Also considering an X-300 and have questions. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Question Also considering an X-300 and have questions.

Hello All: What a great forum with obviously very knowledgable members. The reason I joined was to ask questions about the Versys X 300.

First, I'm here because like many others, I want a smaller, lighter, more manageable bike that's still a lot of fun to ride. I want a bike that I can throw in the back of my pick-up when pulling a fishing boat or carry on an RV when traveling without a towed car. Probably the roughest roads I would ever ride on in Washington, Idaho, and Montana might be U.S. and state forest fire/service roads getting to a lake or river. I do ride on local streets but rarely go on highways or freeways. I have a 2008 HD Sportster just because, Harley....and I had a 2017 Honda CB300R that I thought might ft the bill, but I didn't like the more "sport" riding position so I sold it last year. So that bring me to find a bike that better fits my wants and needs.

Of course, like everyone, I want great reliability, lowest cost of ownership as possible, great dealer network for service/parts, aftermarket parts (so as not to be completely dependent on dealers), easy-to-do normal maintenance on, and just really easy and fun to use. I've been looking at the Honda CB500X, BMW 310GS, and the Versys X300. I also looked at a Royal Enfield Himalayan but ruled it out because there's no dealer with in 300 miles of me. I'm kind of also ruling out the Honda because it is bigger and heavier than the others but it's a very nice bike. I also hear there will be a KTM 390 Adv bike coming but I suspect it may be more bike than I would really ever use or need. I'd like the bike to be no more than 400 lbs. wet with gear (if possible) for a couple days outing. No reason to get too far from the RV, haha.

I know the decision to buy one brand over an other is a complex process involving objectivity, subjectivity, financial position, what's available (new or used), emotions, and/or just plain intuition. So this finally leads me to my questions:
Why did you buy the Versys X-300 over BrandX?
How long have you owned your X-300?
How has the reliability been?
Any major/minor issues that have taken a while to correct?
Things you like about it?
Things you dislike about it?
Has the inability to turn-off ABS ever been an issue?
Are you glad you bought it over BrandX?
Would you buy it again knowing what you now know
And finally, the most important question, would you recommend an X-300 to your mother if she was looking for a bike? (No one would ever steer their mother wrong, correct?)

I'm sorry for the long post but I do really look forward to your answerers and insights!
Larry
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 08:05 AM
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 09:15 AM
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Up front spoiler alert - I don't own an X-300 so I can't provide any first hand information, but I can suggest you try to locate a copy of the April 2019 issue of Motorcycle Consumer News (motorcycle version of Consumer Reports - no advertising) and read their review of the X-300. It's quite detailed, as usual for this magazine, and offers both praise and criticism. Overall they rate the X-300 a three of a possible five.

The article's sub-heading reads, "Kawasaki's wispy entry-level bike is user friendly, easy on budget." The opening paragraph reads, "Renowned for its potent engines, Kawasaki has pushed the envelope with the introduction of its Versys X-300. It's an economy-level light tourer and daily commuter, in response to recent demand for low-priced and beginner-friendly two-wheeled transportation."

After detailed assessments of engine, transmission, suspension and handling, brakes and wheels, ergonomics, instruments and controls, and attention to detail, the closing "value" paragraph reads, "The shortcomings beg one question: What can one rightly expect [with ABS] for $5,799? This is not a premium, round-the-world motorcycle. This is a classic, get-what-you-pay-for proposition. No one could objectively call it a bargain. It might be good for a brand-new rider, who is not the slightest bit interested in speed and torque, but seeking inexpensive transportation with a hint of ADV styling. If not, there are better bikes at this price point."

Their Highs and Lows sidebar - they call it "Smiles and Frowns" reads: "Smiles" - ergonomics; handling; novice-friendly, while "Frowns" reads - dismal power, torque; insufficient brakes; useless windscreen.

The article may cause happy X-300 owners to rise up and threaten to never buy another copy of MCN, but over the years, in my humble opinion, their articles are usually objective, fair and accurate though I may not agree with their conclusions.

I considered an X-300 as a smaller, lighter alternative to my 2008 Versys 650, but after examining and test riding one, decided on a BMW G310. I may be considered guilty of heresy by some but I'm pleased with my choice. I still love and admire my Versys 650 and feel it's one of the best all round motorcycles available.

Oh, and I wouldn't recommend one to my mother unless she has longer legs than I have.

PS - Don't shoot the messenger!
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Arion

"Plan? Plan! There ain't no plan."
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Last edited by Arion; 04-13-2019 at 09:21 AM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 10:28 AM
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I own a '18 650 LT as of March 1st this year, but I test drove the '19 300 when I bought mine, but I'll try to answer the best to help you..

How has the reliability been?
Great, accessories and supplies cheap and nothing broken.

Any major/minor issues that have taken a while to correct?
Nope the manual is very thorough and explains all basic maintenance (like oil change and torque specs)

Things you like about it?
The 650 does everything. The 300 keeps up on the highway but I wouldn't ride it cross country.

Things you dislike about it?
The 300 I dont like that its over $5k for a new bike and is only a 300cc. You could get more bike for that amount of money, but it is comfortable and will do trails easily.

Has the inability to turn-off ABS ever been an issue?
Don't know why you'd want to turn this off? So i guess not.


Are you glad you bought it over BrandX?
Had to accept I was buying an all around slower bike with the 650 than many other 650s. But I knew i liked the ease-of-ownership and available accessories and maintenance. The 300 is going to be similar in that you can probably beat the crap out of it on the trails, ans it will still run strong.

Would you buy it again knowing what you now know
Its my first big boy bike and I love it. I plan on keeping it for several years and riding the crap outta it, but I like variety in my life. I'll probably buy something different next.

And finally, the most important question, would you recommend an X-300 to your mother if she was looking for a bike? (No one would ever steer their mother wrong, correct?)
My mom wouldn't touch a bike so lets say my dad.... I'd recommend a used one if it was for trail riding or a first bike for around town/short commuting. Again, >$5k is a lot for a small bike, but it may be worth the money if you have a fat bank account, or want maintenance to be a minimum.

Hope this helps
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 69runnerbb View Post
...I also hear there will be a KTM 390 Adv bike coming but I suspect it may be more bike than I would really ever use or need....
One of the guys that wrote for MOTORCYCLIST had a KTM 390 set-up as a track bike, and had no end of issues w/ it. Might be something to think about....

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 12:01 PM
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Feb 15th 2019 I bought a NEW 2017 Versys X 300. March 5th, 2019 I traded up to the 2019 V650.

Why did you buy the Versys X-300 over BrandX?
(I was originally going to buy the BMW 310GS, but watched a Youtube video review that the VX excelled in most if not all areas)

How long have you owned your X-300?
(About 40 days)

How has the reliability been?
(No problems at all)

Any major/minor issues that have taken a while to correct?
(N/A)

Things you like about it?
(It's torque , a dual cylinder 300 cc bike, it's upright seating stature, fuel economy, light weight, handling, available accessories, sporty look, price, anticipated maintenance cost and suspension)

Things you dislike about it?
(1st gear is almost too low for the street (good off road), hard seat, turn signal does auto cancel, at 70 mph sounds like it's doing 120 mph, too small for a second rider at highway speeds (my opinion).

Has the inability to turn-off ABS ever been an issue?
(N/A, mine non-ABS)

Are you glad you bought it over BrandX?
(Yes)

Would you buy it again knowing what you now know
(Yes, if I needed a smaller bike for non-highway use)

And finally, the most important question, would you recommend an X-300 to your mother if she was looking for a bike? (No one would ever steer their mother wrong, correct?)
(No, she's 80 YO...Ok, maybe if she was younger)

I originally bought the bike to be lightweight to carry on a hitch carrier, to hang on the back of our class-C motorhome for transportation if needed/wanted. I ended up buying the Versys 650, which is heavier, a little smoother, and has a very comfortable seat. I loved the VX 300, the 650 better suits my needs. Sounds like it maybe the right bike for your needs.

Last edited by Fd304ret; 04-18-2019 at 12:07 PM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks much for all thre replys. It really does help.
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