Video: Kawi promos new Versys-X 300


Out of all the bikes announced at EICMA this year, the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 was the one of the models that gained the most traction with CMGers, no pun intended.

So, with Kawasaki just dropping this promo for the new mini-ADV bike, we thought some of you might enjoy seeing the machine in action. Even if mini-ADV bikes aren’t your thing and never will be, watching this is better than starting glumly at the snow in the driveway.


  1. Had a chance to look at one close up in Bangkok and have a sit (still not seen a ride reviews on-line) – it’s a decent size and I’m 6 ft tall and it did not have that ‘circus bear on a push-bike look (like the KLR 150 does). Also tried it with a pillion passenger – good, roomy seat, nice handrails/rear rack. The ‘tourer’ version comes with cases (narrower than in the video), crash bars and spot-lights. Nice to see a power outlet, gear indicator, fuel level. It does have some odd plastic parts that look a bit flimsy – the hand-guards, bash plate and some strange little ‘wings’ that seem to be designed to hide the fuel injection – but a very nice ‘man-sized’ lightweight tourer with probably some limited off-road potential. Unbelievable light clutch too. But ……. in Thailand it’s the same price as the Honda CB500X – which looks and feels like a significant step up in the bike ladder.

  2. Please, let this be the beginning of small bike revolution. I’m so tired of people projecting their feelings of inadequacy on me because I ride a small cc bike.

  3. Is anyone not concerned that it appears that small children were riding theses bikes? I like the bike but at 6″1″ 200lbs I get nervous when the video looks to have maybe 5’2″ – 5″6″ 120 lbs riders. Or am I off base here??

    • Were they woman? Maybe they’re marketing these smaller bikes to woman who are afraid of large bikes? Confidence builders/gateway bikes.

  4. I like what I see here. I’m a big fan of small bikes. I did more touring on an XS360 and RD400 than on my KZ650 and, yes, two up. I’d have no qualms about taking one of these 2-up down some mild 2-track, gravel roads and secondary highways. Not much of a speeder, so I don’t care that the thing won’t comfortably cruise the ton all day.

  5. It seems like a great bike. Way better than my previous shaky oil burner (KLR 650 2008). I owned a V-Strom 1000. And honestly, the Versys 300 would go at the sames places. The ergos would be more comfortable than small sport bikes. For sure, i’ll go to a demo ride. Would the Versys 300 replaces my FZ07? I’ll have Avon Trailrider next spring on the 07. The Versys is a street bike with a look of an adventure bike, So, the Versys 300 will have to be really impressive to take the place of my 07.

  6. *Warning* Some sarcasm, innuendo, and suitable tongue-in-cheek follows. Reader discretion is advised……(In other words, I’m not an angry, crotchety, ranting lunatic. I just sound like it…).

    After having perused a number of sites recently featuring this bike, I’ve noticed some surprising consistencies. The first comments written seem to invariably begin with the “This isn’t ideal for the highway” or “This bike won’t be able to hold 60 mph on the roadway” or “This bike won’t be able to cruise all day at the normal 85 mph that people travel at on rural secondary roads” variety. What bizarre welcome for a bike that hasn’t even been released yet….

    Keep in mind that the Ninja 300 (which the engine of this bike is based on) can exceed 100 mph (160 kph). A KLR650 (Yes – I’m daring to compare the 300 Versys to the God of all dual-sports, and know that there is some inherent risk of a Fatwa against my life for doing so) isn’t very aerodynamic and can barely crest 90 mph and weighs a full 60 lbs MORE than a Ninja 300. Both bikes make similar horsepower at the rear wheel. O.K. – the KLR makes much more torque. But in my experience, the NInja is loads smoother and has much more character. The KLR has about as much character as a diesel-electric locomotive (No offense Bruce Dickinson. Rock on!).

    Of course – no motorcycle is absolutely ideal for any situation. There will always be advantages and drawbacks. Many concede this point, but few actually truly believe it – it seems. As Orwell suggested, some bikes are more equal [apparently] than others – and so immune to certain criticisms. With that in mind, I hope you hold that thought for a moment as I excitedly wait for the next Harley Bagger review (or any impressively portly cruiser for that matter) and the first comments that I now expect to see naturally flow from such reviews – remarks such as how huge, portly bikes just aren’t ideal for in-town riding because they are terribly hampered by excessive weight and handle so poorly at slow speeds. Come on – it’s hard not to agree with this. Admit it. I will even award some extra merit points for the first person to boldly and creatively find a way to use the word “unsafe” in their comments in reference to slowing such behemoths down, and the inherent lack of emergency avoidance maneuverability such bikes possess that call to mind a host of Teknikens Varld SUV moose collision avoidance test fails on YouTube.

    I suspect that many would WANT to agree with such reasonable criticism of these large and unsafe (Hey one merit point for me!) bikes in principal – but just wouldn’t be able to bring themselves – just simply couldn’t summon the vocal or hand-typing motor commands to publicly air such sentiments. You just don’t do that with large displacement bikes.

    And there it is. Standing up for small displacement bikes everywhere. I would type more, but I need to contribute some comments to another site that is bullying a Honda CT70. It seems my work is never finished….

    • Just want to point out as I wrote the first comment here starting with ” Might not be ideal ” was in reaction to what CMG wrote on their FB post ” The advert might be a bit optimistic (two-up touring ? ).”

      I`m a small bike lover and i so often get dissed or laughed at for it especially on the internet.I do like bigger bike as well but have a preference for smaller bikes and own a 200 cc ( scooter ) as mentioned in my comment and a 2 stroke 125, I ‘have also owned many 50 and 125 bikes and some bigger displacement ones.

      Since my need now are aiming more toward touring or adv riding and Canada being slightly larger than the UK with drivers that tend to be rather impatient and usually drive above the speed limit I came to the conclusion that something with a bit more power would be better suited to these conditions. Something like the Versys X-300 or CRF 250 Rally would probably be the best options in what is available on the market and my budget.

      Beside wanting to point out that I `m not putting down small displacement bikes or put the Versys down as I like it a lot , what I wanted to say was great comment.

      • We all know what you did, Mclain! REPENT!


        You guys all ought to know I love my small bikes. I’m hoping to get a Suzuki Van Van 200 at some point this summer. The Dawn 2 Dusk Rally was my idea. But every bike has its place … 🙂

        • Yes i did it , i admit and repent 🙁

          I know that you like small bike as well and not all in your team are against them ( I know of at least one that doesn`t ) but as the article was signed CMG staff i took a chance to dare CMG to lent me a Versys so they could prove me wrong. Will try a different tactic next time as this one was rather lame

          The Dawn2Dusk Rally is a brilliant idea and if it`s still on or something similar when i can afford it ( now you know why i `m trying my luck at a free ride ) i surely would love to take part , i `m not much of a miserable git in person i swear.

      • Thanks! 🙂 The funny thing is that the first few comments were relatively mild compared to some others I’ve read recently about the Versys 300. But I like this site and thought I’d have fun with it anyway knowing the quality of the readership here. And I wasn’t trying to subtly point out anyone in particular either- well except for perhaps Zac (he really gets under my skin). Joking Zac. Joking. 🙂

        I rode a 49cc Honda Ruckus a few months ago in Winnipeg. I’m pretty convinced I could easily out-accelerate it on my mountain bike, and we’d be pretty closely matched for top speed – if clearly not for endurance. But I had tons of fun on it.

        I like bigger bikes too – but have always said that I would never buy a bike that weighed more than 400 lbs wet. The good news is that Yamaha’s FZ 7 actually just squeaks under that limit – and I’m looking forward to riding it when I get the chance…..

        • Zac – speaking of the Dawn 2 Dusk. Are you guys going to hold one this year? I’d love to ride out to the east coast and participate in a ride with you guys.

          • Good news (for you). The 2017 D2D will run in Ontario! I’m not 100 % sure on the route, that’s going to be done through Canada Moto Rallies, which isn’t really my bailiwick.

            However, if you do want to ride east and ride the classic D2D routes, I’d be happy to share ’em. I have actually thought about getting a few friends together and spending a fall weekend doing both the NB and NS routes over two days, just as a word-of-mouth sort of thing, nothing official.

        • GearDrivenCam , it was just in case so you wouldn`t think i `m a small bike hater. as my FB comment was more of a sleazy attempt at a free ride , in short not a very serious one.
          As said my reply to your comment was more of an excuse to say how good it was as i`m often in the same boat but don`t have the skills to express my views well as you did. Same goes for this one, i can only agree.

          I like this site too and it`s readers in general , just wish their was more audience. And as you say comments including ones on previous post about the Versys and other small bikes were rather mild here compared to other places

  7. OK so maybe I’m spending too much time on this, but here’s what I see in no particular order

    – front axle uses a stupid cotter pin in the nut, and no pinch bolts, I’m going to guess the rear has the same pin but can’t tell

    – incandescent tail light, meh

    – H4 headlight, meh

    – looks like the same size as the single 280mm ish rotor on the klr with a similar twin pot caliper and the ~200mm rear similar caliper setup, at it should weigh in at about the same bulk, and appears to have the same rubber brake line, so its going to have the same sponge on rice cake brake feel as the klr, bummer

    – the swing arm looks like a gen 1 klr arrangement for chain adjustment, and still has that silly rubber thing to protect from the chain at the pivot, really would like to see a p/u slider or similar

    – cable clutch, meh

    – 7/8 bars, not a big deal

    – index finger flash for the high beams,

    – lots of plastic around the engine case and no factory skid plate plastic or otherwise, may make it interesting to fit a proper bash plate.

    – so I do see, kawi branded: lights (led apparently), hard cases, crash bars, hand guards but kinda cheezy looking handguards,

    – it seems pretty clear they are going after the KLR crowd with this machine, price point will decide that, it really looks like a modern version, I wonder what the future will hold for their most popular bike…

    I like this game, what else do we see???

  8. Might not be ideal but you can go two-up touring on a small bike, must preferably pack lighter but done it on a 200cc scooter with not much problems, yes at times and especially on some hills that we met an extra 50-100 cc would have been welcomed and quite probably more in higher elevation regions.Just provide me a new Versys X 300 and i`ll prove it. And yes i `m aware that my message might appear 25 times on your website.

    • Sigh … we’re aware too.

      I’ve done a lot of time on small bikes and in an all-day-long scenario, if you wanna do highway speeds with a load on, there’s no replacement for displacement.

      Nice try, though. I’m providing myself with a new Versys-X 300 long before I’m giving one to you! 😉

    • Hence why i mentioned it`s not ideal and a bigger bike generally provide more passenger room as well.Just stating that it is possible and not that optimistic, and well obviously more of an attempt to get myself a new Versys :(. Must specif that my Atlantic is quite big and roomy for a 200 which help in touring or two-uo situations.

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