This year EICMA is seeing a lot of sub-500cc dual-purpose motorcycles rolling out. After BMW, Honda and Suzuki have unveiled their versions of small adventure tourers. With the Versys-X 300, the Versys family from Kawasaki adds to the adventure line-up. This new baby Versys will slot into the smaller end of the capacity range, with its older siblings already being a rather potent lot.
The Versys-X 300 shares its DOHC liquid-cooled 296cc parallel twin-engine platform with the Ninja 300 that puts down 39hp of maximum power and 27Nm of maximum torque. However, this engine will be wrapped in an all-new chassis with all-new body work. The seat looks plush and comfortable, and appears to have a very ‘sit-in’ riding position. This is complimented by the wide handlebars and a stubby but high windscreen.
Suspension duties are taken care of by a long-travel 41mm telescopic fork upfront and a Uni-Trak gas-charged monoshock at the rear, which should be more than sufficient for bad or dirt-road conditions. The instrument cluster offers a large analogue tachometer supported by two LCD screens that contain a digital gear indicator, dual trip-meters, distance to empty, current and average fuel consumption and eco-riding indicators.
There will be two accessory editions available beside the standard Versys-X. The Versys-X 300 Urban will have a tank pad, hand guards, a centre-stand and a 30-litre topbox, while the Versys-X 300 Adventure will come shod with a tank pad, tubular engine guard, a centre-stand and two 17-litre panniers.