Kawasaki has announced a few changes to their Versys 650 and 1000 models – both of which will be coming to Canada.
The Versys models both lose their distinctive “stacked” front headlight, in favour of twin beams on each side of the fairing. Detractors of the original look are probably delighted, but now they’re just one more Japanese machine that looks like it wandered off the Transformers set …
While the motor seems to be unchanged in the 1000, the 650 model gets some tweaks that supposedly improve fuel economy but also make more power output further up the rev range, making it even more of a street bike (Kawasaki claims low- and mid-range output are still strong). The revised motor makes 69 hp.
Like some of their dirt bike lineup and the ZX-6, the Versys 650 also gets separate functions for each fork tube now – damping and rebound are in separate legs, allowing their designers to place the adjusters at the top of each fork leg, making it easier to tweak settings. The rear shock is also easy to adjust on the fly, with a remote preload adjuster.
The 650 Versys also gets upgraded braking, thanks to new calipers and pads, an updated master cylinder and larger 250 mm rear disc. Finally, the 650’s luggage carrying capacity is also greater, thanks to a beefed-up subframe.
The Versys 1000 also gets a sturdier subframe for increased carrying capacity. The chassis was also revised to accommodate the centrestand (now a standard item), and the tires have been changed. The Versys 1000 also gets a new toolless adjustable windscreen.
There’s a one-key luggage system available for the updated Versys 1000 and other touring-friendly accessories. ABS is still standard, there’s three-level traction control and two riding modes and a new slipper clutch.
The new 1000 has a 250 kg wet weight and 840 mm seat height.
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