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Offline davidji

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Had a mk2, thinking about a mk3...
« on: Dec 08, 2019, 07:22 AM »
I'm shopping for a new to me commute bike and the mk3 Versys 650 is on the list.

I had a 2011 Versys for a while. It was my 1st ever new vehicle, and I put 57k mostly commuting miles on it.  It was a great bike for going places, but had some shortcomings for me as a commuter.

I've been searching the site, and it looks like most of that is resolved in the 2015+ model (suspension, fuel tank range).  I'm pretty impressed with the fuel economy numbers I see here, and with the larger tank, I think the range will be fine.

I didn't see discussion of the braking.  The brakes felt a little weak on my 2011.  Reviews said they're better on the 2015, but it still uses single sided calipers, and I have no idea how much better.  Some of you have had both.  What do you think?

Also I read a comment about some updates for 2016, but didn't see the details.  I wonder what difference it makes if I get a 2015 instead of a 2016.

Offline 100milesaway

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Re: Had a mk2, thinking about a mk3...
« Reply #1 on: Dec 08, 2019, 07:32 PM »
Welcome to the forum David.

I have owned both a MK2 and a MK3. The MK3 is a better bike than the previous model. It has better brakes, which now has Nissin calipers and master cylinder.

It is also endowed with way better suspension than the MK2 , the front suspension is now supplied by Showa, and again is far better equipped to cope with our poor roads.

As you state, tank range is improved with a 21 litre capacity, and a realistic range of 300 miles.

I cannot explain why, but I don't remember my first bike being as comfortable as this one. Even though,I think that the seats are the same.

The Versys is a way better bike than just a commuter, and is not out of place fulfilled most owners needs.

All in all, the Versys is a bomb proof, super reliable, Jack of all trades bike. And I am sure that it would fulfil your every need.  :002:




What would you rather be, or a wasp?

Offline davidji

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Re: Had a mk2, thinking about a mk3...
« Reply #2 on: Dec 09, 2019, 02:21 AM »
*Originally Posted by 100milesaway [+]
All in all, the Versys is a bomb proof, super reliable, Jack of all trades bike. And I am sure that it would fulfil your every need.  :002:
Thanks!  If the brakes really are better than on the old one, I think that's true.  Right now it's top of my list.  And since I'm looking at used bikes I'll get to try before I buy.  I didn't with the 2011 bike.

Some of my best motorcycling memories on that bike, and I put more miles on it than any other. 

If the range better met my needs I might have tried upgrading the old Versys brakes.



Offline 100milesaway

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Re: Had a mk2, thinking about a mk3...
« Reply #3 on: Dec 09, 2019, 09:49 AM »
*Originally Posted by davidji [+]
I'm shopping for a new to me commute bike and the mk3 Versys 650 is on the list.

I had a 2011 Versys for a while. It was my 1st ever new vehicle, and I put 57k mostly commuting miles on it.  It was a great bike for going places, but had some shortcomings for me as a commuter.

I've been searching the site, and it looks like most of that is resolved in the 2015+ model (suspension, fuel tank range).  I'm pretty impressed with the fuel economy numbers I see here, and with the larger tank, I think the range will be fine.

I didn't see discussion of the braking.  The brakes felt a little weak on my 2011.  Reviews said they're better on the 2015, but it still uses single sided calipers, and I have no idea how much better.  Some of you have had both.  What do you think?

Also I read a comment about some updates for 2016, but didn't see the details.  I wonder what difference it makes if I get a 2015 instead of a 2016.
Further to your query regarding difference in model years.  The MK3 arrived in 015.  Since then, I think that it has been a yearly colour change only.    Geoff. :002:
What would you rather be, or a wasp?

Offline jkristjan

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Re: Had a mk2, thinking about a mk3...
« Reply #4 on: Dec 09, 2019, 09:55 AM »
Well there have been small changes, for example the mounting holes on the windshield were made bigger and rubber grommets added for MY2018. Also there are different specs for different markets and EURO4 and EURO5 requirements have arrived in the meantime. Gear indicator on the main LCD screen was added in 2017 if I remember correctly. But yeah, these are just housekeeping tasks so to say that have been taken care of, if you are buying, there is no reason to specifically prefer one year over another.

Offline 100milesaway

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Re: Had a mk2, thinking about a mk3...
« Reply #5 on: Dec 09, 2019, 10:21 AM »
Other small but significant changes from 015 onward are.    A bigger rear disc rotor, front rubber mountings for the engine, so now the engine is completely isolated, making the engine very smooth. The screen is also taller than before. The rear KYB shock has a manual pre load adjuster. And the engine has an extra 5 bhp.
What would you rather be, or a wasp?

Offline penry

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Re: Had a mk2, thinking about a mk3...
« Reply #6 on: Dec 10, 2019, 05:19 AM »
*Originally Posted by davidji [+]
I'm shopping for a new to me commute bike and the mk3 Versys 650 is on the list.

I had a 2011 Versys for a while. It was my 1st ever new vehicle, and I put 57k mostly commuting miles on it.  It was a great bike for going places, but had some shortcomings for me as a commuter.

I've been searching the site, and it looks like most of that is resolved in the 2015+ model (suspension, fuel tank range).  I'm pretty impressed with the fuel economy numbers I see here, and with the larger tank, I think the range will be fine.

I didn't see discussion of the braking.  The brakes felt a little weak on my 2011.  Reviews said they're better on the 2015, but it still uses single sided calipers, and I have no idea how much better.  Some of you have had both.  What do you think?

Also I read a comment about some updates for 2016, but didn't see the details.  I wonder what difference it makes if I get a 2015 instead of a 2016.

Can only speak for 2017 bike but tank range commuting for me is 350 miles comfortably ( mostly dual carriageway and taking it steady ).
The brakes aren't pin sharp but I don't want that on a commuter anyway. They will lock the front if asked engaging the smooth ABS.
Suspension is good, seating position and general comfort good. Screen much better with a deflector on the top as it reduces wind blast considerably. I use a small 'Puig' clip on that is about 1/3 the size of a helmet visor.

Had quite a few bikes and I'm pretty happy with my versys 1,500 miles down the road.
Niggles ?

Have to dip my chin a fraction to read the clocks and it doesn't like 30 mph above 4th gear but hey, its a 650 not a 1200.

No solution is insurmountable...

Offline bobthebiker

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Re: Had a mk2, thinking about a mk3...
« Reply #7 on: Jan 01, 2020, 08:44 PM »
*Originally Posted by penry [+]
Can only speak for 2017 bike but tank range commuting for me is 350 miles comfortably ( mostly dual carriageway and taking it steady

Wow that's savage mileage....I didn't realise there was such a big difference between Mk2 & 3😲  The Mk3 headlight would be the only stumbling block for me in changing. 😂😂

Offline penry

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Re: Had a mk2, thinking about a mk3...
« Reply #8 on: Jan 01, 2020, 09:12 PM »
*Originally Posted by bobthebiker [+]
Wow that's savage mileage....I didn't realise there was such a big difference between Mk2 & 3😲  The Mk3 headlight would be the only stumbling block for me in changing. 😂😂

Yeah, I agree the retro headlight 'set the bike apart from the pack'. I'd be perfectly happy if Kawasaki had stuck with it. Sadly they didn't. Now a bike that had individuality and the appeal that goes with it just blends into the sea of twin headlight bikes that  proliferate the highways and biker cafe's.  If it weren't for the individuality of the paint mine wears I'd have to look hard to pick it out of a line up.

Looks wonky eyed coming towards you - happily not something I experience riding it.
No solution is insurmountable...