THE VISORDOWN Marketplace classified section is packed with sweet wheels for every pocket, and every two-wheeled desire! Each week, our man Tony Middlehurst is going to pick out a bike for sale, and give it the once-over. This week - it's a very cheap 2009 Kawasaki Versys 650. But is there a catch?
Whether you're buying a holiday flight or a hutch for your bunny rabbit, true bargains are hard to come by these days. Blame cookies and algorithms.
Luckily, private sellers of motorcycles don’t have access to these price-hoisting devices, so you can still pick up stuff on the cheap from top-notch classified arenas like VD’s Marketplace. By way of proof, we bring you this sub-11k mile, optioned up and recently serviced Kawasaki KLE 650 Versys at a chin-strokingly cheap £1800.
Briefly poison your eyesight on inferior online marketplaces and you will find dealers asking anything from £3000 to £3400 for much higher mileage examples, so this seems pretty bargainaceous to us.
The vendor assures us that no skullduggery is afoot, but there is a catch. The bike is US- rather than UK-registered. Our best guess is that the owner is a Yank who has returned to his homeland after a work assignment or some such, and he doesn’t want to test the patience of the kindly soul who has agreed to store it in his lockup pending sale.
But even this glitch shouldn’t take the edge off your excitement, as most of the hurdles for UK registration have already been jumped, with just the final inspection still to do for Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval and a proper numberplate. That inspection costs £85, so the most this Versys is going to cost you is £1885, and maybe less if you’re fronty and turn up with cash.
The Versys is a solid performer. Although its hybrid design means it’s not excellent at anything, that also means it’s not terrible at anything. In fact it’s considerably better than terrible. It works well in both country and city. You sit nice and upright, giving you a lovely view of the taxi driver who’s about to try and take you out, while the low-revs and midrange response from the decently characterful 649cc injected twin will give you a decent chance of foiling his plan.
Not everyone will like the Kawa’s standard 3-position screen, but here you’ll have the luxury of choosing between it and the mean-looking twin-headlamp Buell Firebolt fairing that’s currently in place. All the original bits are included with the bike so you’ll have a tasty box of bits to flog whether you stick with the add-ons or revert to factory spec. Nice.
Kawasaki 650 Versys £1,800 (9/10)
Good build quality, super reliable, low mileage, low running costs and an equally low price. Interesting value-adding mods.
The 840mm (33.1in) seat height might be an issue for those who heights begin with a five, but lowering kits are available to bring it down by 50mm (2in). Mileage mode switches have been known to fritz out.