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2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT Review
2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT on www.Totalmotorcycle.com
Kawasaki presents the ultimate street tourer with its comfortable, upright seating position, huge versatility and now a reliable 1,043cc in-line four-cylinder engine
You asked for it, America, and here it is! By popular demand, Kawasaki introduces the 2015 Versys® 1000 LT to the USA. And to increase its appeal, this versatile euro touring motorcycle has received dramatic new styling that increases its functionality.
While the styling and powerplant might be new, the Versys 1000 LT retains the characteristics that make the Versys 650 so popular. It still has the comfortable, upright riding position that allows you to stay on-board all day when touring, as well as long-travel suspension that helps ensure it can soak up the bumps on the road less traveled. Adjustable suspension means it can easily be set to carry a passenger and a full load in its standard-fit KQR™ Hard Saddlebags, or entertain on twisty back roads. And with its 1-liter engine, the 2015 Versys 1000 LT motorcycle is guaranteed to deliver plenty of fun.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2015 KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000 LT:
• Proven 1,043cc, inline, 4-cylinder engine
• Aggressive front fairing styling
• Standard KQR™ (Kawasaki Quick Release) 28-liter Hard Saddlebags, as well as Hand Guards to protect against the elements
• Large windshield and center stand
• Long-travel suspension with KYB inverted fork and horizontal back-link rear shock with remote preload adjuster
• Comfortable, upright riding position
• Rider technology such as ABS, ECO Economical Riding Indicator, 3-mode KTRC Traction Control, Assist and Slipper Clutch, engine Power Modes
• A full range of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories available
The 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT packs in all the great features of the immensely popular Versys 650 but with the power, smoothness and performance of a 1,043cc inline four-cylinder engine that is engineered to deliver plenty of torque but utter dependability. It is also crammed with features, such as the three-mode KTRC traction control, selectable engine Power Modes, ECO Economical Riding Indicator, ABS brakes and the Assist and Slipper Clutch. It is this combination of engine, technology, comfort, nimbleness, versatility and reliability that has made the model so popular in Europe and around the world, and now US riders can enjoy its tremendous street bike virtues as well.
Kawasaki has built a motorcycle for people who have an adventurous spirit, who want to get out and explore the great country we live in. So while this versatile and reliable bike can easily cope with the daily grind, even making the commute more entertaining, the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT is equally adept at traversing interstate highways, taking you and all the gear you need to the remote paved locations we all dream of.
The 2015 Versys 1000 LT is focused on the ride, and it’s ideally engineered to do so. It starts with the upright seating position that gives you a great view of the road ahead and good leverage on the handlebar when the roads become more challenging.
The rider sits with legs in a relaxed position on low footpegs, rather than the high-mounted pegs on a sportbike. This allows the rider to relax and ride longer without needing to continually stop and stretch like many sportbike riders.
The 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT seat has been designed to taper at the front, making it easier to reach the ground. In the middle and rear sections, the seat is flat and wide to accommodate the rider and passenger, helping to ensure both are equally relaxed as the miles tick by.
The oversized handlebar is rubber-mounted (as is the engine) to reduce rider fatigue. The handlebar has a tapering damper to absorb vibration and a flat damper to absorb fore and aft movement. The levers are adjustable in five positions to allow easy reach. Hand Guards with aluminum brackets and rugged composite covers come as standard equipment to offer protection from the elements.
The main tachometer face has a black background for high visibility, and there is a trip reset button mounted on the handlebar to help touring riders measure distances, fuel range, etc.
The passenger gets robust grab handles, which form part of the mounting system for the standard KQR™ (Kawasaki Quick Release) 28-liter Hard Saddlebags. These saddlebags incorporate Kawasaki’s convenient One Key system, allowing multiple bags to be locked with the ignition key. The same system will work with the optional Kawasaki Genuine Accessories KQR 47-liter Top Case, which is large enough to store two full-face helmets. And, like the saddlebags, it is color-matched to the Versys bodywork.
The 1043cc in-line four-cylinder engine gives the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT many advantages over its competition, not least of which are reliability, versatility and a huge fun factor. The smooth but powerful Kawasaki engine can provide exhilarating performance, yet will be utterly dependable when transporting the rider, passenger and luggage across state lines.
For 2015, the engine includes 12-hole fuel injectors for finer atomization, resulting in optimized combustion and efficiency. It also gets a sporty exhaust, which is indicated by a brushed aluminum finish to the silencer and a black, die-cast aluminum end cap. The ECU programming allows crisp throttle response, good torque characteristics and a wide powerband to ensure fun at all speeds.
The engine has Kawasaki’s rider-selected Power Modes, allowing the rider to choose full power output when wanting to enjoy the open road, or have the ability to reduce it to 75% with a passenger or if conditions dictate.
Further rider aids include Assist and Slipper Clutch functions that are derived from Kawasaki’s sportbike heritage. Not only does this reduce the effort required on the clutch lever, but it also limits back-torque when downshifting.
The alternator supplies 15.3 amps at 1100rpm, enabling the 2015 Versys 1000 LT to run accessories such as the Kawasaki Genuine Accessories Grip Heaters or a GPS device, even when the engine is idling.
CHASSIS, BRAKES & SUSPENSION
A significant contributor to the ride comfort of the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT is its long-travel suspension, which soaks up the bumps and is firm enough to entertain you on a canyon ride. In fact, it is the nimble chassis on the Versys 1000 that has made it so popular, able to run rings around its bulkier competition.
A great deal of effort went into helping to ensure the 2015 Versys 1000 LT is stable at all speeds, with long outer tubes on the 43mm inverted fork providing rigidity, while the geometry provides light steering that is nimble and precise. The remote preload adjuster for the horizontal back-link rear suspension is another vital tool for the rider, since it allows simple suspension changes to compensate for the load of a passenger and/or loaded saddlebags.
The 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT has a robust, twin-spar, aluminum frame to help ensure the motorcycle responds precisely to the rider’s input. The rear subframe was designed specifically to create secure handholds for the passenger while also providing mounting points for the Kawasaki Quick Release Hard Saddlebags. There is also a rear luggage area that will accommodate the Kawasaki Genuine Accessories Top Case. This can be used in combination with the saddlebags and operates on the same One Key system for convenience.
As another indication of the motorcycle’s practicality, Kawasaki fitted a center stand as standard equipment. It gives the rider a stable platform when parked with a full load, as well as allowing easy maintenance.
ABS brakes, 310mm front rotors and four-piston calipers are fitted as standard equipment, enhancing the motorcycle’s all-weather ability and increasing rider confidence in slippery conditions.
Fitted with sporty 17” wheels and Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T30 tires, the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT is fully equipped for its role as a commuter bike, tourer and back-road entertainment.
There are several electronic assistants derived from Kawasaki’s sportbike programs that are designed to help the rider when certain conditions arise. The Power Mode feature gives the rider the opportunity to reduce the engine output to suit the prevailing conditions. There is also a three-mode Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC), which can be adjusted to suit the road surface. The three modes cover a range of riding conditions, offering either enhanced sport riding performance or the peace of mind to negotiate slippery surfaces with confidence.
Finally, there is an ECO Economical Riding Indicator that shows when the motorcycle is being ridden in an economical manner, helping to stretch out the distance between fuel stops.
As if to celebrate its arrival in the USA, the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT received a dramatic new look. Replacing the stacked headlights of the previous model is a front fairing design that places two narrow headlights horizontally, giving the Versys 1000 a more captivating look.
As well as looking great, the styling brings tremendous function, with a horizontal chin spoiler below the headlights contributing downforce at higher speeds to enhance stability. There is also an air intake between the headlights to feed the four-cylinder engine as speed increases.
Furthermore, Kawasaki designers incorporated channels on either side of the front fairing, between the upper and side sections, improving airflow and reducing its air resistance.
Details like the mirrors have also been designed to reflect the overall styling theme, and the large windshield is easily adjusted, with up to 2.95” (75mm) of tool-less adjustment to reduce buffeting on taller riders.
To reflect its dramatic styling, the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT will be available in Candy Burnt Orange / Metallic Spark Black and Flat Ebony / Metallic Spark Black color options
2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT www.Totalmotorcycle.com Key Features
– Proven 1,043cc, inline, 4-cylinder engine
– Comfortable, upright riding position with plenty of legroom and good ergonomics
– Distinctive front-end styling to match the solid performance of the 2015 Versys 1000 LT
– KQR™ (Kawasaki Quick Release) 28-liter Hard Saddlebags with One Key convenience
– Standard Hard Guards for wind protection
– Large, adjustable-height windshield
– Long-travel, adjustable suspension
– ABS braking system as standard
– ECO Economical Riding Indicator for increased efficiency
– 3-mode Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC) system. Modes 1 and 2 offer enhanced sport riding performance, while Mode 3 offers increased stability when traversing slippery surfaces
– Race-inspired Assist and Slipper Clutch to reduce lever effort, and to help reduce rear wheel hop during downshifts
– Center stand for stability when parked and easy maintenance
– Sportbike DNA infused in an touring package
– Large number of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories available
2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT www.Totalmotorcycle.com Features and Benefits
– 1,043cc, inline, 4-cylinder engine
– Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder
– Selectable Full and Low Power Mode allow the rider to choose the power output to suit the conditions
Digital Fuel Injection (DFI®)
– Digital Fuel Injection system programmed for torque, efficiency and a wide powerband
Six-speed Transmission / Final Drive
– 6-speed transmission with chain drive
– Assist feature provides lighter lever action
– 5-position clutch lever adjustment to tailor lever reach
– Slipper function helps prevent wheel hop when downshifting to improve rider confidence
– ABS brake assist with 310mm front rotors and four-pistons calipers. The rear brakes use a 250mm rotor and single-piston caliper
– Twin-spar aluminum frame
– KYB front fork places springs in both fork tubes and rebound damping components in right tube
– Long outer fork tubes for increased rigidity and precise steering
– Horizontal back-link rear suspension with remote preload adjuster
Wheels and Tires
– Sporty 17″ wheels
– Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T30 tires are ideal for long distances and the sort of road surfaces touring can bring
Styling and Bodywork
– Dramatic horizontal twin headlights with lower chin spoiler, honeycomb grilles, central air intake, side air passageways
– Spoiler adds downforce for stability
– Spoiler and passageways direct air to protect rider for all-day comfort
– Large windshield with 75mm (2.95″) of tool-less height adjustment to tune the airflow and protect the rider from buffeting
– Standard Hand Guards to protect against the elements
– KQR (Kawasaki Quick Release) 28-liter Hard Saddlebags fitted as standard
– Utility and practicality right off the showroom floor
– Touring seat with tapered front to help the rider reach the ground
– Upright riding position
– Wide, flat seat to accommodate rider and passenger in comfort on long journeys
Warranty / Kawasaki Protection Plus
– Standard 12-month warranty
– Optional 12, 24, 36 or 48-month KPP warranty available
Kawasaki Genuine Accessories
– KQR™ (Kawasaki Quick Release) 47-liter Top Case with Kawasaki One Key system. It can accommodate two full-face helmets, is color-matched to the motorcycle and can be used with the standard Hard Saddlebags
– Optional Saddlebag and Top Case Liners
– LED Light Bar to provide greater visibility for the rider and for other road users
– Grip Heaters for cold weather riding
– Helmet Lock to secure your helmet to the motorcycle
– Radiator Guard to protect from debris and stones
– Frame and Front Axle Sliders to help protect the motorcycle in the event of an accident
– Gear Position Indicator to let the rider know what gear is selected
– DC Power Outlet to charge devices
– GPS Mount to allow you to mount a GPS device
– Windshield to provide more protection from the elements
– Gel Seat to provide more comfort for longer journeys
– Backrest Pad to keep the passenger more comfortable
– Tank and Knee Pads to improve comfort and to protect the paintwork
– U-Lock Bracket to secure a lock when not in use
2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT – www.Totalmotorcycle.com USA Specifications/Technical Details
US MSRP Price: $ See dealer for pricing in USD
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Bore x stroke: 77 x 56mm
Compression ratio: 10.3.1
Maximum torque: 75.2 lb-ft @ 7500rpm
Fuel Injection: DFI® with four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies, oval sub-throttles
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
Final drive: Sealed chain
Frame: Twin-spar aluminum
Front suspension / wheel travel: KYB 43mm inverted front fork with adjustable rebound and preload / 5.9″
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Horizontal back-link shock with adjustable rebound damping and adjustable spring preload, remote preload adjuster / 5.9″
Front tire: 120/70×17
Rear tire: 180/55×17
Front brakes: Dual 310mm petal rotors with four-piston calipers, ABS
Rear brakes: Single 250mm petal rotor with single-piston caliper, ABS
Overall length: 88.2″
Overall width: 35.2″
Overall height: 55.1″ (windshield set low), 57.7″ (windshield set high)
Ground clearance: 5.9″
Seat height: 33.1″
Curb weight:** 549 lb
Fuel capacity: 5.5 gallons
Colors: Candy Burnt Orange / Metallic Spark Black
Flat Ebony / Metallic Spark Black
MSRP Standard: $TBD
Warranty: 12 months
Kawasaki Protection Plus (optional): 12, 24, 36 or 48 months
2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT – www.Totalmotorcycle.com Canadian Specifications/Technical Details
Canada MSRP Price: $NA CDN
Model not available
* The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price does not include freight, pre-delivery inspection or applicable taxes. The final price is at the discretion of the dealer. Prices and Specifications are subject to change without prior notice. The amount indicated as “Your price” may include an optional instant Mega Cash credit that is deducted from the manufacturer’s suggested retail price before taxes. This promotion is time limited and certain conditions will apply. See your dealer for complete details. Offer not available on financed purchases and cannot be combined with any other special offers. The final price is at the discretion of the dealer. Prices and Specifications are subject to change without prior notice.
** Includes all necessary materials and fluids to operate correctly, full tank of fuel (more than 90% of capacity) and tool kit (if supplied)
‡ Power / Torque figures measured at the crankshaft.
The specifications mentioned here apply to and have been achieved by production models under standard operating conditions. We intend only to give a fair description of the vehicle and its performance capabilities but these specifications may not apply to every machine supplied for sale. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. reserves the right to alter specifications without prior notice. Equipment illustrated and specifications may vary to meet individual markets. Available colours may vary by market.