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2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 and 650 LT First Look Preview

The 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT and Versys 650 become more modern than ever in 2022.

The 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT and Versys 650 become more modern than ever in 2022. (Kawasaki Motors Corporation/)

The Kawasaki Versys 650 and Versys 650 LT streetbikes receive some much-needed attention for the 2022 model year, with a number of updates aimed to give the platform a bit more sophistication and contemporary appeal. There are some changes to the look of the bikes, but more importantly there are new electronics and refined creature comforts that take the Versys 650 to the next level.

The Versys 650 gets Kawasaki Traction Control.

The Versys 650 gets Kawasaki Traction Control. (Kawasaki Motors Corporation/)

The most notable update is the new Kawasaki traction control system, featured on a Versys 650 for the first time ever. The system offers two modes of intervention, with Mode 1 serving as the least intrusive and Mode 2 calibrated to intervene earlier when excessive wheelspin is detected. The KTRC system can also be turned off via a switch on the handlebar.

A full roster of accessories will be available to make this your go-to sport-touring rig.

A full roster of accessories will be available to make this your go-to sport-touring rig. (Kawasaki Motors Corporation/)

Complementing the new rider aid system is a 4.3-inch full-color TFT instrument panel. When we reviewed the 2021 Versys 650 LT just a few months back, we appreciated the simplicity of the outgoing analog tach/LCD display but are glad to see Kawasaki has finally made the change to a more customizable, modern setup. The display will have black or white backgrounds available, brightness adjustment, and numerous metrics riders can choose to display. It will also be Bluetooth compatible, so riders can also now choose to sync their bikes to Kawasaki’s smartphone app.

The new KTRC system will feature two modes and can be turned off at the handlebar.

The new KTRC system will feature two modes and can be turned off at the handlebar. (Kawasaki Motors Corporation/)

The updated LED headlights and taillight integrate into a more streamlined body design, inspired by the look of the Versys 1000. This new look is also enhanced by the new four-position adjustable windscreen.

The beating heart of both bikes remains a 649cc liquid-cooled DOHC parallel twin. The chassis components carry over as well and the LT will continue to offer hand guards and hard saddlebags, standard.

A look at the new 4.5-inch full-color TFT instrument panel.

A look at the new 4.5-inch full-color TFT instrument panel. (Kawasaki Motors Corporation/)

Pricing does increase over last year’s models, which is to be expected with these types of enhancements. A standard Versys 650 in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black colorway will run $8,899 (a $500 increase over last year’s base model). If you want a Versys 650 in Candy Lime Green/Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black, you’ll need to shell out $9,099. And the Versys 650 LT, in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black, runs $9,999, a $700 increase over the 2021 LT.

Grab a tall windscreen from the accessories catalog for maximum protection.

Grab a tall windscreen from the accessories catalog for maximum protection. (Kawasaki Motors Corporation/)

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 and 650 LT Technical Specs and Price

Price: $8,899–$9,999
Engine: 649cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin; 8 valves
Bore x Stroke: 83.0 x 60.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.8:1
Fuel Delivery: DFI w/ 38mm Keihin throttle bodies
Clutch: Wet, multi-disc
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain
Frame: Double-pipe perimeter frame
Front Suspension: 41mm telescopic fork, preload and rebound adjustable; 5.9 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Single shock, preload adjustable; 5.7 in. travel
Front Brake: Nissin 2-piston calipers, 300mm discs w/ ABS
Rear Brake: Nissin 1-piston caliper, 250mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: 6-spoke cast aluminum; 17 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: Dunlop Sportmax D222; 120/70-17 / 160/60-17
Rake/Trail: 25.0°/4.3 in.
Wheelbase: 55.7 in.
Seat Height: 33.3 in.
Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gal.
Claimed Curb Weight: 483 lb. (+20 lb. w/ LT hand guards, saddlebags)
Available: TBD
Contact: kawasaki.com

Kawasaki added a new four-way-adjustable windscreen to the Versys 650 and 650 LT.

Kawasaki added a new four-way-adjustable windscreen to the Versys 650 and 650 LT. (Kawasaki Motors Corporation/)

The Versys 650 also gets a revised look thanks to streamlined bodywork inspired by the Versys 1000.

The Versys 650 also gets a revised look thanks to streamlined bodywork inspired by the Versys 1000. (Kawasaki Motors Corporation/)

Windscreen adjustment will be analog.

Windscreen adjustment will be analog. (Kawasaki Motors Corporation/)

The new TFT display allows users to select a black or white background.

The new TFT display allows users to select a black or white background. (Kawasaki Motors Corporation/)

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