Time for a new motorcycle - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Time for a new motorcycle

Here's the situation. I own a 2014 Honda CTX700 and a 2009 Kawasaki 650 Versys. My wife decided she wants a car again after not owning one for a while. Two motorcycles and another car will not fit in the garage so it's time to sell what I have and get a new Kawasaki something. I love the Versys' looks and speed and love the Honda's comfort (but it's an automatic and rather slow, which I don't like).

I'm considering the 650 Vulcan S or the Vulcan 900 Custom and have some questions. Is the Vulcan S as fast as the 650 Versys? Is it more comfortable?

Is the Vulcan 900 Custom as fast as the Vulcan S? Is the 900 more comfortable than the S? The S looks like you can adjust the seat, handlebars, pegs, etc. to make it pretty comfortable.

Has the 900 Custom changed much over the past few years? I could probably pick up a low mileage used one cheaper than buying a new one.

900 is about as big as I want to go so I'm not considering the bigger Kawasakis.

Thanks for any help you can give me.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 01:15 PM
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I think no one has had a chance to ride the 650, but I owned a Vulcan 900 Classic...

It was a POS. It only has 48hp and it is geared very low, so it feels very torquey and it can take off pretty fast from a stop light. But it is geared to do 50mph, 60mph tops, try to go faster and the thing starts vibrating like a paint shaker. Cruising at 75-80mph downright sucks.

Even though it was made in Japan, mine had appalling build quality. Several rust spots in the frame, triple trees had surface rust as they were porous and the paint/primer didn't cover it very well, the clear coat on the forks peeled away, and the only thing made out of metal on that bike is the tank. Everything else is painted plastic or fake chrome plastic. Obviously, when you have that much thin plastic, some parts will require some bracing, so the rear fender has a frame under it... And it broke. Vinyl on the seat started tearing at the stitches, gas gauge is wildly inaccurate, etc.

It looks pretty, the specs are good (SOHC, 4V per cylinder, hydraulic cam chain tensioner, belt drive) and that is why I bought it. It's the only bike I truly hated.

Comfort is subjective, I've done 800 mile days on my Versys with the stock seat. I struggled to do 200 miles a day on the VN900.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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I just noticed there will be a Versys 1000 for 2015. Maybe that would be the way to go instead of the 900. It's probably more than I want to spend though. Anyone rode one yet?

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 01:51 PM
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Stopped at the local Kawasaki dealer just today to look at the Vulcan S - they didn't have one in stock. Too bad because it was one of two possible Christmas gifts for my wonderful wife.

The other is the CTX700. It is in stock and it's a better machine overall, from all I've been able to read (and that's quite a lot). My only irritation is that to get ABS one has to accept the DCT. Why did Honda ever decide that made a good combination, I wonder.

Her current ride is a Suzuki S40 Boulevard and it's a paint shaker (to borrow another's comment) and not well suited for longer rides. So, it looks like a CTX700 is in her future.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 02:11 PM
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if it's Japanese and looks like a Harley it will be as slow as a Harley..or slower...Susser Todd hit the nail on the head...the Vulcan S will in most cases be very similar the our Versys'...the 1000 Versys hasn't found a lot of lovers yet (read the reviews)..but should be a good bike...

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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One thing I don't like about my CTX700 is the automatic shift. Bad things happen when you forget it's an automatic and start revving it up at a stoplight.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by chadams66 View Post
if it's Japanese and looks like a Harley it will be as slow as a Harley..or slower...Susser Todd hit the nail on the head...the Vulcan S will in most cases be very similar the our Versys'...the 1000 Versys hasn't found a lot of lovers yet (read the reviews)..but should be a good bike...

the Vulcan 650 is only listed as being ~50 lbs heavier than the versys so it should be almost as fast. I plan to get a used one in a few years
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 06:48 PM
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One thing I don't like about my CTX700 is the automatic shift. Bad things happen when you forget it's an automatic and start revving it up at a stoplight.
Especially if you're behind something big and heavy, huh?

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by hjd#fF4kjlbf View Post
One thing I don't like about my CTX700 is the automatic shift. Bad things happen when you forget it's an automatic and start revving it up at a stoplight.
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Especially if you're behind something big and heavy, huh?
A guy I went to high-school w/ was driving "Daddy's" '59 Caddie Coupe de Ville 2 door HT, and stopped a bit over the crosswalk at a traffic light, so reversed back a few feet till he was clear, BUT forgot to select Drive. A semi pulled up behind him.

Light changed so he 'hammered' the throttle, and in a haze of tire smoke he backed into the semi, ending up w/ the fins gone and right up to the back window UNDER its bumper. Don't think his Dad was too happy, but as the guy WAS a jerk...

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Because my ctx is an automatic and my Versys is a manual I do get confused sometimes, but so far I've realized it fast enough to not hit anything. That is one reason I'm getting rid of the Honda ctx and probably the versys also to buy one manual shifter something.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 04:36 PM
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OP you should check out the fz-07. If i had to have one motorcycle, that would be it.

2013 Kawasaki Versys- Blue/Black
2014 Honda Grom- Red/Black
2014 Yamaha Grizzly 350 Blue/Black
2012 Kawasaki KLX250s Red/Black
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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OP you should check out the fz-07. If i had to have one motorcycle, that would be it.
I'll be going to my dealer the first of the year to check one out. Are they available now?

My insurance company will also have a say in what I get. As an example, the Ninja is uninsurable by them but the versys is insurable and costs me $261 a year for full coverage.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by chadams66 View Post
if it's Japanese and looks like a Harley it will be as slow as a Harley..or slower...Susser Todd hit the nail on the head...the Vulcan S will in most cases be very similar the our Versys'...the 1000 Versys hasn't found a lot of lovers yet (read the reviews)..but should be a good bike...

I can tell you have limited knowledge about bikes, based on your comment.

My Versys Travels:


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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 07:57 AM
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I'll be going to my dealer the first of the year to check one out. Are they available now?

My insurance company will also have a say in what I get. As an example, the Ninja is uninsurable by them but the versys is insurable and costs me $261 a year for full coverage.
Yes they are available now. MSRP is $6999. White is my favorite color of the bunch. Insurance wise it should be cheapish. 689 cc's and is listed as a "standard" motorcycle.

2013 Kawasaki Versys- Blue/Black
2014 Honda Grom- Red/Black
2014 Yamaha Grizzly 350 Blue/Black
2012 Kawasaki KLX250s Red/Black
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Yes they are available now. MSRP is $6999. White is my favorite color of the bunch. Insurance wise it should be cheapish. 689 cc's and is listed as a "standard" motorcycle.
Thanks, I'll be looking at them soon.
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-23-2014, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll be looking at them soon.

I guess I won't be looking at them soon. I called my insurance person and they won't cover the Yamaha fz-09, fz-07, or the fj-09.

I called progressive insuranc and with my usaa discount they were all more than 4 times what I'm paying now. Time to look at Kawasaki's.
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 02:36 PM
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I guess I won't be looking at them soon. I called my insurance person and they won't cover the Yamaha fz-09, fz-07, or the fj-09.

I called progressive insuranc and with my usaa discount they were all more than 4 times what I'm paying now. Time to look at Kawasaki's.
'dafuk? Probably you should try calling someone else from that company, I doubt they are refusing to insure standard motorcycles.
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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'dafuk? Probably you should try calling someone else from that company, I doubt they are refusing to insure standard motorcycles.
They are. I had the same problem in the past with other Kawasakis and Hondas, but the ones they do insure they are really inexpensive on.
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 05:20 PM
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not exactly clear why you want to be rid of the versys? what is the problem you're trying to solve, besides space, comfort? would a versys 1000 or an FZ be more comfy? just curious since, aside from the vulcan, most of the bikes being mentioned are standards, as is the versys.

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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not exactly clear why you want to be rid of the versys? what is the problem you're trying to solve, besides space, comfort? would a versys 1000 or an FZ be more comfy? just curious since, aside from the vulcan, most of the bikes being mentioned are standards, as is the versys.
Obijack suggested the fz's. I read bad reviews on the Versys 1000 somewhere and they are too expensive for me new and no used ones are available.

I did come across a couple of Yamaha FJR1300a's but haven't checked them out in person yet and I don't know what my insurance would be on them.

The Versys is comfortable but not as comfortable as my Honda (but it is way faster, which is very important).

I'm 67 years old and my legs get pretty sore in the summertime and not so far this winter, so I'm assuming it's caused by the Versys and not the Honda.

Speed is more important than comfort, but not as important as avoiding pain.
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