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KLR650 or Versys

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by ruggiero54, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. It's time for a new pair of wheels, and the KLR650 & Versys both appeal (though the seat on KLR650 looks like a bench).
    I rarely go truly off-road, maybe occasionally along a dirt stretch to make up some kms rather than bitumen all the way.
    Have checked them both out so much, that I'm now "paralysed by analysis"!
    I'd gladly welcome any thoughts, comments, warnings on these bikes.

  2. IIRC, versys is more road then dirt, and klr650 is more dirt then road BUT, both are capable of each very well.

    I'd say go with which one you like the look of better, heard nothing but good things about the 650 kwaka twin.
  3. If you rarely go offroad then why not just go for an ER-6. Nowhere near as ugly as the Versys and judging by the demo bike at my local Kwaka dealer more than capable of tackling short dirt sections (seen it in there a couple of times covered in mud).
  4. Yes, er6 is less ugly. But Versys is much better set up for offroad in my (very limited when it comes to offroad) opinion.
  5. IF you rarely go off-road and the price difference is not a problem for you then there can only be one choice: Versys.
  6. Sure you mean off road? The Versys is all road, nothing off road about it. Apart from the pretty plastic the KLR is a proven off road machine, that does everything well.

    Base on what you have said and my limited exposure to both machines (quick blasts at demo day) I would be looking at the Versys (provided the $$$$ is not an issue, you can buy alot for $3000).


    "The Versys refuses to be restricted to any one classification. Why? … Because it’s great at so many things! Long travel suspension for outstanding around-town manoeuvrability, highly comfortable riding position for long-distance comfort, sharp handling with excellent road holding, smooth power delivery with high levels of usability – the Versys really delivers on so many levels.

    The ideal motorcycle for commuting around town through the week and covering large distances on the weekend, the Versys is a highly talented performer indeed."


    "Long the choice for many long-distance adventure-touring enthusiasts, the KLR650 gets a thorough revision that boosts engine power, improves handling and increases rider comfort to make it an even more effective touring hungry dual-purpose machine. Enhancements to the big single-cylinder engine make it even easier to negotiate city traffic, tight dirt roads or cruise out on the open road, while the new long travel suspension offers increased roadgoing performance and more rigidity when the pavement ends."
  7. Owned an 04 KLR, for a Thumper, not a bad bike and even with Tourance tyres took me up some steep fire trails :cool:

    Also had a ride on the new KLR and it didn't impress much over the old model :cry:

    The Versys would be my choice, even though I haven't ridden one - the twin would deliver more and smoother power and still be a capable bike for the odd venture off the bitumen.

    Unless it has to be green, why not try a DL650 Strom :cool:

    Providing the surface is smooth, but the 21" front will keep you upright much longer when you find some potholes :wink:
  8. The Versy is a fashion statement and the KLR is too off-road.

    go the dl650
  9. When you day "off road" do you mean actually hitting serious bush or so you mean taking the unsealed, gravel road rather than the sealed road. If most of your riding will be on the black stuff then an ER-6 would be the better choice. They hand the gravel exceptionally well and do the sealed roads better than the Versey and KLR. If you're just using dirt roads to move between sealed twisties, the ER-6 would be ideal. :)

    However, if most of your riding is on gravel, dirt and knee deep mud then the KLR makes more sense. This also applies if you only hit the sealed roads in order to get to some dirt.

    Being a country boy I can't avoid bits of dirt when I'm in home territory but I ride for the twisties so the ER-6 made sense. On the other hand, if I was planning on touring the country and riding through the NT, notheren WA and really hitting the bush tracks then the KLR would be a more likely option. :)

    Note: I've never riden a Versey but it appears to be acceptable at everything and ideal for nothing. I suggest deciding what you want to do, then choose the bike to match. :)
  10. Hi Roger...

    I've just ordered a Versys after 2 years on a KLE500 and had a similar dilemma between the Versys and a Z750.

    After test riding both I couldn't decide as they are both excellent but in different ways. To decide I wrote down what was important to me and marked each machine against the criteria. For me the Versys won as I have a knee problem and it offers the more comfortable riding position. I discounted the KLR from the start as I never go off road and after my life with the KLE wanted a bike with proper road tyres.

    Have you test ridden them yet?
  11. I was orginally really excited about buying the new KLR650 when it came out, so I did & it served me well both on & off road for many years. Sure you wouldn't compete offroad on it, but as a vehicle to travel offroad to get from point A to point B, then it'll do the job with standard roadtrail tyres.

    Oh yes I forgot to mention, that was 1987.
  12. I had have exactly the same dilemma. Loved the Versys but had the KLR money. I have waited a few months and now I praise Lord for doing so. :))

    Basically: I loved the seating position on both bikes. Didn't like huge KLR vibrations, especially over 90 kph. And now it seems KLR have some technical issues too - some manufacturing problems mentioned in various internet sources.

    KLR will be great bike if you do most of your riding on local roads and gravel. Versys can handle gravel too, with caution, but it's not really made for it, so if you do 95% of your riding on sealed roads, and some freeway every now and then, like myself, Versys is the only sensible choice.

    And it is SURELY worth every extra dollar you pay for it - the added features and value are incomparable to KLR.
  13. tested both, done lots of research and got versys, because 99% of my kilometres are on road, city and freeway. i'd go KLR only if i lived in the country and had to ride more than say 10% of my km's off road / dirt road and no freeway. versys handles well when taken on occasional fire track or gravel. hates sand though.