Sharing its basic 1,043cc inline-four with the Ninja 1000, the Versys 1000 LT presents as a sort of naked bike turned touring rig. Standard features for such globetrotting (or at least, continent hopping) are a sizable fairing with a tall, tool-free-adjustable windshield, a deeply padded dual seat, removable locking side cases, and a luggage rack. Did we mention the bodacious seat? That is one thick puppy! Making the Versys 1000 LT easy to live with on the road is its large, open cockpit, hand guards to ward off rain and cold, “mass dampers” on the handlebar ends to quell vibration at the grips, and a highly useful centerstand.
It’s instructive to compare this Versys light tourer to Kawasaki’s own Concours 14 sport-tourer. Advantages for the Versys include a whopping 141-pound less curb weight and a 17 percent lower MSRP, while the Concours has an edge with 30 percent more displacement and low-maintenance shaft drive. But back to the Versys 1000 LT… If you’d favor a Cessna Citation over an SR-71 Blackbird, and if your budget agrees, this may be your ride. Westward ho!
Likes: Literbike power, comfy seating, reasonable price
Dislikes: How about some colors besides black? We're past the Model T days!
Verdict: Kawasaki's bare-bones big tourer