Ninja vs Versys - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Question Ninja vs Versys

Hi,

I'm new to the forum, been reading it for a week or so, and now trying to get advice/opinions. I'm 26 and thinking about getting my first bike. I live in San Francisco, and want the bike to ride outside the city. Not really using it to commute. I took the Basic Rider Course a couple of weeks ago, and that's all I have dealt with motorbikes, so a total beginner.

Thus said, I have been considering a few models, and ended up with the Versys and Er-6n. Er6n looks like a commuter bike, so I was almost decided to go with the Versys (I liked the Suzuki Gladius too). But I went to a store and tried them, and even being 6' 1" tall, the Versys looks tall to me. I felt comfortable with the Ninja though. I hadn't consider it before because it's sport alike, and that "means" speed, which is not what I'm looking for. But turns out that it's the same engine, etc, so it's just a matter of riding position.

Yes, I have read reviews. All of them say Versys is awesome to ride, and that the upright position is a plus to the comfort. But I still find it ... ugly? On the other point, the Ninja looks great, but might be a little less comfortable for long trips (a few hours, not really days/vacation in the bike), specially having the pedals a little far rear, which forced me to bend my back a little while testing it. How is the feeling in the Versys riding in the freeway being upright?

What's your advice for a begginer? I'm sure many of you are delighted with the Versys, but maybe because you had other bikes before?

Any other models in the range I should consider?


Thank you!

PS: Please, excuse my language mistakes, I'm not an English native.

Last edited by Rghoul; 09-08-2009 at 01:58 PM. Reason: grammar
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 04:18 PM
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Im 32,6-1, 230, and i was really into the looks of the er6n and the gladius, but man are they short. I knew my back would have not been happy with one of those shorter bikes. I also like the ninja 250 and cbr, but, you really arent in a decent comfortable riding position on those either i dont think. Im more of a fan of sitting upright, my feet under me than behind me.

The versys is my first bike EVER and i am more than happy with it. Its easy to ride, comfortable, and can carry me and the gf no problem. And if you need speed, its there too.

And yeah, I agree ther V is ugly, but i like it because its unique and you dont see everyone and their mom out riding them. Its fugly but different, it grew on me. I never see it when im on it, so i just dont care about that any more.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 05:56 PM
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I posted this back at the end of July. I've road the Gladius and ER6-n.

I came away feeling even better about the Versys.

I suspect you will feel it in your hands and back with either of them. The power difference between the Versys and ER6 are only noticeable if you are planning on riding over 100 mph.

Maloy

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 06:05 PM
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I have a 08 Versys and my wife has a 08 650R Ninja. We have had the bikes for a year. I rode my wifes bike for the first time a couple of weeks ago as she rode mine.
I now understand her complaints about her feet going to sleep, her butt hurting and plenty of rattle and buzz.
As soon as I can wangle a decent trade we are getting her a Green Versys.
On the topic of height, both my wife and I were newbies last year and I was somewhat intimidated by the tallness of the bike at first. After riding the Ninja I am very glad i got the Versys. I am 6' and my wife is 5'8", we are going to get speedy's lowering kit and will lower the footpegs on both Versys.
After riding both bikes the V is by far the better bike IMHO.
ttfn


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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 09:10 PM
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I haven't rode the ninja so I can't speak from experiance only what I have read. The versys and 650 ninja do have the same engine but are tuned differently, the versys engine has less horse power and the power comes in at A lower rpm than the ninja. The ninja has about 8 more horse power, but to reach its peak you need it to be in the higher rpm range. The versys is also listed with higher mpg ratings, partly because it doesn't need to rev as high. The er6n and ninja are rated the same.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 09:24 PM
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I haven't ridden the er6n but I've read the glowing reports. It is a small bike that seems to me you would outgrow as your abilities improved. The Versys? now thats a keeper(especially in green).
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for your opinions. It was more Ninja vs Versys, rather than vs er6n.

I got what I expected, people here will recommend the Versys, while in this other forum (that was an old thread, not by me) the ninja. I guess every owner is happy with their bikes, which means, whatever my decision is, should be a great bike

Thanks.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 08:15 PM
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An independent dealer who rides a ninja noted that a big difference is the suspension. He likes the V, so he says.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 12:16 PM
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From Ninja to Versys

I switched from riding a Ninja to a Versys this year. I loved the Ninja, but I like to do long trips and there are very few real touring accessories for the Ninja. On rides of over 300 or 400 miles a day on the Ninja, my shoulders would be aching badly by the end of the ride. I'm 6'5" and also a cyclist so some issues that some folks have with both bikes don't bother me as much. I have to admit that the difference between the two bikes had me wondering if I'd made the right choice for a while, but with 12,000 miles on the Vee now, I couldn't be happier. I modified the seat to make it more comfortable, but have learned to love the higher seating position on the Vee.
Something else that I've noticed about the Vee is that I enjoy just cruising at a comfortable pace more than I did on the Ninja. The Ninja was a blast to ride fast, but that was about it. I couldn't pack enough gear for a comfortable trip and the pain in the shoulders and upper back from the leaning-forward riding position convinced me that it was time to make the move. I wanted the WeeStrom, but ended up with the Vee. No regrets here.
If you like to travel, the Vee (or Wee) is a terrific choice. For short rides and commuting, the Ninja or Er6n would suffice. All of the bikes are well-built and dependable. Oh yeah, the insurance on the Vee was less than half that of the Ninja - that was a nice perk!


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Don't you think that it's a ^%#$&# shame that Hunter S. Thompson wasn't an adventure rider? Imagine the ride reports...!
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 02:49 PM
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I went from the 250R to the V, and I can tell you, the difference in position alone is insane. I'm 26 and now have been riding for over a year, so far from the expert of others on here. But I can tell you, after you ride and get used to the height, you will love the V. It really just takes some getting used to, then no issue. It also depends on what you plan on using it for. I am doing some light "adventure" touring, 95% on-road, and this bike is a perfect match.

And if you think a V is tall, go try the BMW 800GS. Now that is a tall bike. On the other hand, if anyone is in the market for a light sport tourer, they make an 800cc twin that was a dream. Pretty sure I am going BMW when I have killed the V.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 03:28 PM
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I put 3000km on a 800GS earlier in the summer and yeah it was tall, I had to use the foot pegs to get on it. But what a nice bike. The V I can just swing my leg over but I haven't tried yet with bags on it so who knows how that will turn out.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 10:54 AM
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I knwo what you mean man about it being ugly the first time you saw it. But after owning it and having people always looking at it and all. It feels good to have one. Do not underestimate this bike, I am 280 pounds and 6 3 and I love this bike. I use to have a bmw 1983 r100rs. But this takes the cake. It can be as aggressive as you want with it, it just loves the corners. Get one you will not regret it. Plus a nice little space for your girl on the back is a plus.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-11-2009, 01:15 AM
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The V is my 6th street bike and by far the best I've owned. I just finished a 2300 mile trip, camping out for 7 nights and loved the ride. It's almost as nimble as my FZ6 Yamaha, which is much closer to a true sport bike, but it's much more comfortable on 300 plus mile days. It's great on the twisties and is rock solid at 90 mph plus. I'm only 5'5'' with a 27" inseam. I installed speedy's (motowerk.com) lowering kit and can manage the seat height, even with my short legs. You can't go wrong with the Versys.
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 08:49 AM
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I tour on a Ninja mainly because the Versys was too tall and I didn't want to have to lower any bike more than an inch. Depending on the roads you're plannng on riding, either bike will do fine. The Ninja does have a stiffer suspension, so you'll feel every bump on those super rough roads. I imagine the V's longer forks would help with that.

However, just keep in mind that ALL bikes can be customized to suit your needs. I put bar risers and different handlebars on my Ninja to give me an even more upright position. I had Spencer at greatdaytoride.com redo my seat for comfort. The footpeg lowering kit for the V should work fine on the Ninja as well or just order a set of pegs off a Buell Ulysses. Twisted Throttle caries plenty of luggage options for the Ninja and there's also lots of aftermarket windscreens available.If money isn't an issue, there's even an adjustable rear shock you can buy.

As a first bike, I'd of course reccomend doing some seat time on a 250 before wrangling either of these two heavy beasts.You can usually pick up an older one for about $1500 and then turn around and sell it for pretty much the same. Sometimes, if you rush into getting a big bike, you'll only find yourself frustrated, while a smaller bike will let you hone your skills in a much more forgiving way. Not saying you can't start on a 650 bike, just saying you might learn and progress quicker by doing your time on a more managable machine first. Just my $.02

13' Honda CRF250L
07' Ninja 650r
08' Versys

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 07:50 AM
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I got the V as my first bike. I'm glad I didn't go with the 250 since I'm not a small guy and the gf rides with me. I'd also assume it doesn't have the instant get up and go like the sport bikes have.
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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 08:10 AM
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I got the V as my first bike. I'm glad I didn't go with the 250 since I'm not a small guy and the gf rides with me. I'd also assume it doesn't have the instant get up and go like the sport bikes have.
Exactly the reason a rider with little to no experience should do time on one. Also a beginner rider likely wouldn't be carrying passengers right away. BTW My hubby is 6'4" and rode a 250 from Ga to Ar. And he was the second biggest rider on that trip.

Serously, don't just take my word on it. I can see many have done fine starting on Versys. Why not ask the dozen's of rider coaches over on

http://www.beginnerbikers.org/

They're always happy to give their opinion and perhaps I'm wrong and they'll reccomend a Versys as a wonderful first bike.

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07' Ninja 650r
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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 09:25 AM
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Exactly my point. The instructor of my riding courses recommended the bike to me for these reasons. Personally I didn't want to buy a bike and then turn around and by another bike in a years time.
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 05:37 PM
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I'm 5'-8", 160 lbs, with short inseam. My first "street" bike was a 2005 Suzuki DR 200 (street/trail). Great first street bike, as it was extremely light and agile. Drawback was it did not have nearly enough power to feel comfortable on the highway. Second street bike was 2008 Ninja 250. Pretty comfortable for short trips of < 50 miles (even with handlebar risers), and adequate power at highway speeds. Third street bike is my 2008 Versys. More than enough power in all situations, way more comfortable riding position than Ninja. The added height was initially a little unnerving, but after a bit of riding time, it is no problem. Based upon my personal experience, I would have almost certainly hurt myself had I purchased the Versys as my first bike. IMHO I think the Versys is too much bike for a first time rider. I'm conservative by nature.
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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 06:17 PM
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Not all riders are the same. For some, the Versys is a great first bike, not so for others. There are some who can handle the gsxr1000rr super turbo deluxe as a first bike. Luckily we live in a society where it's still a choice.



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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 08:11 AM
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Bear sounds like a smart guy.
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