Versys-X 300: Kawasaki’s New Small and Versatile Overlander
Kawasaki targets small ADV segment with unveiling of the new Versys-X 300.
There have been a string of new releases in the 250-300cc Adventure Bike range recently with offerings from Honda, BMW and Suzuki. Now Kawasaki is throwing its hat into the ring with the new Versys-X 300 and it might just have the right combination of power, smoothness and off-road capability to be the best all-arounder of the bunch.
The Versys-X 300 comes with all the equipment you’d expect from a versatile adventure touring bike like a tall windscreen, large-capacity fuel tank, rear rack, wire-spoke wheels and a long-travel suspension. And it’s powered by a fuel-efficient, 296cc engine in a parallel twin configuration that offers a smoother highway ride than your typical single-cylinder small-displacement motor. It also has a 6-speed transmission that will help give the little engine a higher cruising speed. A stepped seat and tall windscreen will improve comfort over long distances on the highway as well.
The powerplant of the Versys-X 300 is derived from the Ninja 300 and produces 39 hp and 19 ft.-lbs. of torque — respectable peak numbers that are comparable to bikes in the 400-650cc range. A wet weight of 386 lbs means the Versys-X 300 is no lightweight enduro but keep in mind, this is a fully-equipped adventure touring bike with windscreen, big tank, rear rack, etc. And with fuel economy around 70 mpg, the big 4.5-gallon (17-liter) fuel tank should give an impressive range of 300 miles between fill ups.
Those that are interested in getting off the pavement will appreciate the wire-spoked wheels and the rugged backbone frame designed to handle the rigors of off-road use. The 19-inch/17-inch wheel combo, stout 41mm forks and a long-travel suspension offer better bump absorption on rough terrain as well.
From what we can see so far, the bike looks like it has many of the right pieces to be an excellent little overlander. With its clutch assist and slipper clutch along with lower weight, mild power output and a reasonable seat height, the Versys-X 300 should be a friendly bike for new adventure riders or anyone just looking for a more-manageable Adventure Bike. And with an MSRP of $5,399 for the standard model and $5,699 for ABS, this could be a popular option for fans of smaller adventure bikes. Kawasaki has confirmed they will bring the Versys-X 300 to the US and it will be hitting showroom floors in Spring of 2017.
The new ‘X’ model offering on the Versys line also has our interests peaked. Could this mean we’ll see 650cc and 1000cc Versys-X models with an off-road focus released in the future too? Only time will tell. Stay tuned for more details!
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|