Kawasaki’s Versys grows up

2012-01-13 10:00

The new one-litre version of the popular 650 model pits itself squarely against Honda’s Crosstourer

The Versys 1000 is not a motorcycle that wants to be confined to one box. Despite its rugged looks and upright riding position, this is definitely not a GS rival. At the same time it benefits from many of the advantages of the adventure class, most notably comfort.

In similar vein to both its 650 Versys sibling and Honda’s striking Crosstourer, Kawasaki is positioning the Versys 1000 as the motorcycling equivalent of an SUV.


While BMW continues to dominate the market as far as hard-edge adventure models are concerned, Kawasaki is instead aiming the new model at riders keen on the sensibilities of an adventure model but without requiring serious off-road capabilities.

A multi-purpose model, indeed, living up to its “Versatile System” moniker.

As can be expected the styling of the new model is heavily based on that of the 650 Versys, but at its heart beats the same four-cylinder litre mill that powers the Z1000 and Ninja 1000.

Kawasaki has tweaked the performance of this engine towards the low and mid-range, with maximum power of 86.5kW peaking at 9000rpm and torque of 102Nm topping out at 7700rpm.

PERFORMANCE TWEAKED: The engine maxes at 85.5kW at 9000rpm and throttle response is smoother.

The company has also adjusted the engine for smoother power and throttle response instead of purely focusing on performance.

According to the company riders will be able to choose between two models – one with 75% power and another with the full bag of beans.

The litre Versys is further fitted with Kawasaki’s KTRC traction control system which boasts three modes, and it comes standard with anti-lock brakes.