2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT | First Look

2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT | First Look

2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT Preview

Available in Canada and Europe the past two years, the Kawasaki Versys 1000 is finally arriving stateside.

For 2015, Americans will get the Versys 1000 LT, which has some tasteful features, including ABS brakes, 28-liter saddlebags, a centerstand, and upgraded styling over the previous models offered overseas.

The Versys 1000 LT (Light Touring) – the older brother of the Versys 650 – arrives with a 1043cc inline four-cylinder engine transplanted from the Ninja 1000, but retuned for better street manners. The bike features the upright styling of modern adventure tourers, such as the Suzuki V-Strom 1000, Ducati Multistrada and Aprilia Caponord 1200.

The 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT is loaded with modern technology, such as the three-mode KTRC traction control, selectable engine Power Modes, ECO Economical Riding Indicator, ABS brakes, and the Assist and Slipper Clutch. The latter not only reduces the effort required on the clutch lever, but also limits back-torque when downshifting.

Speaking of the new Versys, which is a hybrid word of “Versatile” and “System,” Kawasaki says “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.”

The 2015 Versys’s rubber-mounted engine features 12-hole fuel injectors for optimal atomization, and arrives with ECU programing that ensures a wide powerband and crisp throttle response. The 1000 also arrives with an upgraded alternator that supplies 15.3 amps at 1100 rpm, enabling the bike to run many accessories.

The Versys 1000 LT features a twin-spar aluminum frame, and long-travel suspension for comfort on bumpy roads. Though it features longer-travel suspension, the KYB 43mm inverted fork and horizontal back-link rear suspension are firm enough to provide stability while carving canyons.

The rear suspension also features a remote-preload adjuster that allows simple suspension changes to compensate for the load of a passenger and/or the included Kawasaki Quick Release 28-liter hard saddlebags.

Stopping the Versys 1000 LT are dual 310mm front rotors squeezed by four-piston calipers, and a single 250mm disc out back squeezed by a one-piston caliper; ABS is standard. The Versys 1000 LT rolls on 17-inch wheels shod with Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T30 tires.

As for ergonomics, the Versys features upright seating, an oversized handlebar, low foot pegs, providing adventure-touring comfort for the rider. To add further comfort, the Versys 1000 LT arrives with adjustable levers (five positions), hand guards, passenger grab bars, and a windscreen that is adjustable up to 2.95 inches without tools.

The 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT is available in Candy Burnt Orange / Metallic Spark Black and Flat Ebony / Metallic Spark Black. An MSRP has not been released, but expect to pay around $13,000.

Following are the key features and specs of the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT.

2015 Kawasaki Versys1000 LT 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


  • 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

Braking System

  • 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

Wind Protection

  • 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

Convenient Storage

  • 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

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 Specifications:

  • Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
  • Displacement: 1,043cc
  • Bore x stroke: 77 x 56mm
  • Compression ratio: 10.3.1
  • Maximum torque: 75.2 lb-ft @ 7500rpm
  • Cooling: Liquid
  • Fuel Injection:DFI® with four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies, oval sub-throttles
  • Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
  • Transmission: Six-speed
  • 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”
  • Wheelbase: 59.8”
  • Curb weight: 549 lbs
  • 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