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I don't know if there is a time requirement between the first and second post, but we'll see...:)

All of my past bikes have been cruisers, having sold my 2004 Vulcan 1500 about 5 years ago. This past spring I started getting the "itch" again and convinced myself that I needed to get another bike as a "commuter" bike for work. Isn't it funny how easily we can justify things in our own minds?

Anyway, I have always been a Kawasaki guy and really liked the reviews on the Versys 1000. My local dealer didn't have one in stock, so I test rode the Versys 650, the V-Strom 1000 and the Yamaha FJ09. I'm a big guy, 6' 3" at 250+ and all 3 bikes were a good fit for my frame.

First up was the Versys 650. I test rode a 2015, though I was really interested in the 2014 they had in the warehouse being advertised at a very reasonable price. I was immediately impressed and the 2nd gear wheely, without trying too hard, brought a smile to my face. Light, nimble, plenty of power without being scary... I liked it right off.

2nd up was the Yamaha. Style-wise, I really liked the looks of the Yamaha. This was the first triple that I have ridden and something about the way the engine revved was off to me. The sound? The feel? I don't know... I'm sure it was me and not the bike, but it just didn't feel right. I was actually a little disappointed that I didn't like it better. Power and handling were fine, I just couldn't get over how the engine revved.

3rd was the the big V-Strom. This bike was a beast! Big, heavy, torquey, powerful... I liked everything about it with the exception of the weight. Also the seat didn't fit quite right. (I know, I'm being picky.) Maneuverability felt a bit sluggish compared to the lighter bikes which was to be expected. Other than that, it was a very nice bike.

It came down to a choice between the Versys and the V-Strom. Keep in mind that I was basing my decision on a test ride that was limited to riding a mile up the rode and back with some maneuvering in a parking lot, starts and stops, accelerating and decelerating quickly... Everything I could think to do on a short test ride. It came down to deciding that if I were to chose the V-Strom, was the extra power worth paying an extra $6,000 for the bike? (Like I said, the Versys was listed at a very low, close-out price.)

Based on the purpose of the bike, a local commuter, the decision wasn't too difficult to make. I rode home a brand new, 2014 Versys on July 3rd. Little did I know that 2 days later while teaching my 20 year old son to ride that he would pop the clutch while leaving a stop light, whisky throttle the bike across the intersection, bringing the bike over backwards and laying it over in the ditch. Thank goodness he wasn't hurt too badly! The bike, however, was a different story. I'll save the details of this event for another post.

Anyway, I look forward to being a member of this community. Everyone keep your wheels down and ride safe!
 

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...Thank goodness he wasn't hurt too badly! The bike, however, was a different story. I'll save the details of this event for another post.

Anyway, I look forward to being a member of this community. Everyone keep your wheels down and ride safe!
:welcome:

...and :goodluck: w/ your Versys!
 
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