At the heart of the 2022 Versys 650 is the same tried-and-tested 649cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine that powered the previous iteration of the motorcycle. While it is the same engine that powers the Ninja 650, Z650, Z650RS, and the Vulcan 650, the Versys 650 gets a different state of tune. Linked to a six-speed gearbox, the parallel-twin engine makes a healthy 65.7bhp at 8,500rpm and 61Nm of peak torque at 7,000rpm.
The power delivery is linear and the Versys 650 will tread along anywhere above 3,000rpm. It really comes to life from 4,000rpm onward, with a noticeable step-up in acceleration post 6,000rpm. The speedometer will sit at 100kmph at just under 5,000rpm while 120kmph arrives just shy of 6,000rpm in the sixth gear. This leaves you with ample power in reserve for quick overtakes without having to downshift. The six-speed gearbox works well too, although the clutch isn’t the lightest and it can get tiring in bumper-to-bumper traffic situations.
Now, the braking setup has been retained from the 2021 version and the latest iteration of the Versys 650 continues to use twin 300mm rotors at the front and a single 250mm disc at the back – both featuring a petal-type layout and grabbed by Nissin-sourced calipers. Overall, the hardware packs a good bite and sheds speed at a commendable pace.
Despite its ADV-inspired styling, the Versys 650 is designed for the road. Thus, it comes with 17-inch alloy wheels that make the motorcycle an absolute treat on the tarmac. It feels sporty around corners and stable at high speeds. However, the wet grip from the stock tyres isn’t very confidence inspiring and we recommend getting something different as soon as the factory-installed set runs out. That said, although the 17-inch wheels, road-biased tyres, and a low ground clearance do not make the Versys 650 very friendly for off-roading, the tall handlebar and good standing ergonomics allow you to enjoy some amount of soft-roading.