Intermot 2014: Kawasaki Versys 1000

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

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.

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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2 of 16 comments
  • Sato san Sato san on Oct 01, 2014

    Very nice... Is look like K1600Gt sport

  • Capt.hollister Capt.hollister on Oct 20, 2014

    "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.