2016 Suzuki VStrom 650 versus 2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 | Compare and Contrast

2016 Suzuki VStrom 650 versus 2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 | Compare and Contrast
2016 Suzuki VStrom 650 versus 2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 | Compare and Contrast

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21 thoughts on “2016 Suzuki VStrom 650 versus 2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 | Compare and Contrast

  1. Great video! the one big advantage for me with the Vstrom IMO is that it has a much longer wheelbase. This gives a lot more room for 2 up riding and packing luggage for trips. On the other hand the short wheelbase on the versys makes it a wheelie machine and a sportier ride.

  2. I like both of these bikes, but I’m 5′ 7″ with a 30″ inseam and they are just too tall for me to feel confident coming to a stop on gravel, loose dirt, etc. I understand ground clearance, but the designers could have put a little more effort into making the height adjustable by more than 1″. Does anyone make a lowering kit for either of these bikes?

  3. “Grass is always greener”, you’re driving a Vstrom so the Versys looks better to you now!

  4. Nice review. I too have a 2013 V Strom and absolutely love it. I’m currently using a 2016 Versys as a loan bike and have to say that they are very different machines. The Versys has sportier handling, much better front brakes and a bit more ‘get up and go’. The downsides? Well I find it a bit cramped, less stable than my Suzuki and more prone to vibration. Were I 20 years younger I’d probably go with the Kawasaki but right now the Wee is the better bike for me. My advice, ride them both before you decide; they’re both excellent bikes!

  5. I own a 2015 Versys 650 ABS, and love it. I’ve sat on the V-Strom, and it’s comfortable, tall and would be great for long trips, both on-road and off-road, unlike the Versys, IMO. V-Strom is better off-road, to a point; look where the oil filter is on that V-Strom – YIKES!! Better not hit anything in that area. I was getting 60+ MPG for the first 5-6K miles, but now I’m getting around 52-57 MPG. The brakes are strong, suspension responsive and the motor is spirited on the Versys. The seat on the Versys isn’t very comfortable, though. Thanks for the review!

  6. I just picked up my new 2016 VStrom 650 two days ago.
    What I like about it is:
    1) its off-road capability, the reason I traded my beautiful 2013 TDM900 in for it;
    2) smooth gear changes, unlike the TDM and the 2009 Versys 650 I owned previously;
    3) amazing torque – I rode the 50km of twisty country road to Nimbin and back this afternoon in 5th and 6th gear just about all the way, no shortage of low-down grunt, comparable to the TDM with its 900cc;
    4) feels nice and light to wheel around and pull up on the centre stand, nicely balanced too; very manageable for an old guy like me, coming up 70 next birthday;
    5) fuel economy – the gauge indicator bar stayed the same all the way;
    6) the front end doesn’t shake and rattle at low speed, unlike the TDM, when you go over bumps;
    7) handles superbly through the s’s, despite the taller front tyre, it’s a dream on that type of road;
    8) I love the Suzi hand-guards I had fitted after-market, keep my hands warm on the late winter’s afternoon;
    9) it looks cool with its after-market crash-bars and skid-plate and pivot-pegs and hand-guards – and headlight protector;
    10) sweet engine note even with just the standard Suzi pipe;
    11) there’s probably more that I can’t think of right now. Oh yeah, the gear indicator on the dash display – very nice.

    What’s not so good:
    1) the brakes are a sphincter-clencher the first time you grab for them, compared to the TDM. But I daresay I’ll get used to leaving a bit more space in front;
    2) slightly rougher ride when I start to wind up the revs – which I’m not really going overboard with til it’s run in; there’s a little bit of a vibration but nothing serious;
    3) a bit of of helmet noise over 90kph – I think it’s the slipstream over the top of the screen, I’ll try adjusting it up a little tomorrow and see if that fixes it;
    4) the seat is a little on the hard side compared to the TDM. Then again, the TDM’s seat is the most comfortable one I’ve ever sat on, the V-Strom’s is not too bad, certainly better than the BMW R1200GS’s, which I found wouldn’t let me change position at all – quite tiring after a while.

    I’m looking forward to getting to know her better on some long trips real soon.

  7. Another advantage is you can get spoked wheels for the Strom. The base models only differ by $500.00 bucks here in Canada. I’d go with a Suzy and delete the beak. Heh, that sounds like a good promo. ‘Suzuki’s Delete the Beak Year End Blow Out’. https://youtu.be/GQjcJgHvkRg

  8. I’m 6’2 and I have the 2016 versys 650. We rode a 185 mile round trip to enjoy the twisties in the Shanandoah mountains. The Versys does really well on the interstate as well in the twisties. The only thing is, unless I go into a full tuck, the wind beats me up. In the tuck, the engine is smooth even at 75 / 85 mph. This bike lets me know that the Versys 1000 is an even better ride.

  9. I’ve sat on both, the Versys seems more comfortable. I’m 6’1″ 215lbs. I sat on it at the dealer for 10 minutes and I started to get a little fatigued between my thighs. The V-Strom seat seems a bit wider, less fatigue, but for about $1,000 more, ugh…
    Also, the Versys saddle bags fit closer to the bike. The V-Strom sit on brackets, looks ugly as hell and the one near the exhaust has to fit outward even further.
    It seems Kawasaki might have taken some input from customers because the 2016’s have foot rests that were moved a bit more forward and the seat was better designed (so the dealer told me and I did see this somewhere on the internet).
    Also some videos show the wind buffering better on the Kawasaki.

  10. I thought v-strom has not changed since 2012 except for XT, Adventure and 650 abs. The 2016 Versys made some changes. Spoke wheels on xt is said to give better ride, especially off road.

  11. It will be interesting to see someone compare a 2017 Suzuki Vstrom with the new engine versus the 2017 Kawasaki Versys as I am looking at both bikes next year.

  12. I’ve got a 2012 VStrom 650 and love it. Beauty is in the eye, no?; I think the VStrom is much better looking in its proportions and over all lines than the compressed looking Versys. I also really dig the engine and have heard (but not sure if true) that the 90 degree V twin design is superior to the parallel twins in terms of performance. Great videos; thanks for your perspective.

  13. Good video 🙂 I bought a new ’12 Versys and ended up Hating it and wishing I got the Vstrom.
    The engine was brutal with vibrations….the seat was the worst, and the windscreen shook my head like a paint shaker…
    The new 17 Strom looks awesome 🙂

  14. Hi Tony, I went to the London Motorcycle Show last week with cheque book in hand to buy a V Strom.
    But, I foolishly looked at what else is about that I hadn’t thought of. The Kawasaki stand had the silver 650 Versys GT which looked so modern compared with the V Strom. I have booked a test ride on one for next week. Watch this space.

  15. I sold my 2005 Vstrom 650 and wish I had it back. Which do you prefer to find a used bike, Craiglist or Cycletrader?

  16. Man!   This is super annoying, just flicking back and forth between the web pages!   You couldn’t find pictures which would show side by side?

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