MILAN SHOW: Kawasaki Versys-X 300

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Kawasaki’s Versys family gets another member for 2017 – and  it’s at the smaller end of the capacity range. In this case that means taking the 296cc parallel-twin from the Ninja / Z300, and wrapping it in an all-new chassis and bodywork.

The peppy twin should be a perfect match for this lightweight adventure-commuter, and whether negotiating back lanes or potholed high streets, the long-travel suspension should contribute to a comfortable ride. Up front there’s a 19in rim wearing a 100/90 IRC ‘Trail Winner’, which is backed up at the rear with a 130/80 17.


  • New small capacity Versys
  • 296cc parallel-twin
  • Adventure styling
  • Assist & Slipper clutch

The facts 

  • 38bhp (est)
  • 170kg (est)
  • Seat height 800mm (est)


While Kawasaki say the Versys-X will appeal to “a vast cross-section of new riders”, it’s safe to assume that it’ll appeal to a wide array of more experienced ones, too.  

Both townies and thrashers will
appreciate the Assist & Slipper clutch – which means a light lever in town, and less locking-up on aggressive down-shifts. ABS is standard, and the calipers are decent Nissin items.

The seat looks plush, and appears to deliver a very ‘sit-in’ riding position, with wide handlebars and a stubby but high windsceeen.

The dash offers a high level of spec, with a large analogue tacho supported by two LCD screens showing a digital gear indicator, dual trip meters, remaining fuel range, plus current and average consumption and an eco-riding indicator. Keep the eco symbol lit at all times, and Kawasaki say the tank will deliver over 240 miles.

Suspension duties are taken care of by a long-travel 41mm telescopic fork up front, and a Uni-Trak gas charged monoshock at the rear – all of which the firm claim is up to the job of shrugging off unpaved roads.

Dealers will be offering two accessory editions as well as the standard Versys-X. The ‘Versys-X 300 Urban’ has a tank pad, hand guards, centrestand and a 30 litre topbox, while the ‘Versys-X 300 Adventure’ will get a tank pad, tubular engine guard, centrestand and a pair of 17 litre panniers.


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Richard Newland

By Richard Newland