I'm going to ramble a bit. Skip to the bold section at the end if this is too much to read.
Hi, my name is Luvnot, and I have a motorcycle addiction. To date, I have, and actively swap out to ride, a 2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600, a 2009 Piaggio MP3 500, a recently acquired 2011 Honda Ruckus, 2 Yamaha TW200's that are from 1996 & 1999, and now the 2017 Kawasaki Versys X300.
Last year, I would have said one could never have too many motorcycles. But this year, after a careful look at my finances and some serious thinking about the future, I decided to clear out the stable and narrow the bikes down to just 2. Since my little herd is pretty long in the tooth, I decided if I was going to do this, I needed to do it right and start with at least one brand new motorcycle. The last Kawasaki I bought, the Nomad, was bought right out of the crate (literally - the dealer had to put it together so I could ride 800miles home). And it's been the best motorcycle I've ever had. But the old boy is HUGE, HEAVY, and I'm not getting younger. After my last off-balance drop in a parking garage where I just couldn't get the beast back on his feet again without the help of the kids that startled me to begin with, I came to the sad conclusion riding a big tour cruiser like the Nomad was no longer in my cards.
Ever since I could afford to buy my first bike, cruisers were my motorcycle of choice. But after riding the Nomad, I was in love with the power and carry capacity of the heavier tour bikes. They fit my need to be on a bike daily, and still be able to go shopping
But i missed having a smaller, nimble bike, and so my collection started.
Since I was going back to smaller bikes, and I'd always wanted to learn to ride off-road, I eventually bought my first TW200. That bike was also a blast to ride! Super short wheel base, relatively low seat height, light weight that I could actually pick up and easily push if need be, and perfectly suited for dirt fire roads and slightly rougher single tracks... the TW was a match made in heaven! The only thing that I kept wishing more of - besides a 6th gear - was at least 50 more cc's. While swapping out a sprocket meant the TW could actually do 65MPH, it was never meant to maintain that speed for long, and it showed.
So I started looking for another motorcycle. Something that I could use both on the highway, and off-road. But something sub-400lbs so I could pick up. I looked at the 650 versions of the Versys and VStrom, but both were just too tall and too heavy. The Versys X300 was just a rumor at this point, so I didn't give it any serious thought. I'd seen the Honda CB500X and various reviews from Australia and watched the Rubicon race video, which was super impressive. When I had a chance to sit on the CB500X, it was a very comfortable fit. A bit heavy, but ergonomically, it was really comfortable. Finally, I'd set my heart on a CB500X with plans to add a Rally-Raid Phase 3 kit to make it off-road worthy.
I was about to make a deal with my local shop, but... they had a fully dressed out Versys 650 on the show room floor that the salesman was pushing really hard. I hate pushy salesmen
. Then I noticed the X300 next to it. This was the first time I'd see one "in the flesh". It was a nice looking bike - and the green was just icing on the cake - so I swung a leg over.
- First thought: HOLY **** this seat is uncomfortable!
- Second thought: But it's light. And already has spoked wheels. And was the same cost as a TW200... Which is half the cost of the Honda after spending $3k more for the Rally Raid kit
- Third thought: But was it off-road worthy?
I did the typical female thing, changed my mind
, left the sales guy empty handed, and went home to do more research.
I was sold on the Versys X300 after doing some math, creating comparison charts, and watching several videos like the one below. I blame the Aussies primarily. After selling me on the CB500X, they then posted some killer videos that sold me on the X300 instead! It's folks like them, and others overseas who have had these bikes for a couple of years, who were unafraid to flog the living daylights out of their little beasts that left me feeling reassured the X300 was up to anything I could throw at it.
So here's to spending the next 10 years in the saddle (with some homemade sheepskin padding, and possibly bike shorts), both on the pavement and off, enjoying the simple things like making a small bike go fast, and loading it down to take roads less traveled!
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
What convinced YOU to buy the Versys X300?