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2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+ Goes Up-Scale

Kawasaki’s new Highly Durable Paint and Highly Durable Matte Paint was chosen for all high touch areas including the fuel tank, side cowls, and side covers on the Versys 1000 SE LT+.  The Highly Durable Paint features a special coat that allows certain types of scratches to repair themselves, enabling the paint to maintain its high-quality finish. Soft and hard segments in the coat work together like a chemical spring, creating a trampoline effect that absorbs impacts. The Highly Durable Matte Paint is highly wear-resistant, enabling the paint’s beautiful matte finish to be maintained for years to come.

Complementing the sleek and elegant appearance of the Versys 1000 SE LT+ is full LED lighting and cornering lights. Each of the new LED headlamps features low and high beams as well as a position lamp. The new headlamps offer significantly increased brightness. The LED cornering lights, which are built into the shrouds, help to illuminate the road when cornering. Each of the three lights has a fixed direction and is activated based on lean angle. As the bike leans over, the lights come on in order, creating a wider illuminated path in the direction the bike is heading.

TFT Color Instrumentation

New instrumentation with an advanced, high-tech design gives the cockpit of the Versys 1000 SE LT+ a very high-class appearance and feel. The analogue-style tachometer is complemented by a high-grade full color TFT LCD screen, which automatically adjusts screen brightness to suit available light. The screen enables information to be displayed graphically. Two selectable display modes allow riders to prioritise the information they want to see depending on the kind of riding they are doing at the time. The first mode was designed with touring in mind; the easy-to-read, calm layout offers a substantial amount of information at a glance. The second mode was designed with sport riding in mind. Important information is prioritized and presented graphically for easy digestion: tracking information such as the G-forces through the feedback from the IMU, throttle and brake force application are illustrated visually rather than numerically. In addition to the digital speedometer and standard gear position indicator, display functions on the Versys 1000 SE LT+ motorcycle include: fuel gauge, odometer, dual trip meters, current and average fuel consumption, remaining range, coolant temperature, intake air temperature, clock, Economical Riding Indicator, integrated riding modes, IMU indicator and smart phone connectivity. 

Electronics & Rider Aids

The strength of Kawasaki’s cutting-edge electronics has always been the highly sophisticated programming that, using minimal hardware, gives the ECU an accurate real-time picture of what the chassis is doing and what the rider wants, to best support the rider’s intentions with natural feel.

Using the latest evolution of Kawasaki’s advanced modeling software including input from a compact Bosch IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF) monitors engine and chassis parameters throughout the corner to assist riders in tracing their intended line through the corner. The Versys 1000 SE LT+ utilizes the input from multiple sensors to optimize ride quality via the Kawasaki Electronic Controlled Suspension (KECS) and the Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Braking System (KIBS).

The use of the latest Bosch compact IMU is new for the Versys 1000 SE LT+ in 2019, and weighs in at only 40 grams. The IMU allows an additional layer of precision to be added to the already high-level components. The system uses minimal hardware but complex Kawasaki proprietary software. IMU enables inertia along six DOF (degrees of freedom) to be monitored. Acceleration along longitudinal, transverse and vertical axes, plus toll rate and pitch rate are measured. The sixth axis, yaw rate, is calculated by the ECU using Kawasaki original proprietary software developed through World Superbike racing experience. The motorcycle’s ECU gains an even clearer real-time picture of chassis orientation, and its software is uniquely predictive as it combines chassis orientation information with real time monitoring of the rider’s intentions to enable the control systems to maximize forward acceleration.

Power & Integrated Riding Mode Selection

The Versys 1000 SE LT+ motorcycle allows riders to choose from Full Power or Low Power modes, setting power delivery to suit preference and conditions. While output at lower rpm is very similar, Low Power mode limits output to approximately 75% of Full Power and uses a milder throttle response. Reduction in both power and throttle response varies according to engine speed, throttle position, and gear position.

All-inclusive modes that link KTRC, Power Mode and KECS allow riders to efficiently set traction control, power delivery, and suspension characteristics to suit a given riding situation with a single adjustment. Riders can choose from four settings: Sport, Road, Rain or a Rider (Manual) setting. The Sport setting enables riders to enjoy sporty handling riding on winding roads. The Road setting provides comfortable riding characteristics over a wide range of situations, from city riding to highway cruising and rural roads. The Rain setting offers rider reassurance when riding on a low-traction surface. In the manual Rider mode, each of the systems can be customized.

KTRC (Kawasaki TRaction Control)

The Kawasaki TRaction Control (KTRC) featured on the Versys 1000 SE LT+ motorcycle has three modes for riders to choose from that enable optimal performance for a wide range of riding conditions, offering either enhanced sport riding performance or the peace of mind under certain conditions to negotiate a variety of surfaces with confidence. Kawasaki’s advanced modelling software, complemented by input from the IMU, delivers this one of a kind precise control. The system can also be turned off if riders elect to do so. 

Electronic Cruise Control

The Versys 1000 SE LT+ is equipped with electronic cruise control, which improves the overall comfort for those long days on the road. The new cruise control system enables riders to set and maintain their desired speed with the simple press of a button. Once activated, the rider does not have to constantly apply the throttle to maintain speed. The cruise control helps to reduce rider fatigue when traveling long distances, allowing the rider to relax and enjoy cruising, contributing to a high level of riding comfort.

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  1. Cw says:

    Personally, I have been despising Kawi’s Insecticon, mantis-inspired front ends for a while. I like purposeful looks, and I’d find myself less hesitant to have this than the previous styling.

    Interested in whether one can get into one for close-to-$10K with just cruise, though.

    Suzuki, again, you are on the cruise control clock.

    • Black Bart says:

      I saw the bike yesterday at the IMS in Long Beach, Ca. Basically, Kawi took the standard Versys 1000 and piled on every imaginable computer controlled rider aid this side of a Moto GP bike. They also gave it a horrible paint scheme, a smart phone app to control all the components AND an 18k price tag. All we wanted on the standard Versys was cruise and heated grips. What was Kawasaki thinking??? If they sell 10 bikes in the states I will be surprised, especially since the Versys is up against the Yamaha Tracer 900 GT. The Tracer has everything we want for 5 grand less, and looks much more pleasing to the eye.

  2. ben says:

    same price as the KTM 1290 super adventure R/S…..good luck with that

  3. PD says:

    I still don’t care for the way this bike looks. But it’s probably very nice otherwise.

  4. Grover says:

    $18,000 and no cigarette lighter? Pass

  5. Max says:

    I’ll be keeping my ’15. I’d like to have the cruise control and it’s nice they put a decent windscreen on it this year, but I don’t need $5k of electronics to keep me upright. I’ve been doing this for a while now.
    I find the mechanical suspension on the ’15 just fine. Mine’s also lowered. Not sure if doing that on this new one would muss up the electronic gizmotry. And I don’t even own a smartphone.
    Would have liked this better had they at least thrown the top box in for 18 large.
    On the plus side, the base package is most excellent. Maybe I’ll reconsider once I roll 100k miles over on mine.

  6. Black Bart says:

    Maybe I’ll let the bike go for a ride without me and after it returns and parks itself, I’ll go on the app and see how it all went down ….. all from my LazyBoy. All that for 18k plus. Such a deal.

    • motowarrior says:

      Well stated BB. Looks like we are headed the way of the autonomous auto. All that is missing is the Honda trick where the bike balances itself and follows you around like a puppy. Somewhere along the way we forgot the whole reason for motorcycle riding. Rather sad.

  7. Stuki Moi says:

    I am pretty sure this will be one sweet allround bike. That Ninja 1000 motor is really special, and this has every convenience known to man thrown at it. Only concern would be if they managed to build an RBW throttle that’s not dull, artificial and lifeless.

    • Max says:

      They’re all “dull, artificial and lifeless” until you twist them. Then they work just like a cable.

  8. steveinsandiego says:

    the verbiage concocted to describe a bike amazes me….LOLOLOL

    i DO like Kawis, though. had two of’m during my 20 yr riding “career”: 05 1600 classic, 09 ninja 650. AND, they resided in the garage together for two years, much to mrs sinsd’s consternation 😉

    • rg500g says:

      Yeah, a ’71 BSA 650, a 2008 BMW K1200gt, and a 1985 Suzuki RG500 all in the garage together was just the recipe for a date in Family Court, a date I certainly relished.

  9. Dino says:

    Have I been asleep for a month, or is there an International Motorcycle Show somewhere that is just opened??!!

    So many bikes, and articles.. Like the Kawasaki’s, , and this Versys checks a lot of the boxes

    • Bob K says:

      If the H2 SX SE disn’t exist and I hadn’t just bought it, I’d probably get this. It’s got everything I want for touring all over tarnation.

      • Pacer says:

        Everything except that supercharger whine! How do you like the H2 SX?

        • Bob K says:

          So far, so good but the real telling will be the first time I do a 2 week trip. That’ll be next year and will be broken in by then. It’s heavier than the outgoing Ninja 1000 but the brakes and suspension are better as it should be with something so powerful. But, like on other forums, I’ve noticed that it is choked up quite a bit. But there is a solution available to get back about 40 HP with a reflash and exhaust. It’s an my list of things to do. It is comfortable too, just like the N1k. A little more aggressive rider triangle but it was about the same as my old R1100S which was also more aggressive than the N1k. And being new, I still like just sitting and looking at it. The paint is real nice too, you can tell it’s nicer than what’s normally on a bike.

          • Pacer says:

            40 horse with an exhaust and reflash? Lol Think about that, 40 additional horse to a bike that many think is already too powerful. Enjoy, ride safe.😎

  10. VLJ says:

    Perhaps I missed it, but even after going through the list of available accessories I see no mention of heated grips. This bike looks to have literally everything else, making the absence of heated grips a rather glaring omission.

    • Bob K says:

      The Kawasaki Heated Grips are a $300 option and they really suck. I had them on my ’11 Ninja 1000. Not enough heat levels, not enough watts and spotty heat coverage. I replaced them with Oxford Heaterz. The best heat output, overall coverage and the intelligent heat controller is easy to operate with gloves and will shut off in 10 or 15 minutes if you forget to turn it off, which is critical if it is wire direct to the battery. I wired mine to the fuse box so it was switched. I am doing the same for the H2 SX SE I just took delivery of but the new model is called Oxfor Heaterz Premium. Should be here any day now and was $90 bucks from Revzilla. Grips come in 3 flavors: Sport, Adventure and Touring. All are 7/8″ with the difference being the grips in terms of comfort and aggressiveness of the grip surface. The Touring is the most comfy of the 3 and is a less agressive grip pattern. Sport is thinner and more aggressive. Adventure is in the middle.

      • VLJ says:

        I’ve used the Oxfords multiple times. They’re good, in that they get plenty hot. Way hotter than the factory accessory heated grips on my Yamaha, for instance. There are two issues with the Oxfords, for me. The first is that large, bulky controller that you have to mount somewhere above the handlebar. With all that extra wiring hanging out there, it just looks horrible. The second issue is I had the toughest time finding a grip glue that didn’t melt with the Oxfords. My grips kept spinning in my hands. Never had that problem with any other heated grips. I didn’t have that problem with the Oxfords either, on my Triumph. On the Yamaha, however, man, it was bad.

        Anyway, I prefer that the grips have a built-in controller button, like the Koso Apollos, or the factory Honda or Triumph grips. The factory accessory heated grips on my Honda are far and away the best I’ve experienced. The indicator lights on them are even Kawasaki green, so they’d be perfect for your bike!

  11. denhajm says:

    Dirck, these multi-page articles are a pain. click, click, click. Can we go back to the single long page format, please? Its easier to scroll down with a mouse wheel (no matter where the cursor is hovering) than having to move the cursor to a particular target and click to see the next section of the article. Sorry for complaining. Have been reading your content for years–thank you!

  12. Tom R says:

    Versys 1000 SE LT+

    The name of this model looks like a typo.

  13. randy says:

    more flat paint???Who wants flat paint???Can’t wait to see how high$$$ they priced it.Kawi is making me a suzuki man these days.

    • randy says:

      Ok ,I saw the price,$18,000. I would go look at a BMW if I was going to pay that much.

      • Bob K says:

        You’ll still pay more than that for an equivalent feature set. I’ve never seen a BMW dealer carry a bare bones base model. For instance, the R1200RS I looked at last year clocked in at $23k how I wanted it.

      • SausageCreature says:

        $18k? Wow. Hopefully the regular GT trim will still be available. I don’t really need, or really even want, most of the additional features.

        • randy says:

          A v strom 1000 is looking mighty good to me right now.Leftover 2018 or wait till a 2019 in red is my only choice.

        • Bob K says:

          This is the LT+ version. Much like the H2 SX SE, which is about 3000-3500 more than the standard H2 SX, this Versys is offering the same features on a bike without a supercharger. So the price premium is still in line with how the H2 SE was priced.

        • Joe Bogusheimer says:

          I could live without some of the features that would presumably be exclusive to this version – TFT screen (tho I don’t know why, these things are probably cheaper to make than traditional instrument panels), electronic suspension, maybe the cornering lights, etc. I would hope the standard model would still have the cruise control, not like Yamaha and the Tracer, where it’s only available on the GT model – again for no apparent reason since everything necessary for it (other than the switchgear) is built into both versions. You shouldn’t have to go to the extremely deluxe version to get basic touring amenities like cruise control, on a bike that is meant for touring. At least the Tracer GT is not too much more expensive than the standard version.

          Maybe I’m too obsessed with having CC on my next bike – it’s not like I really do a ton of LD touring where I would need it. But knowing that it’s now possible, at essentially no additional cost if the bike has throttle by wire, I really want it.

  14. Tom R says:

    The front of this bike got a bit homely. It looks somewhat like the H-D Adventure bike prototype.

    And what about the “contactless-type” quick shifter? Contactless? Is that a thing?

    • SausageCreature says:

      Maybe I’m a bit weird, but I think the front end looks better than previous iteration (although admittedly that’s a fairly low bar to clear). I also kinda like the styling of the HD adventure bike also, so…yeah…I’m weird.

      • Bob K says:

        The front does look physically bigger but it definitely serves a purpose and was necessary to house the cornering lights, which on my H2 SX SE is really awesome. I don’t think it looks too bad. A lower wind screen would probably make it look better.

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