The Kawasaki Versys is a mid-level motorcycle that has been in production by Japanese giant Kawasaki since 2007.
The Versys 650 was the original one started in that year and was followed up with two other models, the 250/300 and 1000 in subsequent years.
It’s a versatile street bike that’s often employed as a tourer.
This article answers the question: “How many miles will a Kawasaki Versys 650 last?”…
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Here’s The Short Answer To How Long A Kawasaki Versys 650 Lasts
If you stick to the proper maintenance schedule and do nothing else, of Kawasaki Versys 650, you should get at least 30,000 miles of trouble-free riding, which for most people is between 5-10 years. If you invest a bit more in parts replacement over the years, you can expect to reach 100,000 miles.
How Many Miles Do You Get On A Kawasaki Versys 650?
Riders of the Kawasaki Versys 650 have very often reported zero issues with the bike up to 30,000 miles or even more.
The only thing they’ve had to do to ensure this, it seems, is stick to the proposed maintenance schedule from the manufacturer.
The Kawasaki Versys 650 is a very well-constructed motorcycle, however, and so with continued maintenance and replacement of parts as needed according to a longer-term recommended schedule, you can keep the bike going up to 100,000 miles or even more.
Kawasaki bikes are known for their ability to achieve great longevity, and the Versys 650, in particular, is praised for its reliability, even going back to the early model years in 2007-2009.
What Is Considered High Mileage For These Models?
For a Versys 650, “high mileage” for someone seeking a pre-owned bike would be anything of 30,000 miles or higher.
Once the bike has crossed the 30,000-mile mark, the chances of random problems are increased based on how well the owner looks after the bike.
For everything under 30,000 miles, so long as the owner is following the basic maintenance schedule from Kawasaki, there won’t be any major problems.
After that, however, greater care would be needed.
How Many Years Does A Kawasaki Versys 650 Typically Last?
For the average motorcycle rider in the US covering about 3,000 miles per year, they can expect 10 great years of riding in their Kawasaki Versys 650 without any major issues, provided they stick to the recommended maintenance schedule from the manufacturer.
Even if riding far above the average at 6,000 miles per year, one can expect 5 solid years of trouble-free riding, followed by another 10 or even 15 years of further riding but with a little greater vigilance needed on maintenance.
Is The Kawasaki Versys 650 Reliable?
By all accounts, the Kawasaki Versys 650 is an extremely well-constructed and reliable motorcycle.
This includes every model year going back to the first-generation models back in 2007.
Over the years, the bike was upgraded with new Showa forks, a new rear shock from KYB, as well as high-quality Dunlop tires that all served to make the bike even more comfortable to ride and reliable over distance.
Heavier wheels being added over the years made the acceleration feel a little less keen, but the reduction in vibration from the engine was seen by the vast majority of owners as a more-than-fair trade-off.
Vibrations from the engine had previously been an issue, but more of an annoyance than a problem of reliability in the Versys 650.
None of this is to say that the Versys 650 was completely free of trouble, however.
There have been some known issues that occur, but mercifully not on every bike and at a fairly low-frequency rate.
One known issue is the problem of coolant leaks coming from the water pump.
This is something that wasn’t improved from early to later generations.
It requires the coolant to be drained, the pump housing and impeller removed and new ones fitted.
Another small-scale issue was found in a small number of models where power delivery problems meant not enough RPMs were being delivered, especially when shifting between high-end gears.
The root of the issue was typically found to be in the spark plugs, stick coils, or some issue with battery voltage output when riding at higher RPMs.
Does A Kawasaki Versys 650 Last Longer Than Other Motorcycles?
By and large, yes, the Kawasaki Versys 650 will last better and longer than many other models.
The only models that are likely to last longer come from fellow Japanese brands Suzuki, Honda, and Yamaha.
These three brands, along with Kawasaki, typically dominate the high rankings for reliability.
When you compare the Versys 650 with similar 650cc or approximate bikes from Europe or North America, however, the chances of helping the bike live into the high tens of thousands of miles or even more than 100,000 miles is much greater, and with less maintenance overall.
Most mechanical issues related to the Versys 650 are limited and isolated to a very small number of bikes and are not typical of the entire range, nor have they resulted in major recalls.
What Typically Breaks First On A Kawasaki Versys 650?
On the Versys 650, nothing is likely to break prematurely, but the first thing that might experience unexpected problems is the transmission.
Some riders have reported that at some point between 1,500 and 9,000 miles, the transmission loses smoothness and becomes clunkier.
This is caused by expansion of the heated metal parts within the engine and transmission, but typically only happens when the bike is pushed much too hard by aggressive riders.
9 Great Tips To Make Sure Your Kawasaki Versys Will Last Long
1. Keep Your Kawasaki Versys Clean
The Versys 650 will respond very well to a prompt cleaning, especially of the carburetor, which can get gummed up over time.
The good news is that you won’t need to clean the carburetor as often as with other models like Triumph.
Keeping the bike clean can also remove dust and contaminants from the road that can create problems, even corrosion, on other sensitive parts of the bike.
2. Keep Your Kawasaki Versys’ Tire-Pressure Full
Keeping your tires pumped to the right pressure will help to minimize the risk of blowouts and also help you maintain proper traction on the road.
The Versys 650 is often used for touring, but also for sportier, more athletic riding, and therefore proper tire inflation is essential.
Never over-inflate the tires because it will reduce traction on the road, and that can be as dangerous as having under-inflated tires.
Maintain psi at the manufacturer-recommended levels.
3. Keep Your Kawasaki Versys’ Brake Pads Fresh
Maintaining your brake pads will ensure that the brake rotors/calipers do not undergo as much unnecessary wear and tear.
You should never allow the brake pads on your Versys 650 to wear down too close to nothing.
On average, a set of brake pads on your Versys 650 should last about 20,000 miles, but if you ride harder and more aggressively, you likely brake more aggressively too which can wear them out sooner.
4. Keep Your Versys’ Chain Tight
Next is the motorcycle chain, which on a typical motorcycle will last 15,000-20,000 miles, but on a low-quality bike perhaps only 10,000.
A Kawasaki Versys 650 is an example of a high-quality bike, so the chain you can expect to last for 30,000 miles.
However, this long life doesn’t just come from pure quality.
It also requires the owner to service the belt every year or 5,000-6,000 miles with lubricant, and the right adjustments to keep it tight. It will be easier to look after than on many other brands.
5. Keep Your Versys’ Clutch Adjusted
Ensure the clutch cable is properly adjusted to prevent any issues from happening with tough shifting between higher gear ratios, especially 5th and 6th gear.
This has been known to happen in the Versys 650, but not often.
It will happen even less if you properly look after the clutch cable and connected transmission components.
Check on them once a year to make sure they’re in good order and that should be enough.
6. Keep Your Versys’ Oil Fresh And Full
To keep the engine ticking over nicely, make sure you get an oil change around once a year.
Ask your mechanic for recommended oils that might not only lubricate the engine well but actively protect the key metal components.
Invest in good oil, and make regular changes and the quality Kawasaki engine will then look after itself.
7. Keep Your Versys’ Wheels Aligned
Wheel alignment is important to do, but the Kawasaki should only need a realignment once every two years.
You should have it checked every year, but the need for realignment won’t be as frequent as some European brands.
8. Keep Your Versys’ Battery Charged
Next, keep the battery charged by riding out on your Kawasaki Versys 650 at least once a week for 40 minutes or an hour.
Doing so will help top up the battery and keep it at an optimum level of charge.
Doing so will ensure better battery health and keep it running normally.
Bikes left idle for long periods will experience a depleted battery, which then requires greater charging needs, which is detrimental if done too frequently.
9. Keep Riding Your Kawasaki Versys
Besides maintaining the battery-health, riding your motorcycle regularly will keep the components moving and free from gummy buildup and dust.
Leaving a bike idle for long periods can do damage in the same way that riding it too aggressively can also harm it.
The bike is made to be ridden, so take it out regularly and “stretch its legs.”
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