2018 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT ABS Review

2018 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT ABS

2018 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT ABS 2018 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT ABS 2018 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT ABS


2018 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT ABS Review on Total Motorcycle:

Featuring a unique combination of a highly responsive engine tuned for flexibility, a nimble chassis fitted with dynamic suspension, and standard Kawasaki Quick Release 28-Liter Saddlebags and hand guards, the Versys® 1000 LT offers maximum riding enjoyment across a wide variety of street riding situations, especially on twisty roads.

Created as the long-awaited big brother of Kawasaki’s mid-size any-road street surfer, the new Versys 1000 is designed to enable the greatest riding enjoyment in the widest variety of street riding situations. Whether riding solo or two-up, around the corner or around the globe, its unique combination of a highly responsive In-Line Four engine tuned for flexibility will have your grinning in your helmet.

On any-street, the new Versys 1000 offers maximum riding enjoyment. Solo or two-up, around the corner or around the globe, a unique combination of a highly responsive In-Line Four engine plus a nimble chassis is a recipe for riding fun. Add in the upright riding position and you have a package that is an ideal city roamer that really comes into its own on twisty mountain roads.


•Powerful 1,043cc inline four-cylinder engine pulls strongly throughout the rpm range
•Upright riding position offers a high level of comfort
•Windscreen with tool-free adjustment and hand guards provide additional wind protection
•ABS is standard on all models, offering additional reassurance when braking on low-grip or uneven surfaces
•Comes equipped with a set of color-matched 28 liter (each) hard saddlebags featuring KQR™ mounts and an integrated mounting system that utilizes the ignition key for simple saddlebag unlocking and removal
•Updated dash instrumentation featuring a gear position indicator
•Comes with a 24-month limited warranty

The Kawasaki Versys® family of motorcycles is designed for adventure-style touring.

The award-winning lineup starts with the nimble, easy to maneuver Versys®-X 300 ABS motorcycle. The Versys-X 300 ABS was met with rave reviews when it was introduced to the public earlier this year. It is now returning with new color options, while retaining its adventure capability.

The new colors for the 2018 Versys-X 300 ABS includes Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Raw Graystone and Passion Red/Metallic Flat Raw Graystone.

The Versys® 650 ABS and Versys® 650 LT motorcycles are capable machines designed for fun and comfortable riding. Known for Kawasaki’s torquey 650cc parallel twin engine and lightweight chassis, the Versys 650 LT has smooth handling and responsive feedback. It’s a capable motorcycle that sits nicely in the middleweight category, meeting a variety of riders’ needs. The Versys 650 LT models come standard with hand guards and saddlebags.

The Versys 650 ABS and Versys 650 LT are both returning for 2018 with new color offerings in Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Carbon Gray and Pearl Blizzard White/Metallic Spark Black.

The Versys® 1000 LT rounds out the Versys family of motorcycles, offering the most powerful engine in the lineup, with premium suspension components. ABS is standard on all models along with accessories like saddlebags and hand guards. The Versys 1000 LT has been highly regarded by the media and customers for its immense performance, smooth maneuverability and the ability to eat up miles with ease.

The Versys 1000 LT is returning in 2018 with a new color: Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black.




2018 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT ABS Totalmotorcycle.com Key Features




2018 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT ABS Totalmotorcycle.com Features and Benefits

•Tuned to provide strong low and mid-range torque with a smooth power delivery.
•An intoxicating intake howl contributes to the engine feel and allows riders to to enjoy the sound when accelerating.
•Good over-rev characteristics so that power does not drop off suddenly at high rpm.
•A secondary balancer, driven off a gear on the 6th web of the crankshaft, eliminates excess vibration. A certain amount of engine vibration was designed to be part of the bike’s character (vibration contributes to the feeling of acceleration, increasing linearly with rpm), so vibration was not totally eliminated.
•Generator puts out 15.3 amps at 1,100 rpm to provide sufficient power for a full complement of accessories.
•Flexible engine character means the Versys 1000 LT works just as well cruising along at low-rpm as it does being ridden more aggressively in the mid-high rpm range.

Digital Fuel Injection (KP)
•Downdraft throttle bodies provide air the shortest distance to the engine to help boost performance. While downdraft throttle bodies often use short intake funnels to maximize high-rpm performance, the Versys 1000 LT ‘s are longer to offer the best power characteristics for street riding excitement.
•38mm throttle bores enhance low and mid-range response.
•Oval sub-throttle valves are used to deliver extremely smooth response. The oval shape also helps keep the engine slim – important since the throttle bodies are positioned between the rider’s knees.
•Denso long-type, 12-hole fine-atomizing injectors with tapered nozzle openings contribute to combustion efficiency.
•Power delivery is quite linear and, thanks to FI settings, response is both quick and very smooth. Both characteristics facilitate control (especially for low-rpm maneuvers or when rolling the throttle on) and contribute to sport riding potential.

Exhaust System
•Large, oval-shaped connector pipes join exhaust headers 1-4 and 2-3. The reduced exhaust resistance results in an ideal exhaust flow, contributing to better performance at all rpm.
•Under-engine pre-chamber contributes to a more centralized mass by enabling a smaller-volume silencer.
•Single-side muffler offers lower weight than twin mufflers.

Assist & Slipper Clutch(KP)
•Using the rotational forces of the clutch hub and pressure plate, the clutch is forced together during acceleration (Assist function) so that fewer and lighter clutch springs can be used for a lighter feel at the lever. During high back-torque, such as when too low of a gear is selected during downshifting, the Slipper function allows some clutch slippage to help prevent engine lock-up, stalling and rear wheel hop.
•Judder spring component helps prevent judder when the clutch is disengaged.


6-Speed Transmission
•Gear ratios accommodate a wide range of riding situations, including sport riding, highway cruising, and riding fully loaded with passenger and luggage.
•Short first gear facilitates moving off from a stop while fully loaded, while long third through sixth gears are suited to both sport riding and relaxed highway cruising.


Chassis balance and suspension settings were selected to maximize rider enjoyment on the street. With its superb control and feedback, the Versys 1000 LT offers a high level of rider confidence in numerous street riding situations and accommodates a variety of riding styles. And because the Versys 1000 LT is intended to be used on a variety of streets where road imperfections are common, its long-travel suspension enables riders to cope with rough street conditions and allows the Versys 1000 LT to remain composed where bikes with stiffer, sportier set-ups would require a much slower pace. The relaxed, upright riding position offers a high level of machine control as well as a good vantage ahead.

• Aluminium twin-tube frame design features frame beams that go over engine, allowing a narrow construction that is easy to grip with the knees.
• Lightweight and highly rigid, the frame uses the engine as a stressed member. The frame contributes to handling, offering a firm, planted feeling, stability and light, nimble turning.
• The frame is a 5-piece cast aluminium construction, consisting of steering stem, left and right main frames, and two cross pieces. The two main frame components have open C-shaped cross sections and were die-cast to ensure a smooth surface finish.
• Reinforcing pipes join the engine hangers, offering increased chassis rigidity to suit the long-suspension configuration.
• Rear sub-frame is steel pipe trellis unit that enables the Versys 1000 LT’s high payload.
• Welds were strategically placed for a better appearance.
• The frame uses 4 engine mounts. The upper rear crankcase mount and front cylinder mounts are rubber to help prevent vibration and provide excellent handling characteristics.
•Standard center stand for utility and ease of maintenance.

Next-generation KYB 43 mm Inverted Fork
• Supporting the damping cylinder inside the fork inner tube allows a larger cylinder diameter to be achieved with a larger damping piston. The larger piston size contributes to a very composed suspension action.
• Supporting the damping cylinder at the top adds rigidity to the cylinder, so its walls could be made thinner to help reduce weight in the fork assembly for a lighter steering feel.
• The fork’s rebound (upper) and compression (lower) dampers both use reverse damping-force assistance (sub) valves in addition to standard check (main) valves. These valves opposite the check valves ensure that when the fork direction changes (from compression to rebound, or vice versa), oil flow in the reverse direction is also controlled. (Standard forks feature uni-directional
check valves: controlling either rebound or compression damping. However, when oil flow reverses direction, oil can flow through the valve unchecked during the instant it takes for the check valve to close completely, resulting in a temporary loss in damping force.) The reverse dampingforce assistance valves help to reduce this effect, enabling more consistent damping performance, which translates to smoother fork action.
• The 27-degree steering angle contributes to a good balance of high-speed stability and a neutral handling character that facilitates sporty street riding.


Horizontal Back-link Rear Suspension
• The linkage is placed atop the swingarm for better mass centralization and to make room for the exhaust pre-chamber.
• Fully adjustable, lay-down shock absorber is further away from the exhaust so that its operation will not be affected by exhaust heat.
• Remote preload adjuster knob allows preload to be easily changed to suit tandem riding or fully-loaded luggage.
• Free piston in shock separates gas and oil to enhance damping characteristics.

Triple Petal Disc Brakes with Latest-spec ABS
• Dual 310mm front petal discs gripped by opposed 4-piston calipers offer strong stopping power with good brake feel.
• At the rear a 250mm petal disc is gripped by a singlepiston caliper.
• The high-spec ultra-compact lightweight BOSCH unit enables high-precision ABS performance.
• Front brake hydraulic pressure is monitored to help reduce rear wheel lift.
• ABS settings are designed to facilitate controlled braking in certain street riding situations.


Relaxed Cockpit
• The seat’s slim design and the knee grip characteristics of the tank provide freedom of movement, allowing the riders to change sitting position should they so choose.
• Thick urethane padding increases comfort and contributes to a seat height that places the rider in a position of fun controllability.
• The stepped shape of the seat also provides support for the rider when accelerating.
• Footpegs are positioned low and forward, contributing to a spacious riding position. Rubber-mounted brackets and rubber-coated footpegs help reduce vibration reaching the rider.
• The very natural, relaxed position offers the rider a high level of machine control. The upright riding position accommodates a variety of riding styles, broadening the spectrum of riding enjoyment and also offers a high level of comfort, a great benefit for touring.
• When combined with the long-stroke suspension, the upright riding position and higher seat height offer a commanding view of the road ahead – especially advantageous when navigating city traffic.
• Wide, large-diameter handlebar offers easy control, especially for low-speed maneuvering. Rubber mounts help reduce vibration for rider comfort.
• Standard hand guards help deflect the wind, adding to rider comort.
• Ergonomic grab bars provide comfortable passenger grips.
• Adjustable windscreen has a stepless range of approximately 2.6 inches. Height can be adjusted without tools (using two knobs on the front of the screen) to suit rider preference.
• Aggressive new upper cowl design provides a sporty image and excellent wind protection. Special air passages between the upper and side cowlings reduce air resistance to help deflect the wind, while a chin spoiler below the headlights creates downforce at higher speeds to enhance stability.
• Air intake between the headlights at the bottom of the cowl routes fresh air into the cockpit to relieve the effect of negative pressure at higher speeds to help prevent helmet buffeting.


Standard KQR™ 28-liter Saddlebags
• Saddlebag design is integrated with tail section and are large enough to hold a typical full-face helmet.
• Similar in design to the Concours®14 mounts, the saddlebags can be easily removed and installed, plus there’s no supporting framework to detract from the motorcycle’s adventure style when they’re removed.
• One-key system for the ignition and saddlebags is convenient.
•A lightweight resin-construction rear carrier (12-pound maximum capacity) provides a solid platform for carrying items.
• Large under-seat storage space has room for compact rain gear or other small items.
•High capacity generator develops enough electricity to power a 45 watt accessory DC power outlet.


The Versys 1000 LT is loaded with the latest technological systems that Kawasaki has to offer. Its traction control system is the same as found on the flagship Ninja® ZX™-14R – more advanced even than that of the Ninja ZX-10R. Combined with two selectable Power Modes, this offers riders eight combinations covering a wide range of situations.

Kawasaki Traction Control System (KTRC)(KP) (3-MODE)
•3-mode system combines the best features of Sport-KTRC from the Ninja ZX-10R and KTRC from the Concours® 14 to help provide maximum traction for sport riding and rider assurance by facilitating
smooth riding on slippery surfaces.
•Modes 1 and 2 control ignition timing like S-KTRC, which uses complex analysis to predict when traction conditions are about to become unfavorable and act before wheel slippage exceeds the range
for optimal traction. Mode 3 has higher sensitivity and controls ignition timing, fuel and air for ultrasmooth operation.
•A switch on the left handlebar switch housing gives the rider the option to turn the system off.

Power Mode
•Allows riders to set power characteristics to suit riding conditions and style. Riders can choose between full power operation or low power, which is approximately 75 percent of full with a milder
throttle response.



2018 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT ABS – Totalmotorcycle.com USA Specifications/Technical Details
US MSRP Price: $12,999 USD

4-stroke, 4-cylinder, DOHC, 16-valve, liquid-cooled
Bore x Stroke
77.0 x 56.0mm
Compression ratio
Fuel System
DFI® with 38mm Keihin throttle bodies (4) and oval sub-throttles
TCBI with digital advance
Final Drive
Sealed chain
Rake / Trail
27.0°/4.0 in
Front Suspension / Wheel Travel
KYB 43mm inverted front fork with adjustable rebound and preload/5.9 in
Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel
Horizontal back-link shock with adjustable rebound damping and adjustable spring preload, remote preload adjuster/5.9 in
Front Tire
Rear Tire
Front Brakes
Dual 310mm petal rotors with four-piston calipers, ABS
Rear Brakes
Single 250mm petal rotor with single-piston caliper, ABS
Frame Type
Twin-spar aluminum
Overall Length
88.2 in
Overall Width
40.4 in
Overall Height
55.1 in/57.7 in
Ground Clearance
5.9 in
Seat Height
33.1 in
Curb Weight
549.0 lb (+ Saddlebags, Handguards, & Hardware approx. 20 lb.)
Fuel Capacity
5.5 gal
59.8 in
Color Choices
Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black
24 Month Limited Warranty
Kawasaki Protection Plus™ (optional)
12, 24, 36 or 48 months



2018 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT ABS – Totalmotorcycle.com Canadian Specifications/Technical Details
Canada MSRP Price: $15,399 CDN



Displacement  1043cc  Type  4-stroke In-Line Four  Bore and stroke  77.0 x 56.0 mm  Cooling  Liquid  Compression ratio  10.3:1  Valve system  DOHC, 16 valves  Fuel system  Digital fuel injection with four 38 mm Keihin throttle bodies  Ignition  Digital  Lubrication  Forced lubrication, wet sump

Front: type  Dual semi-floating 310 mm petal discs  Front: calipers  Dual opposed 4-piston  Rear: type  Single 250 mm petal disc  Rear: calipers  Single-piston

Overall length  2,270 mm  Overall width  895 mm  Overall height  1,400 mm / 1,465 mm (High Position)  Wheelbase  1,520 mm  Ground clearance  150 mm  Seat height  840 mm  Curb mass**  249 kg  Fuel capacity  21 litres

Transmission  6-speed, return  Final drive  Chain  Primary reduction ratio  1.627 (83/51)  Gear ratio: 1st  2.692 (35/13)  Gear ratio: 2nd  1.950 (39/20)  Gear ratio: 3rd  1.529 (26/17)  Gear ratio: 4th  1.304 (30/23)  Gear ratio: 5th  1.136 (25/22)  Gear ratio: 6th  0.958 (23/24)  Final reduction ratio  2.867 (43/15)  Clutch  Wet multi-disc, manual

Type  Aluminium twin-tube  Wheel travel: front  150 mm  Tire: front  120/70ZR17M/C (58W)  Wheel travel: rear  150 mm  Tire: rear  180/55ZR17M/C (73W)  Caster (rake)  27°  Trail  106 mm  Steering angle (left/right)  34° / 34°

Maximum Power‡ 88 kW {120 PS} @ 9,000 rpm  Maximum Torque‡ 102 N.m {10.4 kgf.m} @ 7,500 rpm

Suspension, front  43 mm inverted fork with rebound damping and springpreload adjustability  Suspension, rear  Horizontal Back-link, gas-charged, with rebound damping and remote spring preload adjustability

Warranty  12 months warranty



2018 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT ABS – Totalmotorcycle.com European Specifications/Technical Details
Europe/UK MSRP Price: £10,299 to 10,499 GBP (On The Road inc 20% Vat)

Engine type
Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke In-Line Four
1,043 cm³
Bore x stroke
77 x 56 mm
Compression ratio
Valve system
DOHC, 16 valves
Fuel system
Fuel injection: Ø 38 mm x 4 (Keihin) with oval sub-throttles
Starting System
Forced lubrication, wet sump

Performance & Transmission
Maximum power
88.2 kW {120 PS} / 9,000 rpm
CO2 emission
137 g/km
Maximum torque
102 N•m {10.4 kgf•m} / 7,500 rpm
Final drive
Sealed chain
Primary Reduction Ratio
1.627 (83/51)
Gear Ratios 1st
2.692 (35/13)
Gear Ratios 2nd
1.950 (39/20)
Gear Ratios 3rd
1.529 (26/17)
Gear Ratios 4th
1.304 (30/23)
Gear Ratios 5th
1.136 (25/22)
Gear Ratios 6th
0.958 (23/24)
Final reduction ratio
2.867 (43/15)
Wet multi-disc, manual

Brakes & Suspension
Brakes, front
Dual semi-floating 310 mm petal discs. Caliper: Dual opposed 4-piston
Brakes, rear
Single 250 mm petal disc. Caliper: Single-piston
Suspension, front
43 mm inverted fork with stepless rebound damping (right side) and spring preload adjustability
Suspension, rear
Horizontal Back-link, gas-charged, with stepless rebound damping and remote spring preload adjustability

Frame & Dimensions
Frame type
Twin-tube, aluminium
106 mm
Wheel travel front
150 mm
Wheel travel rear
150 mm
Tyre, front
120/70ZR17M/C (58W)
Tyre, rear
180/55ZR17M/C (73W)
Steering angle, left / right
L x W x H
2,270 x 895 x 1,400 mm
1,520 mm
Ground clearance
150 mm
Fuel capacity
21 litres
Seat height
840 mm
Curb mass
250 kg




Manufacturer Specifications and appearance are subject to change without prior notice on Total Motorcycle (TMW).

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"Mr. Totalmotorcycle". Owner and Founder of Total Motorcycle. Supporting over Motorcyclists and Motorcycling for 21 great years. Total Motorcycle is my pride and joy and being able to reach out 330 million people has been incredible but I could not have done it without the support of my visitors, readers and members, thank you so much! You are making a difference to millions of riders worldwide. Thank you.

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