First Ride – Kawasaki Versys 650

Rainy Days Never Say Goodbye

I normally don’t look forward to rain especially when I have plan to ride. However the weather has been extremely hot and humid these past few weeks. To the point outdoor activities have to be cancelled and some schools need to be closed if the temperature consistently breaching more than 37 degree celsius.

This morning together with my childhood buddy R we decided to have an impromptu ride to Bentong. The plan was to have breakfast at Lemang Tok’ Ki.

The Versys is a service bike courtesy from the workshop while waiting for my Deauville to be ready for the upcoming trip to Angkor Wat.

Guess what happened? The sky started to pour the moment we left my place. We seek refuge at the nearby neighbourhood petrol station while waiting for the rain to turn to drizzle. Soon it did and we quickly set out toward our destination via the Karak Highway. It was a perfect weather condition throughout the entire journey and back. Cloudy sky and cooling temperature provide much-needed respite from the current treacherous heat wave.

image copy
Taking refuge from the rain on the way back via Ulu Yam

The seating height of the Versys provides a commanding view on the road and traffic condition aheads. She is definitely a versatile machine just like her namesake. Whether for city commuting or travel long distance. Hence I’m not surprise this is a companion that people will consider taking round the world.

I had an opportunity to ride the previous generation Versys to the Phuket Bike Week last year. But I decided not to at the eleventh hour when I was able to secure a BMW F800GS instead for the trip. The other reason was the previous generation model had such a hideous front-looking staggered headlamp design that I can’t stomach.

This latest design cue has no such issue especially to those who loved the Ninja looks. However somehow the Kawasaki’s never invoke such a strong desire and passion in me. Maybe I’m biased or I just don’t like the green color on a motorcycle. (I’m sorry whenever Kawasaki is being mentioned, their famous monster green colour just popped inside my head)

To be fair, I did lust toward a Kawasaki once. But she was in purple. This was back in the 90’s during my adolescent years when I was dreaming day and night owning a KR150. I was imagining how cool for me to ride this baby to the school and it had to be in purple. I managed to scour the Internet and found a picture of the same model with the exact purple color scheme.

Kawasaki KR150
My monkey love during secondary school days…never had a chance to ride one so technically it was just a one-sided relationship. Pic shown a similar model and in the purple color scheme that I was lusting upon

Now how is this all co-relate back to the Versys that I’m reviewing here? Well here’s the deal. I did consider owning the current generation Versys when Kawasaki launched with the new orange color scheme. In fact it was a toss between the Vulcan and the Versys which share the same 650cc engine model. So guess what happened after the ride today? All thoughts were thrown out the window.

“Some things are better left as mysteries just like my infatuation with the Kawasaki KR150. I still have that special feeling till these days but I’m not so sure it will be the same case if I had ridden her back then… “

Now I need to emphasise the Versys is not a bad bike. In fact far from it. She’s being priced competitively here in Malaysia. She now got the look to match with her other siblings. She could even be mistaken with the bigger Versys 1000. Her 650 cc engine is a proven workhorse despite some buzzing vibration at the foot-pegs at certain speed. Speaking about speed, she can go fast if require. She can take off as well in a parallel-twin way. Also I’m sure we don’t need to worry much about her maintenance and any mechanic can fix her up during any round-the-world trip.

So if you’re in the market looking for someone that is predictable and dependable under most riding situation…she could be the versatile one. Just don’t expect her to appear in your sweet dream 😉





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