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ADV BikesKawasaki Releases Additional Specs for Versys-X 300

Kawasaki Releases Additional Specs for Versys-X 300

New specs raise questions about off-road capability of the Versys-X 300.

Published on 02.15.2017

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.

Kawasaki Versys x 300


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.

Kawasaki Versys x 300

Kawasaki Versys x 300

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 (13 cm) in front and 5.8 inches (15 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
Transmission: 6 speed
Clutch: Wet multi-disc, manual
Lubrication: Forced lubrication, wet sump
Starting System: Electric
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
Wet Weight
Suspension Travel
Seat Height
Ground Clearance
Price USD
 BMW G310GS 34.0 20.7 374 7.0/7.0 33.0 TBD TBD
 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  

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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February 16, 2017 12:04 pm

I don’t think many riders will take a bike like this off road – in the meaning of terrain riding, so ground clearance is not such a big factor. It will be quite ok for paved and unpaved roads, as long as the suspension keeps a certain standard – and that does not necessarily mean lots of suspension travel.

If I would do again the same type of trip like I did 2013, crossing all for Canada (26.000km) this might be my bike of choice, instead of the antique KLR650!

Guillermo Garibay
Guillermo Garibay
April 18, 2017 3:44 pm
Reply to  Kai-Uwe

For an adventure bike it does quite well on easy double and single track. While it is no dual sport it did give me the confidence to take it places I never would have thought about going on the Triumph Tiger 800 I previously owned. It feels like an adventure bike, but it is really feels lighter and more agile than other adventure bikes. Even with the Heideneu tires i put on, it really likes to lean over in the corners and it corners great. I do not yet have a good feel for it on the highway as I am still breaking the motor in. My estimate is that it would be fine for shorter stints on the interstate and long stints on other highways. It is barely drinking gas during the break-in period as I am getting 72 mpg. This will change though after it is broke in but it should still be in the 60s. One short-coming is the rear end of the seat goes up making dismounts a stretching exercise for this senior rider. I have mounted hand protectors and the tank bag designed for the larger Versys. After it is broke in I plan to buy some soft luggage for the rear and do a 3 day trip in Colorado where I live.

February 27, 2017 5:24 pm

Off road or off highway?

Prasad Bhangale
Prasad Bhangale
March 3, 2017 11:51 am

Conversions are wrong during the suspension travel mentioned above… Check out …
“…Suspension travel is uninspiring at 5.1 inches (14 cm) in front and 5.8 inches (20 cm) in the rear …”

ADV Pulse
ADV Pulse
March 3, 2017 12:46 pm

Good catch Prasad, fixed!

April 5, 2017 8:00 pm

Any idea of top / cruising speeds? I don’t expect a rocket ship but it’s nice to know what speeds it can sit on comfortably all day.

ADV Pulse
ADV Pulse
April 17, 2017 4:37 pm
Reply to  Bing

Hey Bing, The Ninja 300 is reported to cruise comfortably at 80 mph on the highway with power to spare and can reach a top speed of 102 mph. The Versys-X 300 shares the same engine but has a less aerodynamic fairing and carries more weight. We’d expect a top speed in the mid 90’s. We’ll find out more soon when we get a chance to ride it at the official press launch.

Jose Guerrero
Jose Guerrero
April 7, 2017 2:17 pm

I pick RX3. Those extra 50cc’s would be sooo nice especially around aggressive U.S. freeway drivers that will try to run you off the road for being at the speed limit -_-#

Juan van Loggerenberg
Juan van Loggerenberg
April 15, 2017 5:43 am

Yes please… Any idea of top speed??? Nowhere available…???

ADV Pulse
ADV Pulse
April 17, 2017 4:42 pm

Hi Juan – see response to Bing above. Hope that helps!

John Morris
John Morris
August 15, 2018 4:06 pm

Three hundred cc is a little small. Any good reason for not making it a 350-450cc? I’m looking at the front suspension, and 5 inches just isn’t enough. Why not more, like 6 1/2 to 7 inches? And with all the distance between the rear fender and the rear wheel, why only 5.8 inches? It’s not that difficult…

Rob Dabney
Rob Dabney
August 15, 2018 4:20 pm
Reply to  John Morris

Would love 7″ of travel too, but unfortunately not everyone is 6’2″ like me. 36″ seat heights don’t sell that well I’m told. The 300cc twin works pretty good though. Enough for 100+ mph on the highway. It’s a versatile lil bike and sips gas.


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