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Discussion Starter #1
I understand this forum might be slightly biased towards the Versys but I am curious to know what everyone's thoughts are on this. The FJ09 vs Versys thread was actually pretty good about this.

I have been debating between these two bikes for quite a while. I love the price and versatility of the Versys but the Tiger is potentially more capable off road. I understand a lot of it comes down to the rider for off road parts. The ergonomics of both bikes are quite similar as well.

I am leaning towards the Versys. Convince me of which bike is better.
 

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The tiger has a good bit more power. More suspension. Larger tires. Smoother engine. If you are even considering off road at 50% of your travels. Then the tiger or other like minded bikes makes way more sense than the versys. The versys can do gravel roads fine. light dirt travel. Even some single track in the right conditions but make no mistake it is a street bike. both bikes are really good but they aren't direct competitors think comparing a Subaru ( versys) to a Tahoe ( tiger) The Subaru will comfortably take you just about anywhere. But the Tahoe has bigger tires and more power and that accounts for a lot in the right circumstances
 

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I really like the T's (would love to have a 1050 Sport) but you have to keep the dealer network in mind when you purchase. T dealers are not exactly plentiful.
 

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Part 2

I understand this forum might be slightly biased towards the Versys but I am curious to know what everyone's thoughts are on this. The FJ09 vs Versys thread was actually pretty good about this.

I have been debating between these two bikes for quite a while. I love the price and versatility of the Versys but the Tiger is potentially more capable off road. I understand a lot of it comes down to the rider for off road parts. The ergonomics of both bikes are quite similar as well.

I am leaning towards the Versys. Convince me of which bike is better.
To clarify my earlier post, these bikes are manufactured at two different levels..I would consider the verses a 90/10 bike with 10 percent of off paved road ability in its genetics. Now folks can MAKE them into a 50/50 bike (see a talented member here JDROCKS) and even with a little money spent on tires, some simple suspension mods, etc it can be easily turned into a 70/30 bike..
The Tiger starts its life as what I consider a 65/35 bike. It's genetic code is different than the V's. It also cost a bit more, and as was posted above, dealer support may be spotty.
You need to consider what level of offload you want, I mean you may end up wanting something more like a DRZ/ KLR, or any number of high-priced offerings that lean more to the dirt crowd but still handle pavement acceptably.
 

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The Versys is a street bike .

The tiger 800 is an adventure bike.

The tiger 800 XC is a dual sport.

The tiger 800 XCx is a world traveler.

I wouldn't be too concerned with dealer network unless you can't maintain your own bikes. With the internet, parts are at your door in a couple days. I ordered the maintenance items for my Triumph Trophy all at once to get me through the first 20,000 miles or two years.

If you are concerned with repairs while on a trip, you might find a closer Kawasaki dealer, but he will probably still have to order parts. So can an independent tech. Carry a PDF version of the service manual with you.

The Versys LT is an economical back roads touring bike. I enjoyed the 30,000 miles I put on my '11. It is no more an off road bike than any motorcycle out there. Even Goldwings and Harleys can go down gravel roads.

I test rode this 2017 Road King down a gravel road to check out the new improved suspension.

 

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The Tiger is an enticing option. I would agree the V650 is a 90/10 bike to begin with.

The OEM tires are pretty bad on dirt. Be sure to reduce tire pressure to 28/28 or even 24/24 if you're going on dirt, but even then they're not very good off pavement.

You'll want to add good crash bars to the V, bars which wrap the lower part of the engine. Most brands don't do that. You'll want to replace the front turn signals with low profile or micro sized units so they don't hit the ground in a tip over or drop. If they do, you break expensive plastic fairings. You'll want a radiator guard. Front axle sliders are a good idea.

Does the T800 come with those features stock? It cost me about $500 to bring my V650 up to grade on those items.

Tires. I put on Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2, which cost me about $300 to buy. I also bought tools to install them myself, so there's another $100+. I figured I could pay someone else that money to install them or I could buy the tools and have them forever.

Wheels. The V650 wheels are ok but not ideal for off road. Fine for dirt roads and reasonable trails. The problem is the aluminum rims can get dented easily in rocky rough conditions. And the front wheel would be better if it were a larger diameter. This limits the bike in rough conditions and in soft sand or mud. The T comes with spoked wheels. They have steel rims which are more durable in rough conditions, but the downside is truing the wheels every year. Not a big deal but it comes down to your bias of street vs off road. 90/10 the V wheels win. Rough off road conditions, the T wheels win.

Engine. The V650 has a good engine. My only complaint is a bit of vibration which gets my crotch a bit numb or tingly. If the t800 is smoother it would be, for me, a consideration.

Riding position. The V650 is definitely street biased. The handlebars are in a great position for commuting and touring. They are a bit low for standing on the pegs riding off pavement. If I did much standing I would get a higher riser to get the bars another 2 inches higher. You can see the difference in seated arm position with riders on the T or the BMW bikes compared to the V650. For 90/10 street vs dirt the V is great. If you're going to be 60/40 or 50/50 I would raise the bars.

Luggage. The factory V luggage is ok. It is super easy and convenient to mount on the bike. But the shape is crummy. That notch out of the rear of the luggage is stupid. It makes it difficult to get rectangular objects in the luggage. Like a brief case or laptop bag. Even groceries can be annoying to fit in there. You can buy aftermarket luggage for about the same cost as the factory luggage, so that is what I would recommend. So here the V and the T are equal, just get aftermarket luggage for whichever bike you choose.

Price. The T can get up to twice the price of the V pretty quickly. No doubt the V is a killer bike for the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
both bikes are really good but they aren't direct competitors think comparing a Subaru ( versys) to a Tahoe ( tiger) The Subaru will comfortably take you just about anywhere. But the Tahoe has bigger tires and more power and that accounts for a lot in the right circumstances
That analogy sounds perfect! In your words I am looking more for a Subaru, probably why I am leaning towards the Versys.

I understand the "genetic" differences between the bikes and would say the riding I would like to do 90% road and 10% off road. I would rather have a dirt bike or dual sport if I am doing anything serious off road. Preferably 2 stroke.

Dealer network is kind of meh with the internet.
 

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I have a FEW comments on "fly sigs" post:



"The OEM tires are pretty bad on dirt. Be sure to reduce tire pressure to 28/28 or even 24/24 if you're going on dirt, but even then they're not very good off pavement."

Suggest you DON'T do that, as THAT leads to bent or broken rims. Check the build-threads by jdrocks - he runs 36F and 42R pressures in 'mag' wheels, and so far (over MANY gnarly miles) has yet to bend/ break one.

"Tires. I put on Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2, which cost me about $300 to buy. I also bought tools to install them myself, so there's another $100+. I figured I could pay someone else that money to install them or I could buy the tools and have them forever.

Wheels. The V650 wheels are ok but not ideal for off road. Fine for dirt roads and reasonable trails. The problem is the aluminum rims can get dented easily in rocky rough conditions. And the front wheel would be better if it were a larger diameter. This limits the bike in rough conditions and in soft sand or mud. The T comes with spoked wheels. They have steel rims which are more durable in rough conditions, but the downside is truing the wheels every year. Not a big deal but it comes down to your bias of street vs off road. 90/10 the V wheels win. Rough off road conditions, the T wheels win."

See above comments, but an addition - the Triumph has tubes as opposed to tubeless in the Versys, and I have run knobbies on my '08 V (at 36F, 42R), and got great off-road traction AND wear (seems to me I got 10K miles or more...).

"Riding position. The V650 is definitely street biased. The handlebars are in a great position for commuting and touring. They are a bit low for standing on the pegs riding off pavement. If I did much standing I would get a higher riser to get the bars another 2 inches higher. You can see the difference in seated arm position with riders on the T or the BMW bikes compared to the V650. For 90/10 street vs dirt the V is great. If you're going to be 60/40 or 50/50 I would raise the bars."

I suggest the ROX Risers, 2", over the risers from 'Motowerks', as you can raise the ROX STRAIGHT up, while the Motowerkes risers move TOWARDS you, making standing more difficult.

"Luggage. The factory V luggage is ok. It is super easy and convenient to mount on the bike. But the shape is crummy. That notch out of the rear of the luggage is stupid. It makes it difficult to get rectangular objects in the luggage. Like a brief case or laptop bag. Even groceries can be annoying to fit in there. You can buy aftermarket luggage for about the same cost as the factory luggage, so that is what I would recommend. So here the V and the T are equal, just get aftermarket luggage for whichever bike you choose.

Price. The T can get up to twice the price of the V pretty quickly. No doubt the V is a killer bike for the price."

On this I TOTALLY agree. I have TUSK aluminum panniers on my '08 which are WAY more useful than the OEM ones on my '15.



HOWEVER, the OEM ones are more easily removed for things like lubing the chain....

 

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There are two distinctly different versions of the Tiger the XR and the XC. The XR is more comparable to the Versys. Suspension quality and brake quality is better with the Triumph. Engine is also better. Price is much cheaper for the Versys. Versys is better value but Triumph is better bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There are two distinctly different versions of the Tiger the XR and the XC. The XR is more comparable to the Versys. Suspension quality and brake quality is better with the Triumph. Engine is also better. Price is much cheaper for the Versys. Versys is better value but Triumph is better bike.
I disagree on the suspension part of the Tiger XR series. The XR series has a non-adjustable fork and adjustable pre-load in the rear. Many people on the Tiger forums complain about the XR series suspension.

Brakes are definitely better on the Triumph but that could be due to steel braided brake lines.

Engine being better is subjective.
 

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There are many comparisons on the web of these two bikes.
Here is one of the recent ones. They liked the V650 better.
 
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