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KAWASAKI VERSYS 650 ABS: THE VERSATILE VERSYS

Traversing the lands in search of new places is what passionate motorcyclists live for and motorcycles equipped to do just that are gaining popularity. Having the looks and utility of a capable off-roader and the balance and handling of a street motorcycle, adventure motorcycles are motorcycles that make sense to the riders who love to travel. Adventure motorcycles, on paper, can do a little bit of both street and dirt bikes.

Whether it’s threading through dirt trails or carving corners on the asphalt. It’s the type of machine that will get you to places that other machines cannot. Entering the proving grounds to live up to such claims is the Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS. The Versys is one of those machines that exceeds the sum of its parts. Its name, derived from “vertex” (Latin for pinnacle, summit, top) and “system,” hints at Kawasaki’s goal of offering a truly superior platform that maximizes fun in any genre of street conditions.

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STYLING

Visually, the Kawasaki Versys 650 looks identical to its elder sibling – the Versys 1000. The sleek sport-bike inspired design reflects a distinctive yet functional Kawasaki identity offering a balance of style, wind protection, aerodynamics and airflow management.

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The front cowl features a horizontally split design headlamps with a large adjustable 60mm windscreen that reinforces the compact and sporty image of the Versys 650. The larger windscreen with a 60 mm range can be adjusted without tools, allowing riders to tailor their wind and weather protection.

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Mirrors are big and clear and the new ‘fat’ bars are perfectly placed to give you a nice feeling of control. Behind that windscreen is a semi-digital instrument console with analogue tachometer. The console displays all the necessary diagnostics such as speed, fuel gauge, two trip meters, range, fuel economy, high oil temperature, clock and an ECO indicator which turns on when maximum efficiency is achieved.

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Along with the sporty designed front fender, the aggressive new design contributes to a strong sports tourer identity. The Versys 650 is built around a steel, double-pipe diamond frame finished off by a stylish boomerang shaped swingarm. The fuel tank is identical to the Versys 1000.

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Functional aspects outweigh the rear styling of the Versys 650. The rear end is functionally designed with mounting points for hard panniers and luggage bags. Overall fit-finish and attention-to-detail are excellent on the Versys 650.

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ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The compact parallel-twin engine of the Versys 650 ABS is tuned to deliver strong, quick-revving  power,especially in the low to mid-range for an exhilarating ride experience. The 649cc parallel-twin engine makes 68 bhp at 8,500 rpm and peak torque of 64 Nm at 7,000 rpm.This is essentially the same engine as used by the Kawasaki 650 Ninja ABS sport bike, but it is tuned for a more grunty delivery.

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Thumb the starter, twist the throttle and the engine kicks off with an intoxicating burst of physical and aural sensation. Push it further and the parallel-twin engine quickly takes you to double-digit speeds before you even shift into fourth gear. Although the six-speed gearbox exhibits a ‘thunk’ note when changing up or down through the gears, the gearshifts are precise.

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Paired with Digital Fuel Injection,the powerful engine delivers a smooth, responsive performance with strong mid-range power making it a willing accomplice on our roads. The torquey twin delivers a deep ribbon of power in the low and mid-range.

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ERGONOMICS AND HANDLING

One of the standout attributes of the 2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS motorcycle is its upright riding position, which is ideal for commuting, back-road runs and weekend jaunts. This is Kawasaki’s recipe for a fun open-road adventure. For strong performance from city traffic to winding back roads, the Versys 650 ABS delivers with nimble handling, compact stature and power.

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With its long-travel suspension and sporty 17-inch wheels, the Versys 650 ABS offers an incredible ride quality. The 5.9-inchtravel Showa fork and 5.7-inch-travel KYB shock deliver generous suspension travel to provide sporty handling and all-day comfort.

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Both front and rear suspension can be adjusted as per the rider’s preference. It soaks up bumps with ease, and helps give riders more assurance on a variety of road conditions. This, coupled with a ground clearance of 170mm, yields the benefits of both off-road-style and sport-bike suspension, offering excellent road handling in a wide range of riding conditions.

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Although the kerb weight stands at 216 kg, the bike feels much lighter. The chassis feels more planted, bolstering rider confidence through flowing curves. Its narrow frame allows the Versys 650 ABS motorcycle to be nimbler than many of its bulky competition and provides excellent rider feedback. The compact engine and slim frame result in a design that is narrowat the knees and feet. Re-positioned footpegs offer a more relaxed position, making it easier for riders to spend more time on the saddle.

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Braking duties are handled by dual semi floating 300mm petal discs upfront and single 250mm petal discs at the rear. The brakes provide plenty of bite for this all rounder, offering good bite and response.The crisp, linear ABS brake system includes Nissin block-style calipers to help enhance overall braking power.

VERDICT

No matter what you ride, all Kawasaki motorcycles have one thing in common: they allow you to “Let the good times roll”. And the same is with the Versys 650 ABS. For strong performance from city traffic to winding back roads, the Versys 650 ABS delivers with nimble handling, compact stature and power.

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If you’re looking for the ultimate combination of fun and performance on all types of terrains, nothing packs more versatile practicality than the Versys 650 ABS. It is an adaptable motorcycle that will have you grinning in your helmet. It can be a top choice as the go-to bike for riding enthusiasts in need of a fun, dependable and a versatile machine.
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KAWASAKI VERSYS 650ABS | PRODUCT WATCH | AUTOLIFE NEPAL

MORE HIGHLIGHTS:

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