When the Versys first appeared, it was an unusual conundrum in motorcycle design. Not quite a sport bike, not quite a cruiser, the Kawasaki Versys was the best of both of those designs in a lightweight, middle-range package. It gained immediate attention and popularity and by the time Kawasaki had worked out the kinks, it began taking awards and accolades from the biggest names in the motorcycle press. In its 2011 form, the Versys is a complete package of versatility to make any rider, from entry-level to advanced, happy with their ride.
The 650-cc engine puts out a respectable amount of power and has been tuned to deliver it at lower RPM than might be expected, giving the 2011 Kawasaki Versys a strong, but comfortable ride at the low end of its gearing. This creates a good commuter bike in pulsing traffic but doesn't compromise the higher-speed travel much. The Keihin throttle bottles create efficient revving, smoothing out the riding experience, while the overall drivetrain and suspension set give it a relaxed feel at low speeds and a tight, sporty feel at higher ranges.
That plush ride turning to hard speed is thanks to the Showa rear shock's two-stage damping that gives large amounts of cushion at lower speed, but flexes out at higher revs and speeds to harden for the sportbike feel on the highway. Add to this the long gull-wing swingarm and the result is a full package of throttle movement reduction for a great feel. Full adjustability at the front and rear gives custom setting to these attributes. So despite its entry-level appeal, the 2011 Kawasaki Versys is a package that even experienced riders will enjoy.