The name 'Versys' apparently stands for versatile system. This may sound a bit cheesy and marketing-led, but it actually describes the funky Kawasaki 650cc parallel twin perfectly. Here's a run down of the top ten accessories for the Versys, as recommended by real owners at www.versys.co.uk.
As the taller and more offroad-styled cousin of the popular ER-6n and ER-6f, The Versys is fun and just as easy to ride... but even more practical and a great tool for everyone from newbies to overlanders.
The donor engine from the ER-6 has been tuned for less top end and more torque, making the Versys a great bike for real roads and riders.
On paper it sounds like the Versys could turn out to be an ordinary and unexciting work horse or commuter, but press reviews were glowing and the Versys has proven its versitility, meaning its been a big sales sucess for Kawasaki.
We've enlisted the help of real owners at www.versys.co.uk to compile a list of the best parts & accessories available to make the Kawasaki Versys even better. Here's our top ten, in no particular order:
Larger screen Unfortunately the standard Versys screen doesn't afford the rider alot of protection from the elements. Alot of owners on versys.co.uk choose to fit either the optional larger 'Vario' (adjustable) screen from Kawasaki, or aftermarket items from Powerbronze or Givi. Pictured left is the MRA touring screen. If you plan on doing some touring on your Versys, this will improve comfort no end (speaking of which, alot of owners find the Versys saddle uncomfortable and recommend a replacement or a comfort seat). Alternatively, some owners have suggested that simply turning the standard screen upside down works wonders!
Hard luggage Since the Versys makes such a great tourer or commuter, alot of owners on versys.co.uk have chosen to fit hard luggage. Givi seems to be the brand of choice and comes recommended. Some owners suggest using SW-Motech brackets along with Givi boxes. Alternatively Kawasaki also offer hard luggage as an official accessory, so if you're buying a Versys new it could be worth trying to get a deal.
Crash bars Crash bars are a great way of protecting your shiny new bike... especially if you plan to do some gentle off-roading or touring in far off places where a good road means a bumpy gravel track. The guys at versys.co.uk seem to almost unanamously recommend the crash bars produced by German firm Hepco & Becker (pictured left and available in black).
Heated grips It seems like alot of owners at versys.co.uk have chosen to fit some heated grips, no doubt because many of them ride all year and in all weathers. They recommend heated grips from Oxford, because their offering includes a rain-proof control with multiple settings, allowing you to vary the heat for different conditions. These work best when combined with some wind-stopping hand guards (see below).
Hugger The owners at versys.co.uk recommend fitting a hugger to the Versys because the rectifier is very exposed, so a decent hugger is a good way to protect it from road spray and dirt. Most of the owners favour the hugger produced by Ermax which has an integrated chain guard, but Powerbronze, Poly26 and Skidmarx also make items for the Versys.
Flat foot Designed and made by Speedy, a Versys owner from versys.co.uk, the 'Flat Foot' is like a permanently attached side stand puck, perfect if you plan to park up on grass or dirt. As you can see its quite a tasty looking bit of kit. Basic science lesson: the larger surface area spreads the weight more and stops the side stand from sinking in and tipping the bike over- simple but effective, especially when the Versys has no centre stand and the exhaust stops you from fitting one. As such, a scottoiler and/or paddock stand can also be a good idea, since oiling your chain is a bit tricky otherwise.
Fender Extender The fender extender from Pyramid plastics is consider by many to be an essential mod for most bikes these days. Alot of front mudguards simply aren't long enough to provide adequate protection for your bike's engine and downpipes from dirt and road spray kicked up by the front wheel. Most owners on versys.co.uk seem to consider this a necessary accessory.
Mirror extenders Another product from versys.co.uk member Speedy, these handy little brackets reposition the standard Versys mirrors so that your view of what's going on behind features a little more road and a little less shoulder. Owners at versys.co.uk don't rate the position of the standard mirrors and say that they're prone to excessive vibration. Aftermarket mirrors are another option to cure both these problems.
Hand guards Used in conjunction with a set of heated grips, hand guards are great for keeping your hands toasty during winter riding. Heated grips will only go so far on their own since they don't deal with one of the main reasons for frozen fingers- wind chill. They'll also help protect your hands and levers in the event of a spill. Pictured are the guard from Zeta. Owners at versys.co.uk say that hand guards from KTM, the Kawasaki KLE500 or the Suzuki V-Strom 650 can all be fitted to the Versys. Acerbis also produce some good dual road hand guards that fit all street bikes.
Radiator guard A radiator guard helps to protect your vulnerable radiator from stone chips or debris fired at it by other traffic or your front wheel. Romatec make the nice looking guard pictured left, with 'Versys' cut into the design, but another more subtle option is available from Meissne Mechanik.
Thanks again to the owners at www.versys.co.uk for their knowledge and advice on this subject.
What do you think? Are there any great Versys products we missed off that you think deserve a mention? What other models would you like to see featured? let us know by commenting on this article below, or alternatively send me an email directly at email@example.com.
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