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Original Article:
2008 Kawasaki Versys Road Test

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article 2008 Kawasaki Versys Road Test in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
 

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Nice article. As you can see, the Versys makes a lot of sense, does a lot of things, and is attractively priced. It makes even more sense in Europe and the UK, where we like trail-styled omnibikes far more than customs. Yet... even though it's been with us for a while now, I don't see many of them about. Or any of them, come to that. Which suggests that there's something about it that just doesn't excite. I haven't had the chance to ride one. Anybody out there who's tried one and can say what the missing ingredient is?
 

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Nice write up. The bike, however, is not for me. I read an article on the F800GS recently and concluded that the GS is much more suited to my taste. I know there will be thousands of dollars difference between the two, but in the end there are many fire roads hidden in these North Georgia hills that beg to be explored and money shouldn't be the determining factor here. I believe the GS will be much happier doing the job than the Versys. It doesn't hurt to know that the GS has more power in both the 650 and 800 sizes and will have a much better resale value, too.
 

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Anybody out there who's tried one and can say what the missing ingredient is?
I was seriously considering this bike versus the V-Strom. What made my mind up was the size, the VerSys is tiny, the V-Strom has the size and road presence I want. Ok, the 1000 cc engine in the Vee was better too, but compared to the Wee, it's tiny.
 

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Absolutely. It's a cool looking machine.
I've looked at this machine in-person, and I think you're mistaken - it looks just as bad as it does in the video/photos (from the front, at least).

Really, my problem is with the headlight - the "formed piece of the fairing" really doesn't do much for me. Kawasaki has been borderline-fugly with most of the headlights of its sport bikes in the last few years.

Now and again, they put on the Dress and Crossover.........
 

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The Toad
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No.

I've looked at this machine in-person, and I think you're mistaken - it looks just as bad as it does in the video/photos (from the front, at least).

Really, my problem is with the headlight - the "formed piece of the fairing" really doesn't do much for me. Kawasaki has been borderline-fugly with most of the headlights of its sport bikes in the last few years.

Now and again, they put on the Dress and Crossover.........
You're wrong. If you can't see how sharp this bike looks you must be one of those les..... er, perv..... er, never mind.
 

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Poor Man's 'Strada?

Other reviewers have had issues with the direct mount shock, as opposed to the use of linkage, ya didn't think I read that book Wilbers put out did you? And what happens if BMW decideds to bring the 650 to the US? Is it far to compare the two considering the price?
 

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Nice article. As you can see, the Versys makes a lot of sense, does a lot of things, and is attractively priced. It makes even more sense in Europe and the UK, where we like trail-styled omnibikes far more than customs. Yet... even though it's been with us for a while now, I don't see many of them about. Or any of them, come to that. Which suggests that there's something about it that just doesn't excite. I haven't had the chance to ride one. Anybody out there who's tried one and can say what the missing ingredient is?
A V-Twin. Pfff pfff pfff can't compare to boom boom boom. Having just returned from Athens, 650 V Stroms were everywhere.
 

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pretty cool bike

I liked the article. Whether its this bike or another street standard with longish travel suspension, this type makes sense for all around riding. Since about everyone makes one now, I guess my observations are a tad stale.
Maybe its time for a comparo of the giant trailies by horsepower,
tiger vs gs vs vstrom vs ktm 990 adventure etc
and then the small ones.
I picked the multistrada 1100, but it was a tough choice.
of those folks on this board, do any of you prefer the 17 inch wheel to the taller fronts on the old tiger, the vstrom and the gs? i feel that the smaller wheel for a street biased bike gives me more feel, or a better way to express it may be that the taller fronts feel vague to me.
oh and this bike is peculiar looking in my view, but i think it might be hard to make these look good.
 

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You're right, it's time!

It's time for a comparo! Let's go MO! Try not to have too much fun......

Run 'em down a fire road, commute on them, hit the interstate, see who has farklebility........

This could actually be the review that has impact on my next purchase.
 

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Those Greek boys must have LOVED you; seeing as you're the Adonis of the motorcycle industry and all.

-S :)
Well look who popped up?

You know how you separate the men from the boys in Greece?

With a crowbar!

You know the motto of the Greek military?

Never leave your buddy's behind!

Rumor has it the women are so grouchy in Greece cuz they're tired of getting it in the rear. Apparently the men are unaware there is another place to put it.

I seem to recall a picture of a young Michael Douglas on steroids riding a scooter who is the true Adonis of the moto industry. If I can search and find that, it will become my new Avatar!
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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I suppose if I rode one I would like it better than looking at it. It looks better than a V-Strom by a mile though (Sorry Ken!). None of these type of bikes do a thing for me. I suspect that they are just like the modern SUVs; off-road capability, but none of them are actually being ridden off-road. Nice write-up boys!
 

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Come on Kawi, hang a charcoal canister off it already. By looking at most new CA bikes it shouldnt be hard... Zip tie to the frame? Check!

But like Acecycleins states and I agree the GS 800 (my current wallpaper)is a better choice, but with all the goodies its over twice the price of the vs... Though Ive paid the BMW tax before, and likely will again.
 

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Dang!

Well look who popped up?

You know how you separate the men from the boys in Greece?

With a crowbar!

You know the motto of the Greek military?

Never leave your buddy's behind!

Rumor has it the women are so grouchy in Greece cuz they're tired of getting it in the rear. Apparently the men are unaware there is another place to put it.

I seem to recall a picture of a young Michael Douglas on steroids riding a scooter who is the true Adonis of the moto industry. If I can search and find that, it will become my new Avatar!
404 File not found! The world needs to see that picture again. How are things at Boing?
 

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The Toad
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Yikes!

Well look who popped up?

You know how you separate the men from the boys in Greece?

With a crowbar!

You know the motto of the Greek military?

Never leave your buddy's behind!

Rumor has it the women are so grouchy in Greece cuz they're tired of getting it in the rear. Apparently the men are unaware there is another place to put it.

I seem to recall a picture of a young Michael Douglas on steroids riding a scooter who is the true Adonis of the moto industry. If I can search and find that, it will become my new Avatar!
You're dead meat for Sistah Sachi fer sure.
 
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