KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000 (2012-on) Review

Published: 23 December 2011

Odd looks raise questions, but great value for money and an accomplished all-round, tourer

KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000  (2012-on)

Odd looks raise questions, but great value for money and an accomplished all-round, tourer

  • At a glance
  • 1043cc  -  116 bhp
  • 50 mpg  -  200 miles range
  • Medium seat height (845mm)
  • £9,499

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

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

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

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.

Engine 5 out of 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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 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 & Running Costs 5 out of 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.

Equipment 4 out of 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.

Owners' Reviews

4 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000 (2012-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.3 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 out of 5
4 out of 5

I bought one

28 April 2014 by geezerh

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Versys 1000

27 May 2013 by Goulash

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! Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

buy 1 an see

25 September 2012 by Anonymous

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... Read more 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

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Test Ride

26 February 2012 by grapple

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 4 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2012
Year discontinued -
New price £9,499
Warranty term 2 years unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 116 bhp
Max torque 75 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11 secs
Average fuel consumption 50 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Specification
Engine size 1043cc
Engine type 16v transverse four, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin tube
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Seat height 845mm
Bike weight 239kg
Front suspension 43mm fully adjustable
Rear suspension Single rebound and preload
Front brake 2x300mm four piston calipers
Rear brake 250mm disc single piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70x17
Rear tyre size 180/55x17

History & Versions

Model history

2012: Model introduced

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000  (2012-on)
  • KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000  (2012-on)
  • KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000  (2012-on)
  • KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000  (2012-on)
  • KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000  (2012-on)
  • KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000  (2012-on)