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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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I haven't been everywhere...
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  #1  
Old 10 Dec 2008
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Does anyone here actually own a Versys?

I'm planning a 3-month or longer trip round Europe (probably longer now, someone wants to pay me to spend a month in France at the start of it, it's a hard life!).

I want something primarily comfortable but also fairly versatile. One bike that keeps being suggested as a possibility is the Versys, but mostly the suggestion is accompanied by the phrase "I've heard that..."

I've found a couple of owner sites, but while some have trip reports they mostly seem to be a few weeks then home, so don't give any idea of what it's like in terms of long-term reliability. I know it's a new bike on the market so there won't be any 10-year-old ones around, but some idea would be nice! Aside from anything else, I'm curious about it... :confused1:

For info, other possible contenders are 650 V-Strom, Transalp and KLE500, all of which have plenty of fans. Gonna sort some test rides as soon as I get my backside in gear... Although any other options welcome!

And if i don't find anything that suits, sod it I'll save the cash and stick with the GPZ!

Laura
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  #2  
Old 10 Dec 2008
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Which bike?

I vote for the Suzuki V-Strom (either flavor)! I've over 32,000 miles on my DL-1000 Strom and have only changed a light bulb and two tires!
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  #3  
Old 10 Dec 2008
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Laura, 117 page Versys thread on ADV...

Versys owners checkin - ADVrider

Enjoy.
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  #4  
Old 10 Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Bennitt View Post
I'm planning a 3-month or longer trip round Europe (probably longer now, someone wants to pay me to spend a month in France at the start of it, it's a hard life!).

I want something primarily comfortable but also fairly versatile. One bike that keeps being suggested as a possibility is the Versys, but mostly the suggestion is accompanied by the phrase "I've heard that..."

I've found a couple of owner sites, but while some have trip reports they mostly seem to be a few weeks then home, so don't give any idea of what it's like in terms of long-term reliability. I know it's a new bike on the market so there won't be any 10-year-old ones around, but some idea would be nice! Aside from anything else, I'm curious about it... :confused1:

Laura

Hi Lo ra,

I have put 6,300 mi. on my '08 Versys this year and they've all been good.
My longest trip has been just over 2,000 and included the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, the Dragon in N. Carolina and the great roads winding through the Ozark mountains in southern Missouri. I have not had to add a drop of coolant or oil (between changes, which I do pretty frequently to break her in gently). Two slight adjustments to the chain. I bought a larger windshield, mirror extenders and some soft saddlebags and a tank bag as accessories. The handling is superb - I've never ridden a bike with better feel for the road. The power band is a pleasure in town and out. I was comfortable during 8 and 12 hour days in the saddle. My last bike, a BMW R80G/S gave me 10 great years. I had seriously considered the WeeStrom and Ulysses, not to mention waiting for the new BMW 800GS, when I came across the Versys and it immediately shot to the top of my list. Bought it the next day. Haven't looked back, except through the rear view mirror now that I can see around my arms. The bike is built good, performs good. Who cares how it looks -- the rider is on it, not gaping at it from the sidewalk, unless that's your thing. Besides, looks good to me when I park in front of a glass front business and stare at us like a loon. The best bike for you will be whichever one you choose, so not to worry, can't go wrong on two wheels.

happy trails,
S.
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  #5  
Old 11 Dec 2008
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Hi Laura,
If you're lucky, Maria 41 will show up here
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  #6  
Old 11 Dec 2008
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I own a DL650, and have ridden the Versys a bit. Its a great bike, loves the twisties, and surely you can tour with it.

Still the Wee is much more of a tourer. More room, better wind protection, even smoother engine. Havent tried loading up the Versys like Ive loaded the Wee, but I dont think you would be able to put as much load on a Versys, without its handling suffering a lot more than the Wee.

1-up, and a light load on board, and I could choose either one of these (or even the BMW650GS twin - which I think reminded me of the Versys in many ways)... 2-up and a lot of weight on the bike, and the Wee wins by a country mile.

If you put some stickier street tyres, like Metzeler Z6 to the Wee, it will stay with both the Versys and the 650GS twin practically anywhere where theres tarmac.

The Wee is also more offroad-capable than the Versys; neither has much ground clearance, or is highly capable for that, but the Versys has its exhaust silencer in a bad place, exposed underneath the bike.
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  #7  
Old 11 Dec 2008
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In the uk they do/did a GT version of the vstrom, with suzi luggage, centre stand and heated grips. New they only cost £500 more than non-GT versions. So if you decide on a vstrom try and find that version.

My personal opinion (haven ridden both) is that the DL (650 and 1000) are better for long day touring.

A zx6 is a fantastic tourer, and I know where there is a very good example which may be for sale. :-)
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  #8  
Old 12 Dec 2008
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Thanks for that!

Versys remains a contender, though from everything I've read I think it will ultimately come down to an old transalp (for lower budget & unobtrusive battered traveller look) or a v-strom (cos I really want something shiny).

Off to sort some test rides...

Laura
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  #9  
Old 12 Dec 2008
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Transalp

Hi Laura,

I've had my old (600) Transalp for a couple of years now, never had a problem with it. It's sat out overnight in monsoon rain, been thrashed around the highlands and chugged down to Devon, two up with full luggage and never missed a beat.

My only complaints are it's a bit cramped two up and the seat's not the comfiest for me, but then I'm a fat old git, others seem ok with it. The Strom and the Versys would run rings round it (on-road, not off!) but a good TA can be had for a lot less than half the cost of either bought new.

You're welcome to come and look it over if you like, I'm just outside Embra.

Just drop me a PM.

Cheers.
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  #10  
Old 13 Dec 2008
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ive got a mate with a versys. hes had it about a year & i think its gone back to the dealer once with a fault, it was something electrical but i cant remember what. hes taken it to the south of france & rides everyday no matter what weather as he doesnt own a car. he still loves it so they cant be that bad.
having said that, i sat on one & it felt wrong for me.
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  #11  
Old 13 Dec 2008
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Off to have a look at one next week...

I've been persuaded (by the dealer, who saw me sitting on it!) to test ride a v-strom tomorrow, in spite of the fact that I can only touch the ground with the tips of my boots, not even of my toes. Could be very very messy!!!

I really need to grow a bit, having bikes lowered make me feel like such a short-arse
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  #12  
Old 3 Jan 2009
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have a versys

I own a versys and it's a great little scoot. The only forseeable problem is that it takes 17 inch fr and rr tires in sportbike size 120/70 and 160/60... that means little choices of cheapo or dual-sport stuff, and quick wear outs with sport type rubber compounds. On the other hand, it only needs a valve inspection every 24000km and oil and filter every 12000km which is great for long distance touring. I get about 300km from a tank of fuel too, btw.
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  #13  
Old 9 Jan 2009
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Thanks!

Thank you for all advice and opinions. I now have a Transalp sat outside, but probably going to still try out a versys out of curiosity - main reason for not trying one before buying something else was budget - money situation changed, couldn't really afford one so didn't want to decide it was perfect!! But money situations go up as well as down and it's always good to know what you like!

Laura
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  #14  
Old 9 Jan 2009
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Looking forward to a "run-in" ride report
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  #15  
Old 9 Jan 2009
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Congrats on the new bike! Just make sure you take a few extra security precautions given those pesky Edinburgh bike theives...mine's still not been recovered so suspect its long gone. Either that or they couldn't work out how to put any more petrol into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Bennitt View Post
Thank you for all advice and opinions. I now have a Transalp sat outside, but probably going to still try out a versys out of curiosity - main reason for not trying one before buying something else was budget - money situation changed, couldn't really afford one so didn't want to decide it was perfect!! But money situations go up as well as down and it's always good to know what you like!

Laura
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