2015 Kawasaki Versys 650 BoosterPlug Initial Impressions (Review)

Read Boosterplug Installation


I rode for 2-ish hours today. City/traffic until I reached the sweepy farm roads which led to the tighter twisty section near Eatonville, WA.

NOTE: My plan is to ride it for a while and update this post if / when I have anything different/more to add so watch this space or feel free to contact me via social media for updates.


Less juddering, bike settles/smooths out slightly lower in the rev range.

LOW SPEED SHIFTS (From 1st to 2nd)

This is much improved. Useful when puttering around in traffic or down a residential road and don't want to wind it out in first. NOTE: fast starts where your giving it the beans and hammering through the gears is unaffected. Bike did that fine and does it fine now.


Rolling down from say 5.5K bike feels a lot more like an inline 4 motor. I concur with what AndyManCam said about the Versys, closing the throttle used to be like chucking an anchor with a parachute on it. That's gone. The engine breaking is less fierce initially and progressively increases as the revs clip past 3k on down.


This is a big improvement especially if you find yourself "in the wrong gear". EG: 4th gear, 6K, roll off throttle on corner approach expecting to hit the exit around 4K. Realize late that you'll need to slow down more than expected but can't/don't drop another gear. With stock setup, at/around/just below 3k bike attacked you if you tried to get on the throttle down low like this. With BP, it's a much gentler experience and the bike seems to pick up more quickly. It feels much more like my inline 4 in this regard. NOTE: the engine character is still the same (low end punch vs my inline 4 higher end punch), it's just not trying to exit the frame any longer.


I would say that the bike now feels like an adult bike. I've said, in the past (in my blog) that the Versys loved to be ridden like a sports bike more than a touring bike. High revs, toss it into corners, hanging off the bike and the Versys was happy as a clam. I'd keep it 5-8K in and out of the corners/twistier roads and it was happy. But, if you wanted to go up a gear and let it roll down to 3K -ish because you wanted a calmer/relaxed experience the bike just wasn't as happy.

With the BP, it seems (from my couple hours initial test, will get back to you) to be much more capable of being ridden like a touring bike if you wish. It is a 650 so it's never going to be a 4th gear and leave it kind of bike, but again, it's a 650.

I'm still going to rail through the corners like a sport bike a lot of the time because the suspension settles and handles it so well, why not. It's one of the great things about this Versatile System. All day comfort, sport bike thrills. Now, however, I will be able to have both personalities on offer.


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