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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

Spent a bit of time around bikes in my earlier days. Dirt, street, motocross, road racing, etc. My goal was always to see how quick I could get my bike to run without going up in flames. :eek: Those were the younger days and haven't been on a bike for close to 30 yrs now. My last bike was a 84 Ninja 900 if that gives you perspective on my age. I also still have my 1982 KDX 450 that I bought new.

I had the urge recently to check out dual purpose bikes in the 650 class. Was considering a Kawasaki 650 KLR just to ride around a bit, run errands, etc. I live in a Dallas TX suburb, smaller city, not any traffic issues to speak of. There's a bit of country close by with a few trails and of course Munster is about an hour away. My daily commute is about 30 miles each way and virtually all interstate complete with stop n go traffic (mostly stop seems like). Finally, my mom lives about 125 miles away in Waco.

I was hoping to find a bike that my more leisurely laid back older self that might work in the situations I've listed above. I went to three different bike shops yesterday. I did find a Kawasaki 650 KLR but then in the same shop, came across a new 2014 Versys 650 ABS that the dealership had not sold at a decent discount. I had never heard of this bike and I think maybe the salesperson started his job yesterday about 5 minutes before I came in the door so he was of no help. However, looking around a bit on the net, the Versys seems like it might be a better fit for what I want a bike for.

Basically, I am asking for anyone's thoughts for validation purposes.

I do see a few seemingly minor (I hope) complaints but for the most part, seems that people really love them. I have a tendency to customize a bike to my liking as many people do and would probably add a "trunk" as well as a GPS of some sort. Maybe a cup holder. Change the exhaust perhaps. Sounds like brake pads might need something new. My thoughts from my younger years haven't completely worn off :headbang: I am a bit of a perfectionist.

But anyway, are good accessories readily available for this bike outside of the dealer? Years ago, the dealer was almost your only choice but seems like now days, there ought to be good aftermarket products available.

Are there any other models I should consider keeping in mind street riding about 97% of the time and maybe a small bit of non-serious trail riding.

I do appreciate any input/thoughts anyone has regarding the subject.

Thanks Guys and Gals!
 

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I do appreciate any input/thoughts anyone has regarding the subject.
Do NOT buy anything without test riding it.
If they won't let you ride a new bike, find a used one that is nearly identical.

And if you don't have the necessary endorsement on your license, do that first.......by taking a new rider course.

I'm kind of partial to cruisers so I'll stop there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for responding but I have never dropped my motorcycle license so I think I'm good there. They did offer to let me ride it so that's not a problem but I was trying to get additional info BEFORE I rode it as often when you ride it, emotions can override common sense. Stepping cautiously but with brain engaged (I think!).
 

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Nice bike, not really for any off road though, Suzuki V Strom 650 another good choice for a little dirt capabilities.. both have good aftermarket accessories.
 

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Have you ridden a bike with ABS yet?
 

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Have you ridden a bike with ABS yet?
Or maybe more accurately, have you had a chance to TEST the ABS on a bike yet ??

I suspect that, like other vehicles, you can't really tell it HAS ABS until you make a hard stop.
I also suspect that it wouldn't be a desirable feature when riding "off road".
 

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The Versys is not an off-road bike any more than any other street bike is an off-road bike. Sure, I rode my '78 Honda 550 four SS down some dirt roads and a few trails. Sure, I rode my '85 Honda Shadow down some dirt roads and a few trails. That doesn't make either bike a dual sport. Neither does the fact that people ride the Versys or the Vstroms off road make them off-road bikes.
 

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I hate the idea of abs, and hate having it on my bike....There, I said it.

BUT, to be real honest, its flat out awesome. Back in our 84 ninja days, we did not especially need abs as our brakes had no power. Now, we do.

You'll find the abs system to be a non issue. Its just there. As Martin suggested, do go out and see how it acts when activated. Its an odd sensation and you want to be familiar with it if its called into action.

Two wheel si right. These are comfortable street bikes. No more offroad ready than a 2015 suburban.
 
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