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Kawasaki Versys 650 Review (2010)


Kawasaki Versys 650

I must be honest the Versys isn't the prettiest bike on the market but she's tough as old boots and if it's a tourer you want or a reliable commuter you can't go wrong.
- Rating: 8 / 10

What Is It?

The Kawasaki Versys 650 is a mid-range adventure bike and is powered by a liquid cooled 649 cc parallel twin engine, producing 63 bhp at 8,000 rpm and maximum torque at 6,800 rpm.


  • Seat Height: Average (845 mm / 33.3 inches)
  • Weight: Heavy (206 kg / 454 lbs)
  • Economy: Average (45 mpg / 6.3 l/100km / 15.9 km/l)
  • Range: High (190 miles / 306 km)
  • Power to Weight: Average (0.306 bhp/kg / 0.228 kW/kg)
  • Top Speed: High (115 mph / 185 km/h)


  • Lots of low down power
  • Bullet proof engine
  • All round ability
  • Handling
  • Value


  • Screen adjustment needs tools
  • Headlights are a bit funky
  • Not the smoothest engine

What Is It Like?

Kawasaki Versys 650 Kawasaki Versys 650

Choosing The Versys

I bought my Red 2011 Kawasaki Versys second hand in 2018. After previously owning the ER6 a few years before I knew everything to look out for, which is one of the main reasons I bought the bike. They are pretty much the same apart from the riding position and the fairing.

The main reason I bought the bike was because I had a couple of years off bikes and after a bad break up decided I want to go travelling.


Just before I set off travelling I took it to the mechanic I use, he told me it was solid and in very good condition. So off I went on my trip!

I spent five weeks on this bike travelling from the UK to Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy and back through France.

I camped the whole time so the bike was heavily packed with panniers etc and this didn't effect the Versys at all! It took everything that was thrown at it. Twisty Alp roads, rough bad roads, heavy rain and winds, being dropped and my general abuse.

Kawasaki Versys 650

Good Points

  • Cheap to run
  • Pretty cheap to buy and maintain
  • Engines are bullet proof
  • Riding position is very good for long trips
  • Pulls like a train
  • Easy to ride
  • The low end power is awesome

Bad Points

  • The engine is a little crude so it's not the smoothest ride but you do get used to it
  • The seat is a bit hard but can be sorted with an aftermarket upgrade
  • It's not the fastest but will happily sit at motorway speeds

To Sum Up

I've had the bike now for over a year, have done a couple of small trips as well and the only issue I've had is a puncture in France!

I must be honest the Versys isn't the prettiest bike on the market but she's tough as old boots and if it's a tourer you want or a reliable commuter you can't go wrong. This bike is an amazing all rounder, it can be a toy, a serious tourer or a little plodder on those rides to work.

In conclusion, if you're looking for basically anything in a bike, except a crotch rocket obviously, the Versys is definitely worth looking at. I had intended on selling it after I got back from my big trip, but sort of fell in love with the old girl and look forward to taking her away again next year.

A happy Versys owner.

- Naphen T, 2019

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Gear & Accessories

Related Bikes

Kawasaki Versys (2015 On) - New upgraded version.

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Do you own this bike? We would love to hear anything good, bad, unexpected or that you have changed plus anything that a prospective new owner might find interesting or useful.

More Info

Check out this really useful video review from Vegan On A Versys.