All Tests – 2015 Versys 1000 Test: Kawasaki does an about-face – MNC tests the Versys 1000 Grand Tourer

2015 Versys 1000 test: Kawasaki does an about-face

All Tests - 2015 Versys 1000 Test: Kawasaki does an about-face - MNC tests the Versys 1000 Grand Tourer

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.

MNC tests the Versys 1000 Grand Tourer

For our test, the little green men provided us with Versys – orange, as we have seen – equipped with the most complete accessory pack called "Grand Tourer" (see the complete list on page 4), mainly including the suitcases and top case, already compatible on the old Versys 1000 (not on the old 650).

New in 2015, however: the loading capacity of each suitcase has increased from 3 to 5 kg. Both accommodate a full-face helmet, while the top-case represents a storage volume of 47 liters (5 kg max also).

The space under the saddle remains too small for our taste: apart from the tools ingeniously stored in their cylindrical plastic box, only a small U can fit there. We still regret the lack of storage compartment, yet practical for the long journeys for which this Versys "XL" is intended..

Essential for a motorcycle in this category as well – definitely more "road" than "trail" – autonomy has been improved by Japanese engineers. Contrary to what they suggested to us at, several modifications would have been made to the engine…

Airbox revised, 12-hole fuel injectors (8 previously), redefined ignition, low engine cutout to limit pumping losses … Thanks to this, the average consumption of the Versys 1000 would drop in 2015 by -5%.

In our, the Kawa had already won the lowest consumption (5.9 l / 100 km as a reminder). At the end of our driven swing pistons, the on-board computer of our 2015 Versys indicated a reasonable 6.3 l / 100 km.

In quieter use and according to the calculations of Japanese scholars always, "the autonomy calculated with a full tank (21 liters) approaches 400 kmBut let the thrill seekers rest assured: at the same time, the power has not dropped (120 hp, still 106 hp in France) and the torque value has been retained (102 Nm in the free world, 96 Nm in France).

In order to perfect its dynamic behavior, Kawasaki has also installed at the heart of its Versys 1000 a new system described as such: "developed from feedback from the circuits, the "Assist and Slipper" clutch uses two types of cams (a locking cam and a sliding cam) in order to compress or separate the pressure plates from the dome bell. ‘clutch".

The chassis has not been neglected since the Japanese have equipped their Versys 1000 "2015 model" with a new 43mm inverted fork with separate functions – and very accessible screws! -, while reviewing the rear shock absorber settings.

Finally, the new Versys 1000 now has two original crutches: the side, on which "our" Versys 1000 Grand Tourer awaits us, and the power station on which future owners can rely for their maintenance work. !

The center stand will also be more convenient to store this traveler during the most arduous weeks of winter. Convenient, it is just as much when parking the beast (250 kg all full, but without suitcases or top-case).

In view of the imposing size of the motorcycle, the effort that the pilot must provide to raise and reverse the machine seems indeed very low! But there is no question of staying parked in the hotel car park: a loop of approximately 174 km around Etna awaits us … So on our way !

A little harsh in the past, the clutch control of the Versys 1000 would require in 2015 "30% less leverage", announced the Japanese. In fact, Site observes that it becomes very easy, even more than that of the !

Thus, the aid function of the new clutch "Assist and slipper"proves devilishly effective. Having become adjustable this year, the left lever offers five different spacings while the right one – yes, the front brake – has six. The Versys 1000 is intended to be easy to handle. !

The new "fat-bar" type handlebars combine pleasant feelings of solidity and quality coupled with a feeling of comfort thanks to the "flexible" assembly which limits vibrations. Despite this change of handlebars, "the positions of the handles are unchangedKawasaki assures us. And the same goes for the saddle and the footrests..

The gearbox retains its quick and precise selection but a bit rough. This last point does not affect driving pleasure, especially as the flexibility of the engine greatly limits the use of the selector..

Hyper appreciable in town, the roundness of the 1043 cc makes it possible to wander quietly in fourth gear. The 4-cylinder then purrs calmly and discreetly between 1500 and 3500 rpm.

On the handlebars, the direction is at least as neutral as before. Loaded only with our small bag in which MNC slipped his rain pants and a second pair of winter gloves, the top case – a little hard to close, grrr – in no way unbalances our mount.

Likewise, if the width of the suitcases necessarily slows down our evolution in the small town of Acireale, the motorcycle itself is quickly mastered. In addition, the suspensions play all the traps: speed bumps, large cobblestones and potholes are perfectly absorbed..

Front and rear, Iwata engineers have opened the suspension hydraulics "around 30% compared to the previous version in order to increase comfort". Already comfortable in 2012, the Versys 1000 is more comfortable in 2015 !

The saddle does not seem very thick at first glance and makes its pilot slide slightly against the tank. But it doesn’t take much to stay seated on the wide rear part and extend the legs very well..

The tank retains its relatively measured width – given the presence of the 4-leg – and its flat surface perfectly accommodating the knees. Site’s thighs did not suffer from overheating … but it must be said that the temperature during this test varied from 8 … to 2 ° C !

During breaks at the red light – or sometimes green light, the highway code in Sicily is quite special! -, MNC did not really feel the difference in saddle height: -5 mm compared to the first model (840 mm in 2015 therefore), a difference that can be found in the level of ground clearance (150 mm).

Also, only riders under 1.70m tall who do not wear real biker boots – often high heels – are likely to gripe about the fact that the Versys 1000 does not have an adjustable saddle..

Some particularly slender bikers will probably prefer to stay on their possible Versys 650. Admittedly, the saddle height is the same, but the weight of the "small" Kawette is significantly lower: 216 kg all full made with ABS, or 34 kg less than the "big".

Other more courageous or stronger bikers will however be right to invest in the Superbike heavyweight category of the Kawasaki "trail-very-road" range, because once launched on the road – the real one -, the Versys 1000 imposes it. … Judge instead on the next page !

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