I used to live in the middle of the city with easy access to everything and as we all do in Thailand rather than fighting city traffic in a car I owned little Yamaha scooter to get me around the town. I then moved into the suburbs and decided on a bigger bike for carrying the shopping back home that longer distance. In town one day I passed the Kawasaki dealer the day they launched the Versy 300X so I popped in and took a look. Needless to say being the impulsive character I am I bought one there and then, in fact I was the first person in Thailand to order a VersyX.
Seven days later I took delivery of my little grey bike with the "Adventure' kit which included many extras such as 2 flimsy panniers, 12V charger, side bars and fancy spotlights and apart from fitting a givi top box that's all I did to it. To me it was simply a big scooter and was used for shopping trips or popping to the coffee shop and she did that job quite adequetly until I recieved a phone call about going for a ride and then everything changed.
I'm used to dirt bikes with lots of low end grunt but this little 300 had nothing below 8000 revs so I was worried about pushing the 13,000 revs red line and blowing her up but she loved everything I threw at it and you could actually hear her shouting " Come on man is that all you've got", so I pushed her, I pushed her real hard and right to her limits, chucking her through the bends with her slipper clutch smoothly easing her 6 gears into place, her eight valves and two pistons pumping away at an incredible stroke, her patented heat technology keeping her from burning up and stock suspension easing out the bumps she rode like a dream. I stopped for a break, adrennelin flowing, heart racing beads of sweat on my brow, I lit a cigarette, politely asked if she was only a 300 and thanked her for a great ride. That moment I realised she was actually quite good, looked great, went well and obeyed my every whim. Lets get to work and make her even better...
- Remove all the stuff the green brigade want you to keep on!
- Put in a racing filter.
- Replace the stock pipe that made it sound like a vacuum cleaner!
- Swap the stock tyres with Metzeler Tourance 'Next". (Boy are these sticky! 90% road 10% dirt).
- Install a Power commander.
- Put on the Dyno.
Once tuned on the dyno I went for a 5 day ride around the Golden Triangle region of Northern Thailand famous for some of the greatest motorcycle roads in Asia and boy what a difference,! Now, this is where some (not all) of my mates laughed. "This is the best bike I have ever owned". I can hear you all laughing now but after 2 years of riding this little 300 twin pot i've covered 12,000km and at least 10k of that was with the biggest smile I have ever had! Put her against some of my previous bikes like my Yamaha XJR1200, Triumph Tiger, Suzuki Bandit 1200, Versys 650 and I would choose this little baby all day long. If she was a girl, put her against a group of naked super models she would look like the average 'Girl Next Door", cute but nothing too special but you know she's not a temperamental diva, she's not a goldigger and she's fantastic in bed!
But, lets be realistic here, no matter how much you tune or fiddle with a little bike it's horses for courses. Most of the bikes I have had in Thailand were too big for the roads here, too heavy and clumsy but the Versys is nimble and light and relatively quick once you push her past 8000 revs. I know big bike owners will laugh at using that many revs but seriously, you won't be breaking any speed records but you feel like you are which just makes me smile.
If I was riding from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on the main highway or taking a pillion I would absolutely hate the VersysX but in Northern Thailand just you and the bike on tight twisty roads with hardly a straight road to be found the baby Kawasaki is the best fun you can have, I try to keep away from long straight hills until I've lost around 20 kilo's but apart from that the VersysX will take care of your every whim.
I keep trying to tell my mate who owns a Yamaha MT10 he owns a 160bhp murder machine, he will never ever use any of that power without the bike trying to kill him at a moments notice. The Versys I managed to squeeze a miniscule 43bhp at the wheel but I use every last horse she has and we're still friends and she's never tried to kill me once!
Top tips for owning a Kawasaki Versys300X
(anyone has any other power tips please let me know) Do everything listed above if you want extra power and torque. but the absolute first things you need to do before any of that is....
- Rebuild or replace the stock seat. Its like sitting on a brick.
- Get a taller windshield. The stock causes too much buffering for an average height person.
- Don't listen to your mates!