Comparo: WeeStrom, 650GS twin, Versys

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by TCBronson, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. TCBronson

    TCBronson Adventurer

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    I'd like to see a comparo between the Suzuki Vstrom 650, Kawasaki Versys and the new BMW F 650GS twin. Going to Alaska next year...I hope!

    I have ridden the WeeStrom only. So far my take is:

    Wee Strom and Versys I believe are priced about the same and my guess at least $2000 cheaper than the new F650GS twin.

    Wee Strom has more wind protection and a bigger seat for long distance comfort.

    New BMW F650GS has, IMHO, a dirt bike type seat, very narrow, virtually no wind protection, but does look good and it's a BMW.

    Versys has no center stand option? Needs a bigger windshield and a better seat, like a Corbin?

    I believe that all three should get around 200 miles to a full tank of gas or better. You can add hard bag luggage to all three. All three have tubeless tires on mag wheels, don't care for wire spoke wheels.

    Interested in any other thoughts on these three bikes for long distance touring...interstate, back roads, flat dirt roads, etc.

    Any other middle weight or bigger Adventure type bikes that I left out for under $12,000 with all of the farkles like the Vstrom 1000. Anybody heard what Honda will offer in 2009 (Varadero, Transalp) here in the U.S.?

    Thanks for any thoughts you all may have and your experience with any of the bikes mentioned!
    #1
  2. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    Don't know about the others, but the wee regularly goes 230-250. One tank I went 255 before refueling.

    Rich Desmond from Sonic Springs just did a two month trip to Alaska on a DL650:
    http://www.sonicsprings.com/catalog/alaska2008_ride_report.php

    Jesse Luggage is making bags for the v-Strom again: mine shipped last week but haven't received them yet.
    #2
  3. KROWBAR

    KROWBAR KROWBAR

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    Test rode one last week. I was shocked how well it handled the wind. I'm 6' 2". Had a standard F-650 screen. Great bike IMHO. Only thing holding me back is the stalling/cutout issue with the 800cc motor. Supposedly this has/is being fixed in the new bikes now hitting the US. demo bike (53 miles) did not cut out on me.

    Test bike was getting 58 mpg according to the trip computer. Based on tank size you are probably looking at about 250 miles on a tank at posted speeds.
    #3
  4. Dranrab Luap

    Dranrab Luap E-Tarded Super Moderator

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    The more wind protection on the Strom may not be better. Wind management is an issue for the vast majority of V-strom owners.
    #4
  5. llamapacker

    llamapacker Mr. Conservative

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    Purchased my Versys last October to go to Alaska, but didn't get it done this year, maybe next year.

    Still messing with it, corbin seat on the way, but the stock seat with front raised is pretty good. 54 mpg usually. Toying with cruise control, but the vacuum controller from audiovox is huge, no where to hide that I have found yet.

    Need better windshield to cut turbulence for long distance run.

    Saw the F8GS yesterday, heard it run, sounded great and really looks good, but could have 2 Versys for that price, plus none to be had, all sold.
    #5
  6. jstcrashnthru

    jstcrashnthru Livin' the dream

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    You don't need to use the Audiovox vacuum can. Just make one of your own using some PVC pipe and a couple of end caps. Make it to fit where you need it.
    #6
  7. keetmanaa

    keetmanaa Adventurer

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    Easily solved with Madstad for only a few bucks
    #7
  8. ArmyMedic

    ArmyMedic Flyin' Elvis, UT Chapter

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    My problem with wind management on the Strom isn't buffeting (fixed with Laminar lip on my 02 V) but being blown nearly off the road has been several times.
    #8
  9. greywolf

    greywolf Unpaved road avoider

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    People reporting problems with wind on V-Stroms have also reported major positive changes when adding a Murphs or Superbrace fork brace.

    I'm sure the Audiovox vacuum controller reference was to the cable controller, not an auxiliary canister. That can't be changed. Maybe the Rostra electronic controller that doesn't use a vacuum would fit. Rostra makes the Audiovox.
    #9
  10. keetmanaa

    keetmanaa Adventurer

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    Much better on the Wee, especially with a fork brace.
    #10
  11. MoBill

    MoBill Smiles when says dat

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    :lurk
    #11
  12. jigdog

    jigdog Been here awhile

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    FORGET the BMW its overpriced, unavailible, and BMWs quality control issues make it a crap shoot. Not the kind of thing you would want on such a trip. Also, you want a good used bike that wont drop $2000 in value after it leaves the showroom floor. That rules out the BMW because even if you found a used one for sale its probably suffering from the aforementioned QC issues and is being dumped on some unsuspecting sucker. Or a BMW affictionado who thinks BMWs s@#$ doesnt stink.
    Personally my choice would be a good used Wee. Probably $5000 and another $2000 to equip it. Youd be $$$$s ahead of the BMW not to mention eliminating having your trip possibly ruined by a BMW QC incident.
    #12
  13. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    your almost 2 years out of date.
    Wind is NOT an issue any longer.
    Kudos to the designer/maker of Madstad bracket that completely replaces stock V-strom hardware. It just plain works.

    my quick take is the 650 version of the Beemer is a street bike, the Versys is a street bike, and the V-strom is a street bike that accidentally can do a job on a graded dirt road and has huge aftermarket support like right now realtime. Not one of the three is a Dualsport bike so lets not deceive one another.

    I would include the KTM 950/990 in this discussion as its profile quickly helps contrast roadbikes with dualsport/Adventure bikes.

    #13