cubic capacity steadies the bike and the suspension is firm but pliant giving good rider feedback. Having done the polite thing at Orwell I was happy to hear that Derek was invited to take out the Versys (also suggested they give him first option next time they have a new bike they want run in!) It seems we both agree on the bikes characteristics including the styling. Some polite persons have suggested that it flatters our good looks! Derek commented that the bike is very impressive and rides very well two up. Leg room is ample for a tallish pillion and the low end grunt just takes the extra load on really well. Derek and Linda did around 50 miles and found the bike was really comfortable, the suspension is apparently better than their present machine, as is the comfort of the standard seat. Looking at the luggage for touring it looks good and is better than most bikes in the class being Givi marked up as Kawasaki it will be better priced and as the bike has the rails and rack as standard this will be a saving. When comparing the price we agreed we should consider this bike comes with ABS and Traction control as standard, which is extra on BMW’s and only on the top of the range Tiger. The only thing Derek noticed was an annoying vibration at around 6K which seems to be some kind of resonance as it went away at around 7.7K, he felt it might be OK when run in! (Mr Barker I hope you didn’t abuse the poor thing) Linda apparently was very impressed and said she would have no problems if they swapped this for the Tiger! (I guess this is why it’s now featured on Derek’s Facebook page). Would I have one? If I had to run just one bike today then I would probably pick this one, there is however Triumph who are putting their new adventure bike out in the New Year. Saying this it will have to be something very special to persuade me to part with the extra money it will cost over the Versys. Although it lacks remote suspension adjustment, heated grips, hand guards and centre stand, this bike may be the surprise package of the New Year for those considering a real distance machine that is not excessively priced. Thanks to Shaun and Mark at Orwell who got me out of the Christmas preparations allowing me one of the most enjoyable biking days ever on damp roads. The SAM Observer January 2012
The January 2012 edition of "The SAM Observer"