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Author Topic: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider  (Read 926 times)

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Online Skee

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Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« on: January 11, 2020, 10:39:56 PM »
I’m helping a friend – who is an intermediate rider - decide on a used bike.  His budget is in the $4k range.  He is looking for general all-around transportation – a daily rider with extended day trips – and comfortable seating position.  While there are a tone of metric cruisers out there in that price range and a bunch of sport bikes, he has come down to 2 models

2014 Kawasaki Versys ABS (650 cc)  ~$4.5k
2010 Honda NT700V Deauville non-ABS (680 cc) ~$4k

The Versys is a 6 speed chain drive DOHC.  Honda is 5 speed shaft drive SOHC.  The Versys has a longer travel adjustable suspension with slightly shorter wheelbase.  The Honda weighs a little more but has integrated side cases.  The biggest differences I see are ABS and side cases.

Any advice here?  I’m obviously biased towards the Versys.  The Honda looks like an equally good choice.  Is there something I’m overlooking with the Honda that made them unpopular?
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Online mr.awesome

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 08:26:13 AM »
Lighter weight and 6 speed gets my vote

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2020, 09:14:07 AM »
Everything about the Versys sounds better to me  8)
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Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2020, 10:46:49 AM »
Versys is much less boring
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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2020, 10:59:29 AM »
Ah, this age-old dilemma.

How long has he been riding? and how much real experience does he have?

~2 years experience is that danger point where he thinks, sub-/un-consciously, he's way better a rider than he really is. This is just the science of it.

Toss him a copy each of Hough's and of Parks' books.

The only reason I'd pick - FOR A NEW RIDER - the Versys over the Honda is the ABS. But then again, I'm a huge fan of ABS across the board.

Every argument for the Versys has merit for a ton of riders, except a new rider in the 1-4 year range. The NT is super forgiving, is sedate and predictable, and is WAY less frenetic in both engine & power delivery, and in how it rides due to the longer wheel base and longer rake.

Let him be bored a couple years and go with the Honda, and learn how to brake properly.

The Versys is amazing, but it's a much, much more spritely power delivery, especially right off idle, than the Honda.

$.02
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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 11:17:06 AM »
Versys is much less boring

Kinda what I was thinking.
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Online SLK50

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2020, 04:11:14 PM »
Versys -yes.
Dullville - no.
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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2020, 05:54:30 PM »
'Busa

Online Patmo

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2020, 06:10:52 PM »
The Honda is really a very underpowered bike, and doesn’t handle especially well, but I have 3 friends....all experienced riders....that love theirs.  Why?  For the utility, luggage, ease of maintenance, and dependability.

On the other hand, if he is thinking about the Verseys, and is at all concerned about the height of the Verseys, he should also consider the Ninja 650.  I’m extremely happy with mine.

Online Skee

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2020, 09:45:29 PM »
Appreciate the insight; same sort of thoughts have been running through my mind.

It is totally his decision. 

I'm just trying to point out the relative benefits of each bike.  While I would find the Honda dull, it will be quite a step up from what he is riding now.  The "utility, luggage, ease of maintenance, and dependability" of the Honda is a point in its favor; not that Kawis are unreliable.  He may not utilize the suspension or power of the Versys, although the ABS is a big plus IMO.

In the end it may come down to economics and resale value.  He's working off a budget.  To put bags on the Versys comparable to the Honda would add another $1000.  That makes the Versys $1500 more expensive than the Honda out the door.

Let's say each bike loses half its value in the next 3 or 4 years; that's $750 depreciation loss advantage to the Honda when he is looking to trade up.

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but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.   Vincent van Gogh

Offline Bryan.VFR

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2020, 07:33:27 AM »
Chris made some really good points for the Dullville. It may not be the bike for one of us, but it sounds like the right bike for someone of your buddy's experience/skill/needs.

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2020, 08:48:51 AM »
Appreciate the insight; same sort of thoughts have been running through my mind.

It is totally his decision. 

I'm just trying to point out the relative benefits of each bike.  While I would find the Honda dull, it will be quite a step up from what he is riding now.  The "utility, luggage, ease of maintenance, and dependability" of the Honda is a point in its favor; not that Kawis are unreliable.  He may not utilize the suspension or power of the Versys, although the ABS is a big plus IMO.

In the end it may come down to economics and resale value.  He's working off a budget.  To put bags on the Versys comparable to the Honda would add another $1000.  That makes the Versys $1500 more expensive than the Honda out the door.

Let's say each bike loses half its value in the next 3 or 4 years; that's $750 depreciation loss advantage to the Honda when he is looking to trade up.

I disconcur about 1500 more expensive.  Get a nice used Versys LT and the bag problem is solved and likely for a lot less than a 1500 dollar penalty.  You get a couple other toys to boot.  I've been shopping the used Versys market a LOT lately and I know there are LTs out there in the sub 5k range. 

I can't imagine an intermediate rider getting bored w/ the Versys but I can w/ the Honda. 
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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2020, 10:02:29 AM »
Chris made some really good points

I mean, to be fair, that's like saying water is wet.  :razz:

I keed, I keed...

Liz had 2 silly crashes on bikes that, in her hindsight, she freely admits she wasn't ready to be on at the time. She's was an excellent rider from day one, but experience - and the lack of it - trumps innate skills and fearlessness every single time. I think too many of us have forgotten how easy it is to over-twist a little and get too in our heads in the moment. A forgiving, sedate, and easily managed machine can really help the opps-recovery moments by just getting out of the way of your brain and reflexes.
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Online maddjack

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2020, 12:23:05 PM »
Based on the persons experience, the Honda, based on which is the better all around bike that you could keep a few years and do anything on , the Versys. Use soft luggage on the V, i did, it was fine, I have a set of used twice Silverstones that would fit on it nicely for a great price.
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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2020, 04:34:00 PM »
Has he sat on them?  That could make the decision for him.

What kind of rider is he? What is/has he ridden?  How does he want to ride?

The Honda is designed to be easy riding and high mpg.  It's bigger tank (5.2), slightly bigger fairing, shaft drive and integrated, locking storage would be appreciated on extended riding.

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Online Skee

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2020, 06:08:54 PM »
Went for a test ride on Saturday.  Yes, we could probably find bags under $1k, and I know of at least one other Versys in the local market, and I’m sure there is some wiggle room in those price points.  Just another decision point to stir into the pot. 

I appreciate all the different points being raised here.  It’s going to be the one he likes best. 

I’ll keep you posted.  I suspect decision is coming this week. 
The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible,
but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.   Vincent van Gogh

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2020, 06:12:47 PM »


It’s going to be the one he likes best. 


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Online maddjack

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2020, 08:39:09 AM »
So did he pick one? Or does the search continue?
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Offline Baxter

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2020, 01:17:53 PM »
Assuming that the search continues …  I found that changing from a mostly rural environment to a mostly urban environment caused me to think about (and ultimately purchase) a bike with ABS.  Would your friend be frequently riding amongst distracted drivers?  I'd still be happily riding my old non-ABS bike if I hadn't moved to Milwaukee.  I still haven't needed the ABS, but I feel so much better knowing that it's there for me.

It also sounds like your friend doesn't necessarily need hard saddlebags--maybe a tailbag would be enough?

And more of a personal observation, but if this is your friend's second bike, consider putting some thought put into it as a long term investment rather than a noobie's first bike where there's an expectation that experience will teach what type of bike suit's one's riding style the best. 
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.  --Douglas Adams

Online Skee

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2020, 01:20:16 PM »
Your timing is prescient.

After my last post, he found a 2012 Wee-Strom, a 650 that was nicely farkeled up.  Crash bars, hand guards, windscreen, GPS power ports, I forget everything on it.  Nicely done.  No luggage, but he could have used the old set from my Wee.  The owner had it up for sale since September and wasn’t getting any interest. (The guy told him no one had looked at it.)  So he reduced the price to what I thought was a reasonable amount in the hopes of getting some interest.

So he went over to make an offer on the Wee.  And the guy calls him back the next day and sold it to someone else.  Didn’t give him the courtesy of making a counteroffer.  Don’t know if it was a friend or relative or someone who had looked at it earlier and decided to him the original asking price or what.

So he bought the Honda yesterday. 

As far as ABS, you are exactly on point.   Really comforting to have but haven’t needed it yet. 
The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible,
but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.   Vincent van Gogh

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2020, 08:04:00 PM »
The random trivia generator in the back of my mind brought up that Motorcyclist Magazine had a long term writeup of this Honda by Joe Neric.  Your friend may want to read the reviews online--there were several over the course of a few months and I think that the author liked the bike's utilitarian spirit.  If my memory is right, Neric found a small bag that would fit in a pass-through between the built in saddlebags.

The reason I remember Neric's name so well is that I've stolen one of his best lines:  I've several times described myself as being "mechanically reclined."   ;D

It's a Honda so it should last indefinitely. 
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.  --Douglas Adams

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2020, 08:40:53 PM »
Might have been this one By Joe Neric.   Exactly what his looks like.

https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/how-to/honda-nt700v-abs/

I'll post up a few pics after the weather warms up.
The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible,
but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.   Vincent van Gogh

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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2020, 08:53:37 PM »
Saw it for the first time today.  There are a lot of good points on this bike, shaft drive, 2 small storage cases in the dash.  Lot of good sport touring miles in this one.

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The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible,
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Re: Used Bike for Intermediate Rider
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2020, 09:59:58 PM »
NICE!
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