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 ROAD : VERSYS 1000

The Versys 1000 uses the tried and tested inline four-cylinder 1043cc engine of the Kawasaki Z1000 and Z1000 SX retuned for a massive wave of torque throughout the rev range rather than delivering more power and less grunt at higher revs for competitive use. To achieve this the compression ratio compared with the Z1000 has been reduced from 118:1 to 103:1 by reshaping the cylinder head’s combustion chambers. Longer downdraft throttle bodies collaborate in increasing mid and low range grunt as does a new 38mm throttle bore. The throttle bodies are oval to keep the engine slimmer between the rider’s knees and engine management settings have been revised to make the motor more user-friendly on real-world public roads. There’s a secondary engine balancer driven off the crankshaft to limit vibration and large oval shaped exhaust header connector pipes get the horses keen to go even when they’re not being flogged. An under engine pre-chamber centralises mass while using a silencer that’s markedly smaller and more pleasing to the eye than it would otherwise be. . The engine has not been emasculated in any way – during most on-road situations it will usually have more grunt available at lower revs but its peak power and torque of 118 PS (868 kW) at 9000 rpm and 102 Nm at 6800 rpm are guaranteed to satisfy even the most aggressive riders’ needs on the road. Gear ratios were carefully chosen to accommodate a wide range of riding situations. Compared to the Z1000 first and second gears feel lower while the next four ratios are taller for sporty riding and relaxed highway cruising.    
 
The Kawasaki Versys 1000 was developed to maximise rider and passenger enjoyment on the street. While the motorcycle is not intended for off-road use it utilises long-travel suspension because public roads unlike top-notch racetracks have less than perfect surfaces with potholes bumps and ripples aplenty. The upright riding position provides apart from comfort excellent visibility and safety and the aluminium twin-tube frame uses beams that wrap over rather than around the engine allowing for a narrower machine that is easier to grip with the knees. The highly rigid frame made up of five cast aluminium sections uses the engine as a stressed member giving the machine composed handling good stability and the most nimble turning in its class. The windscreen can be adjusted over 30mm for height by turning two knobs – no tools are necessary. There’s a lightweight resin-construction rear carrier and a large underseat stowage space that can accommodate rain gear.   
 
The new Kawasaki features next-generation 43mm inverted front forks with stepless rebound damping and spring preload adjustability. Fixing the cylinder inside the fork inner tube allows a 5mm larger cylinder diameter of 25mm. The larger piston achieved by this contributes to a very composed suspension action and travel is a lengthy 150mm. The 1000cc Versys takes a cue from its twin-cylinder sibling by utilising horizontal back-link rear suspension. This arrangement frees up space that would be otherwise taken up by the lower linkage of a conventional Uni-Trak system and this in turn allows for a larger out-of-sight exhaust pre-chamber and a shorter muffler. Apart from being aesthetically more appealing this aids in mass centralisation. The rear suspension also offers adjustable rebound damping and preload with the latter having a remote adjuster that can be easily accessed by gloved hands while on the move. 
 
Perhaps the biggest advantage that the new Kawasaki Versys 1000 enjoys over its twin cylinder namesake and its rivals is the full-house package of advanced electronic rider aids it delivers as standard. based upon the system used on Kawasaki’s flagship 2012 ZX-14R the Versys system combines the best elements of the factory’s S-KTRC and KTRC technology. Riders can choose between three modes: Modes 1 and 2 prioritise acceleration as with the S-KTRC system on the latest Ninja ZX-10R while Mode 3 is similar to the system of the KTRC of the 2010 1400 GTR making life easier for riders traversing slippery surfaces on heavy machines. In Modes 1 and 2 highly sophisticated programming allows a degree of wheelspin to maximise acceleration while keeping a close eye on front and rear wheel slippage and rider inputs on the throttle and brakes. Intelligent analysis determines when traction conditions are about to become unfavourable and the system reacts before this happens. The system can also be turned completely off.  
 

So there we have it. Kawasaki’s grown up Versys (Versatile System) is just about here. As a lively comfortable easy-to-live with motorcycle delivering near-Superbike performance it’s going to be hard to beat. But don’t take our word for it. Get down to your nearest Kawasaki dealer and see for yourself. 

Specifications

 

Engine type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke In-Line Four
Displacement: 1,043 cm³
Bore x stroke: 77.0 x 56.0 mm
Compression ratio: 10.3:1
Valve/Induction system DOHC: 16 valves
Fuel system Fuel injection: ø38 mm x 4 (Keihin) with oval sub-throttles
Ignition: Digital
Starting: Electric
Lubrication: Forced lubrication, wet sump
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission: 6-speed, return
Final Drive: Sealed chain
Primary reduction ratio: 1.627 (83/51)
Gear ratios: 1st: 2.692 (35/13)
Gear ratios: 2nd: 1.950 (39/20)
Gear ratios: 3rd: 1.529 (26/17)
Gear ratios: 4th: 1.304 (30/23)
Gear ratios: 5th: 1.136 (25/22)
Gear ratios: 6th: 0.958 (23/24)
Final reduction ratio: 2.867 (43/15)
Clutch Wet multi-disc, manual
 
FRAME
Frame type: Aluminium twin-tube
Wheel travel, front: 150 mm
Wheel travel, rear: 150 mm
Tyre, front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W)
Tyre, rear: 180/55ZR17M/C (73W)
Rake/Trail :27° / 107 mm
Steering angle, left / right 34° / 34°
 
SUSPENSION
Suspension, front: 43 mm inverted fork with stepless rebound damping and spring preload adjustability
Suspension, rear: Horizontal Back-link, gas-charged, with stepless rebound damping and remote spring preload adjustability
 
BRAKES
Brakes, front: Dual semi-floating 300 mm petal discs
Caliper: Dual opposed 4-piston
 
Brakes, rear: Single 250 mm petal disc
Caliper: Single-piston
 
DIMENSIONS
Dimensions (L x W x H): 2,235 mm x 900 mm x 1,405 mm / 1,430 mm
Wheelbase: 1,520 mm
Ground Clearance: 155 mm
Seat height: 845 mm
Curb Mass: 239 kg
Fuel capacity: 21 litres
 
PERFORMANCE
Maximum power: 86.8 kW {118 PS} / 9,000 rpm
Maximum torque: 102 N.m {10.4 kgf.m} / 7,700 rpm
 

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