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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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Should I feel I'm riding an inferior bike, left behind?

My 1st gen 2007V has no TFT dash- and I don't even know what the acronym stands for. I only have a speedo, tach, 2 trip meters and a fuel gauge, plus a signal and high beam indicator. But that is progress from my first bike: speedo, tach, high beam indicator.

It's interesting how manufacturers throw technology into bikes that we didn't ask for but becomes a necessity once it's common.

Now back to the comparison. From the article, "The quickness with which the Versys turns, its stability at lean, and its willingness to tighten or adjust a line have always impressed even the most experienced riders." The primary reasons I still enjoy my old TFT-less '07.

But I wouldn't mind having ABS...
 

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Technology moves on, the dash on the 2022 is nice, but I think functionally you are not really missing much, it does have more actually useful info like the shift indicator and voltage. Myself I miss having an analog tach, If they'd have kept the analog tach and gone TFT for the rest of the dash, I'd have been a happier man.
The LED lighting is good and a bonus.
It's my first bike with ABS and traction control and I can see the benefits especially for an inexperienced or panicky rider, but if it wasn't there it would be OK with me, I doubt too many first time bike riders pick a Versys 650.
I think the Gen.1 is a little less refined feeling, both a plus and a minus, but if I had a Gen. 1, I would not be feeling strongly compelled to update to a Gen. 4, there are pluses for sure, but Kawasaki has stayed true to the original recipe, they got it right the first time and so if you close your eyes they really taste much the same. (-;
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not really surprised your opinions reflect mine since we are in a Kawasaki Versys forum. The Versys is not perfect by any means (e.g. better sounding engine, cheaper price, offroad capability) but it is a good all rounder which is the surprising part since the expectations of an all rounder bike is to be real bad on some use cases and it still keeps being good on most use cases despite the increased competition after all this years.
 

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Versys is not stable in corners like Strom. Strom stays at the angle you have put it. Versys likes to straighten like sportbikes do. You have to hold it a little bit in the corner. That's fine with me but I should mention that. If I have a chance to select again I would still go with Versys because it is fun, Strom is not.
 

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I found all three of my V650s to be extremely stable while cornering, but I had replaced the rear shock w/ one from a Yamaha R1.
 

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I am a newbie Versys owner, but not a new rider by a long shot and am always impressed with what I would consider neutral handling of just looking where you want to go and there you go.
I've only had one ride on a Vstrom 650 it was well behaved and predictable and it was what I was looking for at the time, then I initially rode a V650 and that made me realize it offered what I was missing and had been really yearning for during my period of cruiser ownership. The Vstrom felt more cruisery and less sporty to me.
 

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Youtuber by the name of Ozark Backroads he rides the latest Vstrom 650 ... its quite impressive too.
It all depends what you want in motorcycle and the Vstrom 650 and XT variants appeal to lot of people and there is no denying it is a good bike, but the targeting is different, although the initial founding vision was similar and they both seem to get placed under the ever expanding "adventure tourer" umbrella by media.
If there was a Versys-X 650 with a 19" front wheel, then it might be a better comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If there was a Versys-X 650 with a 19" front wheel, then it might be a better comparison.
I'm wondering if Kawasaki is segregating the KLR and Versys with that distinction (off road vs on road focus). Have not rode a KLR650 but I keep wondering if the best things on the KLR and Versys are combined and what would be the result of that. Maybe it will be a flop but I don't have that much experience with other bikes in this category.
 

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Versys is not stable in corners like Strom. Strom stays at the angle you have put it. Versys likes to straighten like sportbikes do. You have to hold it a little bit in the corner. That's fine with me but I should mention that. If I have a chance to select again I would still go with Versys because it is fun, Strom is not.
My experience on a 2012 Versys 650 was when the tires wore down they would "square off" (the crown of the tire was flat instead of round). When that happened the Versys tended to fight the effort to put the bike in a turn and wanted to straighten up. With new tires on, usually Road 5's, the bike effortlessly went into a turn and took no effort to keep it there, like it was on rails!
 

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I'm wondering if Kawasaki is segregating the KLR and Versys with that distinction (off road vs on road focus). Have not rode a KLR650 but I keep wondering if the best things on the KLR and Versys are combined and what would be the result of that. Maybe it will be a flop but I don't have that much experience with other bikes in this category.
Look at some of the posts/builds from @jdrocks ... I think he does basically what you are talking about -- best of the KLR650 and Versys 650 combined. (Well, not limited to those two only... but upgrades to make it better than either one?)

He uses the Versys as a starting point ... but had a picture where a guy put the Versys parallel twin in a KLR. There are some creative, talented folks out there ! (I'm happy with my 300 ... maybe because I am not one of those people 🤣)
 

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I have changed sprockets and chain today, put front sprocket with rubber stuff on it, reduced vibrations twice as I feel it. Previous chain was at the end of service limit. All I want from Versys now is to make adjustable windscreen (will do in winter) and replace oil in the fork. Seems to me it was chnged long time ago. Overall, I am pretty happy with it. And if change it, then to 800-900 class.
 

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I ride a 2009 KLR 650, I've been trolling the Versys group because I will probably get one next. As far as Enhinyero comment, the KLR and V650 are very different animals and to combine them would require a pretty hefty redesign. The KLR is way more street oriented for a dual-sport than say a Honda or Suzuki 650 dual-sport, but the KLR is tons more off-road worthy than the Versys. I don't think Kawasaki ever intended for the V650 or the KLR to compete directly. When I think of the Versys I think of a sport touring bike for real world, backroad touring. Backroads have potholes, cracks from roots and weather changes, damage from heavy vehicles etc.. Interstate touring doesn't need longer travel suspension and wide handlebars. The Versys with long legs can handle imperfections in the backroads. The KLR does a good job with it as well, and won't complain too much if you head off into the bush as long as your tire choice is appropriate.
Can I make a Versys an off-roader? Yes, but it is unlikely to ever match the KLR off-road. Can I make the KLR a sport tourer? Yes, but it will never match the Versys on road. I have put 90,000+ miles on my KLR, 90% on road. That is why I am looking at the Versys. I just got back from a NC mountains weekend with friends, and I easily out paced a Vstrom 650 in the twisties, but that's a rider level thing. I was also able to climb a steep gravel road to a mountain top the Vstrom couldn't climb. I have the picture to show for it. Could I have made it on a Versys? Maybe, I didn't have one to test it with. My point is Kawasaki would never had made either bike if one could directly replace the other. I have enjoyed my KLR, and a few times in the sand in Florida I'm glad it wasn't a Versys, but I think I would really appreciate the Versys more as my daily ride than the KLR just because it is built for exactly how I ride. 90% on road with off-road never really more than a gravel road. Just my opinion from my perspective. Enjoy your rides!
 

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Sami: an excellent analysis of the V and KLR, I couldn't agree more. My V handles gravel roads ok, with a bit of wandering due to the 55.7" wheelbase. That, the 17" front wheel, tires, and a few more factors make it unsuitable for off-road. That is a personal opinion only- I know that others have made the conversion but, personally, I would just get a more suitable ride and keep my V for road and gravel. There is no shortage of candidates for the rough stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I ride a 2009 KLR 650, I've been trolling the Versys group because I will probably get one next. As far as Enhinyero comment, the KLR and V650 are very different animals and to combine them would require a pretty hefty redesign. The KLR is way more street oriented for a dual-sport than say a Honda or Suzuki 650 dual-sport, but the KLR is tons more off-road worthy than the Versys. I don't think Kawasaki ever intended for the V650 or the KLR to compete directly. When I think of the Versys I think of a sport touring bike for real world, backroad touring. Backroads have potholes, cracks from roots and weather changes, damage from heavy vehicles etc.. Interstate touring doesn't need longer travel suspension and wide handlebars. The Versys with long legs can handle imperfections in the backroads. The KLR does a good job with it as well, and won't complain too much if you head off into the bush as long as your tire choice is appropriate.
Can I make a Versys an off-roader? Yes, but it is unlikely to ever match the KLR off-road. Can I make the KLR a sport tourer? Yes, but it will never match the Versys on road. I have put 90,000+ miles on my KLR, 90% on road. That is why I am looking at the Versys. I just got back from a NC mountains weekend with friends, and I easily out paced a Vstrom 650 in the twisties, but that's a rider level thing. I was also able to climb a steep gravel road to a mountain top the Vstrom couldn't climb. I have the picture to show for it. Could I have made it on a Versys? Maybe, I didn't have one to test it with. My point is Kawasaki would never had made either bike if one could directly replace the other. I have enjoyed my KLR, and a few times in the sand in Florida I'm glad it wasn't a Versys, but I think I would really appreciate the Versys more as my daily ride than the KLR just because it is built for exactly how I ride. 90% on road with off-road never really more than a gravel road. Just my opinion from my perspective. Enjoy your rides!
Thanks for the detailed long term insights. Even if the KLR would ever become available locally I would probably still be on a Versys but that does not mean I would stop fantasizing getting a KLR and riding on dream trails :D..
 

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I've been wondering where to ask this question, because it doesn't seem worthy of its own thread but it'll probably be a hijack wherever it goes. But it seems like the right people are here, so here goes:

I've had a lot of bikes over the years, from a Ducati Monster 696 to a H-D Sportster 1200R to a CBR929RR to an XT225 to a Buell XB9SX, not in that order. My Gen1 Versys seemed to be fighting me in the twisties. At first I figured it was me - hadn't had a bike in a couple of years, so I'm out of practice - and also checked tire pressure to make sure that wasn't wacky. Tires are about halfway through their life, if that. Focused on my technique and realized that something was just plain off. I didn't feel confident in the bike but couldn't figure out why, and this was at a very conservative pace. I couldn't tell what it was telling me except that we were both uncomfortable.

So I did what any idiot would do: said 'heck with this' and increased the pace a couple of notches. Whaddya know, problem solved. Everything fell into place. Sure, it doesn't corner like my Duc, but nothing would. It's fine.

Why? Is there something amiss in setup that means leisurely riding isn't going to feel right? Or is this just how these bikes are? I didn't expect it to demand to be ridden fairly assertively to be happy.
 

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When the Versys was awarded MOTY [Motorcycle Of The Year] by "Motorcyclist" magazine back in '08, they referred to how well the V650 handled, so I ordered my first one (which I still have in AZ) then two more ('09 and '15) for Canada.

BEST handling motorcycles I've been privileged to ride, w/ about 200,000 miles among the three, and unfortunately I have to "hang-up-my-spurs".

:cry:

Here's a more recent write-up by the same writers:

3 copy by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

(y)(y)(y)(y)
 
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