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Kawasaki Versys 650 [2017-2018]

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Key specs
  • Displacement649 cc
  • Transmission6 Speed Manual
  • Kerb Weight216 kg

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 6,68,524

Kawasaki Versys 650 [2017-2018] is now discontinued in India.

Discontinued
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Kawasaki Versys 650 [2017-2018] Summary

Versys 650 [2017-2018] key highlights

Engine Capacity 649 cc
Transmission 6 Speed Manual
Kerb Weight 216 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 21 litres
Seat Height 840 mm
Max Power 67.45 bhp

About Versys 650 [2017-2018]

The Versys 650 used to be the entry-level model in Team Green’s adventure motorcycle portfolio, but it will now be positioned one step above the upcoming Versys-X 300. Not much has changed on the India-spec model, other than the updation of the motor to meet BS4 emission norms, a green/black paint scheme, and a revised instrument cluster that now includes a gear position indicator.

The Versys 650 chassis is based on the chassis of the outgoing Ninja 650, but it gets high-quality suspension components. The front forks are separate function forks that can adjust for preload as well as rebound. The rear remains a KYB mono-shock with a remote preload adjuster. ABS is standard on the Versys 650. The high-quality suspension and stiff chassis make the Versys 650 one of the sweetest-handling motorcycles in its category on any surface, despite the wheels and tyres being biased toward tarmac. The engine in the Versys 650 is the same 649cc parallel twin that does duty in the Z650 and Ninja 650, but has been optimised for the Versys.

The Versys 650 has only one model that competes directly with it: the four-cylinder Benelli TNT 600GT.

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Kawasaki Versys 650 [2017-2018] Review

The Versys 650 is Kawasaki’s answer to the growing demands of India’s touring fraternity. It is essentially the Ninja 650’s touring cousin but is more focussed towards serious tourers. The Versys, as a brand, didn’t get lot of recognition since its introduction a year ago with the 1000, but Kawasaki is hoping to change the “This bike is not practical for India” perception to “This bike makes sense for India” with the Versys 650.

What is it?

The Versys 650 is Kawasaki’s answer to the growing demands of India’s touring fraternity. It is essentially the Ninja 650’s touring cousin but is more focussed towards serious tourers. The Versys, as a brand, didn’t get lot of recognition since its introduction a year ago with the 1000, but Kawasaki is hoping to change the “This bike is not practical for India” perception to “This bike makes sense for India” with the Versys 650.

How does it ride?

Versatility is key to any motorcycle, especially in a market like India wherein most people end up owning just one. It has to adapt to a wide range of riding requirements and the Versys 650 checks almost all the right boxes. The Versys 650 is your Monday to Friday commute bike (if you can afford new tyres every six months) and on weekends it can take you places with ease. At first, you will surely find this bike intimidating but once you swing your legs over and are in motion, the bike feels like any quarter litre bike…just taller.

The tall and wide handlebar lends good control. The lowered and centred rider footpegs aid comfort. And the seat is well cushioned, accommodating and it isn't exactly soft either. A great combo for long distance riding.  What’s more, riding the Versys 650 around in traffic is easy; this is without the panniers. With panniers on, judgement could be a problem. Take the bike out on the highway and the easy and comfortable nature of the Versys 650 still shines through. It’s a great bike to munch miles on.

And it’s tremendous fun on the twisties as well. It feels stable, light and sure-footed around corners; even the tighter ones. All you’ve to do is give the one piece handlebar a slight push, and the Versys changes direction as if that’s what it was designed to do. The chassis, the tyres and the front end is communicative, and though it doesn’t get any electronic magic (apart from ABS), you hardly feel the need for it.

The Versys 650 rides surprisingly well too. The long travel suspension soaks up the bumps and bad roads really well. And even if you manage to ride through a really bad pothole, the bike takes it without drama. The braking is impressive too. With new callipers, larger disc at the rear and ABS, the Versys 650 is a safe bet. Moreover, the Dunlops are grippy too.

As for the engine, the Versys 650 employs the same 649cc proven engine from Kawasaki that we see on the Ninja 650 and the ER6n. (Vulcan too but that’s not sold in India. Not yet! ) This mill produces 68bhp at 8500rpm and 64Nm at 7000rpm. Due to the nature of the bike, there is plenty of low and mid-range torque. Twist the throttle and the sudden surge of power is surely going to put a smile on your face. Throttle response is crisp thanks to dual 38mm throttle bodies. The six-speed gearbox is smooth and offers precise shifts.

Anything else I should know?

The predecessor of the Versys was infamous for its hideous design. Thankfully, Kawasaki has sorted that out with the new bike. The new one isn’t just palatable; it’s actually good looking. It gets a new fairing that gives the Versys, the Ninja family look. It gets twin headlights that work well in the dark; a large, manually adjustable windscreen; and top notch fit and finish. However, if you are over 6ft that windscreen isn’t going to be of much help at three digit speeds.

Kawasaki has specced up the Versys 650 as compared to the Ninja 650. At the front, it gets 41mm upside-down Showa units with Separate Function Forks (SFF). The left leg takes care of the preload adjustability, whereas the right takes care of rebound. At the rear, it comes with the same KYB monoshock as the Ninja but gets the remote preload adjuster.

The instrument cluster of the Versys 650 looks somewhat similar to the one on the Ninja 650. The top section takes care of the tachometer and a small LCD display does the job at the lower section. This screen shows the speed, fuel level, odo reading, instantaneous fuel efficiency and the average fuel economy as well. The two dummy round plastics on the extreme ends of the cluster look bad. They are used in the LT version (not in sale in India) for a power outlet and gearshift indicator.

You also need to know that the bike gets placement for the panniers via Kawasaki Quick Release (KQR). These panniers cost Rs 80,000. Also, if you’re wondering if the Versys 650 is as tall as the Versys 1000, the answer is yes, but it is easier to live with thanks to lighter weight; at 216kg, the Versys 650 still isn’t exactly light, though.

Why should I buy one?

The Versys 650 is a good looking bike that’s comfortable, good at touring and is fun around corners. It works well as a daily commute too. But, compared to the Ninja 650, which costs Rs 5.37 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Versys seems like an expensive proposition. What you do get for the additional Rs 1.23 lakh you’d pay for the Versys is a more serious touring bike with ABS, better suspension setup and more versatile and comfortable seating ergonomics.

Where does it fit in?

The Kawasaki Versys 650 isn’t the first one to enter the touring party. You have the Benelli TNT 600 GT at a more wallet friendly price tag of Rs 5.62 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). There’s also the Honda CBR650F, which is more of a sports tourer, and honestly at Rs 7.3 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), it’s just too expensive. But if you aren’t tied down by budget, there’s also the likeable Tiger XR at Rs 10.65 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

Photography by Kapil Angane

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Kawasaki Versys 650 [2017-2018] Colours

Versys 650 [2017-2018]

Specifications

  • Power & PerformancePower & Performance

    Fuel Type Petrol

    Max Power 67.45 bhp @ 8,500 rpm

    Max Torque 64 Nm @ 7,500 rpm

    Cooling System Liquid Cooled

    Transmission 6 Speed Manual

    Transmission Type Chain Drive

    Emission Standard --

    Displacement 649 cc

    Cylinders 2

    Bore 83 mm

    Stroke 60 mm

    Valves Per Cylinder 4

    Compression Ratio --

    Ignition Digital

    Spark Plugs 1 Per Cylinder

    Clutch Wet Multiplate

    Fuel Delivery System Fuel Injection

    Fuel Tank Capacity 21 litres

    Reserve Fuel Capacity --

    Riding Range Maximum distance a petrol bike can travel on a full fuel tank and an electric bike can travel on a full charge --

    Mileage - ARAI --

    Mileage - Owner Reported BikeWale collects mileage information from bike owners to provide you with the actual mileage that you might get. --

    Top Speed --

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  • Brakes, Wheels & SuspensionBrakes, Wheels & Suspension

    Braking System CBS, IBS, SBT, UBS, HBS - Combined braking of both front and rear wheel | ABS - Anti-lock braking system which can be just for front wheel (single channel) or both wheels (dual channel) or can be switched off (switchable) | E-ABS - Electronic assisted braking system | Standard - Cable operated --

    Front Brake Type Disc

    Front Brake Size 300 mm

    Rear Tyre Size 160/60ZR17M/C (69W) Tubeless

    Tyre Type Tubeless

    Radial Tyres Yes

    Rear Brake Type Disc

    Rear Brake Size 250 mm

    Calliper Type Front(2 Piston) Rear(1 Piston)

    Wheel Type Alloy

    Front Wheel Size 17 inch

    Rear Wheel Size --

    Front Tyre Size 120/70ZR17M/C (58W) Tubeless

    Front Tyre Pressure (Rider) --

    Rear Tyre Pressure (Rider) --

    Front Tyre Pressure (Rider & Pillion) --

    Rear Tyre Pressure (Rider & Pillion) --

    Front Suspension ø41 mm inverted telescopic fork

    Rear Suspension Offset laydown single-shock with remote preload ad

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  • Dimensions & ChassisDimensions & Chassis

    Kerb Weight 216 kg

    Overall Length 2,165 mm

    Overall Width 840 mm

    Wheelbase 1,415 mm

    Ground Clearance 170 mm

    Seat Height 840 mm

    Overall Height 1,450 mm

    Chassis Type Diamond high-tensile steel

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Features

Odometer --

DRLs (Daytime running lights) --

Mobile App Connectivity --

Pillion BackrestNo

Pillion GrabrailYes

Pillion SeatYes

GPS & Navigation --

USB charging port --

Front storage box --

Under seat storage --

AHO (Automatic Headlight On) --

Speedometer Digital

Fuel Guage Yes

Tachometer Analogue

Stand Alarm No

Stepped Seat Yes

No. of Tripmeters 2

Tripmeter Type Digital

Low Fuel Indicator Yes

Low Oil Indicator No

Low Battery Indicator --

Pillion FootrestYes

Digital Fuel GuageYes

Start TypeElectric Start

Shift LightYes

KillswitchYes

ClockYes

Electric System12V DC

BatteryMaintenance Free

Headlight TypeBulb and Reflector Type

Headlight Bulb Type--

Brake/Tail LightLED Tail Lamp

Turn SignalYes

Pass LightYes

Additional features--

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Kawasaki Versys 650 [2017-2018] User Reviews

4.3 10 ratings 2 reviews
  • 4

    Visual Appeal

  • 4

    Reliability

  • 4

    Performance

  • 3

    Service Experience

  • 3

    Maintenance cost

  • 3

    Extra Features

  •  4The versys 650 my kind of bike 1 year ago by Neville, Mumbai

    Before zeroing down on this bike i wanted to have a trial. Unfortunately the only dealer in mumbai was in partnership with ktm. Fortunately at that time they had a bike for registration. Just one look at the bike in person and a its dauntingly high seat made me love tha

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    • Used it for

      Everything

    • Owned for

      > 1 yr

    • Ridden for

      5000-10000 kms

  •  5The super comfortable tourer 2 years ago by Harshit Jain, New Delhi

    I got the bike in feb 2018, it costed me about rs. 7.9 lacs and the meter right now shows 19,306 km. I have taken it to delhi - ladakh, udaipur, indore. The performance of the bike is exceptional. The low end is decent but the mid range is where it shines. The bike easi

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    Inappropriate review? Report Abuse

    • Used it for

      Tours

    • Owned for

      6 months-1 yr

    • Ridden for

      > 15000 kms

    • Got mileage of

      24 kmpl

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