What do you get when you combine a Ninja 300 with a Versys? The answer is the 2017 Versys-X 300, Kawasaki’s gift to the growing market for entry-level bikers who want a little more freedom to explore. The Versys-X 300 aims to give beginners a motorcycle with more terrain flexibility, so they can hit a bit of trail right off the bat. It’s also another option for veteran riders looking for something new, agile, light, hassle-free, and economical — that they wouldn’t think twice roughing up a bit.
The Versys-X 300’s engine comes off the Ninja 300 — the same DOHC 296 cc parallel twin rated to make 34 PS. It’s got all the makings of a road trip friendly dual sport: a relaxed seating position, places on which to mount accessories and storage, an element-shielding and insect-killing windscreen, and longer suspension travel.
A light and easy clutch lever is achieved through FCC slipper clutch assist and the 6-speed transmission includes a positive neutral finder. Front suspension is taken care of by 41mm Showa telescopic forks; a Uni-Trak gas-charged, adjustable shock is found in the rear.
The front spoked wheel measures 19-inches while the rear does 17-inches. They’re stopped by 290mm and 220mm discs respectively, along with single 2-piston brake calipers. The Versys-X 300 will come with or without ABS, and will be offered in two color schemes: the high-visibility, distinctly Kawasaki Candy Lime Green/Metallic Graphite Gray or the stealthier Metallic Graphite Gray/Flat Ebony. Fuel tank capacity is at 17 liters.
We can imagine that this mini-Versys may feel sluggish on a fast expressway fully packed with gear, but will shine while soft-roading where being able to put your feet down quickly and firmly would inspire confidence. Commuters looking for something more comfortable than a sport or standard for city riding will also be pleased.
This motorcycle falls neatly in line with the small ADV trend as of late—for those who don’t want to deal with the weight, height, intimidation, and price tag of full-blown premium adventure bikes. It’ll be an option to consider against other genre-mates such as the BMW G 310 GS an the CSC Zonfgshen RX3 Adventure. It may even sway those looking to get the Royal Enfield Himalayan or a Honda CB500X (unless they come out with a 300X). You can also expect an array of touring accessories for this slim, light, and low-seated adventurer.