Since its introduction in 2008, the 650cc Versys – the name is derived from “versatile” and “system” – has been a popular adventure-style streetbike with a tall stance and 17-inch wheels. The 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 gets new traction control, a TFT display with smartphone connectivity, and updated styling with an adjustable windscreen.
At the heart of the Versys 650 is a liquid-cooled 649cc parallel-Twin tuned for a broad range of usable torque. When we tested the 2020 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT, an up-spec model with standard handguards and key-matched, quick-release 28-liter hard saddlebags, it sent 63 horsepower at 8,700 rpm and 43 lb-ft of torque at 7,300 rpm to the rear wheel.
Keeping rear wheel spin in check is a new Kawasaki TRaction Control (KTRC) system with two modes. Mode 1, which is the least intrusive, helps manage traction during cornering and facilitates acceleration out of corners. Mode 2 allows for earlier intervention and reduces engine output when excessive wheel spin is detected, allowing for the tire to get maximum grip. KTRC can also be turned off using the switch on the handlebar.
The Versys 650 has a 6-speed transmission, a cable-actuated wet clutch, and chain final drive. Its chassis consists of a tubular-steel double pipe diamond frame with a box-section aluminum swingarm. It has a 41mm telescopic fork with adjustable rebound and spring preload and a single offset laydown rear shock with adjustable preload. Suspension travel is 5.9 inches in front and 5.7 inches out back.
Up front, dual 300mm petal-style discs are squeezed by 2-piston calipers, and out back a single 250mm petal disc has a 1-piston caliper. ABS is standard.
The 2022 Versys 650 also gets updated styling, taking cues from its Versys 1000 stablemate. The upper fairing has a sharper and more flowing look, complemented by new LED headlights. A new windscreen is said to improve wind protection, and it can be adjusted among four positions over a 3-inch range using a release near the dash.
Instrumentation has been updated with a new 4.3-inch full-color TFT (thin-film transistor) display that provides a high level of visibility during both day or night with selectable background colors (black or white) and automatic screen brightness adjustment. The TFT provides detailed info about the bike, and a smartphone can be connected via Bluetooth using Kawasaki’s RIDEOLOGY THE APP.
The Versys 650 has a 33.3-inch seat height, 5.5 gallons of fuel capacity, and a claimed curb weight of 483 pounds.
The 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 is available in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black for $8,899 or Candy Lime Green/Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black for $9,099. The 2022 Versys 650 LT with handguards and saddlebags is available in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black for $9,999.
For more information or to find a Kawasaki dealer near you, visit kawasaki.com.