Kawasaki Ver­sys 650GT

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Front Page -

An im­pres­sive pack­age

You could eas­ily be mis­taken for think­ing the 650 was the Ver­sys’s big­ger brother, the 1000, when it’s in this fully-dressed Grand Tourer guise – it’s an im­pres­sive, and im­pos­ing, pack­age, and all for un­der £8000.

The Grand Tourer is a Uk-only model and comes with colour­matched pan­niers (with in­ner bags), a match­ing top­case, hand­guards, huge fog lamps, a gear in­di­ca­tor and a 12v power out­let. The stan­dard 650 Ver­sys will set you back £6749, which means all this ex­tra love­li­ness costs you £1250. But it’s not just the boltons that give the Kawasaki a su­pe­rior feel. The screen is ad­justable, as are the levers, and it’s the only bike on test to boast ad­justable sus­pen­sion front and rear. The body­work looks and feels solid, and the pan­niers and top­box match the bike per­fectly – rather than look­ing like they’ve been stolen from Toys R Us (like the Honda). Yes, the Kawasaki is the most ex­pen­sive bike on test, but it feels like it, too. You can see where your money has been spent. How­ever, the gear po­si­tion in­di­ca­tor looks like an af­ter­thought, it doesn’t need to be that large and is way too bright at night. And you are ei­ther go­ing to loath or love the big LED fog lamps – though they are un­de­ni­ably im­pres­sive at night.

The air of lux­ury does evap­o­rate slightly on the move, as the Ver­sys is no­tice­ably more vibey than our other two bikes. Above 80mph, or when revving it hard, you re­ally no­tice the vi­bra­tions through the wide bars and pegs. It’s not an­noy­ing, but it is no­tice­able com­pared to the smooth Suzuki and the low-revving Honda.

But we all agreed if we had to em­bark on a long jour­ney we’d all grab the Kawasaki key first. You sit very much in the bike, and it’s a com­fort­able place to be, with a low seat and the wide bars per­fectly spaced so that noth­ing is too much of a stretch. The man­u­ally ad­justable screen and large fair­ing are more ef­fec­tive than the Honda’s, too. The hand­guards of­fer some wind pro­tec­tion as well as look­ing good, and with a 21-litre fuel tank you can push to al­most 200 miles be­fore need­ing to fill up. But while the Kawasaki’s tank is seven litres big­ger than the Honda’s, the Ver­sys is more thirsty, mean­ing fuel stops ar­rive at the same time.

Through the bends, the Ver­sys punches way above its weight, han­dling sur­pris­ingly well, although the fork dive is ex­ces­sive un­der heavy brak­ing. But un­like the other bikes on test, the forks are ad­justable. Put sim­ply, it’s a lot of bike for the money.

‘Com­pared to the low-revving NC and smooth SV, it’s no­tice­ably vibey’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.