Kawasaki's best motorcycle is not about a big engine and sportsbike performance. It's a all-rounder with a parallel twin 650cc engine and it's called the Kawasaki Versys.
The 2011 Kawasaki Versys, with this motorcycle, picking off traffic and slipping through congestions is a breeze. Comfort, protection and cruising ability are way better than what Kawasaki Thailand had previous on offer.
Kawasaki's new 2011 Versys follows the trend for taller, more upright all-rounders. It's based on the well known ER-6N parallel twin, with a retuned engine, wide handlebars, slim flanks, low weight and firm suspension. It has a roomy riding position adjustable screen and ample pillion space to keep it usable. It even has optional hard luggage from the Kawasaki factory.
The new Kawasaki Versys is powered by a Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke Parallel Twin, DOHC, 8 valves, 649cc engine. Fueled by 2 Keihin 38mm throttle bodies. For 2011 the whole engine and fueling system is retuned and reworked to meet Kawasaki's new 'green' environmental standard.
There are not much middleweight motorcycles, with the exception of the Suzuki V-Strom, which is officially not available in Thailand, there's little for those who fancy an adventure / all-round motorcycle without the huge cost. So the 2011 Kawasaki Versys should be just what is needed in Thailand. The Kawasaki Versys performs well, particularly the parallel twin 650cc engine. Normally claims that a engine's been retuned for more midrange mean it's had the top-end performance removed, but the revised Kawasaki ER-6N engine is in the new Versys a well performing power-plant. The peaky, revvy nature has been replaced with a silk smooth surge between 6,000 to 8,500rpm that's perfect at normal road speeds.
The chassis has a similar undemanding character. A light feel and ample leverage from wide handlebars give easy, prompt direction changes – picking off traffic and slipping through congestion is very easy. Through downtown queues the Kawasaki Versys is simplicity itself to ride, with a riding position that offers both comfort and command, and light, responsive controls. But back roads are a mixed feeling: the handling and engine make light work of good, smooth road surface but the firm, long-travel suspension can be overwhelmed by a rural road with generous bumps.
The friendly, usable performance makes the 2011 Kawasaki Versys fun for all: novices aren't going to get into a world of trouble but experts can maintain momentum by using skill, rather than a using a surplus of engine power. And the Kawasaki Versys is a treat for potential stunt monkeys too: win it open hard in first gear and up comes the front. Or give the clutch a sneaky dab in second and up it go's again, all thanks to the rounded midrange of the 650cc engine.