versys vs. honda cb500x - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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versys vs. honda cb500x

I recently bought a 2008 versys that's close to new with only 4800 miles on it. Been looking at the cb500x and wonder how it compares to the versys. Looks like Rally raid is coming out with a larger spoked wheel set for the honda that would make it more off pavement friendly. Wondering how the rest compares: power delivery (I really like the lowend on my versys), weight, and most important to me, durability and reliability. How do both hold up on slow tip-overs? Anyone here own both?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 11:03 AM
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I recently rode a CB500x and a CB600rr they belong to some friends. We had traded up bikes while out riding. I have a 2010 Versys Lowered and love it. I am 5'8" with a 32" in seam. I have put 3000 miles on mine in the last 3 months. Now the CB500 felt small more like a CB250 its quick but the seat was like a board and I preferred my Versys more up right seating position. The CB500 is very easy to ride almost starter bike area. (New seat it would be almost perfect) just when it feels fast you have to shift. The CB600rr is basically a racing bike. You don't lay all the way down like a lot of bikes but its not a bike you are going to do long rides on. It is fast as heck. If I were you I would get a 2010 and up versys. It would be a step up from the gen 1 and with the right bolt ons more than capable.

Are you just wanting a change?

Last edited by Sleighman; 10-22-2014 at 11:54 AM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 03:57 PM
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If I were you I would get a 2010 and up versys. It would be a step up from the gen 1.
I own a Gen 1 and have driven a Gen 2. Please explain this statement.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 04:07 PM
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The Gen 2 has more up to date look. The engine and pegs has less vibration in the Gen 2 due to mounting differently after feed back from the Gen1 family of owners.

I have ridden both and then Gen2 feels better. Smoother maybe the right word.

Both of the Gen 1's and Gen 2's I rode were lowered and the mid shock was set in the middle setting.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 05:28 PM
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The Gen 2 has more up to date look. The engine and pegs has less vibration in the Gen 2 due to mounting differently after feed back from the Gen1 family of owners.

I have ridden both and then Gen2 feels better. Smoother maybe the right word.

Both of the Gen 1's and Gen 2's I rode were lowered and the mid shock was set in the middle setting.
The OP owns a 2008 Versys with only 4800 miles, and is wondering about the CB500X.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I already have a 2008 versys. Have been reading about the cb500x. There's a company called rallyraid that's coming out with a spoked wheel set and improved forks along with a longer rear shock for the cbx. Too bad someone doesn't offer something like this for the versys. I think the versys motor with all that torque would be a great fire road, bike if it had more protection and better suspension.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 07:24 PM
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You asked me to explain. I already knew the OP had a 2008. I gave my feeling on the CB500X. And why I like the Versys compared to it.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by frogandtoad View Post
Yes, I already have a 2008 versys. Have been reading about the cb500x. There's a company called rallyraid that's coming out with a spoked wheel set and improved forks along with a longer rear shock for the cbx. Too bad someone doesn't offer something like this for the versys. I think the versys motor with all that torque would be a great fire road, bike if it had more protection and better suspension.
All this can be done to the Versys as well... without the shop tax.

JDRock and many others have done it.
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=5480
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 03:15 PM
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Yes, I will just add to what Gigitt has said, "It has been done."

Check these out. These will lace to whatever rim you want and retain the stock brakes:

http://www.radmfg.com/RAD-Front-Hub-...sp-versysf.htm

As for suspension, JD has done it all. There are companies like Hyperpro that make a "Streetbox" kit that is said to improve the ride, but not increase the travel.

http://hyperpro.com/en/streetbox/

I believe the Versys (all years of Versys, including the "step down" Gen1) has 6" of suspension travel, while the CB has under 5".

The Versys is a good place to start. Keep us posted.

Last edited by jmarleau; 10-24-2014 at 03:17 PM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jmarleau View Post
I own a Gen 1 and have driven a Gen 2. Please explain this statement.
I owned a generation 1 (2008) for several years and recently purchased a generation 2 (2010). There is not really any significant differences other than the styling. The 2010 has a noticeably smoother shifting transmission, could be the 9000km on the odometer vs 38,000km but other than that I have not really noticed much difference. The only other thing worth mentioning is there are some "very, very minor" improvements in the 2010 model in engine vibration damping but it was not bothersome on the 2008 to begin with. Compared to a VTwin cruiser, a 2008 Versys is as smooth as glass and I've got numb hands from vibration on an inline 4 Yamaha FZ6 but never on a Versys.

IMO both models benefit greatly from an aftermarket shield if you do much cold weather or highway mileage - the tiny stock shields look weird and suck as far as wind protection goes.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I will just add to what Gigitt has said, "It has been done."

Check these out. These will lace to whatever rim you want and retain the stock brakes:

http://www.radmfg.com/RAD-Front-Hub-...sp-versysf.htm

As for suspension, JD has done it all. There are companies like Hyperpro that make a "Streetbox" kit that is said to improve the ride, but not increase the travel.

http://hyperpro.com/en/streetbox/

I believe the Versys (all years of Versys, including the "step down" Gen1) has 6" of suspension travel, while the CB has under 5".

The Versys is a good place to start. Keep us posted.
Thanks for the links. I've also read some of JDrocks thread on advrider. Very interesting and looks great...he does awesome work! So how hard would it be to put a 19" wheel on the front? What would be involved to level the bike out to it's original geometry? I just took my versys on a forest service road yesterday for the first time. I was following my buddy and he was on my KTM 990. The versys did ok, but was certainly much more squirrely with that 17" wheel up front.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-26-2014, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by frogandtoad View Post
Thanks for the links. I've also read some of JDrocks thread on advrider. Very interesting and looks great...he does awesome work! So how hard would it be to put a 19" wheel on the front? What would be involved to level the bike out to it's original geometry? I just took my versys on a forest service road yesterday for the first time. I was following my buddy and he was on my KTM 990. The versys did ok, but was certainly much more squirrely with that 17" wheel up front.
Yes, no problem with the 19" in the front. I will point you towards this tread:

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=17646

I would never steer a fellow member away from a modification (never, go for it), but you own a KTM 990. Assuming it is the Adventure (Sportbike), you have got fairly high end WP forks and shock, and over 100hp in a sub 500lbs. bike. (!) You could exploit the Versys' corner carving abilities by keeping the 17, and finding some sticky rubber.

My guess is that you know this. What are you planning?

Last edited by jmarleau; 10-26-2014 at 06:31 AM.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-26-2014, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, no problem with the 19" in the front. I will point you towards this tread:

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=17646

I would never steer a fellow member away from a modification (never, go for it), but you own a KTM 990. Assuming it is the Adventure (Sportbike), you have got fairly high end WP forks and shock, and over 100hp in a sub 500lbs. bike. (!) You could exploit the Versys' corner carving abilities by keeping the 17, and finding some sticky rubber.

My guess is that you know this. What are you planning?
I just bought my 990 about 6 weeks ago and yes it's the adv. model. I thought I would end up doing some long distance adv. riding with it, (I owned a bmw1150gs back in '01 and rode it from NC to the top of Newfoundland) but with three young children and me being almost 52, I've come to the realization it ain't gonna happen So I saw the versys on the local craigslist, thought it was a good deal and bought it. I don't know about the 990 being sub 500lbs...the versys feels a lot lighter. (probably because it's a lot lower!) So I'm thinking of turning the versys into something I can run forest service roads with. I also have a 2002 honda xr650l, but I'm still working on getting the title so I can get plates for it. Once I get it plated, I may keep the versys as is for the twisties. But I've always liked the idea of an any type road bike.

I checked that thread out you listed (thanks again!). Are these guy running 19" front and rear? Does the front clear ok on full compression of the forks? And if I just put a 19" front, wouldn't it raise the front end and make turn slower? If I sell the ktm, I'll have some money to mod the versys if I decide to.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-26-2014, 02:09 PM
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The 700x doesn't even come close to the Versys in suspension, power, and brakes. Can't imagine the 500.

Now if mileage is what you are looking for, my neighbor gets 70 mpg with the 700 Honda with full luggage.

My Versys Travels:


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-26-2014, 04:19 PM
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Are these guy running 19" front and rear? Does the front clear ok on full compression of the forks? And if I just put a 19" front, wouldn't it raise the front end and make turn slower? If I sell the ktm, I'll have some money to mod the versys if I decide to.
Generally, these folks will run 19/17. Yes, it would raise the front of the Versys by one inch. Slower? No. But turning a larger spinning wheel may require more rider effort, but not enough to worry about.

If you sell the KTM 990, you would have enough money to modify your Versys anyway you like it, and probably by another used Versys. I have seen used 990s for sale anywhere from $9,000 to $13,000, depending on the mileage.

Another option for you might be an second 19/17 wheel set for the 990. This would lower the whole bike by 1"ish, and if combined with a good road tire like a tubeless distanzia, would make that 990 carve.

Last edited by jmarleau; 10-26-2014 at 04:26 PM.
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