All-New 2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300
Kawasaki introduce the all new Versys-X 300 Adventure Tourer for 2017
The Versys-X 300 is an adventure-styled touring model that builds on the any-road any-time performance of Kawasaki’s Versys models by adding increased capability on unpaved roads.
At 300cc, the Versys-X 300 is the smallest-displacement model in the Kawasaki touring category. Like you would expect from a bike designed to be the ideal travel partner, it offers the best comfort and convenience possible for a 300cc model.
More manageable in both weight and power, and more readily available than many larger-displacement models, the Versys-X 300 offers easy access to motorcycle adventure or is ideal for commuting. A wide range of optional accessories are also available, with all the equipment necessary for comfortable long-distance riding.
A 296cc Parallel Twin engine for the segment is mounted in a rugged backbone frame with longer travel suspension and 19in/17in spoked rims offer some premise of soft off-road ability.
The efficiently-tuned 296cc Parallel Twin engine produces smooth, torquey power at low and medium rpm and strong acceleration at high rpm.
An all-new highly rigid backbone frame was designed to handle external shocks, contributing to the Versys- X’s unpaved-road capability. The sturdy frame is also able to support a passenger and luggage, making the Versys-X a very capable touring partner.
Using long-travel suspension enables the Versys-X to deliver riding excitement across a wide range of riding situations. Not all streets in the real world are made of circuit-smooth pavement, especially in Australia!
Conceived to enable comfortable long-distance riding, the Versys-X is able to accommodate a wide range of riders, and offers numerous optional accessories that enhance touring potential and comfort.
The Versys-X’s large-volume bodywork and impressive adventure styling give it the imposing appearance of a much larger-displacement machine. In contrast to the street-focused Versys models, the rugged design of the Versys-X looks very much at home off the pavement.
The combination of a tall upper cowl design inspired by adventure models, and a large-size windshield provides superior wind protection, adding to long-distance riding comfort and contributing to adventure-style looks.
A relatively low seat height of 815*mm and a seat design that is slim at the front make it easy for a wide range of riders to easily reach the ground with their feet.
Complementing the rider’s comfortable seat, a wide rear seating area and ergonomically sculpted grab bars should keep pillions relatively comfortable. The rear seat area is flat, and together with the rear carrier offers an excellent platform for securing luggage.
Sophisticated instrument design features a large analogue tachometer flanked by warning lamps on one side, and a gear position indicator and multi-function LCD screen on the other.
Numerous accessories make it easy to increase the long-distance potential of the Versys-X. Like hard panniers, LED fog lamps, DC outlet, hand guards and centre stand, are optional accessories should riders want to enhance their ride.
2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 Engine
The liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve Parallel Twin delivers smooth, responsive power at low and medium rpm and hard hitting power at high rpm. Already smoother than a single-cylinder, the engine features a balancer to help dampen engine vibrations, contributing to a very smooth ride feel as well as comfortable cruising.
Optimised compression ratio is 10.6:1 for the Versys-X 300 and lightweight pistons feature a hard alumite coating (on the piston crown and extending past the top land and top ring groove) for increased durability.
Sleeveless, aluminium die-cast cylinder features plated bores, just like on the Ninja supersport machines. The cylinder features an open-deck design, offering excellent heat dissipation, and contributing to weight savings.
Fuel injection ensures stable fuel delivery regardless of temperature or air pressure, as well as excellent starting characteristics.
Similar to Kawasaki supersport models, dual throttle valves give a precise control of intake air, resulting in linear throttle response across the rpm range. Dual throttle valves also contribute to combustion efficiency, and hence engine performance as well as favourable fuel consumption
The 32mm main throttle valves on the Versys-X 300, complemented by larger sub-throttle valves measuring 40.2mm help flow a great volume of air, contributing to engine performance.
Fine-atomising injectors with a droplet size of only 60 μm contribute to combustion efficiency and lightweight stick-type ignition coils help minimise electrical interference.
Optimised airbox shape and intake duct layout were designed using airflow analysis. Intake funnels were optimised for low-mid range torque, contributing to easy-to-manage power delivery. Air is ingested via the airbox’s upper section, reducing the chance of foreign objects entering the intake.
The slim design of the airbox contributes to a slim overall chassis design that makes it easy for riders to touch down their feet with ease.
A 2-into-1 exhaust system, made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel, contributes to low- and mid-range performance and a smooth, step-free power curve. The 31.8 mm exhaust header pipes on the Versys-X 300 are optimised for low-mid range performance. With ground clearance on unpaved roads a design consideration, their elegantly curved shape keeps the headers close to the engine.
Single honeycomb catalyser in the collector pipe contributes to clean emissions that clear Euro 4 standards. Short-style right-side silencer is positioned away from rider and passenger.
Relatively short gearing offers a balance between fuel economy and low-mid-range power feeling and response. A longer 6th gear contributes to the high-speed cruising range. Range (measured per WMTC Mode) on a single tank exceeds 400 km, allowing significant time between refuelling stops.
The light clutch lever pull and easy control afforded by the Assist & Slipper Clutch greatly contributes to comfortable, stress-free riding – especially when spending long stints in the saddle.
The assist & slipper Clutch was developed based on feedback from racing activities. The clutch uses two types of cams (an assist cam and a slipper cam), offering two functions not available on a standard clutch.
When the engine is operating at normal rpm the assist cam functions as a self-servo mechanism, pulling the clutch hub and operating plate together to compress the clutch plates. This allows the total clutch spring load to be reduced, resulting in a lighter clutch lever pull when operating the clutch.
When excessive engine braking occurs – as a result of quick downshifts (or an accidental downshift) – the slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart. This relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and help prevent the rear tyre from hopping and skidding.
Large openings in the fairing also promote airflow when riding to help dissipate engine heat.
Patented radiator fan cover located behind the radiator directs hot air down and away from the rider, significantly increasing comfort when stuck in heavy traffic. Redirecting the air also helps keep the tank, frame and other parts that contact the rider cooler, further increasing rider comfort.
2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 Chassis
A rugged, high rigidity frame was designed to handle external disturbances, contributing to the Versys-X’s unpaved-road capability, with the frame’s simple construction includes lightening holes, helping to keep chassis weight to a minimum.
The area around the rear shock mount is reinforced, ensuring a high capacity to handle unpaved road situations. Rigid-mounted, the engine is used stressed member, contributing to both the frame’s high rigidity and light weight.
The rear frame was also designed to be slim beneath the rider’s seat, facilitating the rider’s reach to the ground while maintaining necessary rigidity.
41 mm telescopic front forks handles suspension duties up front. The long travel contributes to the Versys-X’s capability to handle unpaved roads, contributing to sporty handling across a wide range of riding situations while also adding to ride comfort.
Front-end feel was carefully considered when developing this fork, resulting in highly reassuring feedback, ensuring an easy entry point into motorcycling on board this model. At the rear, Bottom-Link Uni-Trak is paired with a gas-charged monoshock.
Caster angle 24.6o and swingarm length were selected to balance overall handling and riding stability with performance on unpaved roads. Ample ground clearance of 180mm makes it easier to clear obstacles encountered on the road.
Dual petal disc brakes, 290mm disc at the front, 220mm at the rear, provide sure stopping power. And in addition to the very effective petal disc brakes, the Versys-X is fitted with front and rear ABS thanks to a compact new Bosch 10M ABS unit, which contributes to both weight and space savings.
The Versys-X’s 19in front and 17in rear spoked wheels give it greater capability on unpaved roads than its larger, street-focused brothers, while the wheels feature aluminium rims to help minimise unsprung weight. Multi-purpose tubed tyres contribute to capability on unpaved roads. The tyre tread pattern adds to the Versys-X’s adventure styling.
A 17mm large-diameter front axle shaft also ensures sufficient rigidity for riding on unpaved roads, and contributes to riding stability. Hollow axle shafts reduce unsprung weight.
2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 Ergonomics & Style
The Versys-X’s slim, upright riding position and a wide handlebar offer high controllability as well as the comfort for long-distance riding. The upright riding position accommodates a wide range of rider sizes.
Excellent leverage offered by the wide handlebar contributes to control. A wide steering angle (27o each direction) facilitates low-speed manoeuvring. The handlebar is rubber-mounted to help minimise vibration.
A slim design of the 17-litre fuel tank makes it easier for riders to reach the ground with their feet and seat height is low, considering the Versys-X’s large size. This contributes to an easy reach to the ground for a wide range of riders.
A large, double seat is on par with the seat of the Versys 650, offering excellent comfort. The rear of the seat features a wide seating area, contributing to excellent passenger comfort. The seat’s flat shape also makes it easy to carry luggage.
Passenger grab bars have the same diameter as the handlebar contributing to a comfortable, easy grip. Front and rear footpegs feature vibration-dampening rubber cushions.
A lightweight, flat aluminium rear carrier is also level with the passenger seat, enhancing luggage-carrying capacity. Four luggage hooks built into the rear carrier contribute to the Versys-X’s high touring potential. The luggage hook shape was designed to be easy to use with ropes as well as bungee hooks. A storage tray under the seat helps secure small items.
Large-volume bodywork and imposing adventure styling give the impression that the Versys-X is a much larger-displacement machine The Versys-X’s long, tall upper cowl design was inspired by adventure models. A chin spoiler contributes to the sharp, aggressive Kawasaki image.
The large-size windshield works in concert with the upper cowl to provide superior wind protection, adding to long-distance riding comfort and contributing to adventure-style looks.
The single-bulb headlamp gives the Versys-X a look distinct from the other Versys models, and air ducts positioned beside the headlamp reduce hot air build-up inside the cowl.
Side cowls are equipped with large openings that promote efficient release of hot air from the radiator and engine-guard-style lower cowls further contribute to the adventure looks.
Stylish mirrors are mounted to the handlebar to provide a clear view of the rear. A long, low-position front fender contributes to tough, sporty looks, but has sufficient clearance to resist mud build-up. A large inner fender, unitised with the chain guard, reduces the amount of water and dirt kicked up by the rear wheel, helping to keep the underside of the tail cowl clean.
The instrument panel layout features a large analogue tachometer flanked by warning lamps on one side, and a gear position indicator and multi-function LCD screen on the other. The gear position indicator – a first for a 300cc-class Kawasaki –increases shifting precision and confidence.
In addition to the digital speedometer and gear position indicator, display functions include: odometer, dual trip meters, remaining range, current and average fuel consumption, external temperature, coolant temperature, clock and the Economical Riding Indicator.
Numerous optional accessories make it easy to increase the long-distance potential of the Versys-X, are available, should riders want to enhance their ride.
- Optional hand guards offer a measure of wind protection, helping to keep the rider’s hands warm when riding in cold weather, while contributing to the adventure-style image
- Optional DC outlet offers 15 W to power small accessories (about 30 W if fog lamps are not being used), for enhanced touring convenience.
- Optional centre stand facilitates maintenance chores and offers increased stability for parking when fully loaded with luggage.
- ERGO-FIT High seat is 25 mm higher than the standard seat, offering decreased seat height for taller riders.
- * Other available accessories include a tank pad and U-lock unit.