April 25, 2017 by Anthony Compton
2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 – The First 300 Miles
Now that I have put over 300 miles on my KLE300 I figure it’s time to put together a quick review. I’m not going to get fancy with full motion video and effects as 1) I have not yet mounted my GoPro on the bike and 2) there are few actual reviews out and I want to get this info out sooner than later. So, lets dive in:
First some quick observations:
1. Going 65 MPH is not an issue. At 65 the engine is turning about 8,000 RPM. Redline is 12,000 with should put top speed around 105 -110 MPH. I have not done that and have no intention of trying it. I did not buy this bike to go fast.
2. My calculated Average MPG is 61 and rising. I got 59 on my 2 hour ride home from Spokane Power Sports, 65 riding on county and Forrest Service Roads, and 61 on other highway runs. I expect that to improve as the engine gets broke in.
3. After a week and two days I have 380 miles on the bike, I plan to put full synthetic in at the 600 mile oil change.
Now on to riding the Versys-X 300:
The Versys-X is my fifth motorcycle. In order I have owned:
– Yamaha 650 special. A deer made that bike unridable.
– Yamaha XJ700. Got tired of working on the four cabs and sold it.
– Harley Davidson Sportster 883. Not good for rides over 2 hours but fun on county roads.
– Harley Davidson Heritage Softail. Loved this bike but I want to ride on the woods and a 700 LB bike is not a good choice for that.
As a teen I have ridden a few 250 – 500 cc dirt bikes but most of my riding has been on the road. I’m loving the agility and low operating cost of the Versys-X. Friday I spent three hours in the woods exploring and taking photos and used $1.85 of fuel. Sure beats my 9 MPG Silverado Truck.
My first ride was about 2 hours in mixed rain and sun, the temp was about 50 degrees. The wind screen and faring kept me mostly dry with exception of my feet and ankles. About an hour an a half into the ride home I became aware that I will want to upgrade the seat when some after market parts become available. For now I have added a $30 seat pad and I can now go over two hours with out much discomfort.
Most of the county roads where ride are 35 – 45 MPH roads. The Versys-X is fun to ride on those roads and the 296cc engine makes plenary of power to enjoy corners. The instant fuel indicator shows I am getting about 70 MPG at 45 MPH on level paged roads.
Riding on dirt roads I am getting about 40 MPG going up the mountain and 60 – 150 on the way down. Being spring I keep running into snow at about 3500 feet and in most cases around 4000 feet I have to turn around because the road is too slippery for me to enjoy the ride. Besides, I am not ready to dent my bike yet. I have ridden over snow patches up to 75 feet in length and through some spots that had about 4 inches of mud. Neither caused me to crash but I’m sure I will replace the stock tires with some thing with more aggressive tread once I ware this first set out. The stock tires are fine on pavement and dry dirt roads.
My buddy rides a Kawasaki KLR650 and I found the KLE300 while looking at the KLR. I am 508 and 183 LBS, the KLR is about two inches taller at the seat than I’m happy with. When I ran across the KLE300 with it’s lower seat height, trimer weight, and nearly the same horse power and torque specs I had to look closer. The KLR does make it’s peak power at a lower RPM than the KLE300 but in the on rides we have taken that has not been an issue. The KLR is high geared as it only turns about 6,000 RPM at 60 MPH compared to around 7,500 on the Versys-X. On back roads I am often riding in 4th to 6th gear at speeds of 20 to 40 MPH. On level ground the bike pulls along just fine in 6th gear at 35 MPH leaving lots of gears to drop down to when you get to a hill or want a little more snap when you twist the throttle.
I’ll update my thoughts as I get more miles on the bike. For now I’m looking forward to my back ordered accessories arriving and the arrival of warmer weather.
MadDog GearComfort Ride Seat Protector $17 on Amazon
You must be logged in to post a comment.