VERsatile SYStem, is Kawasaki’s entry to adventure and touring segment. Visionaly built on sports touring the Versys 1000 Tourer spec checks all the box except off-road. This big tourer weighs 253kg with its 21-litre tank full of fuel, while the four-cylinder engine makes 118.3bhp @ 9,000rpm and 101Nm of torque @ 7,500rpm. I got the Touring Edition with pannier and I added a Givi B52 top box for the review. But as always I do prefer without the panniers if I ride around the city. The Versys looks clean too without the panniers. The first head-turner is, of course, the H2/ZX10R front design. Sporty looks and distinctive orange colour on the test bike which draws attention from all onlookers.
Fully loaded with empty panniers and top box, the Versys does feel top-heavy to me as the rider; having to tippy-toe but I got used to it after a while as there was addition +/-10kg with panniers and the top box.
The normal way I ride an adventure or sport tourer is I will stand up, as sitting behind the large windscreen is way too hot without the wind blowing towards me.
Handling wise the Versys has a bit of a soft with a little loose-feeling at the front-end but it’s never dangerous nor frightening, but there’s a bit of a wobble from the front after 170km/h but that too manageable even with one hand at that speed. The test bike which already had 20k mileage had a bit of leaking that’s may have accentuated with touring mileage. As I could see the rear Bridgestone tyre middle flat with chicken strips on the side. Over 4 days and +/- 500km up twisty road manage to get the chicken strips clear and getting a few slides on the edge of the rear tyre. Nothing too extreme, I can say it’s pretty manageable.
With the panniers on, the Versys isn’t a small machine to go in the narrow motorlanes at the Federal Highway. In traffic, the pannier does cast some doubts to lane filter in heavy traffic but it’s still pretty easy to filter during moderate traffic with a few occasion, stucking behind vehicles.
After 500km +/-, (full tank and additional RM20 top up] with the Versys returned with 2 bars left is considered, not bad fuel consumption considering how much it was lugging around and that I did majority of the trip on back roads and one 120km to Banting and back.
But when you clear the traffic, the roar from the airbox will reminds you that this is a 1,043cc four-cylinder, that comes from the same manufacturer that won 5 times WorldSBK title back to back, it might not have the peak power of some of its competitors, but if Kawasaki’s engineers had wanted that, they could have done it.
The riding position is perfectly, no neck or back ache after a 200km ride, the position also gives a commanding view through traffic. A centre stand comes standard and easy to pull up, does make makes chain maintenance easy too. The seats are comfy but the inline four does give a lot of heat, so don’t wear shorts even to a short ride.
The Versys is actually a genuine all-rounder could have taken the Versys on a longer ride if I had woke up in earlier to ride with a group of Adventure and touring buddies to Frasers Hill. Had to ride sole most of last weekend. Hence didn’t get photos on the bike. The Versys 1000 is not in any way dull or unexciting just don’t compared to the far more aggressive competitors (XR, Multi,1050), the Kawasaki makes you feel much more laid-back, overall the Versys is not a machine that’s built for pushing hard. This Versys 1000 is a sport tourer that allow you to savour and enjoy every ride and have fun! Truly a VERsatile SYStem 1000 Kawasaki has built with a very smooth inline-4 engine, I’m sure easy to maintain and versatile. What I didn’t like is the blur screen and the heat from the engine.
Basic sales price Kawasaki Versys 1000 (without r/tax, no. plates & Ins)= RM89,829.00