2010 Kawasaki Versys: even stranger headlight

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No major mechanical changes to the 2010 Kawasaki Versys, but it didn’t need any, it was already one of our favorite small-ish bikes. The biggest change has been to change the bizarre Mitsubishi Zero-inspired headlight for a stacked item that’s equally weird, yet less distinct. Other cosmetic upgrades come to the fender, hugger, engine covers radiator shrouds and muffler, all intended to highlight what Kawasaki claims is improved build quality. The 62bhp 649cc parallel-twin remains untouched, but rubber mounts at the rear and rubber footpegs are designed to reduce vibration. >
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid cooled, DOHC, four-valve per cylinder, parallel twin
Displacement: 649cc
Bore x Stroke: 83.0 x 60.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.6:1
Cooling: Liquid
Fuel System: Digital fuel injection with two 38mm Keihin throttle bodies
Ignition: Digital CDI
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: O-Ring chain
Frame: Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
Rake / Trail: 25 degrees / 4.3 in.
Wheelbase: 55.7 in.
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 Tire: 120/70×17
Rear Tire: 160/60×17
Front Brake: Dual 300mm petal discs with two-piston caliper
Rear Brake: Single 220mm petal disc with single-piston caliper
Overall Length: 83.7 in.
Overall Width: 33.1 in.
Overall Height: 51.8 in.
Seat Height: 33.1 in.
Curb Weight: 454.1 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gal.
Colors: Metallic Spark Black
MSRP: $7,599
Warranty:  12 months

  • General Apathy

    The Versys is a Cylon! kill it!

  • Sid

    All the visual charm of a headless carp.

  • http://bolty.net Stacy

    Now, that is… interesting? That whole headlight assembly looks off to me. But I guess I have questionable taste anyway since I rather liked the odd headlight on the previous model.

  • nollid51

    While it does look good, I’d rather take a deal on an 09. Maybe it hasn’t grown on me yet, but I prefer the older model’s styling.

  • http://artistruth.livejournal.com will

    Less fluid and more BMWey. And certainly less distinct. Damn shame.

    • TeeJay

      Damn right! My first thought was that it looks like a GS headlight in a vertical form.

  • A.Pierce

    I just took a look at last year’s headlamps and I dig these more. Maybe a small bill (mx style) would make the front end a bit less stunted.

  • Dave

    I love it… I think it’s gonna look great next to my ZX14 :)

    • Ian

      Lets be honest Dave… a bucket of smashed crabs would look good next to a ZX14 ;-)

      I think we’re seeing the begining of the end of the ‘transformers’ look. It’s gone as far as it can and the masses have had enough. Back down the slippery slope of simplification.

  • DoctorNine

    I like this arrangement much much better than the side by side ‘cateye glasses’ look so common on sport bikes these days. More symmetrical and logical, if you are going to only use one high beam and one low beam.

  • Boggled


  • Gildas

    na na na NA NA na BATMAN! na na NA NA na na…

  • Shareman McCoy

    Just take a look on the official vid on kawasaki.com. In the 360°-view the headlight looks a bit more normal and not that strange. But I admit, Kawasaki could have done better… What a pity.

  • Shareman McCoy

    Reminds me of the old Duc 999.

  • jcodyb

    How would this compare with a Gladius? Sorry I mean an SFV650? This one seems taller, but they both have slightly ridiculous looks to them. Performance-wise, what would be the main differences for 60-mile commuting?

  • Leonardo

    Somebody call YAMAHA, Kawasaki took some of the MT01 Headlights and called it a Versys 2010…

  • Marcos Agosti

    Too much discussion on the headlight. This looks more like a design blog than a Biker forum.

    Does the bike perform as intended?
    Did they fix the small passenger seat of previous version?
    Can it take on a V-Strom 650?
    Can I take it for a spin around Europe without worrying about breaking down in Transylvania?

    Soooorry guys! I just read the headline above
    “Hell for Leather” Culture*Style*Design
    It is a Cafe blog. My apologies…
    Yeah, the headlight in ungainly.