This is the maintenance schedule with associated service intervals for the Kawasaki Versys 650 Gen 3 from 2015 to present.
The Versys 650 has gone through a few distinct upgrades in its lifelong period, but the engine and fundamental architecture have stayed fundamentally the same (though a few parts have changed).
- Gen 1 2007-2009: The original! A well-received bike, just thought of as a little buzzy.
- Gen 2 2010-2014: Updated fairing (still a stacked headlight), rubber engine mounts and foot-pegs to reduce vibration. Optional (standard in some markets) ABS and heated grips.
Parts and maintenance for the Gen 1 and Gen 2 are quite similar. You can find the Gen 1/Gen 2 Versys 650 maintenance schedule here.
- Gen 3 2015+: Re-tuned engine for 3 more kW (5 more hp), new look (twin headlights) with adjustable windscreen, updated front Showa suspension and rear KYB shock with remote pre-load adjuster, standard ABS, updated front Nissin brakes and 30mm larger rear disc
The 2015 model also comes as an LT (“Light Touring”) model in the US, with hand guards and huge side luggage that can store a helmet in each case.
All versions of the Kawasaki Versys 650 have had at their core a fuel-injected 649cc parallel twin that comes from its stablemate the Ninja 650 that makes a modest ~50 kW (~70hp) not too high up in the rev range. It’s an amount of power that’ll get you hustling easily at freeway speeds (well into the double digits with ample power for passing — though you might have to downshift if you’re carrying a passenger.
In some markets, the Kawasaki Versys 650 is only available as a low-power learner-compliant version. Maintenance for these versions is 100% the same.
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What you need to service the Kawasaki Versys 650
If you’re servicing the Kawasaki Versys 650, you need the following consumables and parts.
Versys 650 owners are pretty dedicated home maintenance types, but if you’re short on basic tools, check out this list of maintenance tools to see what else you might need.
|Part||Kawasaki Versys 650 Spec|
|Oil||You need 1.6-1.8L of SAE 10W-40 engine oil “with API SG, SH, SJ, SL or SM with JASO MA, MA1 or MA2 rating”, preferably Kawasaki 10W-40 Engine Oil.|
Don’t over-torque the drain bolt (spec is 30 Nm/22 lb-ft per the manual) — use a torque wrench if you don’t have experience with how much torque is enough.
|Oil filter||Oil filter is part 16097-0008, or you can use Hiflofiltro HF303RC. Torque for oil filter is 17.5 Nm (12.9 ft-lb) (use a torque wrench, and it’s easier on the K&N one)|
|Front brake pads||Get double-sintered EBC brake pads for better bite and wear. You need FA142HH (get 2 pairs).|
|Rear brake pads||Get double-sintered EBC brake pads for better bite and wear. You need a different part for year 2015 only.|
Year 2015 (only): FA140HH
Years 2016+: FA174HH
|Spark plugs||NGK CR9EIA-9, with a spark plug gap of 0.8-0.9mm (use a spark plug gapping tool), torqued to 15 Nm or 11 ft-lb (use a torque wrench)|
|Air filter||Use the K&N drop-in equivalent. The part number is KA-6415.|
|Cable lubricant||Remember to lubricate your clutch cable (and brake cables if you have them) with a cable lubricant. Protect All Cable Life is a good general-purpose lubricant.|
|Chain lubricant||The chain needs to be lubricated every 600 km/400 miles (or more, if it gets wet/dirty). Motul chain paste is cheap and well-loved.|
|Brake fluid||Spec is to use DOT-4 brake fluid.|
|Coolant||Use nitrate-free, phosphate-free, ethylene glycol-based coolant with anti-corrosion inhibitors, e.g. Valvoline Zerex G05|
|Grease||Use a lithium soap-based grease for all the important greasing points.|
Maintenance Schedule for Kawasaki Versys 650
Below is the maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Versys 650 from 2015 onward. It has been simplified a bit for display and to reduce unnecessary complexity. While the basic motorcycle stayed the same from 2015 onward, the maintenance schedule from 2018 onward became a lot easier to follow. This table below follows that format.
It has the same fundamental content as the earlier model Versys 650, with just some intervals changed.
The following is the list of maintenance operations and to be done on this motorcycle with a time or distance interval — whichever comes earlier.
Legend for reading maintenance schedule
- For higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval established here.
- (*C) Service these items (oil, air filter, chain etc.) more frequently when operating in severe conditions: dusty, wet, muddy, high speed, or frequent starting/stopping.
|km x 1000||1||12||24||36||48|
|mi x 1000||0.6||7.6||15.2||22.8||30.4|
|Air cleaner element (*C) (Part KA-6415)|
(Note: earlier schedules recommended every 18K km)
|Throttle control system (smooth return)||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Engine vacuum synchronization||I||I||I||I|
|Fuel system||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
(Note: Not mentioned in some earlier schedules)
|Fuel hoses||5 years, R|
|Evaporative emission control system (CA only)||I||I|
|Cooling system||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Coolant, water hoses, and O-rings (Coolant: Honda Coolant, it’s high-quality)||R||3 years, R|
|Air suction system||I||I||I||I|
|Clutch operation (play, engagement, disengagement)||I||I||I||I||I|
|Engine oil (*C) and oil filter (Kawasaki 10W-40, HF303RC)||R||R||R||R||R||Year, R|
|Tire air pressure||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Wheels and tires||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Wheel bearing damage||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Drive chain lubrication condition (*C) (Motul chain paste)||Every 600 km (400 mi), I|
|Drive chain slack (*C)||Every 1000 km (600 mi), I|
|Drive chain wear (*C)||I||I||I||I|
|Drive chain guide wear||I||I||I||I|
|Brake system||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Brake operation (effectiveness, play, no drag)||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Brake fluid level||I||I||I||I||I||1/2 year, I|
|Brake fluid (front and rear) (Castrol DOT 4)||R||R||R,2|
|Rubber parts of brake master cylinder and caliper||R||R,4|
|Brake pad wear (*C)||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Brake light switch operation||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Suspension system||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Steering play||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Steering stem bearings||L||L||2 years, L|
|Electrical system||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Spark plug (CR9EIA-9)||R||R||R||R|
|Chassis parts||L||L||L||L||Year, L|
|Condition of bolts, nuts, and fasteners||I||I||I||I||I||–|
Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Kawasaki Versys 650
The Kawasaki Versys 650 has the following tyres, tyre sizes, and pressures.
|Front||120/70 ZR17 M/C (58W)||225 kPa/32psi|
|Rear||160/60 ZR17 M/C (69W)||250 kPa/36psi|
The tyres that shipped with the Versys 650 from 2015+ are Dunlop D222, but other sport-touring tyres would work fine.
General information about the Kawasaki Versys 650
The third gen Versys 650, the most major update in the history of the Versys 650, still didn’t change what the Versys is at its core — a highly adaptable bike with a chassis and engine that can do almost anything.
The Kawasaki Versys 650 (code-named KLE650) is a middleweight adventure touring motorcycle, the smaller sibling to the Kawasaki Versys 1000, but with quite a different engine. Both bikes are so named as a portmanteau of the words “versatile” and “system”, i.e., this is a do-anything bike.
“Wait,” cry the Versys 650 faithful. “We’re not just a smaller Versys 1000!” And no, of course it isn’t… the Versys 650 is based on the Kawasaki Ninja 650’s parallel twin platform and is just quite a different bike. Some people might choose between the two — but they’d be just as likely to choose between a Versys 650 and a V-Strom 650, or a Versys 650 and a Honda VFR800X.
As mentioned above, the Versys 650 is based on the same platform as Kawasaki’s other 650cc twin motorcycles (like the Ninja 650) and differs mainly in riding position, rear subframe, suspension components, and engine tuning.
But the Versys 650 is not just a Ninja in different clothing. Owners and reviewers of the Versys says that it feels like an entirely different motorcycle, and one who doesn’t like the Ninja might end up falling in love with the Versys.
The Versys’ 650 cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke, parallel-twin engine has been retuned for more bottom-end and mid-range torque compared to the Ninja, but it was always a midrange-focused engine.
Besides, the Kawasaki Versys 650’s compact, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 649cc, parallel-twin engine was the perfect powerplant for this light and nimble do-anything bike right from the start. It has enough power for good top end speed (north of 150 km/h or 100 mph… but why you’re be riding at that speed in this bike is another question), and enough low-end torque to navigate tricky surfaces at low speed.
The torquey twin has a broad powerband, starting low and letting it rev up high, making the Versys a great commuter and relaxed traveling companion. With its big, 5-gallon fuel tank, you can go a long way between fill-ups.
The long-travel suspension is critical to the Versys’ multi-role mission. A Showa rear shock with two-stage damping firms up progressively as the wheel moves through its stroke, providing an initially plush ride that firms to near sportbike levels as suspension loads escalate.
Up front, an adjustable (pre-load and damping), long-travel 41mm tapered-tube inverted fork soaks up bumps big and small, and like the rear end, firms up nicely as the pace increases.
With petal-style disc brakes and dual two-piston calipers in front and a single petal disc with a single-piston caliper in the back, the Versys 650 has plenty of stopping power.
The Versys 650 isn’t a dual sport, but its relatively light weight and modest power mean that it’s capable on gravel roads and fire trails. While you wouldn’t take the stock tyres onto the beach or rock-hopping, the Versys 650 isn’t going to get you “stuck” anywhere you could reasonably want to take it.
Manual for the Kawasaki Versys 650 (2015+)
The above maintenance table comes from the 2021 Kawasaki Versys 650.
It has the same basic items as the 2015 version, but the schedule goes up to 48,000 km. Some items need more service or less service, despite being the same parts.
- The 2015 Versys 650 required the air cleaner to be changed every 18,000 km (11.4K miles). The 2021 Versys 650 recommends changing the filter more often, at 12,000 km (7.6K miles)
- The 2021 Versys 650’s schedule recommends changing the fuel filter every 24,000 km. The 2015’s schedule doesn’t mention it.
In summary, changing the air filter more or less often isn’t going to hurt, but changing the fuel filter is a good addition to the schedule.
The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the 2021 Kawasaki Versys 650, which is available here.