The whole Versys series seems to be a statement by Kawasaki that serious touring bikes don’t have to be chunky road sofas. And the Versys 1000 SE LT+—by far the biggest, baddest Versys being offered in 2022—stays true to that philosophy, with streamlined styling and performance that seem too good to be true, given how comfortable it is. Look out, Harley-Davidson.
Not that Team Green is really competing with Road Kings and Fat Boys here. This bike is more apt to be measured against other Japanese-made motorcycles for the adventure crowd, like the Yamaha Super Tenere ES or the Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT. But it’s a formidable touring bike by any standard.
For power, you get a 1043cc in-line four-cylinder engine producing 120 HP @ 9,000 rpm and 75.2 ft-lbs of torque @ 7,500 rpm. Rider aides include electronic cruise control, Kawasaki Traction Control, multiple riding modes, and Kawasaki Cornering Management function. This is very much a bike designed to make your long journeys safer and more comfortable—there’s even Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and a TFT color meter.
Most of the upgrades for 2022 are pretty subtle—the Showa Skyhook EERA software has been fine-tuned to help keep rides smooth and provide a sporty feeling to the bike’s handling. The color for this year is Metallic Graphite Gray / Metallic Diablo Black / Metallic Flat Spark Black, giving the bike a darker and more ominous (read: badass) appearance.
If you’re looking for a serious touring bike that can handle a range of riding conditions while still offering fairly sporty performance and enough power for long-distance two-up riding, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option amongst the available 2022 Kawasaki motorcycles.
The Versys 1000 SE LT+ starts at $18,399 USD / $20,299 CAD.
Based on feedback from racing activities, the Assist & Slipper Clutch uses two types of cams (an assist cam and a slipper cam) to either drive the clutch hub and operating plate together or apart.
Under normal operation, the assist cam functions as a self-servo mechanism, pulling the clutch hub and operating plate together to compress the clutch plates. This allows the total clutch spring load to be reduced, resulting in a lighter clutch lever feel when operating the clutch.
When excessive engine braking occurs – as a result of quick downshifts (or an accidental downshift) – the slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart. This relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and helps prevent the rear tire from hopping and skidding. This race-style function is particularly useful when sport or track riding.
Dual Throttle Valves
Late-model sport bikes often use large-bore throttle bodies to generate high levels of power. However, with large diameter throttles, when a rider suddenly opens the throttle, the unrestricted torque response can be strong. Dual throttle valve technology was designed to tame engine response while contributing to performance.
On models with dual throttle valves, there are two throttle valves per cylinder: in addition to the main valves, which are physically linked to the throttle grip and controlled by the rider, a second set of valves, opened and closed by the ECU, precisely regulates intake airflow to ensure a natural, linear response. With the air passing through the throttle bodies becoming smoother, combustion efficiency is improved and power is increased.
Economical Riding Indicator
Using high-precision electronic control for engine management, Kawasaki models can achieve a high level of fuel efficiency. However, fuel consumption is greatly affected by throttle use, gear selection, and other elements under the rider’s control. The Economical Riding Indicator is a function that indicates when current riding conditions are consuming a low amount of fuel. The system continuously monitors fuel consumption, regardless of vehicle speed, engine speed, throttle position and other riding conditions. When fuel consumption is low for a given speed (i.e. fuel efficiency is high), an “ECO” mark appears on the instrument panel’s LCD screen. By riding so that the “ECO” mark remains on, fuel consumption can be reduced.
While effective vehicle speed and engine speed may vary by model, paying attention to conditions that cause the “ECO” mark to appear can help riders improve their fuel efficiency – a handy way to increase cruising range. Further, keeping fuel consumption low also helps minimize negative impact on the environment.
Electronic Cruise Control
Electronic Cruise Control allows a desired speed (engine rpm) to be maintained with the simple press of a button. Once activated, the rider does not have to constantly apply the throttle. This reduces stress on the right hand when traveling long distances, enabling relaxed cruising and contributing to a high level of riding comfort.
Electronic Throttle Valves
Kawasaki’s fully electronic throttle actuation system enables the ECU to control the volume of both the fuel (via fuel injectors) and the air (via throttle valves) delivered to the engine. Ideal fuel injection and throttle valve position results in smooth, natural engine response and the ideal engine output. The system also makes a significant contribution to reduced emissions.
Electronic throttle valves also enable more precise control of electronic engine management systems like S-KTRC and KTRC, and allow the implementation of electronic systems like KLCM, Kawasaki Engine Brake Control, and Electronic Cruise Control.
KCMF (Kawasaki Cornering Management Function)
Using the latest evolution of Kawasaki’s advanced modeling software and feedback from a compact IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that gives an even clearer real-time picture of chassis orientation, KCMF monitors engine and chassis parameters throughout the corner – from entry, through the apex, to corner exit – modulating brake force and engine power to facilitate smooth transition from acceleration to braking and back again, and to assist riders in tracing their intended line through the corner. The systems that KCMF oversees vary by model, but may include:
KTRC (Kawasaki Traction Control)
KTRC, Kawasaki’s advanced traction control system provides both enhanced sport riding performance and the peace of mind to negotiate slippery surfaces with confidence. Multiple rider-selectable modes (the number of modes varies by model) offer progressively greater levels of intrusion to suit the riding situation and rider preference.
Less intrusive modes maintain optimum traction during cornering. Designed with sport riding in mind, they facilitate acceleration out of corners by maximizing forward drive from the rear wheel. And because Kawasaki’s 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.
In the more intrusive modes (and for some models, in any mode), when excessive wheel spin is detected, engine output is reduced to allow grip to be regained, effectively enabling riders to negotiate both short, slippery patches (train tracks or manhole covers) and extended stretches of bad roads (wet pavement, cobblestone, gravel) with confidence.
Models equipped with multiple Power Modes offer riders an easily selectable choice of engine power delivery to suit riding conditions or preference. In addition to Full Power mode, one (Low) or two (Middle, Low) alternate mode(s) in which maximum power is limited and throttle response is milder are provided.
Clever technology enables riders to connect to their motorcycle wirelessly. Using the smartphone application “RIDEOLOGY THE APP,” a number of instrument functions can be accessed, contributing to an enhanced motorcycling experience. Vehicle information (such as the odometer, fuel gauge, maintenance schedule, etc) can be viewed on the smartphone. Riding logs (varies by model, but may include GPS route, gear position, rpm, and other information) can be viewed on the smartphone. When connected, telephone (call, mail) notices are displayed on the instrument panel. Riders can also make changes to their motorcycle’s instrument display settings (preferred units, clock and date setting, etc) via the smartphone. And on certain models, it is even possible to check and adjust vehicle settings (such as Rider Mode, electronic rider support features, and payload settings) using the smartphone.
KQS (Kawasaki Quick Shifter)
Designed to help riders maximize their acceleration on the track by enabling clutchless upshifts with the throttle fully open, 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 without having to use the clutch. On models that offer clutchless downshifts, during deceleration the system automatically controls engine speed so that the next lower gear can be selected without operating the clutch.
ABS (Anti-lock Brake System)
Kawasaki ABS systems use front and rear wheel sensors to constantly monitor wheel speed. Should information from either of the sensors indicate that wheel lock has occurred, the ABS ECU directs the pump in the ABS unit to modulate brake fluid pressure (releasing and reapplying pressure so that traction can be regained) until normal operation resumes. ABS offers rider reassurance that contributes to greater riding enjoyment.
2022 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+ Photos
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