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I've been thinking of downsizing from a Vee to a Wee. I like everything I've seen about the 650, and I figured it would be a more suitable ride for me. But.....I've been rather taken by the (gasp!) Kawasaki Versys. I would sure like to see a head to head comparison between the two. I know the Wee would be more off-road capable, but honestly, the most off-roading I've done on the Vee is a dirt drive-way. Anybody else checked out a Versys?
 

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A pair of my riding buddies have them, and they are nice. I'd consider the Versys to be a close second to the DL650. However, the Strom is definitely superior in several real-world areas.

The May 2008 edition of 'Sport Rider' magazine has a shoot-out article between the BMW F800S, the Versys, and the 650 V-Strom. The Strom won the shootout.

Here's some quotes from the Sport Rider test article...

The DL650 eked out the top spot over the Versys by dint of it's smoother, easy-to-use, and more responsive V-twin engine and more polished all-round package.

The dyno graphs don't take partial throttle response into account, which is where the two Japanese twins excel-especially the V-Strom, with it's torquey V-twin powerplant that offers better acceleration with less throttle movement. And yet the Suzuki's flat torque curve makes doling out the right amount of power while dealing with the physical actions of cornering easier than the other two vertical twins.
Even though the Kawasaki feels peppier because of it's lighter weight, it's torque curve peaks later than the V-Strom and then drops off drastically after 7000 rpm; this means you actually end up shifting more with the Versys in order to maintain acceleration compared with the Suzuki.
The V-Strom also took top honors for fuel range, comfort, stability, and wind protection.


That being said, the Versys should not be ruled out. As an urban blaster, with weekend rides in the twisty stuff, it may be a slightly better bike than the Strom. But if long-distance riding and/or occasional dirt road use are part of your riding mix, stick with the baby Strom.

Here's some photos of my Versys riding buddies, and their bikes...








 

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I cross shopped them both, and for me I found the Versys more compact and less comfortable than the VStrom. 6' 2" with a 34" inseam. I felt like was perched and cramped more on top of the Versys. The 'Strom feels more laid out and is much more confortable for me with my reach and inseam.
 

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IF you're not interested in power and it's just you then seriously test ride the Versys, good machine from all accounts. But then I'm wondering if you need to see a shrink because how could anyone give up a Vee for anything less is a mystery ...... but I just might be a little biased:rolleyes:


Only a little I promise!! Enjoy your test rides, and make sure they are at least 2 hours each, ideally longer. Also if you've the finances and if it's a available the then new 800GS is meant to be a stunner after a review in Motorcycle News over here

Grrr:)
 

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As I recall the Versys is about $300 more. I looked at both bikes. Drove a 2007 DL650 and was sold. I found the dealers much more willing to discount the VStrom (that was last Fall though), things appear to have changed. LOL

You'd better like Red and no ABS. That's your only choice.

I know a lot of people with KLR650s. The Versys is no KLR650, but I've got a bit of a problem with the quality they put in Kawasaki's (uh oh, going to get flamed now). LOL

Not nearly the aftermarket goodies (farkels) for the Versys versus the Wees.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input and info. I'll have to find that issue of Sport Rider so I can check out that article. I'm still leaning towards the Wee. If only the Versys had a belt-drive, that would be the clincher. I hate chain maintenance and adjustment. Now that I think about it, Kawasaki is the one Japanese brand I have never owned out of the big Four.
 
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