The launch of the 2008 model lineup from Kawasaki saw the introduction of an all-new bike, the Kawasaki Versys. Based on the Kawasaki Ninja 650 sport bike, the 2008 Kawasaki Versys has been redesigned to provide a multi-use bike with a more upright seating position that maintains the Ninja’s sportbike prowess. This is the latest to join the group of bikes from other manufacturers that are made to be ridden however and wherever you like. According to Kawasaki, the 2008 Kawasaki Versys can be used for light touring, commuting, sport riding, and urban assault.
The name Versys comes from a shortened amalgamation of Versatility System motorcycle, which is how the bike was designed. Instead of specializing in one particular area of riding, the bike has been designed to excel across several areas. This starts with the engine found within the 2008 Kawasaki Versys. While it is the same 649 cc engine as the Ninja 650, it has been tuned in the Versys so that it has slightly lower output with the torque spread over a wider range. As a result, the 2008 Kawasaki Versys should be quicker off the line than the Ninja 650 as it has more torque in the lower and mid-range rpms.
The suspension has been improved leading to a gain in wheel travel of the 2008 Kawasaki Versys over the Ninja 650. This results in the 2008 Kawasaki Versys having better performance across the board than the Ninja 650, and particularly when road conditions begin to deteriorate. The advanced shock system is fully adjustable and can initially feel soft, but will firm noticeably as loads increase.
The chassis of the 2008 Kawasaki Versys is lightweight making urban travel and commuting easier to handle. The sub-frame was redesigned, and the Versys grew in size compared to the Ninja 650. As a result, it has a larger fuel tank and is able to carry a full 5.0 gallons of fuel, compared to just over 4.0 gallons for the Ninja 650. It also has a more upright seating position that provides a better viewpoint for negotiating day-to-day traffic, as well as a more comfortable riding position for longer touring getaways. The wide handlebar of the 2008 Kawasaki Versys also provides for better leverage both around traffic and when maneuvering around curvy roads while out in the countryside.
The 2008 Kawasaki Versys is an al-new bike for 2008.
A tuned 649cc engine to provide more bottom-end and mid-range torque, which features revised intake and exhaust cams, shorter valve duration, lower compression, and a different fuel injection system.
Re-designed sub-frame that lead to increases in size and seat height of the 2008 Kawasaki Versys.
Re-designed suspension that includes a new front suspension made up of a fully adjustable upside-down front fork, and an alloy swingarm mated to a new adjustable shock in the rear.