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Review: 2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE

Whereas the adventure-touring phase is receiving loads of accolades in the intervening time, as individuals get adventurous, there’s lots occurring within the sports-touring phase as nicely, especially when there’s little question many riders jumping on the adventure bandwagon who’ll by no means do far more than an unsealed street.

There’s nothing mistaken with that in fact, however it does beg the query whether or not one thing like Kawasaki’s extremely versatile Versys 1000 SE can be value a glance in, as an alternative of defaulting to an adventure choice.

The Versys 1000 SE makes a great two-up sports-tourer with vital character modifications on the flick of a button

Boasting Kawasaki’s arguably ‘next-gen’ electronic suspension system with a super-fast 10ms sample fee and an integrated electronics system on the SE, that is Kawasaki’s premium sports-tourer, as well as a motorbike I’d be completely satisfied doing the every day commute on.

There’s a number of ordinary rider aids and techniques which make the Versys 1000 SE an eye fixed catching machine, from traction control, Experience modes and cornering ABS, via to cruise control, bi-direction quickshifter and cornering lights, to call a couple of.

The other huge draw card in my mind is the telephone connectivity, not which means your motorbike works like a cellular leisure system, but so your smartphone by way of an app can retrieve, edit and update the digital settings on the bike, as well as benefit from the telephone’s GPS system.

It doesn’t get any easier than modifying your absolutely customisable Rider mode whenever you’re stopped for a coffee or break, so it may be updated when the time involves set off once more, and you’ll have the ability to annoy your mates no finish bragging about this function. “You’ve got to be AT your bike using the switchblocks to make those changes… wow, that’s so 2018 mate!”

A clear TFT display further pairs with your phone so you can avoid using the switchblocks when making more drastic changes

A transparent TFT show further pairs together with your telephone so you possibly can keep away from using the switchblocks when making extra drastic modifications. There’s extra information than I’d want however it’s also easy and clear

There’s all day comfort because of generously proportioned ergonomics and a cushty, plush seat, which does imply the reach to the ground isn’t the lowest at 840mm, especially being relatively broad throughout the seat. For me at 180cm and on the long-legged aspect there was no points here though. The tall and larger bike proportions are integral to that all-day consolation.

Surety Life

A tall display gives unimaginable ranges of wind protection, and an air-vent in the centre removes that unfavourable strain cell that some bikes exhibit. Additionally it is adjustable, while there’s handguards as normal fitment, with heated grips as fitted to this bike an optionally available additional.

A tall screen offers good wind protection and being a taller touring inspired machine ensures generous proportions with all day comfort

A tall display gives good wind safety and being a taller touring inspired machine ensures generous proportions with all day consolation

Our check bike additionally had the real Kawasaki prime field and pannier set-up, which demonstrates what’s potential as far as storage is worried, and whereas expensive options, the standard is plain – sharing the ignition key and having colour matched panels. Removing is straightforward, with a seamless mount system on the panniers and a further mounting bracket the only further requirement. Going for a sportier weekend run all I had to worry about was somewhere to put the panniers the place they wouldn’t get scratched, removing was 30-seconds a aspect, max.

We got the Versys 1000 SE decked out in full touring gear, including genuine Kawasaki Top Box and Panniers

We received the Versys 1000 SE decked out in full touring gear, together with genuine Kawasaki Prime Field and Panniers

We also had the Kawasaki spotlights and crash safety fitted, with the bike decked out in full touring regalia. As an on a regular basis rider I’d go the topbox, as you possibly can chuck a helmet and jacket in there securely and walk away unencumbered with gear. See the accessory breakout under for a run-down of what was fitted and the price.

Other non-standard components included fog lights, crash protection on the frame and front axle, a radiator guard, various protective stickers and heated grips

Other non-standard elements included fog lights, crash protection on the frame and front axle, a radiator guard, numerous protecting stickers and heated grips

Shifting the bike round by hand is a bit of a chore and I found it much easier to do all that on board, however once you’ve began the bike up and are powering along it’s a secure, well-balanced and clean machine, even crawling by means of visitors.

I began off with Street mode, which presents full energy, with traction control on the mid-range setting, and ‘Normal’ electronic suspension help, when you can set the rear preload based on rider, rider and baggage, rider and pillion, and so forth. This is an ideal mode for the around city commute in visitors, while switching to Sport stiffens the suspension as much as match, and in addition presents a decrease degree of traction control intervention.

The Rider modes on the Versys 1000 SE really do offer an appreciable difference, with Rain being extremely soft, Road ideal for rough roads, and Sport my choice of all-round option.

The Rider modes on the Versys 1000 SE really do supply an appreciable difference, with Rain being extraordinarily gentle, Street best for tough roads, and Sport my selection of all-round choice.

Fact be advised aside from sampling Street and Rain in numerous circumstances, I spent most of my time in Sport mode. Rain provides the Low (L) power setting and highest traction management intervention, with the digital suspension set to delicate, which is right if the circumstances actually deteriorate. At velocity on the freeway I did find this setting a bit delicate one-up.

Avon Cobra Chrome

Rider mode permits full customisation of these settings to the rider’s needs, primarily permitting you to additional refine a mode that could be distinct from the presets, best on your particular driving wants or circumstances, or simply for enjoying round with the chances.

It’s value noting there’s just Full and Low power modes, in addition to three ranges of traction management (KTRC) plus off, while digital suspension may be set into Onerous, Medium or Delicate, with compression and rebound each adjustable +-5 in Rider mode. While it’s an in depth electronics system, alongside the KIBS (ABS), cornering lights, TFT dash, KQS (quickshifter), and so on. there’s no countless ranges of (confusing) adjustability. Realistically I feel that’s a power on a sports-touring machine.

Powering the Versys 1000 SE there’s a standard 1043cc in-line four-cylinder powerplant, with 75lbs-ft of torque and simply shy of 120hp, which while not that spectacular on paper lately, belies an amazingly clean and very enjoyable engine. Acceleration is rocketship like, not essentially the craziest, however there’s an inevitable pull of acceleration that feels like you’re breaking orbit.

The Versys 1000 SE features an in-line four-cylinder, with 120hp and is plenty capable of providing some thrills

The Versys 1000 SE options an in-line four-cylinder, with 120hp and is lots capable of offering some thrills

Push those rpm larger and whereas the exhaust word is nothing to write down house about you’ll get a depraved induction scream, alongside that impression of countless rpm to explore earlier than energy tails off. These options mix to make for an intoxicating rush if you get to let unfastened, in addition to being completely addictive. Clear your weekends for driving in the event you’re grabbing one in every of these machines!

The quickshifter and linkage has a spongy feel, which is a bit on the unusual side, but does the job

The quickshifter and linkage has a spongy really feel, which is a bit on the weird aspect, however does the job

A KQS quickshifter additionally provides some luxury, working in both instructions, nevertheless the shift motion itself feels mushy, with Kawasaki explaining this can be a contactless quickshifter. That does mean there’s much less of a strong shift really feel when changing gears, because of the spongy action of the linkage with quickshifter hooked up. It’s not dangerous, it’s just totally different.

The clutch motion can also be straightforward and not too taxing, and I discovered myself using it as a lot as the quickshifter, while a slip and help clutch ensures that basically aggressive downshifting gained’t break traction, which is much less of a concern on an in-line four like this.

Kawasaki obviously didn't set out to offer the higher figures on paper, however performance is refined and plentiful

Kawasaki obviously didn’t got down to supply the upper figures on paper, nevertheless efficiency is refined and plentiful

All this combines to create a degree of performance that is partaking for normal street speeds and is obviously tremendous able to doing rather more. Gasoline financial system at our frantic testing tempo was additionally surprisingly good, if not in the realm of proper freeway touring. Complete gasoline capacity is in the region of 21L as properly, permitting for a powerful vary, which in the best circumstances would in all probability prime out at about 500km, though I’d be in search of a pit stop at 350-400km.

Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE

The digital suspension is an fascinating addition and one thing I typically discover with these methods is that for those who’re used to conventional suspension it can be fairly an experience coming to terms with the electronics. Where traditional system may be harsh, wallowy and quite a lot of different issues, it’s predictable if nothing else, whereas electronic techniques are much more dynamic, particularly with adjustment obtainable at the press of a button.

Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension offers a dynamic solution with most of the adjustability via the electronics system

Kawasaki Digital Control Suspension provides a dynamic answer with a lot of the adjustability by way of the electronics system

With some kilometres beneath my belt I might actually recognize the KECS on the Versys 1000 SE, when it’s working nicely it’s superb, with nice stability on the brakes and superb compression and rebound damping by means of that longer stroke suspension.

Having a fang in Sport mode was the apparent selection for a ‘Hard’ (sporty) set-up, whereas for the extra open bumpy country roads I did discover the more forgiving Street mode an occasional more sensible choice. There’s little question in case you have been doing 800-1000km in a day you’d be enjoying Street, but the capability to sharpen up the whole bike with Sport can’t be underestimated. On prime of this you’ve received the electronic preload adjustability by way of a switchblock button for the rear, whereas as compared the front requires guide adjustment.

Alongside the KECS suspension the front brakes were a real standout for me

Alongside the KECS suspension the front brakes have been an actual standout for me

Those front brakes are superior. I had some great enjoyable ‘testing’ the braking potential by grabbing a handful to see simply how quick I might decelerate – on a transparent part of street with no other automobiles nearby. Obviously the nicely supported entrance fork system makes an enormous difference here, with minimal dive and nice stability.

The one space I did find the Versys 1000 SE a handful was in the hairpin/tremendous tight corners and roundabout conditions the place that tall front-end required quite a bit of muscling, while within the more typical flowing circumstances it was just a hoot to experience, and journey onerous. U-turns aren’t a problem by any means, however I simply discovered myself slowing more than traditional for the actually tight stuff, which may simply come right down to familiarity with the bike, front-end and tyres.

The one area I found the Versys 1000 SE a handful was through the tight hairpin turns

The one area I found the Versys 1000 SE a handful was by way of the tight hairpin turns

General the Versys 1000 SE appears nice for my part, especially with the panniers eliminated, whereas providing an exceptional general package deal. The electronics are all nicely built-in and consumer pleasant, particularly from your sensible telephone, whereas there’s touring consolation and on a regular basis ridability.

The SE is the one version made obtainable in Australia and at $22,499 + ORC the bike is a premium product however a superb journey on the Versys 1000 SE will give an insight into just that. You’re benefiting from all the fashionable know-how on an already great machine. Plus that nifty self repairing paint in a deep metallic ‘Emerald Blazed Green’!

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE

It’s recommendation I’m increasingly given as digital suspension turns into more prevalent, but you actually do want an honest check experience to both check out the totally different settings, but in addition to get into the swing of the way it operates when you’re used to a standard system, so go organise a check on the Versys 1000 SE immediately and ensure you get enough time to get a correct feel for it!


I had a good time driving the Versys 1000 SE for a day tagging along to assist Kris with the photoshoot and to take Eri for a journey out to St Albans.

Even with a pillion, the Versys 1000 is a superb dealing with bike. It’s designed for 2 and there’s plenty of room for rider and passenger, as well as good seize rails and footpegs for the passenger, along with a beneficiant seat. With the panniers and prime field loaded with digital camera gear as nicely, the bike is definitely heavy and wishes a whole lot of muscling around, notably in the tighter corners and switchbacks, the place it turned quite tiring on the lower again and abdomen muscle tissues. We have been punting alongside at an honest price, although, and the street was over 50km long! Nonetheless, the Versys 1000 is just not for the inexperienced rider. It wants to actually be advised the place to go… Once you do, you’re rewarded with a superb dealing with tourer that can be ridden onerous, taking in something from clean twisties to massive mid-corner bumps. We have been even touching the footpegs down two-up on the quicker turns. It was prime fun. And all in consolation!

The electronic suspension labored nicely over the vary of circumstances I rode the bike in, although at occasions the rear damping was not doing an awesome job controlling the shock, as the rear would sit back on the rebound. The forks are tender, nevertheless, this gave a extra cozy journey and the commerce off wasn’t that a lot when pushing on.

The top-heaviness when loaded up does make it a problem to get from full lean to full lean however once the large 1000 is on its aspect, it tracks via a activate rails.
The brakes are nothing in need of sensational. They do an unimaginable job pulling the load up and have sportsbike feel and energy. Sensational.
Clutch motion is mild and clean and the rear brake has good really feel, so low velocity driving is simpler to execute with that combo.

The engine is a cracker, a real torque-house that pulls from proper off the underside and doesn’t flatten out till it gets close to redline. There isn’t a top-end to speak of however the mid-range is spectacular. It’s arduous to consider it’s an inline four to be trustworthy. The gear ratios are extensive to reap the benefits of that torque, nevertheless, the quickshifter was a bit on the uninteresting aspect and by no means really felt it drove residence a constructive shift.
I personally love the styling and end of the Versys 1000 and with more time would have appreciated to discover the sprint and vast electronics but I chose to go away it the best way Kris had set it up for Eri and I to pillion on for the day.

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE Tech Speak

Kawasaki’s 2019 Versys 1000 arrives in Australia this yr with simply the SE model imported, which means a number of further features included but with out the choice of a cheaper normal mannequin.

Highly durable paint has the ability to 'heal' minor scratches and marks when it warms

Highly sturdy paint has the power to ‘heal’ minor scratches and marks when it warms

The highlights of the 2019 Versys 1000 SE embrace the complete color TFT LCD display and high finish electronics package deal with sensible telephone connectivity and administration by way of ‘Rideology The App’, Kawasaki Electronic Suspension (KECS), plus the Highly Durable Paint in Emerald Blazed Green with Pearl Storm Grey and is self repairing with lighter injury.

The liquid-cooled in-line four-cylinder powerplant generates 120hp and 102Nm of torque, with the addition of Digital Throttle Valves (RbW) permitting the inclusion of cruise management, as well as Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC), Driving Modes and the Kawasaki Cornering Administration Perform (KCMF), with a Bosch IMU and 4 38mm downdraft throttle-bodies.

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE

The Integrated Driving Modes supply three presets and a Rider mode which may be manually adjusted to regulate the varied digital techniques, with smartphone connectivity and the ‘Rideology The App’ allowing riders to make straightforward modifications by way of their telephone, in addition to tweaking settings then pushing these settings to the bike.

As mentioned cruise control is featured normal, as is the KQS or Kawasaki Fast Shift system, which allows seamless up and down shifting without the clutch, however which operates above 2500rpm.

Kawasaki Digital Suspension may also be set by way of the cellular app, with the 43mm forks providing KECS managed compression and rebound damping on the entrance, with manually adjustable preload, while the rear gives compression and rebound damping with electronically controlled spring preload.

The high tech full colour dash is joined by a good ole fashioned tachometer

The excessive tech full colour sprint is joined by a superb ole original tachometer

For those not using a telephone and the app, a full color TFT LCD dash presents two display modes and a black or white background choice, as well as together with auto brightness, and is controlled by way of the fairly busy switchblocks, but in a relatively consumer pleasant method.

Brakes are twin four-piston radial-mount calipers on the front with 310mm petal rotors, whereas a 250mm rear is slowed by a single-piston caliper, with both backed up by Kawasaki’s Clever Braking System (KIBS), which now consists of cornering functionality.

An incredibly comfortable seat on the Versys 1000 SE ensures both rider and pillion comfort is well covered even for longer rides

An incredibly snug seat on the Versys 1000 SE ensures each rider and pillion comfort is nicely coated even for longer rides

The whole wet weight is 256kg, with a 840mm seat peak and an choice for a decrease seat accent to scale back that further to 820mm. The wheelbase is 1520mm, with a rake of 27 levels and path of 106mm, with suspension journey of 150/152mm entrance/rear.

Wheels are ‘lightweight’ 17in gadgets, clad in Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T31 rubber in 120/70 – ZR17 and 180/55 – ZR17 sizes.

Wheels are 'lightweight' options according to Kawasaki with Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T31 tyres

Wheels are ‘lightweight’ options based on Kawasaki with Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T31 tyres

The Versys 1000 SE as tested by additionally included various equipment together with the Prime Box Package ($660.22 RRP) and Back Rest ($72.00 RRP), Panniers with crucial accessories (1884,93 RRP), plus the pannier protecting movie ($90.00 RRP), as well as Axle Sliders ($139.45 RRP), Frame Slider Package ($275.45 RRP), Radiator Guard ($121.51 RRP), Fog Lights ($704.19 RRP), Heated Handgrips ($369.56 RRP), Tank Pad ($97.00 RRP) and Helmet Lock ($177.80 RRP).

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE Specs

Worth: $22,499 + ORC
Warranty: Two-year, limitless kilometre
Colours:  Emerald Blazed Inexperienced / Pearl Storm Grey

Claimed Power: 120hp[88.2kW]@9000rpm
Claimed Torque: 102Nm[75.2lbs-ft]@7500rpm
Moist weight: 256kg
Gasoline capability: 21L

Engine: Liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, four-stroke, DOHC, 649cc, 83 x 60mm bore x stroke, 10.8:1 compression, KCMF, Bosch IMU, KTRC, Driving Modes
Clutch: Assist & Slipper Clutch
Gearbox: Six-speed

Chassis: Aluminium twin-tube body, five-piece forged aluminium development, metal pipe trellis sub-frame
Rake: degrees Path: 106mm

Suspension: 43mm inverted fork with KECS-controlled compression and rebound damping, guide spring preload adjustability and top-out springs, 150mm journey, Horizontal Back-link BFRC lite gas-charged shock with piggyback reservoir, KECS-controlled compression and rebound damping, and digital spring preload adjustability, 152mm travel

Brakes: Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS aka ABS), dual 310mm entrance petal discs, four-piston radial-mount monobloc calipers, radial master-cylinder, 250mm rear petal rotor, single-piston caliper

Wheels & tyres: ‘Lightweight 17in wheels’, 120/70 – ZR17, 180/55 – ZR17, Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T31

Seat peak: 840mm
Wheelbase: 1520mm
General size: 2270mm
General peak: 1530mm
General width: 950mm

Devices: TFT LCD display, two display modes, black or white background choices

Commonplace fitment on SE: Kawasaki Quick Shift (KWS), LED Cornering Lights, Digital Cruise Control, Hand Guards, Highly Sturdy Paint, Giant windscreen, Smartphone Connectivity (syncs to Rideology the App)