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I keep hearing that the 650 Versys is a great "entry level" bike. I don't get it - I've had it less than a week, and already absolutely love how it feels. My first bike was a 77 KZ400, 2nd was Honda cb750 and various others since. I have ridden some larger bikes - cruisers, sportbikes and touring - but just don't see the need for any more power. Enough power for the highway, great seating position, wonderful clearance and nimble handling. What am I missing?
 

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Let them say what they want, I for one am impressed with everything they packed into the Versys:

upside down forks
fuel injection
monoshock
muffler tucked under the bike
6 speeds
water cooling
very compact engine/transmission
great brakes

Just got mine yesterday and I love it

Jean
 

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I viewed the Versys as a phenomenal re-entry bike. Not based on economy but on pure value.

I all but stole my bike from the dealer, most notably because motorcyclists at large for the most part, don't know what to think of this bike. It's not a crotch rocket, nor a cruiser. Its not really an adventure bike without some serious wrenching. I cant even use the words super-moto with a straight face.

Those of us objective enough to read about the bike and talk to owners, (without any preconceived notions) found out we stumbled in to an amazing bike.

Call my Versys whatever you want. I call it fun !
 

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I'm going to agree with Zoomie it's kind of in a class of its own, lets call it "fun". I have only owned 2 other bikes, and one was the 650r. You would think it is totally different, but all I notice is that it had better wind protection and a lower seat. All in all I think the Versys is the best of all worlds, and can be modified to do most anything with the exception of maybe long distance two up touring. Not that you couldn't but I don't think I would want to.
 

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You hit the nail on the head when you said "marketing"... They are selling a product... Hence, the phrase.
 

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Haha, agreed. I've been riding over 30 years, mostly sportbikes. I wanted something upright for long trips, fairly lightweight (ruling out liter bikes) and budget friendly. The V fit all those criteria. It's surely a better beginner bike than a gsxr 1000, but is a blast for experienced riders too. I'm enjoying the hell out of mine.
 

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Bought my 1st bike in 1971 and have owned more than 60 bikes since that time.

We currently own a Gold Wing, two Harleys and two Kawasaki (both Versys).

The 650 Versys IS an entry or re-entry level bike. But, it also does many other things well. Mine is used mostly for 2-lane roads and a bit of camping and the odd gravel road. It's light, easy to ride, etc, etc. Doesn't hurt nearly as bad when it falls on you. hahahahahahahaha.
 

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+1 on marketing to buyer perception. In another market a 650 is top of the heap or unobtainable but in others so many buyers feel they "need" a $10k+ liter bike that 650s are considered entry level.

Not annoyed since I ignore marketing :)
 

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You're not missing anything. Entry level is nothing more than a mechanism for manufacturers and cycle magazine editors to convince non-riders to join the flock. It works as witnessed by the number of new riders who, not wanting to be appear as entry level riders, jump on the latest street legal rocket bike to impress friends and end up trashing the machine in short order. It is a clever way to sell expensive machines but it doesn't do some riders much in the way of long life favors.

It's something like saying the T-38 Talon is an entry level jet aircraft. Compared to an F-35 it is, but it's still far beyond the skill level of most of us. But I'd wager the editor of Popular Jet Fighter would say it's entry level because he is skilled (and fortunate) enough fly the top line stuff. Gotta be good to be an executive editor, don't you know.

Here's another way to view owning and riding a bike some have labeled as entry level. At least you don't have to display an L (learner) plate like our UK brethren are required to do.

In the end it's nothing more than a label designed to characterize a group. Someone once said, "There are two kinds of people in the world -those who divide people into groups and those who don't." I like that and so does my Versys. :thumb:
 

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I keep hearing that the 650 Versys is a great "entry level" bike. I don't get it - I've had it less than a week, and already absolutely love how it feels. My first bike was a 77 KZ400, 2nd was Honda cb750 and various others since. I have ridden some larger bikes - cruisers, sportbikes and touring - but just don't see the need for any more power. Enough power for the highway, great seating position, wonderful clearance and nimble handling. What am I missing?
I don't know. I never understood why lack of power made a bike suitable for beginners. Even the most fierce engined bikes out there are pretty docile at rpms below where most people would ride them on the streets. And now they all come with a rain mode that could be used if a newbie just couldn't figure out how to modulate a throttle.

I'd say sportbikes are not for beginners because they have awful ergonomics and useless rearview mirrors that makes doing lane checks more than a newbie may want to deal with. That said, I have a friend who started an a ZX10 and has done just fine. He rides a Harley now though...

Similarly, unless one has one long inseam, I'd consider adventure style bikes for experienced riders too. Beginners drop low bikes easily enough. They don't need to be toppling from on high.

Standards are where its at for beginners. I've been riding nearly 4 decades and I still like them best too. If I didn't find bags so useful, that's what I'd own.

Except for the unfinished radiator that stands out like a sore thumb, this new one looks pretty kewl.

http://www.motorcycledaily.com/2015/07/yamaha-introduces-2016-xsr700-retro-design-built-on-fz-07-platform/
 

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Its Entry level because its the least expensive road bike Kawasaki sells over 300cc.


i.e. the Porsche Boxster is an entry level Porsche. BMW's 3 series was their entry level car for a long time; now it's probably the 1 series. The point being that these are both great cars, but they happen to be the least expensive models for that brand.
 

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I keep hearing that the 650 Versys is a great "entry level" bike. I don't get it... What am I missing?
Back in the '60s when I started riding, the Triumph Bonneville 650 was an "expert" bike at 396 pounds and 40 HP. Now the Versys 650 is an "entry-level" bike at 476 pounds and 63 HP...?

Guess I'm missing SOMETHING...!

:rolleyes:
 

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Gateway Motorcycle

Ok. I admit it was my introductory bike to motorcycling after the small 250s I rode in the Motorcycle safety class I took. That being said I prefer the term "gateway bike" as I am addicted and having so much fun on my Versys. I have been riding a good bit of dirt with it too and it does just fine on the forest service roads here in the Carolinas. Road across my first knee deep creek on Sunday and man was that pure fun. I have already bought a BMW F800GS but besides the larger front tire the Versys isn't missing anything. Plus its easier and much cheaper to maintain.
 

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Ok. I admit it was my introductory bike to motorcycling after the small 250s I rode in the Motorcycle safety class I took. That being said I prefer the term "gateway bike" as I am addicted and having so much fun on my Versys. I have been riding a good bit of dirt with it too and it does just fine on the forest service roads here in the Carolinas. Road across my first knee deep creek on Sunday and man was that pure fun. I have already bought a BMW F800GS but besides the larger front tire the Versys isn't missing anything. Plus its easier and much cheaper to maintain.
I think 'Gateway' is a good description. It applies to me anyway. I wasn't sure just how serious I was going to get. So I grabbed the Versys and will ride it for a few ears, then decide if I want a bike that does more or something different.
 

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Its a entry level bike, because it has the cheapest of everything on it.

I love my V, I have fun on it, but it is a inexpensive bike.
 

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Entry bike label is because oem's want you to buy a $20K dinosaur, HD, or a brick with HUGE profit margins. The smart money is on 650 vertical twins or singles; and the Vs. 650 is the value bike of the century. OEM's know that and they try their best to steer you away and keep it quiet too. Kawasaki is the kindest oem there ever has been to riders.

THANKS KAWASAKI!
 

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I viewed the Versys as a phenomenal re-entry bike. Not based on economy but on pure value.

I all but stole my bike from the dealer, most notably because motorcyclists at large for the most part, don't know what to think of this bike. It's not a crotch rocket, nor a cruiser. Its not really an adventure bike without some serious wrenching. I cant even use the words super-moto with a straight face.

Those of us objective enough to read about the bike and talk to owners, (without any preconceived notions) found out we stumbled in to an amazing bike.

Call my Versys whatever you want. I call it fun !
Pretty much my experience to the letter. Was absent from the hobby for quite a while and after a brief experience with a v-strom 1000 (IMO one of the most overrated bikes being sold at the moment) I literally stumbled on the V1000. I don't think anyone including Kawi dealers know what to make of the Versys (650 or 1000). When I was wandering through the showroom the sales weasels kept on about the FJ-09 (nice bike to be sure but too sport, not enough tour for what I was after) or a major upgrade with the Super Tenere (also a great bike but getting dangerously close to BMW GS pricing). Sitting by its lonesome on their floor was a new '14 1000 that they never bothered to show me. At first look I was sold....I know some of the "professional" writers have called it ugly but I disagree, I think its a gorgeous looking machine. A subtle amount of flash to know its got game but its not brash about it. On the recent road trip at every hotel stop where there were other riders my V1000 seemed to be the focus of the discussion. I'd just shut up and let them look and talk....kind of cool.


As a related aside...

When I bought my Versys I got into a conversation with one of the sales people about the current state of market. He's a crusty middle aged ex-racer who seems to be pissed off about everything so I'll take his shared opinion with a grain of salt. He claims that 3/4 of the bikes they sell are Ninja 300's and YZF-R3's. Those are "entry level" bikes that are probably fun to ride for the first season till most rider's out grow their capabilities. But to call either Versys entry level is just stupid.


Don't get addicted to WORDS, just enjoy your ride.:thumb:
Exactly! I've been selling moto stuff on kijiji the past few weeks and inevitably whenever another rider see's my V1000 in the garage they ask "what's it like to ride" and the answer has remained the same. The most fun & enjoyable bike I've ever owned.
 
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