Along with the updated Kawasaki Versys 650 comes a similar update for its larger sibling, the Versys 1000. First introduced in 2012, the original Versys 1000 never made it to the U.S.,  but Kawasaki USA confirmed this afternoon that both Verses will be sold in North America. Full details will be revealed at the AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida, October 16-19, where the bikes will be on display.

The Versys is powered by the same 1043cc Inline-Four engine as the Ninja 1000 and Z1000, claiming 118 hp at 9000 rpm and 75 ft-lb. at 7500 rpm. Those numbers, by the way, are listed in the official press kit as being for several markets including the U.S., making a strong indication that Kawasaki will import it here.


The Versys 1000 comes with two ride modes, Full Power and Low Power which reduces output to 75% of maximum while offering a milder throttle response and flatter torque curve. The Versys 1000 also comes with Kawasaki’s three-mode traction control system. Traction control can be turned off, but is automatically enabled whenever the engien is started.

The original Versys 1000 had a very … shall we say, unusual look with a stubby face and stacked headlight similar to the previous Versys 650. Like the new 650, the 2015 Versys 1000 receives a sportier twin-headlight design that fits better with the rest of Kawasaki’s streetbikes. Below the horizontally-arranaged twin headlights is a chin spoiler that Kawasaki claims improves rider comfort and stability at highway speeds. The windscreen is adjustable over a 75mm range, more than twice the range on the old Versys 1000 screen. As with the Versys 650, the 1000’s windscreen can be adjusted without tools.


The redesigned handlebar has a fatter middle section and a shorter rise, increasing rigidity and strength. To compensate, the handlebar mount was raised 20mm to maintain the same handgrip position as the previous model. Addressing concerns about vibrations, the handlebar clamps are now rubber-mounted.

The long-travel suspension is made up of a 43mm inverted fork and horizontal back-link shock, both with adjustable rebound damping and spring preload and 150 mm of travel. The fork springs have a softer spring rate and longer length than on the 2014 model while the rear shock spring is stiffer.

The braking system consists of four-piston calipers gripping 310mm discs up front an a single-piston caliper with a 250mm disc at the rear. ABS is offered as standard equipment.

As with the 650, the Versys 1000 uses Kawasaki’s new clean-mount pannier system that positions the saddlebags closer together while also allowing for quicker attachment and removal. Kawasaki offers a set of color-matched 28-liter panniers and a 47-liter top case. Each pannier can fit a full-faced helmet and can carry up to 11 pounds of luggage. The top case also holds up to 11 pounds while having enough space for two full-faced helmets. The luggage cases can all be opened using the same key.

Other updates include a lower seat height reduced 0.2 inches to 33.1 inches, adjustable clutch and brake levers, and 17-inch wheels. The curb weight is listed at 549 pounds.

Follow the rest of our 2014 Intermot Show coverage for more information on new 2015 motorcycle announcements.

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  • I’ve been waiting for this one.

    • Max Wellian

      Earlier this year we had a nice conversation about Vics, Harleys, and Beemers and their police bike specs. Since then, a 300+lb buck jogged out in front of me while I was doing about 60 mph. I don’t know what’s happened to deer parenting these days. Seems like none of them look both ways before crossing the street anymore. I don’t think they consider how hard that kinda stuff is on old bones.

      Anyway, needless to say, my Vic is now a pile of spare parts in junkyard heaven. I was happy with it and planned on replacing it with another until I saw this little beauty is coming to America. My dealer now has me on speed dial, promising to call the minute his gets unloaded from the truck.

      As I recall, you’re a tall guy. The seat height is my only concern about the bike. I ride my FJR with the seat set at 32.5 and it’s tall, but manageable. The 33.1″ Versys seat may be a little too much for my 29″ inseam. It’s supposedly a lot thinner in the waist than the FJR so hopefully, that will compensate. I made sure a lowering kit for the shock was available just in case. Anyway, for me, the deal is as good as done. Hope you do likewise. be great to see ya out on the road. Maybe this one can garner enough attention to give the manufacturers a reason not to make all the best hardware for Europe only!

      • In a perfect world, I’d have a bike like the Cross Country Tour/Limited/K1600 and a Versys 1000LT. So far the RT is working ok, but I expect that I will get something new next year. What’s thrown a monkey wrench in it is that my wife says she’d ride with me more if I had a different bike, like a touring cruiser, AKA like a limited or XCT. I guess we’ll see.

  • BTW, where’s the updated C14?

    • Kevin Duke


      • Kevin

        If ever?

      • Kevin

        If ever?

  • Stuki

    This bike ought to do well in the US. The Ninja 1000 Motor is a real gem for those seeking a bit more visceral excitement than what the other Japanese Adv bikes offer. And with that 17 front hoop, it should handle better at highers speeds as well. And, not being classed as a Ninja, sure can’t but help with insurance premiums…….

  • Jim

    That’s a nice bike. I especially like the orange color, and I like the way the saddlebags integrate with the tail section. A shaft drive would be nice, but I suspect the chain allows Kawasaki to stay within a predetermined price point. I’m looking forward to seeing this on the showroom floor. It may not be soul-stirring, but it should be a good all-arounder, and, as Stuki noted below, the insurance should be reasonable. I hope the bags are included.

  • DickRuble

    I’d rather have a Versys 650 supercharged. V-twin please.

    • 550 is too heavy? Comparing an Indian Scout to a versys 1000 doesn’t work, at least for me.

      • DickRuble

        Anything compares to an Indian Scout.. it’s the new yardstick in the motorcycle magazine industry.

        • God, I hope not. It looks like medieval torture device.

  • panthalassa

    looking forward to straddling one of these; it really seems to tick a lot of boxes for a one-bike guy. abs, (defeatable) tc, looks significantly roomier than the ninja 1000, and I think it’s better looking than the strom 1000.

  • Sato san

    Very nice… Is look like K1600Gt sport

  • capt.hollister

    “Kawasaki USA confirmed this afternoon that both Verses will be sold in North America”
    This is already true of the previous version. It may not have been sold in the US, but it sure was in Canada.

    • denchung

      True, but that was the old Versys 1000. The 2015 model is new and was not the one that was offered in Canada previously.

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