Adventure touring is the new black. If manufacturers aren’t already entrenched in the segment, they’re scrambling to gain a foothold. Kawasaki’s Versys lineup staked its claim in the adventure landscape in 2007, and it doesn’t look like it's going anywhere anytime soon. For 2023, Team Green’s “Versatile System” arrives with a fresh new look.
Unlike the Versys variants offered here in the States, Kawasaki Europe divides its Versys 1000 range among the base model, S trim, and top-tier SE. A liquid-cooled, 16-valve, DOHC, inline-four resides in all three liter-class adventurers. Nestled in a twin-tube aluminum frame, that mighty mill whips up 118 ponies (at 9,000 rpm) and 75.3 lb-ft of torque.
Even the standard model receives cruise control, power modes, traction control, ABS, and slipper/assist clutch. The similarities end there, though. The sporty S trim ups the pace with a bi-directional quickshifter, and linked traction control/power modes. Cornering LED lights make riders both faster and safer in the twisties.
Heated grips and handguards withstand the cold front, while the TFT dash elevates the ADV. The SE variant builds on top of those sturdy foundations with electronically-damped Showa suspension and Skyhook leveling technology. Kawasaki also offers its Versys Tourer Plus and Grand Tourer packages on all three trims.
In the mid-size class, the Versys 650 always outpunches its weight. The segment stalwart returns in 2023 with its punchy parallel twin. The 8-valve, 649cc engine claims 66 peak horsepower and 45 lb-ft of maximum torque. A TFT display, Bluetooth connectivity, and LED lighting highlight the tech package, while a windscreen shields the rider from the elements. In addition to the base trim, Team Green also offers Urban, Tourer, Grand Tourer, and Grand Tourer Plus editions.
The 2023 Versys 1000 comes in Metallic Matte Graphensteel Gray/Metallic Spark Black, while the S and SE versions earn Metallic Matte Sovereign Red/Metallic Flat Spark Black and Emerald Blazed Green/Metallic Diablo Black colorways. Kawi rounds out the range with the Versys 650 in Metallic Smoke Gold/Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black and Candy Lime Green/Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black liveries. Pricing and availability, unfortunately, aren’t yet available.