Comparison test Versys Vs V-Strom: a full-bodied Kawa or a small Suz ‘ ?
The new Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom 2012 convinced us on the beautiful sunny roads of Croatia. But what about in France in the gray, facing the Kawasaki Versys? Answer in this new duel Site !
A great tour of the roads of Ile-de-France
Paradoxically, the Versys saddle seems lower than that of the V-Strom, while the technical sheets are clear (see following pages): 845 mm for the Kawasaki against 835 for the Suzuki. Also softer, it allows more riders to touch the ground on either side..
Still on the Kawa, the handlebars a little less apart and closer to the bust offers a driving position less typical "trail" than on the Suz ‘. Bikers who just get off their roadster will be more surprised by the height of the V-Strom.
Despite the architecture of its V-engine, the Suzuki spreads the knees slightly more because of a larger tank. The Kawasaki, which carries one liter of gasoline less (19 l instead of 20), is therefore in no way handicapped by its in-line twin, quite the contrary.
We also appreciate that the two levers are adjustable on the Versys, against only one on the V-Strom (the brake). The joy is short-lived, however, since unless you have Shark hands – yes, the villain in James Bond! -, we will bring the levers of the Kawa as close as possible !
The Suz ‘counter-attack in terms of the suspensions, since the clever side wheel used to adjust the preload of the rear shock absorber is renewed for 2012. Finally, the two bikes are sadly tied for jumps. winds, adjustable of course, but necessarily with tools !
First turns of the wheel
From the first turns of the wheel, we realize that the Versys has a clutch a little harder and a rougher box than the V-Strom. At the same time, the "Green" – but black in this case – is instantly more agile and manoeuvrable: the affiliation with the ER-6 is sensitive !
Wider and higher, the handlebars of the Yellow – but white in this case – are very useful to effectively counter the inertia of the 19-inch wheel (against 17 "on the Kawasaki). In addition, the engine flexible and soft selection of the Suz ‘allow it to compete with the Kawa in an urban environment.
The V-twin inherited from the Gladius makes it possible to drive in 4th gear in the city and to revive the motorcycle, pilot and passenger from 2000 rpm smoothly. The twin "made in Akashi" is less polished … therefore a little more "prank", which will appeal to more wanton bikers !
On the Kawasaki, we stall higher in the laps in 3rd, so that the raises are mechanically more punchy. At the same time, the gas cuts result in sharper decelerations that the passenger will appreciate less. The injection, a bit more brutal on the Versys, accentuates these jerks.
On the other hand, vibrations appear in the tank and in the saddle of the Versys from 3000 rpm, before propagating 1500 revolutions higher at the ends. Completely bearable, they jump all the same to the eyes thighs and buttocks, then to the hands and feet when just getting off the Suzuki, which trembles only when the pilot is really slow to engage the upper gear..
When taking the brakes, the reactions of the two bikes are also very different … The Versys requires more grip than the V-Strom and the dosage is a little less easy. The power is however there and will satisfy the vast majority of the amateurs of trails..
Two fingers are enough, however, to stop the Suzuki in its tracks: the power of its 2-piston calipers is not greater than that of the 2-piston (also!) Of the Kawa, but the attack is more frank and faster.
Conversely, on the precise point – and important! – ABS, the V-Strom is less effective. Blame it on the tires that are more "trail" and less efficient – especially when cold – and a system that is a little too slow when letting go and then twitching the discs … Attention, the braking distance may lengthen on uneven surfaces very slippery.
The new Suzuki makes up for it in part thanks to its rear brake: in addition to the better placed pedal than the Kawasaki, the feeling is better while its bite and its modest power avoid putting the ABS into action at all times..
On small roads, the two machines do not offer the same sensations at all. The Versys passes more for a Supermotard: its lively front end, the more assertive character of its engine and its more present sound make you want to put gas !
On his handlebars, the rider will have to be wary of turns that close suddenly or sudden changes in surface, because the Kawa reacts more strongly to the brakes, go-around, dips or bumps. To ride fast, it therefore requires attention and skill..
Meanwhile, the biker perched on the V-Strom is much quieter. Admittedly, its front axle requires more engagement in the successions of small curves, but its suspensions better absorb the vagaries of the road and the hesitations of its pilot at the controls of the gas or the brakes..
Almost unperturbed, the Suz ‘traces its course efficiently, is more stable in its trajectories and holds itself better in the turns. Be careful this time not to drive too fast: more linear and more discreet, the Suz ‘engine runs harder than that of the Kawa on the second half of the tachometer. !
To sum up, while we fight with the nervous Versys, we take it easy on the V-Strom … And in the end, while the pace can be more sustained on the Suz ‘, we have more fun on the Kawa: it’s all about the philosophy (s) !
One thing is certain, however: you tire less on the Suzuki. In addition to its lower sound volume, its saddle – yet harder at first contact – allows you to chain the terminals without ever suffering, especially when you get well at the bottom.
The Kawasaki saddle, slightly inclined, makes the buttocks slide on its narrowest front part and ends up numb … The same goes for the hands and feet if you ride in 6th at around 100 km / h, the engine speed then being just above 4500 rpm.
On the V-Strom, the reduction in the last report is identical, but the total absence of vibrations makes it possible to consider greater rides. This ability to travel is also reinforced by the lower consumption of the Suz ‘(5.5 l / 100km on average during this duel against 6.2 l / 100km on the Kawa) and its additional liter of gasoline. !
€ 8,199: the right price ?
|Suzuki France has decided to introduce an introductory price for its latest DL 650 V-Strom. However, this is aligned to the euro at the price of the Versys ABS (the Suz is not available without ABS), namely € 8,199. A little high sum to be quite an incentive … Especially since the V-Strom 2011 – old model therefore – digests at 7,499 € until the end of October !|
The protection of the Suzuki bubble is effective at legal pace – and even a hair above -, and it does not take much to isolate itself from most of the eddies, including the largest. Already good, the protection of the Kawa is even better once the spoiler is raised to the maximum.
More agile, more nervous and a little lighter, the Versys is therefore more at ease in an urban or peri-urban environment. Like the Suzuki, it has a warning. Too bad, however, that its beautiful mirrors shake too much to precisely monitor its rear … Those of the Suzuki, in comparison, are as commonplace as they are effective !
In the end, the new DL 650 V-Strom wins this new MNC duel. Much more versatile, comfortable and fun to ride, the Suzuki remains the benchmark in the mid-capacity trail segment. The Kawasaki Versys has a more assertive character … which may appeal to some, especially those looking for a "small" efficient and lively motorcycle in town or on departmental roads.
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