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Old 04-12-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
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Default 2012 Kawasaki Versys Review


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2012 Kawasaki Versys Review

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article 2012 Kawasaki Versys Review in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:43 AM   #2
The Spaceman
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The Versys has a lot going for it, but I doubt they sell a fraction of the number of WeeStroms Suzuki sells, especially the new 2012. The new yellow color fits it well though.

I looked pretty hard at it when I bought the Vee, but with under 60hp, it really felt underpowered. The Versys 1000 is getting rave reviews over in Eurpope, but apparently it won't be an option here. Which suits me; it's a BFU thing, even if it does ride well.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:44 AM   #3
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Looking forward to the comparison article between the Versys/VStrom/GS650. I think you should also include the new Honda NC700X, another dual purpose looking bike that is actually a street bike much like the Versys. And please review the manual transmission NC700x if you do include it.

I tested the Versys against the VStrom at Bike Week. I liked the Versys quite a bit more. The handling and comfort are tops. The motor of the VStrom is pretty sweet and the transmission is nice as well. It's just the VStrom handles so poorly by comparison.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:03 AM   #4
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The motor of the VStrom is pretty sweet and the transmission is nice as well. It's just the VStrom handles so poorly by comparison.
Suzuki did go cheap on the 650's suspension, it's one of the big differences between the DL650 and the DL1000. And the DL has the 19" front wheel, which doesn't help.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:58 AM   #5
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I like this bike. I like that it has inverted forks and the swingarm is cool. It has good range as a result of it's reasonable fuel capacity too. A couple of things I would change though.

1) The styling. Not a deal breaker though. ADVish bikes are supposed to look a bit funky, evidently.
2) I would give it a taller seat. This would boost it's ADV cred a wee bit, and more importantly
provide more legroom for non midgets. Short people got no reason to live, says Randy Newman

The one major thing the Suzuki has going for it is the engine. That 650cc 90 degree twin is a complete gem.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:50 AM   #6
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It's a truism that everyone who posts on a web forum thinks his bike is the best, so I'll follow suit.

I bought a 2009 Versys in 2010, accessorized it (better shock, tires, seat, hard luggage, etc.), and liked it so much that when I considered keeping a bike in Europe for the annual visits to in-laws, the Versys got shipped. After than I picked up an 05 Tiger to replace the Versys as a daily rider (I've got a Ducati for fun weekends too), but after returning from last summer's trip where I spent two weeks riding in the Alps - half of that two-up, when I got home I sold the Tiger and bought another Versys.

Yeah, there are better bikes. I'd love to have the new Multistrada, and the 2012 690 Duke looks amazing, but for the money the Versys is tough to beat. Some careful upgrading yields a bike that can run twisty roads at a remarkable turn of speed, can commute efficiently and slab comfortably. FWIW, I had ridden the Strom before buying the Versys, and I found I strongly preferred having a 17" front wheel. YMMV.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duken4evr View Post
I like this bike. I like that it has inverted forks and the swingarm is cool. It has good range as a result of it's reasonable fuel capacity too. A couple of things I would change though.

1) The styling. Not a deal breaker though. ADVish bikes are supposed to look a bit funky, evidently.
2) I would give it a taller seat. This would boost it's ADV cred a wee bit, and more importantly
provide more legroom for non midgets. Short people got no reason to live, says Randy Newman

The one major thing the Suzuki has going for it is the engine. That 650cc 90 degree twin is a complete gem.
I was really interested in this for a little run about when they first came out, then I tried one on. So much for that, I'm more comfy on a new KTM RC8... How sad is that? I have more leg room on a full sport bike than a quasi adventure bike.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beer Baron View Post
Looking forward to the comparison article between the Versys/VStrom/GS650. I think you should also include the new Honda NC700X, another dual purpose looking bike that is actually a street bike much like the Versys. And please review the manual transmission NC700x if you do include it.

I tested the Versys against the VStrom at Bike Week. I liked the Versys quite a bit more. The handling and comfort are tops. The motor of the VStrom is pretty sweet and the transmission is nice as well. It's just the VStrom handles so poorly by comparison.
Honda's NC700X isn't yet available here, but it would fit this category. We hope to ride it in the next month or two.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12er View Post
I was really interested in this for a little run about when they first came out, then I tried one on. So much for that, I'm more comfy on a new KTM RC8... How sad is that? I have more leg room on a full sport bike than a quasi adventure bike.
Sounds a bit like you threw out the baby with the bath water. The fairly simple addition of a taller seat would effectively expand legroom for taller riders.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_Duke View Post
Honda's NC700X isn't yet available here, but it would fit this category. We hope to ride it in the next month or two.
Several people I spoke to at Bike Week that rode it said it was a real dud. Perhaps Honda's claims that the "low horsepower number is misleading because it's like a car engine" is marketing BS.

I guess if you get on it expecting very low power performance, it won't disappoint, but the Versys and Wee both have pretty snappy engines, so the Honda may not do too well against them.
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