Kawasaki Versys 650 revamp planned

New model expected for 2015

IT’S looking increasingly likely that Kawasaki will be revamping the Versys 650 for 2015 with a sharper look and perhaps even a new chassis.

The firm has already quietly released most of its ‘unchanged’ 2015 models on its website in Japan, making it relatively easy to work out which bikes will get updates simply by looking for the ones that haven’t yet been shown in 2015 form. The Versys 650 – and the Versys 1000 for that matter – both fall into that category.

When it comes to the smaller Versys, it would be no surprise to see the slightly goofy styling of the current model replaced with something more aggressive and sharper-edged, perhaps losing the ‘stacked’ headlights and gaining a ‘beak’. It’s also likely to get a version of the frame that’s used by the current ER-6, since the existing Versys chassis is still based on the first-generation ER-6’s tubular steel design.

Engine-wise, there has been some speculation that it could be boosted to 800cc to meet the likes of BMW’s F800GS and Triumph’s Tiger 800 head-on. That’s possible, but at the moment we’ve seen nothing concrete to support the rumour.

When it comes to the Versys 1000, we’d be surprised if it doesn’t get a round of tweaks as well. Whatever styling changes are applied to the 650 are almost certain to be carried across to the larger bike, and last year’s tweaks to the Z1000 and Z1000SX – both closely related to the Versys 1000 – are likely to be carried across, with alterations to the power delivery and traction control settings as well as improved suspension.