Techy Kawasaki Versys 1000 is dark horse of class

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Despite its derivative styling and the impression of parts sourced from other bikes, Kawasaki’s new entrant into the adventure bike class is much more than a Z1000 in new clothes, MCN can now reveal.

In fact, with switchable traction control, ABS, switchable power modes, easily adjustable screen and suspension and impressive tank and luggage capacity, the new Versys 1000 is instead one of the better-equipped bikes in this increasingly competitive class.

What’s more, following an exclusive interview with the bike’s design team, MCN has learnt that the new big Versys shares very little with the Z1000 and, Kawasaki claims, should offer sports ability and touring comfort few rivals can match.

The £9499 price is on a par with Triumph’s equally road-orientated but now five years old Tiger 1050 (which is probably the Kawasaki’s closest rival) – and around £1000 less than the cheapest BMW R1200GS (with no electronic options fitted).

At the same time, the new Versys –¬ on paper at least – has the potential to offer class-leading touring comfort and smoothness, thanks to its Z1000-derived four-cylinder engine and chassis, and better sporting ability than most, too.

Although based on Z1000 running gear, the Versys’ rolling chassis is signiciantly re-worked. New head, cams, induction and exhaust soften the delivery giving more low and mid-range drive at the expense of outright top end power. (Peak power is a claimed 116bhp, down from the Z1000’s 136bhp.)

Read the full story on the new Versys 1000 in this week’s MCN, on sale now.

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