Opinions on a Versys-X 300 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2020, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Opinions on a Versys-X 300

Hello, I'm new to the Versys forum, but an experienced rider. I currently have a 2016 Kawi Concours 1400, which is great for street, and wanted to get a second bike to ride on dirt & trails. The Versys-X seems like it might fit the bill - a bike still capable on the pavement, but something that's light & small so I can take it off-road. For those of you who own one, what's your opinion about the off-road capability of the Versys-X?

Steve
Lake Stevens, WA
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2020, 10:18 PM
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it will do great on fireroad type roads its pretty fun on mountainous roads a lot like a ninja. not as well on single track but it can do some single track if you have the right tires. its light and capable, it needs a skid plate for sure.and the windshield sucks, (no buffeting but loud as it can be over 35mph). needs a taller one or a clip on to help it.and the seat is hard but an air hawk seat helps a lot.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 09:59 AM
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I have taken my Versys-300x on single track, and it was surprisingly capable. I was probably limited by my skill level rather than the bike. I run Shinko 804/805 tires, which I like on both the road and off. For me they are the right compromise --- and are relatively inexpensive to boot. My off-road adventures did reveal that the kickstand safety switch is pretty vulnerable. I had a couple of worrisome moments where I could not restart without giving the mechanism a hard kick. The clearance is what it is. I got hung up on one log, and had to be sensible about what I attempted. It is heavier than a dirt bike, of course, but as an all-around performer, I am loving my Versys-300. On gravel and dirt roads it is comfortable and confidence inspiring, and on-road it is great fun to blast around. I alternate between this and a V-strom 650. If I know I am going to ride where the roads are challenging, I almost always take the Versys.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 08:24 PM
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For me, its a great third bike in the stable, but it couldn't be my only bike for the obvious reasons. I purchased it for the same reasons that you're looking at. I wanted something that I could ride trails on here in Florida, and I wanted something that I could ride on the streets to get to those trails. It's worked out perfect for that, I use it on trails like the one in the background of the first pic, its certainly geared for trails. I dont do motocross off-road circuits, but I do use it on normal trails in the woods in my area and it handles it quite well.

I quickly discovered that its much more handy to run local errands on compared to the Griso 1200 or the Harley, I added some quick release panniers and a tail bag to carry stuff in for city duty, (luggage comes off for the trails). Because of its light weight, its a lot easier to maneuver around in heavy urban traffic in my area, getting it in and out of the garage, and handles like a breeze on the trails. The price point on these bikes makes it a keeper too.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by sllarson View Post
Hello, I'm new to the Versys forum, but an experienced rider. I currently have a 2016 Kawi Concours 1400, which is great for street, and wanted to get a second bike to ride on dirt & trails. The Versys-X seems like it might fit the bill - a bike still capable on the pavement, but something that's light & small so I can take it off-road. For those of you who own one, what's your opinion about the off-road capability of the Versys-X?
You definitely need to test ride one. You also have to be willing to get it near redline where it likes to play. When I test rode one it felt more like an upright Ninja than it did a dual sport. I decided to pass. I prefer low down torque for riding off road. Unless you are just a hardcore Kawasaki guy, I would say test ride a few bikes to see what is out there. I really liked my KLX250S and now that they are fuel injected I may get another one, but have been hoping for a KLX300S since they came out with a trail KLX300 this past year.

I rode a '12 Concours and if you accelerate at all on the Connie the little Ninja oh I mean Versys will take getting used to.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 10:21 PM
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Since you have a street bike, perhaps a true dual sport will serve you better in the dirt. Not that the Versys can’t do dirt. It’s surprisingly agile offroad with proper tires. But it does have some limitations. No skid plate. Limited travel. Low torque.
The x300 shines in being good at everything, master of none -except fun! Its a great commuter, long day tripper, country road shredder. If you are doing very long backcountry touring or carrying a lot of gear, I’d probably choose a more robust platform designed to carry the weight. Keep the Versys light and fun and you’ll be riding with a smile on your face!

Why I bought it: lightweight, longest range / largest fuel tank in its class, most hp in its class, ability to do interstate speeds when needed, cost, very rider friendly.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 11:28 PM
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The KLX250S is a street legal dirt bike with a 2 gallon tank that doesnt do very well on the street. Has 27 hp / 18.5 lbs torque.
The Versys X-300 does well on the street with trail capabilities, a 4 gallon fuel tank 39 HP / 19 lbs torque.
I've had the X-300 on some pretty rough trails, but always try to keep it within its capabilities. This guy ran his on a motocross track and it did it rather nicely for a street bike.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 04:27 PM
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That motocross track looks quite a lot like one just off AZ 70 and W of AZ 77, just a few miles E of Globe, AZ.

???

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
You definitely need to test ride one. You also have to be willing to get it near redline where it likes to play. When I test rode one it felt more like an upright Ninja than it did a dual sport. I decided to pass. I prefer low down torque for riding off road. Unless you are just a hardcore Kawasaki guy, I would say test ride a few bikes to see what is out there. I really liked my KLX250S and now that they are fuel injected I may get another one, but have been hoping for a KLX300S since they came out with a trail KLX300 this past year.

I rode a '12 Concours and if you accelerate at all on the Connie the little Ninja oh I mean Versys will take getting used to.
Yes, the Versys would definitely be a different ride than the Connie! That machine is an absolute beast, especially with it flashed (the MR Premium) in January. I rode last weekend with a friend who had a Harley 96. We traded bikes for a while, and he was super impressed with the smooth power. I was glad to get mine back.

I don't mind getting a bike near the redline as long as it's comfortable there, which it seems the Versys would be. My reason for considering the Versys is that it would be reasonable to ride on the freeway and get to trails, while still providing decent performance on the trails. Also, pricing is attractive compared to the competition.
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Steve
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 10:11 AM
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I have done things on my X300 that smarter people would not have attempted! Fully loaded with camping gear down a baby head rock trail, I lived and with my limited skills that is saying something. I would differentiate the X300 from more capable bikes like this...when I had my BMW GS 800, I looked for potholes to hit, because it was just a small bump, not so on the X300. You run out of suspension travel in a hurry. A proper standing position and using your legs as shocks can compensate, but, you do get beat up a lot. That said, my buddies on their Africa Twins run out of fuel long before I even start to worry. Try it before you buy it, is the best advise any of us can give.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 05:50 PM
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I was in the same boat as you. I have a HD iron 1200 that is my main city driver but wanted something to hit the trails and still perform on the streets and the x300 fit that bill perfectly. My wife got a RE Himalayan and I thought those were cool but after riding both I love the x300 more. Quicker, lighter, more nimble and with the Kawasaki reliability you really can't go wrong.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-18-2020, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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Hi all, after trying out several bikes I ended up buying a Honda CB500X. The Versys was a great bike also and I really liked it. Was especially impressed with performance for a 300cc engine. My final decision came down to the conclusion that the Honda would do better on trails with the low-end torque.
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