Versys Vs. Build Quality - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Versys Vs. Build Quality

I test drove a KTM 1190 Adventure today. What an incredible machine. No, I don't plan to buy one. You can purchase a total of 6 Versys 650s for the price I paid for mine, for one 1190. It was nice but not that nice. Or is it?

What I really liked about the bike was the build quality. I owned quite a few bikes in the past. One bike that I really liked was my 05' Ducati Monster S2R 1000. There were no vibrations, full braided stainless lines, no dohicky replacements, etc... All the accessories were Brembo. Yes, it had good power but what I remember was the "put together" feeling that the bike had. (That is the best I can describe it) The same feeling I got while riding the 150hp, super smooth, 1190.

Thus far, I have never considered getting rid of the Versys. Its a cheap bike to buy, a cheap bike to repair, and a cheap bike to maintain. But when issues like spinning mirrors and vibrating fairings become more prevalent, it is tough not to look at other bikes. Not buy... Just look. For now.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 05:12 PM
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Perhaps the difference is that Kawasaki builds gazillions of bilkes in the same time period KTM and Ducati lovingly assemble a few hundred. As you said, for what it costs the Versys is a very nice bike - but it's not a small volume Euro bike.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 11:45 AM
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I test rode a Triumph 800XC today and it oozes quality the motor is silky smooth and the gearbox was the same, just lovely. However they are $15,000 on road (in Australia) and they only offered me $5,000 for the Versys.
I am happy with the Versys.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 11:57 AM
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Build quality...?

ONLY problem I had 'out of the gate' w/ EITHER of my Vs, was due to "dealer-prep" (or, rather - "dealer ham-fisted prep" where they broke something putting it together), but I got the part sent to me in Canada to install myself, several months later.

Other than that... nothing.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 05:52 PM
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yeah I'm sure the triumph triple is smooth as butter, but the 13k price tag on the 800XC is a bit more than i paid for a brand new (leftover) 2011 vs. (7k out the door).

If I could afford a MultiStrada, that's what I'd be riding, or a BMW, or a KTM... We all would. But for the chips it costs to own a V, I've no complaints!


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 05:59 PM
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I bought a brand new 2014 ABS for $6,800. At that price, I don't care if it whistles Dixie.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 06:24 PM
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I gave up on the Euro bikes after having a big name DS I wouldn't go across town on without a chase truck. They may be built nice but when things go wrong you'll go broke fixing them.

Give me my humble little Versys or KLR and I'm happy these days. I'll leave the bragging rights to you.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Time View Post
I gave up on the Euro bikes after having a big name DS I wouldn't go across town on without a chase truck. They may be built nice but when things go wrong you'll go broke fixing them.

Give me my humble little Versys or KLR and I'm happy these days. I'll leave the bragging rights to you.
I know exactly what you mean.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 07:38 PM
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The other bike that surprised me as far as reliability went was my Buell XB. I was told they were junk...in 5 years I never ended up on the side on the road other than the day I bought it. The Shop Rat who put the battery if after charging it pinched the wiring and the bike died soon after it started up, about 5 miles from the dealer.They came and got me it was a simple fix and problem solved.

Both my KLR and Versys have had problems, a short on the KLR that needed a tow home and 3 hours to find, 5 seconds to fix. The radiator fan on the Versys died. No problem as long as I kept moving but Kawasaki wants $450.00 for that thing...one off E-Bay for a 650 ninja cost $16.00 and bolts right up and plugs in.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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Last edited by Time; 08-16-2014 at 07:43 PM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 08:03 PM
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For under $5000 new for my '09, I think build quality is for the most part, excellent. The only thing I find objectionable is those hokey plastic pieces on the sides of the frame. Take them off and you expose some pretty ugly welds. Can't compare to a Ducati welded steel trellis frame.

The paint work is quite nice candy blue. The welds on the swingarm and tail trellis are very nice. Switchgear, lighting very serviceable. Really a bargain that has caused no problems beyond a loose LH mirror and cowl buzz, both fixed for pennies.
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