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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Versys owners,

I'm looking to buy a 650 3rd Gen LT model. Are there any model years that I should be looking to avoid? Or are these pretty bulletproof mounts? Just wanted to see if there were any model years with more problems or known issues than other ones.

There are two currently in my area one 17' (ABS non LT) and one 15' (LT) for sale. The 17' is asking $5800 with roughly 4.5k miles and the 15' is asking $5500 with roughly 6k miles. Is it worth to get the newer 17' with none of the luggage options over the 15' LT model with slightly more miles?

I'm leaning towards the older but cheaper more equipped 15' LT (white) but know that the 17' (Kawi green...so sick..) year models gained the gear indicator. As far as I can tell this was the only difference between the two years. Thoughts on which I should go with?

TIA!
Jay
 

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I think that's the only difference, the gear indicator. I have a 17 LT with it. I personally like the indicator but it's not a big deal without one either. The factory luggage on the Versys is some of the best I've had on a bike, no leaks and easy to remove without leftover mounting hardware. And it holds a helmet. Shad luggage would also probably work well though for half the price.

Be aware my chain wore out in 9000 miles (stock vp2 did chain) and the only thing to replace it was another of the same at a dealer (long trip) and it wore out even faster in about 4-5k miles. I have an EK SRO6 which is not expensive and it's already lasted longer than those chains. Just FYI despite the low mileage be aware of that should you go on a long trip. Not the bikes fault they just supplied it with a terrible model chain. It will make a lot of noise and get loose all the time to let you know it's on the way out.
 

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Below 6k miles they are both abnormally new. If the '15 really doesn't have ABS somehow, get the '17. Period.

Those annoying side opening plastic cases are collecting dust here, never used. I prefer alu top opening. But that might be fine by you and they are about 400-600$ worth, sadly or fortunately depending on your angle.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think that's the only difference, the gear indicator. I have a 17 LT with it. I personally like the indicator but it's not a big deal without one either. The factory luggage on the Versys is some of the best I've had on a bike, no leaks and easy to remove without leftover mounting hardware. And it holds a helmet. Shad luggage would also probably work well though for half the price.

Be aware my chain wore out in 9000 miles (stock vp2 did chain) and the only thing to replace it was another of the same at a dealer (long trip) and it wore out even faster in about 4-5k miles. I have an EK SRO6 which is not expensive and it's already lasted longer than those chains. Just FYI despite the low mileage be aware of that should you go on a long trip. Not the bikes fault they just supplied it with a terrible model chain. It will make a lot of noise and get loose all the time to let you know it's on the way out.

Nice! Definitely good to know! If the only difference is a gear indicator that makes it a lot easier! Appreciate the insight!
 

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Below 6k miles they are both abnormally new. If the '15 really doesn't have ABS somehow, get the '17. Period.

Those annoying side opening plastic cases are collecting dust here, never used. I prefer alu top opening. But that might be fine by you and they are about 400-600$ worth, sadly or fortunately depending on your angle.
Does the 15' LT models come offered without ABS? I was under the impression that LT models come standard with ABS or am I mistaken?
 

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I have a '15 with ABS and luggage. If you can get the luggage, they are very nice and cost about 1k...
I don't have the gear indicator and while sometimes I'm looking for the 7th, it's not critical.
On my 09' the chain lasted 19k km.
On my 15', the original lasted 37k km, it depends a lot how you clean and take care of it.
I did lots of long trips without being worried about it. If you want, you can check ChainBath tool to clean the chain.
I passed 44k km on my '15, so below 6k miles it's practically new ;)
 

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I have the '15 V650 LT.

My personal opinion is get the newer bike because of fewer years. Some parts degrade with time, such as tires, rubber seals, fluids, and hoses. Two years newer should translate to lower maintenance costs, assuming all else is equal.

The factory side luggage is good but I replaced mine with rectangular aluminum boxes. (The OEM top box is excellent). The side bags are an odd shape, which just doesn't work for me. Rectangular objects don't fit well. Frozen pizzas, laptop case, etc. For camping they are ok. They do work well. Water tight in rain, and they are super fast to mount/dismount. When they are off, there is no rack, which some people prefer.
 

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Defnite
There are two currently in my area one 17' (ABS non LT) and one 15' (LT) for sale. The 17' is asking $5800 with roughly 4.5k miles and the 15' is asking $5500 with roughly 6k miles. Is it worth to get the newer 17' with none of the luggage options over the 15' LT model with slightly more miles?
Both of these bikes have roughly the same mileage (low) and price is similar. To me it's worth it to have the 2015 with the luggage. Even if you don't normally ride with luggage, they are very easy to remove and the bike looks great without them. The big plus is that if you ever decide to take a trip, you've got the luggage already.

Like Lee R, I agree that the LT's panniers are the best I've ever had on any bike. Very well designed, easy to remove, reinstall and operate. One of the many sport-tourers (not a Kawasaki) that I owned had luggage that was very solid but they were a b**ch to get on and off.

I'm leaning towards the older but cheaper more equipped 15' LT (white) but know that the 17' (Kawi green...so sick..) year models gained the gear indicator. As far as I can tell this was the only difference between the two years. Thoughts on which I should go with?
The usefulness of the gear indicator pales in comparison to the luggage. I have no desire or need for a gear indicator but I sure as heck do need my luggage to carry things, especially in the winter. I carry spare parts (clutch lever in case of a drop, etc), clothing items, water, etc.

I also love the looks of the '15 in white.

So yeah, if I were in your shoes, I'd go for the 15.
 

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If you get the luggage, check the rubber pads on them, and glue them better, I almost lost one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Defnite


Both of these bikes have roughly the same mileage (low) and price is similar. To me it's worth it to have the 2015 with the luggage. Even if you don't normally ride with luggage, they are very easy to remove and the bike looks great without them. The big plus is that if you ever decide to take a trip, you've got the luggage already.

Like Lee R, I agree that the LT's panniers are the best I've ever had on any bike. Very well designed, easy to remove, reinstall and operate. One of the many sport-tourers (not a Kawasaki) that I owned had luggage that was very solid but they were a b**ch to get on and off.



The usefulness of the gear indicator pales in comparison to the luggage. I have no desire or need of a gear indicator but I sure as heck do need my luggage to carry things, especially in the winter. I carry spare parts (clutch lever in case of a drop, etc), clothing items, water, etc.

I also love the looks of the '15 in white.

So yeah, if I were in your shoes, I'd go for the 15.

Yea agreed I'm not too worried about the gear indicator but luggage is definitely a perk since I will be commuting to work during the week.
 

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I have a '15 with ABS and luggage. If you can get the luggage, they are very nice and cost about 1k...
I don't have the gear indicator and while sometimes I'm looking for the 7th, it's not critical.
On my 09' the chain lasted 19k km.
On my 15', the original lasted 37k km, it depends a lot how you clean and take care of it.
I did lots of long trips without being worried about it. If you want, you can check ChainBath tool to clean the chain.
I passed 44k km on my '15, so below 6k miles it's practically new ;)
Did you catch the model of that chain, it was the DID VP2 that I had that went such short life. I've never had a chain wear out like that prior, usually 20-30k miles per chain. No issues on the EK right now. I think somewhere after 15 they decided to use a cheaper chain or DID switched where it was made. I met a guy on the way to Alaska with a similar model year in Yukon with his chain toast at low miles as well, he was just as surprised and annoyed as I was. Lubing it was making zero difference. I would just have a look and if you have that model chain and going on a long trip, i would throw a replacement in luggage somewhere just in case instead of running around amongst dealers who don't have the 114 link in stock, then ending up with the VP2 again lol.

This forum seems a mix of people who have had issues with short life and those that got huge miles so I wonder about a change in model or manufacturer of those OEM chains.
 

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Versys 650 (2020) - Yamaha XTE 600 (2001)
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I think somewhere after 15 they decided to use a cheaper chain or DID switched where it was made.
Hi,
Maybe Kawasaki was victim of counterfeit parts in 2015 ... (?)
That's not so uncommon this day.
I don't think any motorcycle manufacturer will take the risk of a low quality chain.
(accident -> injuries -> trial)

See you later
Emmanuel
 

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I wasn't aware that there were any bad years for the Versys! But what do I know? I have the very first year '06, sold as an '07 (the US didn't get the Versys until '08), I'm perfectly happy with it and don't lust for a newer model.

ABS would be nice but I've ridden for 57 years without it on the many motorcycles I've had. I don't miss what I've never had. I'm quite happy to have a Versys, one of the best all-around motorcycles ever built.
 

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Do you guys like stock luggage over top opening givi style? Side opening doesn't look good to me
See my comments above.

The side opening is pretty good stuff for what it is. It mounts and dismounts super fast and easy. It is as waterproof as needed in rain. There are elastic straps inside to hold the stuff in and keep it from rattling around. Stylistically, they look pretty good.

The top box is great! Big, easy to use, can add brake lights (designed from factory to have them).

The side boxes will fit a full-face helmet. The top box can fit 2.

The shape of the side boxes never worked well for me. I carry rectangular stuff like a briefcase for work, or a frozen pizza from the grocery store. They just don't fit the aero shape of the factory side cases. When on the side stand, the left side box faces downwards, so when you open it up the stuff likes to fall out.

So I did replace mine with rectangular aluminum boxes. Not only do they hold more, but the top opening is, for me, much better when camping and even for every day use.
 

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I have a comment about chain, see post #73, my 2015 came with DID crap chain, I should have scrapped the chain at the first 100 KM , absolute garbage!!
As to luggage , no regrets getting the 2015 standard non LT version. My 07 had Givi 35 on it, everything wanted to fall out of the kick stand side. I got the trekker cases and love them. I got a deal from Twisted throttle by getting my dealer to quote luggage ( at the time I ordered a whole host of things and got a 15% discount by doing so). I have gone down at least twice on the left side, the cases are extremely well made, I love the fact they can be top loaded or suitcase style, by the flip of a latch. FYI the LT luggage will not accommodate all helmets or such things as a laptop, not even a paper service manual ( I know this from guys I ride with)
 
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