WhyBike Motorcycle Blog

Kawasaki Versys finally in California

By James - 12/14/2008

I was picking up some parts for securing my ignition, parts that only the dealer in Hayward, CA carries. As I was there I was exiting a weird looking bike caught my eye. They had a Blue 2009 Kawasaki Versys on the floor. I have been looking at the bike for a while but have never seen it in person because Kawasaki was taking its time conforming to the nation leading air standards we have in California. So I climbed aboard and really liked how it felt under me. With a 32 inch inseam I was not flat-footing it, but just barely. I believe with my thicker soled motorcycle boots that I would be able to. The position in the saddle was nice and neutral, legs underneath and knees bent comfortably. What I noticed most about the difference between the position of my ZR-7S and the Versys was how far up the handlebars are but I can’t really comment on this until I ride the bike. In person I got what the Kawi engineers were going for. It seems like it is being pulled in three directions. A little motard, a little sporttbike, and a hint of touring thrown in for good measure. The only oddity was the size of the front tire. It looks very small compared to the bikes next to it but again I can’t comment on what this does to the fell of the bike until I ride one.

I am not sure when I will ride one. If I want to get serious about getting a Versys I will have to sell one of my Yamaha and if I really want a all in one bike I will have to sell my Kawi as well. I will probably wait until I start seeing them used and pick up a gently broken in unit. Let me know your experiences with the Versys in the comment form below:



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  1. Yet to give the Versys a try. But what I can truly sympathize with is having to wear special shoes while riding a bike. Its a perennial problem because or my lack of a few inches of height. Small wheels sounds like a put off. But as you said, can know for sure only after a ride.

    Comment by Yamaha Motorcycle Paint — 12/21/2008 @ 12:03 pm

  2. I’d be curious to hear about people’s experience with this bike as well. I’m thinking about a bike because of the high gas prices and am looking for a good bike for getting around the Los Angeles area.

    Comment by Donate a Car to Charity — 1/9/2009 @ 11:53 pm

  3. did a search for “motorcycle blog” and found your site and the first thing I read was about a Versys! I have an ‘08 and I love it. I’m a big guy and it carries me well and handles very well. You can’t go wrong getting a V. check out http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/

    Comment by andy — 1/14/2009 @ 8:59 pm

  4. Hi

    I got my brand new Orange Versys a week ago and I must say it really is an exceptional bike. It flies around bends like a dream! Power feels like twice that of my previous bike (XR500RE) and the Versys is not scared of gravel roads either. A local bike magazine here in SA fitted it with Avon Distanzia dual pourpose tires and did a off road review on it. The heading was “A very pleasant surprise” needless to say they were impressed with it’s offroad ability. Make no mistake you cannot fly over boulders with this bike but if you fit the proper tyres it can go pretty much anywhere that other dual sports can go ie V-Storm, 650 GS, etc. I ride on a 4km strech of gravel road on my daily commute and it is very comfortable.

    Comment by Kawasaki motorcycles — 3/5/2009 @ 8:33 pm

  5. ALmost got one last year but got Triumph Tiger 1050 and No regrets at all

    Comment by jason griesej — 3/12/2009 @ 4:52 pm

  6. A major element in the flexibility of the Versys motorcycle is its compact liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, DOHC, 8-valve, 649cc parallel-twin engine

    Comment by jose — 3/23/2009 @ 6:38 pm

  7. I’ve been looking for a new bike…I really like what Jose has to say, it is liquid cooled, fuel injected with parallel twin. I have to look over a couple, but I am really digging it.

    Comment by Fort Myers Florida Motorcycle Licensing — 6/4/2009 @ 8:33 am

  8. Regarding the look of this bike I thought it ugly at first sight,but after having seen more pictures I have arrived to the opposite opinion.
    Have started up savings for one as my first bike next summer.

    Comment by Harry — 6/7/2009 @ 8:01 pm

  9. I like the looks of this bike; like you, I’ll need to ride it to see how it feels. It seems ideal for my primary use – commuting.

    Comment by Rat — 7/17/2009 @ 4:54 am

  10. guys, which tyre brand do you guys think is best used for daily commute? am in Malaysia, and the weather here is either it is sunny or rainy - sometimes can be both in 1 day. P/s: am jes a few days away from getting a Versys 09. :P

    Comment by sasuke — 10/8/2009 @ 7:47 pm

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