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2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 | First Ride Review

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650
Kawasaki’s venerable Versys 650 sport-tourer has been updated for 2022 with traction control, updated styling with an adjustable windscreen, and a new TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity. Photos by Kevin Wing.

My 2009 Kawasaki Versys 650 was one of the best utilitarian two-wheelers I’ve owned, but since I’m always putting miles on test bikes, I hardly ever rode it. When I realized I’d added only 500 miles to the odometer in five years, a deep sense of shame prompted me to sell it. After listing it on Facebook Marketplace, it was gone in a flash. Due to the high prices for used motorcycles right now, I earned a small profit – about a dollar for every mile I put on it.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650
The only colorway for the 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT is Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black.

Flash forward a few months and I’m wending my way through the twisty interior of San Diego County aboard a 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650. It’s the $9,999 LT version with hard saddlebags and handguards, which only comes in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black this year. The base model is available in the same color for $8,899, or in Candy Lime Green/Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black for $9,099.

Check out Rider‘s 2022 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650

Not surprisingly, the 2022 upgrade is a much better motorcycle than my just-sold 2009 model, but they still have a lot in common despite 13 years of separation. The seating position, performance, and overall essence of the motorcycle remain virtually unchanged, but a few key aspects go a long way toward improving the bike’s desirability.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650
The new TFT display is a welcome upgrade. The screen is bright and easy to read.

New for ’22 is a full-color 4.3-inch TFT display that is a major improvement over the previous instrument panel, and light-years beyond the one on my ’09 model. The layout of information is modern and clean, blending everything – the gear position indicator, fuel gauge, tach, speedo, clock, tripmeter, etc. –  into a centrally located format. A rider can choose between a black or white background, and the screen brightness automatically adjusts to ambient light levels.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650

Gear Up:
Helmet: Sena Impulse
Jacket: Spidi H2Out
Gloves: Spidi TX-2
Pants: Rev’It Campo
Boots: Alpinestars SMX-1 R

Simultaneously depressing two analog buttons on the display allows a Bluetooth connection to be established between the Versys and Kawasaki’s Rideology smartphone app. The app features a useful and handy maintenance log, general bike info, and the ability to record rides as well as share them with others.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650

During the ride, when the bike and app are talking to one another, the TFT display will notify the rider when a new call or email has been received. The part of my ride recorded with the Rideology app showed that I traveled 79 miles for 1.34 hours from Orange to San Diego counties at an average speed of 54 mph. The map, however, displayed a straight line from point A to point B, not an accurate GPS mapping of the twists and turns.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650

My old Versys’ windscreen was adjustable only if I were willing to remove the four bolts necessary to position it differently, which rarely, if ever, happened. The inefficiency of the process meant a rider found a likable position for the windscreen and that’s where it stayed. The new Versys features an easily adjustable windscreen that can be raised and lowered to four different settings over a 3-inch range. It’s a two-handed affair with one hand depressing the lock button while the other moves the windscreen, but it’s worth the small effort. The upper position deflects wind quite well while the low position puts the rider more in the wind stream.

The new windscreen is the cherry atop a redesigned upper fairing that shares a family resemblance with its liter-bike counterpart, the Versys 1000. The sides of the new cowling are ducted to move air around the rider while the dual headlights are now bright, low-wattage LEDs. The rear of the Versys matches the front with aggressively pointy style and a new LED taillight.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650

Anti-lock brakes now come standard on all Versys 650 models, as does traction control. The 649cc liquid-cooled parallel-Twin powering the Versys isn’t a tire shredder – when we dyno tested a 2020 Versys 650, it sent 63 hp and 43 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheel – but it can certainly break traction given enough throttle when leaned over. TC has two settings, with the first being less intrusive and the second providing a more conservative safety net that should prove beneficial to newer riders or experienced ones caught in low-traction conditions. If desired, traction control can be switched off entirely via a switch located on the left switchpod.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650

Kickstand up and traveling south on Interstate 5 toward San Diego, the Versys felt like a comfortable and familiar old shoe. Exiting the slab and venturing into the twisties, it soon becomes apparent the Showa suspension’s stock settings were a tad soft for my taste. Once stopped, a few stiffening clicks of preload on top of the left fork leg, a few clicks of tensioning rebound on top of the right fork leg, and a few stiffening twists of the remote preload adjuster on the rear shock dialed things in for tackling the road ahead.

The 28-liter saddlebags are large enough to accommodate a full-face helmet, though without much room to spare. There is also a helmet lock if you need to secure your lid when the saddlebags are full of other incidentals. The ignition key unlocks the saddlebags and allow them to be removed from the motorcycle. For those requiring more storage, Kawasaki offers a matching 47-liter top case along with other accessories, such as heated grips and a GPS mount.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650

The bike’s peppy midrange thrusts its 503-lb claimed curb weight forward in enthusiastically manageable fashion. Dual 2-piston calipers grip 300mm petal discs to slow the party down with equal efficiency. When leaned over, the Versys holds its line effectively and transitions to and fro confidently.

The 5.5-gallon fuel tank combined with efficient fuel consumption allows for extended mileage between fuel stops. (During our 2020 test, we averaged 46 mpg for 253 miles of range.) That’s great news for commuters or anyone wanting to incorporate longer trips into their Versys ownership. Complementing the Versys’ fuel range is an ergonomically neutral riding position that is one of the things I loved most about my old Versys as well as the new one.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650

Like my old Versys, the new version is a modern, solid, middleweight jack-of-all-trades that’s as steadfast as a motorcycle can be. It responds dutifully to what’s asked of it, whether that be cruising around the city, commuting to work, or taking off on long weekends or longer tours. During my Versys ownership never once did it fail to start, or run badly once started, even though it spent most of its time languishing in my garage.

My old Versys didn’t have ABS, traction control, a remote preload adjusting shock, TFT display, a slip/assist clutch, LED lights, or an easily adjustable windscreen, and it didn’t look nearly as good as the ’22 Versys. In 2009, the MSRP of a base-model Versys was $7,099, which is just over $9,700 in today’s dollars. The new bike offers much more for less money, and the touring-ready LT is a fantastic bargain.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650

Base Price: $8,899
Price as Tested: $9,999 (LT model)
Website: Kawasaki.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 649cc
Bore x Stroke: 83 x 60mm
Horsepower: 63 hp @ 8,700 rpm (rear-wheel dyno, 2020 model)
Torque: 43 lb-ft @ 7,300 rpm (rear-wheel dyno, 2020 model)
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Wheelbase: 55.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 33.3 in.
Wet Weight: 503 lb (as tested)
Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gals.
Fuel Consumption: 46 mpg


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The post 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 | First Ride Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 | First Look Review

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650
The 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 gets new traction control, updated styling with an adjustable windscreen, and a new TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity.

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 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.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650
2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black

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 located 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.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650
The 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 gets a new TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity.

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.

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650
A 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT with a full complement of factory accessories.

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.

The post 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Europe: An October Release for the Moto Morini X-Cape

The Italian-designed, Chinese-made Moto Morini X-Cape 650 will soon be in Europe – and bargain pricing promises to follow hard on the heels of the October release date. 

A view of a rider trying out the all-new Moto Morini X-Cape adventure motorbike on rugged terrain, with a gorgeous tropical view.

According to a report from RideApart, the adventure bike first turned heads at the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori (EICMA), or the Milan Motorcycle Show, in 2019. 

Moto Morini has been making cars in Italy for over a hundred years, with the brand experiencing a rebirth after the company was purchased by Zhongneng Motors.

A front view of the Moto Morini X-Cape, soon to be released to Europe

This bike still showcases elements of the Moto Morini brand, the most notable being the rather sharp features of the X-Cape’s head, similar to that of the eagle present on Moto Morini’s crest. 

A view of the full-color TFT display on the 2021 Moto Morini X-Cape Adventure Motorbike

The middleweight bike features a 649cc parallel-twin engine sporting a sparse 60 horsepower – hardly anything special, especially considering that the engine itself is being considered ‘the budget approach for the company’, being Zhejiang Chunfeng-sourced and sporting a Bosch EFI system.

A view of the torso of the all-new 2021 X-Cape adventure motorbike

Pair that with Euro 5 compliancy, and we’ve got a package similar to what we find in the Kawasaki Versys 650…not the hyped-up niceties of its more mature (and admittedly more fun) competition, the Yamaha Ténéré 700.

A side view of the Moto Morini X-Cape, soon to be released to Europe
2021 Moto Morini X-Cape Adventure Motorbike in Smoky Anthracite

Other perks of the X-Cape include a full-color TFT display, the ability to connect via Bluetooth, and a built-in pressure monitoring system for the bespoked tyres, as well as three color options: Red Passion, Smoky Anthracite, and Carrara White.

A side view of the Moto Morini X-Cape, soon to be released to Europe
2021 Moto Morini X-Cape Adventure Motorbike in Carrara White

Here’s a more detailed list of the specs available in today’s model:

GENERAL MEASURES:

Length x width x height: 2190x905x1390 Wheelbase: 1470 mm

Dry weight: 213 kg

Seat height: 820mm/845mm

Fuel tank: 18L

Ground clearance: 175mm

A view of a rider trying out the all-new Moto Morini X-Cape adventure motorbike on rugged terrain, with a gorgeous tropical view.

CHASSIS:

Steel: trellis

Swingarm: alluminium

A view of the Moto Morini crest on the all-new 2021 X-Cape adventure motorbike

BRAKING SYSTEM:

Front brake: 298mm double discs, floating caliper, 2 pistons

Rear brake: 255mm single disc, 2 pistons

ABS: BOSCH ABS 9.1 Mb (switchable ABS)

A view of a rider trying out the all-new Moto Morini X-Cape adventure motorbike on rugged terrain, with a gorgeous tropical view.

RIMS:

Tubeless Spoked rims

TYRES:

Front tyre: 110/80-19M/C

Rear tyre: 150/70-17M/C

a view of the accessories that go into creating a Moto Morini X-Cape adventure motorbike

ENGINE:

Engine type: L 2, 4 Strokes

Engine capacity: 649 cc

Bore x stroke: 83mm x 60mm

Compression: 11.3:1

Max torque: 56Nm/7000rpm

Max power: 44kW/60CV/8250rpm

Injection system: BOSCH EFI injection system Max speed: 175 Km/h

Cooling system: liquid

Fuel distribution: DOHC twin-cylinders 8 valves Emission: euro 5

A view of a rider trying out the all-new Moto Morini X-Cape adventure motorbike on rugged terrain, with a gorgeous tropical view.

The Standard model of the Moto Morini X-Cape will hit European showroom floors for the pretty sum of 7,290, or around $8,600 USD. The Italian company will also have ready a restricted variant, available to A2 license holders.

Sticking to the asphalt and want a better bang for buck? No problem – there will be a street-focused variant, complete with alloy wheels for just over 7,000, or $8,366 USD. 

Stay tuned for updates – and a good ride today!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com