After losing my Buell 1125 to the 2010 Nashville flood, I had realized that I was without a motorcycle for the first time since 2002 when I crashed my BMW 1150RT. I missed riding, but most of my money was going into repairing my house and trying to get by after losing my job and taking a dramatic pay cut.
While hanging drywall, a friend suggested I take a look at the very affordable Kawasaki Versys. It’s a compromise bike. It’s not fast, it doesn’t handle like a sport bike, and well...it’s sort of ugly (which never mattered to me...I’m a function over form guy). But for some reason, it’s incredibly fun to ride.
Even with a top speed limited to around 115mph (my poor lost Buell would do that in second gear), I find I make no apologies when riding with my sport bike mounted friends. They leave me for dead in the straights, but the little 650 Versys is easy to ride and with it’s meager power, you can grab a handful of throttle without fear of spinning up the rear tire.
You can’t ride a stat sheet, which is a good thing. The Versys belies it’s specifications. It’s one of the most fun bikes I’ve ever ridden. Maybe because it requires you to use a high amount of skill to go fast on it instead of relying on a monster motor.
In 2012 I found myself once again facing a job loss. I accepted a job which required me to relocate and I had to sell my Versys to finance the move.