The Kawasaki Versys 650 will be launched on December 24, 2015, the second sport touring motorcycle from the Japanese manufacturer to be launched in India. Earlier this year, Kawasaki launched the Versys 1000, the larger displacing, litre-class sport tourer from Kawasaki.
The difference in the 650, of course, is a smaller powerplant, less weight and the fact that, unlike the 1000, the Versys 650 will be brought in as CKD kits and assembled in India. Here are five things you need to know about the new Kawasaki Versys 650.
The Kawasaki Versys 650 is a middleweight touring motorcycle, renowned the world over for its versatile capability, easy handling and entertaining performance. In fact, the Versys name is derived from the words 'versatile' and 'system' and the Versys 650 has lived up to its name in international markets since the time it was first launched in 2007. The bike has been upgraded several times with the latest update in the 2015 model.
India will get the 2015 model year Versys 650, with standard ABS and other features like dual headlamps, height adjustable front windscreen, LED tail lamps and a large 21-litre fuel tank for extended range. Raised, reach-adjustable handlebars and a wide seat lend the Versys 650 a comfortable riding position for long hours in the saddle.
2. What do you call it?
The Kawasaki Versys 650 is more of an adventure sport touring motorcycle than an out-and-out adventure tourer. Designed for long hours in the saddle and on the road, it's the perfect bike for long distance tarmac touring. With 170mm ground clearance, upside down fork and a single monoshock with adjustable preload, the Versys 650 can also tackle any kind of broken roads our country has to offer. The bike is not designed for hard-core off-roading though, but has been suitable packaged as a nimble, relatively light and reliable machine, something the motorcycle touring community will gladly welcome.
3. How does it perform?
The Kawasaki Versys 650 is powered by the same four-stroke, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 649cc parallel-twin engine that also powers two more Kawasaki models currently on sale in India - the Ninja 650, as well as the ER-6n. For the Versys however, Kawasaki has re-tuned the engine for better bottom end power delivery as well as more torque in low and mid-revs. The engine makes 68bhp power and peak torque of 64Nm. The character of the engine will more or less be similar to the Ninja 650, so it won't be superbike quick, but expect adequate grunt and punch in the motor to keep riders suitably entertained.
4. How much will it cost?
Kawasaki has yet to announce prices for the Versys 650, but it is expected to cost more than either the ER-6n or the Kawasaki Ninja 650. Better features and standard ABS will mean the Kawasaki Versys 650 will cost between Rs 6.5 - Rs 7 lakh.
5. What is its competition?
The Kawasaki Versys 650 will be the entry-level touring machine from Kawasaki, targeted at riders who seek a capable, refined and reliable touring machine, which is comfortable, yet powerful enough for the occasional two-up travel. At between Rs 6.5- Rs 7 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Kawasaki Versys 650 will be pitted against the likes of the Benelli 600GT and even the Honda CBR650F.