I'm a pretty big fan of all the new small adventure bikes that have made their way into a lot of lineups recently. One of the bikes that really appeals to me is the Kawasaki Versys-X 300. It seems to blend everything you could want into a seriously well-rounded package.
What the Kawasaki Versys-X 300's Is All About
The Versys-X 300 has a 296cc liquid-cooled, two-cylinder engine that's mated to a 6-speed transmission. It has direct fuel injection with two 32 mm throttle bodies. The front suspension has 5.1 inches of travel and the rear has 5.8 inches of travel. In short, its a vehicle equipped to handle a wide variety of terrains and riding situations.
I don't particularly like the way most adventure bikes look, and the Versys-X 300 is no exception. I think these bikes are ugly, but if you've ever sat on one, you know that adventure and adventure touring bikes are seriously comfortable. You can sit in the saddle all day and still enjoy your ride.
What's the General Consensus on the Versys-X 300?
I haven't ridden this particular bike, so I thought it worth it to pull together some quotes from motorcycle journalists who have. Here's what some of the best in the industry said about the Versys-X 300:
"Experienced street riders looking to get started in ADV riding will be find the Versys-X a great way to learn on the dirt. It’s a motorcycle with a welcoming personality that won’t break the wallet." - Kelly Callan, Ultimate Motorcycleing
"I see this as an entry-level machine for riders who want to get into adventure motorcycling. It's aimed at new riders who want a do-it-all machine to take road trips on and try their hand at a dirt road on their way to the campsite." - Spurgeon Dunbar, RevZilla Motorsports
"Kawasaki has produced a "gateway" bike that’s nearly perfect for the newer rider who wants to get a user-friendly, but still exciting ride which will take them from pavement to gravel and dirt roads." - Carl Parker, Adventure Motorcycle
"With the big ADV bikes growing larger and more complex with each successive year The Luddite in me likes the relative simplicity of the Versys-X 300." - Joe Gresh, Motorcyclist Magazine
"The Versys-X 300 has a lot to offer with its standout combination of build quality, versatility, and comfort within its price category." Don Canet, Cycle World
All of that makes me want to go out and buy one. With a starting price of $5,399 without ABS, it's actually reasonably priced, too. I don't recommend buying a brand new bike as a first bike, but if you wanted to, this is an excellent choice.