The 2009 Kawasaki Versys is a machine that epitomizes versatility. The most impressive thing about is what it can do and that’s just about anything – a motorcycle for all occasions and suitable for commuting, casual treks or canyon running. Adding new color schemes – blue and green, the Versys remains the same all-rounder, combining a touring-like riding position with sports-like design and performance. Features include compact engine, liquid cooling, digital fuel injection, 6-speed transmission, comfortable ergonomics and adjustable windscreen.
The 649 cc Parallel Twin-cylinder, DOHC engine is the most compact in its category, thus reducing the dimensions of the entire bike. Engine width is reduced by the narrow pitch of the chrome composite plated aluminum cylinders, while cassette-style triangular crank and transmission shaft layout makes it short from front to back. Engine height is reduced by a semi-dry sump oil system. When tuning the engine, engineers wanted to find a throttle response which gave a powerful feeling and a quick revving character. They achieved that through maximizing the low-mid range torque, creating smooth and powerful engine character with high levels of control and great acceleration in the low and mid-rpm range (up to 6,000 rpm). Its excellent roll-on response is perfect in negotiating city traffic. Power delivery is smooth even above 6,000 rpm, with 180° crankshaft and balancer shaft smoothing engine pulses. Oil jets on the connecting rod big ends spray oil on the undersides of the pistons to aid cooling. Mounted below the engine is a muffler with 3-way catalyzer and bullet-tip opening, which helps lower the center of gravity and aid weight centralization. With its smooth engine response, excellent corner pick-up and flat, step-free torque curve, the 2009 Kawasaki Versys lets riders open the throttle with confidence at any rpm.
Liquid cooling allows closer engine tolerances for more horsepower; it keeps engine temperatures consistent for sustained power during hard use and also promotes long engine life. An auto-fast idle system simplifies starting and warming up, which ensures the catalyzer reaches optimum temperature quickly. Coolant is routed through the engine cases to the cylinder and head via the cooling system, which reduces external hoses. The large radiator and under-engine muffler improve heat dissipation as well.
Digital fuel injection is used to achieve optimum performance and rideability; it utilizes 38 mm Keihin throttle bodies with ECU controlled sub throttle valves, located behind the main throttle valves. The sub throttle valves give the DFI system a more precise throttle response, similar to a constant velocity carburetor. Precise fuel injection and exhaust catalyzer significantly reduce emissions. A Digital Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI) System provides microprocessor controlled timing, which doesn’t need adjustment and is ultra responsive to engine needs. Spark plug mounted “stick” ignition coils are compact, thus reducing weight. The cassette style 6-speed transmission with the shafts and shift drum in a compact layout is easily removed as a single unit from the case to facilitate maintenance.
The high tensile steel trellis frame is quite small and light; it’s narrow at the knees and feet, thus increasing rider’s control and comfort. 3-dimensional computer analysis was utilized in the process of designing the trellis frame to achieve optimum stiffness balance for better handling. To help reduce unsprung weight and accommodate the longer stroke of the rear suspension, Versys’ engineers chose an aluminum gull type swingarm. The offset, laydown single rear shock complement the frame design via an integrated line flowing from the steering head to the rear hub. Short, compact frame and engine design allow the swingarm to be longer, thus improving overall handling. The Showa rear shock unit uses a free piston and 2-stage damping valves to ensure smooth action at the initial part of the compression stroke and firmer damping near full compression for a more planted feel. The outer tubes of the 41 mm inverted front fork are tapered and relatively short, providing the ideal stiffness balance to complement chassis settings. With its stiff springs, the fork combines the best of dual sport and sportbike-type suspensions to deliver exceptional performance over a wide range of conditions. Fork height can be adjusted to fine-tune the suspension to specific conditions or riding styles; both the front and rear suspension have adjustable rebound damping and preload as well.
Dual 300 mm front petal discs with 2-piston calipers and a single 220 mm rear petal disc with a 1-piston caliper handle the brake duties; petal design rotors provide improved cooling and warp resistance. The design of the 6-spoke wheels requires much less material between spokes so that the rims are thinner and overall wheel weight is reduced. When creating the Versys, its makers had not only the rider’s comfort in mind but the passenger’s as well. Each part of the two-piece seat was designed with a different thickness and firmness of foam to optimize comfort for both rider and passenger. In addition, passenger seat and grab bars were designed to provide a natural seating position for added comfort. White LED backlighting increases visibility at night. The easy-to-read instrument panel features a large analog tachometer and digital readout for the speedometer, dual trip meters, fuel gauge, odometer and clock. The adjustable windscreen has three different settings, each about 0.7 inches apart, allowing riders to adjust the height according to their needs. For longer trips, the 2009 Kawasaki Versys offers a full range of features to make travelling fun and comfortable – from the large volume fuel tank, excellent fuel economy and relaxed riding position to the adjustable windscreen and comfortable seat.
The Versys, as its name implies (versatile system), is the perfect bike for all types of road conditions. With its comfortable, naturally relaxed riding position and high controllability, it’s great for long trips as well as navigating through city traffic. Freedom of movement is achieved through the seat’s slim design and the knee grip characteristics of the tank. Although the motorcycle’s performance is optimized for the 50-75 Mph speed range, it performs quite well at higher speeds as well. This do-it-all machine combines a reassuring feeling and a fluid response to your every action.
2009 Kawasaki Versys Specifications:
Engine Type: Four-stroke, liquid cooled, DOHC, four-valve per cylinder, parallel twin
Displacement: 649 cc
Bore & Stroke: 83.0 x 60.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.6:1
Maximum Torque: 44.9 lb/ft @6,800 rpm
Fuel Injection: Digital fuel injection with two 38mm Keihin throttle bodies
Ignition Digital CDI
Final Drive O-Ring Chain
Frame: Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
Rake/Trail: 25°/4.3 in.
Front Tire Size: 120/70-17
Rear Tire Size: 160/60-17
Front Suspension/wheel travel: 41mm hydraulic telescopic fork with adjustable rebound and preload/5.9 in.
Rear Suspension/wheel travel: Single offset laydown shock with adjustable rebound and spring preload/5.7 in.
Front Brake Type: Dual 300mm petal discs with two-piston caliper
Rear Brake Type: Single 220mm petal disc with single-piston caliper
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.0 gal.
Seat Height: 33.1
Curb Weight: 454.1 lbs.
Overall length: 83.7 in.
Overall width: 33.1 in.
Overall height: 51.8 in.
Color: Candy Plasma Blue, Candy Lime Green
Warranty: 12 months