Video: Kawasaki Versys 1000 onboard

So does a four-cylinder adventure bike make any sense? On the strength of our world first ride of Kawasaki’s pioneering, Z1000-based Versys 1000, the answer is ‘Yes’… and ‘No’…

The four-cylinder motor is retuned for more bottom end and midrange and it sure is smooth. In addition, the Versys’s three-way adjustable traction control system, which is derived from those of both the ZX-10R and ZZ-R1400, is working really well on these cold mountain roads. But its looks are controversial and I was never confident in the front-end when pushing on.

Not only is the new Versys 1000 the world’s first four-cylinder adventure machine, it’s also one that Kawasaki freely admits has no real off-road ability. And that makes it pretty odd from the outset.