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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Highs are only going to be in the mid 40s so maybe I will get to try several bikes.
They are supposed to have the following bikes ready to demo:
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I have already owned an '07 Ninja 650, '08 KLR 650, '11 Versys 650, and currently the KLX300SM.
I have recently ridden the Versys 1000 SE LT+.

I would like to try the Z900RS, Ninja 1000SX, the latest iteration of the Versys 650, and the latest iteration of the KLR650.

I was hoping that they would have had a KLX230 and Z650RS to demo because those two are the ones I am most interested in purchasing.

With Honda and Suzuki now coming out with middleweights to compete with the Tenere 700 as far as I can figure the only reason someone is buying a KLR650 is based on price.

I have reached a point in my riding career that any multi day trips will be done on a bike with cruise control. Even though I don't ride interstates, I do end up on many roads where cruise control is useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OOoh, they're coming to my dealer on December 2, might have to go ride some bikes. I'd like to ride a Z900RS, maybe a Ninja. Not planning to buy but it's fun to ride!
I’m never planning to buy. It just seems to happen! I avoid riding bikes I am truly interested in until I have the cash saved up, and after it has been out a couple model years to ensure it is a good bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Went to the demo event today. It was in the mid 40s in the afternoon so I rode the Road Glide there. I was looking over the bikes when they started signing up riders to bikes so there weren’t many choices I was interested in when I checked in. Fortunately there weren’t many riders so I would have multiple opportunities to ride other bikes.
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I started on the KLR650. I owned a heavily modified 2008 KLR so I was curious to see how this 3rd generation rode. I can’t really compare it to what I had, and don’t think I would buy another one. I’m glad I rode it first because I would have been really disappointed after riding the other bikes.

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During that first ride, I found myself behind the Z900RS Cafe. The exhaust note on that bike was like euphonious music. I knew I needed to ride it next. Man oh man! I was falling in love with the sweet melody being emitted by that engine and exhaust. Then I gave it a burst of full throttle acceleration and the sound of the intake was angry and purposeful. I barely got out of 3rd gear during the ride because I was keeping the RPMs in the top 3rd of the RPM range. LOL! The only glaring negative thing about the RS is the very exposed radiator. No attempt to hide it and the radiator itself had unused tabs sticking out like it was a parts bin radiator. This beautiful music coming from a gorgeous singer with a large hairy mole on her nose.
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Next up was the redesigned Ninja 1000. It now has electronic cruise control and many other features like TFT display. Back in 2011 when I was riding a Ninja 650 I thought the Ninja 1000 would replace it. This was the demo event where I walked away disappointed with the Ninja 1000, but knew I would own a Concours 1400, and immediately bought the Versys 650. This redesigned Ninja 1000 was a much improved machine, but a little too aggressive for me these days.
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Then finally hopped on the redesigned Versys 650. I really liked the color scheme and the new TFT display. The fully adjustable front suspension and the remote preload adjustable rear shock were nice upgrades. From the rider perspective it felt much like my 2011, and the locked in seating position got old quickly for me. Fun ride, but I want more in that style bike these days.
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I may head back tomorrow and ride some of the 400s and possibly the Vulcan 650. The dealer also has a used Triumph Thruxton that is of interest to me that I might ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I went back to the demo event on Saturday to meet up with some of the guys I ride with, and to try out the Ninja 400. I wanted to try out the 400 engine to determine if Kawasaki updated the Versys 300 to a 400, would I be a buyer.
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I will say that it is hard to pick out the Ninja 400 amongst the other sport bikes. I chose to ride the Ninja over the Z400 because the grip position was more comfortable for me.
I played with lower RPM acceleration and holding at higher RPMs and accelerating.
If I were a little shorter and lighter I would enjoy this little Ninja. I found the engine capable, but didn’t have a nice sound at higher RPMs.

A dyno chart I found shows that the 400 engine makes 20 lb-ft of torque under 4500 RPMs and peaks at 25 lb-ft at 8000 RPMs. 44 hp at 10,000 RPMs.

No increase in weight or size over the 300cc engine.
On another dyno chart I found the 300cc engine makes 32.3 HP at 11,370 RPMs and 16.7 lb-ft of torque at 8600 RPMs.

For those Versys 300 riders who change the gearing to reduce acceleration and lower RPMs on the highway trading for a Versys 400 wouldn’t be necessary.
For those of us that want more lower RPM acceleration without sacrificing highway performance a Versys 400 might be the answer.

A redesign of the chassis to accommodate the new engine might also reduce overall weight which would be a good thing.
 
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