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Old 06-08-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
tim212
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Default KLR 650 vs Versys

How does the Versys do against the KLR 650?
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

The Versys is a street bike, the KLR is a true dual-purpose.
  • On road, the Versys will smoke the KLR, performance-wise.
  • Off road, the KLR is the better choice (lighter, better tire choice, better clearance, etc).
  • The KLR has a slightly more upright seating position and leg room.
It all depends on what you want to do with the bike.

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Old 08-27-2011, 01:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

I had been looking at both KLR and Versys for two years. Vacillating between the two, reading forums, you tube clips, rider stories, yadda yadda yadda... You get the point. But, I have a beautiful new (to me) 2009 KLR with only 1600 miles on it, fully farkled machine sitting in my garage for $4500.



It ultimately came down to my size. A taller rider at 6'4" simply fits better (IMO) on the KLR.

Plus, it sounds like an old sewing machine/ lawn tractor

Sometimes I laugh when I ride it
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

I'm kicking this decision around myself. There are a LOT of dirt roads here where I live. Either would be a better choice on the sand then my ZRX1100 which is a handful. But I'd like to commute for 30 miles each way to work too. I'm 6' 4" so I thought the versys might be too small but maybe not.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

I'm 6' (32" inseam) and 235lbs, and the Versys is better on-road than my KLR ever was. I haven't ridden off-road at all, though, so I can't comment on how it works there.

The stock seating position is cramped, but can be opened up. I bought lowering peg blocks and a handlebar riser for mine, and I find the bike very comfortable now. Of all of the things I've bought for any bike I've owned, the lowering blocks are the #1 accessory. Period. I'm also pretty wide, so I had to get mirror extenders to properly see behind me.

If you can wrangle a test ride on the bikes, that would be the best way to know what bike fits you best.

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Old 09-04-2011, 09:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

thats true, the one versys I sat on seemed too small for me. I'm all messed up, I've had the ZRX for 10 years and I want to get a second bike but I'm all over the place. I was in Italy a few months back and was all about a Moto Guzzi Stelvio at the dealer there. I also like the V stroms, FZ-1s, SV1000s, Triumph Tiger 800s, BMW R1200 GS (too expensive for me) and a bunch more bikes. I'm no where near ready to buy anything else. But I still like that KLR, they had them when I was in the Marine Corps in my Battalion.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

Just went and sat on a versys at the stealership again. I'm not seeing how this is a dual sport. the thing has pretty tight feeling suspension. Of course the KLR felt like it was too loosey goosey.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

It's not a dual sport, at least not in the on/off road sense. Some people treat them like adventure bikes, but I don't believe it's really meant for anything rougher than hard-packed dirt roads or gravel. It's at home on the pavement.

Just my $0.02,
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

I see what you mean. Its a nice bike, but I'm living out here with all these dirt roads and so I will probably get a KLR.
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

Try this thread from KawasakiVersys.com to see how WELL a modded Versys does in the dirt:
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=5480
Dave just finished a 3 week ride of OVER 10,000 miles, MOST on gravel and dirt!
Cheers,
Ed
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

I keep thinking I would like to get a Versys and add some dual sport tires and a larger front wheel but then I climb on my Klr and go for a ride and forget the whole nonsense.
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Try this thread from KawasakiVersys.com to see how WELL a modded Versys does in the dirt:
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=5480
Dave just finished a 3 week ride of OVER 10,000 miles, MOST on gravel and dirt!
Cheers,
Ed
Well, I did say it wasn't meant for anything worse that gravel and/or hard-packed dirt. And jdrocks ' idea of a Versys is not exactly stock.

Would I take my V down a typical country dirt road?
Yup.

Would I take my V down a gravel road?
Yup.

Would I take my V down a mud-slicked trail?
Probably not. But I'm a coward, and I can see a pile o'damage to both me and the plastic bits if I went down. I've never enjoyed mud or wet grass on any bike using tires more street-worthy than D606's (or equivalent).

Would I take my V down a single track trail with mudholes up to the seat (like I did on my XR250L)?
Nope.

My biggest concerns are weight and the exhaust location underneath the engine. If you go through a deep water crossing, you're not gonna enjoy it if you get stuck and stall.

Given the amount of "KLR or Versys" discussion, I personally think that if they mated the KLR and Versys (lighter V with less plastic, high-mounted exhaust, and a 19" or 21" front tire), they'd have a winner.

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Last edited by DaveC; 09-26-2011 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

I sold my trusty 08 KLR and bought a CBR125R (economics) Now I just bought a '10 Versys. I'd say you may as well compare the CBR125 to the KLR. theyre both thumpers that plod along at there own pace. Suspension on both were pretty "supple", and they are both lots of fun, I like all bikes so I'm not very critical about them! Another similarity are the forum people that install valves and heads and piston kits. The CBR125'ers do the same spending $$$ to make the 125cc a 160cc or 170cc to get that extra punch . I loved my KLR and was sad to see it go, The Versys is awesome though, It leans and turns ,brakes and accelerates with just thinking about it,
i've ridden my dads FZ750, FZ1 and now his FZ6 and the Versys just immediately "melds" with the rider. I'm still keeping the cbr125 its just plain fun.
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:36 AM   #14
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

Quote:
Originally Posted by tim212 View Post
How does the Versys do against the KLR 650?
I own both the '08 KLR and the '11 Versys. Both are great bikes. Both require modifications if you are doing anything more than just playing with it.

KLR is better suited for the dirt, but can be modded for travelling. Tire selection makes a big difference with how it handles the street and the trail.

Versys is better suited for riding the twisty back roads but can be modded for travelling, or modded for light off road duties.





At 5'11" the Versys is more comfortable for me out of the box.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:21 AM   #15
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

Mine does just fine on fire roads and gravel roads.

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Old 11-20-2011, 10:27 AM   #16
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

as someone who has owned both, I'd like to say the versys is a cool bike! when I bought it I was confident that it is the rider and not the bike why people say it's not off-road worthy. I owned the bike for a few months, put a few thousand miles on it touring and dual-sporting. It is great on dirt roads, tons of power. Anything more than that it is a handful! it can be done though as I can attest. It feels heavier off-road the more challenging the terrain. Traded it in for a KLR. The KLR will do everything the versys will and then some. WAY better off-road. just the ergo's and the wheel size make it a better bike off-road. With suspesion upgrades my KLR handle just as well as my versys did if not better. (yes versys guys i said it, BETTER). But the KLR will NEVER have the power and acceleration that the versys does. pick your poison. 99% on road with no dreams of having a dual-purpose bike the versys is hands down the way to go. want a dual-sport or adventure bike, get the KLR.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

^^^^ great looking ride^^^^ I just love the look of the Versys. Especially that candy-kawi Green. Unfortunately it's just a bit cramped for me at 6'4"

If I bought a Versys it would be simply as eye candy, to sit on stands in the garage, wax it, keep it cleaned & ride it 10-200 miles per year, and look at how cool it is. kinda like having a Harley again. Don't get me wrong, if the economy were three years ago, I would certainly have both bikes in the garage. the Versys is just flat out aesthetically the most beautiful bike I have seen recently.

But, the fat turd KLR let's me want to ride in the dirt, go anywhere
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

at 6'2 I have no issue with being too big for it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by NWJeeper View Post
^^^^ great looking ride^^^^ I just love the look of the Versys. Especially that candy-kawi Green. Unfortunately it's just a bit cramped for me at 6'4"

If I bought a Versys it would be simply as eye candy, to sit on stands in the garage, wax it, keep it cleaned & ride it 10-200 miles per year, and look at how cool it is. kinda like having a Harley again. Don't get me wrong, if the economy were three years ago, I would certainly have both bikes in the garage. the Versys is just flat out aesthetically the most beautiful bike I have seen recently.

But, the fat turd KLR let's me want to ride in the dirt, go anywhere
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

for off road duty i am pretty sure the klr will spank the versys. but back road twisty riding like i ride 90% of the time most sport bike riders cant touch me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ming View Post
as someone who has owned both, I'd like to say the versys is a cool bike! when I bought it I was confident that it is the rider and not the bike why people say it's not off-road worthy. I owned the bike for a few months, put a few thousand miles on it touring and dual-sporting. It is great on dirt roads, tons of power. Anything more than that it is a handful! it can be done though as I can attest. It feels heavier off-road the more challenging the terrain. Traded it in for a KLR. The KLR will do everything the versys will and then some. WAY better off-road. just the ergo's and the wheel size make it a better bike off-road. With suspesion upgrades my KLR handle just as well as my versys did if not better. (yes versys guys i said it, BETTER). But the KLR will NEVER have the power and acceleration that the versys does. pick your poison. 99% on road with no dreams of having a dual-purpose bike the versys is hands down the way to go. want a dual-sport or adventure bike, get the KLR.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:35 PM   #20
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Default Re: KLR 650 vs Versys

Hello All,
My solution to the KLR over the Versys couldn't be resolved so I bought both. I love the Versys and have put 2500 miles of dirt roads on the bike using the Avon Distanzia Dual-Sport tires. They stick well on pavement and give plenty of grip for dirt roads. Having been to Alaska and the Yukon twice, I would take the Versys if all I were doing were the standard well traveled dirt roads. However, for getting off the beaten path to do water crossings and more gnarly stuff, the KLR would be my bike of choice.

I look at the Versys as my touring bike with flexibility. I can take some roads less traveled but I wouldn't want to use it for true dual sport riding.
I am intrigued by the idea of putting on a 19" front wheel plus spoked wheels front and rear. I am still on a STEEP learning curves as a dual sporter and such modifications would enlarge the choices of dirt roads I would be willing to take and the wheels would flex better in rougher terrain than the mag wheels I am presently running. Sounds costly but I do love the bike and have already invested in an Ohlins suspension front and rear. I also have Twisted Throttle Trax bags, engine guard and skid plate on the bike too. I still have less invested than had I bought a F800GS or KTM and the Versys is so easy and inexpensive to maintain. At 26,000 miles it called for having the valves checked.

The KLR is equally easy on the wallet and you can find parts for it anywhere as it's truly a world traveler. The beast is good on gas and user friendly to maintain plus trouble-shoot. Botton line, I am glad I have both bikes.
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