Milan: 2012 Kawasaki Versys 1000

Kawasaki's weird four-cylinder all-roads Versys. Thing.

KAWASAKI have added to the multi-function Versys range with the long-rumoured 1000.

The Versys 1000 is Kawasaki's attempt to capitalise on the large capacity road-orientated adventure bike, but with the focus on rider comfort instead of offroad usability.

Powering the Versys 1000 is a 1,043cc inline-four, liquid-cooled engine from the Z1000. However, compared to Kawasaki's naked muscle the Versys has a stronger low-to-mid range with a slightly reduced peak power, occuring at lower rpm than on the 'Zed - 86,8KW maximum power at 9,000rpm and 102N.m of torque at 7,700rpm.

The power is available through two mode selection choices; full or low power, allowing a rider to set power to suit the conditions. Full power, does as it says, but the lower option reduces output to 75% of full power - delivering a milder throttle response.

Kawasaki have also applied the KTRC system - the same traction control found on the new ZZR1400, and similar to that of the ZX-10R. The system is a combination of Kawasaki's traction control systems, taking the best elements from S-KTRC and KTRC. With the Versys 1000, there are three modes: Modes 1 and 2 prioritise maximum forward acceleration (like the S-KTRC system on the 2011 Ninja ZX-10R). Mode 3 is similar to the KTRC system offered on the GTR1400.

Rider comfort is a priority for the new Versys, featuring a slim thickly-padded seat, wide handlebars and functional bodywork, designed to offer increased wind protection. ABS brakes are standard on the Versys 1000, adding to the stopping power of the 4-piston caliper, 300mm petal front discs and the single-piston caliper 250mm petal rear disc. Wheels are 17inch six spokes.

The bike weighs 239kg and has a 21 litre fuel-tank.

The Versys 1000 will be available in white and metallic grey.