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I'd be very interested in a V400 designed for more off road. Spoked wheels, skid plate, crash bars, good tires. The V650 and V1k cover touring just fine but for average sized folks are too heavy for much off-road. A 400 might be the sweet spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Versys 300x ABS 385.9 lbs
Versys 650 ABS 476.3 lbs
Ninja 300 ABS 383.7 lbs
Ninja 400 ABS 366 lbs
Z400 ABS 363.8 lbs
KLX250S 304.3 lbs

From Kawasaki's website. If they can get it down to about 350 lbs with the 400cc engine I would be a buyer. Otherwise I might just pick up another KLX250S if I come across a leftover.
 

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The 300 is a little heavy, but with some good tyres it works quite well on all sorts of off road tracks and some mild rough stuff.

The other day a lane started in a stream as the farmer had fenced off the lane entry from his field. Looked quite shallow, but I got worried when we got to the one part we could not see from the bank & the water came over my knees, so about 2’6” deep !
Luckily it got shallower after that, phew.

The 300 is fine for this kind of riding. My buddy was on a CRF250 Rallye and struggled with gearing, as 2nd was to high & first to low. Basically to big a gap between the bottom ratios. The X300 plodded along in second most of the time with 3/4th on the faster 30mph sections & 1st onnthe steeper or more difficult sections at around 4mph 👍😀

YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The 300 is a little heavy,
YMMV
It is interesting though that Kawasaki made the Ninja 400 lighter than the Ninja 300.

They could get a Versys X400 to 350 lbs if they wanted to.

The Yamaha Tenere 700 is said to come in at 452 lbs. 100 lbs would be noticeable when in the woods.
 

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Getting the center of gravity lower would also be a nice change. The fuel tank is so high on the V650 that I can really feel it when full vs half full.

I see videos of obviously taller riders having no problem with the V650 off road. Same with the big beemers. But at 5'10" and no longer a strong 20 yr old, a lighter bike and/or lower CG would be welcomed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I found a simple way to make my bike lighter - I lost 30 lbs!

;-)
Some of us don't have 30 lbs to lose. :wink2: I could use 20 lbs of muscle which would help with heavier bikes off road.

I went from a DRZ400S (which would wear me out on hill climbs), to a KLR650 (that I no longer attempted hill climbs on), to a KLX250S which was great unless you had to go 65 mph to get to the trails.

Now, I am just looking for something for slow comfortable exploring since I live along the Tennessee portion of the TAT.
 

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I had to look up what TAT meant...very cool! Plus, looks perfect for baby Versys-X, which can carry 400 lbs.

Sounds like you are below that.

;-)
 

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I sure hope so though a bigger, badder X. I want to see Kawasaki answer the Africa Twin, Tenere World Raid and KTM 790. Come on Kawi....big dollars for you here in this segment.
 

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Interesting article - I would add that older guys like me (returning riders) are not dissimilar in what attracts them to adv bikes.

I would also like to see another displacement of Versys-x.
 

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It is interesting though that Kawasaki made the Ninja 400 lighter than the Ninja 300.

They could get a Versys X400 to 350 lbs if they wanted to.
The issue is strength. The Versys (particularly the X) needs to be built strong enough to withstand the possible harsh treatment that a Ninja is not subjected to. The Ninja 300 especially was built to be the fastest in proddy racing which is what brings in the sales numbers.

My thoughts are that with the loss of the venerable KLR650 that Kawasaki will be contemplating to expand its adventure range in the 600-800cc range. Something completely different and more focused than the Versys.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The issue is strength. The Versys (particularly the X) needs to be built strong enough to withstand the possible harsh treatment that a Ninja is not subjected to. The Ninja 300 especially was built to be the fastest in proddy racing which is what brings in the sales numbers.
Look at how light the KLX250S is and it is strong and capable. It is just choice of materials that make the difference.
 

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My thoughts are that with the loss of the venerable KLR650 that Kawasaki will be contemplating to expand its adventure range in the 600-800cc range. Something completely different and more focused than the Versys.
I completely agree with you. Kawasaki retired the equally venerable Concours 1000 in 2006 and in 2008 released a totally revamped Concours 1400. I expect they will do something similar to replace the KLR. Funny, I have a KLR and a C14 and am contemplating selling both of them now that I have a Versys.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My thoughts are that with the loss of the venerable KLR650 that Kawasaki will be contemplating to expand its adventure range in the 600-800cc range. Something completely different and more focused than the Versys.
I completely agree with you. Kawasaki retired the equally venerable Concours 1000 in 2006 and in 2008 released a totally revamped Concours 1400. I expect they will do something similar to replace the KLR. Funny, I have a KLR and a C14 and am contemplating selling both of them now that I have a Versys.
If it is a V1000 LT, it definitely splits the difference if you never went trail riding.

If it is a V650 LT, it splits the difference if you never twisted the throttle on th C14.

When I had my Versys 650, it replaced my KLR650 and Ninja 650. I would always tell people that if I could only have one of the bikes in my stable it would be the Versys 650.

Now that I am down to two bikes, I am not sure what one bike made today would cover my wants and desires.
 

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I'd like to see manufacturers acknowledge that there actually two distinct parts of the "low displacement" market:
- The people who are young, just starting out, or only commuting and want a "cheap and easy" bike,
- The people who have been riding for a while, are able to appreciate (and pay for) quality suspension, brakes, etc. and consciously decide for a low displacement engine because they want low weight and don't need absurd horsepower

I feel that the second group has been growing steadily lately but there are still very few options for them. Maybe the new 390s from KTM?

Some manufacturers are making a step in the right directions with their high-displacement bikes, providing a "normal" version and a "pro" version, that usually has an extra "R" in the name and different suspension, engine tuning etc. Maybe we could see that for small bikes as well?
 

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Look at how light the KLX250S is and it is strong and capable. It is just choice of materials that make the difference.
Yes, but if you outfitted a klx250 to be comparable to the vx3, the 80ish pound advantage it has over the vx3 is going get significantly smaller. Each bike is built to do a different job, and the way its built and set up reflects that.

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