A few words about riding the VX300 ABS on dirt - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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A few words about riding the VX300 ABS on dirt

So, I was curious to see how this little bugger handles a fire road with the non-switchable rear ABS. My findings are on the positive side of the spectrum.

For those of you who are in the OC area of SoCal, I took the Silverado Canyon road up to Saddleback Peak. The fireroad consists of deep pot holes, off camber turns, rocky sections, silty fine dirt in areas and a few stream crossings. You would never expect a place like this to be in central Orange County.

The bike performed as one would expect a sub 400lb, 5" travel, 30ish HP bike would in the dirt. It was fun and very tractable.

As for the ABS which I engaged what seemed like a few hundred times on the way down, was perfectly fine. As long as you didn't overwhelm it with too much speed, >25mph on a semi technical silty rocky descent, you can keep the bike under control. The combination of using the front brake while the rear was pulsing due to the ABS, kept things very manageable. I did go wider in a corner then I would've liked cause my speed was in the 40's and the terrain was steep and bombed out with ruts and loose rocks. After that, I maintained a more conservative speed and the bike felt perfectly composed.

I did find a few things I want to do with the bike from that ride. Since the bike model is still in it's infancy, the aftermarket products are still lacking, so I will be doing my own tinkering for now.

1. The rubber pegs are too squishy. The bike lends itself well to being ridden standing up. But the pegs don't allow you to have a secure purchase on your bike. I'm going to address it by either removing the rubber pads and filing/grinding in teeth to the aluminum portion of the peg or purchasing an aftermarket solution. The former is free, so I'll start there.

2. The seat is hard, but everyone nows that already. Will probably open up the seat and add some slow recovery foam (memory foam) and re-staple.

3. The gearing is low. I've purchased a +1 tooth front sprocket to make first gear usable.

4. The ABS. I'm banking on someone or the aftermarket to come up with an elegant solution to disable just the rear ABS.

5. This bike is stinking fun and sans drama. Definitely worth the price of admission!

Get yourself one!!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 05:09 AM
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Hi,

Thanks for your review of the off-road performance. I'm enamoured by this bike and look to buy it when it's launched in India. All my off roading has been done on a Royal Enfield which, to say the least, isn't ideal for it.

I saw a review by Fortnine.ca (
) where the reviewer removed the fuse of the ABS which disabled it and it was perfectly fine while off-roading.

Do you think that workaround would solve any issue you faced? It isn't elegant, but hey, as long as it works, right? Although I read elsewhere on the forum that removing the fuse also disables the speedometer.

Thanks

Last edited by vigneshnm; 07-20-2017 at 05:23 AM. Reason: Added link and additional info on removing fuse
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 11:20 AM
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I was stationed in Camp Pendleton from 06-09, and did a year at Saddleback College before I finished my enlistment. I loved joy riding along the back roads of Orange County and out in the desert in my car, definitely wish I was you right now! Enjoy the hell out of it!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 02:35 PM
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GeigerO, I feel better all the time about getting ABS on mine which will arrive next week. Nice description on what to keep in mind on the dirt and how the ABS responds. I will be riding about 50% gravel and dirt roads. Do you think a more aggressive tire would be in order for the dirt? Something still good for the slab but more grippy offroad.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 04:04 PM
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We drift down over those hills on the arrival into Orange County airport as well as Long Beach airport coming in from the east. I always look down at those dirt roads thinking they look like fun. After dark there are frequently slow moving headlights on the roads.

Anyhow, the rear ABS on the V650 reportedly can be temporarily disabled by spinning the rear tire while not moving. Hold the front brake, then spin the rear wheel on a loose surface. Iirc, the front ABS is still operable but I am not 100% sure on that. Perhaps the same procedure would work on the V300. The ABS comes back on the next time the ignition is turned off then on.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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@vigneshnm - removing the fuse like you mentioned is not an option that I'm willing to take. In the meanwhile, I've just been riding modestly when in dirt and it's suited me perfectly fine.

@aemacleod - most def enjoying the hell out of this little toy. Thanks!!

@hilltribe - an aggressive tire or specifically suited tire to the terrain will always reign supreme. But the stock tires on bike are pretty damn good for what I've been doing with it. 60/40 road to off highway ratio and it's going well. I haven't come across any deep sand or mud so I cant speak on that. But I'm gonna run them till they're worn.

@Fly-Sig - Yes, I have read that before, but I have yet to try it. maybe on the next outing..

Cheers,
Giger
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 10:58 PM
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 11:06 PM
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Thanks for the input on VX300. Enjoy your ride and be safe.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2017, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vigneshnm View Post
Hi,

Thanks for your review of the off-road performance. I'm enamoured by this bike and look to buy it when it's launched in India. All my off roading has been done on a Royal Enfield which, to say the least, isn't ideal for it.

I saw a review by Fortnine.ca (https://youtu.be/XYYf7iG1ih4) where the reviewer removed the fuse of the ABS which disabled it and it was perfectly fine while off-roading.

Do you think that workaround would solve any issue you faced? It isn't elegant, but hey, as long as it works, right? Although I read elsewhere on the forum that removing the fuse also disables the speedometer.

Thanks
From reading on these forums it seems that removing the fuse also turns off the speed indicator and gas mileage so I'd say fort nine may have not actually taken the abs fuse out but that was more for show as well as the changing the sprocket because that causes engine lights to come on. If you watch other videos you'll see he actually had a limited time with the bike and had to get it back. So I may be wrong but I don't think he actually tried those things, but would if he owned the bike. Those without the abs don't have these problems. They say it would be hard to actually engage the abs in real life because of the break squeeze the bike has. IF you needed the abs on the road you would be glad you had it, but it makes me want to buy without abs.
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Last edited by Evan4822; 07-31-2017 at 09:05 PM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan4822 View Post
From reading on these forums it seems that removing the fuse also turns off the speed indicator and gas mileage so I'd say fort nine may have not actually taken the abs fuse out but that was more for show as well as the changing the sprocket because that causes engine lights to come on. If you watch other videos you'll see he actually had a limited time with the bike and had to get it back. So I may be wrong but I don't think he actually tried those things, but would if he owned the bike. Those without the abs don't have these problems. They say it would be hard to actually engage the abs in real life because of the break squeeze the bike has. IF you needed the abs on the road you would be glad you had it, but it makes me want to buy without abs.
On my 1000, there is more than 1 fuse for the ABS. I pull the one for the ABS electric motor to disable it. There's also one for the electronics which may well disable other electronic circuits.
Did such a ride with a group yesterday and one of the guys had a V300. Seems like a good bike for such riding.

Science...because we don't figure things out by praying.
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