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Offline Evil Twin

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Is the V650 the First 'Big' Bike for Anyone Else?
« on: Jul 14, 2019, 08:41 PM »
Whilst lurking, it's been great to see those with plenty of experience using all sorts of bikes on here, and being happy with a Versys.

I sort of sleepwalked into getting mine. After tootling around on a Suzuki DR125 for a few years and getting fed up with having to stick behind slow drivers as I couldn't safely overtake, I started looking around for larger options about 3 years ago.

My priorities were a high-up riding position, and a swingarm through which I could thread a decent-sized chain. I saw a cat-D insurance write-off being sold, and found that the owner was having to drop the price, after checking back to previous listings he'd made on Gumtree (read:Craigslist). He'd come off the bike in a minor spill and damage was light with fairing fixed. A quick test-ride, and I decided to get this bargain mark 2 (2012) at just over 3K.

Being well-used to working the gears on the 125, the Versys felt familiar, apart from the feeling that I was sitting on a barge! I still have the 125 though, and still love that too. Now it feels like a powered BMX.

However this dual bike existence did cause one particuar problem a couple of years ago; whilst on the Versys and taking off when lights went green, I forgot that I wasn't on the 125 and opened right up. The road ahead suddenly turned into sky. I was sensible enough to at least realise I should let go, and luckily nobody got hurt and nothing much damaged. It's not happened again after that lesson!

The Versys may have caused me to land on my arse, but I also feel I've landed on my feet finding this bike. Thanks for reading!

Offline Zipperhead

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Re: Is the V650 the First 'Big' Bike for Anyone Else?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 15, 2019, 09:06 PM »
The Versys is also my first big bike, and first bike after returning to powered two wheels after many years (apart from occasionally blatting around my in-laws farm on a little old knackered trail bike).

I haven't had green over blue, but when I pulled out on a fast road one day I realised that I needed to get up to speed very quickly and had the front wheel lift, fortunately I was going in a straight line and it didn't lift far enough to cause me a problem. A somewhat raised heart rate though!


Offline Maverick

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Re: Is the V650 the First 'Big' Bike for Anyone Else?
« Reply #2 on: Jul 18, 2019, 10:36 AM »
No, been riding for many years and even though my previous biggest bike (Yamaha XS 850 G) was bigger and heavier it probably had a worse power to weight ratio than the Versys. Having said that I have ridden a lot of bigger more powerful bikes (GPz 1100, GPz 750 Turbo, Buell 1200, GTR 1400 etc). Currently have 2 ZRX 1200's which I love for the torque and character but they are getting to be too heavy for me and I may even end up with my old (2012) Versys back again.
I do love middleweights. I love IL4's too. I know what I need a modern GPz 550 I owned a 1982 from new and LOVED it. It had big bike performance but in a small light package.  :scooter:






Online uralrob

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Re: Is the V650 the First 'Big' Bike for Anyone Else?
« Reply #3 on: Jul 18, 2019, 11:21 AM »


 Nice assortment,  Maverick.

 My first bike, shared with my wife, was a new '86 GPZ 550 which won me over entirely to biking.  My wife soon disabused me of  my claim to part ownership of the 550 so that was followed by a ZG 1000 Concours, the love of my life until the Mk1 Versys came along.

 Rob.
Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.

Offline Maverick

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Re: Is the V650 the First 'Big' Bike for Anyone Else?
« Reply #4 on: Jul 18, 2019, 11:50 AM »
Thanks Rob,

no doubt you noticed all Kawasaki's  :2:
My list (I may forget something)
F6 Kawasaki
T500 Suzuki
1982 GPz550 Kawasaki
XS250 Yamaha
XS850 Yamaha
TS185ER Suzuki
DR250 Suzuki
CX500 Sports Honda
1996 KLR250 Kawasaki
2006 KLX250 Kawasaki
2012 Versys Kawasaki
1999 KDX200 Kawasaki
2002 ZRX1200 Kawasaki
2005 ZRX1200 Kawasaki
1999 Yamaha Majesty 250
2002 ZRX1200 Kawasaki

Offline bgp

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Re: Is the V650 the First 'Big' Bike for Anyone Else?
« Reply #5 on: Jul 18, 2019, 12:02 PM »
*Originally Posted by uralrob [+]

 Nice assortment,  Maverick.

 My first bike, shared with my wife, was a new '86 GPZ 550 which won me over entirely to biking.  My wife soon disabused me of  my claim to part ownership of the 550 so that was followed by a ZG 1000 Concours, the love of my life until the Mk1 Versys came along.

 Rob.

What about FJR. Did you omit it on purpose?
Bikes: Original 2007 Versys and 2003 ZRX1200S

Online uralrob

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Re: Is the V650 the First 'Big' Bike for Anyone Else?
« Reply #6 on: Jul 18, 2019, 05:11 PM »


 Yeah, bgp, on purpose. I had it for 5 years and 95 000 km but never really fell in love with it. Too smooth, too fast, a little cramped in the leg for me, too impersonal. And don't get me started about having to drain the coolant and remove hoses to get the valve cover off  :008: :008:.
 It had lots of virtues, just not enough of the ones that press my buttons.
 I demoed the C14 when it came out and knew that wouldn't suit for similar reasons.

 The difference between 160 kph on the big sport tourers and on the Mk1 650 is the difference between a yawn and a grin for me  :2: .

 Rob.
Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.

Offline bgp

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Re: Is the V650 the First 'Big' Bike for Anyone Else?
« Reply #7 on: Jul 18, 2019, 05:19 PM »
*Originally Posted by uralrob [+]

The difference between 160 kph on the big sport tourers and on the Mk1 650 is the difference between a yawn and a grin for me  :2: .

 Rob.

Sums it up perfectly.

BTW Versys is my first bike ever. Never rode anything smaller.
Bikes: Original 2007 Versys and 2003 ZRX1200S

Offline Craigasaki

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Re: Is the V650 the First 'Big' Bike for Anyone Else?
« Reply #8 on: Jul 19, 2019, 11:24 PM »
Some bloody lovely Kawis there Maverick  :152:

That old GPz looks mint, i remember they had the clutch-cable activated sidestand flick-up  :002:
More tea, no biscuits

Offline Maverick

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Re: Is the V650 the First 'Big' Bike for Anyone Else?
« Reply #9 on: Jul 20, 2019, 12:31 AM »
*Originally Posted by Craigasaki [+]
Some bloody lovely Kawis there Maverick  :152:

That old GPz looks mint, i remember they had the clutch-cable activated sidestand flick-up  :002:

Hi Craigasaki,

Thank you, the photo of the GPz I took the day after I bought it in 1982 I don't have it anymore unfortunately. The Aussie model didn't have that sidestand flick up thing.