Not every adventure has to be to the furthest flung corners of the world and this year we are starting to see the rise of the mini adventure bike – small capacity machines that offer all of the practicality of their bigger brothers, but with a fraction of the weight! And of course, being A2-licence legal as well.
MCN will be riding the first of these machines to hit the UK tomorrow – the Kawasaki Versys-X 300. Using the same 296cc parallel twin as the Z300 and Ninja 300, the Versys-X pops it in an adventure bike chassis and then adds some really impressive looking features.
As well as off-road style wheel sizes, the Versys comes with a neat luggage rack, wide fairing, tall screen and a 17-litre tank – which should be good for around 200 miles if the Ninja’s economy is anything to go by. There are a few concerns, the 845mm seat height is a touch tall and the spec sheet doesn’t mention the screen being adjustable, but we will have to wait until tomorrow when we test the bike to see if these worries are valid.
Priced at £5149 for the standard model, the Versys-X also comes in ‘Adventure’ trim for £5899 which adds panniers, a centre stand, hand guards, engine guards and a tank pad and also ‘Urban’ for £5549 with a top case, hand guards, centre stand and tank pad. It will be an interesting bike to ride and one that needs to be good as the Suzuki V-Strom 250 (which is also a parallel twin) will be arriving soon, the BMW G310 GS (single cylinder) will be here by the end of the year and KTM have been spotted testing an adventure bike based around their 390 single.
That said, Kawasaki are currently offering the Versys-X on a £96.37 PCP plan after only a £100 deposit (up the deposit to £1000 and this drops to £69.10 a month) so the late arrivals may well miss the boat…
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