Kawasaki is unveiling the latest versions of its popular Versys lineup.  This year, the bike returns with several upgrades for both its Versys 650 and Versys 650 LT models.

New for 2022 are:

  • Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC)
  • TFT Color Instrumentation with Smartphone Connectivity
  • Redesigned sharper front cowl styling
  • LED headlight
  • 4-Way adjustable windshield
  • Slimmer, upright riding position
  • 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels
  • Standard ABS

None of these upgrades are earth-shattering new technology, but it’s nice to see them added to Team Green’s middleweight machine.


Electronic rider aids have been around for several years.  But 2022 will be the first time the Versys receives Kawasaki’s advanced traction control system (KTRC).  Kawasaki says that its traction control system offers enhanced sport riding performance and greater rider confidence.  The system evaluates a variety of factors for an accurate, real-time picture of conditions.  It then acts before tire slippage exceeds the range for optimal traction and rider confidence.  In addition, KTRC provides two modes that allow riders to adjust the system’s settings to suit riding conditions and rider preference.

Versys 650

Mode 1 is the least intrusive and helps manage cornering traction and acceleration out of corners. Mode 2 provides earlier intervention and reduces engine output when excessive wheel spin is detected, ensuring maximum tire grip.  Riders also have the option to turn the traction control system off using the switch located on the handlebar.


The new Versys sports a new 4.3” full-color all-digital TFT (thin-film transistor) instrument panel.  It gives the rider a high level of visibility in both day and nighttime conditions. In addition, the full-color display which offers two selectable background colors (black or white), while the screen brightness automatically adjusts to suit available light.

The panel provides a wide variety of information, including 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.

taller windscreen

The TFT panel’s display parameters and traction control modes can be controlled with switches located on the left side of the handlebar.

In addition, the panel is Bluetooth® capable and can connect to a compatible smartphone device and Kawasaki’s RIDEOLOGY THE APP.


New for 2022, the Versys 650 and 650 LT take after its larger Versys 1000 sibling and now features a sharp, flowing styling from the front of the motorcycle to the rear.  Kawasaki claims the new upper cowling design and surrounding bodywork give the Versys 650 the latest eye-catching Versys family look.  And the newly sharper tail cowl reinforces the bike’s compact, sporty image.

Completing the Versys family look is a redesigned under-cowl and the use of color and graphics on the gas tank and side covers.  Each adds to the Versys family look and creates a new visual flow.

New styling

The 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT.

A new LED headlight adds a modern and aggressive look to the front of the updated machine.  At the rear, an LED taillight gives the Versys a more modern, sporty visual identity.


More important than styling is the bike’s new windshield.  It offers increased wind protection and added rider comfort, making the Versys 650 a better touring partner.  In addition, the new windshield features four positions and three inches of total adjustability.  It now is adjustable from a “sporty lower height” to a “taller wind protection height” to suit a rider’s preference.  And the four positions can be adjusted without tools by using a release button below the TFT screen.


The same fuel-injected 649cc parallel-twin engine powers both the Versys 650 and Versys 650 LT. Kawasaki says 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.

In addition, the exhaust is tuned to enhance high-end RPM power, with matching ECU settings to optimize fuel economy. When combined with the bike’s 5.5-gallon fuel tank, Team Green says, “the fun-to-ride 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 can enjoy extended periods between fill-ups.”

Versys 650

The 2022 Kawasaki Versys 650.

The Versys’ engine connects to a six-speed cassette transmission to get the engine’s power to the ground.


Suspension duties are handled by Showa components.  Up front, you’ll find an adjustable Showa fork.  Like some other motorcycles, it splits the damping and spring functions into separate fork tubes, giving the rider suspension adjustability and the lower weight of a single spring.  In addition, longer outer fork tubes aim to improve rigidity and provide a combination of light handling and comfort.  At the rear, a Showa shock allows riders to quickly make preload adjustments via a remote-mounted adjuster.  It can compensate for cargo or passenger weight or be tuned to the rider’s preference.


For 2022, the Versys 650 lineup comes standard with ABS.  Stopping power at the front comes from dual 300 mm petal-style rotors with two-piston calipers.  At the rear, a 220 mm petal rotor with a single-piston caliper provides the stopping power.

Versys 650

The view from the Versys 650 cockpit.

The Versys 650 comes with six-spoke cast-aluminum wheels.  Kawasaki claims that they are similar to the ones found on the Ninja ZX-6R and ZX-10R motorcycles and utilize less material in between the spokes to reduce rim thickness and overall wheel weight.  Lower weight means better suspension performance, handling, acceleration, deceleration, and initial turn-in performance.  Both hoops are shod with Dunlop Sportmax D222 tires.


If you’d like your bike to be a more turnkey ready tourer, the Versys 650 LT may be your choice.  In addition to all of the Versys 650’s features, the Versys 650 LT comes complete with hand guards for weather and wind protection and a 28-liter KQR™ hard saddlebag set with quick release capabilities.  You can install or remove the bags without tools and they offer enough space to accommodate a full-face helmet.  The hard saddlebag set also utilizes Kawasaki’s One Key System, so you can use the ignition key to lock and unlock them.


The 2022 Versys 650 is available in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black for an MSRP of $8,899.  Or you can choose 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 and carries an MSRP of $9,999.

Interestingly, the Versys 650 comes with a 12-month limited warranty.  However, the Versys 650 LT features a 24-month limited warranty.





All photo credit: Kawasaki

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