Kawasaki Versys Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! I've just gotten my license after a year of riding around on a Vespa and am looking for a motorcycle to learn on. I'm in the Washington DC area, and there are a lot of 30-45 mph roads (potentially) worth exploring, as well as a lot of traffic to chew through to get there. Though I'll want to go on some of these adventures with my parter as a passenger in the future, I'm planning on a lot of time on my own to improve my riding before then.

My dilemma is as such- I think the Versys 300 is a great option for this kind of riding (it's fairly spacious, seems like luggage is easy to add, and can just do highways), but only having an MSF course's worth of riding under my belt, I'm inclined to start even smaller on a Yamaha XT250. I like how the XT is light, less powerful, and a bit lower (I'm 5'8" with a 31" inseam), though I'm not planning any off-roading beyond some gravel. I'm perfectly comfortable upgrading in a year's time if need be- but perhaps I'm being silly by not just starting on the Versys. I don't imagine I'll get bored of the Versys anytime soon, but it seems like the XT would probably have a more limited lifespan (or am I wrong about that too?). ABS is another concern- the XT is a light bike but is it reckless to ignore the benefits of ABS?

Excited to hear your thoughts. Thanks much!

P.S. I'll be keeping the Vespa- I don't think there's anything better for errands around town!
 

·
Registered
2019 Versys x300
Joined
·
63 Posts
Best first bike imo. I traveled 3 states on it including some freeways...that said, it has enough power, but won't kill you. Good first learning bike...At some point tho, you will be probably looking for more power and easier to pass and so on.
If you are planning to go offroading, side roads and so on - perfect bike.
If you are planning to ride long distances with some freeways...totally doable, but 650 would be better choice. When I bought 650, I almost crashed few times due to much more power...and that's after 5000 miles on x300 which was my very first bike just for few months. I definitely would crash if my bike was more powerful than 300.
I hope that will help
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hello all! I've just gotten my license after a year of riding around on a Vespa and am looking for a motorcycle to learn on. I'm in the Washington DC area, and there are a lot of 30-45 mph roads (potentially) worth exploring, as well as a lot of traffic to chew through to get there. Though I'll want to go on some of these adventures with my parter as a passenger in the future, I'm planning on a lot of time on my own to improve my riding before then.

My dilemma is as such- I think the Versys 300 is a great option for this kind of riding (it's fairly spacious, seems like luggage is easy to add, and can just do highways), but only having an MSF course's worth of riding under my belt, I'm inclined to start even smaller on a Yamaha XT250. I like how the XT is light, less powerful, and a bit lower (I'm 5'8" with a 31" inseam), though I'm not planning any off-roading beyond some gravel. I'm perfectly comfortable upgrading in a year's time if need be- but perhaps I'm being silly by not just starting on the Versys. I don't imagine I'll get bored of the Versys anytime soon, but it seems like the XT would probably have a more limited lifespan (or am I wrong about that too?). ABS is another concern- the XT is a light bike but is it reckless to ignore the benefits of ABS?

Excited to hear your thoughts. Thanks much!

P.S. I'll be keeping the Vespa- I don't think there's anything better for errands around town!
This is my third bike, I started on the Yamaha V-Star 250, loved it but it was not capable of highway driving, switched to the Kawasaki Vulcan 650, loved it, good on the highway but too heavy for "exploring" side roads. Anticipating a move to an area with more gravel roads and less highways I purchased the Versey 300. I have just gone over the 1000 kilometer mark. Unbelievable, great on the highway, great on the side roads, great on gravel and the rough. This bike is light and nimble and has everything I need. I am 5'7" and had it lowered so I can touch the balls of my feet at stop lights. The seat is hard, but I got an air seat cover. I think I will be able to stay with this bike for a long time. Great mileage too!
 

·
Registered
Vx300 Embrace the Revs!
Joined
·
203 Posts
I’d go with the XT if you were more interested in off-roading. For the street, the Vx is best machine in its class. Quite capable off-road as well. It has enough power to satisfy, but not so much as to get away from a less experienced rider. You can ride it anywhere without finding yourself underpowered.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
20,451 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Check out Honda CB500X with ABS. feels extremely lighter than it easy. good power but not too much. super easy to ride. it was my first bike before the Versys 650. I highly recommend the Honda
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I think the Versys would be a great first bike. I would definitely make sure you are comfortable with the seat height. Not sure about taking your partner for 2-up riding on a 300 though. It may not have the torque to start and get up to speed with a second rider.
I would not worry about ABS. It is nice, but you can learn to ride without it just fine. Just bought my Versys this year and it is my first bike to have ABS in almost 20 years on a bike. Just get some practice time in doing hard stops without locking it up. Once you have that do some really hard stops to practice accidental locks in a controlled setting.
 

·
Registered
Vx300 Embrace the Revs!
Joined
·
203 Posts
Then again, it might handle 2-up just fine. I was also told it would get blown around by trucks on the freeway by a professional reviewer who hadn’t ridden the bike. Fact is, it’s way more stable around the 18 wheelers on the freeway than my last 2 liter bikes-BMW K100RS, Honda V65 Sabre. You’re good 2-up too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,075 Posts
Hello all! I've just gotten my license after a year of riding around on a Vespa and am looking for a motorcycle to learn on. I'm in the Washington DC area, and there are a lot of 30-45 mph roads (potentially) worth exploring, as well as a lot of traffic to chew through to get there. Though I'll want to go on some of these adventures with my parter as a passenger in the future, I'm planning on a lot of time on my own to improve my riding before then.

My dilemma is as such- I think the Versys 300 is a great option for this kind of riding (it's fairly spacious, seems like luggage is easy to add, and can just do highways), but only having an MSF course's worth of riding under my belt, I'm inclined to start even smaller on a Yamaha XT250. I like how the XT is light, less powerful, and a bit lower (I'm 5'8" with a 31" inseam), though I'm not planning any off-roading beyond some gravel. I'm perfectly comfortable upgrading in a year's time if need be- but perhaps I'm being silly by not just starting on the Versys. I don't imagine I'll get bored of the Versys anytime soon, but it seems like the XT would probably have a more limited lifespan (or am I wrong about that too?). ABS is another concern- the XT is a light bike but is it reckless to ignore the benefits of ABS?

Excited to hear your thoughts. Thanks much!

P.S. I'll be keeping the Vespa- I don't think there's anything better for errands around town!
Here is some information to chew on. Many people drop a bike while honing their skills, expanding their skills, panicking, or just in attentiveness.

A dual sport is typically designed to handle a drop with no damage. The plastic panels are flexible and the color is in the plastic, not painted on. If you buy one used the depreciation is negligible.

I would recommend cross shopping dual sports from the 4 Japanese manufacturers. You have to sit on them because they all sag under load so seat height on paper doesn't mean much when proper sag can drop that almost 4 inches. I have 32" inseam and had no issues with the KLX250S, or my current KLX300SM.

Whether you believe that you have outgrown a bike is more about personal preference and social pressure than ability. Good luck. If I lived where you are, id get a jeep instead of a bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
It's an amazing choice for a first bike, and it will also be very forgiving in learning throttle control and proper powerband shifting technique for the next bike. Going through 30-40mph roads you won't be super shifting the gearbox since it's geared higher than the XT, and it's got plenty of power when you have to merge onto the beltway. You do have to spool the engine up to get to that power though, but once you're up in the 9,000 rpm you can get moving pretty quickly. You can fit plenty of luggage for a trip, commuting, or two up for a nice tour around town(rode cross country fully loaded & almost no mechanical issues). Off road, the Versys can handle plenty too, though you will need better tires than stock. ABS is meh.

Repeating what others said, if you're commuting and/or taking long trips the Versys is perfect. If you're looking to get more off-road time and experience under your belt, the XT is gonna be the better choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Then again, it might handle 2-up just fine. I was also told it would get blown around by trucks on the freeway by a professional reviewer who hadn’t ridden the bike. Fact is, it’s way more stable around the 18 wheelers on the freeway than my last 2 liter bikes-BMW K100RS, Honda V65 Sabre. You’re good 2-up too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I was basing it on my old shadow that had about 40hp. Was ok for 2up once you got moving but was sluggish to get moving from a stop 2up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
1st is pretty low on the Vx. Can hit 12k revs before crossing the intersection.
Start in 2nd when alone. Use 1st when two up 🧐

Not every action in life is a competition?
 

·
Registered
2021 Versys-X 300
Joined
·
5 Posts
I'm perfectly comfortable upgrading in a year's time if need be- but perhaps I'm being silly by not just starting on the Versys.
Sounds like you might as well start on the Versys!
For perspective I have a 30" inch inseam and probably weighed 130lbs when I got my first bike which was a KZ750, fresh out of the class. I loved the KZ750 but it was much heavier than the x300. I did just fine and you will too. Just remember to find some open road or parking lots to practice the stuff you learned in class on your new bike. Every new bike takes time to get used to. In my view the X300 is extremely light which is one of the reasons I bought it. So, all a matter of perspective. You can always lower it an inch if it makes you more comfortable. But do sit on it....I was pleasantly surprised that I could actually reach the ground- tippy-toed but still.
 

·
Registered
Vx300 Embrace the Revs!
Joined
·
203 Posts
1st is still useful to quickly get the mill spooled up into the top end with momentum going into 2nd. Riding the 300 well hones your shifting skills.
Power is up high. Comes on nicely 8-10k, 10-12k strongest. So 9k at 75 mph isn’t a bad place to be. It’s positioned well in performance range.
 

·
Registered
19 versy 300 abs
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hello all! I've just gotten my license after a year of riding around on a Vespa and am looking for a motorcycle to learn on. I'm in the Washington DC area, and there are a lot of 30-45 mph roads (potentially) worth exploring, as well as a lot of traffic to chew through to get there. Though I'll want to go on some of these adventures with my parter as a passenger in the future, I'm planning on a lot of time on my own to improve my riding before then.

My dilemma is as such- I think the Versys 300 is a great option for this kind of riding (it's fairly spacious, seems like luggage is easy to add, and can just do highways), but only having an MSF course's worth of riding under my belt, I'm inclined to start even smaller on a Yamaha XT250. I like how the XT is light, less powerful, and a bit lower (I'm 5'8" with a 31" inseam), though I'm not planning any off-roading beyond some gravel. I'm perfectly comfortable upgrading in a year's time if need be- but perhaps I'm being silly by not just starting on the Versys. I don't imagine I'll get bored of the Versys anytime soon, but it seems like the XT would probably have a more limited lifespan (or am I wrong about that too?). ABS is another concern- the XT is a light bike but is it reckless to ignore the benefits of ABS?

Excited to hear your thoughts. Thanks much!

P.S. I'll be keeping the Vespa- I don't think there's anything better for errands around town!
My 2019 is going in for its first warrantee service [1000k], and i am loving it so far. its my go to off the 3. just installled givi topbox and bigger windscreen. gas millage is excellent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,365 Posts
I think the 250 is too small and light beyond just puttering around town. It will be a ton of fun in town, but you'll not want to go on the highway. For a year it could be quite good, but you'll want to upgrade soon.

Definitely the seat height is important. Balls of your feet is too high. You can lower the bike if needed, and/or put on a lower seat. I would suggest a very low seat for your first bike, even something more cruiser style possibly. And fairly light weight because you will drop it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Hello all! I've just gotten my license after a year of riding around on a Vespa and am looking for a motorcycle to learn on. I'm in the Washington DC area, and there are a lot of 30-45 mph roads (potentially) worth exploring, as well as a lot of traffic to chew through to get there. Though I'll want to go on some of these adventures with my parter as a passenger in the future, I'm planning on a lot of time on my own to improve my riding before then.

My dilemma is as such- I think the Versys 300 is a great option for this kind of riding (it's fairly spacious, seems like luggage is easy to add, and can just do highways), but only having an MSF course's worth of riding under my belt, I'm inclined to start even smaller on a Yamaha XT250. I like how the XT is light, less powerful, and a bit lower (I'm 5'8" with a 31" inseam), though I'm not planning any off-roading beyond some gravel. I'm perfectly comfortable upgrading in a year's time if need be- but perhaps I'm being silly by not just starting on the Versys. I don't imagine I'll get bored of the Versys anytime soon, but it seems like the XT would probably have a more limited lifespan (or am I wrong about that too?). ABS is another concern- the XT is a light bike but is it reckless to ignore the benefits of ABS?

Excited to hear your thoughts. Thanks much!

P.S. I'll be keeping the Vespa- I don't think there's anything better for errands around town!
You didn't mention your weight or the combined weight of you and your partner so it's a bit difficult to be specific about some things.

I've owned two XT250s and this is my fifth season on my Versys-X 300 so my observations are based on experience, although in my case the Versys-X might be my last bike rather than my first. I do wish they had had bikes as nice as either of them back when I started riding in 1965, approximately 20 bikes ago.

First, as far as the Versys-X 300 goes, it's not just a beginner's bike. For starters, it's a full size motorcycle. I have about a 28 inch inseam with my riding boots on and I had to lower the bike a bit over an inch to get my feet on the ground. With a 31" inseam you should fit the bike just fine.

The only thing "little" about the bike, or beginner-ish, is the size of the engine. But that doesn't make it a toy. If you are comfortable using the engine properly (lots of revs), you can run freeway speeds all day without a problem. I've taken it on fairly long distance tours and enjoyed every minute on the road. Mostly I do day trips around home; typically 200-500km loops. I do 10,000+km every year, with a rather limited riding season; typically 6 months or so.

ABS is no big deal one way or the other. Nice to have I suppose but you shouldn't miss it. If you are riding with any sort of sanity and care, you should never know it's there. This is only the second bike I've owned with ABS and I've never really noticed any difference versus all the bikes I've owned over the years without it. I guess what I'm saying is that I have no complaints about ABS but it would not be a deciding factor for me in whether or not I buy a particular bike.

If you are thinking about an XT250 to start with, depending on what sort of riding you plan to do it would be a great place to start. It's a super city bike and a ton of fun for easy off pavement riding. It's also quite capable for highway runs as long as you aren't using it on freeways or planning extended trips with it. A friend - who is over 6ft - and I have done lots of riding out in the Rockies with ours. We used them for mainly exploring logging roads and jeep tracks. But we also used them on the pavement for many miles to get between the offroad areas we wanted to ride, and just for pure fun on the twisty paved roads in some areas. With the high footpegs you can really lean them over with abandon!

If you feel you would be more comfortable on the XT for the first year or so, I would highly recommend it as a great place to start as long as freeway riding isn't in its future.

If you decide to go with the Versys-X, you need to decide whether you can be happy with a bike that revs lots (12,000rpm redline) and absolutely loves to live above 7000rpm. I've run into strong headwinds all day long in 5th gear at 110-115 km/h (~70mph) and the engine was happy singing along at those revs. But you have to be, too.

Sorry for the book. I hope it helps a bit.

...ken...
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top