Versys compares really well - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Versys compares really well

I've owned a Versys 650 since about 2011 but lately have been getting the bug to look around and possibly upgrade. So far I have ridden the Multistrada 950 & 1200S, MV Agusta Turismo Veloce, Suzuki VStrom 1000, Yamaha FJ09 and today the Versys 1000.

While the other bikes all had their high points none could compare to the Versys 1000 once you factored in purchase price. I'd likely pick something different if money was no object but in reality it never is. Like the Versys 650 the 1000 seems to offer the most bang for the buck in its category. Handling was better than expected and it felt just as agile as the 650. Clutch was light and the engine was amazing, in fact it was the high point of the bike for me. The brakes however felt cheap compared to what was on the other bikes. Give this bike better brakes, maybe a hydraulic clutch and a more modern looking dash and it will be a world beater.

In comparison the Multistrada 1200S was a slightly better bike but also $7000 more similarly equipped with luggage. It was only maybe $1000 better than the Versys 1000 IMO and had a hot jet of air on your left leg that could be problematic in city commuting, I don't recall the 950 having this issue, and the big V twin seems to produce more vibration and noise than the smooth Kawasaki motor but no more power until you get up to 7000+ RPM.

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 09:15 PM
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2009 Blue Versys.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 12:21 AM
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Another bike to compare the V1k to would be the BMW S1000XR, it is basically a V1k style bike ... with 180hp, and all the electronic goodies that the Multistrada has (also has the BMW trait of depreciating like crazy, and low mileage used ones can be had for a good price). Yamaha also has the Tracer 900GT which just came out, which will be a heavily upgraded FJ-09 (and I do mean heavily upgraded), but that bike will be virtually unobtainable in the US until next year. Another mark in the BMWs favor, the S1000 motor is probably the best sounding 4 cylinder on the market short of a crossplane Yamaha or a V4 (even sounds great with the stock exhaust).
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 12:24 AM
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I would also do a lot of wink wink, nudge nudge at Yamaha to consider making a Tracer 1000 based off the MT-10, it would be the first true Japanese Multistrada competitor (unless Kawi decides to make a Versys H2).
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 10:25 AM
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Only minor complain I have with this bike is the braking power. Going 70 mph today coming to work and didn't see light changing to red due to traffic and road distraction. It was impossible to brake within the 50 or so yards I had left before crossing the red light. BTW, I was using both front/rear brakes. Thankfully the drivers noticed I couldn't brake and let me cross while my ABS was almost kicking me off the seat.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 09:22 PM
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it seems to me if your abs was on you had more braking power you could use, if the abs did not come on your wheels would have locked up, to get better braking you need tires with better grip

from 70 mph a 1 g stop requires 55 yards not including reaction time

2010 Black Versys
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 10:37 PM
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If you haven't upgraded yet, try to get to a Yamaha demo and try the new Tracer 900GT, they are currently on the demo trucks. It is a massive improvement over the FJ-09 and at this point at least better than the Versys 1k (the V1k needs either an update or a big price drop to compete).
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mrvwbug View Post
If you haven't upgraded yet, try to get to a Yamaha demo and try the new Tracer 900GT, they are currently on the demo trucks. It is a massive improvement over the FJ-09 and at this point at least better than the Versys 1k (the V1k needs either an update or a big price drop to compete).
I agree that you should get a demo ride, or at least sit on a Tracer GT. When I was looking for my next bike a few weeks ago, my wife and I took a quick ride on a 900GT.
If I always rode solo, I would have one in my garage. The problem we had was one of space. It is a smallish bike comparatively, and the seating position had her right up on my back. I think we could get past that with a top case, but her toe was on my heal even without me being on the balls of my feet (which is how I prefer to ride). Neither of us have particularly large feet... Me 11, her 8.
The Versys 1K has plenty of room for us and our feet are nowhere near touching. Add to that the fact that the luggage has more room, plus I got a screaming good deal on a leftover 2017, and now I have a Versys 1K.
But if I always rode solo...

Don R.

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 09:52 PM
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There are some really good deals on leftover Versys 1000LTS. Both 2015 thru 2017s. As I understand it the only difference between the 2015 and later, is the gear indicator included in the instrument cluster on the 2016 and up, where as on the 2015 it is a factory option that mounts into the dash panel. (Please correct me if I am wrong.) I was able to score a NEW leftover 2015 with two year factory warranty for less the 7500 bucks. To me that made the 2015 V1KLT well worth it. Although I had to travel 1300 miles round trip to get it. It was less expensive than low mileage used 2015 models in my area. And in my opinion a lot more palatable than the $13,000 MSRP for the Yamaha Tracer 900GT. With the savings I was able to score at a 25% discount from my local dealer, the optional gear indicator.

Of course I already have a 2014 FJR1300 to go along with the Versys.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 11:14 PM
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After spending quite a bit of time thinking about this same dilemma, I love my 650. But I want something a bit bigger. I;m planning on longer road trips this year once it cools off a bit. I;m sick to death of chain maintenance.

If the V1k had a shaft, Id buy one tomorrow I loved the bike I rode. Right now trying to decide on Super Tenere, of 1200GS to get shaft drive. Might do something crazy like keep the V650 and buy a used BMW 1200RTP.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 10:56 AM
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Not to get into a discussion about which is better shafty or chain, each have their + and -. But I find that the chain maint is really not that big of an issue for the type of riding I do, if I remember to spend the minute or two, to lube the chain after my ride. And I come from a long line of Honda Shaft drive machines, over the years. My recommendation is; don't pass by a great bike or price, because of the chain drive. Most chain drive bikes will be lighter than their shaft drive counter parts . And at my age that is what I have been striving to find. My chain drive V1kLT I is going to replace my Shaft FJR1300, because it is almost as fast and 100 pounds lighter. Once I get the big Versys dialed in to my Ergonomics, then it will be just as comfortable. Good luck with your search for the correct bike for you.

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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 01:41 PM
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I agree that you should get a demo ride, or at least sit on a Tracer GT. When I was looking for my next bike a few weeks ago, my wife and I took a quick ride on a 900GT.
If I always rode solo, I would have one in my garage. The problem we had was one of space. It is a smallish bike comparatively, and the seating position had her right up on my back. I think we could get past that with a top case, but her toe was on my heal even without me being on the balls of my feet (which is how I prefer to ride). Neither of us have particularly large feet... Me 11, her 8.
The Versys 1K has plenty of room for us and our feet are nowhere near touching. Add to that the fact that the luggage has more room, plus I got a screaming good deal on a leftover 2017, and now I have a Versys 1K.
But if I always rode solo...
I fully agree there. The Tracer is closer in size to a V650 than a V1k and is not a good 2 up bike, but it is an incredible solo tourer. If you want something as light and flickable as a V650 but with double the power the Tracer is your bike.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 01:50 PM
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Heres a photo of my buddies FJ-09 and my V-1K. If you're a smaller rider the Yamaha would suit you better......

2 Joe's On ACH by weljo2001, on Flickr
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 09:52 AM
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I;m sick to death of chain maintenance.

If the V1k had a shaft, Id buy one tomorrow


This^^^^^ My prerequisites for next bike will be...1. Shaft driven 2. At least 100 HP 3. 500 pounds or less (prefer less)
4. 19 inch front


This leaves me with the MS 950 which is out of my price range So I keep riding he V650 until they make my dream bike or I pick up a used MS 950 for a lower price.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moodytico View Post
I;m sick to death of chain maintenance.

If the V1k had a shaft, Id buy one tomorrow


This^^^^^ My prerequisites for next bike will be...1. Shaft driven 2. At least 100 HP 3. 500 pounds or less (prefer less)
4. 19 inch front


This leaves me with the MS 950 which is out of my price range<a href="http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/images/smilies/frown.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Frown" >:-)</a> So I keep riding he V650 until they make my dream bike or I pick up a used MS 950 for a lower price.
The duc is now shaft?

The shaft and standard seating is what attracted me to the Moto Guzzi V7.

They have a couple spoked wheel scrambler like bikes called the 'rough' and the 'stornello'.

My Versys Travels:


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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moodytico View Post
I;m sick to death of chain maintenance.

If the V1k had a shaft, Id buy one tomorrow


This^^^^^ My prerequisites for next bike will be...1. Shaft driven 2. At least 100 HP 3. 500 pounds or less (prefer less)
4. 19 inch front


This leaves me with the MS 950 which is out of my price range So I keep riding he V650 until they make my dream bike or I pick up a used MS 950 for a lower price.
Heh heh, let me know when you find your "dream bike". Sounds a lot like mine!
It won't be a Duc. (yet)
I've just come off 11 years with shaft (R1200RT). Be aware that there IS maintenance involved (at least on a BMW), but it only happens every 12k miles.
Something to think about though. Lubing a chain takes 5 minutes once every week or two. The final drive and shaft on my RT took about an hour once per year. (after that first time... )
I am unfamiliar with Yamaha shaft drive, so maybe that is better, I dunno. I have had a couple Honda shafties, and neither of those ever required maintenance while I owned them.
I am finding chain maintenance to be a non factor so far. I haven't had to adjust it yet (only 1400 miles), but I don't remember it being very difficult or taking very long.
What I DO know, is that all the shaft drive bikes I've ridden are heavier than any of the chain drive bikes. I guess I've reached that stage where weight savings is more important to me. YMMV...
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 04:32 PM
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The Duc 950 is not draft driven, I was just saying that is the closet thing to my "dream bike". I wish the Tracer had a 19 inch front...maybe the Tenere front will fit. The Tracer weighs what my 650 Versys does and make over a hundred horses.
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 04:54 PM
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I test rode a Tracer 900 GT yesterday and have a few thoughts and comparisons.

In my humble opinion:

The bike feels very much like my 650LT. The foot peg location is much further to the rear, like a sport bike, an issue for my old legs. I would have to have have highway pegs immediately. Lots of cool goodies like cruise, heated handgrips, rear rack, and center stand. It should for 13K. No self cancelling turn signals though and the left controls are very cluttered and I found it necessary to keep looking down to find the switch.

Driving it, I felt mostly at home coming off my Versys. Iím 6í0Ē and can flat foot the Tracer easily. Itís lower than a stock 650 and about the same as my lowered bike. The stock windscreen affords better protection then the stock Versys screen, but not as good as my Givi. I have lowered footpegs and risers and my Versys definitely feels less cramped compared to the Tracer, the Tracer actually feels smaller.

Didnít get a good chance to really push the bike hard as I would have liked to as they had us ride in an organized group. Suspension felt a little bit more compliant on stuff like tar strips, turns very much like the Versys. Very little effort and holds a line well. Brakes felt strong, less brake dive than the Versys. Seat shape is better than the Versys, but there is little wiggle room and it felt harder and could use better foam.

The motor on Tracer is itís shining glory. Yamaha has been fighting the on/off, acceleration/deceleration thing that we have been encountering on our V650 in their FZís for years and they have done a spectacular job of fixing it. Yes, the Tracer is powerful; itís a 900 Triple. No, it doesnít feel like it has twice the horsepower of my V, but it makes power everywhere; itís all in the power delivery. Iíve never ridden a bike that had such linear delivery of power. No on/off snatchy feel anywhere in itís very wide power band. You can lug it or rev it and itís happy. The clutch and transmission are great, no clunkiness at all. Vibration wise, itís very smooth to a point; felt some buzzing in the handlebars at 60 plus, none in the foot pegs. Still needs a 7th gear.

For a smaller, sportier rider (younger) with plenty of money, it might be a more enticing bike than the V650. If I upgrade, the V1K is still a better choice. I would like more room and the Tracer foot peg location is really a non starter for me.

Getting back on my Versys, the only thing I really missed was the power delivery of the Tracer. I really want to investigate the Power Commander now. I put one on my Vulcan 1600 and it felt like a different bike.
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 07:51 PM
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Great comparison, thank you. I stopped by my local dealer but they didn't have a Tracer for me to ride. For me, height and weight are a big deal as I am only 5'8 and I like to spend time on dirt so I need something easier to manuver. I just finished 5k in 12 days on my 650 and felt the bike was too small. I just wished had more power on the interstate and better riding position on those 400-600 mile days. I know the V1 has that and the price is good especially on a new 15 or 16 but just worried about the weight.
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 04:58 AM
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if money truly is no object then BMW an KTM win. everything else is 'good enough"... for the money

if I'm answering your question I assume the basic points have been addressed, such as: did you do a compression test? is it still on fire?
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