Kawasaki Versys 1000 – All you need to know about 2021 model

Adventure tourers tend to make a lot of sense in our market like ours, considering how bad our road conditions are. These motorcycles are made to munch miles without there being a compromise on comfort, with a little bit of sportiness thrown in for good measure. Now this is where the all-new Kawasaki Versys 1000 comes into the picture.

Those Kawasaki looks

The girth of the Kawasaki Versys 1000 is the first thing that gets your attention. The front fascia has been inspired by the new ZX-6R and that somehow gives the bike a very likable persona. But it’s far from beautiful. It has an imposing stance and looks quite purposeful, especially with that tall windscreen that can be manually adjusted. Viewed from the side, this machine from Kawasaki Bikes looks like it is made to take on long tours. It is evident the moment you lay eyes on the huge fairing, the 21-litre tank and the comfortable seating hint at the bike’s touring intent. That’s not all. It even gets slots to attach panniers and a luggage rack.

The bodywork is so massive, that the 17-inch wheels get dwarfed into the bargain, and this makes the bike look a bit awkward, although it sits on sports bike tyres. It is very clear that the brand has focused more on function. It has one of the comfiest saddles in its segment; the cushioning is perfect and the pillion’ seat is placed high-up. It’s hard to find fault with the ergonomics, thanks to the handlebar that’s easy to reach and the windscreen keeps the breeze away from blowing into your face.

Smooth operator

About the engine

The engine in the Kawasaki Versys 1000 is a gem. The engine is also found on the Ninja 1000SX, but on the Versys, it makes lesser power and torque. It develops 118bhp and 102Nm of torque, which is sufficient for everyday riding. The moment you start the engine, you can hear a pleasant hum while it’s idling. Open the throttle and the bike howls while the acceleration wouldn’t have you believe this is such a behemoth. It reaches triple-digit speeds in a jiffy and the engine never seems to run out of breath. In sixth gear, the bike cruises seamlessly with enough grunt for an overtake. In the city, the engine’s heat management is excellent, making it suitable as a daily commuter.

You can simply roll down long stretches of tarmac with the cruise control system set to a certain speed. When the Kawasaki Versys 1000 was updated in 2019, the bike got IMU assisted, three-step traction control and lean-sensitive ABS. Another two safety modes include two power modes: Full and Low. In Low, power delivery is controlled and this makes the bike easy to handle in any weather condition. We think Kawasaki Bikes should’ve refined the throttle a bit; in that way the chassis doesn’t get unsettled on slippery surfaces.

Lead the touring pack

Apart from the performance, this is a motorcycle that handles well. And it’s surprisingly not a very demanding bike when it comes to cornering. You’ll first have to get accustomed to riding a bike that is tall and heavy, and that’s when you’ll be able to push this baby through corners with aplomb. There is ample grip and feedback from the chassis and it changes directions quickly, thanks to the 17-inch wheels. Mid-corner stability is great, thanks to the 1520mm wheelbase. The suspension soak in the bumps well and ride quality is good enough. Adjustability for the suspension though is limited. It’s not a hardcore off-roader, this bike, firstly because the ground clearance isn’t too much, but the brakes do a great job in bringing this brute to a stop. This is one among the best Kawasaki Bikes you can buy.

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