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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I remember back in 2008 when the Versys hit the shores of America my instant attraction to the bike. After going back and forth with myself about it's appearance and only being a 650 I finally bit the bullet and rode it off the showroom floor. After a short ride, the performance and handling of the bike reaffirmed my decision as a good one. Now I'm on my 2nd one, a green 2009.

However, others were not quite convinced as it was a "different" bike and really didn't fit into a "nitch". Now, after the Versys has been around for 4 years I am beginning to see recognition of the bike by the bike community, and glowing reviews that are justly deserved. It has earned has earned it's wings and now when I say I have a Versys, most folks actually know what I'm talking about and have a lot of respect for the bike.

Has anyone else experienced this?

My 2008 Versys


 

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Sorry to say no. When I mention a Versys, even to people who ride, they look at me with a deer in the headlight. You then begin to describe that it is a standard bike that has a sporty look, good performance and upright seating position. Not a road ripper like a laydown bike but a fun and comfortable bike.... Then the blank stares continue....
 

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Funny, just the other day I went out to the parking lot and some guy walking by asked: "Hey, how are you liking that new Versys?". I was stunned...

But that was an exception. Nobody else has ever heard of a Versys. I always have to describe it as an "upright Ninja 650 with beefier suspension".
 

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Don,

As you know, I now own (and love) the bike in your first photo. Since you removed all the decals from the bike, other riders have asked me what it is? To some I say it's an experimental Ducati then I give them a few seconds and tell them the truth. Most everyone has heard at least a little about the V. When I say it's a Ninja with an upright riding position, they nod their heads knowingly.
What I find interesting is that people that ride liter bikes (and bigger) generally don't have a clue because all they can think about is displacement, displacement, displacement so a 650 isn't even on their radar.
 

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Has anyone else experienced this?

Same happened here to a great extent.
When I bought mine in '09. I had to visually describe to people how the bike looks so they would know what I ride. Not only there wasn't interest in the bike but most bikers didn't know it existed. Liter race bikes are still the norm here.
Two-three years later and now everyone knows Versys and even those who say it's 'ugly' regard it as a good and reliable bike.
Quite a few unexpected characters downgraded from a sports bike to a Versys. Some even ordered the new V1000 'sight unseen' based on Versys characteristics (and the Z1000).

There is a bit of paradox to all this in that, here, you can buy a decent, used, Versys cheaper then in the whole Europe. :confused: They don't retain value very well.
Someone said that Versys is a bike that you either give (for very little money) away or keep forever.
And I ain't givin' mine away.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
FBversys --- How's the old girl holding up? How many miles now? You know I traded it because the rods were beginning to knock, the valves were shot and the transmission kept jumping out of gear don't you?
 

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People in my moto circles know what a Versys is, but most others who see it wonder what it is. The fact that mine is a MOTO BONES (according to the OEM looking decals on the tank) may not help, but I tell anyone who asks what it really is.

Most people who venture a guess think it's Italian -- Aprilia or Ducati. A guy at a gas station in Vermont wondered what a bike like that costs. I asked him to guess. He guessed $25,000. I said it wasn't quite that much. A guy who lives in my town was looking at my V and said he knew it was a Kawasaki because of the petal rotors but was clueless beyond that. A lady outside a restaurant was looking at my V and said she'd never seen anything like it. "There's no chrome on it anywhere. It's not a Harley, is it." I said it wasn't and she seemed disappointed.

Mine continues to be stone-ax reliable. It's going in for a valve check come spring.
 

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Well, I can offer a definite yes and no. Some people have no clue what it is while others admit to having heard about it. I ask people if they've heard of the Suzuki V-Strom and if they say yes I tell them the Versys is what the V-Strom should have been. :D

The Versys doesn't leap off local dealers' showroom floors, but those who do buy them all seem to love the bike. Still, it's rare when compared to road rockets and massive cruisers. In my opinion, that's a part of the appeal - not riding something that's as common as a belly button (or another bodily orifice). :eek:

I stopped at a local auto parts store recently and parked next to a Harley "bat wing bagger" that belong to one of the employees. His reaction was, "Man that thing's tall; what is it?" After describing it, he seemed impressed (he thought the engne was at least 1000cc). Not that he will abandon his cruiser and rush out to buy a Versys - it's too tall.

The Versys seems to appeal to a rather narrow segment of the riding public. Dare I say that segment that appreciates relatively light weight, good performance and handling, and versatility. Hey, come to think of it, maybe that would be a good name for a bike! :D
 

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Sorry to say no. When I mention a Versys, even to people who ride, they look at me with a deer in the headlight. You then begin to describe that it is a standard bike that has a sporty look, good performance and upright seating position. Not a road ripper like a laydown bike but a fun and comfortable bike.... Then the blank stares continue....
+1 Unless they drive a very similar bike they are unlikely to have heard of the Versys.
 

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I changed insurance companies recently and all was going well but the woman wouldn't insure it if it was a "crotch rocket". I had to send her a picture of the V and she called back right away and said it sure looked like a crotch rocket to her but she would call the dealership and check with them. When she call be back all was OK because the guy at the dealership told her mostly old guys buy them. I had to laugh because I am only 62

Brian:cheers:
 

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Funny, last Sunday was the first Versys I have ever seen on the road and I live in So.Cal. most people I know still are ignorant of a Versys.
 

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When she call be back all was OK because the guy at the dealership told her mostly old guys buy them.
It is clear that there is some tension on this forum between those who would try to style the Versys as fast "in the twisties" and those that ride it for the fun utilitarianism that it represents. It would seem that a lot of the decorum on the forum (I like the sound of that) is due to the large number of "older riders" like myself (and I am a youthful 45) who ride the Versys and who participate here.

This is interesting because two of my older brothers and I am going on an extended motorcycle trip later this summer and they do not believe that I will "make it" on a Versys ("I think that it is some sort of Kawi..." one says). One of my brothers rides an FJR and the other one has ridden since his youth and currently rides a Harley (and he intends to buy a used Goldwing for the trip). These "older riders" have never really heard of a Versys, much less a 650cc motorcycle that can travel long distances.

Personally I cannot imagine buying some 700+ pound motorcycle and riding it around. I hope that we will be able to have a good trip. The first thing I need to do, though, is introduce them to the "Avoid highways" setting of google maps...
 

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This past summer my wife and I went to Sturgis for the rally. The only way I could get her to go was if we trailered our bikes (she rides an 08 Bonneville). So, like any obedient husband, I bought a trailer (Kendon) and set up the car to pull it.
I had full intentions of bringing my Harley, but I miscalculated on the trailer size (weight distribution issues) and wound up bringing my Versys.
Of the 3000+ miles we trailered, I can't think of 1 person who commented on my bike, but many chatted it up about her Bonnie.
Same story when we were at the rally. Nobody paid any attention to it except for 1 guy on a Connie during a rest stop on the way to the Badlands. Although he didn't seem too impressed. Oh well. I love it and that's all that matters.
 

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I like the top case on the red one. What brand is it?

My 2008 Versys


[/QUOTE]
 

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You know I traded it because the rods were beginning to knock, the valves were shot and the transmission kept jumping out of gear don't you?
Don, Are you sure you're not talking about yourself? I hear over 65 your rods start knockin, valves are shot and your transmission keeps jumping out of gear! :D

Actually, I haven't named the V but she's got just over 13k miles on her. Purring like a kitten.

Mounting new Michelin RP3's next week (bought from MC Super Store - Bates #2 will install); brake light flashers and SS brake lines when we get a warm weekend around here!

We need to get together to wrench on the V's.
 

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Mark, it's an EMGO top case. Small but fits one full face helmet and gloves.
 

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I didn't give them a second look for a long time, due to the Versys being (misleadingly) labeled as an adventure bike. It wasn't until last summer, when I spent most of my time at Americade in a local dealership waiting on a new stator for my VFR, that I actually sat on one and looked it over. They had a 2009 in blue, and it just spoke to me. Sitting on it, I realized it wasn't nearly as tall as most off-road-inclined adventure bikes. Looking it over, I noticed the upside-down adjustable suspension and the 17" wheels with sporty tires, and realized this was more of a real-world road bike. I almost bought that one for $5800, but my stator arrived as promised, so the wife and I rode back home on the VFR.

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago in a local dealership: Another blue 2009, this time with the Kawi/Givi hard bags, going for $5500. I sat on it, looked it over, sat on it again, looked it over some more,... then I bought it. Picked it up the next day and I still feel like it was the best vehicle purchase I've ever made. The thing just suits my current riding style perfectly.

Most of my buddies I grew up with ride Harleys, so they didn't know it by name, but they've seen the Versys before, and understand what it is. Most of the sport-touring community seems to have started embracing it as a ST icon, much like they did the Honda VFR, 10 years ago.
 
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