Been considering a Versys since last Fall...
Seeking a lightweight bike that I can use for light adventure touring/motorcycle camping... street-biased but fire-road capable would be ideal. Have my deposit down for a Versys and need to make a decision soon for the 2008 season.
Would really like opinions regarding the Versys vs. the soon to be released BMW F650GS -- new 2008 version with the 800cc twin (essentially a street oriented version of the F800GS? -- NOT the previous 650cc thumper).
Here are some of my first impressions so far -- am I on track?
-- this bike is just a blast to ride -- great all rounder but definitely more 'all-road' conditions oriented than light duty off-road -- I think I can live with this since the m/c camping gig has me trundling around campsites and access roads at low speeds not tearing down trails out in the woods.
-- storage -- big issue and I think the Versys with side cases, maybe top box and definitely a big u-bag across the rear seat should do the trick
-- hugger -- I worry about blowing a lot of dirt, stones, and water up the back of the Versys so am thinking a hugger makes sense -- would appreciate recommendations for a color-match red option
-- low cassette exhaust -- really like the look and ability to keep the heat away from the luggage despite a bit more vulnerabiity down low
-- reliability -- Versys derived from a solid platform with the Ninja 650r and naked Ninja (ER6?) over in Europe, also has been out on the world market for a year
F650GS 800cc twin
-- More off road capability since it's really just a detuned and lowered F800GS, but I may not need as much as this bike provides
-- storage -- looks like I can get full "Touratech (box)" style side and top cases which are proven solution for a/t
-- F650GS version of the engine makes 71hp and 55.3* lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm vs. 44.9 lb/ft @6,800 rpm for the Versys -- so more umph down low here with the beemer
-- reliability... as far as I can tell the F800ST/S from which the F800GS/F650GS are derived had a lot of engine/tranny issues early on -- so did BMW get it right with the GS versions?
(Here's a link to a factual comparo by OrangeEnvy between F650GS vs. Versys vs. V-Strom:
So an opinions on F650GS or Versys, anyone ride both yet?