I wasn't sure what to expect but I have to say that I'm really impressed! It will be a lot of fun to ride and handle. 

2023  Kawasaki Versys-X 300 is a great little bike and surprisingly powerful. It's perfect for commuting or just cruising around town. So if you're looking for something new, be sure to check out our Versys-X 300.

Hi everybody, it's Peter and I'm crazy excited today because I've been waiting for this bike for such a long time. This is the 2023 Kawasaki Versys- X300  this bike reminds me of my first bike and I think it is phenomenal. And I say that knowing that all of you think this needs to come with the 400 cc engine of the current Ninja, which we'll talk about in this review review. So first of all, I'm gonna go in depth with this thing. I'm gonna tell you why it's absolutely fantastic, the great things about it that the other videos aren't talking about, maybe aren't showing you. And if you have questions that I didn't answer in this video, make sure you subscribe to the channel and let me know when the comments below the types of things you want to know because I'm gonna come back to this bike again and again on video to make sure I get a good database of video information on this of things that you wanna know.
And I'll also answer your questions in the comments. And I can do that because I'm here at  Jim Gilbert's Power Sports, which is the number one volume Kawasaki dealer in the country and they gimme full access to their entire vehicle line to make sure that I'm able to answer questions for you. So like I said, I'm crazy excited about this bike. So let's get going with the review. Okay, let's start off by dealing with the elephant in the room. This is the Versys-X 300, it's based off the Ninja 300. We haven't had a Ninja 300 in a long time and the Ninja 400 is better. Should this come with the 400 cc engine from the current ninja? Yes. Would that make it better? Yes. So here's the thing, despite me saying that this is still an incredible bike, and I'll tell you why I view this as more of an entry level bike or a simpler bike for experienced riders.

From here you can watch Peters Video by clicking YouTube or read his transcript... enjoy...

And although the Ninja 400 engine would probably be better in a bike like this and I have ideas on how to make that Ninja 400 engine better than even it would be just in a bike like this. We'll talk about that in a whole other video. You can always find a better bike if you put a 400 cc in this. You could say, wow, well you know what would make that better? The 650 Versys or something else you can always find better. What makes a XX six R better the XX 10 R? What makes that better? The H two, you can always, always, always go better, but this thing as it sits is a bike that you can do everything on. And when you're getting into an entry level lower price model, you're not expecting the best of the best of the best. What you're expecting is a bike that can give you an absolute amazing time.

And this one is so versatile and so good at what he does do that. I don't think you're gonna miss not having or miss having that 400. So let's talk about why I think this is great, who I think it's for, and a lot of the features in it that make it really unique and a pretty great bike as it is. So let me start by explaining why I love this bike and it's embarrassing picture time. This what you're looking at on screen is 16 year old me and that was my first motorcycle. And I know it burned your retinas to look at this, but I want you to take a close look at the bike. It had a lot of the things that this bike has. It had a comfortable seating position, it had side saddlebags that are hard saddlebags, which you can get on this.

It had a rear rack, which I stick a bag on, which you could carry stuff. It was able to take two passengers. It was a twin cylinder engine as well, except it was a two 50, which was actually 234 cc way underpowered. But the point is, I did everything on that bike. I did seven and eight hour trips to across international borders. I, you know, camped on that bike. I took friends, I did everything I could and this bike is better than that in every possible way. But that's what brings the joy of motorcycling. It's the fact that you can do everything and and if you're a beginner, having a bike like this really opens things up because this is sporty enough to figure out if you like sporty riding, it's adventure enough to figure out if you like, on and off-road riding. It's also light enough that you can carry it.
You can get crash bars here if you drop it. You can do all kinds of things. Every type of riding you would want to do, you've got, but the bigger thing is it's got things that make it comfortable to do those riding so you can really enjoy it and really grow with it. So let's take a look at the individual features as we move through the spike and talk about why I think they're fantastic. So let's start up front. First of all, you have this new color for 2023 that really makes it look like a modern bike. A lot of people are mistaking this for the K L R, which of course is legendary status, but it gives you a lot of things here outside of just some styling differences. You've got this windshield here. It is a fixed windshield on the higher end bikes.

It could be adjustable, but it works great as is. And of course because it mounts with four bolts, the aftermarket can take care of you if you wanted all kinds of different sizes or styles. You can also get hand grips here, which or hand uh, covers here, which can allow your hands to have a little bit of wind protection. Uh, a little bit of, you know, gravel roads, stone protection, all those kind of things. When I was on my very first motorcycle, I got a stone right in the thumb and boy to that herd on the throttle hand. You could cover that here. And that allows you to have a bike that you can drive into colder temperatures and into colder weather, which extends the riding season in somewhere like where we are right now. Halogen light out front, I'd like to see l e D lights on this kind of thing, but it doesn't bother me at all.
The nice thing is we mentioned that you can get a crash bar around here. That crash bar can also mount accessory l e d lights right from Kawasaki if you wanted to, you could buy them with the bike, you could buy them after the bike. You don't have to pay for it up front. If this is your first bike and you don't want to have a huge massive payment, you can add them on later. Those lights are l e d. What I used to do, I had a verse six 50 before with lights like that and I aimed them a little bit out, gave me a little bit wider uh, view of the road, which I could turn on as a separate switch from the headlight and you could really have a really wide view with those extra lights. So you've got a lot of versatility here for a first time bike and it's more than you'd get on a lot of other bikes.

Of course you can ride a bike without a windshield and never get tired or not get as tired, but of course a windshield will make it better for not getting tired, which means you can have longer trips on this. Makes it great. So now let's take a look at the front wheel here you have a 19 inch wheel. Traditional sport bikes are 17 inches in diameter. This is 19, so it's a little bit more of an off-road friendly wheel, but it's not so huge like a 21 inch wheel of some of the other bikes that you know kind of throws things off and makes it so fully dirt focused. This will feel completely road friendly on the road. We'll talk about the tread in a little bit here, but let's just look at what we've got here. So you have a very large 29 or 290 millimeter 29 centimeter uh, disc across here.
It is ventilated, it is pedal style. Now the pedal style is probably more styling, but in theory that helps uh, take away some heat while you're braking. My first motorcycle had drum brakes front and rear. These are lighter weight. These are of course way better as far as breaking power. And of course you have the abs here so you can see the ab bs ring here. So abs brakes front and rear. I really encourage you to get that if you can on your first bike especially just because as you're learning to brake an emergency brake, if you pull too much front lever, you put too much um, you know, pedal on the brake pedal as well. You can have a situation where you've locked up a wheel and then you're in trouble. So this will help you prevent locking up the wheel. Obviously you don't wanna use the abs as a crutch.
It should be something that kicks in because you know you've done something wrong, not something to rely on as a riding aid, but it is something that can help keep you safe. The other thing that's really nice here is you have spoked wheels. Now a lot of time we don't talk about spoked wheels. You can see every dirt bike we sell has spoked wheels. They are stronger than the alloy wheels. So these are still lightweight wheels, which is what you want on a street bike. But they are very strong with these um, extra with the spokes in there and that allows you to go a little bit more off-road down some poor roads. And the thing that's great about this is the tires aren't fully off-road. This is not a klr or a full-on dual sport dirt bike. These are still capable of going down gravel roads, dirt roads, other things like that.

And the tread is perfectly fine for that, but it allows you to go down rougher roads and all these side roads that maybe you wouldn't consider on a bigger bike that's harder to maneuver. This thing's super easy to maneuver and you can literally go anywhere if you're going camping, all those rough roads, there not gonna be a problem for your front wheel. So now let's talk about the engine here. This is a twin cylinder. A lot of its competitors are single cylinders, but it is a twin cylinder engine and it is a high revving engine. Red line is 12,000 RRP on this. Now if you're concerned about high revving engines, I'm gonna link a video in the description which talks about why high revving engines are not a problem. It's a video I made, it's about five minutes long. It's well worth watching if you're considering this bike.

And again, that twin cylinder engine matters for that high revving. Again, if the competitors are single cylinder, they can't rev as high and they'll try to tell you that it's a problem. It's just not a problem. The cylinders in this, the stroke, so how far the cylinders move is less than five centimeters, that is minuscule. And when your cylinders don't travel a long distance, they can be higher revving. Here's a picture that I took of uh, how far those cylinders actually travel. So you have cylinders that just really don't travel a long distance, which is what can allow it to be a high revving engine. High revving engine helps with horsepower. Now they've done things to add torque on this engine as well. It's not a huge torkey engine, uh, but again it's not designed to be a dirt bike. It's designed to be an on-road bike that's capable of going on rougher roads.

And you see the design here of the the pipes including this little crossover pipe. They do that to help build torque in the mid-range. So where you're gonna be driving this, you know in this case mid-range is still fairly high revving, but they've done things to build torque to make this a really drivable, easy to use engine. So some people think it's weird to have a high revving engine, but this works very well. The other thing I like is this is liquid cooled. So this is a fully modern engine. The first bike that I had was air cooled. I remember getting stuck in traffic on a hot day and you could just feel that motor roasting this engine. It's gonna take care of itself with a liquid cooling, you know, it's gonna make sure that it keeps a consistent temperature, which is gonna give you consistent and better performance as well.
So really good engine here for entry level bike or again, even not entry level, just knowing what it is. It's a very good engine for what it is. Gonna take a look at the rear wheel here quickly. You can see this is that tire tread I was talking about. It's a very well curved, uh, tires here. It's not all the nobbies so it's gonna give you that smooth ride over the road. It's gonna be great in wet weather but it's also gonna be good in rougher roads, gravel roads, those kind of things. It's not designed to be a nooby where it's just whipping down trails, but any road you're gonna go on, including an unpaved road, that's what this tire is made for. So you want something that's gonna give you the grip you need on the road, but you also want something that's gonna be good, you know, as you venture off the paved roads.

And that can do that here. A B abs and disc brake back here as well. Again, we mentioned my first bike, that drum break on the rear. Really, really great brakes here for uh, a newer smaller bike. Take a look at the opposite side here, the kickstand side of the bike. You can see you've got your shifter, your uh, you know, rubber mounted, uh, or rubber covered, uh, foot pegs there. All that's to deal with vibrations. Again, if 300 cc's gonna have more vibrations than a top level vi a top level adventure bike, but it's really not a problem If we're nitpicking about vibrations, we're probably sitting there spoiled by modern technologies. This is a fully modern bike that is really nice to ride, especially when you compare it to other types of bikes out there. What's cool up here is you can see this is a six speed transmission.
It says one N 2 3 4 56. It lists exactly how your shift pattern works here. A six speed transmission is important on a small engine bike because you want to be able to use all of those gears. And the other thing is these smaller bikes, you really get the experience of zipping through the gears and having some fun. It makes it more fun than a huge bike where you know, first gear or second gear gets you to a hundred kilometers an hour here you're using your transmission. It's fun to use. It makes it more fun to drive. It's why people like driving manual transmission cards. It's s sneaking through the gears. Same sort of thing here. You can go through those gears and have some fun. So let's take a look at the dash here. You can see that 12,000 RPM red light when we turn it on, you get that full

Sweep of attack full uh, digital display coming to life. Now this is pretty cool too. Again, my first bike, it didn't even have tachometer, it just had a little line by, you know, the speedometer showing you roughly when to switch out of one gear to the next. It was kind of a weird thing. This bike, you can really get your power from like 6,000 RPM up. So you're gonna be revving it again. We've talked about why it doesn't really matter to have a high revving bike when the cylinders are traveling such a short distance on a smaller bike and because it's a twin cylinder bike, you have smaller cylinders, uh, that can move quicker than a single cylinder with the same displacement that can't move as quick. So revving is not an issue, it just takes a while to get used to your brain. Seeing the bike bike go from 6,000 to eight or nine or 10,000 rpm, it's just different to do.
Uh, obviously you have some power down low, but you're really gonna live in that mid to upper range, uh, as you get up to speed and it's fine. Really nice to have as a gear indicator, especially if you're a new rider as you're getting used to what gear you need to be in a certain situations, the ability to glance down and see what gear you're in really matters. It really makes things, uh, easier for you. Up top, you've got an odometer, we'll go through the cycle there, speedometer there and you've got some information down low. What you can't see on the edges here is there's a fuel gauge there and there is a um, a little uh, temperature gauge right there, which again, the bike is off right now. There's some warning lights here as well. ABS neutral light and a neutral light's kind of hidden there.
And a check on engine light. Again, we have the vehicle off, it's not, it's turn to the opposition but it's not running. So let's cycle through some of these things. Up top here you've got odometer, like we mentioned trip A and trip B and back to odometer and down low you've got currently it's listening kilometers per liter I believe you can switch that to liters per hundred kilometers if you wanted to. That is your instant reading right there. And if I hit the button here, that's your average mileage as well. So kilometers per liter right now. And then you have your range, so distance to empty. So that is calculated based on uh, how you have been driving. So range. And it's a 17 liter fuel tank for a small engine. That's a lot of range and again that all makes it better for that sort of adventure style.
Uh, riding that you might wanna do. You can go off the bean trail, you don't have to be near your gas stations all the time. Let's zoom out just a little bit and look at some of the accessories. You can mount to the dash here. All right, I've got on the side stand right now. So the handlebars might move. So I am holding the handlebars here, but you can see you got the ignition key in the center there. You've got a little dummy switch there and a dummy uh, spot right there. So this is going to be for a 12 volt or USB port. You can have that installed right from a Kawasaki accessory. Again, if you wanna do it at when the bike's new, you can get it built in right away. If you wanna do that over time and add it later, you can.

And it's a nice proximity to your handlebars here, which are just off camera. Uh, round handlebars. You can mount a gps, you can mount your phone, you can keep it charging the whole time if you wanted to. So just kind of good proximity. And then over here is if you were to mount those l e d fog lights on this bike, you can put the switch in right there. So really clean mounting area for all those kinds of things. You don't have to kind of figure it out. It's all set up and ready to go. Uh, a lot of it's just plug and play from the dealer here. Super simple stuff. Now let's take a look at some of the controls because you've got good controls for an entry level bike here. Left side control. Couple things worth noting. First of all, you have a little trigger area right here that will flash your high beams when you're driving so you can get sort of grab people's attention, sort of a flash to pass feature if you want to lock those headlights on or the high beams on, you can do that.(15:01)
You do have four-way flashers, which I find to be really helpful on this style of bike. You're gonna travel long distances on this bike or at least you're capable of traveling long distances. Sometimes you need to stop alongside a road, adjust some gear, grab some gear, grab what you need, uh, and there's not always a great place to stop and uh, or even just figure out where you're headed, readjust the GPS or something like that. So to have uh, four-way flashers is nice. Signal lights and um, corner right there. The biggest thing you're gonna notice is probably the lightest clutch pull out of any Kawasaki motorcycle. So this is really nice. It's a slipper and assist clutch. What that does is if you mess up a down shift, which again if this is a first bike, sometimes you mess up a down shift and it's still revving too high and you pop it out, what happens is your rear wheel can skid.
So they bring these into race bikes to allow you to make really aggressive uh, um, shifts on the racetrack. But it makes it really good for um, street bikes as well because you can mess up that downshift without rev matching. Exactly. And it's called a slipper and assist clutch. It allows the clutch to slip instead of the wheel. So you maintain some traction. It's a great safety feature, uh, especially in wet weather or anything else like that that allows you to have the clutch slip instead of the wheel just a little bit till it regains traction. So it is something that works with you. It's not something that's you know, foolproof, you should still learn to drive properly. But it's a really nice feature that it's a safety feature. And then because of that system, the way it works, the side effect of that system also makes it have a lighter clutch lever feel.
So if you're sitting there in traffic or just commuting around town, then on a bike with a small engine with six gears, you're shifting quite a bit. So to be able to do that, you know, quite easily with one finger, I can just easily pull it with my pinky here. Um, no issues. That really light clutch lever, uh, just makes it a really a joy to drive right side. Not much to talk about. You got your kill switch up there, you've got your start switch right there. You've got the throttle and of course the front brake. Simple, simple stuff. Just what you'd expect before I show you what it's like to sit on this bike, I wanna show you a few features back here. First of all, you have a large passenger seat, you can absolutely take a passenger on this bike and they'll be way more comfortable than on something like the Ninja 400 or something like that.
Much bigger seat here. The biggest benefit of this seat though, this is a 300 TC bike, you're not taking passengers on crazy long distances or that kind of thing. I mean maybe you will, but you don't. Most people wouldn't. But what's nice about this seat is the rear rack here kind of blends into that seat. If you were gonna go camping or something like that, you could easily take a long tent, not something that's you know, designed just for motorcycle use, but a typical small tent and connect it to here. You could take extra things because this is longer. You can strap things around to the bars here that this is all standards. So you've got all this piece here. The rack itself has drilled out areas so you can put in accessories there, but it's also got these little hooks on both sides here. And to me that's how I would start out. You could get a top case or something like that, but I would start out with just this strap, a bag

Down there, strap some other stuff down, get a little bungee cord, something like that. Uh, but it allows you to put anything you want here. And then we can talk about the accessories. You can add on side cases here. You can add the top boxes here. So let's have a talk about some of the accessories you can add to this bike that make it pretty great. So let's start at the back here. Obviously we talked about a top case that can be added side cases that can be added. The nice thing with side cases is because the weight is down here, it's really not gonna affect the handling that much. If you get a top case and add weight up tall, you are gonna feel some weight in there. But you've got the frame here to start. So if you just wanna start with strapping things down, you can do that.
If you want to add the accessories from the time of purchase or if you wanna add them later, you've got those options. Again, with an entry level bike, sometimes it's costly to add those extras on right away, but no way you can add those things in the future is kind of nice to have. So luggage just not an issue moving out front. Like I said, those hand guards can be put on here to keep your wind and debris away from your hands, which gives you extra thing. And there is that bar that can be mounted here. We'll just show you what that looks like from the Kawasaki website here. That allows you to mount the lights up there. So it's gonna look like a full adventure bike if you get that all equipped. But there's one feature that I think people overlook on a bike like this and that is that it is available with a center stand, you can add that as an accessory.

So that's important for a whole bunch of reasons. First of all, just doing chain maintenance. It's nicer to have a center stand, but if you are going on longer trips on this and you wanna do some chain maintenance, lube the chain throughout your trip, maybe you went through a really rainy day and you wanna keep that chain lubed up. You can sit there with a center stand and do that anywhere you want. But the other reason a center stand is good is because this is a bike where you're gonna go off the beaten trail. You may head down a dirt road and end up camping with a thing. Having a center stand gives you two points of contact with the ground. It keeps the bike from sort of setting into softer stand sand and allows it to sort of stay upright. The worst it's gonna do sometimes on the center sand is sink down so the wheels touch the ground and you still have that stability of the center stand.
So really smart that they can put that on this bike because it's the kind of thing that you would want to use on this style of bike. So now let's talk about seating position. So the entire verus lineup is a relatively tall lineup, but what's interesting to me is the versus X 300, the versus six 50 and the versus 1000. They feel similar but different to sit on in a lot of different ways. So we're gonna focus just on this one, uh, but as we do versus comparisons in the future, we'll talk about that hopping across here. Although it is a tall beginner bike, you can see I am easily flatfooted. Now I am about six feet tall. It is a taller bike. You can get different style seats on this. Uh, higher, lower, I don't, I think you can do lower, but there are extra seats here.

I don't think you have to move it. I'm gonna get the kickstand outta my way. I think most riders are gonna be able to fit on this just fine. And because the bike is so lightweight, even if you had to tippy toe at spots, you're probably not gonna have any issues balancing this. It's just not an intimidating bike. Where it is really, really good though, is in the ride comfort. The overall square here, you know the rider rider's triangle is very, very comfortable. The windshield comes up and takes the wind off of your chest. Here you've got a little bit of body work that's gonna take some wind off your legs here, but that allows your legs to tuck into a nice narrow spot which makes it comfortable. You've got room to kind of move around a little bit here as well. And then even the foot pegs here, you can see if you look up closer, actually mounted a little bit farther forward than they would've been for something like the Ninja 300 or something that the frame was based on.
And that allows you to be very comfortable. Same thing with the handlebars. They're square out here, they're not tucked in here like a ninja. They're wider and square, which puts you in a better riding position. Puts the mirrors in good place position and it's a very tight turning circle as well. So a lightweight bike with a tight turning circle that's got wide angle bars means this is easy to drive, not just at higher speeds but at lower speeds as well. And again, the first thing you're gonna notice, this is a very, very light motorcycle. It's very unintimidating to move around to sit across and that's means that you're willing to take it just about anywhere. Everything about this bike is so, so good. So let's talk about who this bike is for. Now. We've already established that the 400 series bikes from Kawasaki, they're gonna be a little bit faster bikes, but for the most part you're probably not gonna know the difference between going say one 60, I don't even know what it's top sale, but let's call it 160 kilometers an hour versus around 200 kilometers an hour.
It's still going to be plenty fast for what you need. And the 400 series bike is a bike. I recommend a lot. However, this is probably the best beginner bike for a lot of people because it allows you to do every kind of riding, like I said, for your skill level, it's gonna be as sporty as you need to go through on the road. Sportiness, remember, a Ninja 400 is equipped to go to the racetrack and you know, learn to do proper race riding. This is gonna be all the sportiness you need on the road. It allows you to take on rougher roads. It's got over five inches of suspension travel front and rear, and that comfortable seating position, it really allows you to go a whole lot of places, including longer trips and take all your stuff. So whether you're just commuting to work and you wanna put a laptop back here or a lunch bag or school or something like that, you can do that.
If you're going on a long trip and wanna go camping, you can do that as well. And it really didn't allow, allows you to discover the types of motorcycling that you want to do. If you got something like a Z400, it's gonna limit you a little bit compared to something like this, which can do more. And to me, the joy of motorcycling is having a bike that can do everything. I would love to have this as a second bike to my Z 900 Rs because it allows me to go down places and roads. That's a little easier, not just because it's got the tires and the suspension travel and the upright seating position and the weather protection, but because it's so lightweight. If I screw up on a bump or I get a little nervous, I don't have to fear this. I can pick it up if I ever dropped it. But it's also not something you're likely to drop because even if it leans a long ways over, you've got the strength to bring it back up. It is a super versatile bike, as is this Versys-X 300 is an absolutely great Bike. Whether you're an experienced rider who wants an inexpensive, lightweight adventure bike that can go do anything, this can do that. Or if you're a new rider, learning to ride, this is good for that as well. So there's my first review of the verse 300 or Versys-X 300 from Kawasaki. Again, if you wanna know more wheels and deals here, Jim Gilbert's Power Sports allows me full access. We can come back to this bike again and again. Hopefully we can do that before they all sell out. I'm not sure how many there are here, but again, this is Canada's largest volume Kawasaki dealer. So if you want to come see them, you can come see the 20,000 square foot showroom. They're sitting here right now in the middle of February and they're selling, there's a lot of bikes out here that are selling right now, so come by, swing by there. And of course if you wanna know more, tune into our videos and make sure you hit subscribe. Thanks for watching.

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