2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 and Versys 650 LT First Look

John Burns
by John Burns

The People Versys Kawasaki

We’ve loved the Kawasaki Versys 650 for a long time. Maybe too long? For 2022, the midsized Versatile System gets a bunch of upgrades to boost it into the modern era – electronic cruise control being not one of them. Perfect for all you who eschew modern comforts.

But you do get traction control, a new Bluetoothable TFT display, and an adjustable windshield – all for just $8,899. Kick in another $1100 for the Versys 650 LT, and you’ll also possess handguards and a 28-liter Kawasaki Quick Release hard saddlebag set that uses Kawasaki’s One Key System. Each bag will ingest a full face helmet.

On top of that, Kawasaki offers a bunch of options for the Versys including a USB port and top box – and the fact they’ve been stamping out the friendliest Kawasaki since 2007 means there’s plenty of aftermarket support, too. For all the details, keep reading.

Kawasaki Press Release:

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 & Versys 650 LT Motorcycles


The Kawasaki Versys line of motorcycles was developed for people who have an adventurous spirit and seek out opportunities to explore the world we live in. Whether it’s reaching a remote corner of the world, devouring highway miles or commuting through the city, the passenger-friendly Versys motorcycles provide the ultimate platform for your next adventure or navigating through those long commutes.

The widely popular Versys 650 and Versys 650 LT return to Kawasaki’s lineup stronger than ever for 2022 with several upgrades including Kawasaki TRaction Control (KTRC), new TFT Color Instrumentation with Smartphone Connectivity, sharper front cowl styling, LED headlight, and an adjustable windshield to ensure you enjoy every ride.

The Versys 650 and Versys 650 LT are ready to take on any road, any time for your next adventure with their long-travel suspension, proven reliability, back-road capabilities, and superb fuel-efficiency. Having already solidified their place as fan favorites, the Versys 650 continues to be a top choice as the ultimate travel guide for riding enthusiasts who are looking for reliable performance and versatile fun.


  • NEW Kawasaki TRaction Control (KTRC)
  • NEW TFT Color Instrumentation with Smartphone Connectivity
  • NEW Sharper front cowl styling
  • NEW LED headlight
  • NEW 4-Way adjustable windshield
  • Slim, upright riding position
  • Sporty 17-inch cast aluminum wheels
  • Standard ABS

    • NEW Kawasaki TRaction Control (KTRC)

    For the first time on a Versys 650, the 2022 model is equipped with Kawasaki’s advanced traction control system that allows for enhanced sport riding performance and greater rider confidence. The system looks at a variety of factors for an accurate, real-time picture of conditions and acts before slippage exceeds the range for optimal traction and rider confidence. Two modes allow riders to adjust the system’s settings to suit the riding conditions and rider’s preference. In Mode 1, which is the least intrusive, the system helps manage traction during cornering and facilitates acceleration out of corners. Mode 2 allows for earlier intervention and reduces engine output when excessive wheel spin is detected, allowing for the tire to get maximum grip. Riders also have the option to turn the traction control system off using the switch located on the handlebar.


    • NEW TFT Color Instrumentation with Smartphone Connectivity
    • NEW Sharper front cowl styling
    • NEW LED headlights
    • NEW 4-Way adjustable windshield

    A new 4.3” full-color all-digital TFT (thin-film transistor) instrument meter adorns the cockpit of the Versys 650 for model year 2022, giving the rider a high level of visibility during both day or night. The high-grade full color display features TFT technology, a selectable background color is offered (black or white) and the screen brightness automatically adjusts to suit available light.

    A wide variety of display functions are available and include a digital speedometer, digital bar-style tachometer, gear position indicator, shift lamp, fuel gauge, odometer, dual trip meters, current and average fuel consumption, remaining range, average speed, total time, coolant temperature, external air temperature, clock, battery voltage, Kawasaki service reminder, oil change reminder, and an Economical Riding Indicator. A Bluetooth chip allows for connection to a compatible smartphone device and RIDEOLOGY THE APP*.

    * RIDEOLOGY THE APP is not intended for use during vehicle operation. Only use RIDEOLOGY THE APP when the vehicle is not being operated and it is safe to do so.

    All meter functions and traction control modes can be easily controlled with switches located on the left side of the handlebar.

    Taking after its larger Versys 1000 brethren, the Versys 650 features sharp, flowing styling from the front of the motorcycle to the rear. The refreshed design of the upper cowling and surrounding bodywork updates the Versys 650 to the latest eye-catching Versys family look, and the sharp tail cowl reinforces the bike’s compact, sporty image. A redesigned under-cowl and the use of color and graphics on the gas tank and side covers add to the strong Versys family looks and create an appealing visual flow. New LED headlights add a modern and aggressive look to the front of the motorcycle, while an LED taillight gives the Versys a modern, sporty visual identity.

    Accompanying the redesigned upper cowl is a new windshield, offering increased wind protection and adding to the rider’s comfort, making the Versys 650 a highly capable touring partner. The stylish windshield features four positions for three inches of total adjustability, ranging from a sporty lower height to a taller wind protection height, to suit the rider’s preference. The four positions can be conveniently adjusted by hand using a release button below the TFT screen.


    The dependable fuel-injected 649cc, parallel twin engine powers this light and nimble street motorcycle with its lively performance and smooth acceleration. Tuned for excellent torque, the engine inspires confidence for daily commuters and provides fun on weekend trips. The torquey twin delivers a deep ribbon of power in the low- and mid-range of the powerband, while also pulling vigorously to the top of the rev range.

    The exhaust is tuned to enhance high-end RPM power, with matching ECU settings that optimize fuel economy. When combined with a large 5.5-gallon fuel tank, the fun-to-ride 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 can enjoy extended periods between fill-ups.

    Adding to the versatility of the motorcycle is its proven six-speed cassette style transmission that seamlessly shifts between the gears, enhancing maneuverability.


    Unique long-travel, high-tech suspension coupled with a comfortable riding position is critical to the multi-role mission of the Versys 650. Combine these qualities with a small, light and narrow frame and you have one of the most versatile bikes in Kawasaki’s motorcycle line-up.

    In the front, the adjustable Showa fork increases rider confidence and comfort in all situations. It splits the damping and spring functions into separate fork tubes, giving the rider adjustability while the single spring also helps reduce weight. Longer outer fork tubes help to improve rigidity and provide the ultimate combination of light handling and supreme comfort. At the rear, a Showa shock allows riders to quickly make preload adjustments via the remote-mounted adjuster. This can compensate for cargo or passenger weight or be tuned to the rider’s preference.


    The linear action ABS brake system comes as standard equipment and offers exellent performance and enhanced rider confidence in adverse conditions. Dual 300mm petal-style rotors with two-piston calipers in front and a single 220mm petal rotor with a single-piston caliper on the rear provide ample stopping power for the Versys 650, offering improved cooling and warp resistance compared to traditional brake discs. In fact, the same rotor design can be found on Kawasaki’s Ninja supersport machines.

    The Versys 650 features six-spoke cast aluminum wheels that are similar to the ones found on Ninja® ZX™-6R and ZX™-10R motorcycles, utilizing less material in between the spokes to reduce rim thickness and overall wheel weight. The lightweight wheels help to increase suspension performance, handling, acceleration, deceleration, and initial turn-in performance and come equipped with Dunlop Sportmax D222 tires for light handling and comfort.


    In addition to all of the Versys 650’s features, the Versys 650 LT comes equipped with hand guards that help protect the rider’s hands against weather and wind, and a 28-liter KQR hard saddlebag set with quick release capabilities that can be removed and installed without the use of tools and offers enough space to fit a full face helmet. The hard saddlebag set also utilizes Kawasaki’s One Key System to keep things as simple as possible with the use of the ignition key.
    • NEW USB outlet
    • NEW Tall Windshield
    • KQR 28 Liter Hard Saddlebags
    • Engine Guards
    • LED Auxiliary Light Set
    • Tank Pad

    A full range of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories are available at authorized Kawasaki dealers, allowing riders to further enhance the Versys 650 to better suit their preferences. Options for the Versys 650 and Versys 650 LT include a new USB outlet with dual covers for high water resistance, engine guards, a tank pad, windshield kit that is lower for better wind resistance, a LED auxiliary light set, hand covers, a meter cover, a GPS navigation bracket, oil filler caps, hard saddlebag sets and fitting kits, and top case sets and fitting kits.


    The 2022 Versys 650 motorcycle is available in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black with an MSRP of $8,899 or Candy Lime Green/Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black with an MSRP of $9,099.

    The 2022 Versys 650 LT motorcycle is available in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black with an MSRP of $9,999.

    A 12-month limited warranty is included with the Versys 650, while the Versys 650 LT features a 24-month limited warranty. Additionally, the Kawasaki Protection Plus plan (KPP) offers comprehensive coverage to extend the factory warranty and is available for purchase.

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    John Burns
    John Burns

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