Looking for next bike need some input - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-25-2009, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for next bike need some input

Let me first give you some background on me - I am new to the forum but have been riding street bikes for 25 years. All of these years on Yamahas. My very first bike though was a Kawasaki 75 I think it was called a KV75 or KZ75?? It was a mini bike with folding handlebars. I have only owned 3 street bikes over the past 25 years - 1983 Maxim 750 wrecked by a college friend, 1983 Midnight Maxim 750 which I rode to Key West and LA among many other places and my current ride 1989 Venture Royale on which I have earned both a SS1000 and a BBG1500. I am going through my midlife crisis or so says my wife and I am looking for a new or newer bike. I have narrowed it down to a FJR1300 with ABS or the Versys. I have ridden both bikes and would love to have them both but due to a lack of funds I can only purchase one. I have lately been leaning toward the Versys because of the somewhat lower cost vs a '04 or'05 FJR but I am seeing now that the difference in cost is not that great. My primary concern about the FJR is also one of the things I like most about it -- how fast it is. My friends and family say I like to drive fast no matter what I am driving. Which leads me to my main question - have any of you been seduced by the power and speed of a powerful bike much like the gorgeous blonde at the bar while you are out of town on a business trip and gotten yourself into major trouble and had to switch to a less powerful ride? Do you find the Versys as much fun or do you still long for that power??? My thought is the Versys is less likely to get me into trouble and allow me to keep my insurance rates down.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-25-2009, 09:10 PM
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I think you've got a good point there. And yes, I've been in your shoes. I totalled a couple of big fast bikes before I hung up the handlebars entirely for about 5 years. When I got back into riding I went with a KLR650. Well, it's a real tractor compared to the fast bikes but I have to admit that I had every bit as much fun on that thing for about 5 years. Now I've stepped up to the Versys. Not a rocket by any means, but it seems to have plenty of power to make the ride exciting. I actually think I'm riding with a bit more maturity these days and I'm not nearly as likely to crash this one. At some point I'll probably get an FJR or Concours but I'm in no hurry.
I'd say give the Versys a chance and you may just be very happy with it. If not, you can always trade up. Sure, give it a shot.

Jeff in Illinois
07 Bandit
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 08:54 AM
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My 0.02....The Versys is my first bike in the US. Have ridden a bunch of 100 - 150 CC 2 strokes back home in India for about 8 years a long time ago.

I wasn't looking for a super sport crotch rocket and my choice was down to Versys vs. WeeStrom and the Versys won by a small margin. I absolutely love the bike and I think it is something that handles the twisties quite well while preventing me from getting in trouble on the straights!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 10:26 AM
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Unless the money is burning a hole...My suggestion is to test drive them both...The International Motorcycle show comes up end of this year and you can ride them both. If you are a slab rider and moderate twisty runner the FJR is great...A lot of guys may disagree with this but inho the V is a good streetfighter and canyon carver and thats it...Good luck and take your time, lot of great bikes out there and ebay has a zillion of them at a fraction $

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 11:20 AM
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izrock,

you don't mention what kind of riding you like. The Versys is a do it all type of road bike, be it asphalt or dirt.

If you do a lot of urban riding, back roads, light sport touring where the roads are in question, or hitting the twisties, the Versys is the machine.

Slaying the super highway, the FJR is the machine.

I will use the Dragon as an example of the Versys over the FJR, the Versys will out corner and maneuver the FJR on this type of road, or riding any country roads that are not straight.

Also experienced as well as novice riders find the Versys to be a fun machine. I was actually thinking about getting a 1400 Concours the day I tested a Versys. I was considering the Concours as a good touring machine, and had experience with the old 1000, and Honda's ST1100. I was only considering the Versys as a fun local runabout and some back road riding. I'd looked at the SV650, Wee-strom, and 650r for the same reasons.

In short, the Versys is the, "Do it all type of bike." I've rode mine from Ohio to North Carolina in one day and enjoyed every bit of it. Also I think the Versys now has more aftermarket accessories than most of the sport touring bikes combined, with the exception of the Gold Wing. (Versys rider don't see a good reason for a Cappuccino machine as an accessory like the Wingers do.)

Maloy



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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 01:47 PM
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Your analogy is correct - the Versys isn't the hot blond at the bar. It won't throw you into wild passion and then leave you spent and exhausted. You can, however, ride it every day.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izrock View Post
Let me first give you some background on me - I am new to the forum but have been riding street bikes for 25 years. All of these years on Yamahas. My very first bike though was a Kawasaki 75 I think it was called a KV75 or KZ75?? It was a mini bike with folding handlebars. I have only owned 3 street bikes over the past 25 years - 1983 Maxim 750 wrecked by a college friend, 1983 Midnight Maxim 750 which I rode to Key West and LA among many other places and my current ride 1989 Venture Royale on which I have earned both a SS1000 and a BBG1500. I am going through my midlife crisis or so says my wife and I am looking for a new or newer bike. I have narrowed it down to a FJR1300 with ABS or the Versys. I have ridden both bikes and would love to have them both but due to a lack of funds I can only purchase one. I have lately been leaning toward the Versys because of the somewhat lower cost vs a '04 or'05 FJR but I am seeing now that the difference in cost is not that great. My primary concern about the FJR is also one of the things I like most about it -- how fast it is. My friends and family say I like to drive fast no matter what I am driving. Which leads me to my main question - have any of you been seduced by the power and speed of a powerful bike much like the gorgeous blonde at the bar while you are out of town on a business trip and gotten yourself into major trouble and had to switch to a less powerful ride? Do you find the Versys as much fun or do you still long for that power??? My thought is the Versys is less likely to get me into trouble and allow me to keep my insurance rates down.
I've owned everything:ST1300, ZX10, R1, R6, KTM Superduke, 950 Supermoto, Ducati 999, and so on. I have a Versys in the garage and feel that it really is good at everything, just not great in one area. It absolutely rails in the mountains (sportbikes are shocked with how fast this bike is in the mountains), works great as a light tourer, and I have even taken it off road on some trails. Truly a do it all bike. FJR is a great bike also, but like my ST, big, heavy, not as nimble. Can't really compare the two really, but if you can have only one bike, I would go with the Versys and put some hard bags, tall screen, and heated grips on it.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izrock View Post
Let me first give you some background on me - I am new to the forum but have been riding street bikes for 25 years. All of these years on Yamahas. My very first bike though was a Kawasaki 75 I think it was called a KV75 or KZ75?? It was a mini bike with folding handlebars. I have only owned 3 street bikes over the past 25 years - 1983 Maxim 750 wrecked by a college friend, 1983 Midnight Maxim 750 which I rode to Key West and LA among many other places and my current ride 1989 Venture Royale on which I have earned both a SS1000 and a BBG1500. I am going through my midlife crisis or so says my wife and I am looking for a new or newer bike. I have narrowed it down to a FJR1300 with ABS or the Versys. I have ridden both bikes and would love to have them both but due to a lack of funds I can only purchase one. I have lately been leaning toward the Versys because of the somewhat lower cost vs a '04 or'05 FJR but I am seeing now that the difference in cost is not that great. My primary concern about the FJR is also one of the things I like most about it -- how fast it is. My friends and family say I like to drive fast no matter what I am driving. Which leads me to my main question - have any of you been seduced by the power and speed of a powerful bike much like the gorgeous blonde at the bar while you are out of town on a business trip and gotten yourself into major trouble and had to switch to a less powerful ride? Do you find the Versys as much fun or do you still long for that power??? My thought is the Versys is less likely to get me into trouble and allow me to keep my insurance rates down.

That Is precisely why I chose the V. had a cbr 1000. toooo fast, I rode it that way as well. this is a great compromise for me. I can wheelie all day long on the V which is great fun...and cause for my wife to shake her head atme . (never with a passenger!!). Low speed wheelie injuries are easier to deal with than a 100 mph roll/crash. been there done that...don't need it again.

if it were easy....everyone would do it!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Adding some additional info

I appreciate the responses....De-Silva I would love to connect with you I will be out of town most of this week how about meeting for lunch later this week or beginning of next week? You pick the place.

A little bit more about the style riding I prefer. Just got back from a blast down and back to Wrightsville Beach from Raleigh with my son on his Ninja 500. We rode 2 lanes all the way down early this AM and came back on the slab about an hour ago and as my son just mentioned we traveled at roughly the same speed (between 70-80) on both roads. I prefer the back roads for most trips and only ride the super slab when necessary.

Thanks again!

Izrock
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