Kawasaki Versys 650 First Ride Review: All for Versatility

The Versys 650 gets 41-mm Showa forks up front that are adjustable for rebound damping as well as preload, and a single off-set Kayaba monoshock with remote preload adjustment. The setup of the suspension is very conducive to touring, especially in India where roads are seldom perfect. Ride quality is such that the bike cushions road shocks to a point where you just know that you’ve gone over a rough patch without the shock really being felt. This even at the softest preload setting that I was riding on. Twist the remote controller to opt for a harder setting and things do get a bit fidgety. With its 170 mm of ground clearance you could even venture slightly off the beaten path but this middleweight Kawasaki tourer is much more at ease on the familiarity of black top.

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On the handling front, none of the bike’s aforementioned weight is really felt on the move. Instead it proves itself a capable handler. It feels confident round turns and holds its line very well indeed. The thing to remember here is that because you’re sitting fairly high up the sense of how far you’re actually leaned over tends to get exaggerated. However, at no point does the motorcycle feel nervous.

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