The main thing to worry about now is safety, and your accessories will cost if you can get them period. Of course you don't really need those either.

I've had Nortons, BMW's, a Honda, a Yamaha, and Kawasaki's: I liked them all. I'm glad that I've got the cheapest now, due to technology, but I do have to tweak the accessories to optimize it. I enjoy doing that part at a cost savings
Hehehe...trust me I do not have any 'money to burn" with a kid in College and a 2nd one 2 years away.......the cost savings overall on the V was one thing that was potentially driving this change.
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