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Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India



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  #1  
Old 23 Mar 2016
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The Kawasaki Versys 650 – First Impressions

Today I test rode the Kawasaki Versys 650 in Bangalore and I loved it. It felt like a Tiger 800 on good behavior. ;-)

The Tiger engine is far more refined and has this mad sense of power to it. But if you are not the kind of person who wants to go bat shit crazy on an highway from time to time, then the Versys 650 will keep you extremely happy.

Standing posture is very comfortable. Weight isn’t a problem at all. The ABS brakes are great. Build quality and finish is nice. Decent amount of power for adventure touring. I have absolutely nothing to complain about this motorcycle.

Everyone in India who is waiting for the KTM 390 Adventure should save money, take a loan, rob a bank, sell a kidney, whatever, and buy this motorcycle. No point postponing happiness. You live just once. Live it well.

If you are looking to buy a Tiger and don’t plan on taking it off road in an serious manner, make sure you test ride the Versys 650. You could save yourself a ton of money. Maybe use the money to buy a Duke 390 (or 390 Adventure when it shows up) for proper off road use.







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Old 23 Mar 2016
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Thanks for the review!
No doubt the NEW Versys 650 is a great all round bike, a great ADV sport tourer, commuter or back road weapon. A ton of potential as a travel bike too!

At around $8000 USD, is great value. Here is a more complete review on the bike:

2015 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT- Sport-Tourer First Ride Motorcycle Review: Handguards and hard bags are standard on this highly versatile new Versys.
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Old 23 Mar 2016
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How might the facelift compare with the earlier models?
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...s-thread-65709

Perhaps post your views into the Kawa tech section where they might be found again in the future (the HUBB pub contains "no useful content" by definition )
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Old 24 Mar 2016
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I'm sure interested parties will find their way to that thread. Based on the 3 mag reviews I've read the new (2015) Versys is better in just about every category. Most notable, better brakes and suspension.

But for a traveler on a budget ... I'd buy a nice used earlier model. So CHEAP here in USA. Around $4000 USD gets you a clean, low mile example.

But if interested, read the Cycle World review for details on up grades. Pretty impressive changes. All good. But same basic bike.
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Old 24 Mar 2016
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Ride magazine did an mpg test on one, together with a BMW gs and a cg125, basically how far can you go on a full tank. The kawasaki managed a whopping 85 mpg, from a full tank till a dead stop have to push now. The opinion was it could do ninety percent of what the gs could do as a machine at a massive saving in cash
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Old 26 Mar 2016
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love the way they slapped the horn on like a complete afterthought
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Old 26 Mar 2016
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The Suzuki V-strom 650 is better on most levels. Not that Versys is bad though...
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Old 26 Mar 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakeboy View Post
The Suzuki V-strom 650 is better on most levels. Not that Versys is bad though...
Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, there is very little in the Suzuki tech section about the bike you identify - there are a few intermittant posts about specific problems arising but no mention of "living with one".

There again, there isn't much written here in the HUBB about any bikes other than 20+ year old designs with air cooled carburettor-fuelled machines.
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Old 26 Mar 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakeboy View Post
The Suzuki V-strom 650 is better on most levels. Not that Versys is bad though...
I tend to agree ... on some levels. Off the showroom floor the DL650 V-Strom is the better travel bike, especially if two up. But it's a MUCH BIGGER bike, longer, wider, heavier. Takes luggage better, nice rear rack, strong as HELL and can carry a big load easily.

The motor also has a bit more HP but that's mitigated by it's extra weight compared to Versys. But perhaps the MAIN advantage the Vstrom has is the 19" front tire. Much better feel and more confidence riding dirt roads. 17" tires make me nervous off road on a heavy bike. Good tires may help the Versys but the feel of the 19" can't be matched with a 17" tire up front.

The Versys will also be the more fun to ride on fast twisty road and will be more fun in urban riding. Shorter wheel base, quicker turner, lighter on it's feet. Both EXCELLENT bikes ... just depends on your ride.
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Old 26 Mar 2016
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Yes, I rented a V-Strom 650 while in the US and rode it up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was quite surprised by its size and weight. I expected it to be a little small and lighter. But its a nice motorcycle nevertheless.

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Old 9 Apr 2016
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Who stole the windscreen?
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Old 9 Apr 2016
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Not sure why it wasn't on the bike.
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Old 11 Apr 2016
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The new stroms look very sexy, with a lot of aggressive adv-styling! Lots of bikes so little money
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Old 11 Apr 2016
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The DL1000 gets very good reviews as well. I did 80K miles on my former '02, the new one is SO MUCH better! Same power but lighter weight, better fuel economy, better brakes and suspension. Same toughness as original and IMO, much nicer styling. Big discounts here on left over '15 models.

I rode my old DL1000 on lots of dirt roads and two track ... but not many trails, deep sand or technical stuff. Some do it, but not me.


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Old 1 Aug 2016
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Originally Posted by Snakeboy View Post
The Suzuki V-strom 650 is better on most levels. Not that Versys is bad though...
I don't think so, what level? give me one or two.
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