The Kawasaki Versys is a versatile, middleweight street bike that was first introduced in Europe and Canada in 2006, before hitting the American market one year later. The Versys has been viewed as something of a departure from Kawasaki’s usual style, but it’s also been tremendously successful. The 2009 Kawasaki Versys is powered by essentially the same 649cc, liquid-cooled, parallel twin-cylinder engine that its predecessors were equipped with. That engine, which is derived from that of the Kawasaki Ninja 650R, has double overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. It provides the 2009 Versys with the kind of healthy low-to-mid range rpms that make it great for urban riding. The bike’s performance is also bolstered by a digital fuel injection system with 38mm Keihin throttle bottles that helps it minimize gas consumption while also maintaining an elevated pace on the freeway. While it’s not technically a touring bike, the 2009 Kawasaki Versys does offer an upright riding position. It also has a three-way adjustable windscreen, enabling riders of all sizes to be able to direct airflow over their heads. With relaxed ergonomics and a solid feel to it, the Versys inspires confidence in the rider and can be controlled more easily than some bikes its size. The Versys has a seat height of 33.1 inches and ground clearance that enables it to travel over different types of surfaces, while not exactly being off-road ready.
But versatility has been the hallmark of the Kawasaki Versys since its inception, and the 2009 model is no exception. Whether you’re looking for a daily commuter bike to navigate gridlock with or an adventuring road bike for taking winding canyon roads on the weekend with, the 2009 Kawasaki Versys is up to the task. A big part of why the Versys is so versatile is down to its engine. The compact liquid-cooled, eight-valve, 649cc parallel twin is lively enough to keep advanced riders interested while being predictable enough for less experienced riders to maintain their confidence. The engine provides brisk off-the-line acceleration and an abundance of supple torque while also managing to preserve fuel economy. Another big factor in the 2009 Kawasaki Versys' flexibility is its suspension. With an advanced Showa rear shock that allows wheel travel feel that’s somewhere between dual sport and sportbike, the Versys’ suspension is adaptable to different riding styles and conditions. At the same time, the bike’s cockpit has been designed for maximum rider comfort and includes such features as a stepped seat, an easy-to-read instrument panel, and the adjustable windshield mentioned earlier.
The 2009 Kawasaki Versys features a design that’s ultra modern. It’s got a uniquely shaped headlight out front along with the sleek looking adjustable windshield. The bike’s alloy wheels are unpainted as are the rest of its chassis components. The engine is painted matte black and distinguishes boldly from the rest of the bike. The exhaust is positioned under the motor, as it is on the Ninja 650R and ER-6n. This gives the bike a lower center of gravity while further enhancing its compact look. Petal-type brake discs further enhance the Versys’ sporty appearance. The 2009 Kawasaki Versys is available in Candy Lime Green or Candy Plasma Blue. On the highway the Versys is great going around bends and leans into corners in a nice reassuring way. While it’s not a true off-road bike, the Versys does provide riders with the option of ditching the tarmac for a fire road or a tame trail. So while the it may not be any kind of bold progression from previous year models, the fact is the 2009 Kawasaki Versys does just about everything you’d expect a multi-purpose sport bike to do. The odds are it does it for remarkably less than what many of its competitors would cost.