The big news from Kawasaki is a new addition to the Versys family. You’re looking at the new for 2017 Versys-X 300. With an engine based on the same Parallel Twin that powers the popular Ninja 300. With a relaxed upright seating position, front fairing and windscreen, sporty and nimble handling, the 300 is squarely aimed at newer riders and those who may be short on inseam and bank account.
The associated Kawasaki press kit explains the philosophy best. “An easy-to-ride motorcycle that makes adventure-style motorcycling more accessible than ever before. The Versys-X 300, while the youngest in the family of Versys motorcycles, sets itself apart from the rest in many ways. It’s not only a lightweight, capable machine, but it also features a rough-road adventure style and rugged look.”
“The front cowling is long and tall with a chin spoiler in the bottom section. This design is meant to be equal parts functional and stylish, aiding in the adventure look, while maintaining ample wind protection. Air ducts positioned under headlights also reduce hot air buildup inside the cowl, a simple engineering design that increases comfort and helps reduce riding temperature.”
The sizable 4.5-gallon fuel tank contributes to the adventure-bike image and function while maintaining a slim design. The Versys-X 300 features a 19-inch front aluminum rim and a 17-inch rear aluminum rim, both with steel spokes. The rear cargo carrier has easy to use grips and strap hooks for adding luggage. A wide variety of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories will be offered to take the Versys-X 300 even further down the ADV path, helping riders create a personalized motorcycle that meets their needs.
The Versys-X 300 motorcycle utilizes the proven performance of its liquid-cooled 296cc Parallel Twin engine, which is tuned to deliver strong low- and mid-range torque, crisp throttle response, as well as excellent power on the open road. Much of its newfound prowess can be attributed to its advanced digital fuel injection, which helps manage cold starting while providing excellent throttle response. The radiator features a unique fan cover that helps direct hot air out and under the motorcycle, reducing heat to the rider and passenger.
The six-speed sequential transmission features a positive neutral finder, making it a cinch to select neutral when stopped. A premium FCC clutch with assist and slipper functions reduces lever effort. The Versys-X 300 features revised friction area for the assist and slipper clutch spring rate and lever ratio. This expands clutch control range, and facilitates moving off from a start, resulting in a clutch with a light pull and easy feel.
The Versys-X 300 features gear ratios ideal for adventure style riding with a shorter final reduction ratio. This produces optimized balance between fuel consumption and power feeling and improved low-mid range feel and response.
The 300’s engine is a stressed frame member, and the bottom-linkage Uni-Trak rear suspension employs a gas charged shock and adjustable preload. This helps ensure handling stability and allows riders to touch down with ease, increasing comfort. The shock mount and rear frame section were beefed up for more rigidity, durability and increased suspension action. Front suspension is a 41mm Showa fork.
A major bonus for the Versys-X 300 is its wide steering angle which assists in low speed maneuverability and overall usability. The 300 is available with and without ABS. The X 300 is offered in Candy Lime Green/Metallic Graphite Gray or Metallic Graphite Gray/Flat Ebony.