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Kawasaki Versys 650: Road Test Review

The third offering based on the lovely Ninja 650 comes in the form of an adventure-sport, the Versys 650. Is just another variant that commands more money with its better equipment, or does it offer better value than the ER6-n and Ninja? More importantly, where does it stand in the middleweight offerings in India? Watch the video to find out.

2015 taught us a lot in september for the anniversary issue we took five adventure tourists and headed down a completely unknown road somewhere in india and we discovered that the motorcycles work absolutely brilliantly in our conditions and three years before that we’ve read in the ninja 650 over and over again and repeatedly come to the conclusion that that kind

Of value for money and a few basic things like avs would make a brilliant package and that is exactly what i have with me today the kawasaki versys 650 an adventure tourist i’ll motorcycle with abs that promises to have the same value for money proposition as the ninja 650 has kawasaki absolutely nailed the middleweight motorcycle for india let’s find out in that

Big test we call the versus 1000 this bikes big brother out for having this really large fairing that look out of proportion well solved the versys 650 sticks with the same predatory bird ep key design but it scaled down into proportion pretty the versus 650 is not striking enough to attract attention oh yes even in black and yes i’ll say that is not something

That is often said about the kawasaki ninja 650 or it’s not so pretty but affordable cousin the er6n the ninja 650 has given birth to four motorcycles in all in terms of a platform one of course is the ninja 650 there is the naked version of that motorcycle the er6n which is also on sale in india the third one the vs. has gone on sale now and i think the vulcan s

Which is the fourth motorcycle or cruiser should come eventually so to talk about this one it’s basically the same 649 cc 8 valve parallel twin engine it’s a very simple engine peak power is a little bit less than the ninja 650 peak torque is the same but that detuning has allowed kawasaki to give you a fat or talk of everywhere in the rev range trading in a little

Bit of horsepower at the top which is perfect because when you ride it it gives you the sense of the ninja 650 in the way the talk flows but it is a much smoother quieter engine it seems to have longer legs on the highway and it’s taller on a similar wheelbase like the ninja 650 so one thing that i’ve discovered almost unwittingly is that this thing is extremely

Really happy in first any time you whack the throttle open it wants to have that front wheel up in the air and the couple of crests today where the front wheel caught here where i was completely not expecting it and i don’t even think the suzuki gsx s1000 are my favorite motorcycles last year did that this one does so very nice engine proven reliable and i think

It’s got a naughty streak too i like it i also love the sense of control and poise then the suspension gives the versus handling it’s an unlikely machine to corner with that seat height but it does work rather well the suspension keeps the great dunlop sport max tires in contact with the ground it’s supple enough to manage mid-corner bumps and slowly but surely

The vs. proves that it takes such good care of the rolls problems that you start to relax and hump in the base the price difference between the ninja 650 and the vs. 650 is about rupees 1.2 lakhs what does that money really buy you well about twenty thirty thousand rupees i think would be the abs system it’s well understood it works on this motorcycle so there’s

Not much really to say on that front the rest of it is in primarily is in the suspension okay so in the front you’ve got show our separate function folks there are lighter version of the normal telescopic forks with each leg doing a different function so if you look at the caps on the fox one folk only allows you to adjust rebound the other one is for preload it’s

A significant jump in sophistication over for example the ninja 650 spokes but more importantly by separating the function you get a lighter fork and on this bike i think the ride quality is much more supple and absorbent than the ninja 650 that’s a big upgrade the second upgrade and not such a big upgrade is that the rear shock now has a remote preload adjuster

What that means is as the load on the motorcycle changes let’s say i have a pillion or luggage you can just stall a little knob instead of having to mess with a c spanner to change the preload on the motorcycle and ensure that this suspension is in its happiest zone for that load setup these two upgrades make a massive difference if you’re going to load this thing

Up with luggage and go for a long distance something that the bike literally begs you to do the extra torque our socket tuned in and the newfound smoothness of the 649 cc motor really do present themselves rather well gone is the slightly cloudy heavy feel of the ninja 650 engine the vs. feels slick light and clicker to respond there is the slight numerical peak

Power output difference but i’d say paid no mind at all this engine knows exactly what is needed to commute to munsch miles and to climb a steep mountain road beautiful it’s just beautiful the only thing i’d change is the gearing kawasaki share the whole gearbox with the ninja 650 and that shows i’d have loved a significantly taller sixth gear to work as a genuine

Overdrive ratio 125 km/h is about six and a half thousand rpm in sixth gear adding five and a half thousand rpm would be sheer perfection and i suspect it might extend the tank range a little bit as well but it’s something to ponder really because the motorcycle as it is is absolutely wonderful if you like the ninja 650 and wanted a little more sophistication in

The way the suspension works a little more ground clearance perhaps a little more smoothness abs and a minor increase in price your wishes have been answered that’s exactly what this motorcycle is in fact i would go so far as to say that until kawasaki launches abs on the er6n and on the ninja 650 there is almost literally no reason to buy that motorcycle at all

Because this will do everything that that bike does and so much more

Transcribed from video
Kawasaki Versys 650: Road Test Review By OVERDRIVE