2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT - Any Road, Any Time

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT - Any Road, Any Time

Written by  Canadian Kawasaki Motors on Wednesday, 07 November 2018 13:02

Toronto, Canada - November 6, 2018: Boasting even greater comfort and versatility, Kawasaki proudly presents two new models designed to offer maximum riding enjoyment across a wide variety of street riding situations like the Versys 1000 before them: The 2019 Versys 1000 LT and Versys 1000 LT SE.

Whether riding solo or two-up, around the corner or around the globe, this fun-to-ride road bike’s combination of a highly responsive In-line four engine tuned for exibility, and a nimble chassis will have riders grinning from ear to ear. Its relaxed, upright riding position offers a high level of machine control, and is complemented by a highly comfortable seat and effective wind protection, making it easy to spend a long time in the saddle.

The new model benefits from numerous upgrades that add to both riding exhilaration and touring potential. The engine now boasts Electronic Throttle Valves, which enable the addition of Electronic Cruise Control. And the addition of advanced Kawasaki IMU equipped rider support systems contributes to riding enjoyment as well as rider confidence.

All-new styling reflects the Versys 1000’s fun, sporty nature while keeping rider comfort in mind. The flowing design, featuring a clear line of colour traceable from the front to the rear, is complemented by all-LED lighting including brighter twin headlamps.

Riders can choose from two model variations: the standard Versys 1000; or the SE model, which offers even more high tech equipment including Kawasaki Electronically Controlled Suspension (KECS), integrated riding modes, dual-direction KQS, LED cornering lights and a TFT LCD meter with smartphone connectivity.

Whether your preference is for sport riding or touring – or both – the highly versatile new Versys 1000 will be your willing partner in adventure on the open road.

NEW Powerful Engine
The Versys 1000 features a powerful but playful liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve 1,043cc in-line four engine, with a bore and stroke of 77 x 56 mm, which creates strong low-mid range torque and facilitates smooth power delivery. The engine has been tuned for flexibility and offers superb throttle response, strong torque throughout the rpm range. Electronic Throttle Valves (ETV) complement the engine performance and design for 2019. Other new features for 2019 include new fuel injection mapping, exhaust design, and a new catalytic converter design.

The all-new Electronic Throttle Valves enable the ECU to control the volume of both the fuel and the air that are delivered to the engine, by way of the fuel injectors and throttle valves. The optimal fuel and air inputs create a smooth, natural engine response and the ideal engine output. The ETV system has the accelerator position sensor located in the throttle assembly, eliminating throttle cables.

The Versys 1000 utilize gear ratios that were chosen to accommodate a wide range of riding situations, including sport riding, highway cruising or riding fully loaded with a passenger and luggage.

New for 2019 on the Versys 1000 LT SE motorcycle is a quick shifter that allows for ultra quick, full power upshifts and clutchless downshifts. The Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS) detects that the shift lever has been actuated, and sends a signal to the ECU to cut ignition so that the next gear can be engaged for clutchless shifting. During deceleration, the KQS system controls engine speed to perfectly match engine RPM, which smoothly engages the lower gear, allowing effortless downshifts. This can also be purchased as an accessory for the standard model.

Complementing the transmission is an assist & slipper clutch, race-inspired technology that offers both a back-torque limiting function as well as a light feel at the lever. The assist function is noticed by the lighter pull at the clutch lever, helping to reduce rider fatigue especially in stop and go traffic situations. The slipper function is active when excessive engine braking occurs as a result of quick or accidental downshifts. The slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart, which relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and help prevent the rear tire from hopping and skidding.

The frame of the Versys 1000 is composed of a five-piece cast aluminum construction, consisting of steering stem, left and right main frames, and two cross pieces. The two main sections of frame components have open C-shaped cross sections and were die-cast to ensure a smooth surface finish. The lightweight, highly rigid frame uses the engine as a stressed member, which contributes to handling, offering a firm, planted feeling and light, nimble turning. The sub-frame is composed of a steel tube trellis design, which enables the high-payload. To create the sleek appearance, the frame was constructed with the fewest amount of welds possible.

Considering real world riding occurs on streets that are often less than circuit smooth – road imperfections (bumps, potholes) are far from rare, and some streets are not even paved (cobblestone, etc) – Kawasaki engineers chose long-travel suspension to enable riders to carve corners with ease.

The long-travel suspension’s ability to cope with less-than-perfect street conditions allows the Versys 1000 to remain composed where bikes with stiffer, sportier set-ups would require backing off the throttle.

On the standard model, updated front and rear suspension settings contribute to plusher feeling suspension. Revised rear linkage results in improved shock action and increased absorption performance. Overall, the changes lead to increased riding comfort. The high-spec shock unit features a free piston that separates gas and oil for high-level, stable performance.

The SE model features Kawasaki Electronically Controlled Suspension (KECS) , including a 43 mm Showa cartridge fork and a BFRC lite rear shock equipped with an electronically controlled preload adjuster.

In the BFRC lite shock, damping force is generated in an external Damping Force Chamber, and compression and rebound damping are generated independently. This allows the whole surface of the main piston to act as a pump, pushing oil towards the valves. This arrangement also helps to suppress pressure balance uctuations (which can cause cavitation) as a result of shock compression and extension.

Showa’s BFRC lite rear shock is a lighter, more compact version of their earlier BFRC shock. The high-spec shock unit offers numerous benefits:
• Increased ride comfort
• Increased traction
• Independently adjustable compression and rebound damping • Reduced weight

Compression and rebound damping for both the forks and shock are generated (and adjusted) electronically via the all-new KECS system that is controlled by a solenoid valve with direct actuation and allows for extremely quick reaction time. Riders can choose base settings from four modes: Sport, Road, Rain, and Rider mode (Manual). KECS then adjusts to the road surface environment in real time to provide the ideal damping, taking into account vehicle speed, and stroke speed. Deceleration is also accounted for to manage the natural pitching that occurs under braking. Riders can now electronically control the rear shock preload settings as well. KECS offers three different preload settings: rider only, rider with luggage, and rider with passenger and luggage; riders can fine-tune these settings with 10 levels of adjustment.

The forks and shock have built-in stroke sensors that provide real-time stroke speed and compression information. The sensor coils provide input to the KECS ECU every millisecond. This is complemented by information provided by the IMU (acceleration/deceleration) every 10 milliseconds, and the FI ECU (vehicle speed) every 10 milliseconds. The KECS ECU then directs current to the solenoids to adjust damping as required by the situation. This results in quick reaction time to road conditions and maintains a natural feeling that is crucial to the ride feeling at one with the motorcycle.

For 2019, the Versys 1000 received several ergonomic features to enhance performance and comfort. At the front of the motorcycle, vent layout, cowl design all aid increasing performance and comfort and a new adjustable windscreen (larger windscreen for the SE Model). The new windscreen height can now be adjusted from the rider’s seat, without tools, using two knobs on the inside of the screen to suit the rider’s height preference. The adjustable windscreen is equipped with a centrally located vent, which helps reduce the negative-pressure effect in the cockpit, increasing rider comfort at high speeds. The new upper cowling design and wider fairing provide increased wind protection, while still keeping fresh air routed to the areas of the engine bay that produce the most heat. The wide handlebar and slim seat design along with low and forward footpeg position of the Versys 1000 models creates a spacious and confidence-inspiring rider triangle. 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 longer rides.

Kawasaki Quick Release 28 Litre Saddlebags
The saddlebag mounting system of the Versys 1000 utilizes the Kawasaki Quick Release mechanism, which allows for convenient, easy removal and installation of the saddlebags. Seamlessly integrating the saddlebags with the rear of the bike, the clean-mount system positions them close to the centre line of the motorcycle and thanks to its clean, clutter-free design, ensures the rear of the bike still looks good with the saddlebags removed. The standard KQRTM 28 litre hard saddlebags are rated for up to 11 lbs (5 kg) storage weight and utilize the one-key system, which means they can be unlocked and removed with the ignition key. They are also color-matched to the body of the bike and have the Kawasaki logo stamped into their covers, ensuring a well-integrated, high-quality image. The Versys 1000 can also accommodate a top case with the saddlebags, offering multiple configuration options. As an adventure touring motorcycle, the construction of the Versys 1000 required the use a of robust steel tubing to provide the sub-frame with the substantial 485 lbs (220 kg) payload capacity for carrying a passenger and luggage.

New instrumentation with an advanced, high-tech design gives the Versys 1000 cockpit a very high-class appearance. The analogue-style tachometer is complemented by a full digital LCD screen (STD model), or a high-grade full colour TFT LCD screen (SE model). The instrumentation design combines a full digital LCD screen with an analogue-style tachometer.

On the standard model, LCD screen features a negative display (white characters on a black background), contributing to the high-quality image. In addition to the digital speedometer and standard gear position indicator, display functions include: fuel gauge, odometer, dual trip meters, current and average fuel consumption, remaining range, bank angle display and max bank angle recording function, coolant temperature, intake air temperature, clock, Economical Riding Indicator, and IMU indicator.

On the SE model, the high-grade full colour display features TFT (thin film transistor) technology, delivering a high level of visibility. The screen’s background colour is selectable (black or white), and screen brightness adjusts automatically to suit available light. In addition to scrollable multi-function windows, two display modes offer riders a choice of how they want their information presented.

Type 1: Designed with touring in mind, the easy-to-read, calm layout offers a substantial amount of information at-aglance.

Type 2: Designed with sport riding in mind, important information is prioritised and presented graphically for easy digestion. G-force (based on feedback from the IMU), throttle and brake force application are illustrated visually rather than numerically.

The SE model’s instrumentation also features integrated Riding Modes and smartphone connectivity. Handle control switches put all mode selection and display options at the rider’s fingertips. Additional features available on the TFT meter include: average speed, total time, and ice warning.

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 SE model utilizes the input from multiple sensors to optimise ride quality via the Kawasaki Electronic Controlled Suspension (KECS) and the Kawasaki Intelligent antilock Braking System (KIBS). The use of the latest Bosch compact IMU is new for the Versys 1000 in 2019, and weighs 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 maximise forward acceleration.

KTRC (Kawasaki TRaction Control)
Three modes cover a wide range of riding conditions, offering either enhanced sport riding performance or the peace of mind under certain conditions to negotiate slippery surfaces with confidence.

Mode 1 prioritises forward acceleration. Mode 2 offers a balance between acceleration performance and rider reassurance. Mode 3 provides rider reassurance by facilitating smooth riding on slippery surfaces. Riders may also elect to turn the system off.

In Mode 1, highly sophisticated programming allows a degree of slip –a certain amount of slip is required to maximise acceleration. The ideal slip ratio varies according to conditions. The system looks at a number of parameters to get an accurate real-time picture of what is going on: front and rear wheel speed (slippage) and various engine, machine and rider input parameters are monitored. Because the sophisticated software bases its dynamic analysis on the chassis’ orientation relative to the track surface (rather than relative to a horizontal plane), it is able to take into account corner camber, gradient, etc, and adapt accordingly – even without input from the IMU.

Using complex analysis, the system is able to predict when traction conditions are about to become unfavourable. By acting before slippage exceeds the range for optimal traction, drops in power can be minimised, resulting in ultra-smooth operation.The system confirms conditions every 5 milliseconds and uses ignition cut and air flow control (via the electronic throttle valves), enabling extremely quick reaction.

In Modes 2 and 3 (each progressively more intrusive) the same logic and control as in Mode 1 is employed during normal operation. However, when excessive rear wheel spin is detected, ignition timing is adjusted and engine output is reduced to allow grip to be regained. Fine control results in a very natural feeling: engagement, on/off transition and extended operation are all smooth.

In Mode 3 (the most intrusive), KTRC assists riders in negotiating both short slippery patches (train tracks or manhole covers) and extended stretches of bad road (wet pavement, cobblestone, gravel) with confidence. Wheel spin is also limited when starting on a slippery surface.

KTRC conveniently remembers which mode was selected, so when the engine is started the mode will be the same as when the engine was turned off. (On the standard model, the system will reset to Mode 1 if the system had been turned off, requiring the rider to consciously turn KTRC off.)

Power & Integrated Riding Mode Selection
Both models offer the choice of Full Power or Low Power modes allows riders to set power delivery to suit preference and conditions. While output at lower rpm is the same, Low Power mode limits output to approximately 75% of Full Power and uses a milder throttle response. (Reduction of both power and throttle response varies according to engine speed (rpm), throttle position and gear position.)

The SE model offers 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.

LED Cornering Lights
The SE model offers lights built into the shrouds help illuminate the road when cornering at night. 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.

Electronic Cruise Control
The Versys 1000 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.

Smartphone Connectivity
Another Kawasaki first for the adventure and touring Versys line of motorcycles is the addition Smartphone Connectivity to the Versys 1000 LT SE. A chip built into the instrument panel enables riders to connect to their motorcycle wirelessly. Using RIDEOLOGY THE APP, a number of instrument functions can be accessed, logged, and reviewed contributing to an enhanced motorcycling experience. The following information can be viewed:

1. Vechile Log
• Check latest status update

2. Riding Log
• Can be logged in detail, and played back for review
• Route, Distance & Time traveled can be logged for review • Riding conditions can be recorded in detail

3. Tuning
• Vehicle settings changes can be made on your smartphone
• New settings can easily be applied to your bike before riding
• Shift settings can be customised before riding
• Ride Mode & Electronic Suspension settings can be preselected before riding

The app can also be used when away from the motorcycle. When riding (with the app ON), the bike and smartphone are always connected and riding log data is being recorded by the app. After your ride, the latest riding information is stored by the app and may be viewed on the smartphone. Any changes made via the app while the engine is off, or while out of range, will be implemented as soon as the ignition is turned on and the smartphone is in range with the app ON.

Brakes & Wheels
Both Versys 1000 models come equipped with sporty, lightweight six spoke 17 inch wheels front and rear. For a bike with unlimited street riding potential, it was crucial to find tires that offer superb cornering performance for more fun in hills, great high-speed stability, and a strong on-road image to go with the sporty character.

Handling the stopping duties for the all-new Versys 1000 is a full disc brake setup, featuring Kawasaki’s Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS) technology. The Radial-pump front brake master cylinder commands a pair of 4-piston radial-mount monobloc calipers to grip a pair of 310 mm brake discs, providing plenty of stopping power. The rear brake features a single piston, pin-slide caliper gripping a 250 mm disc.

KIBS (Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System)
Kawasaki’s supersport-grade ABS is standard equipment on the Versys 1000 models. This is based on the same system used on the Ninja ZX-10R and Ninja H2 sportbikes, with programming and settings revised to suit both the street performance parameters and long-travel suspension of the Versys 1000. High-precision brake pressure control enables the system to avoid reduced brake performance due to excessive pressure drops, allowing lever feel to be maintained when KIBS is active, and helps ensure ABS function feels smooth.

Kawasaki offers a full line of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories including LED light bar, helmet lock, knee pad set, tank pad, front axle slider set, radiator trim, frame slider set, Ergo-FitTM reduced reach seat, GPS bracket, and KQR top case.

Versys 1000 LT SE: Metallic Flat Spark Black / Pearl Flat Stardust White. Versys 1000 LT: Candy Steel Furnace Orange/Metallic Spark Black

Versys 1000 LT SE: $19,799 Versys 1000 LT: $16,599

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 November 2018 13:26
Published in Industry News
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