For travel, the scenery along the way is far more important than the way of travel. But travel takes on a deeper meaning when you can experience it in a unique way. Nowadays, in the craze of motorcycle travel, more and more people choose to use motorcycles to carry the meaning of travel. And manufacturers are constantly launching more and more touring motorcycles to meet everyone’s travel needs while striving to bring a more personalized travel experience through means of transportation. Just like today's two protagonists, the Kawasaki Versys 1000 and the Kawasaki H2 SX, both bikes are mainly touring, but they feel very different.
The meaning of traveling
The Versys series has always been one of Kawasaki's important product lines, and the Versys 1000 is the top model in this series. In terms of appearance, the new model adopts Kawasaki family design elements for the first time. The shape of the front of the motorcycle is similar to the Ninja series. In addition to being good-looking, the newly designed fairing at the front of the bike and the adjustable windshield not only add domineering appearance, but also have great practicality.
The H2 SX is also one of Kawasaki's top-of-the-line touring motorcycles, but compared to the Versys 1000, it's much purer. The appearance of the whole bike is almost entirely derived from the H2, except that the fairing on the side is larger. The single headlight, the domineering front shape and the all-black color scheme make people not feel that it is an original touring motorcycle, more like a modified derivative.
The appearance characteristics of the two touring motorcycles are different. The tallness of the Versys 1000 and the swiftness of the H2 SX convey different interpretations of the meaning of travel. Whether it is an all-round type that conquers multiple road conditions or a riding type that experiences excitement and sports, everyone has his/her own answer.
As top touring bikes, both bikes spare no effort in configuration to create a more comfortable and intelligent riding environment. After the Versys 1000 upgrade, the configuration is more abundant. The Bosch IMU six-axis dynamic sensor, supplemented by Kawasaki's Cornering Management System (KCMF), can monitor the real-time information of the engine and frame when cornering, helping the rider to handle various corners more smoothly. The intelligent anti-lock braking system (KIBS), which can sense tilt, adds cornering control on the basis of traditional ABS, allowing riders to brake more calmly in the corner. The traction control system (KTRC) is not only adjustable in three levels, but can also be turned off according to your needs, giving you more riding space.
In addition to the safety assist system, the Versys 1000 is also equipped with an electronic throttle that provides a choice of two power modes. The F mode is a full-horsepower output mode, while the L mode limits the horsepower output and the throttle response is more sluggish. Riders can switch the riding mode according to their needs during the riding process to meet the power output under different riding conditions, and maximize your riding pleasure on the premise of ensuring safety.
If the above functions provide more safety and riding fun for this top-level utility motorcycle, then some auxiliary configurations reflect the character of this bike, such as the cruise control function that makes it more comfortable, and the inclination angle record function that helps record your maximum lean angle, giving this bike some sporty personality. It is believed that only Kawasaki can do such a function on a touring motorcycle.
As a touring motorcycle, equipment for touring is also essential. In addition to the adjustable windshield, the left side of the meter is also equipped with a power interface for charging electronic devices; at the same time, the original Versys 1000 is also equipped with a rear shelf to provide more convenience for your travel.
Compared with the comprehensive configuration of Versys 1000, H2 SX pays more attention to riding pleasure. Like the Versys 1000, the H2 SX is equipped with a Bosch IMU six-axis dynamic sensor, an intelligent anti-lock braking system (KIBS) and a three-stage adjustable traction control system (KTRC) that supports shutdown, as well as an engine brake control (EBC), which can adjust the intensity of engine braking, allowing you to enjoy a smoother riding experience. The supercharger is also one of the biggest highlights of the H2 SX. The supercharger that incorporates Kawasaki aerospace technology provides this motorcycle with more powerful power. In order to allow the rider to better control this powerful power, Kawasaki has designed three power mode options for this motorcycle. The F mode is the full-horsepower output, and the throttle response is the most sensitive, as well as the turbo is the earliest to intervene. The M mode is relatively moderate, and the throttle response is relatively sensitive, as well as the turbo intervention is relatively slow. The L mode power is limited to 73kW, and the throttle response is the slowest, as well as the turbo is the latest to intervene. Three different power modes also add more playability to this touring motorcycle.
The thrill of combining motion and stillness
Both motorcycles use a parallel four-cylinder power unit, but the power experience is very different. Versys 1000 uses the same power platform as Kawasaki Z1000, with an actual displacement of 1043mL, but it is more inclined to travel settings in adjustment, with a maximum power of 83.8kW (8900r/min) and a maximum torque of 99.9N m (6500r/min) . From the parameter table, the power output speed is obviously advanced, and this can be clearly felt in actual riding. Although the output below 6000r/min still has the delay characteristics of the four-cylinder engine, the speed increase is faster, and the power output is also very linear. With the slipper clutch and 6-speed gearbox, the Versys 1000 doesn't ride as aggressively as it looks.
If you keep the revs high, it still impresses with its aggressive side. The rapid dumping of the left and right does not feel the influence of the 250kg vehicle weight at all. The Showa's long-stroke shock absorbers can still give you strong support, even when you're leaning heavily into the corners. It can be seen that the Versys 1000 is better than a traditional station wagon in terms of sportiness, and both the frame and the output of the engine can give you a lot of confidence.
Since it is a multi-purpose motorcycle, in addition to satisfying daily road trips, this bike can also allow you to "run wild" to a certain extent. Although its frame and shape are very similar to the ADV model, and the adjustable front and rear long-stroke shock absorbers also provide you with a good buffer, the 250kg weight and the design of the tires and wheels do not allow you to experience a fearless adventure like riding an ADV model. Its ability to withstand non-paved roads is also limited to the bad roads that appear on the motorcycle tourings, but this does not prevent the Versys 1000 from providing you with more possibilities.
For a four-cylinder touring motorcycle, occasional stimulation is important, but long-term comfort and smoothness will not disturb your appreciation of beauty. The starting speed of the Versys 1000 can be as low as 2000r/min, while the 6th gear can reach an ideal cruising speed of 4000r/min. At this time, neither the vibration nor the sound of the engine will cause you much disturbance. If you are riding on the highway, you can even turn on the cruise control and enjoy the roadside scenery and beautiful weather, and the comfortable sitting position and the good experience brought by the windshield will make you glad that you are riding this Versys 1000.
The H2 SX is far more aggressive. Although the frame has been adjusted compared to the H2, the wheelbase has been increased by 25mm, and the increase in riding space has made this bike more suitable for travel, but it still retains a strong sporty atmosphere. The supercharged blessing makes the power of the H2 SX extremely violent in the touring motorcycles, and the strong sound also makes you want to increase the throttle, and even the fighting posture will make you think that this is a sports street bike, a touring motorcycle only compared to H2.
The H2 SX is unmistakably grumpy, but it can also be quiet. When it is at 2000r/min, it can still take you to where you want to go smoothly, and the orientation of movement and stillness is completely controlled by your right hand. It's also an interesting contrast to travel in such a grumpy bike and enjoy the tranquil scenery. It's just that the 19L fuel tank can only provide a travel distance of nearly 300km, which is a bit useless for a touring motorcycle.
The parallel four-cylinder engine is equipped with a supercharger and can provide a maximum power of 147kW (11000r/min) and a maximum torque of 137N m (9500r/min). Such parameters are more than enough for a touring motorcycle. While riding, the explosive acceleration experience will make you excited, and the sound of the pressure relief valve after the oil is collected is the most attractive sign of this bike. With this bike, anywhere can be your track. No matter how intense the riding, the fully adjustable KYB shock coupled with the Trellis frame can make you handle it with ease. But for touring, apart from cruise control, there is no further support.
In fact, both motorcycles have their own characteristics for travel. Versys 1000 can let you enjoy the comfort of travel and bring you a personalized riding experience, while H2 SX gives you more of a pleasant riding texture during travel, which can make you get passion and excitement on the road all the time. For the meaning of travel in the end, only you know.