What convinced you to buy the Versys X300? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Versys-X 300 General Discussion Please post any 2017+ Kawasaki Versys-X 300 related topics that DO NOT fit into any of the other topics here.

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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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What convinced you to buy the Versys X300?

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?

Last edited by LuvNot; 02-05-2018 at 08:38 PM. Reason: tried to fix YouTube video link
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 10:17 PM
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I am giving you a link to genuine (not faux) sheep skin. I lay the whole skin on top of the seat on my harleys and on my versys 650. On the versys I stuff the hind leg part under the rear grab handles. It keeps the back part of the skin from flapping in the breeze if you don't have a passenger. The sheep skin is more comfortable than any pad my wife and I have used. The one on my harley is black, and looks like a bear skin. While riding in the smokey mountains, I've had several people ask me is that a bear skin? I say heck yea! I'm from Mississippi. If it it runs in front of me and I run over it, I skin it out and keep the hide. I've had several of these people turn to the people they are with, and say hey that dude ran over a bear with his motorcycle. Some people are so gullible. Any way here is the link.

https://www.sheepskinshop.com/sheeps...gle_s/1829.htm
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 08:43 AM
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I think smaller bikes are more fun, and the bigger they are, the harder they fall. After I came to terms with the fact that I was going to mostly be commuting instead of running the Dakar, I got rid of my Africa Twin and got the Versys X 300. The fact that it was lighter and much cheaper allowed me to get back to enjoying the ride as opposed to being paranoid about dropping the bike. The Versys is much simpler as well, you don't have to disassemble the entire front end to change the air filter, and the headlight isn't a $3000 dollar LED assembly. The Honda was simply over-engineered, which doesn't make it a bad bike, but I was always on-edge the whole time I rode it.

I also think the 300 has the perfect amount of usable power. Sure, the Africa Twin was a hoot off the line, but in any other riding situation I found myself in, I didn't need all that grunt. The 300 still gets me up to speed and stays there as long as I want, but the trade-off in weight loss is much more valuable to me. I've had smaller bikes that I was always searching for more power on, but with the 300 I find myself perfectly content. It's also the first bike I've owned that I didn't need to put risers on the bars to be comfortable.

Just the other day, I found myself at the end of a rough, muddy, gravel road and had no qualms about taking it to a point where a deep high-water crossing turned me back around. The Africa Twin could have handled that road just fine, but I would have never tried it for fear of dropping the bike, whereas with the Versys X I just went for it and had a good time.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 05:29 PM
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I think smaller bikes are more fun, and the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
I like everything you say, but am struggling with is it "enough" bike? If you don't mind me asking, how tall and "roughly" how much do you weigh? I've never ridden, have sat on a KLR and a Versys 300X, really thought the Versys felt much better (except the plywood seat) but keep getting told that at 6'2", 220# I'll never get where I'm going if I load the Versys up with any "real camping load."'

If you don't mind, what are your thoughts?

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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 07:57 AM
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I'm 5'11Ĺ" and about 230lbs. I can't say this is or isn't going to be the bike for you, I just know I've had bigger and smaller bikes, and have more fun on the smaller ones. I think sometimes I am an anomaly in that respect, but I'm not riding to compensate for anything, I just enjoy it. Just try to be realistic about what you really want to do with the bike and see which one fits in that spec. For me, I wanted a simple, newer, smaller adv style bike that was capable of some light off roading but also handled the street for commuting. This was after owning a Nighthawk 550, TW200, WR250R, CB450, NC700X and Africa Twin, so don't be surprised if you end up wanting a different bike sooner than later no matter what you choose, I know it took me a while to figure out what I really wanted.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 08:49 AM
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I have a FJR1300 for the long haul and GO FAST. I also have a V-Strom 650 for my mountain twisty day riding and I wanted a small displacement machine for some off pavement riding and dodging Denver traffic. I had a XT350 single but it was getting up in age (Like Me) and was kick start with carbs. The X300 seemed like a perfect replacement, to get me across town and to the foothills off pavement rides. Was pleasantly surprised that the little X300 also has some legs for longer distance than what I had in mind for it. I am 68 and in a couple of years (70) I will most likly trade out my FJR and V-strom for a Versys 1000LT and be happy with only two bikes. I also have a Miata MX-5 for when I don't want to gear up.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Skypilot 69 - Thank you for the sheepskin link! I have one I cut out of a car seat cover that I've used them on my TWs and love how much better it makes the seat feel. No much cushion, but the airflow makes all the difference in the world!

NewRiderNC - I sympathise with your conundrum. Not knowing what bike to buy - especially as a new rider - can be intimidating. You want a good bike that fits you, fulfills your needs, and won't leave you on the side of the road. And there are so many choices! Take heart, though... if you're willing to tackle it logically, there is a way to narrow down your choices.

Make a chart. List all the things that are most important to you, find the specs for each bike you think you want, then agressively score each item.



You can see on this chart, the TW200, VanVan, and XT250 got top scores and seem to meet all my needs, but I have a TW already. I wanted a more capable bike. So that left the XT250, Versys and CB500X. This is where watching videos made a difference. No one said the XT handled well on the highway - so that knocked it out of play. So the final choice was between the Versys and Honda. The Honda fit me better ergonomically, but it was heavier, and the Rally Raid conversion kit cost an additional $3k, so with only 1 score point difference, the Versys was the clear winner.

And if you still have trouble deciding, BUY USED from a private seller! Ride it for a season. Don't like it? Swap it with another private seller for something different or just sell it for what you paid next season and try again. This gives you experience, the peace of mind of not losing a huge investment on a new bike you hate, and cheaper taxes/insurance payments too!

No matter what you do, GOOD LUCK and HAVE FUN.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 11:04 AM
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I have a FJR1300...I also have a V-Strom 650...I had a XT350 single...the little X300 also has some legs for longer distance than what I had in mind for it....
Chuck - LOVED your pics, but HOW do you keep your garage floor so PRISTENE?


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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 11:11 AM
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Chuck - LOVED your pics, but HOW do you keep your garage floor so PRISTENE?

It is epoxied covered with crushed quartz for the color. Mops up very easy in about 10 min. I also don't let it get grungy. I do a thorough cleaning with simple green in the Spring after the winter messes and then just stay up on it.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 05:12 PM
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A BIG Thanks to everyone offering advice, especially LuvNot and the Decision Matrix! It really is helping!
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 06:25 PM
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This should do the trick. Got me wanting one.

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 08:38 PM
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I just brought mine home and I bought it since I just wanted a lighter bike and I have been reading this forum for a little while. It seems everyone likes the X-300 and with the short ride home I can see why. Thanks to all for posting here. I will add to this post after more miles, but for the 2.5 miles it seems very smooth and quiet.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 07:21 PM
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1st. ABS ! ( for $5300 !)
2nd . Easiest, most forgiving clutch EVER.
3rd. After you buy, then drive, you have a smile ALL the time while riding.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by LuvNot View Post
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. [IMG class=inlineimg]/forums/images/KawasakiVersysForum_2015/smilies/tango_face_grin.png[/IMG]

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 [IMG class=inlineimg]/forums/images/KawasakiVersysForum_2015/smilies/tango_face_kiss.png[/IMG] 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 <a href="http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/images/smilies/mad.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Mad" >:-)</a>. 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. [IMG class=inlineimg]/forums/images/KawasakiVersysForum_2015/smilies/tango_face_wink.png[/IMG]

What convinced YOU to buy the Versys X300?
For me, it was mainly two things. First being a new rider, the weight and height of the bike were a huge seller. The minute I sat on the VX300, I felt like I controlled the bike and not the other way around. Second, the videos on YouTube really praised the bike. Like you, the Morocco video caught my interest, it just seemed like some nice dream, a manageable adventure. Iím totally happy with my bike.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 09:19 PM
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I was a brand new rider, I'd never sat on motorcycle till I went to the dealership. I knew I wanted something that could handle some dirt roads as my my Mom's cottage road has routinely wrecked cars. I also considered a Ninja 300 and parking it at the end of the road, but I would have to pack to walk in (about 2.5 km), something I wanted to avoid given I am usually overpacked (damn camera gear!).

I am 5'5" , and a riding friend cautioned me about adventure/dirt bikes being rather tall. The Versys-X was still too new to be on any "ADV bikes for short guy" lists, but it seemed suitable on paper. The first bike on the showroom floor I saw was a KLR 650 and I couldn't believe how big it was, not just the height. The salesman was awesome, telling me about his fellow short employee that could ride any bike there, and mentioned lowering kits etc. I didn't even try sitting on the KLR, so I sat on some sport bikes, knew I would be fine on one of those, and then he had me sit on the Versys-X. Turns out I have long legs and a short torso for my height, I could tip toe it. Salesman was confident I'd be fine. I told him I want to make it through my first stoplight without falling over, and worry about the subsequent ones after.

I bought the bike with lowering links and knew with some riding experience I could almost go anywhere. If the bike had been on the market longer I may have looked at used ones, but I don't know much about engines etc. and the thought of getting ripped off or breaking down was something I didn't want to deal with while learning to ride too.

Price was decent, I knew it was a safe engine size for a newbie, I could get to work, my Mom's cottage, and carry a lot of gear. I loved the look of the bike, and it was sporty enough to satisfy the 8 year old in me that dreamed of owning a Ninja. I liked the idea of it having a tried and tested engine as well.

My friend rode it home from the dealership for me. The height/balance and clutch were so different from the bike I rode on for my safety course (Suzuki 250cc Cruiser of some sort, loved that bike) that I was basically learning from scratch. I really had to overcome some fears and doubts, I almost dropped it on my first ride down my quiet residential street. I was contemplating taking it back to the dealership...4 months later I had put 6000 kms on it, dropped it a few times while packing (broke the mirror even), found I could overpack it, wished it could go faster on the freeway, wished it didn't eat gas when going over 115 km/h, but knew I had the perfect choice for my budget, skill and knowledge at the time. She comes out of storage in the next week or two for my second season, so excited!
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 05:21 PM
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Somewhere I listed a bunch of bikes (12 ?).

Two bikes are a good number. Sold one Kymco 300 GTI to a friend and traded (ewww) the Downtown-300 in for the V300.

Other bike is a CTX700 auto/abs. I tend to use the paddle shifters about 90% of the time.

Going on a trip with friends to Vermont (about 900 miles interstate one way) the CTX was stuck in the shop because they couldn't get sprockets ?? in time. I used the Downtown-300 for the trip, no question about riding cross country on that scooter so a 300 Versys is not issue.

The issue for me is sometimes my left hand/wrist ... hurt ... arthur-i-tis ?. The easy clutch/pull/slipper and positive neutral were a major consideration and I knew I could lower the bike at least one inch and not loose too much suspension range.

My expectations are high for this bike ... will let you know how it checks out.
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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 08:23 PM
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Easy to manage weight, versatility, reasonably affordable price...I want to do some light off roading and hit some back country roads and this is the ticket for me. The KLR is cool but a little too heavy for my tastes as a new rider, plus I value things like fuel injection honestly. Carbs are a PITA, I'll avoid em if I can.

The Versys just came with so much for the money. It's a really great bang for the buck bike. I was eyeballing a Vulcan S which I still really like but if I want to do any off road that's pretty much out of the question so to the Versys I went!
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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 09:18 PM
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Easy to manage weight, versatility, reasonably affordable price...I want to do some light off roading and hit some back country roads and this is the ticket for me. The KLR is cool but a little too heavy for my tastes as a new rider, plus I value things like fuel injection honestly. Carbs are a PITA, I'll avoid em if I can.

The Versys just came with so much for the money. It's a really great bang for the buck bike. I was eyeballing a Vulcan S which I still really like but if I want to do any off road that's pretty much out of the question so to the Versys I went!
I eyed the Vulcan S too, which I found really comfortable, but after watching tons of videos of adventure riders, I got excited about the prospect of doing some camping, some light trails and was sold on the value and versatility, in addition to the height and weight.

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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 09:36 PM
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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 04:30 PM
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