Kawasaki Versys 650
Kawasaki’s third-generation Versys 650 has grown into a serious small-capacity sports tourer – brilliant at munching big miles for little money and still perfect for the less experienced and smaller riders.
Ride Quality & Brakes
With its new Showa forks and KYB rear shock (with remote preload adjuster) the supple ride quality belies the Kawasaki’s budget price tag and handling is soft, but agile and reassuring. New Dunlop D222 sports touring tyres offer decent grip, while uprated front brake pads and a 30mm larger diameter rear brake disc give you more confidence on the brakes. The improvement in rear power will be a blessing when carrying a pillion. The Versys 650 is comfy on the long haul and the new taller, manually-adjustable screen and wide tank protect your head, shoulders and knees from high speed windblast. A new 21-litre tank is two-litres bigger than before and if the on-board computer is to be believed, the motor is nice and frugal, returning 23km per litre.
The 649cc parallel twin-cylinder engine has an extra 5 hp and 2ftlb of torque (200 rpm further up the revs). It’s still packed with lots of low-down and midrange grunt, but really you’d be hard pushed to notice the extra oomph over the old model in isolation. In fact it feels a little less spritely, due its heavier new wheels, fairing and sturdier subframe.But you do notice the lack of vibes from the motor. They used to run through you like an electric shock and blur the mirrors on the old models, especially the ’06 original, but not now, thanks to the new front rubber engine mounts.
Build Quality & Reliability
It’s a well-finished machine and there nice touches include the petal brake discs, ‘banana’ swingarm, remote preload adjuster, adjustable screen.
Value & versatile
The Versys 650 is now better value than ever. It’s more versatile and can be used for everything from popping to the shops to travelling across Malaysia and beyond.