Honda NCX or Versys??

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by longdude17, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. longdude17

    longdude17 Adventurer

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    Howdy peeps. Im in the market for a new bike. Kinda want a change in riding style. I have been eyeing two different bikes and I would like a little input from current owners on their experience.

    Firstly, Im 30yrs old 6'4" 200lbs 34" inseam, Ive been riding for roughly 10yrs. Started out on a 95' Ninja 500ex while in college that I managed to lowside. So I stuck the evil lil shit in the garage where it still resides. I then moved on to a Honda Shadow 750ACE which I put 25,000 miles on, got bored and sold. Spent alot of time on a Buell Ulysees xb12. Nice performing bike but there was NOTHING smooth about that bike and was HOT on the bottom here in the Louisiana heat. Currently riding a 2012 Yamaha Raider 1900 cruiser....and ....well....Im bored. Sure the raider is surprisingly quick and has a great level of torque but its not what I "want" to ride to work everyday....its just too "pretty" (I work in a chemical plant and dont want overspray on my custom paint).

    So, Ive been looking and I want a adventure typed bike. I have that ever elusive "hole" that Im looking to fill. I really want the Ducati Hypermotard but GEEZ they are pricey and nearest dealer is 200miles away. Ive test ridden the NCX700 and while it doesnt have the Umph Id like, I think I can live with it. Doesnt appear to have the wheelie factor to it, BUT it gets 70mpg....which is nice. Ive never ridden the Versys but I have a buddy and he says its like the "light" version of my old buell.....and its somewhat comparable in price to the Honda.

    Im not really lookng for a Hardcore off road bike, nor am I looking for a sport bike. I want something that is a blast to ride, gets good gas milage, has enough power to pull the wheels and yet comfortable enough to fit my frame and enjoy the occasional gravel road. (I know, im spoiled to the buell) Id like to keep the new price below $6-8 grand and will likely be looking for a used one.

    Has anyone ridden these and can give some advice?
    #1
  2. mamm

    mamm < advertise here! >

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    NCX = appliance.

    Versys = fun.
    #2
  3. YJake

    YJake Roaming

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    Pretty much.

    You'll never touch the NCX's MPG figures with a Versys, but you will have a smile on your face the whole time. :evil

    -Jake
    #3
  4. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    maybe you have a reason why not, but the newest (2012->) DL650 should fit that description pretty well.
    #4
  5. longdude17

    longdude17 Adventurer

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    Well I thought about the DL650 V-strom but something about it doesnt tickle my fancy........not sure what it is, kinda like a fat girl in skinny jeans....
    #5
  6. Bad-Tat

    Bad-Tat 800 XC

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    Can't go wrong with the V!
    #6
  7. wickerman

    wickerman Adventurer

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    Love my NC700X! I didn't like the ergo of the Versys and it was too buzzy for me. Althought it is quicker off the line the NC700X has its good points as well, carries its weight low, feels very stable on highway, and the "frunk" is great!
    #7
  8. Auto-X Fil

    Auto-X Fil Been here awhile

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    If you enjoy pulling the front wheel off the tarmac, the Versys is the bike for you. It's got so much low-end torque, and such an upright position, that the front wheel lifts like a literbike (although at lower speeds, of course).

    It's got no top-end rush, so it's not the ride for ripping through the gears. An SV650 is much better for that kind of thing. However, the Versys is a really satisfying ride to torque around at lower revs, which is more conducive to the kind of fun you can have at legal speeds.

    Vibes are probably typical for a parallel twin. Down low it's smooth, until you get on the gas - then the power pulses rock you like a small cruiser motor. I think it's fun, not objectionable. 4-6k is really smooth, then the vibes build as the revs climb, although nowhere near as much as thumper. The cowling, and particularly the dash surround, tend to buzz. Replacing four plastic push-pin fasteners with metal hardware fixes it for most people.

    I get 47mpg with a mix of puttering along behind traffic and riding like a hooligan. That is the average on Fuelly for all Versyses (Versi?). The nice thing is that even at 47mpg, the 5.0gal tank means you can easily go 200 miles before looking for gas.

    Gravel roads are fine, although it's a bit stiff to really rip them up. Tires would help a lot. $4-5k gets you a nice, lightly used bike.
    #8
  9. aussie ttoad

    aussie ttoad T.T.O.A.D

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    L Dude,

    have a ride of a V-Strom 650, I think it might tick most of your boxes

    Great alround bike
    #9
  10. Ogre_fl

    Ogre_fl Long timer

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    I had a 06 650 Strom, a 10 Buell XT and now have a 08 Versys.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The Strom is a very good bike, but its bland and not a wheelie/fun machine like the other 2.<o:p></o:p>
    I have no experience with the NCX, but suspect it&#8217;s a bit bland too.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The Versys is kind of like a "light" version of the Buell, I call it my digital Buell (assuming the Buell is analog, VERY analog).
    They are similar, but not really the same.
    I bought the Buell after the Strom because I thought I wanted a bike with more character.<o:p></o:p>
    I found I did not like THAT MUCH character.<o:p></o:p>
    Even being the 2010 version Buell with all the latest upgrades, it was a very hot bike.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The Versys is every bit as good as the Strom, but like the Buell is very engaging, but is also just plain fun to ride all the time & every where.<o:p></o:p>
    The Buell was fun some of the time and not fun (or even irritating) some of the time.

    I personally love the Versys on gravel, even more than the Strom and way more than the Buell.<o:p></o:p>
    The Strom is better in the sand and mud because of its 19" front wheel.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The ergos on the Versys needs a bit of work, particularly of your size (I am 6'-6" BTW).
    If you go that route plan on a seat and some form of lower pegs (I run Buell Ully pegs), Rox risers and a flatter bend bar.<o:p></o:p>

    FWIW the Strom also need a seat, risers and flatter bend bars.
    The Buell needed the old style taller seat.
    <o:p></o:p>
    #10
  11. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    Ride them both, then decide.
    I have not ridden the new honda, owned a versys for 3 years and 8K miles. I liked it, was a fun bike, but went searching for a smoother ride and something better for 2-up. You should be able to find a good used one for under $5K. You could ride it for awhile and sell without a loss. It's a fun little bike, mini-Ulysus probly a good description. It's peppy and corners well, very easy to ride. The owners like that it is one of the least cost bikes to buy and run, economical to the extreme. They are also rock solid dependable, go a lot of miles, very little maintenance.

    I'm guessing the honda is a lot more refined, probably more sedate. Seems like a quality machine. I would choose it over the versys if there were some distance treks planned. Otherwise I imagine the Verys would just be more fun around town.

    None of them are really wheelie machines. They are balanced and the front comes up only if you really try. The ducati is a different story.
    #11
  12. mcmann

    mcmann Motorcycle Maniac

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    Get a Versys with sealed/tubeless spokes:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. Kiko

    Kiko Long timer

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    There you go, best deal going. Versys + Woody's.
    #13
  14. donny662

    donny662 Been here awhile

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    The "occasional gravel road" does not require spoked wheels. jdrocks has done "tens of thousands of miles of gravel roads" on Versys and Ninja 650R based bikes and prefers cast wheels.

    If you think the Hypermotard looks good but think it's too expensive, look at the Aprilia Dorsoduro 750 which is about $10k new, $2k cheaper than the Ducati, and I don't think it holds its value as well as the Ducati, so you could find a used one at a fairly good price.

    The new Honda 500cc series has about the same horsepower as the NC700 series, I believe, but you will have trouble finding used specimens, same as you will with the NC700X.

    Any of the more upright sport bikes would probably also work for your intended use, depending on how you like the ergonomics. The up and coming Yamaha FZ-09 has caught my eye because of its triple cylinder engine and fairly low price at $8k, but you won't find one used as it will only become available later this year. The SV650/Gladius, Ninja 650R, FZ6 to 1, 919, Bandit, etc. are also good bikes to look at in this category. The Versys is the same as the Ninja 650R, just with a bigger fuel tank, couple inches more suspension travel, more upright bars, slightly lower footpegs, and engine tuned for mid-range torque.
    #14
  15. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    ...and then put a full street tyre on your spoked wheels :lol3

    They do look great, though!
    #15
  16. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    While the spoked wheels are nice for a full ADV conversion, if memory serves they're about half the value of the stupid bike. :dunno The wheels are not what limits that bike, it's the suspension.

    I haven't ridden one of the new honda cb500's, but it looks like a great little bike. Coming from a Buell it may not be enough bike though.
    #16
  17. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

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    I think you should consider a used DL1000 V-Strom. It will yank the front wheel off the ground, no problem. It definitely has a hooligan streak, and it sounds like you do too.

    :D
    #17
  18. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

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    Depends where/how you ride really... The honda NC700X is a cool design, mostly road going, based on a scooter and very practical. If you aren't going off the pavement much, then you can't beat the value. You can get one new with a Warranty & loan for about what you're looking for.

    I put cash down on the Gladius because the Honda was hard to find at the time. Seemed like a notch higher in quality/power.

    Then I discovered and test rode the Tiger 800 XC. Done. Sold. Took out a cheap loan for the difference over the SV. (Plus I watched the Icon Raiden youtube video when I got home and soiled my pants:) Just shows how much more capable the bike is then I am, and that's very reassuring.
    #18
  19. Murphy Slaw

    Murphy Slaw Long timer

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    I love those builds.....

    I really like the idea of starting with a Ninja, and going from there.....
    #19
  20. philp38

    philp38 Long timer

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    I concur 100%. I also just purchased a new NC700X and love it. I hated the vibration the Versys produced. The NC700 feels like a big trials bike. :D The wife and I have ridden (2 up) 100s of miles of gravel roads with no problems even with the stock tires.
    [​IMG]
    #20