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Kawasaki VERSYS 1000 Adventure Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Its odd looks will always raise questions, but the engine won’t, it’s a peach. There’s loads of low down, a nice spread of torque and the dollop of top end power should see it as the quickest bike in this category. It’s also extremely comfortable, will eat mile after mile all day long and handles reasonably well (up to a point, the front is questionable when pushed really hard). For under £10,000 it makes great value for money when compared to the competition. Overall it’s an accomplished all-round, reliable tourer

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

This is the Versys’ killer punch. Based on the Z1000, the four cylinder, in line motor is stunning and will out-grunt the legendary GS with ease. Compression has been lower compared to the Z1000 and the fuelling has been tweaked, which means the 1043cc motor makes 116bhp and 75ftlb of torque.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Considering it’s such a big bike topping the scales at 239kg it doesn’t do half bad. It’s stable at high motorway speeds and is backed up by excellent ABS-assisted brakes. The only gripe is the feedback through the front end when pushed really hard. 90% of the time handling is fine and predictable, however, on the limit, the front end sends confusing messages: feedback isn’t 100% and it’s hard to sense how much grip is available. It’s still enough for peg-scraping angles of lean, but not with 100% confidence. The rear is fine and offers grip and feel when hard on the power.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

ABS comes as standard as does the ‘petal’ racing discs. More importantly there’s an all-new, three-way traction control system which combines the best qualities of the ZX-10 and GTR1400 systems – modes can be changed on the move with the throttle in the closed position. The rear suspension has remote pre-load adjustment and the forks are fully-adjustable. There’s also a huge list of aftermarket quality goodies which include hard luggage.

Kawasaki Versys 1000 (2012-current)

Detail Value
New price £9,499
Dealer used prices
£7,040 (2012) - £8,070 (2013)
Private used prices
£6,340 (2012) - £7,260 (2013)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1043 cc
Power 116 bhp
Top speed 140 mph
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 5 rating is 5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Considering the very reasonable price compared to pricier competition, the level of finish and quality is very high. The screen is only manually adjustable but that’s our only gripe. There’s no reason to question the reliability either as he Zed 1000 motor has proven bulletproof.

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

This is a hell of lot of bike for the price. Being a big, 1043cc, all-round touring bike with a high level of finish, with ABS and traction control as standard makes it value for money compared to the pricier BMW GS. Triumph’s 1050 Tiger is priced closer to the Kawasaki but comes without any electrical rider aids.

Insurance

Insurance group: n/a

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Model History

2012: Model introduced

Other Versions

None

Specifications

Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11 secs
Max power 116 bhp
Max torque 75 ft-lb
Weight 239 kg
Seat height 845 mm
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Average fuel consumption 50 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group of 17
Engine size 1043 cc
Engine specification 16v transverse four, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium twin tube
Front suspension adjustment 43mm fully adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Single rebound and preload
Front brakes 2x300mm four piston calipers
Rear brake 250mm disc single piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70x17
Rear tyre size 180/55x17

See all Kawasaki VERSYS 1000 motorcycles for sale

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£8,395

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£6,601

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£7,595

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£6,599

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(4 reviews)

  • I bought one

    geezerh

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I traded in my SX as getting on now as although initially the riding position was ok started getting groin ache. My big gripe with the SX was a rattle between 2 & 3K revs in every gear, they all do it! This detuned motor seems to have got rid of that, yippee. I have owned a BMW GS an an RT, but never really liked the engine, that aside the price of these machines is outrageous. I know the Kwaka will never go off road but in reality who does? This bike ticks all the boxes for me comfy smooth handles really well on the twisties, loads of after market stuff, great value, mine is green, seems to be an abundance of white ones out there.

    28 April 2014

  • Versys 1000

    Goulash

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    One of the best bikes out there. It does the lot, touring commuting, fun round the twisties. Get past the looks and buy one before everyone else does!

    27 May 2013

  • buy 1 an see

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought my versys 1000 two weeks ago from KJM motorcycles .I test rode the bike wife my wife as pillion on some twisty back roads and thought it was very good .I had a 2010 zzr1400 before and i loved it but my wife said it gave her a sore back on longer trips and wanted something more comfy.We had versys out at weekend and thought it was great and very quick big bike and the comfort is second to none .I then got it out on my own and had a blast with the boys on the sports bikes and lets just say it wont be left behind and as for the vague comments about the front end i cant see anything vague about it and it felt very safe on the corners and they were not slow ones .The wind protection is good too and very stable in high winds too nothing more to say but go get one you wont be disappointed !!! 25th september

    25 September 2012

  • Test Ride

    paul dunn

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Irode this bike yesterday on full power mode with the highest amount of traction control as you say the power is instant low down very responsive,riding position is very good with extreamly comfortable seat i rode on a variety of roads conditions were wet/muddy/dry in places brakes are far better than on my current bike ie greater cornering speed with good feedback the only thing i would like to see is a higher screen & hand gaurds which are avaliable,weather protection is very good after the test ride i only had mud on the tips of my boots & it returned 42.2mpg yes im very impressed also the dealer said i could take it out again on a dry day they could not be more helpfull with lots of payment options.

    26 February 2012

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Goulash

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Goulashsays

You won't regret it

As with all bikes, depends what you want it for. I needed a long distance mile muncher with a good riding position, good fuel economy (50mpg/200+ tank range), excellent pillion comfort and an engine that you can have fun with when the mood takes you. Sounds like a tall order. Well not if you have a Versys 1000. I test rode one, loved it, bought one. Factor in full luggage, an optional GPS mount, and this bike goes anywhere where there is tarmac. The complaints about vague handing in corners is simply down to stupid journalists, MCN included, who try to ride bikes out of their comfort zone, and expect them all to handle like sportsbikes. The Versys is a tallrounder, simple as that. It will go wherever you want to go, does it in style on one of the most comfortable seats i've ever sat on, Will run over 200 miles to a tank as is cheap to look after. Did i mention it doesn't cost the earth either? Shop around for some excellent deals. You will not be disappointed.

27 May 2013 20:53

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