Kawasaki’s popular mid-weight adventure tourer, the Versys 650, has received a number of key updates for 2022 as new rivals enter the segment.
As before, the Kawasaki Versys will be offered exclusively in LAMS configuration for Australia, with 2022 units set to hit local showrooms in the first quarter of next year.
While pricing has yet to be locked in, the outgoing model is priced from $10,799 plus on-road costs, alongside the smaller-capacity Versys-X 300 ($6999), and full-sized Versys 1000 S ($19,999).
Updates for 2022 include a new front-end design with a revised adjustable windscreen, as well as technology updates like a new 4.3-inch TFT dash with smartphone connectivity, LED lighting and a more advanced traction control system.
Powering the bike is a carry-over 649cc parallel-twin engine that is restricted to meet LAMS restrictions, generating a healthy 41kW and 56Nm.
The Kawasaki Versys 650 is based on the brand’s Z650L naked bike platform, though it is distinguished by touring comforts like a larger pillion seat and luggage rack, upright ergonomics, improved wind protection, a 21-litre fuel tank and raised ground clearance.
With these updates, the Kawasaki Versys 650 will be better positioned to rival Triumph’s new Tiger Sport 660 LAMS adventuer tourer that is set to hit showrooms in the first quarter, priced from $14,690 rideaway.
The Kawasaki offering edges the Triumph in terms of peak power, up 6kW, though it generates 3Nm less torque.
Likely due to its 17-litre fuel capacity, down 4L compared to the Kawasaki Versys, the new Triumph Trident 660 is 12 kilograms lighter and has a slightly more approachable seat height at 835mm (-10mm).
The new Kawasaki Versys 650 will also rival the likes of the Suzuki V-Strom 650XT ($14,490), Honda CB500X ($10,458) and CFMOTO 650MT ($7490).
Spencer has a keen eye for hard news, and does some of his best living on deadline day. He loves more than anything to travel on his motorcycle, and is adamant that Melbourne Bitter is a world-class lager. He also knows how to operate the big computery thing in the office. By night, Spencer plays guitar with Melbourne punk outfit LOUTS.