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2015 Kawasaki 650 Versys

Discussion in 'Touring' started by whosthatguy, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. Hi,

    Anybody here own or ridden the 2015 Versys 650?

    I'm looking for something more comfortable on long hwy stints that won't vibrate my hands death. I'm restricted to LAMS bikes and not so worried about off road capabilities other than dirt road stability.

    I'm really taken with the looks of this bike and reviews have been glowing but most reviews only highlight its nimbleness and relative ease around town and in the twistys. Of course the thou would be better but is this the type of bike one could do regular interstate trips on? Of course it could do it but is this the best LAMS touring option currently available?

    I'm also considering a Vstrom 650.

  2. I haven't ridden either the 2015 LAMS Versys or Strom, but both are excellent bikes. Go with the one that gets you the best deal (saddle bags and farkles).
  3. From my experience with the Er6 it is a tremendously smooth and easy to ride bike so should fit your intent well. Did I mention it's smooth too. Shouldn't have an issue with vibrations at all.

    Is it the best touring option surely that's subjective. Some may have more power or more luggage capacity, or better looks no bike is the best bike for everyone.

    Oh and the Vstorm looks a bit ugly doesn't it?
  4. The vstrom probably has a wider following, and hence a wider range of after market farkles. But try them both. See what suits you.

    My 650 strom is not LAMS, and is a hoot to ride. Handles dirt reasonably well and has travelled from Wa to Tasmania and back. More than 1000 kms in a day too.
  5. I would buy the Versys on looks alone! That is a great looking bike :)
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. Neither are great looking bikes, but the 650XT wins it with the spoked wheels for me.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. We'll I would but a second hand vstrom but the LAMS models hold their value and the 2015 Versys can be had for 10k new but I have seen 1 demo Versys for 9k ride away. If I wasn't prepared to buy used then Versys is about 1k cheaper.

    Looks wise, I like the 2015 Versys much more than the vstrom so I would be prepared to pay more for it but the versys is cheaper so it's an easy answer. However I won't buy a Versys if it's a dog to tour with. From what I have found the vstrom has a strong following world wide and I doubt I'll be disappointed. Whereas the 2015 Versys has been updated to reduce vibrations. I've hunted online for honest and long term reviews but the model just isn't old enough yet amd every mag/net reviewer who had their international trip to Italy paid for won't say a bad thing about it and only compare it to the outgoing model.....

    I had a new burnt orange Versys 1000 ride pass me the other day and it was very impressive to look at.... Bah i'm not old enough to be drooling at adv bikes, what is my mind doing......
  8. I guess looks are subjective and I would have agreed 6 moths ago but I think Ewan's Jedi mind tricks have worked on me.
  9. I also really like the Kawi ER6N and the Versys is essentially the same shape but with high suspension so it's no surprise I like it.... But then I think the Ninja 650 is kinda akward to look at and it's the same bike as the ER6N.....

    Ha I ride a FZ6R and as overall looks goes that thing is all kinds of awkward IMHO.
  10. It's all pretty subjective and you are better served to ride them.

    The Versys 650 was the only Versys available in the US until 2015 (they didn't get the 1000 at all) and it built a very loyal following who took them everywhere. This is true of many bikes we dismiss as LAMS, in the US where they have no restrictions many people buy smaller bikes anyway and not just for beginners.

    There is no reason to worry about it's ability to tour, if you find it big enough be to comfortable. It'll break the national speed limit with ease and cruise at 120kmh without issue. It has a strong sub-frame which can accommodate luggage - it's designed as a light weight tourer really.
  11. I owned an ER6n (not LAMS) and can tell you the engine is very tractable.
    I think this would be a good thing.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. The Versys front reminds me of a Can-Am.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Depending how far you want to ride the 21L tank on the Versys is pretty good.

    I also like how it has a remote preload adjuster. No fiddling around to find a tool or dig through the mud! Makes it more likely you will use it if you load up the back of the bike with gear its just a twist of the knob to wind up the preload.

    The front screen is adjustable which is pretty handy. You can have it low around town and up on the road :)

    Standard ABS is good for those dirt back roads. Reviews I have read say that the seat is very comfortable even with a pillion.
  14. Are you talking about the Versys or Vstrom? lol.
  15. I said the Versys in the first line! Does the Vstrom also have the things I mentioned?
  16. Vstrom screen requires the use of tools to adjust. Many change over to the madstad bracket, about $150, which allows for change of height and angle while on the road without tools.

    ABS - both
    Preload by knob - both

    Another common vstrom change is the eastern beaver ABS switch, which lets you turn it on or off easily.
  17. #17 Bjpitt, Jun 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
    edit, Middo beat me too it.

    And to add, it's a great bike 2up as well. But no real advantage on a LAMS if you are on a restricted license I suppose.

    The difference between the bikes is the front wheel 17 inch for the Versys and 19 inch for the Strom, so the strom is a little better off road, the versys is a little faster at turn in on road.

    Parallel twin on the Versys, V-twin on the Strom.

    As I said, can't go wrong with either, so go with the best deal.
    • Like Like x 1
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  18. Who said you have to be old to drool at adv bikes? They can take you places a sports or cruiser won't.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  19. Older model Versys only had a spring/ proper suspension in one of the front forks and the other was empty or dumbed down?? I dunno someone can probably elaborate. Not sure if they still do that.
  20. #20 alexcs, Aug 3, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2015
    Hi mate, I bought one in March and have racked up around 4500kms on it, 50/50 mix of city and country trips.

    I am in your boat, just got my L's, now P's and it is my first bike. I absolutely love it so far, for the price point it is fantastic. It is so noob friendly, easy clutch takeup (barely need throttle in 1st) clutch is very user friendly. Comfort wise its great, im 183cm / 6'1" with some extra baggage. Longer rides my knees start to hurt but thats a personal issue, arse/undercarriage can get sore after a long day in the saddle but thats less the bike and more my level of fitness, i suspect an aftermarket seat would fix this for us husky gentlemen :p
    I just got a whole lot of extras fitted by Bikebiz @ granville, all Kawasaki OEM and have made an album here:

    Very happy with their standard of work, however Kawasaki appear to have a relaxed attitude to shipping the parts out with any speed.

    My main purpose for this bike is short to long road trips, so far I have been out west around bathurst/orange and north to newcastle on the back ways. This weekend I did the old pacific/mangrove mtn/wisemans/st albans/bucketty route, a good 40km of dirt there and it handled it fine on stock tyres - just have to take care on sharp curves/off camber sections. Really impressed for that the bike is tbh, just need to stay vigilant for gravel/wet patches. rear brake only and let the bike move under you works a charm on dirt.

    Overall the decision to get a bike has changed my life bigtime, I love getting out for a 15m blast or a long trip. I know there are better bikes out there but for a new rider, I cant really find any downsides. Ear plugs recommended for freeway work, and extras like bigger screen and barkbusters for longer trips esp in winter.

    Not that i would know, but removing the throttle restrictor screw turns the bike into a relative weapon :p Let me know if you want to know more, cheers.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2