LISTEN 03:37

There’s no going around what is already considered one of the best bike values on the market today. The Kawasaki Versys is an award-winning bike for a reason. It’s a solidly built multi-purpose ride that will have you searching for more reasons to ride and more roads to explore. Customers can’t get enough of it, and surely, the 2012 model will further strengthen that belief.

The bike’s aggressive styling compliments its dynamic flexibility and strength. Adding to the comfort of the rider are rubber bushings on the rear engine mounts and hollow rubber inserts atop the footpegs that also help to isolate the rider’s feet from engine vibration, resulting in a smoother, more relaxed ride. The Versys also has a carefully designed cockpit that provides a mostly upright, natural seating position and features a stepped seat constructed to provide optimum comfort for both rider and passenger. Last, the Versys has an easy-to-read and informative instrument panel that allows riders to quickly scan the gauges and keep their eyes on the road.

Inside, the heart of the Versys is a 649cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine highlights the bike’s light and nimble do-anything characteristics. The torquey twin delivers a deep ribbon of power in the lower and middle parts of its rev range, making the Versys a great commuter and relaxed traveling companion. As far as its handling and suspension features are concerned, the Versys has a long-travel high-tech suspension to go with a Showa rear shock with two-stage damping that firms up progressively as the wheel moves through its stroke, providing an initially plush ride that almost hits to the level of high-end sports bikes.

Find out more about the Kawasaki Versys after the jump.

  • 2012 Kawasaki Versys
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine
  • Displacement:
    649 L


2012 Kawasaki Versys Exterior Drivetrain
- image 428841
  • The most compact engine in its category helps reduce the dimensions of the entire motorcycle
  • Triangular crank and transmission shaft layout keeps it short front to back
  • A semi-dry sump oil system reduces overall engine height
  • The narrow, chrome composite-plated aluminum cylinders help reduce engine width
  • Tuned to deliver smooth, responsive power in the low
  • to mid-rpm range for exceptional roll-on response – ideal for negotiating city traffic, tight backroads and anything in between
  • A 180-degree crankshaft and a balancer shaft produce a remarkably smooth engine
  • Oil jets on the connecting rod ends spray oil on the undersides of the pistons to aid cooling
  • An under-engine muffler with 3-way catalyzer aids mass centralization for light handling and great looks


2012 Kawasaki Versys Exterior
- image 428834
  • A distinctive aluminum gull-wing swingarm controlled by a lay-down single shock complements the distinctive frame design, with an integrated line flowing from steering head to rear hub
  • The short, compact frame and engine design allow the swingarm to be longer, which improves overall handling
  • The Showa shock has adjustable preload and rebound damping, and uses a free piston and two-stage damping valves for smooth action during initial compression that becomes firmer near the end of the stroke for a more planted feel


2012 Kawasaki Versys High Resolution Exterior
- image 428832
  • The fairing, stacked dual headlight, front fender and mirrors, and a Z1000-style LED tail light give the Versys a bold high-tech look
  • The windscreen provides a large still-air pocket for comfort; three-position adjustability makes it adaptable to fit a variety of riders and climates.


2012 Kawasaki Versys High Resolution Exterior
- image 428835
Engine Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder parallel twin
Displacement 649 cc
Bore x Stroke 83.0 x 60.0 mm
Compression Ratio 10.6:1
Cooling System Liquid
Fuel System Digital fuel injection with two 38mm Keihin throttle bodies
Ignition TCBI with electronic advance
Transmission 6-Speed
Final Drive O-Ring Chain
Frame Type Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
Rake/Trail 25 degrees/4.3 in.
Front Tire Size 120/70-17
Rear Tire Size 160/60-17
Wheelbase 55.7
Front Suspension / Wheel Travel 41mm hydraulic telescopic fork with stepless adjustable rebound and preload / 5.9 in.
Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel Single offset laydown shock with 13-position adjustable rebound damping and adjustable spring preload / 5.7 in.
Front Brakes Dual 300mm petal discs with two-piston caliper
Rear Brakes Single 220mm petal disc with single-piston caliper
Fuel Capacity 5.0 gal.
Seat Height 33.3
Curb Weight 454.2 lbs.
Overall Length 83.7 in.
Overall Width 33.1 in.
Overall Height 52.4 in.
Color Choices TBD


kawasaki ninja----"Seat design, handle bar size, display and also suspension and forks looks made for serious comfortable riding style, this is the key point from Versys and you can’t found another Kawasaki bike that the comfortable position bike like 2012 Versys species"

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: