Kawasaki Versys 650 Super Fast, Super Strong Cool Bikes

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Kawasaki Versys 650

November 2008 admin

Many contend that nagging is Fortunately, that wasn’t the with Kawasaki, as the flood of requesting that it bring its 650 stateside worked. The Versys was last year to the European and markets, and a company spokesman us that U.S. enthusiasts so relentless Kawasaki finally down and brought it here. So now we have it, what do we call it? Is it a

Is it an adventure tourer? Perhaps a practical commuter? Kawasaki to be unsure as well, since it the Versys as a “Jack of all trades.” It came up with the Versys by combining parts of the words and “system.”

Call it what you we say the Versys is one of the most fun and versatile we’ve ridden, as it just works well in so many The liquid- cooled, 649cc, parallel twin with valves per cylinder is based on the 650R that was introduced in Kawasaki retuned the Versys’ for better low- to midrange by revising the camshafts and adding a between the header pipes.

The cooling capacity has also increased by 12 percent. In use the Versys’ engine has a sense of urgency to it, and it makes less peak than the Ninja, power is more linear and I like the better. The engine has good and midrange torque with of power in the lower rev range most riding is done. through the six-speed cassette-style is a smooooth affair, too.

Finding neutral at stops just a flick of your though sometimes it is difficult to neutral when you start the again after parking the in gear.

The Versys utilizes a fuel-injection system with two Keihin throttle bodies have ECU-controlled sub throttle The latter give the fuel-injection more precise throttle An automatic fast-idle system start-up easy, though we that if we start up the bike and off right away, there’s a bit of roughness at idle until the fully warms up.

When you the throttle, though, power is there–instantaneous and smooth. This is apparent when you’re through traffic, on and off the throttle, and diving into turns on roads.


Kawasaki the Versys’ lightweight, unequal-sided a gull-wing design (and quite a topic for discussion you pull up somewhere). It’s shaped that way to clear the which is tucked underneath the perhaps the exhaust was designed to the gull-wing! The inconspicuous exhaust and laydown single shock are two why the Versys has such a clean to it.

Curving roads are the Versys’ It’s quick and agile in the where you can get going at a good Long-travel suspension gives it a amount of cornering clearance, and it just a light touch to through the curves, with low-end torque to power it through uphill turns.

With rake and trail at 25 degrees and 4.3 inches the Versys smoothly through the curves and stable at highway speed,

Up front the 41mm inverted has adjustments for height in the triple spring preload and rebound (the latter atop one leg only). Kawasaki says it used stiff springs combine the best of off-road and suspension. We didn’t need to with it much and found the front suspension tracks under a variety of conditions.

Out is a Showa shock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping with 5.7 of travel. The shock uses a piston and two-stage damping for smooth action during compression that becomes near the end of the …, resulting in a planted feel. We left it set the way the was delivered, on the number 5 spring detent and middle damping and liked it fine for most

Despite its hybrid suspension and clearance, the Versys wasn’t designed for offroad riding, so we take it there. On the highway the feels a bit too stiff in back on lower preload settings, but up pavement irregularities elsewhere bouncing you out of the seat. It’s compliant as you run through the twisties, the rear suspension stays when changing direction.

from the dual petal brakes with two-piston in front is a little wooden, they could use more and the single petal disc single-piston caliper in the rear use more strength as well. more an issue of feel actual stopping power, is still quite satisfactory.

The engine is very smooth and little vibration reaches the is not bothersome. Stalk-mounted mirrors a bit but overall give a good, rear view. Hop aboard the Versys and you’re instantly Our riders, ranging in height 5 feet, 7 inches, to 6 feet, 4 were generally pleased the ergonomics. Most of us could our legs right in to fit around the part of the tank.

There’s no to knock your knees or to harbor engine heat so whisked away, keeping legs from cooking. are placed in a natural position and sitting upright–no uptight or tweaked necks here after lots of miles. The offers good leverage, so you connected to the bike, as if you can steer any situation.

The 33.1-inch-high seat be too lofty for many riders but in front, making it easier to get feet down at stops. Our newbie rider, at 5 feet, 7 looked at the tall, lean with skepticism. We convinced her she give it a try and once underway, she confident because of the Versys’ and lightweight, compact feel.

not a lot of room to reposition your on the split-level seat, but overall the comfortable, though you will a break from the thin padding before the end of a long day. We tried the passenger on a brief ride and found the position and seat just with no exhaust in hot proximity and grab handles. The passenger does position the copilot way than the rider, so he or she gets a bit of windblast.

Kawasaki Versys Base

The Versys can bring out the inner as it’s quick and easy to and something of a wheelie machine for so inclined. One touring rider who the Versys described it as “A I wouldn’t change, though have it as a second bike for day as it’s too sporty for me as an only But wow, it is fun!” Despite its weight up high, the Versys is easy to maneuver at slow

It helps that it weighs 454 pounds fully fueled.

The small adjustable windscreen has settings. Just remove the bolts and you can move it in 20mm Our windscreen was set at the highest point and did a job deflecting windblast over my and chest without much

I notice more air coming up below and being channeled so my neck gets a breeze, but the ‘screen remains below my of sight.

The Versys radiates fun being rider friendly, to handle and having lots of power. It thrives on back and twisty roads, maneuvering town and through traffic, yet is comfortable. It excels in so many that it’ll appeal to a tall–variety of riders.

Now that driven Kawasaki nuts our pleas to bring the Versys it remains to be seen how well it sell. The last-minute decision to it to the States will keep the from being available in for 2008 due to a lack of emissions just wasn’t time to up a gas tank and frame mounts for an emissions canister–but if demand is enough perhaps Kawasaki can get it for a Golden State debut in Fire off those e-mails; worked before.

Showa also supplies the shock, which is said to two-stage damping valves for initial compliance yet progressive It, too, provides substantially travel (5.7-in vs 4.9-in), a new “Gull-type” aluminum swingarm. several of the riders on the introductory near San Diego began with the fork’s adjustable damping and preload mechanisms early in the ride, only one inclined to twiddle with the shock’s similar adjustability.

The peels into corners thanks in part to its handlebar is wide and located fairly Note the unobtrusive muffler under the engine.

Indeed, the end seems blessed with a balance between a cushioned and dependable support in corners. the front end felt occasionally and pattery, the back was supple and But the whole package is still a in the hills, with bars are three inches wider those on the Ninja 650R, lots of leverage for fast

The seating position is upright and much fixed because of the rider/passenger relationship, but the seat-to-tank is conveniently narrow, and the pegs are enough that you feel in the machine rather than on it. ergonomics that favor of average stature, this rider felt comfortable for of the time on the daylong introductory only feeling the The 6-foot-five makes the roomy Versys smaller than it actually is.

Note the comfortable upright position and three-position windscreen.effects of a thin layer of seat (33.1-inches from the ground – later in the day. The shorty and nosecone fairing do a pretty job of blunting the worst of high-speed blast, and the screen is adjustable to levels in 20mm steps. a new instrument panel which is and simple, with an easily analog tachometer, and a digital display that’s hard to and simple to switch from mph to is you so desire.

More than the of comfort, however, the Versys in the amount of communication between and rider. The combination of lightness and is confidence inspiring, offering a learning platform for newer while still providing of potential for experienced pilots.

Kawasaki Versys Base


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