The 2021 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT SE gets new suspension for 2021, blending Kawasaki parts with Showa Skyhook technology.
From what’s appeared online so far, it seems most of Kawasaki’s flagship adventure bike (which is really more of a sport tourer) is unchanged for 2021. Same 120-horsepower liquid-cooled 1043cc inline four with slipper clutch, electronic cruise control, power modes, quickshifter, cornering traction control, and so on. The Versys 1000 LT SE has cornering lights, 28-litre saddlebags, and a full-colour TFT screen (with smartphone connectivity). All the same basic stuff as last year’s model, with the same look.
However, the Versys 1000 LT SE now gets Showa’s Skyhook technology. Kawi’s presser indicates the suspension still uses Kawasaki’s KECS suspension tech, too. As per the news release:
New for 2021, Kawasaki’s flagship adventure tourer, the Versys 1000 LT SE, is outfitted with Showa Skyhook Suspension Technology. Already equipped with Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS), the upgraded Skyhook software delivers a smoother, more comfortable riding experience when riding solo or with a passenger. By using the KECS sensors to “read” the road 1,000 times per second, Skyhook is able to further enhance the versatility and comfort of the ultra smooth Versys 1000 making it possible for riders to tackle mile after mile.
Whatever the difference is in performance, Kawi lists the 2020 and 2021 models as having the same weight (566 pounds, or 257 kilograms). That’s always kinda been the Versys’ biggest shortcoming—it’s super-heavy. That weight, and a 17-inch front rim, mean the Versys is really aimed at street usage only.
For 2021, the Versys 1000 SE LT will sell for $18,199 in the US, $20,099 in Canada.