Motorcycle training is hard on motorcycles… in fact my students will recall my commenting that if you sin in this life, you will be reborn in the next as a CBT bike, or nearly as bad: an instructor bike!
I bought this Kawasaki Versys KLE650 in February 2013, on my way to get a Honda Crossrunner, which was on sale in the same showroom. The Honda looked great, but sat next to it was this little guy, with luggage and heated grips…and 1K cheaper… I bought it on the spot and didn’t even test ride it.
I had never owned a Kawasaki before, despite a brief affair with an old ZZR600, which I quickly sold to a student in fear of my license… this bike was therefore a bit of a punt, based on a vague recollection of hearing good things about it. I bought it in the middle of Winter, so having smothered it in ACF 50, I first took it out in some horrible conditions, for a ride to Aylesbury from Banbury – temperatures at 2 degrees. And I loved it.
This little bike has proven itself to be the swiss army knife of motorcycles and quite simply the best instructor bike I have ever owned. As long as they keep making them, I will always have one!
I have ridden this bike ever since, full time, all year round, professionally.. and it has done nothing wrong, not even missed a beat.
It has had 3 major services, 2 tire changes, a chain and sprocket and it just works it’s heart out all day long 5 days a week. It does CBTs at 30 mph, DAS, motorways, long haul, London riding, fast, slow, 2 up… it does it all and in comfort too.
Economical, punchy and a hoot to ride, this bike is worth a look at as your first machine. The ER6 powered range is a great place to start and the Versys is just outstanding. In fact this bike is still working full time as an instructor bike as part of our Kawasaki fleet and I have upgraded to the 1000cc Versys, which will be reviewed soon!