Can there ever truly be "one bike to rule them all"? One that can be ridden rain or shine, slow and fast, best suited for short trips and long distances? Kawasaki seems to think so, and it is staking the claim that it's cracked the conundrum with its all-new Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+. It's a full-court press from a technology, feature, and componentry front to create a package that will take on any road, anywhere.

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT
New from the ground up with a new motor and chassisKawasaki

At the core of the new motorcycle is an all-new liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve, 1,043cc inline-four, with a bore and stroke of 77.0 x 56.0mm. Strong low-to-midrange torque and a smooth power delivery were priorities in order to create a motor that’s flexible and offers superb response.

Electronic Throttle Valves (ETV) are new, which is Kawasaki’s vernacular for ride by wire. The ETV system has the accelerator position sensor located in the throttle assembly, eliminating the throttle cable. Other new features include the fuel-injection mapping, exhaust design, and catalytic converter design.

New for 2019 on the Versys 1000 SE LT+ motorcycle is Kawasaki’s contactless-type quickshifter (KQS) for ultra-quick, full-power upshifts and clutchless downshifts. Complementing the transmission is an assist and slipper clutch.

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT dashboard
The 2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+ features ride modes and customizations for any conditionKawasaki

The frame of the Versys 1000 SE LT+ is a five-piece cast aluminum construction, and uses the engine as a stressed member. The subframe is a steel tube trellis, and enables a high payload. The frame was constructed with the fewest amount of welds possible in order to create a sleeker experience.

Kawasaki has equipped the Versys 1000 SE LT+ with the latest in its suspension technology—a 43mm Showa cartridge fork and Showa BFRC-lite (Balance Free Rear Cushion Light) rear shock with its Electronic Control Suspension technology (KECS). Technology the Versys also shares with its hypersport sibling, the H2 SX SE+.

The fork and shock have built-in stroke sensors for real-time stroke speed and compression information. The sensor coils provide input to the KECS ECU every millisecond. This coil is complemented with information by the IMU (acceleration/deceleration) every 10 milliseconds and the FI ECU (vehicle speed) every 10 milliseconds. The KECS ECU then directs current to the solenoids to adjust damping as required by the situation.

Riders can choose from four modes, each with ranges for suspension settings: Sport, Road, Rain, and Manual. KECS then adjusts in real time to provide the ideal damping. Variables include vehicle speed, stroke speed, and deceleration.

KECS offers three preload settings for the rear shock as well: rider only, rider with luggage, and rider with passenger and luggage. Ten levels of adjustment are also available in each setting to dial in your preferences.

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT Suspension
Suspension is now completely electronic, even rear preloadKawasaki

The Versys 1000 SE LT+ is equipped with 17-inch wheels front and rear, and the unbranded brakes are a pair of four-piston radial-mount Monoblock calipers that grip 310mm brake discs. The rear brake is a single-piston, pin-slide caliper gripping a 250mm disc. Kawasaki’s Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS) technology is also integrated and standard.

There are several ergonomic and content features with comfort in mind. There are new adjustable windscreen, vent layout, and cowl design. The wide handlebar and slim seat, along with low and forward footpeg position, aim for a spacious rider triangle. And for touring, Kawasaki’s quick-release 28-liter saddlebags are color matched to the bike, and can hold up to 11 pounds of storage. Plus, the integration of electronic cruise control.

The styling and design of the Versys 1000 SE LT+ feature lines that highlight the mechanical aspects of the motorcycle. There is Highly Durable Paint and full LED lighting, with cornering headlamps, and the dash is a TFT LCD display.

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT headlights
Cornering LED headlights have been added as wellKawasaki

The Versys is packing heavy in the riding technology department.

There’s the use of the latest six-axis Bosch IMU, creating an additional layer of precision to the riding suite. Utilizing Kawasaki’s modeling software and input from a compact Bosch IMU, Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF) monitors engine and chassis parameters throughout the corner to assist riders in tracing their intended line. In addition, there’s Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC) with selectable modes, or it can be turned off.

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT Bosch electronics package
New Bosch six axis IMU is crucial in the new electronics packageKawasaki

The Versys 1000 SE LT+ motorcycle allows riders to choose from Full Power or Low Power modes. Output at lower rpm is very similar, but Low Power mode limits output to approximately 75 percent of Full Power and has a milder throttle response.

There are also all-inclusive modes that link KTRC, Power Mode, and KECS, allowing riders to efficiently set traction control, power delivery, and suspension characteristics to suit a given riding situation. There are four main settings: Sport, Road, Rain, or a Manual setting. Kawasaki says the Sport setting is best for sport-oriented riding. The Road setting is geared more for a wide range of situations. The Rain setting for low-traction scenarios. Manual gives total control over all parameters independently.

Found throughout the Kawasaki lineup this year, the Versys 1000 SE LT+ has smartphone compatibility and integration. Using Rideology The App, a number of instrument functions can be accessed, logged, and reviewed.

Vehicle information can be viewed. A riding log is integrated to hold detailed data, route, distance, and time traveled, and riding conditions can be logged. Vehicle settings can be made on your smartphone and then applied before riding as well, along with shift settings, Ride Mode, and Electronic Suspension settings.

The app can also be used when away from the motorcycle. Logging information while you ride with the app on, and implementing any changes made via the app while the engine is off or out of range as soon as the ignition is turned on and the smartphone is in range with the app on.

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT dashboard
Can the 2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+ truly be as versatile as Kawasaki claims? We’re excited to find out.Kawasaki

Kawasaki didn’t leave much on the table when redesigning the Versys 1000 SE LT+, and we’re looking forward to seeing how it lives up to the claims of versatility, performance, and comfort. It definitely seems to be packing an electronics suite that can back those claims though. And starting at $17,999, it’s pretty feature packed as well.