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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in Australia, and have only gotten my license in the last year, so I ride what's referred to as a "LAMS" Versys 650 (Gen 3). When you're on a restricted license here, the biggest bike that you can own is a 650, and it has to be under a certain power to weight threshold, so the Versys 650 is restricted with a restrictor bolt on the throttle body, limiting you to 80% of throttle, as well as some ECU restriction.

So as everybody on a restricted license does, I spend some time thinking about the bike I'm going to get when I get my unrestricted license, which for me will be next August. I've been looking at the larger middleweight adv bikes, especially the Tiger 800 XRt, and BMW F850GS.

I had given some consideration for upgrading to a fully powered Versys 650, but it seems like a lot of money to spend just to have, basically, the exact motorcycle that I currently own, with a little more power, so I probably wouldn't go that route.

However...

I was looking at the feature list of the 2019 Versys 1000 SE (it's probably a little too much bike for my needs, which are mainly commuting and weekend twistie riding), and it's pretty impressive. If I could buy a Versys 650 that came stock with:

  • heated grips
  • up/down quickshifter
  • different riding modes
  • cruise control
  • a nice TFT screen
  • twin led headlights, that both were on as regular headlights and high beams, instead of just one being on for regular headlights
  • A better designed seat
I'd almost certainly be all in.

Am I asking for too much out of the next generation? Will that raise the price by too much? One of the things that would slow me down if I were to go the Triumph or BMW route is definitely the price, and Kawasaki surely wouldn't want to be in the same price range as those bikes.

Anyways, those are options that would almost certainly keep me on a Kawasaki when I go unrestricted.
 

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So as everybody on a restricted license does, I spend some time thinking about the bike I'm going to get when I get my unrestricted license, which for me will be next August. I've been looking at the larger middleweight adv bikes, especially the Tiger 800 XRt, and BMW F850GS.

"I would rather stick to V650 full spec , than the Tiger 800 or BMW F850.-IMHO"
 

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Here's what you have to think about. The more they add to the bike, the more the price goes up. I'm sure the price point of the Versys is part of what makes it so appealing. If you add all the things that everyone wants, it's going to become a $11-12,000 bike, or more. Look at the Versys 1000 vs the 1000SE. The price went up $5,000.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would rather stick to V650 full spec , than the Tiger 800 or BMW F850.-IMHO
I don't blame you, it's a great bike. Are there any features that you wish it came with, stock, though? Or do you just think it's the right balance of bang for the buck?

TBH, if the only change they made to the 2020 version was led headlights, with both sides instead of just one, that would be close to enough. That, heated grips and cruise control would 100% be enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here's what you have to think about. The more they add to the bike, the more the price goes up. I'm sure the price point of the Versys is part of what makes it so appealing. If you add all the things that everyone wants, it's going to become a $11-12,000 bike, or more. Look at the Versys 1000 vs the 1000SE. The price went up $5,000.
Absolutely, the price point is a consideration, as I mentioned in my original post. I'd be willing to pay a couple grand more for the features that I suggested, but I'm aware that others may feel differently. I purposely left out a bunch of the Versys 1000 SE features, for that very reason.
 

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[*]twin led headlights, that both were on as regular headlights and high beams, instead of just one being on for regular headlights
I'd prefer not to have dual always-on headlights so that people seeing me from behind them know I am a motorcycle and don't confuse me with all other vehicles that have dual lights.

Stacked headlights would be more ideal, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'd prefer not to have dual always-on headlights so that people seeing me from behind them know I am a motorcycle and don't confuse me with all other vehicles that have dual lights.

Stacked headlights would be more ideal, I think.
I actually think that, out of the features I mentioned, the headlights are the most likely to happen. They have moved to led, side by side always on lights on a couple bikes that I know of - the Versys 1000, and at least one of the Ninja line (a friend has one).
 

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What about the KTM 790 adventure or Duke? Has many of the features you are seeking / wishing for. But for the pure value proposition you can't go wrong with well farkled Versys 650. Or a gently used older 2015-2018 V1K.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What about the KTM 790 adventure or Duke? Has many of the features you are seeking / wishing for. But for the pure value proposition you can't go wrong with well farkled Versys 650. Or a gently used older 2015-2018 V1K.
I'm fascinated by the KTMs, but no interest in a naked bike, so the Duke is out (unfortunately). And the lack of luggage options kind of bother me. But great looking bikes that I will definitely test out when it's time to find a new bike.

For the record, I actually am very happy with my Versys. This is all just enjoying looking ahead to what may be. I'll almost certainly own my current bike for at least a couple more years.
 

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you already own it..... next thing to do is run it minus the restrictions
 

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Discussion Starter #11
you already own it..... next thing to do is run it minus the restrictions
The problem is, as far as I know, it's not legal to re-register it as a non-LAMS bike. So while it would be (very) easy to take out the restrictor screw on the throttle body, and possibly not that hard to de-restrict the ECU (though apparently not as easy as the Gen 1 and 2 Kawis), I would be in a position of riding an illegal bike, even if my license was unrestricted. Which would certainly lead to an insurance company not paying out after an accident, if they were in possession of the bike, and inspected it, and possibly even some civil liability to me. So de-restricting it is out.
 

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rsherman,

Really like your list but adding a few more (what the heck, just dreaming right?). The appeal of the V650 to me is the agility, relatively light weight, very decent power, great gas mileage, reliability which truly makes this a versatile and fun machine. Just needs work in the comfort department.

  • 100 additional cc's for a more relaxed highway ride
  • better suspension for a softer/more comfortable ride
  • Improved windscreen
  • Improved voltage regulator
  • Retain good gas mileage
+

  • heated grips
  • up/down quickshifter
  • different riding modes
  • cruise control
  • a nice TFT screen
  • twin led headlights
  • A better designed seat
Just curious, as far as restrictions go (showing my ignorance of the rules and regulations) what happens if you de-restrict your bike? Are there mandatory safety checks that must be performed?

***Edit*** looks like you addressed the de-restricting topic. Never mind!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
rsherman,

Really like your list but adding a few more (what the heck, just dreaming right?). The appeal of the V650 to me is the agility, relatively light weight, very decent power, great gas mileage, reliability which truly makes this a versatile and fun machine. Just needs work in the comfort department.

  • 100 additional cc's for a more relaxed highway ride
  • better suspension for a softer/more comfortable ride
  • Improved windscreen
  • Improved voltage regulator
  • Retain good gas mileage
+

  • heated grips
  • up/down quickshifter
  • different riding modes
  • cruise control
  • a nice TFT screen
  • twin led headlights
  • A better designed seat
Just curious, as far as restrictions go (showing my ignorance of the rules and regulations) what happens if you de-restrict your bike? Are there mandatory safety checks that must be performed?

***Edit*** looks like you addressed the de-restricting topic. Never mind!
Mate, I would be 100% on board with a Versys 750/800!
 

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I really liked the changes Kawasaki did to the Ninja 650 in the last iteration in 2017 - weight went down like 40 lbs, some improvements in the suspension (linkage added in the back), slipper/assist clutch, roughly same price. If the new Versys 650 follow a similar route, I'd be happy.

A bit surprising they didn't go with LED lightning on the Ninja 650. The Ninja 400 has them, but it released in 2018, while the latest iteration of the 650 was in 2017, so maybe that explains it. It's a good bet that the new Versys will have LEDs, no point in going backwards when you have the tech established. Also, the Mk3 Versys shares the headlight assembly with the Ninja 300 (same part number) - maybe the new one will share Ninja 400's lights? ;)

I wouldn't expect traction control, rider modes or a quickshifter in the new Versys 650 - the engine is still a pretty old design, built to a moderate price point, extending it over what's absolutely required for Euro 5 is probably pointless. Cruise control is probably out for the same reason. Seeing how Kawasaki invested in getting the 650 twin up to Euro 5 standard for the Ninja, I'd suspect they'll want to milk that and use the same one for the Versys. So, I wouldn't bet on a Versys 700+.

OEM heated grips were already available on the current Versys, just a matter of ordering them at the dealer's. Same with comfort seats.

Historically, the Versys was usually an "upscale" Ninja, that had some nicer specs (ex. suspension, brakes), but nothing mindblowing in terms of engine or equipment. I'd look more closely at the evolution of the Ninja 650 rather than eyeing the Versys 1000 for an estimate of what we might get.
 

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Cruise control is almost certainly not going to appear on a Versys 650 next gen, a TFT dash is a maybe. I think the most likely upgrade that is on your list would be different riding modes, paired with traction control. The Suzuki V-Strom has this feature and is the most direct competitor to the Versys 650. The rest of your list can be address with aftermarket parts, which Kawasaki knows so why put features on a bike that some dont want, and those who do can add themselves? Kawi is pretty 'no frills' on base model bikes like the 650

Have you considered the Moto Guzzi V85TT? It has a lot of the features on your list, is more powerful than an unrestricted V650, and only weighs slightly more while having a shaft drive. Price is closer to a V1000 but its a solid package IMO
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Cruise control is almost certainly not going to appear on a Versys 650 next gen, a TFT dash is a maybe. I think the most likely upgrade that is on your list would be different riding modes, paired with traction control. The Suzuki V-Strom has this feature and is the most direct competitor to the Versys 650. The rest of your list can be address with aftermarket parts, which Kawasaki knows so why put features on a bike that some dont want, and those who do can add themselves? Kawi is pretty 'no frills' on base model bikes like the 650

Have you considered the Moto Guzzi V85TT? It has a lot of the features on your list, is more powerful than an unrestricted V650, and only weighs slightly more while having a shaft drive. Price is closer to a V1000 but its a solid package IMO
That's on a buddy's dream bike list. He'd probably shoot me (oh wait, no guns in Australia!) if I were to acquire that particular bike. :grin2: It is really nice, though - love the idea of a shaft driven bike.
 

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electronic cruise control really requires ride by wire. i doubt it'll happen. i just got my kaoko and it's worth the price for me.

a tft screen and led headlights would be awesome enough for me. led every-light would be nice.

seats are really subjective and to each their own.

there is enough bolt on stuff to keep us poor for a while.

get reliable regulator and stator suppliers.
 

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That's on a buddy's dream bike list. He'd probably shoot me (oh wait, no guns in Australia!) if I were to acquire that particular bike. :grin2: It is really nice, though - love the idea of a shaft driven bike.
Just get a different color than your buddy 0:)
 

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The new Ninja 650 2020 has twin LED headlights, TFT color screen, bluetooth connectivity (Rideology)
A good guess that these will be "ported" to Versys?
 
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