Home 25 Best Motorcycles of the Past 25 Years 2015-kawasaki-versys-1000lt

2015-kawasaki-versys-1000lt

1992 Honda ST1100 ABS/TCS

2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT: For 2015, Rider brought the Motorcycle of the Year selection back in-house, and we chose the Kawasaki Versys 1000LT. We said: “When Kawasaki’s Versys 650 debuted for 2008, we didn’t know what to make of its unusual name (as mash-up of ‘versatile’ and ‘system’) and quirky styling. But the Ninja 650-based machine’s back-road handling won us over, leaping through corners like an over-caffeinated gazelle. A liter-sized version based on the Ninja 1000 was launched for 2012, but only in Europe and Asia. Kawasaki thoroughly updated the Versys 650 and 1000 for 2015 (including all-new bodywork) and finally brought both to the U.S. It was worth the wait. // Part adventure bike, part sport tourer, the Versys 1000LT is the best of both worlds. It’s tall enough for generous legroom and upright seating, comfortable enough for solo or two-up long hauling and powerful enough to satisfy our appetite for performance. Impeccably smooth with crisp throttle response and rheostat-like power delivery, its liquid-cooled 1,043cc in-line four sends 110 horsepower and 69 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheel. And its stout twin-spar aluminum frame, compliant suspension and excellent Bridgestone Battlax T30 tires give the Versys terrific on-road manners. Factor in standard features such as ABS, traction control, an adjustable windscreen, hand guards, 28-liter saddlebags and a centerstand, all for $12,799, and the end result is an impressive, all-around touring motorcycle that lives up to the ‘versatility’ in its name.” (Rider, September 2015; photo by Kevin Wing)

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