Looking for advice on next bike - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for advice on next bike

Hey all!

So I've had my Versys for about two years now and have put about 12,000 miles on her in those last two years. Some highway, some twisties, and even some dirt and fire roads. Before the Versys I owned a SV650S and before that a Ninja 250. As seems to happen every two years or so now, I have gotten the itch to own something new. I have loved every minute of owning the Versys, but am craving something a little more powerful.

I recently purchased a WR250X with dirt wheels to do more dirt exploring and fun short trips in town. It is a super fun ride that I can thrash around and go anywhere I want on it, if any of you have the chance to own a dual sport as fun and versatile as the WR, do not hesitate! Plus, maintenance intervals are the smae as the Versys!

That being said, I would like to replace the Versys but am torn between 4 bikes. Hopefully some of you have experience with both the Versys and at least one other of the bikes I'm looking at. The bikes I'm looking at are: FZ8, FZ1, Z1000, and the Ninja 1000. My qualms with each based soley on what I've read: FZ1 seems to need to be in the high RPMs to even access its power; FZ8 has no wind protection and is described to have kind of a boring motor, and might as well just get the FZ1 for the better suspension anyways; Z1000 very little wind protection; Ninja 1000 most expensive used or new and not as sexy as the Z1000.

What I like about each (again soley based on what I've read): FZ1 can be had used for super cheap and can easily be set up for touring; FZ8 can be had for very cheap brand new, is well rounded and wont be hugely different as far as power from the Versys; Z1000 Sexy, thrilling engine, all around beast and great performer; Ninja 1000 same engine, chassis, and suspension as the Z but with wind protection for touring.

So there you have it. As you can see, all of these bikes almost identical ergonomics, not quite as upright as the Versys, but close. I just can't decide if I want to spend more money for the newer Ninja and Z, or spend less for a little less in the FZ1 and FZ8. Your opinions are greatly appreciated!

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 03:07 AM
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It's easier to tell you the top candidate for my next bike of the moment.



Otherwise, I personally wouldn't be choosing any from your list as I've gone right off IL4 engines. I prefer twins (boxers, V's, parallel's), V4's and now triples as they have more soul or character than the cross frame fours. I did have what you guys call the FZ1 before I bought the Versys and it was a very nice bike with a great turn of speed and a turbine of an engine, but it just didn't give me 'The Fizz'.


Good luck exploring the infinite abyss
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 07:58 AM
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I can't imagine the 4 cylinder 800cc motor of the FZ8 being not much different in power than the 650 twin. I'm kind surprised at the lack of top end charge the Versys has, just compared to my old ER6N.

I'm with Davy, I haven't owned a 4 cylinder bike since I bought my first V-Twin bike in 1999 (1996 Ducati SS900CR). Since then, I've owned 9 twins and a couple singles, and can't see myself owning anything else.

As far as a bike for you goes, what do you want to DO with the bike? From what you say you've DONE with your Versys and your desire for more power, the bikes that pop into MY mind are the V-Strom 1000 and the Yamaha Super Tenere.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 09:29 AM
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I've ridden a friends FZ1 several times, and while it's very nice and comfortable with an unbelievable rush of power at higher rpm's.... it is kind of boring and I'm not sure why...it just is. My old sv1000 with it's v-twin and rumble had waaaaaay more character. But if you like smooth, quite power the FZ1 is great.

I went the opposite way, from a 1000cc bike to my Versys 650, I realized that having stupid amounts of power that I never really needed had too much downside....for me.

Lovin every minute of it!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by aclimbatize View Post
...I just can't decide if I want to spend more money for the newer Ninja and Z, or spend less for a little less in the FZ1 and FZ8. Your opinions are greatly appreciated!

Thought about the Versys 1000? Saw one at the local Kawi shop for $13,900 CDN t'other day.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 01:43 PM
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I think you will miss wind protection if you drive much at higher highway speeds. Lots of choices. Good luck.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 02:00 PM
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I had a Triumph Scrambler, Versys 650, Speed Triple, FZ8, MT-01, old virago bobber, and tried bikes from pretty much all origins and configurations. From 20HP to 180HP...

One thing I can say is the FZ8 doesnt have a boring engine it just needs a proper exhaust to free the music:
Loved the FZ8. All day comfy (I had the naked version as you see in the vid). I sold it cause I was going way too fast all the time. My brother has the Fazer 8 and loves it.


Also really enjoyed the SPeed Triple it was a blast. But again, was risking my license every day, rarely a day where I didnt go above 200km/h.

In the end I concluded that no bike is perfect in all aspects. And that 4 cylinders are AWESOME on a track, but on the streets, to really enjoy their potential, you have to ride way past speed limits (3 cylinders a bit less, but still...hard to ride slow :P ).

After many bikes this is what I bought:




Forget the race for power, cause whatever it is you'll get used to it and want more. I was intimidated by my Speed Triple at first, and 2 months later I was shopping for a sprocket swap to increase acceleration (and the front was lifting when exiting curves at 130km/h, bone stock.)

From all the bikes I've been on so far my favorites were the Triumph Scrambler 2009 and the 2007 Yamaha MT-01, for their simplicity and character:


The MT-01 only has 90HP and weight a hefty 570lbs, but has 110ft-lb of torque. So you ride on the torque all the time, I shift at 2500rpm most of the time with as much satisfaction as shifting at 14000rpm on a crotch rocket. It just makes me smile whether I'm cruising at 50km/h or scrapping pegs in the twistied, or just looking at it through the kitchen window like a kid on Christmas morning.

So my advice, go with a bike that you think looks good, and has character. That way you'll be happy when you look at it, and even more when you ride it, if it doesnt make you want to ride it just by looking at it, find something else Really it's not how much power a bike has, it's the way it gives it, and the sound of the bike. My Versys is my utilitarian bike, it's a great all around bike don't get me wrong, but I don't get excited by looking at it (specially not since I set it up as a touring bike). It's still loads of fun in the tweasties. But my solo fun bike is really the MT, and I can't imagine myself ever selling it.

Oh and for wind protection, I've mostly had naked bikes and with the Versys I realize that I was way more comfortable on the highway on nakeds as you dont have as much turbulance, and when it's hot you welcome the fresh air, when its cold, well ok you freeze your ass Until I get my MRA windscreen, the MT-01 is WAY more comfortable to ride even 2 up all day long, just have limited luggage options, as the Versys I can carry quite a few things in the TRAX luggage.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Kawa007; 05-03-2013 at 02:34 PM.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys!

As far as the Bandit is concerned, it's a little heavy and quite frankly the looks are a little dated. It just doesnt "do it for me."

I'd love to entertain the idea of the Versys 1000, but it hasn't made it state side yet as far as I can tell, and who know if it will . . .

As far as having the I4 engine, I've never had one and would like to have that experience at least once. I've had the I2 with the ninja and the Versys, and the V2 with the SV. I'm not exactly a speed freak, I respect my bikes and understand that even a 250 can get me to life threatening speeds, so the idea that I'm always going to want more doesn't quite work for me. I don't wheelie, and don't drag race or do any of the typical squid crap. Like I said, just looking for a new experience and something a little more torquey. I recently rode my friends VFR800 and really liked having the extra power on tap even if I wasn't going to use it all. Who knows, I may end up downsizing again in the future, but I figure I'll never know if bigger is better for me unless I try it. Anyways, I'm still keeping the WR so I figure I can get the best of both worlds!

Most of my riding with this new bike will be canyon carving and infrequent long trips (say once a year or so), and depending on if I get a new job somewhere a little farther from where I live now, longer commute (currently only 2 miles ). Also I've never owned a brand new bike before, they've al been second hand purchases, and I'd love to have that experience of taking something no one else has ridden off the sales floor and breaking it in myself. So with that in mind I think I'm going to take the FZ1 off my list and go from there.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 05:32 PM
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FZ1 or Ninja 1k likely my next bike... Going to test ride a ninja 1k in the next couple weeks... Ill come back with an impression em report


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 09:49 PM
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Let me put this in your ear......speaking from experience, YOU WILL BE BACK!
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 10:16 PM
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FZ1 or Ninja 1k likely my next bike... Going to test ride a ninja 1k in the next couple weeks... Ill come back with an impression em report


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I test rode the Ninja 1000, the Cocours, and the Verys at the 2011 ticket to ride. The Versys moved me and made me smile much more than the other bikes so I bought one and do not regret it. I did end up buying a Concours last year for distance riding. Nice to not have to deal with a chain on touring trips.

My Versys Travels:


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 10:49 PM
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I test rode the Ninja 1000, the Cocours, and the Verys at the 2011 ticket to ride. The Versys moved me and made me smile much more than the other bikes so I bought one and do not regret it. I did end up buying a Concours last year for distance riding. Nice to not have to deal with a chain on touring trips.
My dad has a concours 1000, nice bike but a little on the heavy side for my liking... The zzr1200.... That's just scary!


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 11:28 PM
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I rode the ninja 1000 and the concours 14 when I was considering a sport tourer. I love the Ninja 1000 powerfull enough to lose your license and a really comfy bike. It can make an excellent solo tourer and lots of fun in the twisties. However, I need room for two up multiday trips and the ninja was not roomy enough. The connie is an amazing bike. Fabulous tourer super comfy two up and an absurd amount of power. However, its just too big for commuting and for canyon carving. Its quite a handful when the curves get tight. So, I decided to try the adventure touring route. I test rode back to back to back a yamaha super tenere, an f1200gs, and a triumph tiger explorer. The S10 is a great bike. Super stable, very comfortable, pretty good off road for a bike that size. Although it has a very good engine I found the engine uninspiring. Of the three the S10 just felt slow. You cant fault the GS. Outstanding ergos and handling. However, the character of boxer just kept me looking for more. Then I rode the tiger explorer. That 1215 triple its just amazing, the bike is big. however the engine just shrink it to nothing and its also a super comfortable two up tourer. In Feb I upgraded to a triumph tiger explorer. 1215cc, 138 bhp, 89 # of torque most available at 2500 rpm. Red line is 10k. I was making triple digits without even knowing. I was able to enjoy four months of an awesome bike. Two weeks ago, in my first multiday tour a deer got me. I am fine however the bike was a total loss. I like the bike so much that Sat Im picking up the replacement.

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