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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!
Not sure where you live, but where I have traveled the interstates are worse than the back roads.

I owned both a KLR and Versys at the same time and there is a lot of overlap. So much so that I replaced the KLR with a KLX250S.
 

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ttiger was on me list to try and its as descibed ..sit on rather than in ..the front suspension was reasonably well sorted ..but the rear was total mismatch harsh but only a valving solution would cure ,,,deffinate mismatch for sure and not in anice way ...pretty nippy and pretty slick in the engine department but nothing mindblowing ...the dealer is just a mile off the m65 motorway and here was the really bad show up .at 80mph the tiger just buzzes through the pegs and really badly through the bars ..just at the speed and the frequency that most riders will want to use on major road trips wether protection was a bit skinny around the legs and knees but to be fair as with the versys a bigger screen should make it pretty acceptable from what i could tell ..im not a fussy rider im used to large singles and the like but the bike is in dire need of some rubber mountings somwhere like the versys ..the rear shock i guess could be replaced easily enough and need s to be ... but the buzzy engine would drive me nuts on a longer tour .....it is more sporty for sure ..but if you want to tour its not the bike id choose ..id say anyone who has a test ride needs to get it ona freeway if possible as it really is bad when you not able to ride through it if that make sense
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Nice bike comparison for me. I'm really only interested in middleweights like the Versys with 17inch wheels and the shorter wheel to wheel base. For cornering and handling on pavement this is the most fun. I've no experience with a triple but I'm a twin fan in general for the easier torque. My 649 is set up for road touring. But when I just go out for some up-tempo sport riding for the day it doesn't disappoint. Very versatile machine we have here!
 

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Test rode a Tiger 660. 1st gear was too tall and 6th gear was too short. IMO it felt soft/lazy around town and screams on the highway. Worst gearing on any of the 30+ bikes that I have owned.

Good looking and lightweight bike though.
 
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