I've been test riding small bikes that can handle gravel roads and light exploring - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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I've been test riding small bikes that can handle gravel roads and light exploring

The 250cc Dual Sports are a no go for me. The 4" wide seats and only 7" wide aftermarket seats just won't work for me.

I saw the Van Van 200 and really loved the seat. It is an amazing seat! The Amazing Seat almost had me spending too much money for a lackluster basic motorcycle with an amazing seat! LOL!

Today I had the opportunity to test ride a new '17 Versys 300 and a new '19 Royal Enfield Himalayan.

I knew the seat on the Versys was going to have to go even before the test ride so I was already on the phone with Terry about what could be done. Unfortunately, the only way to go back is to go higher on the seat, but he could go wider. I really wanted to like everything else about the Versys 300 but to tell you the truth it felt like I was on a standard motorcycle instead of an adventure motorcycle and if my goal was to be on a more upright sitting ninja 300 and wind the bike out on the street it would be a fun bike. It just didn't work for me.

The Royal Enfield on the other hand just felt natural and familiar and easy to use. Down low torque where you need it and amazingly smooth for a thumper. I also like the look better but that is a very personal thing. This bike has stainless steel brake lines, nice brakes, the OEM muffler looks aftermarket. It just ticks so many boxes for me. I am going to try and seal a deal tomorrow on it.

I will say though that when I come across a used VanVan 200 for around $2000 I will probably buy one of those funky cool little bikes.

Oh, I also checked out the little Honda Monkey bike. If I wanted a bike to tool around the property or take on a bumper hitch to the beach or campground it would be a cool little bike to do that with. Cushy solo seat, all LED lighting and digital display in a really funky z50 vibe that many of us started our riding journey on.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:41 PM
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what the CC on the Himalayan.

meanwhile, go for whatever makes your riding happy
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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what the CC on the Himalayan.

meanwhile, go for whatever makes your riding happy
About 400cc. 2 valve, single overhead cam, lock nut valve adjustments with access doors to check the valves. Great for the 45 mph roads around me.

It is around 400 lbs and I was hoping to be closer to 300 lbs, but there is nothing in that range that has a usable seat or if it has a seat, enough power.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:16 AM
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Coincidentally I was just perusing the Himalayan online yesterday. I've not read many reviews on it's durability. There are about a billion Royal Enfields on the road in India, so they must have something good going.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Coincidentally I was just perusing the Himalayan online yesterday. I've not read many reviews on it's durability. There are about a billion Royal Enfields on the road in India, so they must have something good going.

I spent half the night watch videos of guys beating the crap out of the Himalayans. It is not a hop on it and ride motorcycle. It is a bond with the bike kinda ride. I will be just putting around and exploring the miles and miles of 1 lane roads and gravel lanes where I live. We have many roads that are titled "Ridge" and "Hollow" so you know we have some nice places to explore.

I'll post up some photos and ride reviews once I get out there and enjoy it.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Got in my first ride and christening of the bike.

It sure felt good to be back on roads I haven't ridden in 3 years.

Just taking it easy and breaking her in. Very easy to stand and ride. The CG is very low so the bike feels much lighter than its ~400 lbs.

Suspension feels spot on so far.

32 miles on it now. I'd still be riding but talking to the kids in New Zealand in a little bit.

Just insured the bike with dairyland. Added it to my policy with the Road Glide and Moto Guzzi and kept the full coverage on it. Drum Roll Please... $25 for full coverage for the next 11 months!

Yes, that is not a typo. $25 for full coverage!
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