All Reviews – 2015 Versys 1000 Review: Kawasaki does an about-face – The Versys 1000 goes into Ninja mode

2015 Versys 1000 test: Kawasaki does an about-face

All Tests - 2015 Versys 1000 Test: Kawasaki does an about-face - The Versys 1000 goes into Ninja mode

In 2012, Kawasaki launched a surprising Versys 1000 with its trail-izing cycle part and its large in-line 4-cylinder. Dynamically convincing, its aesthetics and certain practical aspects had to be reviewed. It’s done. Test.

The Versys 1000 goes into Ninja mode

While traveling through the Etna regional park again, MNC realizes that where the 650 twin required to play with the gearbox on the intermediate gears, the 1000 4-cylinder only asks to wring out the handle. Motorhomes, bicycles and even cars overtaking are done on 4th gear, quite simply.

During a short passage through hard expressway – in sixth gear! -, the Versys 1000 still tumbles at 131 km / h at 5000 rpm. Doubling remains a breeze since it suffices to tilt the right wrist. But be careful, because we then enter the second half of the tachometer, synonymous with speeding on an open road (c) (radar)…

This real Ninja mounted on stilts therefore has a maximum sports speed – with a red zone set at 10,000 rpm, we can theoretically expect 260 km / h -, but it is its peaceful road character that will fly … mosquito and other unfortunate insects !

Indeed, the screen of the Versys 1000 may be much smaller than the windshield of a 1400GTR, it nevertheless offers quite appreciable protection against the wind and the small animals it carries and devoid of effect. "push-in-the-back".

Raised to its maximum (+75 mm against +30 mm on the old model, Kawasaki tells us), the bubble isolates the shoulders and the entire helmet. It is unfortunately difficult – and strongly discouraged – to fine-tune the height of the screen while driving since the two screws of the system face the road.

At the foot of the snow-covered volcano, our Versys "Grand Tourer" also protects us from the cold thanks to its heated grips. Very effective – no need to adjust them fully! -, they allow you to ride with mid-season gloves at 2 ° C without fear of the nail.

There is no more fear of ants bites since the handlebars are now mounted "flexible". The two front mounts of the engine also incorporate silentblocs which filter out most of the vibrations. However, some manage to pass through the "rigid" rear bindings, but there is clearly progress..

Passed 4000 rpm, while the 4-cylinder begins to pull seriously, the hands and the feet feel some tickles which are not handicapping. We also note that the vision in the mirrors is clearer than on the previous model.

On national or departmental, the accelerations on the last report are strong enough from 3000 rpm (80 km / h) to maintain a good "small" pace … Even by selecting the "Low" mapping mode, the Versys 1000 is voluntary !

The "L" mode, which can be validated by rolling two flicks of the left thumb, especially tempers the character of the beast in the last third of the counter. The 4-cylinder then only develops "75% of its maximum power approximately", estimates Kawasaki, or 90 horses.

Like the usefulness of the "Eco" indicator light, that of the "Low" mode remains to be demonstrated, especially as a carefully calibrated traction control system takes care of the grain. At MNC, we would prefer to have a cruise control on the Versys 1000…

As we raised the tachometer needle above 6500 rpm, there was a sizzle between the legs and under the buttocks, but it took us a while to spot them, concentrating as we were. follow the convolutions of the road…

Angry in turns and stable in curves, the bike naturally makes you want to increase the pace. But at the same time, the rider perceives that he must not ride over his boots: adapting the speed of this Versys to certain – small – curves sometimes requires a fine grip. !

Fortunately, the 310mm front discs (previously 300) and the new pads fitted to offer "a stronger initial bite", effectively slow down our Kawasaki launched to … shameful speeds.

Relying on a fork with sliders 20mm longer than the old one, the 2015 Versys 1000 still reacts well to heavy braking in a straight line. You have to watch it more when you let go of the brakes when entering a curve or if you take them back in the middle..

Because of its more open hydraulics, the new Versys 1000 seemed a little less precise in the winding or passing a nasty bump on the corner. In this specific case, the suspensions take a little time to regain their balance..

Likewise, the rear axle seemed to us to be a little less valiant than in the past: coming out very strong from the bends, the harder spring of the 2015 Versys – to correspond to the 11 kg and 2 hp more – has more difficulty in stall and slightly sway the motorcycle.

It must be recognized that Site has particularly roughed up "its" Versys, and very few future owners will do the same with theirs. But it was necessary to verify on the one hand that the 120 horses were there – they are indeed! – and on the other hand that the Bridgestone T30 held the road…

Replacing the Pirelli Scorpion trail "multi-purpose", the Japanese tires with a more sporty program remained impeccably stuck to the road despite very low temperatures and multiple breaks (so many cooling downs).

MNC therefore had to insist on the accelerator and the brake lever to bring in the assistance: ABS (Bosch 9.1MP instead of 9MP) and KTRC, still installed as standard on the Versys 1000. Their interventions, as gentle as they are reassuring, could well save the owner’s stake in a bad patch…

The starting bet, precisely, amounts to € 12,690, or 200 euros more than what Kawasaki requested in 2012 for its first Versys 1000. And given the progress made, this extension is more than reasonable !

With this second generation of Versys 1000, Kawasaki persists and signs a motorcycle "how good it is to drive it". Proof that the Greens are right to continue in this direction: BMW arrives in 2015 on the niche of" trails – very – road "with one which promises to be explosive but expensive, while Triumph has revised its sound and Yamaha is going there even of its (3-cylinder!)…

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