All Tests – Versys 1000 test: the Kawasaki trail almost on target! – An easy and quiet motorbike in town

Versys 1000 test: the Kawasaki trail almost on target !

All Tests - Versys 1000 test: the Kawasaki trail almost on target! - An easy and quiet motorbike in town

Derived from the fierce Z1000, the maxi trail Versys 1000 radicalizes the concept of the Versys 650. And while the French biker discovered this new Kawasaki 2012 at the Motorcycle Show, MNC tested it on the sublime roads of Tenerife. First try !

An easy and quiet motorbike in the city

As we had seen at EICMA (see our), the Versys 1000 has a saddle that is not only high (845 mm) but also wide, much more than that of the Versys 650 – a copy of which was also present in Tenerife !

Riders of at least 1m80 and wearing big boots can easily put their feet on either side, but the little ones must choose their side at each stop. The wide and high handlebars are suitable for everyone, as are the footrests placed vertically to the buttocks and relatively low.

The legs are slightly apart by the large tank (21 liters against 19 on the Z1000SX, 15 on the "standard" Z1000, and 19 on the Versys 650), but the perfectly flat plastic covering accommodates the thighs and knees very well. . In the end, the driving position is quite consistent with the "trail" genre of the great Versys.

The engine, on the other hand, is much less usual on this type of motorcycle … However, the muffled sound of the simple exhaust and its sober look correspond well to the spirit of the machine: functionality and discretion take precedence. !

Weighing 239 kg fully loaded, the Versys 1000 demands attention from its driver when maneuvering in neutral – otherwise very easy to find. Thanks to its first two gear ratios shorter than on the Z, the Versys takes off efficiently.

First turns of the wheel

The clutch control is a bit harsh and the selection a bit dry, but with minimal concentration it is possible to up and down gears on the fly. The extreme flexibility of the 4-cylinder and the good management of the electronic injection further facilitate evolutions in town.

At the same time, the turning radius (34 ° on each side) and the smoothness of the suspensions make the crossing of Playa de las Americanas – or Paris, whatever! – quite obvious. Better still, the front axle of the Versys is perfectly neutral, unlike that of the road (Z1000SX) which engages and requires some adaptation time..

Braking is a little less obvious to apprehend: timid at the start of the race, the 4-piston calipers then bite more severely on the two 300 mm discs. Adjustable, the right lever will be moved to the maximum (setting 1) to correspond to the fixed gap of the clutch. Damage to tiny hands !

The rear brake pedal is a bit hard and therefore penalizes the dosage. Note that the Versys 1000, fitted as standard with ABS, does not have a system combining the rear caliper (250 mm disc) with the front brake. But "it helps contain costs"retorts Kawasaki.

Incidentally, this also avoids seeing more hoses moving along the swingarm and the fork! Too bad Kawasaki did not take the time to better hide the other wires and electrical terminals lying under the dashboard, because overall the finish is good.

Some flaws all the same

Another point risks enrage customers of the Greens: the small footrest plates mark too quickly … On the very last ER-6n, however, the Japanese had agreed to affix transparent protection: why not on the Versys 1000 ?!

On the practical side, this Kawa trail is only partially convincing … Of course, the large perforated luggage rack and the long passenger handles with lugs allow the Versys 1000 to be loaded like a mule. But it will be necessary to mount additional supports to equip it with its top cases and / or suitcases.

Under the saddle, the toolbox finds its place in a clever cylindrical compartment. Unfortunately, only a small U ^ can be accommodated at its side. The presence of a storage compartment and the original endowment of the 12 V socket (available in the catalog of accessories already supplied) would also have been appreciated by customers of maxi trails, deemed "heavy riders". !

Finally, the Versys 1000 being supposed to run on all types of roads – even the most bumpy – and go out in all weathers, we regret that it does not have a center stand in order to adjust the chain which acts as final transmission if necessary. . We regret in passing the disappearance of the beautiful eccentric of the Z1000 … Snif.

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