Kawasaki Versys 650 (KLE650, 2007-2014, Gen 1 and Gen 2) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals
This is the maintenance schedule with associated service intervals for the Kawasaki Versys 650 from 2007 to 2014. It was launched in 2007 in Europe, and in 2008 in the US.
The Versys 650 has gone through a few distinct upgrades in its lifelong period, but the engine and fundamental architecture have stayed the same (though a few parts have changed).
- Gen 1 2007-2009 Kawasaki Versys 650: The 2007-2009 Versys 650 was the original! A well-received bike, just thought of as a little buzzy.
- Gen 2 2010-2014 Versys 650: The 2010-2014 update got a new fairing (still a stacked headlight), rubber engine mounts and foot-pegs to reduce vibration. Optional (standard in some markets) ABS and heated grips.
- Gen 3 2015+ Kawasaki Versys 650: 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.
All models of the Kawasaki Versys 650 have been based around the same engine — a 649-cc parallel twin that makes about 50 kW or 70 hp under 10000 rpm. It’s the same engine you’ll find in the Ninja 650, for example. It’s not a ton of power, but it’s a very usable amount for everyday riding.
The Gen 1 and Gen 2 are based around a similar enough platform to warrant having their maintenance schedules together. The Gen 3 had enough changes to its chassis (despite having a basically identical engine) to make it worth keeping the maintenance schedule separate.
This was originally published October 29, 2020, but has since been significantly updated.
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Kawasaki Versys 650 Service Intervals
Generally speaking, the Kawasaki Versys 650 has 7500 mile / 12000 km or annual service intervals. At every service, change the oil and oil filter, and do the standard service checklist, looking over the motorcycle for leaks and worn parts.
Also replace the spark plugs at every service.
Clean the air filter every service, but you only need replace it every 2 years per the manual.
The major valve clearance service interval for the Versys 650 is every 15000 mi or 24000 km. As the Versys 650 has a parallel twin engine, the job is not too laborious (and should not be as expensive as its bigger, more expensive stablemate).
Remember to keep the coolant and brake fluid of the Versys fresh, too.
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. FA229HH, FA231HH (1 each).|
|Rear brake pads||Get double-sintered EBC brake pads for better bite and wear — FA192HH.|
|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. Part number for 07-14 is HF3675.|
|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, e.g. Castrol DOT 4.|
|Coolant||Use nitrate-free, phosphate-free, ethylene glycol-based coolant with anti-corrosion inhibitors, e.g. Pro Honda Coolant.|
|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. It has been simplified a bit for display and to reduce unnecessary complexity.
It’s broken into two sections:
- The Service Schedule, and
- The standard service checklist
- For higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval established here.
- The break-in schedule is omitted (as these bikes are no longer sold new).
Versys 650 Service Schedule
|km x 1000||12||24||36||48|
|mi x 1000||7.5||15||22.5||30||Every|
|Standard service checklist (see below) — Perform||✓||✓||✓||✓||year|
|Engine oil – change # (Kawasaki 10W-40 Engine Oil)||✓||✓||✓||✓||year|
|Oil filter – replace (HF303RC)||✓||✓||✓||✓||year|
|Idle speed — Check / adjust||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Engine vacuum suction — check / clean, adjust synchronisation||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Air cleaner — Clean||✓||✓||✓||✓||More often if riding in rain|
|Air cleaner element – replace # (e) (HF3675)||2 years|
|Spark plug (e) – replace (NGK CR9EIA-9)||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Valve clearances – inspect / adjust||✓||✓|
|Brake fluid (front and rear) – change (Castrol DOT 4)||✓||✓|
|Coolant – change (Valvoline Zerex G05)||✓||3 years|
|Clutch operation (play, engagement, disengagement) – inspect||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Drive chain – inspect for wear||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Drive chain guide – inspect for wear (see below)||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Wheels / tires — inspect for damage||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Tire tread — check wear||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Brake pads — check wear, replace if necessary |
Front: FA229HH, FA231HH, Rear: FA192HH
|Steering stem bearings – lubricate||✓||✓|
|Radiator hoses and O-rings – replace||✓||3 years|
|Brake hoses – replace||✓||4 years|
|Rubber parts of master cylinder and caliper – replace||✓||4 years|
|Fuel hoses – replace||5 years|
|Evap system (if fitted) — Inspect||✓||✓||✓||✓|
Standard service checklist
Below is the standard service checklist.
|Kawasaki Versys 650 Standard Service Checklist|
|Throttle control system – inspect|
|Fuel leak (fuel hose and pipe) – inspect|
|Fuel hoses — Inspect for leaks, condition, and correct installation|
|Coolant level – inspect|
|Coolant system — inspect for leaks and general condition|
|Radiator hoses — Inspect for leaks, general condition, and correct installation|
|Tire air pressure – inspect|
|Wheel bearings damage – inspect|
|Brake fluid level – inspect|
Inspect every 6 months if possible
|Brake fluid – inspect for leaks|
|Brake hoses / pipes – inspect for damage, correct installation|
|Brake operation (effectiveness, play, drag) – inspect|
|Brake light switch operation – inspect|
|Front forks/rear shock absorber – inspect for correct operation, no oil leaks|
|Steering play – inspect (no notches, smooth operation)|
|Lights and switches – inspect operation|
|Headlight aim – inspect|
|Side stand switch operation – inspect|
|Engine stop switch operation – inspect|
|Chassis parts – lubricate (lithium soap-based grease)|
|Bolts and nuts tightness – inspect for correct torque|
Maintaining Your Chain on the Kawasaki Versys 650
It’s important to maintain your chain on the Versys 650, as on any chain-driven motorcycle. Use a good-quality chain lubricant like Motul chain paste, or a Motul chain care kit which comes with a couple of handy tools to maintain the chain.
Kawasaki recommends you follow the following chain maintenance schedule:
|Chain maintenance item||Every|
|Check drive chain lubrication condition, lubricating if necessary (Motul chain paste)||400 mi / 600 km|
|Check drive chain slack, adjusting if necessary||600 mi / 1000 km|
- Do these items (checking/adjusting slack, and checking/applying lubrication) more often if you ride your Versys 650 in dusty or rainy conditions.
- Always lubricate the chain after washing the motorcycle.
Measuring chain slack
To measure chain slack on the Versys 650, measure the maximum deflection of the loosest point of the chain.
With the motorcycle on its side stand, move the middle of the bottom part of the chain up and down, using a ruler to check deflection. Drive chain slack should dbe 25-35 mm (1-1.4 in).
If it’s more than this, then you need to adjust chain tension. The chain may also be worn and need to be replaced.
Adjusting chain tension / slack
To adjust chain slack, you need to move the rear wheel back using adjusters. You’ll need wrenches and a large torque wrench for the rear axle.
- Remove the cotter pin for the rear axle.
- Loosen the rear axle with a large wrench.
- Loosen the adjuster lock nuts with a small wrench.
- If the chain is too loose, turn the left and right adjusters evenly, pushing the wheel out backwards. If you get the chain too tight, turn the adjuster the opposite way. Always turn the left and right by the same amount — check the indicator markings.
Measuring chain wear
To measure chain wear, measure the chain length with tension on the chain.
Hang a 10kg / 22 lb weight from the chain, and measure a 20-link length (from the center of the 1st pin to the center of the 21st pin).
Maximum length should be 319 mm (12.56 in). If it’s beyond this, get a new chain.
Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Kawasaki Versys 650
The Kawasaki Versys 650 has the following tyre sizes and pressures:
|Front||120/70 ZR17 M/C (58W)||225 kPa / 2.25 bar / 32psi|
|Rear||160/60 ZR17 M/C (69W)||250 kPa / 2.5 bar / 36psi|
The original Versys 650 shipped with either Dunlop Sportmax D221G or Pirelli Scorpion Sync tyres. These days, re-fit any sport touring tyres and you’re good to go.
About the Kawasaki Versys 650
The Kawasaki Versys 650 (model number KLE650) is a middleweight adventure touring motorcycle, the smaller sibling to the Kawasaki Versys 1000, but with quite a different engine — a parallel twin rather than four. Both bikes are so named as a portmanteau of the words “versatile” and “system”.
“Wait,” cry the Versys 650 faithful. “The Versys 650 not just a smaller Versys 1000!” And no, of course it isn’t… in many ways, the smaller Versys is a very different bike.
The Versys 650’s engine is based on the Kawasaki Ninja 650’s parallel twin platform — although again, it’s quite a different engine and thus motorcycle to the Ninja 650. 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.
The Versys 650 differs in riding position, rear subframe, suspension components, and engine tuning to the Ninja. But it’s 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 (even in the Ninja).
The torquey twin delivers 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. This is partly why in the US, later models are available in an LT version — LT standing for “Light Touring”.
The long-travel suspension is an important part of 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. An adjustable, long-travel 41mm tapered-tube inverted fork soaks up bumps big and small, and like the rear end, firms up as you ride the Versys 650 more quickly.
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 Kawasaki Versys 650 is commonly pitted against the V-Strom 650 (this is the earlier gen one). While the V-Strom, or “Wee Strom”, is a cult classic among people who travel long distances, many consider the Versys to be the better bike for road work, and the Versys better for going off-road sometimes.
Both bikes play in similar territory though and you’re unlikely to be unhappy with either.
Manual for the Kawasaki Versys 650 1st gen / 2nd gen (2007-2014)
The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the Kawasaki Versys 650. You can access the manual from Kawasaki’s website here.
It’s the same across 2007-2014 models with the same items and schedules, though with different layout in each manual across the years.