Suzuki V-Strom 650XT vs Kawasaki Versys 650: Specifications comparison

Suzuki V-Strom 650XT vs Kawasaki Versys 650: Specifications comparison

6th Oct 2018 9:00 am

Is the new middleweight Suzuki adventure-tourer worth Rs 77,000 more than the Kawasaki?

There is, finally, a rivalry in the middleweight adventure-tourer segment, thanks to the new Suzuki V-Strom 650XT. Before its debut, the only motorcycle in the segment was Kawasaki’s Versys 650 and the now discontinued Benelli TNT 600GT. The V-Strom 650XT, with its spoked wheels and traction control, system brings something new to the table. But how does it compare to the Kawasaki Versys in terms of specifications? Let’s find out.

Engine and performance

Powering the Suzuki is a 645cc, V-twin engine that makes 71hp and 62Nm of torque and is paired to a 6-speed gearbox. With a kerb weight of 216kg, the 650XT has a power-to-weight ratio of 328.7hp/tonne.

The Kawasaki Versys 650, on the other hand, is powered by a 649cc, parallel-twin motor that produces 69hp and 64Nm of torque, and is mated to a 6-speed transmission. Interestingly, the Kawasaki has an identical kerb weight of 216kg. But, the power-to-weight ratio of the Kawi is slightly lower at 319.4kg/tonne.

Both motorcycles use four valves per cylinder and liquid-cooling.

V-Strom 650XTVersys 650
Engine layoutV-twinParallel-twin
Power-to-weight ratio328.7hp/tonne319.4kg/tonne

Chassis and suspension

The V-Strom 650XT rides on anodised wire-spoke rims shod with Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A40 tubeless tyres. The wheels on the 650XT are 19 inches up front and 17 inches at the rear. Its twin-spar alloy frame is suspended on a conventional non-adjustable telescopic fork at the front and a monoshock with rebound adjustment and remote preload adjuster at the rear.

The Versys 650 features a slightly more premium, fully-adjustable USD fork and a monoshock with rebound and preload adjustability. The Versys uses a diamond frame and rides on alloy wheels with Dunlop Sportmax tubeless tyres. The wheels on the Kawasaki are 17 inches, front and rear.

At 21 litres, the fuel-tank capacity of the Kawasaki is slightly higher than that of Suzuki V-Strom 650XT (20 litres). ABS is standard on both motorcycles. The seat height on the V-Strom, at 835mm, is slightly more approachable than the 840mm seat height on the Versys 650.

Suspension & tyres
V-Strom 650XTVersys 650
Front suspensionTelescopic forkUSD fork
Rear suspensionMonoshockMonoshock
Front tyre110/80 R19120/70 R17
Rear tyre150/70R17160/60 R17

Features and equipment

Both bikes feature a digi-analogue instrument cluster. These dashes display all of the basic information you expect from a bike in this segment. That said, both look very dated when compared to the new full-colour screens we’re starting to see on everything, from the significantly cheaper KTM 390 Duke to the more-expensive Triumphs.

When it comes to tech, it is the Suzuki that scores higher. It features a three-stage traction control system (two levels and a disengage option) while, the Versys misses out on traction control altogether. Unfortunately, neither bike allows you to disable the rear ABS when riding off-road.

V-Strom 650XTVersys 650
Kerb weight216kg216kg
Fuel capacity20 litres21 litres

Summing it up

The Kawasaki Versys 650 retails for Rs 6.69 lakh (ex-showroom, India), which is significantly cheaper than the pricing of the V-Strom 650XT (Rs 7.46 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi). The Versys 650 sold in India is a more road-oriented model and features fully-adjustable suspension. However, it doesn’t come with the V-Strom's expensive wheels or electronic aids like traction control. The Versys has proved to be an excellent road-biased tourer, and we do expect that the Suzuki will be more at ease with moderate off-road use. However, these two are otherwise quite closely matched, and it will be interesting to see how they fare when ridden back to back.

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