Moving up from the Versys, need advice!

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by aclimbatize, May 2, 2013.

  1. aclimbatize

    aclimbatize Adventurer

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    Hey all!

    So I've had my Versys for about two years now and have put about 12,000 miles on her in those last two years. Some highway, some twisties, and even some dirt and fire roads. Before the Versys I owned a SV650S and before that a Ninja 250. As seems to happen every two years or so now, I have gotten the itch to own something new. I have loved every minute of owning the Versys, but am craving something a little more powerful.

    I recently purchased a WR250X with dirt wheels to do more dirt exploring and fun short trips in town. It is a super fun ride that I can thrash around and go anywhere I want on it, if any of you have the chance to own a dual sport as fun and versatile as the WR, do not hesitate! Plus, maintenance intervals are the smae as the Versys!

    That being said, I would like to replace the Versys but am torn between 4 bikes. Hopefully some of you have experience with both the Versys and at least one other of the bikes I'm looking at. The bikes I'm looking at are: FZ8, FZ1, Z1000, and the Ninja 1000. My qualms with each based soley on what I've read: FZ1 seems to need to be in the high RPMs to even access its power; FZ8 has no wind protection and is described to have kind of a boring motor, and might as well just get the FZ1 for the better suspension anyways; Z1000 very little wind protection; Ninja 1000 most expensive used or new and not as sexy as the Z1000.

    What I like about each (again soley based on what I've read): FZ1 can be had used for super cheap and can easily be set up for touring; FZ8 can be had for very cheap brand new, is well rounded and wont be hugely different as far as power from the Versys; Z1000 Sexy, thrilling engine, all around beast and great performer; Ninja 1000 same engine, chassis, and suspension as the Z but with wind protection for touring.

    So there you have it. As you can see, all of these bikes almost identical ergonomics, not quite as upright as the Versys, but close. I just can't decide if I want to spend more money for the newer Ninja and Z, or spend less for a little less in the FZ1 and FZ8. Your opinions are greatly appreciated!
    #1
  2. bogey78

    bogey78 Been here awhile

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    I would like to make one other suggestion that wasn't on your list: Bandit 1200 or 1250. If you are looking for more engine, the bandit should be on your list. I love the old FZ1 but the new ones, meh. I sat on a Ninja 1000 at the dealer and it was sweet as far as comfort goes. From the reviews I've read, it's a great bike. I honestly haven't ridden any of the bikes on your list but I have been searching for a next bike and the Bandit fits right in with the bikes you are considering.
    #2
  3. MariusD

    MariusD Been here awhile

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    I've researched those 4 bikes and really want a ninja 1000 at this point. It seems to be the perfect blend of comfort, wind protection, nimblness and soft enough suspension that won't beat u up too bad on a daily basis. At least those are the things i value. The one problem may be that insurance tends to be super expensive on the ninja, so u may have to shop around for a fair quote.
    #3
  4. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

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    I think all 4 are great bikes and will make you happy. I am not a fan of the Z1000, simply because the Ninja 1000 makes a lot more sense to me. My uses would be primarily commuting and sport touring, so that leads me to narrow it down to the Ninja or the FZ1. The Ninja is probably the better bike, at least according to the magazines, but I think the FZ1 is much better looking. I don't understand the people who prefer the 1st generation FZ1. I would take the current version any day. Some folks say you have to wring its neck to get the power hit - I think those people are power junkies. I have ridden the FZ1 and I found no reason take it above 6000 rpm. Besides, a lighter power delivery down low is more usable in the real world. Sometimes it rains where I live. :lol3

    So I say either the FZ1 or Ninja 1000. Someone suggested checking out the Suzuki GSF1250FA - I think that is an outstanding idea. Heavier, but more torque low in the power band, and more comfortable. If I was going to ride one of these three across the lower 48, I would take the Suzuki.

    and then there's the Triumph Sprint GT :D
    #4
  5. scotty918

    scotty918 Been here awhile

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    I think the Ninja with hard bags would be the most versatile. However, a Bandit 1250 with luggage would be an excellent value. Plus, Dale at Holeshot offers a laundry list of performance upgrades should you want them.:evil
    #5
  6. SkiMan

    SkiMan Nora's freezin' on the...

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    I purchased a 2012 FZ8 just a couple of weeks ago after having come off of a FJ1200 that I loved and hated to get rid of. Decided it was time to down size, shed some of the weight of the 1200 and have something a bit more flickable. Bought mine as a leftover and was out the door for just under 8k, so yes....they can be had at very reasonable prices. I added an MRA race screen from the folks at Twisted Throttle and a center stand. Swapped over my soft luggage, tank and tail bags and I've now got a decent mid weight weekend tourer as well as a out for a day of twisties machine. For me, it's got great low to mid range power (the days of high speed are over for me, so I really don't care about top end). I'm getting in the mid to upper 40's for mileage. Uses regular fuel (no need for high octane). Really comes alive at about 7k RPM but has a tendancy to have a little buzz over 85mph. First valve adjustment is at 26K, so it looks like oil, tire, coolant and the other usual maintenance will be it. Suspension is probably a little soft for some riders, but for me...it works. Factory seat is fairly comfy and the height is just about right. Instrument cluster is easy to read. The only complaint that I have and it's not about the performance of the FZ8, but about how ugly the exhaust is on it. Just looks like Yamaha didn't put too much thought into it (actually it was a way to keep the cost down). After 3 rides, I got just over 1,000 miles and I'm not missing the FJ!
    I too looked at the FZ1 and just felt it had way more performance than I wanted. Seemed like it wanted to be twisted up all the time. I also found the seat height just a tad tall. Felt I would just be getting another FJ were I wouldn't be using all the capacity of the bike.
    If you get a chance and can find a demo day (they gotta be starting up again)....ride an FZ8, you may really like it, I do!
    #6
  7. bogey78

    bogey78 Been here awhile

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    I prefer the 1st gen mainly for comfort. I haven't ridden the old or new FZ1 but just sitting on them, the first gen felt great while the ergos on the 2nd gen didn't seem as good for me. I've also heard the 2nd gen uses more fuel and has a smaller tank. I wouldn't turn down either but if I had my choice between new and old FZ1, I'd be on a first gen. That said, I still like the bandit 1250.
    #7
  8. aclimbatize

    aclimbatize Adventurer

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    Thanks for the replies guys!

    As far as the Bandit is concerned, it's a little heavy and quite frankly the looks are a little dated. It just doesnt "do it for me."

    I'd love to entertain the idea of the Versys 1000, but it hasn't made it state side yet as far as I can tell, and who know if it will . . .

    As far as having the I4 engine, I've never had one and would like to have that experience at least once. I've had the I2 with the ninja and the Versys, and the V2 with the SV. I'm not exactly a speed freak, I respect my bikes and understand that even a 250 can get me to life threatening speeds, so the idea that I'm always going to want more doesn't quite work for me. I don't wheelie, and don't drag race or do any of the typical squid crap. Like I said, just looking for a new experience and something a little more torquey. I recently rode my friends VFR800 and really liked having the extra power on tap even if I wasn't going to use it all. Who knows, I may end up downsizing again in the future, but I figure I'll never know if bigger is better for me unless I try it. Anyways, I'm still keeping the WR so I figure I can get the best of both worlds!

    Most of my riding with this new bike will be canyon carving and infrequent long trips (say once a year or so), and depending on if I get a new job somewhere a little farther from where I live now, longer commute (currently only 2 miles ). Also I've never owned a brand new bike before, they've al been second hand purchases, and I'd love to have that experience of taking something no one else has ridden off the sales floor and breaking it in myself. So with that in mind I think I'm going to take the FZ1 off my list and go from there.
    #8
  9. Max Buffet

    Max Buffet Been here awhile

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    I went from a Versys to a 1050 Tiger. All the stuff that I liked in the V were there in the Tiger, but more so.
    #9
  10. aclimbatize

    aclimbatize Adventurer

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    Yeah, I looked at the Tiger, a sexy beast! But, just a little outside my price range . . .
    #10
  11. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

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    Used 1050 tigers can be a great value. Look for oned wuth suspension and headlight ipgrades. Otherwise id vote ninja 1k based solely on reading.
    #11
  12. objectuser

    objectuser Been here awhile

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    I had a Versys but have not ridden the other bikes (which look nice). Can you do long distances with the forward riding positions of some of those bikes? Also agree you OK with the range? I just remember the V being very comfortable and having really good range so just wanted to point that out if it mattered.

    Good luck!
    #12
  13. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    ooo yes I have read that too! fz1 and z1000 for sure get under 40 mpg and with a 4xx galon tank, it is very far, almost cruiserish. still they are sexy!

    Damasovi
    #13
  14. kamikazekyle

    kamikazekyle Been here awhile

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    I have a Ninja 1000 and shopped for an FZ1 before the Ninja. My friend has an FZ8. So, I'll add some input.

    Firstly, nix the Z1000. It's a great bike and all, but it gets even worse mileage than the Ninja and has a smaller gas tank to boot. And it has a more upright seating position compared to the Ninja (not by much). It'd serve your purposes just fine, but if I had any aspirations of touring I'd prefer something with a bit better range.

    If I had to do it all again, I'd get a new model FZ8. It's the best bang for the buck new bar none, especially now that it comes with upgraded adjustable suspension. An aftermarket windscreen goes a long way for wind protection. Plenty of usable power. It does like the higher RPM range compared to a Ninja but doesn't need to free rev like an FZ1. If you want more pep at the low end a power commander + aftermarket exhaust does wonders. My friend tossed a setup on and swears by it. Gets upper 40's or more MPG if nursed, and runs on regular. I find the N1K has just way too much power that I'd never fully realize outside of the track, so I could dig a bike with a lower total cost of ownership and better looks (IMO).

    Beyond that, yea, the Ninja 1000 is really damn hard to beat. The torque curve is so smooth you'd swear it's a twin, it growls instead of howls, and with an aftermarket seat is an awesome sport touring bike that can also hang with the supersports. It does have a slight forward lean but not much, and there's aftermarket risers and even standard handlebar conversion kits if you'd like. I've pulled 8 hour days in the WVa mountains before, and it's my butt that gives out far before my shoulders or wrists, even with an aftermarket Corbin seat.

    It's not without issues, though. Mileage is pretty meh and the worst out of anything but the Z1000. Conservative riding gets me mid 30's city and low 40's highway, and it tehcnically requires premium (or some midgrades). A lot of insurance companies classify it with the ZX-10 and 14, so charge outrageous premiums (go with State Farm). Parts are as expensive as BMW's, and aftermarket/used part support isn't nearly as big as an FZ8, FZ1, or Bandit. Oh, and the OEM rear tire is too low profile so the bike turns like a dog until you change it out.

    So, yea, long winded there. If buying new and a sport standard (FZ1, FZ8, Ninja 1000, etc), I'd lean the FZ8 for bang versus buck, especially with the upgraded 2013 model. Next up would be the Ninja. It does so many things right it's scary, just expect to pay a bit for it in terms of cost of ownership.
    #14
  15. aclimbatize

    aclimbatize Adventurer

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    Thanks for the advice on the FZ8, I'll definitely strongly consider it when the time comes. Anyone know if there is a huge difference between the '13 model and the '11-'12s? I know they added adjustability to the suspension, but is it really worth the difference in cost? Locally there is a shop selling a new '11 for 7500 and a new '13 for 8890. Not sure if I want to pay 1400 more for just added adjustability in the suspension when I'll likely not be outriding the stock suspension on the street anyways . . .

    As far as insurance cost for the ninja I've already done a ton of research on this and found that through state farm I can get the same rate on the ninja as I would on the Z and only a little more than the FZ8, so thats really a non-issue for me. Also I don't plan on changing much of any new bike I get other than maybe slip on exhaust, as all stock exhausts these days are so damn ugly and heavy.
    #15
  16. MariusD

    MariusD Been here awhile

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    Another thing to consider in terms of cost of ownership is frequency of tire replacement. After talking to quiet a few liter bike owners it caught me by surprise that they need new tires every 3k miles or so. Vstrom owners can get 8k out of tires. Not sure if fz8 would be closer to a vstrom or a liter bike, but it might be worth looking into if you plan to put a lot of miles on this bike.
    #16
  17. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Go ride a Triumph or three. :D
    #17
  18. opmike

    opmike Choosing to be here.

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    There's FAR too many variables to consider to make such blanket statements about tire life. Were those owners using something like Pilot Road 2's or something like Pilot Powers? Sure, a heavier, higher horsepower bike will probably go through tires a quicker, but if you can't get more than 3K miles out of a quality set of ST rubber, you probably need to keep it on the track or talk to your city about your local roads.
    #18
  19. nbsdave

    nbsdave Been here awhile

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    +1 on this
    the GSX1250A is a lot of bike, especially for the money. New 2012's are still available at really good prices.
    Bullet-proof engine, eye opening torque and smoothness, plus abs
    good selection of aftermarket add-ons too
    ride one before you decide
    #19
  20. Tom-Nor

    Tom-Nor Wannabe Adventurer

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    If the run on sports tiers and drive very aggresive you need new tiers after 3K mils, even on a vstrom.
    Putt ST tiers on a liter bike and drive litle less aggresiv and youl easly get 6-7K miles.
    #20