SHRINK­ING VERSYS

Versys-x 300

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Richard New­land DEPUTY ED­I­TOR

Kawasak­iõs Versys family gets an­other mem­ber for 2017 Ð and itõs 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 thereõs a 19in rim wear­ing a 100/90 IRC Ôtrail Win­nerõ, which is backed up at the rear with a 130/80 17.

While Kawasaki say the Versys-x will ap­peal to Òa vast cross-sec­tion of new rid­ersó, itõs safe to as­sume that itõll ap­peal to a wide ar­ray of more ex­pe­ri­enced ones, too.

Both town­ies and thrash­ers will ap­pre­ci­ate the As­sist & Slip­per clutch Ð 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 Ôsit-inõ 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 ecorid­ing 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 Ð 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 Ôver­sys-x 300 Ur­banõ has a tank pad, hand guards, cen­tre­stand and a 30 litre top­box, while the Ôver­sys-x 300 Ad­ven­tureõ will get a tank pad, tubu­lar en­gine guard, cen­tre­stand and a pair of 17 litre pan­niers.

The small ca­pac­ity mar­ket is hot­ting up with this new Versys-x join­ing the fray

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