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French Magazine Spies Prototype Kawasaki 1000cc Versys

You can follow this link to, a French magazine displaying spy photos of a 1000cc Kawasaki Versys. Rather than a twin-cylinder configuration favored by most adventure tourers, the prototype appears to have an in-line four cylinder engine.  It also appears to have a 17″ front wheel, which would make the bike primarily a street bike, rather than a true adventure bike.  It is possible the bike will be launched at EICMA in early November. Our guess is that it will be an Europe-only model, at least initially.


  1. Eric says:

    Yikes! That is MoFugly! If it was as roomy as my DL1000, I *might* take a run at it. The Dl is tough to beat, however, and the new Kawi would have to step it up a notch. From what I understand, the Z1000 engine is *vibey*, and where the heck is the hydraulic clutch?!?!?

  2. Tommy See says:

    Lots of power for the tar and scary for the dirt which it is not made for ! BMW still winning.
    I love my 650 Strom but will wait for the TDM 900 Tenere`
    Japanese keep running at the GS !

  3. joe says:

    no thanks. that looks like a millenium falcon version of the ktm 990 adventure.
    so i guess when they hang on the “adventure” name on the bike they have to ugg it up as much as possible and see if someone will actually buy the pig.

  4. Josh B. says:

    If only Triumph would utilize that 800cc triple in the Tiger, toss it in a smaller/lighter Sprint ST, and tune it to NOT be a slow slug — then I’d (and a ton of others who have been asking for just this type of bike for years) actually have a next bike.

    But no… No one listens to us (the customers)… Instead, we get 800 pound couches on wheels, or something like this Versys 1000… I give up.

    • sliphorn says:

      Give Triumph a chance. The 800 motor is new for this year, and you just know they’re gonna use it in something else. I’d love to see an 800 Sprint too. It’d go head to head with the BMW F800ST and the Honda Interceptor 800.

      • 80-wattHamster says:

        I’d love to see this. I’ve been eyeing the existing Sprint as my next bike, but if they can keep the fuel economy up and weight down in an 800 version, I’ll gladly get on board that train.

  5. gilles says:

    The pictures in the french magazine are right and it will be imported in Canada

  6. mxs says:

    I guess somebody had to be the first to release I-4 adventure bike. Sounds “great” idea to me …..

    It must also be the first time ever when a bike (Versys) will have options on, not just two different capacity engines, but rather two different engine layouts. Wow, I can hear the sales already.

    I laugh when people write “Capable of hitting the occasional light trail but more suited to daily riding on the street with a nimble, yet powerful package.” So 1000cc I-4 based bike is a new nimble and able hitting light trail. I’d pay gold to see someone get off road with that thing. You twist the throttle and 8000 RPMs here I come …. LOL Unbelievable.

    It’s hard to feel sorry for manufacturers nowadays, when they contribute so much to the miserable bottom lime they carry these days.

    Smarten up Kawasaki ….. I am shocked that you didn’t use ZX-14 mill in the big Versys.

    Lets hope it’s just a hoax … but it’s a bit early considering it’s just an October.

  7. Trent says:

    I love Kawi’s, but that nose is as ugly as the old Multistrada. I guess when you’re out “adventuring”, looks don’t matter …

  8. sands says:

    The versys 650 is a nice bike…An inline 4 IMHO is the wrong direction..Perhaps an 800cc or 900cc parallel twin be just right for those that would like a versys with a little more go.

    • fast2win says:

      BINGO!!!!!!!!! The japs sometimes just don’t get it. 800 maybe bump it a couple years down the road to 900cc. keep the styling the same……… bing bang booom, you start to build a niche’. but Nooo they pig it up with a 4cyl. 1000cc!! . maybe they ought to stick to cloning Harleys and building race bike’s . Thats all their good at.

  9. Vroooom says:

    Give it a 19″ front wheel, 460 lb. dry weight, and I’ll write a check.

  10. Dave says:

    They should have used the 800cc Rotax engine. I won’t be buying any more inline 4’s due to the weight.

  11. MikeD says:

    I think using the “1043” from the Z1000 is a bit overkill on this Application(then again im affraid they don’t have anything else with less cylinders and still + – 1000cc a la SuperTenere Mill style).
    Im down with the 17″ front.
    Why they abandoned the underslung exhaust ? That’s a Versys landmark !
    It looked so neat all tucked in under the engine unlike that frigging black cannon sticking to the side and back.

    Still…BRING IT, more choices is always good.

  12. kent says:

    I get it (but I’m not interested in buying one).

    I’m tall, long legged and 45. I want a bike that allows me to sit mostly upright and has decent power. I’m not interested in big BMWs, or want to deal with high priced & high maintenance KTM or Ducati – nor do I want a heavy pig (600+ pound sport touring bikes).

    I ride a V-Strom 650. It’s a great bike. If I wanted more power (I don’t ride two-up, so 70 hp is plenty), there aren’t many options with similar ergonomics.

    The Versys isn’t an adventure bike, and everybody knows it (including Kawasaki). It’s fine for fire roads, but the tire selection will limit actual off-road adventures.

  13. Kwixdraw says:

    A lot of adventure bikes coming out for a small markrt means they have to lean more to the street models cause most of them will see only 10% adventure

  14. Kwixdraw says:

    Well, isn’t the Versys primarily a street bike?

  15. Eric says:

    Now, THAT was a waste of time.

  16. Bud says:

    Boy they do some terrible photoshop work. And then have to slap their annouying watermark logo on top of it.

    As far as the bike, I don’t really get the concept.

    • Donnie says:

      Think poor-man’s Multistrada/SMT 990. Capable of hitting the occasional light trail but more suited to daily riding on the street with a nimble, yet powerful package.