Kawasaki Versys Lowering Kits
The Kawasaki Versys
is fast becoming one of the top selling motorcycles in it's midrange
class. Marketed as a "versatile system" it seems this bike will do
everything that's asked of it.
If there was one thing
which could allow this bike to appeal to a wider audience than already
achieved it would be for an easy option to lower the bike to suit the
smaller rider. The common opinion seems to be that if you are 5'
8" tall then you will be ok on a standard Versys. Any smaller and you
probably will need to lower the ride height by one means or another.
Kawasaki have addressed this issue with the availability of an off the
shelf lowered gel seat. With a 50mm reduction in height (and also
narrowed) this replacement seat could be the easy solution and make
the bike more manageable, especially when on road surfaces which
camber one way or the other.
Kawasaki Versys Lowering Kits:
Another option is to lower the bike by the fitment of a lowering kit.
Although not available from Kawasaki several aftermarket manufacturers
and suppliers have started to produce and sell kits because of
increasing demand. What has to be taken into consideration is the
method and fitment used as well as the end effect.
Because the versys
utilises a side mounted rear shock absorber (mounted direct to frame
and swinging arm) conventional drop links and adjusters cannot be
Two different types of
lowering methods seem to be the way to go. Either the use of a shorter
shocker and spring or a lowering kit comprising of a unit which
slightly alters the shock mounting point angle/rake hence achieving a
drop in height. Both methods and types have advantages and
disadvantages. A shorter spring and shocker will change the damping
rate so handling and comfort tests must be done to get the settings
accurate and in doing so restore the original characteristics of the
bike. The second type of kit which uses a new mounting block/point
(but using the original shocker) has the advantage of retaining the
original ride comfort and manners of the bike, the only points needing
consideration is clearance around the shocker / swinging arm area, and
method of fitment. It is important to check how this type of lowering
kit fits to ensure no undue stresses are placed on the swinging arm or
the frame mounting point. Other points to bear in mind is that
accessory and the original bike components especially mounting points
are not obstructed or hindered in any way. An example of this would be
the rear flexible brake pipe hose running from the master cylinder to
the rear caliper. On 2008
Kawasaki Versys a retaining bar is screwed to the top of
the swinging arm by a 6mm threaded bolt. This bolt hole can be
utilised by some of the lowering kits available so a new method to
hold the brake pipe securely and in place needs to be obtained. This
could be by way of use of a simple cable tie - but is always worth
checking. Needless to say full fitting instructions should come in the
lowering kit you purchase, it is however easy to overlook the position
that the 2007 and 2008 versys models do have slight specification
Safety / Quality
Warning: It is recommended that you check the quality of any kit
prior to fitting to your motorcycle. Because of the loads and stresses
placed on the frame, swinging arm, and other related components. This
is especially so when the kit is manufactured by an aftermarket
supplier and not Kawasaki themselves.
Lowering Of Front
Forks: The Versys can be lowered at the front forks by
approximately 20mm. This is done by dropping the fork legs in the
yokes until the desired ride height is achieved. As mentioned the
maximum adjustment is around 20mm, this is because the fork legs start
to taper at this point preventing a secure mounting point. In addition
the inner plastics of the fairing would also make contact with the
tops of the fork legs at this point.