Hello all! I'm a new rider (just did MSF BRC 10/30-31; got M endorsement 11/3) and I'm planning to get my first bike. Narrowed it down to a KLR 650 or a Versys, both 2009. Hoping to pull the trigger this weekend.
I've read a lot of the forum postings, so I know a lot has been said comparing these two bikes. The Versys seems like the clear winner for street riding (I'll be commuting in The Big City on freeways), but here are my specific concerns.
1. Fit: I'm 6'5, 340lbs. I don't know my inseam (36?), but I could flat-foot the KLR no problem. I've spent most of my life trying to SQUEEZE myself into things (even before I got fat!), so the idea of something FITTING is important to me. The KLR seems to just FIT me. The Versys is not uncomfortable, but the KLR seems like it was made for me. Of course, this is only while I'm sitting in the dealership. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Actual riding performance: everything I've heard/read says, "If you're going to be on paved roads most of the time, get the Versys. It'll be a better ride. It'll handle better. It's a street machine." But won't a bike that fits be better give me a better ride and handle better for me? I haven't ridden enough to know. I don't have any point of reference. Which brings me to my 3rd point
3. New rider: However many miles I put on that Kawasaki Eliminator 125 (zoiks!) in the BRC (10-12?), THAT'S the amount of miles I've ridden. So, for a new rider, is it better to get a bike that fits them physically, or a bike that's better suited for their riding purpose? WIll riding a KLR on the freeways and pavement teach me bad habits or make it harder to learn to ride well (compensating for a bike not quite in it's element)? Or would it be better for me to be on a bike I think fits me better, so I'm not having to 'fight' the bike, like I was on the Eliminator in my BRC?
So, if it's better for a new rider to have a bike that fits them physically, I'd go wit the KLR. If it's better for a new rider to have a bike that fits the kind of riding they're going to do, I'd go with the Versys.
Thanks in advance! Hope to have some riding tales to share soon!