Kawasaki has unveiled a major facelift to previous contender for ugliest bike award, the Kawasaki Versys. Both the Kawaski Versys 1000 and Versys 650 models receive a fairly major update and for the first time the larger 1000 will be available to customers in the United States. In addition to a more attractive looking face, both models some significant midlife upgrades.
The Kawasaki Versys 1000 gains both a new assist cam and slipper clutch to ease strain on the left hand. The assist cam will supposedly reduce clutch spring load and make pulling in the lever 30 per cent easier. The engine, which is derived from the rabid Z1000 streetfigher, also receives some tweaks by way of two additional intake passages and modified ignition timing.
In addition to ABS, the Versys 1000 also comes with Kawasaki’s traction control system (KTRC) which offers three levels of intervention, plus two engine settings. Tweaks have also been made to the suspension and brakes (both front and rear) receive upgrades.
The 2014 Kawasaki Versys 1000 currently sells in Canada for $13,999 CAD. US pricing for the 2015 model will be announced at AIMExpo on October 16.
Also receiving an update is the Kawasaki Versys 650. Cosmetic changes are identical to the 1000 and thankfully the brakes also get a big upgrade – a long held criticism of Kawasaki’s 650 series (Ninja 650 and ER6-n). New calipers have been utilised that offer better feel and bite and the rear disc gets an 30mm increase in diameter.
The Versys 650 also gets some suspension additions, with the ability to adjust both preload and rebound damping on the front forks and preload on the rear. There’s a possibility the same may become available on the other Kawasaki 650 bikes in 2015 too.
Both models will be available early next year.