So I test rode the 2020 Versys 1000 SE today. I have mixed feelings, hear me out. First, the bike is of course a superb piece of engineering, the power, precision, balance, reliability, they are all phenomenal especially in the context of the fact that the EU/US manufactures are spewing out broken bullsh#t for twice the money. But. I will not be buying it, at least not to replace my 650, at least not any time soon and the reason is simple, the reason is so human and so far from the bike and technology and it is this. While the bike is awesome, the initial enjoyment factor wore off after the first hour. The bike offers many things, but I will be able to accept and enjoy only so much. With the 650 you start feeling the speed limits around 140 kph and you might think you'd want more, but then you take the 1000, bring it to 150 and realize you just don't want to go any faster. The reality of not being able to speed hits you only when you finally are on that bike and in real traffic, you realize that the next minute you could be with your hands behind your back in a police car, you roll back the throttle to 130 kph and then it dawns on you - I can do this on the 650 just fine!
Anyway, the 1000 is better than the 650 in most aspects, it is a great bike and great bang for buck compared to all the BMW, Ducati and KTM nonsense, but the limit of the benefits I would be able to accept is right there at the top of the 650, I will not be buying a bike twice as expensive for two things:
1. Going just 10 kph faster than on the other bike
2. Going slightly more than that only in Germany should I ever end up there again in my life
And then there is gas mileage and tire wear. It's not about money because money is relative, everything is cheap when you're rich, but I just hate filling up often and planning tire swaps into my busy travel schedule. In that regard, the 650 is the more comfortable bike, more miles ridden for less of everything you need to do and care for.