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Old 10th August 2016, 12:52   #301
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

Two Siblings

Beautiful & Chilly early morning weather

All charged up after an hour of jogging

What do they do?


They head-out on a spin on "Dark Knight" within the city and outskirts that is one of my favorite road for some light off-roading as it's hilly area with lots of boulders, stony paths, off-road trails etc

Needless to say, we had terrific fun and someone came out super-impressed with the Dark Knight and it's capabilities
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Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-img_5873.jpg  

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-img_5906.jpg  

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-img_5886.jpg  

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-img_5901.jpg  

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-img_5888.jpg  

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-img_5892.jpg  

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-img_5903.jpg  

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-img_5910.jpg  

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Old 11th August 2016, 11:26   #302
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

Awesome, I am sure you might have had lot of fun. Which place is that in Hyderabad? I am sure Versys has enough ground clearance to avoid any under body scraping. Not trying to be negative, but trying to understand how would you manage any tyre punctures (if at all) when you are out on such off-roading adventures?
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Old 11th August 2016, 21:58   #303
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

Thats a huge saree guard you got there? Factory fitted?

Last edited by mobike008 : 16th August 2016 at 15:47. Reason: edited the incorrect quote tags
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Old 16th August 2016, 15:45   #304
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

Quote:
Originally Posted by idpsharma View Post
Awesome, I am sure you might have had lot of fun. Which place is that in Hyderabad? I am sure Versys has enough ground clearance to avoid any under body scraping. Not trying to be negative, but trying to understand how would you manage any tyre punctures (if at all) when you are out on such off-roading adventures?
This place is on service road of ORR near Gachibowli Financial District. This route connects Shankerpally/Nasr Polo Club/ICFAI/CBIT Engineering College etc.

It's a lovely steep mountainous road popular for city's bicyclists too for the terrain and steep climb and is full of rocks and boulders with deep trenches and a great location for photo shoots (many folks use it for that)

Coming to puncture, I never give too much thought about the punctures.

I just ensure that air pressure is checked weekly/each ride and pray things are fine

When it happens, I will just deal with it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ac 427 View Post
thats a huge saree guard you got there? Factory fitted?
Not sure which image you quoted. But, assuming you are referring to one of the earliest posts when the bike was brand new, yes it's given by Kawasaki and disposed off immediately thereafter

Alright, I was on a vacation last week and things have been really slow on riding front. But, see what the USA suitcase brought in with it

Barkbusters VPS Handguards ordered via. Revzilla. Will fix 'em when I get the next chance

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-barkbusters.jpg

This cover was ordered from Amazon USA. Very good quality and decent enough size even though it does not fully cover the mammoth Dark Knight

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-1.jpg

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-2.jpg
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Old 19th August 2016, 22:00   #305
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

A test ride of Kawasaki versys 650, adventure touring crossover I am going to buy this machine..
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Old 20th August 2016, 07:40   #306
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tushargohil View Post
A test ride of Kawasaki versys 650, adventure
I assume that it was you who was riding the Versys in this video? Also you should have spoken something about the bike into the video

So did you like the bike? Review please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tushargohil View Post
I am going to buy this machine..
Congrats! Do try to buy it before Sep 30th
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Old 20th August 2016, 14:19   #307
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
I assume that it was you who was riding the Versys in this video? Also you should have spoken something about the bike into the video

So did you like the bike? Review please?



Congrats! Do try to buy it before Sep 30th
A picture is worth a thousand words a video is worth a million

Mate, what's so special about the date Sep 30th ?
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Old 20th August 2016, 15:03   #308
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tushargohil View Post
Mate, what's so special about the date Sep 30th ?
An opportunity to join for the All India Versys Rider's Meet in an "Exotic Location"

Today morning rode with a fellow V rider and it was a short 175kms breakfast ride at an Organic restaurant (yes, they use organic stuff including utensils for serving the food) on Vijaywada highway

We also went of the 4-lane highway and enjoyed some light off-roading on trails, soft muddy paths and some not so deep trenches. It is really fun enjoying the off-beat path and gives an opportunity to understand the bike better apart from giving you a good work-out to your arms

P.S 1 : I have crossed 6000kms mark finally....Whew!

P.S 2 : First time, I filled Xtra Premium from IOC and OMG! the difference is like day and night. Some of the observations are :

1. Bike became butter smooth
2. Acceleration has improved tremendously
3. Getting to higher speeds is faster and easier

From hereon, I have decided to use only the premium fuel (I understand Shell is even better) for Dark Knight !!!

A few pics from this morning.....

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-fullsizerender.jpg

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-fullsizerender-1.jpg

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-fullsizerender-2.jpg

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-fullsizerender-3.jpg

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-fullsizerender-4.jpg

Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!-fullsizerender-5.jpg



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Old 24th August 2016, 16:15   #309
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

Quote:
Originally Posted by v12 View Post
That was a wonderful trip Avi! Good to see that you are enjoying the Versys to the fullest. 4000 kms already you're putting in more miles than you did in the Bonnie. Since you have ridden both the bikes extensively, Would be good to have a comparison on the Bonnie vs Versys.
Allen, Sorry for keeping you waiting for so long. Here is a simple comparison of both :

Kawasaki Versys 650 vs. Triumph Bonneville SE

Prelude :

This post might look out of place and some may even feel it is unwarranted but, a thought to share something on these lines have been on back of my mind for a while now and it's but natural for anybody to compare the motorcycle they have owned especially if they are "similarly" powered. Also, since I owned both these motorcycles (Triumph Bonneville SE & Kawasaki Versys 650) for a good amount of time and more importantly have clocked reasonably good enough miles on it to be able to tell the difference

Therefore, please treat this feedback as purely an owner's view-point and nothing more than that. I love both motorcycles equally and if I was nuttier than I'm already with money to spare then both these motorcycles would be adorning my garage and be happy forever without any haunting thoughts for upgrades

Styling :

Bonneville is a beautiful looking retro-styled motorcycle with right amount of chrome and overall subtlety that adds to it's understated looks. For most non-motorcycle loving Indian population, sadly it's just a glorified bullet.

Whereas, Versys is styled for a purpose and it's tall stance with new changes to its cosmetic looks from 2015 model onwards looks wonderful and fully integrated into the Kawasaki family.

Versys adventure styling is you either love it or hate it!

Engine Note :

Bonneville's engine note is usually referred to as "Sewing Machine" sound but, I have to confess that after using Arrow performance exhausts the stock engine note is to die for. It has a nice gurgling sound that makes you aware of a powerful motor underneath.

Versys's engine sound is muted and almost commuter motorcycle'ish and has a indistinct characteristic sound of a parallel twin engine

Engine Performance :

Bonneville's engine is smooth but, not as smooth as Versys and has loads of low-end torque and power is literally on tap and feels wonderful in almost all gears. Highlight of the Bonnie's engine is it's wonderful low-end torque which is addictive and is evident from the fact that Bonnie makes much higher torque at lower RPM despite it making at least 10-12 BHP lower than the Versys

Versys low-end torque is a bit dismal (it's not instantaneous like the Bonnie's) but, it's mid-range and high-end performance is noteworthy. Even though the Versys comes in power much earlier than the Ninja 650 due to newer tune to the engine and from 3000rpm onwards until 10,000rpm this bike feels very powerful. The engine is so butter smooth that you can literally caress the sound (i.e you will be hard pressed to know if it's running when in motion)

Suspension :

Bonnie's suspension is on stiffer side and it cannot tackle bad roads with aplomb and most of the jars from the road can be easily felt.

Stiffer suspension coupled with front nose-dives which makes a "Thak" sound when it falls into a pot-hole/ditch that makes a sickening sound is heart breaking whenever it happens (and, it happens a lot; even when crossing speed breakers or front wheel lands in a small'sh pot-hole)

Versys suspension on other hand is in a different league altogether due to it's much advanced technology and full adjustable suspension wherein you can adjust the preloads on the fly.

The front never nose-dives and you can practically throw the bike into any type of bad roads and it just glides over them as if the bad roads do not exist. Infact, many times you feel like increasing speeds on bad roads due to the comfort that you feel when riding on them.

This is highlight of Versys !!!

Handling :

Bought both these motorcycles instantly after a test ride and primary reason for choosing them was their "simplicity" to ride and manageable power. I personally believe that 70BHP-90BHP is the ideal power range for our country that we can put it to proper use. Anything below or above might be too less or too much to handle

I had bought the Bonnie because of the simple way it rode and I had instantly connected with it and was a revelation how it handled (since I was coming from a bullet where handling is a non-existent subject akin to most Harley's you take corners in a wide sweep and hope you and you're tyres are still connected to the road )

After that lovely handling experience of Bonnie, when I rode the Versys for first time I was taken aback as it handles much better than the Bonnie. It feels way to lighter than Bonnie even though Bonnie was just 10kgs heavier.

You can approach corners in a much more aggressive manner than the Bonnie and due to the styling i feel more confident to lean much further into a corner and literally feels weightless in corners. I'm able to practically "hang-out" of the bike and lean into corners which I wasn't that comfortable with the Bonnie. Overall feels of Versys is super nimble when taking corners. Whereas, due to Bonnie's lower height you tend to get little more cautious when taking the turns and cannot afford that carefree style you use in Versys as the additional weight of Bonnie also gets quite apparent

Brakes:

Bonnie's brakes were outstanding. Especially the front had so much bite that it was the single most reason to push the bike beyond it's means. But, due to non-ABS availability the bike would skid at the smallest hint of gravel and I had plenty of scary moments where I would skid and slide and would bring the bike back in line with corrections

Versys brakes during the initial days was not impressive as I was expecting Bonnie like instant bite but, Versys brakes are progressive and over the time (after 1500-2000kms) the brakes feel excellent and have "almost" the same bite as Bonnie's brakes.

But, where Versys scores over Bonnie, I never had even a single moment of "skid" in the last 6000+ kms despite me pushing the bike as much as my skill level allows me too. I would attribute this entirely to the availability of "ABS" on the bike

Wind-Protection :

Bonnie being a naked motorcycle feels great until 150kmph but, beyond that speed it gets extremely windy and you will need a good wind-protection

Versys comes with an excellent stock windscreen that is easily adjustable and is perfect for riders under 5.9 but, for everyone else who are taller the stock screen provides decent protection but, for high-speeds it's recommended to install an aftermarket screen like Puig which will completely eliminate the wind at all speeds (including at speeds close to it's top speed)

Heating Issue in City Riding :

Bonneville during the first 1000kms used to get really hot and your inner legs would get scorched during city riding conditions but, the heat reduced significantly post the initial 1000kms. However, it never completely vanished, an underlying heat can always be felt whenever you are riding in bumper to bumper traffic.

Versys on the other hand manages the heat in some miraculous manner as there is absolutely no heat emanating from the engine. I mean not even a whiff during bumper to bumper situation. Either Kawasaki managed to deflect the heat into some of the front fairings or due to lower engine capacity or it might be a combination of both

Here is one motorcycle with a higher engine capacity (865cc) with lower power figures vs. lower engine capacity (650cc) with higher power figures. Isn't the world coming to the same situation where even cars are trying to extract maximum power from lower capacity engines ( for e.g the lovely CLA 45 AMG which has a mind boggling output of 381 HP from a 2 liter engine..Haha!)

Tyres :

Bonnie was shod with Metzlers which had phenomenal grip on-tarmac but, the moment it goes into gravel the story is different and would slide out too easy and too often

Versys tyres are almost exactly same as Metzelers. V comes with Dunlops and they too offer equally outstanding grip and gives you plenty confidence to take fast corners but, the front slides out too easily when even in the lightest off-road conditions. But, being a sports tourer, I personally feel Kawasaki made an excellent choice of tyres and I'm extremely happy with these tyres.

But, for all other folks who are serious about using their Versys off-road then a dual purpose knobby tyres would be very helpful (might choose that whenever I'm due for tyre change)

Summary

When I relocated back to India, my immediate thought was to buy the Bonnie again but, the then news of impending launch of globally renowned Versys 650 stopped me from buying it and I have to thank my impatient stars for keeping me at bay to make this fantastic decision. Both these motorcycles are outstanding in their own aspect and would be happiest if I could afford to have both of them in my garage so I can enjoy best of both worlds

Let me not be the usual diplomatic reviewer who does not want to give a straight answer, if you look into my eyes and pop the question " Which is a better motorcycle?"

My answer without blinking even once would be the "Kawasaki Versys 650"

I tried to share my feedback on above being as forthcoming and honest as possible without getting biased towards any one motorcycle.

Hope you enjoyed reading the comparison and if you have any queries, happy to answer 'em !!!

Cheers
Mobike008

Last edited by mobike008 : 26th August 2016 at 14:22. Reason: Spell corrections and Grammar etc.....
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Old 25th August 2016, 09:17   #310
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Allen, Sorry for keeping you waiting for so long. Here is a simple comparison of both :

Kawasaki Versys 650 vs. Triumph Bonneville SE

My answer without blinking even once would be the "Kawasaki Versys 650"


Cheers
Mobike008
Many thanks for the detailed comparison. This being done by a passionate owner, it really means a lot to people like me who has both these bikes in contention and can only afford one.

You have already shared your experience regarding passenger comfort in Versys 650. What about the same in Bonneville?

Whenever I visit teambhp, I keep on checking whether there is any update in this lovely thread. This trend will continue till I get my hands on Versys 650.
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Old 25th August 2016, 12:02   #311
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

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Originally Posted by sps View Post
Many thanks for the detailed comparison. This being done by a passionate owner, it really means a lot to people like me who has both these bikes in contention and can only afford one.
Glad to know you liked it. Love both motorcycles but, the Versys 650 is a clear winner from many perspectives

Quote:
Originally Posted by sps View Post
You have already shared your experience regarding passenger comfort in Versys 650. What about the same in Bonneville?
This is a no brainer. It's the Versys 650 and for below reasons

1. I'm a big guy and I need my room. Bonnie being a smaller dimension motorcycle, I would use up most of the available room leaving little for passenger....Whereas, Versys is a very roomy motorcycle and even after me sitting there is plenty of space for a passenger to comfortably sit for long journeys

2. Suspension of Bonnie was on stiffer side and whatever little jars from the road would be trasmitted to both rider and passenger making it a little less comfortable. Versys suspension as mentioned is like butter besides that, you can adjust the rear pre-load by twisting the knob to increase your comfort when loaded with luggage/passenger or both

Quote:
Originally Posted by sps View Post
Whenever I visit teambhp, I keep on checking whether there is any update in this lovely thread. This trend will continue till I get my hands on Versys 650.
Get it soon! You will thank me for it

P.S : Please read below comparison report again as I corrected some content/grammar also fixed some spell errors as I had posted without proof reading it. Cheerio !
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Old 26th August 2016, 12:42   #312
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Allen, Sorry for keeping you waiting for so long. Here is a simple comparison of both :

Kawasaki Versys 650 vs. Triumph Bonneville SE
.......
Great post mobike, just the kind of stuff that makes Team-bhp such a special place. Although I must admit that the gorgeous understated looks of the Bonnie have me smitten so bad that I can't think of any other bike

How would you compare the long term ownership cost for both?
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Old 26th August 2016, 12:58   #313
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

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Originally Posted by avisidhu View Post
How would you compare the long term ownership cost for both?
Both are globally renowned motorcycles and are known for their reliability so they fall in that Hero Honda advertisement category "Fill it, Shut it and Forget it"

There were absolutely nil issues with my Bonnie and till date with Versys (6000+kms) have exactly the same story; nil issues

I dont expect either to give any technical or cosmetic issues in a long time

I forgot to add the service comparison which is

Bonnie : INR 6000 every 10,000kms

Versys : INR 3,500 every 6000kms

So in a way both cost almost identical to maintain in the long run
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Old 26th August 2016, 13:15   #314
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
I forgot to add the service comparison which is

Bonnie : INR 6000 every 10,000kms

So in a way both cost almost identical to maintain in the long run
I just did a 20,000 km service on my Bonnie. They call the 10k and 30K service as a minor service which is cheaper and the 20k and 40k service as a major service which is more expensive.

At the 20k service they recommended chasing plugs, adjusting the valves, changing some seals. All in all it was around 14k + tax for a routine service . I'll try and dig out the bill for the exact breakup. The Service Advisor said that the 30k service will be a lot cheaper.
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Old 26th August 2016, 13:36   #315
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Default Re: Kawasaki Versys 650 : The good times with my 'Dark Knight' begin!

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Originally Posted by ranjitnair77 View Post
I just did a 20,000 km service on my Bonnie. They call the 10k and 30K service as a minor service which is cheaper and the 20k and 40k service as a major service which is more expensive.
I did 2 services of Bonnie. 1K and 10K and both costed identical INR 6,000 as dealership for some reason decided to keep a standard cost for service for a few variants like Bonnie, Street Tripple and T100

I'm sure even the Versys would have at some point similar costs during the ownership period as is with any automobile/motorcycle where at a certain intervals it would need some component replacements due to wear and tear (e.g : spark plugs, brake pads etc.)

And, I still feel the service costs of both would be almost on par

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitnair77 View Post
At the 20k service they recommended chasing plugs, adjusting the valves, changing some seals. All in all it was around 14k + tax for a routine service . I'll try and dig out the bill for the exact breakup. The Service Advisor said that the 30k service will be a lot cheaper.
Please do share the break-up if possible

Last edited by mobike008 : 26th August 2016 at 13:38.
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