Versys 650 vs V Strom 650XT banner Versys 650 vs V Strom 650XT banner

In a world where the craving, for adventure touring is growing stronger the Kawasaki Versys 650 and Suzuki V Strom 650XT stand out as the top picks for riders. These midsize champions are not just machines; they perfectly align with the riders longing for thrilling experiences effortlessly shifting between urban roads and demanding off road paths. Their appeal is unquestionable encapsulating the spirit of adventure and adaptability, in every journey.

Versys 650 vs V-Strom 650: Quick Comparison

Feature/AspectKawasaki Versys 650Suzuki V-Strom 650XT
DesignAggressive twin-headlamp, road-biased.Traditional adventure design with gold rims.
Quality & PreferenceComparable build; sporty road presence.Adventure stance; audience favorite.
Seating & ComfortHigh perch at 840mm; natural feel.Lower at 835mm; firm seat for varied terrains.
Engine & PerformanceParallel-twin; 0-100kmph in 5.28s.V-twin; 0-100kmph in 5.08s; more torque.
Fuel Efficiency21.1kmpl (city), 26.8kmpl (highway).23.5kmpl (city), 28.2kmpl (highway).
Handling & BrakesAdvanced suspension; sharper brakes.Stable off-road/on-road; standard brakes.
Price & ValueUSD 8,870; great for tarmac rides.USD 9,848; versatile with added features.

Style, Build, and Aesthetics

Design Approaches

The Kawasaki Versys 650 and the Suzuki V Strom 650 XT exemplify different design philosophies.

V Strom 650

  • It sports an adventure motorcycle design featuring a beak and a generously sized fuel tank.
  • The eye catching gold wire spoke rims add to its appeal.
  • It is built to excel both on highways and, off road terrains offering versatility for journeys.
V Strom 650XT V Strom 650XT
V Strom 650 XT

Versys 650

  • With its twin headlamp fairing the Versys 650 exudes a presence.
  • Its sleek black paint with fluorescent green stripes adds an element of style.
  • The alloy wheels highlight its inclination towards road performance.
Versys 650 Versys 650
Versys 650

Quality, Fit and Finish

Both motorcycles exhibit levels of quality in terms of plastics, switchgear and panel assembly.

Opinions from the Audience

  • The V Strom is often favored for its pronounced adventure stance that appeals to riders seeking thrilling experiences off the beaten path.
  • Meanwhile the Versys holds its own with a road presence that resonates with enthusiasts looking for rides, on paved roads.

Ergonomics and Riding Comfort

Seating and Posture

  • Versys 650: Features a high perch at 840mm, giving a sensation of sitting on a tall, sporty street bike. The seat is well-contoured, offering a natural feel from the start.
  • V-Strom 650 XT: Offers a lower seating position at 835mm, designed for both on-road and off-road comfort. The seat is firm and might require some time to adjust to.

Footpeg Positioning and Handlebar Width

  • Versys 650: Footpegs are slightly rear-set with narrower handlebars that are closer to the rider.
  • V-Strom 650 XT: Footpegs are not as rear-set as the Versys, and the handlebars are wider, providing more leverage especially during off-road rides.

Adaptability for Long Rides:

  • Versys 650: The seating feels natural, making it suitable for long rides. Additionally, it comes with adjustable clutch and brake levers as standard.
  • V-Strom 650 XT: Designed for both on-road and off-road comfort. The shape of the tank aids in holding onto the bike during off-road adventures. However, only the brake lever is adjustable.

Rider Preferences:

  • Versys 650: Preferred by riders who enjoy a sporty feel, especially on urban roads.
  • V-Strom 650 XT: Favored by those who seek a balance between city rides and off-road adventures, with the added safety feature of adjustable brake levers.

Engine, Performance, and Power Specs

Engine Layout and Specifications

The layout and specifications of the engines differ between the Suzuki V Strom 650 XT and the Kawasaki Versys 650 with the V Strom using a V twin layout while the Versys sticks to a parallel twin setup. This distinction results in characteristics, for each engine.

Performance Characteristics

The engine of the V Strom is known for its smoothness. Offers torque in the lower and middle sections of its rev range. This makes it particularly suitable for city riding reducing the need for gear shifts. It can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 5.08 seconds.

On the hand the engine of the Versys, which’s identical to that of the Ninja 650 loves higher revs. It truly comes alive after reaching 7,000 rpm delivering a surge in power. It takes around 5.28 seconds for it to go from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour.

Real-world Implications

In real world scenarios we see that despite both bikes weighing the 216 kilograms) there are differences in fuel efficiency between them. The V Stroms engine remains calm and efficient providing a mileage of 23.5 kilometers per liter in areas and about 28.2 kilometers per liter on highways. On the hand despite weight considerations the Versys returns approximately 21.1 kilometers per liter in cities and around 26.8 kilometers per liter on highways.

Buyer Priorities

If urban versatility and off road capability along with fuel economy are factors for you as a buyer then definitely consider giving more attention to the V Strom model as it stands out in these aspects compared to its counterpart –the Versys bike.However if you’re seeking an exhilarating power delivery at rev ranges the Versys may be your preferred choice, among these two options.

Exhaust Sound

The sound of a motorcycle is an aspect that riders often connect with. The Suzuki V Strom 650 XT has a V twin engine that emits a rumble, which reflects its raw power. On the hand the Kawasaki Versys 650 has a parallel twin setup that produces a higher pitched sound showcasing its sporty nature. Each bike has its sound. It ultimately depends on personal preference as to which one resonates with the rider more.

Ride, Handling, Weight, and Brakes

Versys 650 handling Versys 650 handling
Versys 650

Suspension and Adaptability

 The V Strom utilizes a twin spar aluminum frame paired with forks and a monoshock, at the back that can be adjusted for preload. On the hand the Versys features a steel diamond frame along with USD forks that can be adjusted for rebound and preload well as an offset monoshock that offers adjustability. Both motorcycles handle bumps and undulations smoothly. The Kawasakis advanced suspension system shines when it comes to dealing with larger potholes.

Weight and Stability

Both bikes have the weight of 216kg. The Suzukis wire spoke wheels are designed to handle terrains while caution is advised for the Kawasakis alloy wheels due to their vulnerability to sharp edges that could potentially cause damage.

Handling Characteristics

 When it comes to carving corners the Versys outshines its counterpart. This is attributed to its 17 inch wheels, road oriented Dunlop Sportmax tires and advanced suspension setup. On the hand despite its 19 inch wheel size and Bridgestone Battlax Adventure dual purpose tires which make it suitable for off road adventures the V Strom still offers stability mid corner while handling impressively considering its size.

Braking Systems

The braking performance of the Kawasaki surpasses that of Suzuki in terms of sharpness and progression. Furthermore the ABS calibration, on the Versys is considered superior compared to that found on the V Strom.

Fuel Economy, Range, and Efficiency

V Strom 650XT 1 V Strom 650XT 1
V Strom 650XT

Fuel Tank Capacities and Estimated Range

 With a 21 liter fuel tank it can go for 470 kilometers considering its consumption rate of, around 22.5 kilometers per liter. On the hand the Suzuki V Strom 650XT has a smaller 20 liter tank but offers a slightly better fuel consumption rate of about 24.67 kilometers per liter. This means it can go for an estimated range of 493 kilometers, a bit more, than the Versys.

Real-World Implications

 When it comes to long distance riding the V Stroms better range can make a difference in areas, with limited fuel stations. However both bikes offer fuel efficiency meaning stops for refueling and more enjoyable rides. Ultimately the decision between the two would depend on preferences and how important those extra kilometers of range are, to you.

Features, Extras, and Value Proposition

Standard Features and Extras

 The Suzuki V Strom 650 XT and the Kawasaki Versys 650 both offer a range of features. The Suzuki V Strom 650 XT specifically comes with wire spoke wheels equipped with tubeless tires, which enhances its off road performance. On the hand the Kawasaki Versys 650 has clutch and brake levers, as standard although this feature is only partially available on the V Strom.

Value Proposition

In terms of value both motorcycles provide an experience for both experienced riders. The Kawasaki Versys 650 stands out as a enjoyable and efficient adventure tourer that is best suited for road rides. On the hand the Suzuki V Strom 650 XT justifies its price with added safety features such as traction control and its ability to handle off road challenges. Its versatility in handling both on road dynamics and off road terrains makes it a flexible choice, for riders who crave adventure in environments.

Adaptability

 The traction control system of the Suzuki V Strom 650 XT is a feature, particularly when you take into account the changing road conditions. This system has two stages that allow for adjusting the level of intervention ultimately prioritizing rider safety. Additionally if desired it can be deactivated to provide an riding experience or for riders who have honed their skills in handling larger adventure bikes.

Pricing, Value, and Recommendations

Price Comparison

 When comparing the Kawasaki Versys 650 and the Suzuki V Strom 650 XT we can see that they offer performance and features. However there is a difference, in their price tags. In the United States the Kawasaki Versys 650 is priced at USD 8,870 making it more affordable than the Suzuki V Strom 650 XT, which comes in at USD 9,848. This price difference might play a role for budget buyers who are considering these bikes.

Value for Money

 The Kawasaki Versys 650 provides a package at its price point for riders who prioritize tarmac adventures. On the hand the Suzuki V Strom 650 XT justifies its price with additional features such as traction control and off road capabilities. This makes it a versatile option for riders seeking types of riding experiences.

Recommendations

 If you’re on a budget or your main focus is highway riding then the Kawasaki Versys 650 would be a choice for you. However if you’re willing to spend a bit more on a bike that can handle both on road and, off road challenges well then I recommend considering the Suzuki V Strom 650 XT. It’s crucial to align your choice with your riding preferences, terrain requirements and budget limitations.

Conclusion

In this comparison we have thoroughly explored the differences, between two middleweight adventure touring motorcycles; the Kawasaki Versys 650 and the Suzuki V Strom 650 XT. While the Versys stands out as an option for road enthusiasts the V Strom proves to be a contender that excels in both on road and off road situations. Each bike possesses its strengths catering to various rider preferences and terrains. As we conclude we would love to hear your thoughts. Which motorcycle aligns with your riding style? Feel free to share your experiences and feedback as we continue to foster a conversation, within our community. Stay safe on the roads!

Read more:

Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT vs Kawasaki Versys 650 comparison test (click here)

Kawasaki Versys 650 Vs Suzuki V-Strom 650XT | 650CC Adventure Bike Shootout

(View video)

XR650R vs XR650L: A Comprehensive Comparison(2023)