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LOL,

Yea I love it when I am spanking those Sportbikes in the twisties. Some people dont get it. It is more rider skill than it is the bike. I would be surprised if anyone non racer could utilize all of what the Versys has to offer in performance and handling.

I have had all of those Super Sport bikes, yes they are really nice, but where I ride it is so overkill and not necessary.

And recently I just sold my 2007 FZ6, all I can say is it was slower and slower to turn. I wanted to like it for a lot of reasons, but just could not get past the poor handling and torque lacking engine.

Todd
 

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I cared what the press wrote as I was deciding on my Versys, for information's sake (not opinions like whether it is a beginner bike or is the wrong color).

Now that I have my Versys, I don't care what they write about it.
I didn't care as much about what the press said regarding the Versys as much as i did care what you guys said in this forum. For me, this was the deciding factor- well except for my wife who loved sitting high on the passenger seat. She gave kind of an approving "wow, it's like sitting on a horse". So that explains her love affair with my bike.
 

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Every road test article I have read emphasize beginner and budget bike. These descriptions are serious disservice to potential buyers as well as dealers.

What's printed in motorcycle rags isn't exactly exact science. It's somebody's opinion, sometimes after no more than a short test ride and filled with biases that may or may not reflect your own. It's unfortunate that beginner riders take the stuff printed (or published online) as gospel, but they too will learn eventually, as they gain more experience.

Read less, ride more. ;)

Gustavo
 

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What's printed in motorcycle rags isn't exactly exact science. It's somebody's opinion, sometimes after no more than a short test ride and filled with biases
Yep. Manufacturer bias as well. When's the last time you read a magazine review on a bike that said "don't buy this piece o chit"????

Read less, ride more.
Dem's true words right there.
 

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+1
IMHO, based on a general observation of rider types that have joined here as owners, I would say the majority are experienced riders, having owned several bikes in their riding career. They chose the bike for what it is and what it does based on their riding experience and for the type of riding they intend to do. And generally they are satisfied with what they got. This has been my experience.

I think the bigginer bike thing comes from the fact that it is pretty lightweight, is easy to manuever, and it's not a super power-house like a liter sportbike. It is capable enough though to really get a noob into trouble if they don't pay attention. It's not a slow bike, but it doesn't jerk your arms out of their sockets either.

I think Kawasaki hit a homerun the first time around on this one.
+1 Well said!
 

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I was hoping a thread like this or maybe the common "I wish the Versys had a little more power" would come along.

Today my friend Paul picked up his '08 KTM Super Duke and dropped by my studio. It was nice out today, sunny and 60 here in Indiana, so I had ridden to work.

As soon as my last appointment was gone, we geared up and hit the road. We rode a couple of towns over on twisty backroads. Being as Paul's Duke had less than 100 miles on it we rode moderately, although I did hit 100MPH passing a car at one point.

We stopped for a bite once we reached our destination in Monticello (Sublett's Ribs, check it out if you get the chance). Of course the conversation was motorcycles, and specifically how Paul should be breaking in his new Austrian streetfighter. He decided "f*ck it, I'm gonna go for it on the ride back".

So, being the lifelong, experienced rider (including dragging a knee at the track), and myself having just a few thousand miles under my belt, he had no problem pulling away from me in the twisty stuff. But I could keep him within sight. And when he opened it up on the straights the Versys could keep up. Yes, the Duke was faster (and for 990cc and $12k it had better be) but it didn't walk away from the Versys. I was somewhat surprised, and fairly proud of my little red scooter.

We've got a longer ride planned for Turkey Run state park tomorrow, I'll keep ya posted. In the mean time don't take any crap from the peanut gallery - while they're inside writing WE'RE out riding!
 

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How exactly is the Versys a beginner bike?
Being (relatively) light weight, easy to handle, not (too) powerful


The only #'s I could find for it for 1/4 mile times is 12.9 seconds. For a comparison a Corvette does the 1/4 mile in 12.5 seconds. Would you ever consider the Vette to be a good beginner car?
Not relevant - most bikes, including 250's can beat most cars over a straight 440 yards.
 

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Being (relatively) light weight, easy to handle, not (too) powerful




Not relevant - most bikes, including 250's can beat most cars over a straight 440 yards.
I'm sorry, I think it is very relevant.
 

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devils advocate...

people here brag about how little they paid for a versys all the time. i'll agree.
=> budget bike.

everytime a newb posts up asking whether they should buy a versys, most of you guys cheer them one. if i chime in, i'm likely to disagree, but majority rules.
=> beginner bike.

you can't have it both ways. if it's not a bargain... okay, no getting around this one. but if it's not a good beginner bike, stop telling newbs to buy it.
 

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You can't confuse the price with the value, though - those are two different issues. Somewhat related, but different.

I can pick up a used ZX11D for the same price as a Versys but that doesn't make the ZX a newbie bike because it's inexpensive.

I would consider the Versys a decent beginner bike for a tall enough rider because it is a FORGIVING bike to ride. Not only does it handle well and comfortably (which is a big thing for newbies who are trying to concentrate on riding) but if you drop it or break it, it's relatively FORGIVING on the wallet. Hell, I was astounded and happy to find out that the upper cowl was only $150 to replace.

I'm hovering on the edge, right now, of trading in my Versys on a BMW because I really, really want more power than what the V has. But I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone as a beginner bike.
 

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I'm hovering on the edge, right now, of trading in my Versys on a BMW because I really, really want more power than what the V has.
D Mason gets his wish! :D But really, a lot of good posts on this.

So it is Budget, and Beginner friendly. Obviously a lot of us think it's a good deal more.

If somebody needs the world to know that they spent a lot for their bike just by looking at the name on the tank, Kawasaki doesn't cut it.
If they think that a 1/4 mile time or HP number is the most important measure of a bike, the Versys is not their Kawasaki.

Not everybody gets it but that's alright, I like riding a unique bike.
 

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I too have had quite a few bikes. Just before buying the Versys, I sold an ST1300 and a Suzuki Bandit 1200s that was probably making 120hp at the rear wheel.

The Suzuki was great fun to crack the throttle and feel the rush of power. And the ST was comfy...able to cruise all day at 120mph in comfort. That said, the Versys is my favorite bike ever. It is the most fun to ride and I like personalizing it to my taste. It is currently my only bike and I am not looking for another right now.
 

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As promised, rode for a couple hundred miles with my friend Paul today. Same pattern as yesterday (him spanking me in the twisties, bikes close enough to equal for me to keep up in the straights), until he asked if I wanted to trade bikes for awhile.

I don't know how many of you remember your first "liter bike" experience, but today was mine.

Everything about the Duke is different from the V. Everything is so immediate that the V almost feels like a cruiser in comparison. Throttle and clutch, both very grabby with the bike lunging forward with each upshift. The first one to two shift felt like I might lose grip of the handlebars.

The seat was narrow and rock hard, but reasonably shaped. Can't see wanting to ride it for more than a couple hours max IMO. No wind protection obviously, and the bike also somehow manages to feel TINY, as if there's nothing underneath you and you're just hovering above the road at 90MPH. The Versys seems very substantial in comparison. And yes, I realize these bikes are as apples-to-oranges as they come.

The power, while there is certainly more of it, mainly differs in how it is delivered. Hard to describe. The bike didn't feel that much faster, it just felt more... Right Now. No waiting. Every twitch of the wrist produced a reaction. Regardless of RPM that same eagerness to surge forward.

It is a very focused bike, too much so really IMO for the type of riding we were doing: potholed county roads, hilly, gravely, dirt farm and ranch roads and some smooth highway mixed in. I was honestly glad to get back on my Versys. I'm beginning to believe that the V really IS among the best Do Anything bikes out there, despite my limited experience. It's why I bought it to begin with and every day in the saddle, every other bike I sample just serves to reaffirm the notion.

For those considering trading for a bike with more power... I rode a bike with gobs of power today and gobs of power ain't everything, that's for sure.
 

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As promised, rode for a couple hundred miles with my friend Paul today. Same pattern as yesterday (him spanking me in the twisties, bikes close enough to equal for me to keep up in the straights), until he asked if I wanted to trade bikes for awhile.

I don't know how many of you remember your first "liter bike" experience, but today was mine.

Everything about the Duke is different from the V. Everything is so immediate that the V almost feels like a cruiser in comparison. Throttle and clutch, both very grabby with the bike lunging forward with each upshift. The first one to two shift felt like I might lose grip of the handlebars.

The seat was narrow and rock hard, but reasonably shaped. Can't see wanting to ride it for more than a couple hours max IMO. No wind protection obviously, and the bike also somehow manages to feel TINY, as if there's nothing underneath you and you're just hovering above the road at 90MPH. The Versys seems very substantial in comparison. And yes, I realize these bikes are as apples-to-oranges as they come.

The power, while there is certainly more of it, mainly differs in how it is delivered. Hard to describe. The bike didn't feel that much faster, it just felt more... Right Now. No waiting. Every twitch of the wrist produced a reaction. Regardless of RPM that same eagerness to surge forward.

It is a very focused bike, too much so really IMO for the type of riding we were doing: potholed county roads, hilly, gravely, dirt farm and ranch roads and some smooth highway mixed in. I was honestly glad to get back on my Versys. I'm beginning to believe that the V really IS among the best Do Anything bikes out there, despite my limited experience. It's why I bought it to begin with and every day in the saddle, every other bike I sample just serves to reaffirm the notion.

For those considering trading for a bike with more power... I rode a bike with gobs of power today and gobs of power ain't everything, that's for sure.
This is a great post. And in the interest of full-disclosure, yes, I AM going to trade my V in on the BMW which I rode. It's more about personal preferences, but the power was a big part of that.

The thing which I have really learned in riding a number of litre-sized bikes is that the Versys is one of the most forgiving motorcycles on the road. It doesn't punish less-than-perfect technique where some motorcycles will.

I'm stepping into (notice I did not say, stepping "up") in the BMW for a couple of reasons. First is the power....I want more mid and top-end power. Where the V starts to get a little buzzy, the BMW is getting warmed up. That's just the nature of the mill. Second, this particular model is one I've lusted after for a long time, and when I found this one, it spoke to me in lustful ways and I just have to have it. It's irrational, I know, but motorcycles are irrational things.

The Versys is vastly superior, in my opinion, to a lot of bikes on the road. I liken it to an excellent multi-tool like a leatherman. But I've since assessed my needs and wants and I just want the Beamer more. If I could afford both, believe me, both would live in my stable. But two bikes is the limit, and I want to keep my scooter, too, for the time being, so the V has to go. The BMW is not as comfortable as the V, it's not as practical, and it's more expensive to maintain, insure, and everything else. There is no good, rational reason I can come up with to make this trade, except for pure toy lust.

For me, personally, that's what this is about. Feeding passion. And the BMW does that for me in spades compared to the V.

I still think the V is one of the best overall designs ever made. But it's about more than that for me.

I'm doing this as a trade-in, but when I know where the V lands, I will post to you guys so you can consider picking it up. It's been a great bike and it's getting a brand-new upper left cowl this afternoon (previous owner had an experience with a tree that gouged it a bit.)

I may regret this decision in the sense that I'll miss the V, but I can always look at getting another one someday. Gotta get this BMW lust out of my system, first. :)
 

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Right on, Killbilly. Making your decision with full awareness - gotta respect that.

We'll see ya when ya come back to VersyLand! :goodidea:
 
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