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I was just looking at the Wawasaki site and wondered what the difference between the bikes are ? I have been riding for 45 years but only large street bikes... Wings, BMW, Yamaha Venture. Never really been off road or single track.
As I see it... the KLR is more off road while the Versys is mainly street and some off road ( back roads ) ?
thanks for any info ...

Cb
 

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I was just looking at the Wawasaki site and wondered what the difference between the bikes are ? I have been riding for 45 years but only large street bikes... Wings, BMW, Yamaha Venture. Never really been off road or single track.
As I see it... the KLR is more off road while the Versys is mainly street and some off road ( back roads ) ?
thanks for any info ...

Cb
Pretty much correct, tho' I NEVER ride (or - rode on the KLR) single-track. My KLR gave me about 50 to 55 mpgUS, AS LONG as I kept speed below 60 mph, while my Vs give the same mileage but traveling at highway speeds of 65 to 75. BOTH have high seats, but I got used to it pretty quickly (31" inseam). Throttle response MUCH BETTER on the V.

MANY dirt miles on both my Vs.
 

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Wawasaki is a china knock off! A KRL is a knock off dual sport from the KLR Kawasaki. :eek:

Everything else is about correct! I would stick with Kawasaki! :thumb:
 

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Sounds like you already have the main differences down.

KLR = 90% Off Road 10% Street
Versys = 95% Street 5% Off Road

Versys has more power, feels sportier, and can be kit'd out to be a sporty highway cruiser.
 

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A KLR riding buddy of mine borrowed my V for a day ride this past summer. He came back with a grin on his face that just wouldn't quit. He'll likely keep the KLR but I wouldn't be surprised if a V shows up in his stable.

The things he raved about were the quick handling and the torque [plus the braking, the Seat Concepts saddle, and so on...]
 

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The versys is a great handing road bike that has no problems on gravel roads but will be pushed if it gets to rough but can be modified to handle more rough stuff
 

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The difference is about 20 years in technology. I really like the KLR but 6-7 grand for a carbed single with low spec parts pushed me into a Versys, and now an er6-n. Carbs suck so do really slow motorbikes.
 

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My buddy was up at the Kawi shop in the 'couv a few weeks ago and the sales guy told him "yeah, those two are pretty much the same, they're like the same bike." :eek: To us, that's crazy talk, but as Seeya's function chart illustrates, there is quite a bit of overlap. Looking at it from one of the extremes, they both suck as dirt bikes, but the Versys sucks more. They are both pathetically slow, but the KLR is more pathetic. Looking at it from the inside, we see a lot difference: Twin vs Single, Injected vs Carbed, 6-speed vs 5, Cartridge-fork vs Damper-Rod, 17" wheel vs 21", etcetera.
A sportbike guy, the Salesman went on to talk about the differences between the R1 and the ZX10R for twenty minutes. You could probably tell me about the features and benefits of a V-4 tourer versus an opposed-6. To me, They're both heavy, complicated, and expensive; not my cup of tea and why split hairs? :confused:
But then, I'm not looking for a touring bike. You mentioned single-track and off-road. There are a lot of better bikes for that than these two, but if you're just after a different riding-experience and want to dip a toe in the water, then a KLR would be a decent start.
 

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Sounds like you already have the main differences down.

KLR = 90% Off Road 10% Street
Versys = 95% Street 5% Off Road

Versys has more power, feels sportier, and can be kit'd out to be a sporty highway cruiser.
While there's the ODD guy who can "make a KLR dance" in the woods, MOST cannot because of its weight and (comparatively) poor suspension.

IF you ever drop your KLR so the handlebars are low, you'll have one HELLUVA chore getting it back up if you can't drag it to 'wheels-low'. I did that once where there was NO WAY I could drag it to 'wheels-low', by myself, in the woods....:badidea:

After a search I found a piece of stout wood around 4' long, maybe 6" thick, and used it to 'pry' the KLR up enough that I could get hold and continue it up. Made up my mind to NEVER do what got me into that predicament again...!:sorry:
 

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Having both in the stable I might be able give a little insight.

The KLR-650 is more like a truck with the Versys being a nice car.

My KLR will haul almost anything almost anywhere...just can't do so in a big hurry because fast and KLR should not be use together! Plus it will do a lot better off-road than you'd think, with a few upgrades. Tight single-track is NOT it's strong point but fire roads, jeep trails and wider easy single-track are doable. just remember 500 pound dirt bikes suck and ride it slower and take your time, you really don't want to end up UNDER it! :eek: It's a simpler beast than the Versys and easier to work on. PLUS there is a ton of after market support for the KLR, second to none, you want it? someone makes it! HOWEVER it's slower and lack the GETUP and GO of the Versys.

My Versys is the choice for a fast trip any time. The ride is much better and the power takes a lot of worry on the Super Slab away. While it can't carry the load that the KLR can it still packs enough to be useful. It's a heck of a lot more refined than the "Pig" with 6 in the box, FI and tons better brakes. BUT a real off-roader...nope fire roads I'll give you and you might push it and make down a easy Jeep Trail, but not me, I bought mine as a Sport Touring bike. After market is there but not in the depth as for the KLR, BUT I don't think there as many "Holes" in the "V" to plug as the KLR.

My KLR is the "Go-To" for local work, grocery runs, riding to work and just knocking around on. The "V" gets almost all the longer trips anymore and when I drop the bags it's not a bad "Back Road Runner"

Both are good bikes and while they do over lap in what they do there is a real difference in ride and performance think 80s Chevy Pick-Up and 2013 Accord. I'd try and get a ride on both before throwing down a wad of cash to see what way you'd rather go.
 

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Im 6'1" and a KLR fits me better than a Versys. My Versys felt small to me compared to a KLR. Tall bikes and short wheelbases aren't much fun to me on windy days and I don't have lots of tight turns to deal with. The Versys will seem extremely aggresive and twitchy compared to the bikes you are used too, the KLR less so. The Versys has a very short wheelbase, similar to a real sportbike. If you are short, get neither.
 

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When the terrain gets loose and/or real bumpy, I miss my '08 KLR 650 with the RaceTech front suspension and Cogent Moab rear shock. In any other riding scenario I love my Versys. I would love to have a KLR with the Versys engine. That would be an awesome bike for the riding I do. My next door neighbor now owns my KLR and has put double the miles I put on it. It now has 32,000 miles on it and he is still smiling ear to ear.
 

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My first bike was a 2007 KLR and my second, and current, bike is a 2011 Versys.

Both are for taller people (I'm 6'2"). Both are great for around town, the Versys is pretty good for the highway and quick get aways, the KLR is pretty scary over 60 mph on the highway (the fender just scoops up air) and is more vibey (single cylinder). I really liked the KLR, but I did zero off-road riding and some highway riding so I wanted something better tailored for that purpose.

If you are going to do some off-roading and don't plan on taking the highway go KLR. If you go the opposite way, like me, go with the Versys. Versys is more fun on the twisties as well.
 
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