End of the wind­ing road

Sturdy Ver­sys cov­ers four years’ worth of rid­ing in less than 12 months Ver­sys life in num­bers...

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Mcn garage -

Af­ter nigh-on a year and more than 13,000 miles, it’s time to say good­bye to the Ver­sys. I’d like to tell you it’s been emo­tional, but it hasn’t and that’s be­cause it’s been the most com­pe­tent, has­sle-free, easy-to-use bike I’ve ever done such big miles on.

No, it’s not the fastest or most ex­cit­ing – but I’ve grown to like it, and more sig­nif­i­cantly I de­pend 100% on its no-fuss ap­proach to mo­tor­cy­cling.

120 ( bhp)

It may not sound a lot, es­pe­cially on a bike that weighs 250kg, but I haven’t found the mo­tor want­ing. Kawasaki have a well-de­served rep­u­ta­tion for build­ing strong en­gines and the proven in­line four-cylin­der 1043cc Ver­sys mo­tor is no ex­cep­tion. Due to good fu­elling and what feels like low gear­ing, it’s re­spon­sive through­out the range and pulls with sat­is­fy­ing ur­gency at any­thing over 6500rpm. While there isn’t a glut of power it’s easy to ac­cess ev­ery bit of bhp it has, which makes it brisk and use­able.

51 (av­er­age mpg)

My com­mute is a round trip of just un­der 140 miles, most of it on fast dual car­riage­way or mo­tor­way. On av­er­age my cruis­ing speed hov­ers around an in­di­cated 85mph, yet the Ver­sys has de­liv­ered a more-than-ac­cept­able mpg of just over 50mpg.

13,125 (miles rid­den)

When the av­er­age an­nual mileage for a UK biker is un­der 3000, com­plet­ing over 13,000 in less than 12 months equals four-plus years of bik­ing in one hit. Dur­ing this time it’s had no prob­lems, no break­downs and no drama. The only nig­gle was when the neu­tral light started stay­ing on, but the prob­lem which ar­rived with­out warn­ing has dis­ap­peared just as fast.

0 (a year of zero-ego bik­ing)

I’ve en­joyed the Ver­sys’ func­tion­al­ity and anonymity. It’s ca­pa­ble of be­ing rid­den fast, but I don’t feel com­pelled to do so. It’s also not try­ing to be a BMW GS clone, so even when loaded up with kit it doesn’t give the im­pres­sion that you’ve just left your fam­ily and are about to start an epic round-the-world ad­ven­ture!

18 or 66 (miles to empty)

My big­gest gripe is the fact the fuel gauge and miles-to-empty trip­me­ter don’t tally. I’ve had three bars show­ing on the gauge with the miles-to-empty read­ing 28, yet on an­other day three bars on the gauge will give a range of 120. While I’ve never ac­tu­ally run out, I’ve had a few twitchy mo­ments.

16to (which gear?)

About the only thing miss­ing is a gear in­di­ca­tor. While in re­al­ity it’s no big deal, in my opin­ion it’s the type of bike that should have one and it’s a bike where own­ers would ex­pect one.

9749 (price in £)

Just shy of £10k is a lot of money but on bal­ance I think it’s a fair price, and rep­re­sents good value for money, largely down to its com­plete com­pe­tence as a do-it-all mo­tor­cy­cle. It has good pres­ence, it’s very com­fort­able, has a bal­anced chas­sis, morethan-ad­e­quate brakes and a lively and sur­pris­ingly fast mo­tor. I’m go­ing to miss it!

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