Kawasaki Releases Additional Specs for Versys-X 300
New specs raise questions about off-road capability of the Versys-X 300.
Arguably, one of the most exciting new Adventure Bike models for 2017 is the Kawasaki Versys-X 300. With its economical 296cc parallel-twin motor, 6-speed transmission, wire-spoked wheels and long list of touring equipment, it seems to have all the right pieces to be an excellent little overland machine. Its smaller dimensions also make it a great fit for new adventure riders or anyone just looking for a more-manageable Adventure Bike for the trail.
Small-displacement adventure-touring bikes have been one of the major trends of 2017, but Kawasaki is the only manufacturer of the bunch to offer a twin-cylinder ADV in the 250-300cc range. As a twin, the Versys-X 300 offers the promise of improved highway performance and smoothness compared to its single-cylinder counterparts. And with an MSRP starting at $5,399, it’s reasonably priced in its category.
The Versys-X 300 appears to have all the bases covered for comfort and convenience, and with its wire-spoked wheels it looks ready for adventures of the off-road type. But Kawasaki’s initial announcement didn’t reveal some of the most important specs for those who travel off-road — suspension travel, ground clearance and seat height. All Kawasaki disclosed was that it would have a low seat height and long-travel suspension.
Kawasaki has now released the full range of specs for the 2017 Versys-X 300, giving us a clearer picture of how it may perform in the dirt. Originally, Kawasaki’s European websites listed a wet weight of 370 lbs (168 kg) for the standard and 375 lbs (170 kg) for the ABS model. Kawasaki US now claims a wet weight of 385.9 lbs (175 kg). Whether the weight is for the standard or the ABS model is not clarified. Clearly, the new Versys-X 300 is no lightweight enduro but it is important to keep in mind that this is a fully-equipped adventure touring bike with windscreen, big tank, rear rack, etc.
Seat height is relatively low at 32.1 inches (81.5 cm) but it appears Kawasaki sacrificed ground clearance and suspension travel to make the seat height more approachable. Suspension travel is uninspiring at 5.1 inches (14 cm) in front and 5.8 inches (20 cm) in the rear — about half the suspension travel you get from a Honda’s new CRF250L Rally. With ground clearance of 7.1 inches (18 cm), there isn’t much room for maneuvering over obstacles either.
Spec sheets don’t always tell the whole story though and Kawasaki may have some tricks up their sleeve that make the Versys-X 300 a capable off-road performer. But we’ll only know for sure once we get an opportunity to take it out for a proper test in the coming months. Stay tuned!
Kawasaki Versys-X 300 Specs
|Engine Type:||Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke Parallel Twin|
|Compression Ratio:||10.6:1 Valve system DOHC, 8 valves|
|Bore x Stroke:||62 x 49 mm Displacement 296cc|
|Fuel System:||Fuel injection: Ø 32 mm x 2 with dual throttle valves|
|Horsepower (est):||39.3 hp @ 11,500 rpm|
|Maximum Torque (est):||19 ft.-lbs. of torque @ 10,000 rpm|
|Clutch:||Wet multi-disc, manual|
|Lubrication:||Forced lubrication, wet sump|
|Final Drive:||Sealed chain|
|Front Brakes:||Single 290 mm disc. Caliper: Single balanced actuation dual piston|
|Rear Brakes:||Single 220 mm disc. Caliper: Dual piston|
|Front Suspension:||41 mm telescopic fork, 5.1 in travel|
|Rear Suspension:||Bottom-Link Uni-Trak, 5.8 in travel with adjustable preload|
|Ground Clearance:||7.1 in|
|Seat Height:||32.1 in|
|Frame type:||Backbone, high-tensile steel|
|Front Tire:||100/90-19M/C 57S|
|Rear Tire:||130/80-17M/C 65S|
|Fuel capacity:||4.5 gallons (17 litres)|
|Wet Weight:||Standard 385.9 lbs (175 kg)|
|Colors:||Candy Lime Green and Metallic Graphite Gray|
|Price:||Standard $5,399 / ABS $5,699|
Small-Displacement Adventure Tourer Comparison
|Adventure Bike Models||HP||Torque|
|Honda CRF250L Rally||24.4||16.7||342||TBD/10.3||35.2||10.0||$5,899|
|Kawasaki Versys-X 300||39.0||20.0||386||5.1/5.8||32.1||7.1||$5,399|
|CSC Cyclone RX3 250||24.8||16.6||385||5.1/5.6||31.3||8.3||$3,895|