New Versys-X 300 owner - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Red face New Versys-X 300 owner

Yep, rode it home from the dealer today. Can't say much about it yet, because a 4 mile ride on surface streets isn't much to talk about, but I'm going to be outfitting it as a commuter bike. Probably a top box is all I'm going to add to it, since I don't want to make it wider because that'd make it harder to lane split (*the* reason to commute on a motorcycle here in California). I am in the East SF Bay area and work on the other side of the Bay in Mountain View near the Googleplex, so you can see why I am sick of commuting via cage.

Sorry about the hi-viz Olympia jacket, I tossed it on the handlebars while I was looking for the remote for the garage door....
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2018 Versys-X 300 ABS. Former bikes: 1983 Honda FT500 Ascot, 1985 Honda XL-350, 2001 Kawasaki KLR-650, 2003 Kawasaki Concours, 2008 Suzuki V-Strom 650.

Last edited by badtux; 04-07-2019 at 01:54 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 07:09 AM
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Hope you have a blast riding your new Versys!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:12 AM
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Once you get the seat sorted out that will make a great commuter bike.

Not sure I have enough faith in cagers these days to ride in that kind of traffic every day.

Where I live I hear on the radio almost every day about wrecks on the interstates during rush hours. I think I would just buy a Van and camp out in the Employee Parking Lot during the week if I lived in California and couldn't afford to live near work.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:18 AM
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:20 AM
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Welcome to Versys.
If I may, an engine guard will not make your Versys any wider, and it can save you money.
Although, we all expect that it doesn't.
Another thought, buy a better horn.
I have used mine (650ABS) mostly as a commuter in Philadelphia, and I feel a good horn is a must.
I did not buy the "bomb" as I don't want to irritate the car drivers, however, I did switch mine for a louder one (Denali Soundbomb Mini Horn, bought from Revzilla).
All the best.

Media, PA
Versys 650ABS/ 2017
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses, guys.

1) An engine guard does sound like a good idea. Lots of crunchy plastics up front there.
2) My horn is pretty loud. We don't use our horns here in the SF Bay area anyhow, not like in Philly where a horn and upraised middle finger are part of the regular driving vocabulary (based on my one single trip to Philly but I doubt it was unrepresentative, heh).
3) The seat is hard but my butt isn't. I'm an old fat guy and the seat worked fine for me, other than the hard edges at the traffic lights. I have a sheepskin left over from my V-Strom and I'm going to see if that suffices for that problem.
4) Our cagers here in the SF Bay area area are slightly more bike-aware than in most places. Still have to ride *very* defensively though -- stay out of people's blind spots, make sure you have escape routes, etc. -- but they'll even move to the side slightly to let you lane split past them when filtering at traffic lights. I've commuted by bike here before, I stopped commuting by motorcycle because I moved to 3 miles from work and I could ride a bicycle, but then work moved and then I got gentrified out, so there we are.
5) Thinking about a cheap Emgo top box. It's big enough for a pair of shoes or a couple of bags of groceries so. Any other inexpensive top boxes I should be considering?

2018 Versys-X 300 ABS. Former bikes: 1983 Honda FT500 Ascot, 1985 Honda XL-350, 2001 Kawasaki KLR-650, 2003 Kawasaki Concours, 2008 Suzuki V-Strom 650.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 04:03 PM
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That's a good looking bike! I really like the spoked wheels!

What's the top speed on the 300?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 07:08 PM
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Top speed on the 300? Faster than I want to go on a bike this light . I was at 80mph momentarily on the freeway today doing my usual filtering through traffic (where you're doing your best to make sure there's nothing to your left and nothing to your right because cagers always try to run you over, and speeding up and slowing down as needed to make it to a place in traffic that's safe). It was buzzing along at nearly 10,000 rpm but felt like it still had plenty to give. It's pretty clear that with the stock gearing the only limit on top speed is the rev limiter, not engine power. I figure you'll probably hit the rev limiter around 90mph or so. It does make me want to change the gearing though. My usual commute decidedly does *not* go 80mph, but even at 65mph it starts getting a bit buzzy.

I will say that it handled 80mph with composure. People have talked about death wobble and other things that happen at high speeds but I didn't have any such problems, it tracked pretty well. A strong buffetting crosswind at one point made the bike tilt left and right a bit but that's true of any lightweight motorcycle with an upright profile, if you just let the bike handle it rather than trying to fight it, the bike keeps going straight (that's a trick I learned on my old KLR-650, that bike would bob left and right like crazy in gusty crosswinds yet tracked straight as an arrow as long as you didn't try to fight it). On the broken pavement part, I'm actually a bit impressed with the suspension on this thing. The specs are rather modest but for what it is, it works really well. That said, it was *really* buzzy up there, and as soon as I made it to a place that it was safe to slow down, I did so.

In short, at high speed it's not my old Concours or V-Strom, both of which were long low lead sleds that basically ignored crosswinds and were stable as a rock at any speed. It did feel a little twitchy. But it didn't feel like it was about to spin out of control and crash like a F-104 Lawn Dart.

2018 Versys-X 300 ABS. Former bikes: 1983 Honda FT500 Ascot, 1985 Honda XL-350, 2001 Kawasaki KLR-650, 2003 Kawasaki Concours, 2008 Suzuki V-Strom 650.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 01:21 PM
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