The adventure-tourer segment seems to be all the rage the world over, and India is no exception. You can see these adventure bikes gaining popularity in our market, and in the near future, the numbers will only go further north. While BMW’s R1200GS and Triumph’s Tiger have been in India for some time now, the Japanese have taken their own sweet time to join the adventure party. This brings us to Kawasaki, particularly to the Versys 1000. Now, let's get one thing clear here: unlike the R1200GS and the Tiger, the Versys is meant more for on-road use than off-roading. This is pretty evident from the shoes it wears the Bridgestone Battlax tyres are clearly road-biased.
The Kawasaki Versys sports sleek styling that echoes the Ninja 1000’s with those twin headlights upfront. The half fairing neatly merges into the muscular fuel tank, giving the bike its purposeful stance. The saddle bags are optional extras, but totally worth the money if you're looking to ride this motorcycle over long distances. Though we like the all-black avatar, we do wish the Versys came in other colors as well.
The heart of the bike; the 1,043cc in-line four-cylinder motor makes 118bhp and 102Nm of torque. Sure, that might not sound like much for a 1,000cc motorcycle, but it's more than enough to propel the 240kg Versys effortlessly. This effortless acceleration is something which made us fall in love with the Versys. It doesn’t matter which gear you are in, just twist the throttle, and the bike surges ahead. There are two power settings: full and low. The latter cuts power by 25 per cent. Aiding the rider is a three-mode traction control system that keeps a check on power going to the rear wheel. With all these electronic aids, the Versys is a breeze to ride. The clutch is light, gear changes are precise, and, thanks to all that low-end torque, you will hardly have to downshift for overtakes.
As you would expect from any Kawasaki, the Versys handles like a dream. It corners with ease and at times you forget that you're riding a 240kg motorcycle. And it's not just on the highway. Even in the city, the bike feels agile when weaving through traffic. Sadly, the Versys does not come with a height-adjustable seat. So, if you aren't tall, you will have to tip-toe while moving the motorcycle around in the parking lot. That aside, the seating is upright, and the seats are well-padded, which means lesser breaks while riding to your destination. If you're riding alone or with a pillion, the rear suspension can be adjusted accordingly with a turn of the dial. We prefer the softer setting, as it irons out potholes and bumps that are to be found in abundance once you leave the highway. Coming to the all-important fuel efficiency aspect, the Kawasaki Versys 1000 does 19kpl to a litre. Add to that a fuel tank capacity of 21 litres, which should give you a range of approximately 400km on a single top-up. Also, you can squeeze out a few kilometres more if you go easy on the throttle.
The way the adventure-tourer is catching on, it’s for sure that there are more people who are looking at a powerful, versatile motorcycle. What makes the Kawasaki Versys 1000 such an attractive option is that it is the only in-line four-pot bike in its segment. Add to that an attractive price tag of ₹13.4 lakh, and you know why this Kawasaki will appeal to the logical and emotional side of the Indian buyer. Overall, it’s a 1,000cc adventure-tourer that’s packed with cutting-edge tech, and is priced aggressively.
The Versys 1000 is not only fast but will also conquer all Indian terrains effortlessly.
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