After a year of trying almost everything... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Cool After a year of trying almost everything...

Over the past year we have been testing bikes for our work. We’ve been noting our riding habits, preferences and desires. First off, what we thought our riding would be like was not what actually was. Then again, it never is. We do cinema work and like to have fun while doing it. Our off-road bikes are the BMW 850gs. We’ve found nothing better in that area. It’s our on-road bikes that offered the greatest surprise. We have 5 V1k’s - 1 2019SE. We have tested the BMW 1200/1250 GS, Honda Goldwing, K1600, Super Tenere, and KTM 1290 this year. All nice bikes with their strengths and weaknesses.

I received my crew’s notes and votes this morning. 11 of the 14 voted for the V1k. That’s a pretty resounding vote for Kawasaki. These people are picky. While certainly not the most advanced bikes out there, the V1k’s were seen overwhelmingly as rock-solid, dependable, easy to fix and maintain on the road. There were niggles like other bikes, but no deal breakers.

The new SE is universally loved despite the usual horrid colors available. All agreed a paint job is the first step! Most would take the base model, but the options on the SE made the price seem worth while. The lean indicator was a huge hit but no one knew why. Just cool.

Here are some notes on other models.

Gold Wing - too little luggage space and uninspired performance. Concerns about new front end design.
K1600GTL - Lots of goodies and love for it, but too complex to rely on. Monstrous!
1250 (1200) GS - Capable with lots of goodies, but heavy and complicated. Fun to ride. Getting service in a timely manner weighed in here. The 850 is simpler.
Super Tenere - good at most things, great at nothing. Quality bike but not preferred. No “beak” was a comment too.
KTM1290 - Beast that had 2 breakdowns for stupid reasons like a broken metal bracket no one would think of bringing along. Insane power. No go.

In our case, the V1k ticks off lots of boxes that meet our purposes. Perhaps the most important is dependability. What we do requires no surprises. We also need to do very limited off-road work when the 850’s aren’t around - farm roads, etc.

In terms of an all around bike, the V1k is underrated but gaining respect. Just need some color!

Oh yes, my crews just like them better.

“It would be nice to spend billions on schools and roads, but right now that money is desperately needed for political ads.”

Andy Borowitz

Last edited by Shibumik; 03-16-2019 at 08:20 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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The primary reason I wrote this was more for potential owners who might be looking for a great all-around bike, or who might be on the fence about the Versys. It truly is a good bike for so many reasons - and it made the grade with folks who aren’t always nice to the bikes they use. They expect more from the bikes they use every day. Money isn’t the issue, but the Versys even ticks that box too.

In a world of motorcycling superlatives, the Versys stands out more for what it’s not - and that’s a refreshing difference I believe serious riders that simply enjoy the road uninterrupted on a competent bike with no drama or pretentiousness will appreciate.
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“It would be nice to spend billions on schools and roads, but right now that money is desperately needed for political ads.”

Andy Borowitz
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 09:50 AM
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Yes indeed the Versys line are great motorcycles with an almost cult like loyal following. Unfortunately they also fall into the "Red headed step child" category as well.

Until the 2019 V-1000 came out, the Versys motorcycle line was pretty much plain vanilla completely devoid of any bells or whistles. Options were very limited. Hell you don't even get a gear position indicator or that expensive luxury item the big bad OAT gauge.

Then their is the resale side of the equation. Kawasaki bikes just don't hold their value like many of the other brands, and selling a used Kawi can be a time consuming exercise.

But when it comes down to just raw pure riding enjoyment, bells and whistles not withstanding, one is hard pressed to find a bike as fun to ride as the trusty old Versys, even if you are willing to shell out a few more Benjamin's.

There is an old mantra that says "Black is beautiful." To those who are initiated the saying is "Green is beautiful."

Yes indeed the Kawasaki Versys is truly a beautiful thing. Amen and amen.
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2015 V-650 of course it's green...it's a Kazawalski.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 08:53 PM
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the V1.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkerjet View Post
Yes indeed the Versys line are great motorcycles with an almost cult like loyal following. Unfortunately they also fall into the "Red headed step child" category as well.

Until the 2019 V-1000 came out, the Versys motorcycle line was pretty much plain vanilla completely devoid of any bells or whistles. Options were very limited. Hell you don't even get a gear position indicator or that expensive luxury item the big bad OAT gauge.

Then their is the resale side of the equation. Kawasaki bikes just don't hold their value like many of the other brands, and selling a used Kawi can be a time consuming exercise.

But when it comes down to just raw pure riding enjoyment, bells and whistles not withstanding, one is hard pressed to find a bike as fun to ride as the trusty old Versys, even if you are willing to shell out a few more Benjamin's.

There is an old mantra that says "Black is beautiful." To those who are initiated the saying is "Green is beautiful."

Yes indeed the Kawasaki Versys is truly a beautiful thing. Amen and amen.

I never understood the retail value thing. I have never had an issue with any Kawasaki I’ve owned. The Ninja is legendary. The Concours is batcrap crazy. The Versys is always reviewed highly too. Most people report trouble free experiences with Kawasaki as well.

I guess you either ride for the pleasure and joy of it or to be seen. I see lots of people on the latter category. That being said, Kawasaki could definitely use a more diverse color palette and some better marketing. The 2019 color scheme is hideous. That certainly doesn’t help their cause. But biking in the US isn’t as popular as it once was either. Maybe they’ve written America off.

Nonetheless, I agree with the red-headed step child description. It’s clear they don’t know what to do with the bike. Kind of like a drug looking for a disease. We’re pretty happy we found it though. I think when people understand their real needs and habits better, they will see it as a superior choice in many ways.
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“It would be nice to spend billions on schools and roads, but right now that money is desperately needed for political ads.”

Andy Borowitz

Last edited by Shibumik; 03-23-2019 at 08:35 AM.
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