January 30th, 2012
The Versys 650 is known for long-distance riding comfort, maneuverability, and capability for light off-road travel. Being able to handle the highway as well as the trail pretty much makes it a Swiss Army knife of motorcycles. Kawasaki couldn't leave well enough alone. The recently announced Versys 1000 will soon be hitting the roads and trails.
Using the inline-four Z1000 engine as a starting point, the Versys 1000's version is tuned for more low-end torque and less high-end scream. Reduced compression ratio, reshaped combustion chambers, longer intake tracts, and new oval 38mm throttle bodies accomplish the task. The motorcycle is fitted with oval header pipes with a hidden collector to keep the size of the exhaust cans fairly small while allowing a healthy exhaust flow.
This results in a respectable 116 horsepower and 75 foot pounds of torque. Compared to the Z1000, first and second gears are fairly low, while the four higher gears are taller. This should allow plenty of grunt for takeoffs and light trail riding with fuel economy being key at highway speeds.
The Versys 1000 has an upright standard seating position like it's little brother the Versys 650. Composite luggage and a large under-seat storage area provide plenty of space to stash extra gear. The Versys windshield is adjustable by use of hand-turned knobs.
A traction control system, similar to the one used on the Kawasaki ZX14, is employed in the Versys 1000. 43mm inverted front forks and a horizontal back-link shock setup provide a fairly large amount of suspension travel.
2 comments on "The Kawasaki Versys gets a big brother"
That would be a good competitor for the Yamaha Super Tenere. I really thought that the 650 was a great bike. I just need boots with about 3 inch heels to be able to flat foot at a stop.
I gave up the idea of ever flat footing a stop when I bought my GSA but I've gotten used to it and the trade off from the Ultra far out ways it.