New from the Bronx - year-round Versys 300 X rider - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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New from the Bronx - year-round Versys 300 X rider

Hi all from the Bronx (part of the 5 "boroughs" of New York City). I just got my 2017 Versys 300 X back in August 2018 as a year-old leftover model. I've got about 1,100 miles on it and use it as a daily drive/ride to go to work, pick up my wife, etc. It handles the Bronx's sometimes pothole-ridden streets quite well for only 5.1" frt/5.8" back wheel travel. It's one of the most affordable dual sports around. I recently did an oil change on it myself.
The first thing is did was get T-Rex crash bars because they use these thick plastic pucks that protrude from the bars. I also got a T-Rex exhaust frame slider - both came in handy when I tipped over a few times. I've since gotten boots with high soles and uses height-boosting insoles. Now both feet flat foot and the fear of falling off of my Versys is gone. I've actually gotten used to the Versys and it's seat position is way more comfortable than my 2014 Suzuki Burgman 200 scooter. That scooter will be sold in the spring.
All I have to do is get a top case to replace some of the Burgman's 40 liters of trunk space. I plan on getting Barkbusters very soon, the power outlet for the dash, and an SW-Motech GPS holder that mounts above the dash right behind the windshield, besides that topcase. I forgot to mention the T-Rex skid plate that I installed but another company makes a much thinker and stronger skid plate so I'll soon be selling my T-Rex one. The last thing I did was add a Gerbing wire to the battery for heated gloves. I need a new controller because Gerbing controllers seem to be bad quality.
Overall the bike is good for the money. First gear is useless on the street so I stop at 2nd gear or even 3rd gear sometimes. 3rd gear and up has some good power band sweet spots but don't expect too much power from the 296cc motor. It's just enough fun to not get bored with the bike and want to sell it. The clutch has a light feel and a small friction zone but I got used to it.
As mentioned the 32" seat height was a problem solved by using thick-soled boots and the riding position is comfortable for the longest rides I've had which were around an hour and a half. The seat itself is a little stiff but it has a low spot which is good for shorter riders.
The brakes could be better especially with a passenger. I'll see if I can actually upgrade the brakes in the future. Please advise if you know anything I could do to decrease stopping distances.
Gas mileage is decent. I haven't run out of gas yet on a trip. I use 91 octane gas and sometimes 93 if I can. I don't have the centerstand but it's not an issue at the gas station.
It handles potholes and rough streets well enough. The other day there was a sunken manhole cover that I thought would make me lose control and wipeout but the Versys 300 X handled it with no problem. Another route I take has a street with a ripple /wavy surface from so many heavy buses and trucks going over it and I can take it up to 30mph. Kind of feels like riding a horse except I haven't been thrown off yet.
Overall the Versys 300 X is great for urban environments with bad streets which would be it's strongest performance attribute. Second would be the sweet spots with 3-5 gear. Third would be seat comfort then mileage then cool looks. It's very practical. I got mine with 0 miles for $6,000 U.S. with tax and tags plus assembly fee and shipping that they charge you. I went to Shelby's Powersports in the Bronx where I had already bought my Burgman scooter 4 years earlier.
I'm known to put serious miles on anything I own be it car or bike. I've ridden in all 5 boroughs with it and taken it through some decent curves. The only thing I wish it had was a bigger motor and slightly more suspension travel front and back. The police haven't bothered me yet so it's been an enjoyable experience so far. Beats taking the MTA's slow-moving, delay prone trains and buses.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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I'll post some more pics some other time. Tell me what you think.

Last edited by Jake Wheelie; 01-10-2019 at 08:06 PM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Wheelie View Post
Hi all from the Bronx (part of the 5 "boroughs" of New York City). I just got my 2017 Versys 300 X back in August 2018 as a year-old leftover model. I've got about 1,100 miles on it and use it as a daily drive/ride to go to work, pick up my wife, etc. It handles the Bronx's sometimes pothole-ridden streets quite well for only 5.1" frt/5.8" back wheel travel. It's one of the most affordable dual sports around. I recently did an oil change on it myself.
The first thing is did was get T-Rex crash bars because they use these thick plastic pucks that protrude from the bars. I also got a T-Rex exhaust frame slider - both came in handy when I tipped over a few times. I've since gotten boots with high soles and uses height-boosting insoles. Now both feet flat foot and the fear of falling off of my Versys is gone. I've actually gotten used to the Versys and it's seat position is way more comfortable than my 2014 Suzuki Burgman 200 scooter. That scooter will be sold in the spring.
All I have to do is get a top case to replace some of the Burgman's 40 liters of trunk space. I plan on getting Barkbusters very soon, the power outlet for the dash, and an SW-Motech GPS holder that mounts above the dash right behind the windshield, besides that topcase. I forgot to mention the T-Rex skid plate that I installed but another company makes a much thinker and stronger skid plate so I'll soon be selling my T-Rex one. The last thing I did was add a Gerbing wire to the battery for heated gloves. I need a new controller because Gerbing controllers seem to be bad quality.
Overall the bike is good for the money. First gear is useless on the street so I stop at 2nd gear or even 3rd gear sometimes. 3rd gear and up has some good power band sweet spots but don't expect too much power from the 296cc motor. It's just enough fun to not get bored with the bike and want to sell it. The clutch has a light feel and a small friction zone but I got used to it.
As mentioned the 32" seat height was a problem solved by using thick-soled boots and the riding position is comfortable for the longest rides I've had which were around an hour and a half. The seat itself is a little stiff but it has a low spot which is good for shorter riders.
The brakes could be better especially with a passenger. I'll see if I can actually upgrade the brakes in the future. Please advise if you know anything I could do to decrease stopping distances.
Gas mileage is decent. I haven't run out of gas yet on a trip. I use 91 octane gas and sometimes 93 if I can. I don't have the centerstand but it's not an issue at the gas station.
It handles potholes and rough streets well enough. The other day there was a sunken manhole cover that I thought would make me lose control and wipeout but the Versys 300 X handled it with no problem. Another route I take has a street with a ripple /wavy surface from so many heavy buses and trucks going over it and I can take it up to 30mph. Kind of feels like riding a horse except I haven't been thrown off yet.
Overall the Versys 300 X is great for urban environments with bad streets which would be it's strongest performance attribute. Second would be the sweet spots with 3-5 gear. Third would be seat comfort then mileage then cool looks. It's very practical. I got mine with 0 miles for $6,000 U.S. with tax and tags plus assembly fee and shipping that they charge you. I went to Shelby's Powersports in the Bronx where I had already bought my Burgman scooter 4 years earlier.
I'm known to put serious miles on anything I own be it car or bike. I've ridden in all 5 boroughs with it and taken it through some decent curves. The only thing I wish it had was a bigger motor and slightly more suspension travel front and back. The police haven't bothered me yet so it's been an enjoyable experience so far. Beats taking the MTA's slow-moving, delay prone trains and buses.

Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
I used to commute from Brooklyn NY to Fort Lee NJ every day on my Versys 650, all year round. After a year I gave up and moved to NJ. If you ride in the winter I'd highly recommend you get a tall windshield and hand guards to protect you from the cold wind. Otherwise, riding through the winter in NY is doable.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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I'm getting those Barkbusters. I'm afraid of tall windshields because sometimes the wind on bridges and elevated highways can be scary. I thought maybe the tall windshield would make it worse. I've been going from the Bronx to Staten Island every Saturday to teach an adult class at St.George, taking the Whitestone to the Verrazzano Any suggestions for riding in the wind? I always take the lower level on the Verrezzano but one week I got blown hard by a sudden wind. I'm familiar with the Whitestone which I've crossed maybe 50 times already. I've ridden year round before just not with the Versys. How does the 650 handle potholes? Thanks for the reply BTW.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Wheelie View Post
I'm getting those Barkbusters. I'm afraid of tall windshields because sometimes the wind on bridges and elevated highways can be scary. I thought maybe the tall windshield would make it worse. I've been going from the Bronx to Staten Island every Saturday to teach an adult class at St.George, taking the Whitestone to the Verrazzano Any suggestions for riding in the wind? I always take the lower level on the Verrezzano but one week I got blown hard by a sudden wind. I'm familiar with the Whitestone which I've crossed maybe 50 times already. I've ridden year round before just not with the Versys. How does the 650 handle potholes? Thanks for the reply BTW.

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The wind can get annoying sometimes on bridges but it never bothered me too much.. maybe because the 650 is a heavier bike and thus handles the wind better than the 300. I personally ride on the upper level and ALWAYS as fast as I can (80-90mph if the conditions allow), maybe it's wrong but I do for 2 reasons:
1) I want to get it over with ASAP.
2) I think the faster I go the more energy (mass * acceleration) is moving forward and therefore the side winds are less noticeable.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 09:43 PM
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Avoid potholes if possible, cause its quite difficult to judge the dept of each pothole, but the Versys 650 can take quite a beating on potholes and worse case scenario is a leaking seal on the suspension as I found out when riding in Thailand during monsoon season.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 09:57 PM
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Cool another Burgie 200 owner.

I picked up a used Versys 650 in October. If I had bought a 300 like originally planned I would definitely be selling the scooter, too much "mission overlap" assuming you get enough luggage on the Versys. But that's a whole lot of luggage. With my topcase, the scooter is good for 90+ liters. I also still find it much more pleasant and fun to ride in urban traffic. "Point and scoot". Low seat height, even lower CG, and small wheels makes it super manuverable. The Versys 650 I consider to be more of a weekend, ride up into our mountains type of toy. The 650 I never feel like I can even get into the power band on urban roads. Unlike the 300, it is geared such that you could wind it up over 50mph in 1st.

Enjoy

-dm
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Wow. Now I want to have a Versys 650, too. I'm jealous of that first gear. I could take long trips with a 650 to Pittsfield, MA where I have a few friends who ride and upstate New York. I have things planned already lol.
You should get a 300 X, too. Why not? Lol.
I like the Burgman 200. I got it from Shelby's Powersports in the Bronx in 2014 for $5700 with tax, tags and fees but have since paid it off. I also have 18,000 miles on it and it's been fairly reliable but it can't handle those messed up streets. 40 liters plus a 50 liter topcase? Wow. I only have a Givi backrest on mine. The problem is the small wheels also make it more susceptible to losing control when hitting an unexpected pothole and its agonizing seat position. We use the Burgman to go to the supermarket and it's amazing how much always fits in that underseat trunk. She likes it, too but likes the Versys as well. Only thing I need badly for the 300 X is a topcase as a backrest for her and storage. It's been well worth the money so far.

I also took that big windshield off the Burgman because I quickly discovered that the winds on the Whitestone were pushing me more and more to the median. I still have it off. I think the Versys 300 is more stable on the bridges although I've gone to Staten Island across three bridges with the Burgman as well. I had the windshield off the Versys 300, too, but recently put it back. Idk if it's better to have it on or off when crossing a windy bridge.

For the Burgman 200 I wish they changed the seat on the scooter and made a tougher suspension but yeah point and scoot is a different experience and it is fun. Most of those scooters do have that same seat position where your knees are positioned high and your back is arched.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 08:24 AM
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Sounds like your city roads are more equivalent to what I would expect to see on dirt forest service roads - that would be the 300's best environment.

From what I know from this forum and youtube, the 300 can do highways just fine, you'll end up pulling a lot of rev's on I90 but that engine is known to be rev-happy. No different than the Burgie which needs 7500rpm to do 60. Unless things have changed since I moved out here 30 years ago, the speeds on NE highways aren't that high, nor are the mountain passes, so I can't see the 300 running out of power, like it might potentially do out here - but probably only crossing the steepest passes or say crossing Montana against a 30 mph headwind.

If you read on this forum, you can change the gearing pretty easily with a sproket change to make 1st less of a off-road creeper gear. Interestingly, I'm interested in changing the 650 the other way. Min speed in 1st w/o slipping the clutch seems to be 6 or 7mph, so I would like lower for difficult terrain.

The Burgie is still a great little grocery hauler. Even if you add side cases to the Versys to approximate the storage capacity, all your groceries just fall out when you get home when you open the drop-down ones :-(. I can put the Givi 42 liter monolock case on either.

BTW, I paid only about 2/3 what you paid for the Burgie. Mine was a left-over at the dealer and we don't pay crazy NY prices for things (although Seattle crazy is starting to be bad enough). I've been thinking about taking it over to Rich's Custom Seats in Kingston, WA to have a better seat made. The 300 also needs a better seat! The stock seat on the 650 seems just fine.

-dm
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Wheelie View Post
...How does the 650 handle potholes? Thanks for the reply BTW....
PDG for me - I've ridden LOTS of dirt on mine (THREE). This pic is at the N end of the Dempster Hwy in Canada's North West Territories, 500 miles of dirt [EACH direction of course].



And these were taken at the Border,



and in Chicken, Alaska on ANOTHER ride N.


Ed
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 05:46 PM
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Wow. Nice pics. You're a real cross-country kind of rider I see. I haven't done that yet but probably will if I get a 650. Thanks for the pics. Thanks to everyone who has taught me about the Versys 650. Seems like my next bike. 1st gear up to and over 50mph, heavier weight being better in the wind, and might handle rough roads better than my 300 X. I would get dirt bike rims like the 300 X has if I ever own a 650
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaulter View Post
The wind can get annoying sometimes on bridges but it never bothered me too much.. maybe because the 650 is a heavier bike and thus handles the wind better than the 300. I personally ride on the upper level and ALWAYS as fast as I can (80-90mph if the conditions allow), maybe it's wrong but I do for 2 reasons:

1) I want to get it over with ASAP.

2) I think the faster I go the more energy (mass * acceleration) is moving forward and therefore the side winds are less noticeable.
You want to get it over ASAP. I understand 100%. It can be a little scary to say the least but hey, we're still here. I'd love to ride a Versys 650 across those bridges a few times under various conditions just to compare. Idk if the scooter or the 300 X is more stable on the wind. But, I won't be putting that giant Burgman windshield back anytime soon until I sell it.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dbmccrohan View Post
Sounds like your city roads are more equivalent to what I would expect to see on dirt forest service roads - that would be the 300's best environment.



From what I know from this forum and youtube, the 300 can do highways just fine, you'll end up pulling a lot of rev's on I90 but that engine is known to be rev-happy. No different than the Burgie which needs 7500rpm to do 60. Unless things have changed since I moved out here 30 years ago, the speeds on NE highways aren't that high, nor are the mountain passes, so I can't see the 300 running out of power, like it might potentially do out here - but probably only crossing the steepest passes or say crossing Montana against a 30 mph headwind.



If you read on this forum, you can change the gearing pretty easily with a sproket change to make 1st less of a off-road creeper gear. Interestingly, I'm interested in changing the 650 the other way. Min speed in 1st w/o slipping the clutch seems to be 6 or 7mph, so I would like lower for difficult terrain.



The Burgie is still a great little grocery hauler. Even if you add side cases to the Versys to approximate the storage capacity, all your groceries just fall out when you get home when you open the drop-down ones :-(. I can put the Givi 42 liter monolock case on either.



BTW, I paid only about 2/3 what you paid for the Burgie. Mine was a left-over at the dealer and we don't pay crazy NY prices for things (although Seattle crazy is starting to be bad enough). I've been thinking about taking it over to Rich's Custom Seats in Kingston, WA to have a better seat made. The 300 also needs a better seat! The stock seat on the 650 seems just fine.



-dm
NYC Mayor de Blasio supposedly has the best record for repaving NYC's streets. There are quite a few decent streets but those are all less traveled by buses and trucks. A fireroad is probably the best description for many streets here. The Versys has handled impressively in the 5 boroughs for sure. I wish I could take it on a fireroad. Never been on one of those.

For the Versys 300, if there aren't any headwinds it's around 7k RPM at 60mph on the highway. I noticed over the past few months that the Burgman 200 is around 8k, almost 9k RPM at 60. It used to be a little less RPM. I don't push it too much on the highway. I have to look into what's going on. The oil has been changed regularly. It does has 18k on the Odo. Now I'm using the Versys so much more.

"Off-road creeper gear", ah so that's what it is. Yeah, it's a total burden on the street but since I can leave it in 2, I just do that. I looked at a few videos on YouTube by other Versys 300 X owners who changed their sprockets and I'm still unsure if I want to go that route. I can even pull out in 3rd gear while holding the clutch in a little and revving a little extra. Low gearing and a small engine sucks sometimes but I can't wait to take it to a trail or even a fireroad. You're first gear mod will make first gear a best of both worlds situation maybe because you have a bigger motor.

Wow. You saved some money on the Burgman. I got a deal on Versys as a leftover but yeah NY prices are ridiculous.

"Givi 42 liter monolock case" let me check on that one. Sounds perfect

Thanks a lot for your input.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 03:54 PM
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