Long term update: Move over BMW and KTM
Since the day our Senior Road Tester Michael Neeves came back from the launch of the Kawasaki Versys singing its praises I’ve had my eye on the big Kawasaki. Our Mr Neeves loves his sportsbikes so initially I was slightly perplexed as to exactly why he liked it so much. But after just over a week of ownership and 720 miles on the clock I now know exactly what all the fuss is about.
First up is the seating and riding position. Plush suspension, wide seat and enough wind protection from the adjustable screen keep me ache-free for hours. The switchgear and dash feel classy and unlike so many bikes on the market the display doesn’t try to do too much. Instead the menu system is intuitive and simple, so I can work it out without having to make the manual my bedtime story.
For the last two years I’ve been riding around on big twin-cylinder adventure bikes – KTM 1190 Adventure R and BMW R1200GS Adventure and I’d forgotten just how smooth four-cylinder engines can be. The 1000cc inline four is a configuration Kawasaki do so well, and this one is no exception. The only niggles so far are a lack of ground clearance. Being light I don’t normally load the suspension up too much so I was surprised to feel the hero blobs touch down on my first photoshoot with the bike.
But that aside I’m extremely impressed. It puts a smile on my face every time I ride it and it’s annihilating my 130-mile commute.