Before we get started, we at BikeBrewers, feel that we need to share some developments from the past year. As you may have noticed we have been publishing quite a variety of motorcycle and apparel reviews on our website and on our social channels, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube included .

This is in response of the influx of invitations from manufacturers to test-ride and review their new models, helmets and clothing. This has inspired us to include more, what we like to call ‘petrolhead lifestyle’ articles on our website. We believe that it is an excellent opportunity for us to give our followers a broader look on what is going on in the world of motorcycles. We try to take a slightly different approach when we write about our experiences. Staying away from all the deep digging technical stuff we try to express our emotions when we ride something new or different.

Of course we will always stay loyal to our core principle, and that is custom built motorcycles. But in our view the spice of life is variety.

In the article below our team member Ron was invited for some serious riding in Spain. He always claimed never to be seen riding on adventure bikes, but he came back a changed man.

Enjoy his coning out!

Editorial team

Retro guy
Retro styled custom motorcycles are mostly designed for riding in urban areas. Being a huge fan of retro- and vintage styled motorcycles, you would probably expect me to become very excited at the prospect of riding a Kawasaki Z900RS rather than the Versys 1000 S model of the same brand.

That’s a very logical train of thought as I am mostly known for my involvement with the retro and custom scene. However, things changed dramatically after spending a full day of riding on twisty country roads in Cataluña, Spain.

1000+ curves in 9 hours
On invitation by Kawasaki I took part in the ‘Kawasaki Versys Experience’ which is a Kawasaki Europe organised event in collaboration with the CromRide. The CromRide celebrated its fifth anniversary this year and is more or less a ‘local Catalan ride’ organized by Joan Martí Utset and his team at Crom Events. When I say ‘local’ I really mean regional as riders come from all over Cataluña and other parts of Spain to participate.

The ride itself is a 12-hour, 570km and 2000+ curves challenge, leading riders along awesome roads and enthralling views across the mountains of the Pyrenees. In partnership with Crom Events Kawasaki had organized a ‘Versys Experiential Event’. 18 journalists from various European countries were invited to try out the 2021 Kawasaki Versys 1000 S during a full day of riding. In our case it meant a ‘light version’ of 10 hours, 370km and 1000+ curves to be conquered.

Versys 1000
It was my very first encounter with the Versys 1000 S on the day we set out on this 370 km journey. There have been the odd courtships with adventure bikes in my 45-year motorcycling experience, but never as serious a ride as the one I was embarking on that day.

I have an open mind when it comes to riding motorcycles and I get easily excited by anything motorised with two wheels. As long as there is torque and speed involved, you can count me in!

The Kawasaki is an impressive machine from whatever angle you look at it. If you see it approaching in the rear view mirror you will let it pass rather than challenge it to a duel. The bike has some aggressiveness built into its front end, but the overall design is classy, modern and distinguished. It has ‘ready to take you wherever you want to go’ written all over it.

Kawasaki’s Versys 1000 S and SE are clearly designed to offer maximum riding enjoyment across a wide variety of street riding situations. Whether riding solo or two-up, around the corner or around the globe, this fun-to-ride sport-touring bike’s combination of a highly responsive In-Line Four engine, which is clearly tuned for flexibility, and a nimble chassis that is fitted with dynamic suspension, it is sure to have riders smiling broadly in their helmets. Even though I was wearing a full face adventure helmet for the occasion, I am sure my grin was easily detectable from afar.

Rider position
With the prospect of having to ride for 10 hours or more, I was hoping for more comfort than what I was used to on all the retro and vintage machines I regularly ride. I was pleasantly surprised by its relaxed, upright riding position which offered a high level of machine control, and was complemented by a highly comfortable seat and good wind protection, making it easy to spend a long time in the saddle.

Talking about level of control; that was something I was and still am Kawasaki very grateful for. The ‘local boys’ I encountered, who were also participating in the CromRide at points where the two routes intermingled, were nose-diving ‘full throttle’ into each bend we encountered. It goes without saying that my testosteron shouted at me to go for the pursuit, but I was no match for them. The clear disadvantage of insufficient mountain road experience and being new to all those curves, they clearly knew what they were doing. They probably new these roads as well as the back of their hands.

Just the bike and I
Leaving their backs for what they were, I decided to opt for an experience with just me and the Versys 1000 S. Still riding slightly faster than what is legally allowed, the Versys and I developed quite the love affair along the way. We hardly encountered any other vehicles for most of the day, it was easy to focus on establishing a true relationship between me and the Versys. I was impressed with its beauty, its sure-footedness along those curvy country roads, but perhaps mostly, by the ample amount of torque available in all the gears. The admiration must have been mutual, as the Kawasaki was clearly satisfied with my handling and speed at which I thrusted the bike through the Pyrenees mountains.

Most noticeable was the forgiveness of the machine when it came to making stupid braking mistakes at the end of leg one, just before lunch. After a great start in the morning and having a lot of fun, my empty stomach and lack of caffeine clearly put me back into the ‘consciously incompetent’ quadrant of the matrix. There were a couple of hairy moments when I braked at the wrong moment, but the Versys took control and led us safely through those corners.

The Kawasaki Versys 1000 comes standard with 3 different ride-modes: sport, road and rain. In the ‘road’ mode there is more than sufficient power readily available. Switching to ‘Sport’ will make the Versys loose the woollen jacket and show its ‘wolf power’. Quite the difference and it is good to have a choice according to your personal mood.

After lunch dip
Our lunch stop was scheduled at the ‘Hostatgeria Restaurant Santuari de Montgrony’ somewhere high up in the mountains in a location that can only be reached via a dedicated passage way, ending in a ‘cul de sac’. There, our hosts were waiting for us. While sharing the delicious food, it was also time to compare notes with fellow members of the press. It was very clear that all of them were as impressed with the Versys as I was, and we were all looking forward to the second part of the ride. Some of them were afraid of an ‘after lunch dip’, but with the adrenalin rushing through my veins there was nothing of that sort on my part.

I had gone through a steep learning curve in the morning. But with over 45 years of riding experience I am still a quick learner and for the remaining 180 kilometres, I really got into a flow. With time not being a factor, it was just the road, the uninterrupted succession of exciting curves, the Versys 1000 S and myself for the next five hours. What a glorious feeling.

Looking back
I started this post by stating that I am not really an ‘adventure bike’ guy. I retract those words now. I most definitely am! The Kawasaki Versys 1000 has managed to convert me to the conviction that there is tons of excitement and fun in riding this type of motorcycle, especially on roads like we were challenged to ride that day.

In short; The Kawasaki Versys 1000 is definitely a bike I will be adding to the stable. It has everything you are looking for in a bike that you want to take for a ride which is more than the occasional tour in your own country. It will seduce you to take the ‘long way home’ each time you climb on board or perhaps add a few extra days to an international trip.

It is a reliable companion which comes with a complete package of electronic gear to help you enjoy the ride even more.

Final conclusion in one word: YES!

Technical data:

Dimensions
Overall length: 2,270 mm
Overall width: 950 mm
Overall height: 1,530 mm / 1,490 mm (High/Low position)
Wheelbase: 1,520 mm
Road clearance: 150 mm
Seat height: 840 mm

Curb mass
SE: 257 kg
S: 255 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 21 litres

Performance
Max. power: 88.2 kW {120 PS} / 9,000 min-
Max. torque: 102.0 N·m {10.4 kgƒ·m} / 7,500 min

Engine
Type: Liquid-cooled 4-stroke In-Line Four
Valve system: DOHC, 16 valves
Bore x Stroke: 77.0 x 56.0 mm
Displacement: 1,043 cm3

Kawasaki Versys 1000
CromRide
CromRide – Instagram
CromEvents

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About the Author: Ron Betist

Ron Betist grew up with motorcycles with a father heading the Amsterdam motorcycle police force. He has been riding (legally) for over 40 years and motorcycles are his true passion. With a life-long career in marketing and sales he has a huge international network. He joined as a contributor at BikeBrewers in 2017 to spread his word about bikes with the rest of the world.

One Comment

  1. KRVSS October 18, 2021 at 7:23 am - Reply

    The roads in catalonia are the best!! =)

    Greetings of a Retro Guy from Osona!

Leave A Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Tags

Before we get started, we at BikeBrewers, feel that we need to share some developments from the past year. As you may have noticed we have been publishing quite a variety of motorcycle and apparel reviews on our website and on our social channels, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube included .

This is in response of the influx of invitations from manufacturers to test-ride and review their new models, helmets and clothing. This has inspired us to include more, what we like to call ‘petrolhead lifestyle’ articles on our website. We believe that it is an excellent opportunity for us to give our followers a broader look on what is going on in the world of motorcycles. We try to take a slightly different approach when we write about our experiences. Staying away from all the deep digging technical stuff we try to express our emotions when we ride something new or different.

Of course we will always stay loyal to our core principle, and that is custom built motorcycles. But in our view the spice of life is variety.

In the article below our team member Ron was invited for some serious riding in Spain. He always claimed never to be seen riding on adventure bikes, but he came back a changed man.

Enjoy his coning out!

Editorial team

Retro guy
Retro styled custom motorcycles are mostly designed for riding in urban areas. Being a huge fan of retro- and vintage styled motorcycles, you would probably expect me to become very excited at the prospect of riding a Kawasaki Z900RS rather than the Versys 1000 S model of the same brand.

That’s a very logical train of thought as I am mostly known for my involvement with the retro and custom scene. However, things changed dramatically after spending a full day of riding on twisty country roads in Cataluña, Spain.

1000+ curves in 9 hours
On invitation by Kawasaki I took part in the ‘Kawasaki Versys Experience’ which is a Kawasaki Europe organised event in collaboration with the CromRide. The CromRide celebrated its fifth anniversary this year and is more or less a ‘local Catalan ride’ organized by Joan Martí Utset and his team at Crom Events. When I say ‘local’ I really mean regional as riders come from all over Cataluña and other parts of Spain to participate.

The ride itself is a 12-hour, 570km and 2000+ curves challenge, leading riders along awesome roads and enthralling views across the mountains of the Pyrenees. In partnership with Crom Events Kawasaki had organized a ‘Versys Experiential Event’. 18 journalists from various European countries were invited to try out the 2021 Kawasaki Versys 1000 S during a full day of riding. In our case it meant a ‘light version’ of 10 hours, 370km and 1000+ curves to be conquered.

Versys 1000
It was my very first encounter with the Versys 1000 S on the day we set out on this 370 km journey. There have been the odd courtships with adventure bikes in my 45-year motorcycling experience, but never as serious a ride as the one I was embarking on that day.

I have an open mind when it comes to riding motorcycles and I get easily excited by anything motorised with two wheels. As long as there is torque and speed involved, you can count me in!

The Kawasaki is an impressive machine from whatever angle you look at it. If you see it approaching in the rear view mirror you will let it pass rather than challenge it to a duel. The bike has some aggressiveness built into its front end, but the overall design is classy, modern and distinguished. It has ‘ready to take you wherever you want to go’ written all over it.

Kawasaki’s Versys 1000 S and SE are clearly designed to offer maximum riding enjoyment across a wide variety of street riding situations. Whether riding solo or two-up, around the corner or around the globe, this fun-to-ride sport-touring bike’s combination of a highly responsive In-Line Four engine, which is clearly tuned for flexibility, and a nimble chassis that is fitted with dynamic suspension, it is sure to have riders smiling broadly in their helmets. Even though I was wearing a full face adventure helmet for the occasion, I am sure my grin was easily detectable from afar.

Rider position
With the prospect of having to ride for 10 hours or more, I was hoping for more comfort than what I was used to on all the retro and vintage machines I regularly ride. I was pleasantly surprised by its relaxed, upright riding position which offered a high level of machine control, and was complemented by a highly comfortable seat and good wind protection, making it easy to spend a long time in the saddle.

Talking about level of control; that was something I was and still am Kawasaki very grateful for. The ‘local boys’ I encountered, who were also participating in the CromRide at points where the two routes intermingled, were nose-diving ‘full throttle’ into each bend we encountered. It goes without saying that my testosteron shouted at me to go for the pursuit, but I was no match for them. The clear disadvantage of insufficient mountain road experience and being new to all those curves, they clearly knew what they were doing. They probably new these roads as well as the back of their hands.

Just the bike and I
Leaving their backs for what they were, I decided to opt for an experience with just me and the Versys 1000 S. Still riding slightly faster than what is legally allowed, the Versys and I developed quite the love affair along the way. We hardly encountered any other vehicles for most of the day, it was easy to focus on establishing a true relationship between me and the Versys. I was impressed with its beauty, its sure-footedness along those curvy country roads, but perhaps mostly, by the ample amount of torque available in all the gears. The admiration must have been mutual, as the Kawasaki was clearly satisfied with my handling and speed at which I thrusted the bike through the Pyrenees mountains.

Most noticeable was the forgiveness of the machine when it came to making stupid braking mistakes at the end of leg one, just before lunch. After a great start in the morning and having a lot of fun, my empty stomach and lack of caffeine clearly put me back into the ‘consciously incompetent’ quadrant of the matrix. There were a couple of hairy moments when I braked at the wrong moment, but the Versys took control and led us safely through those corners.

The Kawasaki Versys 1000 comes standard with 3 different ride-modes: sport, road and rain. In the ‘road’ mode there is more than sufficient power readily available. Switching to ‘Sport’ will make the Versys loose the woollen jacket and show its ‘wolf power’. Quite the difference and it is good to have a choice according to your personal mood.

After lunch dip
Our lunch stop was scheduled at the ‘Hostatgeria Restaurant Santuari de Montgrony’ somewhere high up in the mountains in a location that can only be reached via a dedicated passage way, ending in a ‘cul de sac’. There, our hosts were waiting for us. While sharing the delicious food, it was also time to compare notes with fellow members of the press. It was very clear that all of them were as impressed with the Versys as I was, and we were all looking forward to the second part of the ride. Some of them were afraid of an ‘after lunch dip’, but with the adrenalin rushing through my veins there was nothing of that sort on my part.

I had gone through a steep learning curve in the morning. But with over 45 years of riding experience I am still a quick learner and for the remaining 180 kilometres, I really got into a flow. With time not being a factor, it was just the road, the uninterrupted succession of exciting curves, the Versys 1000 S and myself for the next five hours. What a glorious feeling.

Looking back
I started this post by stating that I am not really an ‘adventure bike’ guy. I retract those words now. I most definitely am! The Kawasaki Versys 1000 has managed to convert me to the conviction that there is tons of excitement and fun in riding this type of motorcycle, especially on roads like we were challenged to ride that day.

In short; The Kawasaki Versys 1000 is definitely a bike I will be adding to the stable. It has everything you are looking for in a bike that you want to take for a ride which is more than the occasional tour in your own country. It will seduce you to take the ‘long way home’ each time you climb on board or perhaps add a few extra days to an international trip.

It is a reliable companion which comes with a complete package of electronic gear to help you enjoy the ride even more.

Final conclusion in one word: YES!

Technical data:

Dimensions
Overall length: 2,270 mm
Overall width: 950 mm
Overall height: 1,530 mm / 1,490 mm (High/Low position)
Wheelbase: 1,520 mm
Road clearance: 150 mm
Seat height: 840 mm

Curb mass
SE: 257 kg
S: 255 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 21 litres

Performance
Max. power: 88.2 kW {120 PS} / 9,000 min-
Max. torque: 102.0 N·m {10.4 kgƒ·m} / 7,500 min

Engine
Type: Liquid-cooled 4-stroke In-Line Four
Valve system: DOHC, 16 valves
Bore x Stroke: 77.0 x 56.0 mm
Displacement: 1,043 cm3

Kawasaki Versys 1000
CromRide
CromRide – Instagram
CromEvents

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

About the Author: Ron Betist

Ron Betist grew up with motorcycles with a father heading the Amsterdam motorcycle police force. He has been riding (legally) for over 40 years and motorcycles are his true passion. With a life-long career in marketing and sales he has a huge international network. He joined as a contributor at BikeBrewers in 2017 to spread his word about bikes with the rest of the world.

One Comment

  1. KRVSS October 18, 2021 at 7:23 am - Reply

    The roads in catalonia are the best!! =)

    Greetings of a Retro Guy from Osona!

Leave A Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Tags