As I had some things to do a few miles S of my "Kawi dealer" yesterday, I dropped in to see WHEN they'd have an X-300 for a demo ride. Imagine my surprise to see one w/ a "DEMO ME!" sign hanging over a mirror.
Went inside to chat w/ the owner and asked when I could trial it. He mentioned a 'demo-day' this coming Saturday, then said "How about right now?" I demurred, saying I had stuff to do first, but that I'd check back once the weather improves (MAJOR flooding already happening here, but the forecast is for the WORST flooding in over 200 years the next few days!!!), and left for my 'duties'.
At about 1320 hrs I was finished, so mounted-up, heading N, then remembered that I could drop in to the cycle shop, and, MAYBE, trial-it, so that became my destination.
Got there in a few minutes, parked the GREEN HORNET TOO, went inside to ask IF the ride was still available - YES - so we headed out to 'plate' it, then I headed out to a road up a hill to a local ski-area, full of twisties to try it out.
First - the clutch is so light that it feels like it's not connected, and the seat, while high, is LOWER than on the 650s, but (initially) felt like a brick. As I rode w/out really looking at the tach I felt a good hit of power, than checking the revs noticed that once I was over about 5,000 it pulled pretty good, not at all as I expected from a 300cc 385# bike w/ about 30HP. That is - until I remembered that BOTH my '62 Triumph Thunderbird and my '79 Yamaha SR500 each weighed about the same, and EACH w/ about 30HP also!
It felt light, agile, and was easy to get into a rhythm of left-right-left thru the closely spaced turns, w/ enough power to pass the few vehicles I overtook on that road, and GOOD brakes when I needed them (ABS, of course!). I headed back to the shop, down that same hill/ road, and the seat was seemingly getting a bit 'softer' as I rode (it had only 25 kms on the odometer when I started the ride), so it might 'break-in' to where it doesn't need to be replaced.
The instruments are good, including a radiator temp gauge as well as a gear indicator - both welcome! - and trip computor as in my 650LT.
All-in-all - as I told the shop owner - I could see owning one of these. It has reasonable power, felt light and maneuverable, the suspension appeared to be pretty good (I went thru a pot-hole that SHOULD have caused the forks to 'bottom', but they didn't), and it certainly has "presence". During the ride I got it up to 115 km/hr (72 mph) and there was certainly "more" there, so it's not a slouch.
And here's a pic of it 'snuggling-up' to the leader of the pack....