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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Versys or KLR

Hello all,

I was curious if any of the Versys riders had previously been on KLR's. If so, can you tell me some of the pros and cons of going to a Versys or staying with the KLR.

Thanks,
The Dog
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 10:20 PM
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That is a tough question to answer. It boils down to how and where you ride. I had a KLR and now own a Versys. If you can only have one bike and like to do a lot of back roads and gravel roads the KLR is hard to beat. It is easy to maintain, gets decent fuel economy, large fuel capacity, and can be had for a bargain. Having said that the V is a better street bike by far and eats up the street miles with nice fuel economy and comfort.

At times I miss my old KLR but there is no way I would trade my Versys for one with how I utilize a bike. I have a 20 mile freeway commute, and like to do upwards of 200 mile weekend fun rides (weather permitting). My old KLR did that but the freeway part was somewhat lacking. I like the 60-80 mph roll on power the Versys has during highway rush hour traffic. The KLR for me was not a hard core trail machine but it is definately a "get you there" machine. Perhaps that is part of the mystique and the memories you make with one. It also depends on how you define dirt riding, the KLR is by far more dirt oriented than the V and thus makes an excellent logging road type of bike (IMHO). The Versys shines as a commuter.

Please take my observations as a grain of salt. Good luck!
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 10:33 PM
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+1. I also had a KLR, but since I didn't ride off road and wanted a bit more performance, the step up to the Versys was a logical choice. If I was riding off road at all, I would have kept the KLR.

Just my $0.02,
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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I agree with the KLR being a get you there machine without much fancy involved. And any 400-500 mile day on a KLR has been earned.

With my case, the majority of my riding involves a 30 mile round trip commute or weekend rides in the NW. Occassionally I may want to throw a fishing pole on the bike and head for a high mountain lake. Most of the roads to those high mountain lakes can be gravel non-logging roads. Could the V be a better choice with dual sport tires?

To me, it's not about getting any place in particular really fast...it's more about the journey. I've owned fast (ZX-7RR), now I just appreciate smelling the flowers more.

Dog
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 09:33 AM
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Garage
Already a lengthy discussion about that here

Good luck

LOP
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Hello Lours
Thanks for the thread link.

Took a look at that thread and it mostly applied to the rider's height and weight, although it did have some info about street vs off road riding. I really don't fit the height and weight of the thread starter on that one. I'm the generic 5'9", 175# rider with a bunch of bikes in my history both fast and big. I'm just wanting to downsize since the wife doesn't ride with me much anymore.

Also, I'm currently on a KLR and am looking at switching to a V and wanted to get some input from other V riders who decided to make that switch also.

Do you know of any threads specifically to how the V handles in the off road dept. (although it will be minimally used there)? And if there is a thread specific to riders who have switched from the KLR to the V?

Thanks
J. Dog

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 11:35 AM
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J. Dog,
I still have my KLR in the garage, last year switched from a TDM850 to the Versys. The KLR has always been the B bike, ride it if the A bike is down for parts (a reality with the TDM) or if the weather is nasty or roads are slimy. It always starts and doesn't seem to mind if I ignore it for a month or so.
Well, I've ignored it a lot since I got the V. Natural for the summer, but even as we got into winter I found that the V gave me a lot more confidence when riding in the slop. I added a hugger and fender extender. More than just getting there, it has made getting there fun.
I told myself I'd keep the V off the gravel and dirt roads, that hasn't lasted.
Now I'm keeping the KLR for the Baja Bike, but if my trip doesn't come together next year I will sell it. I barely ride it and when I do it's kind of a chore. I'd rather be on the Versys.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Baron,
Thanks for the input. You're in the same neck of the woods as I and hence deal with the same riding conditions. What have you done to make the V more off road friendly?
J.Dog
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idahoduckdog View Post

With my case, the majority of my riding involves a 30 mile round trip commute or weekend rides in the NW. Occassionally I may want to throw a fishing pole on the bike and head for a high mountain lake. Most of the roads to those high mountain lakes can be gravel non-logging roads. Could the V be a better choice with dual sport tires?
The V should be able to handle that. For proof, look no further than this thread and this thread, especially this post.

That said, I wouldn't take a stock V on roads worse than a logging road without a few modifications...

1) A dual sport tire is a must. Avon Distanzias and Pirelli MT60's are pretty popular, and there are others. Just search the forum. Some choices have a taller profile and require the front fender raised.

2) Some sort of guard for the exhaust header.

I have the discontinued Algard, as do others (it's the one you see in Siyeh's thread above). However, the mounting method makes some people nervous, as at least one user had a bad experience with it when it encountered an obstacle. Other options are the Happy Trails Skid Guard and SW-Motech Engine Guard. JNS Engineering has also posted about prototyping a guard, but it's been pretty quiet on that front.

I don't believe that any of these choices are true skid plates in the off-road sense...they will protect the engine against small rocks thrown up by the front wheel, but I wouldn't rely on them to protect the case from a large object and/or embedded rock.

Just my $0.02,
Dave C

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 07:53 PM
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A rhetorical question, Why is it Versys "OR" KLR ?

Does anybody have one type of shoe? No

How many Versys (modified) are seen riding any of the major challenging Dual Sport Rides? None

http://oaklandmotorcycleclub.camp9.o...e=EventDetails

http://www.labarstowvegas.com/

http://www.dustdevilsmc.com/rr200/


Quote:
Originally Posted by Idahoduckdog View Post
Hello all,

I was curious if any of the Versys riders had previously been on KLR's. If so, can you tell me some of the pros and cons of going to a Versys or staying with the KLR.

Thanks,
The Dog
"The Versys really is not a dual-purpose bike but rather an all pavement bike." From the first page of this forum.

From a previous similar thread"
"Simple, go out and try a day ride near your home town with slightly harder and similar terrain. One rough BLM road and bottoming out was enough for me. IMO for a worry free ride take a TRUE dual sport bike.
It's not really the tires so much, it's not the bike weight. It's the suspension, non spoked wheel, front wheel size (non 21"), lack of low speed gearing, lack of down tubes and rock protection. Another issue is standing on the pegs, and changing from a sitting to standing position on the Versys. The angle of the lower leg to thigh is not kind to my knees, when changing to standing position. Try changing from sitting to standing on the street. Now do it on 6" ruts
Try lifting and riding with your butt 2 inches off the seat for quarter mile.
Did I say suspension? Let me say it again suspension.
There is a lot of discussion about getting the suspension (rear) set correctly for paved rides. The rear suspension is stiff and just OK on rough and washboard pavement. Now take that characteristic and transfer it to rutted, rough, and steep rough, rutted roads. How about getting abrasive dust on the front fork shock tubes. How many Versys do you see on the hundred's of organized Dual Sport rides?
None that I've seen. There's a reason for that.

It's not the 95% that will "get you", or have you cringe, it's the 5%. I want to have fun and ride "there" not just get "there" having to pvssy-foot through.

Riding rough dirt roads feels generally abusive to the bike and will beat it up.

Dual sport riding is a very fun hobby to get involved with. This is why so many motorcycle enthusiasts have multiple bikes. No one who has a choice would ride a Versys of rough back country roads and trails.

When folks say you can change a few things to do it on a Versys. And then they don't say what those few things or how much they cost. The effort to make those changes. What are you going to give up for what you get.

The Versys is a nice mid displacement road and back road touring bike. For loaded ,rough, challenging routes I'll ride my KLR.

With the right tool for the job, a rider with limited experience, not riding alone, will have a great time.
Of course it goes without saying this is all MO"


A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for its persuasive effect without the expectation of a reply.

"Respect the Ride if you don't you Won't"
"A man's got to know his limitations"

Last edited by cmoreride; 03-23-2011 at 05:31 PM.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Dave,

What can I say? Excellent references. Wow! I've obviously underrated the V from what I've seen in that last thread.

Thanks for the info on dual-sport tires and the skid plates. I'll look into both of those a little more.

Maybe tomorrow I can make a little time and go take a test ride on one for a comparison as well.

J. Dog
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 01:30 PM
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Replacing my '04KLR which has been to Alaska twice (Inuvik once), with the "Green Hornet" - an '09 I got a helluva deal on. Been riding my '08 V since September 2008, on dirt roads (OEM rubber) as well as paved, and that has convinced me to replace the KLR.

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmoreride View Post
Why is it and "OR" ?
Sometimes having more than one bike isn't feasible.

In my case, I would have kept my '02 KLR if it wasn't for the fact that here in Canada, the best insurance quote I could get on it was $500 / yr (liability only, 40yr old, 12 yrs experience, no accidents, no claims, no tickets). I'm already paying close to $700/yr on the Versys with better coverage. Combine that with an 8-9 month riding season, and I couldn't justify keeping the KLR. It was just too darn expensive to pay that much and leave it in the garage most of the time. That and selling the KLR would then offset the price of the V.

If you have to choose, the question is worth asking if you ride mostly on road, with the occasional off-road tour. I would agree that the Versys is not a dual purpose machine. It will get through in many situations (as will most bikes), but it would not be my first choice.

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
those are sounding like statements made when the Versys was first introduced. by now they've proven capable of much more than paved roads.
If you look at this thread you will see a versys at 18,000 feet
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...est+road+world
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
+1. I also had a KLR, but since I didn't ride off road and wanted a bit more performance, the step up to the Versys was a logical choice. If I was riding off road at all, I would have kept the KLR.

Just my $0.02,
Dave C
+1 on this comment. I've had 3 KLR's and wanted better performance. The extent of my off road riding on the KLR was an occasional gravel road, which the Versys can handle fine.

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 08:20 PM
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I own a Versys its a better bike that a KLR for a variety of reasons. Motorcycle are like Airplanes in that they have performance envelopes. The Versys and the KLR's performance envelopes have a large amount of overlap. But both bikes have performance differences at both end of the scales. In the range they have in common I'd rather ride a Versys. Bye the way I have no loyalty to some brand or machine, it's tool to do a task that's fun.
I own three bikes and ride them all.


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I have never YET , seen a Versys on a multiday dual sport hosted paid event.

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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 10:56 PM
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you can ride a moped on gravel road

http://labarstowvegas.com/lab2vPhotoGallery.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
4-500 miles/day of gravel road is my idea of a multiday event. i'll take the Versys on cast wheels, 19 front. forget the spokes, don't want or need them.


















I'm sure they will wait for you!

"Respect the Ride if you don't you Won't"
"A man's got to know his limitations"

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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, here are my thoughts after riding a V today. It was a new 09 with dual sport tires. Over all the street performance and the acceleration of the bike completely out performed the KLR. But, that really isn't a big surprise with the V having significantly more HP, having a vertical twin engine vs. the single ""thumper", and both bikes weighing roughly about the same.

Originally from Idaho where my riding was 50/50 or at least 60/40 the KLR seemed to be the best fit. Since moving to Oregon where my riding has transitioned to more 90/10 or possibly 95/5 the V logically may be a better choice.

My only real concern while riding the V today was that it really didn't give me a feeling of confidence that it would "track" when transitioning to the, all-be-it limited, off road scenario. (Controlled pucker factor)

From those that have moved to the V from the KLR, my question is, "Does that feeling of uncertainty and uneasiness of taking the V from the pavement to the "gravel" subside with time much like transitioning to riding any other machine?" (as is typically common)

Other than that, I could definitely appreciate the power increase without having to drop a 705 kit into the KLR. Riding position was very similar, which is important to me. A little more cramped on the legs, but not enough to deter me.

What they offered me for the KLR was laughingly rediculous. So, I'll sell this one on my own. Then I'll add my cash and start looking.

I'll have to agree with Dave on the one horse in the barn at a time. To me, motorcycles are like a wife...I can only afford one of them at a time to fully appreciate what I have.
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idahoduckdog View Post
:

I'll have to agree with Dave on the one horse in the barn at a time. To me, motorcycles are like a wife...I can only afford one of them at a time to fully appreciate what I have.
Don't believe in having 2 wives and would be to much trouble anyway but more than one bike would be great if you can afford it. In my younger years during the time of the annoying 80's music had a DR 500 and went everywhere on that and it was great for touring around NZ but as Im getting older have changed to liking a bike than is sweet on road like the v but can be used at a slower pace across country if required and can be kitted out to handle even rougher stuff if required.
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Another question comes to mind after discussion with the wife.

How many of you guys do all (and I do mean all) of your own maintenance on your V's?

And of those that do, do you find certain things difficult.....i.e valve adjustments, etc.?
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