What I want from a motorcycle has changed many times over the years. For a long period it just had to be fast and cheap. Several firecracker-style sportbikes fitted that bill. There were stints with motocross motorcycles, big old trail bikes, even a few tourers and lately I also followed the what's hot in motorcycle business so I had a supermoto and latest an adventure bike.
I still like something quick, but I'm not worried about going really fast anymore. I want to be able to get anywhere I want, and I'm rubbish at packing. That means lots of luggage.
I have recently re-discovered touring in Thailand, going places where the average tourist never comes, and I really enjoy days out like this, I now want a motorcycle that can get me and sometimes with my girlfriend anywhere in Thailand, with plenty of space to store our riding gear while we're there. The Kawasaki Versys 650 does that well, and it's great value. But occasionally I found myself wishing for just a bit more power, a slightly more positive gearbox, and a comfier seat. The Kawasaki Versys 1000 has, on paper at least, everything I could wish for. It's styled much like the Kawasaki Versys 650, has plenty of space, and it's very good value for money.
I had a Kawasaki Z1000 not so long ago, so I already knew the engine should be good. It is – the Kawasaki Versys 1000 engine puts out 20 horsepower less than the Z1000, but it does so at 9,000rpm – a useful 1000rpm earlier than the Kawasaki Z1000. It makes enough torque… Trust me… it's more than enough. And of course, the 1000cc has the incredible induction roar that Kawasaki often tunes into its airboxes. Without riding the same route back-to-back, it's impossible to say if the Versys 1000 is more economical than the Z1000, but it appears to be, if only ever so slightly. With the aerodynamics of the Kawasaki Z1000, it almost certainly would be.
The gearbox is a joy after the Kawasaki Versys 650, which can feel a little vague, and the clutch, while still cable operated, is much lighter. The only additional to the clocks – besides indicators of full or reduced power modes and the three-stage/off traction control – is an engine and external temperature gauge. But it's the access to the display that's real pleasure; rather than having to reach over the yoke to select or reset the info, a rocker switch on the left handle bar is a great improvement.Tag: KawasakiVersys-650Versys-1000ABS1000cc650ccAdventure-BikeParallel-TwinInline-Four