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Kawasaki VERSYS 650 Naked Motorbike Review

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Kawasaki Versys motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

As the marketing driven name suggests the Kawasaki Versys is incredibly versatile, the jack of all trades. The Kawasaki Versys does everything well, but isn’t outstanding at any one thing. That said, the Kawasaki Versys is incredibly easy to ride, fun at low speeds and in some ways looks funky for 2007. At under £5000 for the basic model, the Kawasaki Versys is a versatile bargain.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Kawasaki Versys' parallel twin is stolen from Kawasaki's popular ER-6. But Kawasaki has tweaked the motor, it has more torque but less top end power. Still expect top speed around the 125mph mark and there’s more then enough low down on the Kawasaki Versys to have fun with.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Low speed handling is excellent making the new Kawasaki Versys ideally suited for town and city riding. Turns easily, very tight turning circle, you can just jump on the Kawasaki Versys and have fun, making the Kawasaki Versys ideal for new riders. However, when you up the pace well above the national speed limit the soft suspension starts to complain. Brakes are excellent if you can stop the front from burying itself into the road.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

Some parts of the Kawasaki Versys look far more expensive than the price tag suggests. The Kawasaki Versys  has side-mounted adjustable shock, Buell style underslung exhaust, both stolen from the ER-6, and now fashionable wavy discs. But the clocks are basic and other parts of the bike feel cheap by comparison. The Kawasaki Versys' fairing is OK up to 80mph but expect some wind buffeting and pressure passed 90mph. 

Click here for the 10 best parts for the Kawasaki Versys, as recommended by real owners at www.versys.co.uk.

Kawasaki Versys (2006-2009)

Detail Value
New price £4,995
Dealer used prices
£2,870 (2007) - £4,030 (2009)
Private used prices
£2,690 (2007) - £3,490 (2009)
  View full used price info
Engine size 649 cc
Power 60 bhp
Top speed 128 mph
Insurance group 9 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The ER6 has proven reliable so there is no reason to suggest the de-tuned motor in the Kawasaki Versys shouldn’t be the same. Keep on top of the cleaning through winter and your Kawasaki Versys should look as good as it did when you first wheeled it out of the showroom.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Under £5000 for an incredibly versatile bike? The Kawasaki Versys sounds like a bargain and it is. The Kawasaki Versys is ideal for someone new to motorcycles or getting back into biking. Insurance costs should be low on the Kawasaki Versys and it shouldn’t be too heavy on tyres. Expect around 50mpg and possibly more if you’re gentle with the throttle. Find a Kawasaki Versys for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 9 of 17

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Model History

2006: Kawasaki Versys launched.
2009: Kawasaki Versys GT launched.

Other Versions

2009 - Kawasaki Versys GT. Comes with colour-matched panniers, purpose-built pannier rack and an adjustable flip-up screen. ABS or non-ABS versions available.

Specifications

Top speed 128 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.6 secs
Max power 60 bhp
Max torque 43 ft-lb
Weight 181 kg
Seat height 840 mm
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Average fuel consumption 48 mpg
Tank range 152 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 9 of 17
Engine size 649 cc
Engine specification Parallel twin, 6 gears
Frame Tubular Steel
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Front brakes 2 x 300mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17 in

See all Kawasaki VERSYS 650 motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
VERSYS 650

6032 miles

£3,690

Kawasaki
VERSYS 650

7136 miles

£4,499

Kawasaki
VERSYS 650

24646 miles

£2,895

Kawasaki
VERSYS 650

50245 miles

£2,495

Kawasaki
VERSYS 650

18075 miles

£3,699

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(31 reviews)

  • Well Pleased!

    Drew Peacock

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I Paid just £4080 for mine by hardball negotiating with the dealer who took back my knackered gsf 600 bandit. Well I must confess they sold me all clothing accessories as well so hense the deal! I'm so pleased with the bike but saw it as a stop-gap to a BMW but having read the reviews I don't think I'll bother. The bikes only done 484 miles at the moment so can't say an awful lot about it but I'm planning to commute 20,000 a year so I'll review alot more then steve

    07 January 2008

  • does it all

    chrisjones18

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Without doubt the best all round bike i have owned in 40 year's. Does need a rad guard though.Tank range is 210 miles plus another 20 with the light on,however you ride it and not as MCN say at 152 .I was waiting for the 800gs BMW but i'm glad I bought the Versys.it is loads better than a BMW.Well done Kawasaki.100%

    07 January 2008

  • Simply the best

    Harleyman341

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I purchased my Versys at the discounted price of £4295 from Irelands MC's in Barnstaple, fantastic service a good hour test ride and good follow up on this wonderful machine. I was going to buy a new BMW GS650 and I am glad i didnt. On first sitting upon the Versys, everything falls to hand. The riding position is as good as my old 850GS BMW, which until now, I rated as the best bike i had owned. The handling and speed are superb, enough to cruise happily at 80mph with plenty in reserve for emergencies. Good fuel economy, I am getting 55 to 60 mpg when riding sensibly. The original screen is a bit short and I have fitted an ermax hugger, a fender extender and a higher screen plus handguards. But these items are all personal taste and how many of us aren't averse to fitting the odd bolt on goody? To sum up, I have nicknamed my Versys the "Ronseal Bike" because "it does what it says on the tin"! Best bike I have owned in 27 years of motorcycling, well done Kawasaki. Ian

    06 January 2008

  • Versys Does it all!

    Machog

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Only got 2000 miles on it, but without doubt the best of the dozen plus bikes I've ever owned. Great range for touring, good in the twisties, light and easy to handle at slow car park speeds. Can't wait to get some serious miles on it this summer.

    05 January 2008

  • Versys delivers

    Versysian

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I read lots of reviews and visited various forums before buying a Versys. The bike delivers everything you expect from this type of machine especially in the ride and handling though the twistiest roads. The only negative were the stock tyres, which were fine in summer but useless when the temperatures dropped. A pair of Continental Road Attacks has transformed the wet and cold weather handling.

    05 January 2008

  • What a bike!

    versytilian

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Am I glad I decided to buy a 'V'! What a bike! A real bargain too: £4650 for an ABS 'V' with a touring pack thrown in free by Kawasaki! Brilliant handling at any speed, relaxing riding position, great sound, good low down torque, and a looker too (yes, I like quirky!). Added a hugger and a fenda extenda, and I'm ready for some semi-serious touring too! Kawasaki, you're on to a winner here. Only known weaknesses: top speed (120mph, though this isn't an issue if you live in the real world, doh!), stock screen not that effective, needs a fenda extenda and hugger to keep the crap off the bike. Otherwise, this is a great great bike for a fantastic price! PLUS, look after it, and it'll give you legendary Jap reliability too!

    30 December 2007

  • Jack the lad

    casperdog777

    Average rating rating is 5

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    I have only had the Versys for under a month but it is indeed a true versatile all rounder. The engine is a lovely water cooled 650 twin, long travel suspension and a funky frame. My only gripe is that at 5' 7" the bike is a little tall; but I would suggest anyone shorter could have problems, but once on board it really is a delight to ride and I am getting used to its fulsome character. I have added a slightly larger screen which gives the rider much more weather protection. The bike is one which inspires confidence and the ride is a high one and the term often used here is a 'commanding road presence' I think; it certainly has and for the non bikers out there it probably looks like a 'big' bike. I was attracted to the trailie style of the bike and I ride plenty of B and C class roads and the Versys is a sure footed beast in this sort of territory; but it is an urban warrior and I wouldn't take it off road, a gravel track is the furthest I would venture off road. It will also perform very well out on the wide open A roads and its true that the engineers have geared this bike for the 'real world' 50 to 80 mph range, rather than just give it a silly top end. I have yet to hear a bad word said about the bike and my money is on the fact that Kawasaki have got themselves a real winner here. 10 out of 10 from me.

    28 December 2007

  • versys v vfr

    mac one

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Traded in my 750 vfr to Kawasaki Newcastle after a test ride and was most impressed with the demo,lots of mid range grunt, handled just fine,stops better than the vfr even though the rear brake is poor had to drop forks one inch coz i am only 5ft 5,boxes and gel seat for 4 & a half grand all in and it sounds good, burnt orange best colour cannot wait to get it run in, to sum up Spot on

    28 November 2007

  • Great bike

    Stuart Balaam

    Whitley Bay , UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Part exchanged my VFR for Versys and not missed it at all. What a great bike this is loads of fun, comfortable and great value for money. I paid £4400 and also 0% finance from Kawasaki Newcastle. Nearly got the Candy Orange but changed my mind and got it in silver, orange OK but I think you could soon get tired of it. It gets a lot of attention when I park it up from other bikers who haven't seen this model.

    12 September 2007

  • Smile

    gladart0

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Just purchased a non ABS versys. Not a bad word to say about it. Having spent the last 9 years on sports bikes it`s a breath of fresh air,plenty of low down grunt and fantastic handling and brakes.£4.500 otr a bargain.

    09 August 2007

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alien2

alien2says

Versys

Changed from sports bike to Versys in August due to back injury (car accident). Versys lives up to the hype it is, versatile. Handling is excellent. Comfort 10/10. Has also made me a better rider, now I don’t have 100+ bhp to worry about. After I brought mine few friends tried it and thought it was brillant. This is the third Kawasaki I've owned and I normally ride all years round. Which is were the only problems come. The OE Dunlop tyres are not very good it the wet I will be fitting Bridgestone’s when I replace them. This is just my own opinion I just prefer Bridgestone’s. The other problem is I have never had a bike corrode like the Versys does, callipers, discs, sprockets and bolts are all a mess. Bike is washed 3-4 times a week and protective spray used. Made next to no difference. Which spoils another wise brilliant bike? My previous 2 Kawasaki's were not as well cared for and survived the winters in far better condition then the Versys.
I would still recommend the Versys to anyone it is a super bike just a pity its so much hard work now winter has arrived.
 

 

22 December 2008 17:17

Headhanger

Headhangersays

First "big bike"

I only just got my Versys yesterday. I passed my test that morning on a CBF500 and I love the Versys more than anything else!

Smooth, powerful, responsive ride.

19 March 2008 15:19

Versysian

User's Badge

Versysiansays

Return to biking

I bought a Versys on my return to biking after a layoff of 14 years. I have found the bike to be excellent in every respect, especially as a twisties machine. Take one for a test ride and see what I mean.

05 January 2008 17:17

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