Kawasaki’s Versys-X 300 was highly anticipated for its potential to be the most affordable twin-cylinder adventure bike in India. Well, that wait has now come to an end as Kawasaki has just launched the baby Versys in India, but, at Rs 4.6 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it’s not as affordable as some would have hoped.
The Versys-X 300 is a CKD assembled at the company’s new plant in Chakan. This should have helped keep the price low, but the real reason for this high price is that Kawasaki is selling the bike with a range of accessories including auxiliary lights, engine guards, hand guards, a top box mount and a single pannier box. The mandatory sari guard means that the pannier on the other side cannot be mounted as factory standard and will have to be purchased as an accessory. Kawasaki did something similar with the Z900 and subsequently launched a lower priced version without the accessories.
The Versys X-300 is what Kawasaki calls an ‘any road’ bike and is basically an adventure motorcycle that can take on a reasonable amount of off-road work while stopping short of being a hardcore off-road focused machine. With long-travel suspension and a 19-inch front wheel, the Versys’ ability to handle rough roads and gravel tracks looks promising. Adding to the touring chops is a generous 17-litre fuel tank, meaning less frequent fuel stops. Ground clearance is a usable 180mm while seat height is an approachable 815mm. With a kerb weight of 184kg, the Versys is a smidge lighter than a Royal Enfield Himalayan, which should make it quite manageable.
Power comes from a 296cc parallel-twin (shared with the Ninja 300) that makes 40hp, albeit at a sky-high 11,500rpm. Its 25.7Nm peak torque value comes in at 10,000rpm so you’ll have to spin the motor up to get moving in a hurry. The skinny 130-section rear tyre shouldn’t be too hard to spin up in the dirt. Braking is handled by a 290mm front petal disc and a single 220 disc at the rear. ABS is standard.