Kawasaki has unveiled a new and improved Versys 1000 for 2019 at this year's EICMA show in Milan, the electronically sophisticated Versys 1000 SE LT +.

The big advancement is in the bevy of rider aids and electronics. This includes a new Bosch IMU, which is minimal on hardware but utilizes specially designed software from Kawasaki. This unit informs a number of systems including the Kawasaki Electronic Controlled Suspension, Kawasaki Intelligent ABS and Kawasaki Traction Control.

Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT +
Touring amenities like saddle bags and windscreen give the new Versys 1000 SE LT + a familiar look, but it’s what’s inside that makes all the difference.Kawasaki

Starting with Kawasaki Electronic Controlled Suspension, the 43mm Showa cartridge fork has compression and rebound damping controlled by the KECS system, and riders can choose base settings in four different modes—Sport, Road, Rain and Rider (manual). It’s a sophisticated package that measures speed and compression information every millisecond and makes adjustments as necessary. The Showa BFRC lite rear shock also features compression and rebound damping adjustment by way of the system, and allows the rider to electronically adjust preload. KECS has three shock modes to select from—rider only, rider with luggage and rider with passenger and luggage. If things need to be fine-tuned, there’s 10 levels of adjustment to work through.

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT +
More electronics than ever make this one of the most sophisticated Versys models to-date.Kawasaki

Six-spoke, 17-inch wheels front and rear are brought to a stop by way of dual 310mm brake discs and four-piston radial mount calipers at the front, and a 250mm disc with single piston caliper at the rear. The Kawasaki Intelligent ABS is the same as used on the ZX-10R and Ninja H2.

Kawasaki Traction Control comes with three modes tailored for the type of riding you expect to do, and if you want to go the old fashioned way, you can turn the system off.

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT +
A five-piece main frame connects to a rigid subframe, which is rated with a 485-pound payload capacity.Kawasaki

As for the piece that powers the new bike, it’s the same DOHC, 16-valve 1,043cc inline four engine that you’ll find in the Versys 1000 LT. However, the new electronic throttle valves send information to the ECU to better control the fuel and air mixture, for a better performing engine throughout the rev range. There’s also no throttle cable, as the EVT system has an accelerator position sensor located in the throttle assembly.

Engine performance can be managed by way of ride modes, offering either Full Power or Low Power options. And ride modes, Sport, Road, Rain or Rider (manual), integrate the function of the KTRC, KECS and selected power modes.

ABS and traction control systems
Updated ABS and traction control systems keep the rear wheel in check.Kawasaki

The six-speed transmission works by way of a Kawasaki Quick Shifter, allowing for clutchless shifting up and down the gearbox. If you’re bound and determined to use the clutch, though, the slip and assist function will make for a lighter pull and smoother shifts.

The package is housed inside a five-piece cast aluminum frame that has a steering stem, left and right main frames and two cross pieces. It utilizes the engine as a stressed member. The subframe is a steel tube trellis design.

cornering lights
Cornering lights are standard on the new Versys 1000 SE LT +.Kawasaki

There’s also an electronic cruise control system installed. You get a chip installed in the info display that allows you to connect your smartphone to the bike using RIDEOLOGY THE APP. From there you’ll be able to check vehicle stats, ride logs and you’ll be able to make adjustments to various settings. And if you get a wild hair late at night and want to change your settings, you can input them into the app. Once you switch on the ignition with the smartphone in range, those new settings will be implemented.

To keep tabs on all the currents and systems, Kawasaki gives riders a new TFT display. It has an analog tachometer alongside a full color TFT LCD screen. There’s a Touring mode display and there’s also a Sport Riding display, each providing layouts and bits of info important to the type of riding you’re doing.

refined instrument panel
A refined instrument panel gives riders a load of information from all the operating systems inside.Kawasaki

And because this is still a touring motorcycle, Kawasaki has attended to ergonomics and other creature comforts too. There’s a new adjustable windscreen that can be moved up or down from the cockpit without tools. A revised vent layout is intended to reduce negative pressure and make the ride more comfortable. It’s an upright ride and the rider triangle is relaxed, perfect for days on the road.

Standard Kawasaki Quick Release 28 liter saddlebags are included as well. They’re lockable and make use of a single key design, so it can be opened and closed with the ignition key.

Full LED lighting throughout keeps the road illuminated ahead, but also provides the means for cornering lights out front. These cornering lights are built into the shrouds and each can cycle through three fixed directions dependent on lean angle.

LED lighting and a rear ack
LED lighting and a rear ack provide for a tidy backside.Kawasaki

The overall styling is improved too, with an updated cowl and fairings, slimmed-down reflectors, a more compact exhaust muffler and new Highly Durable Paint. This is a special coat of paint that, Kawasaki claims, allows certain types of scratches to repair on their own. Highly Durable Matte Paint resists wear and is promised to stay high quality for years.

Metallic Flat Spark Black/Pearl Flat Stardust White is the only colorway available in 2019, and the Versys 1000 SE LT + will retail for $17,999.