A Little Bit Ninja, A Little Bit KLR
Everyone’s favorite two-pot terror, the Kawasaki Ninja 300, has joined a growing list of small-displacement ADV-styled machines for 2017 including Honda’s new CRF250L Rally, BMW’s G310GS, and even a 250cc Suzuki V-Strom.
This mashup is called the Versys-X, and borrows the 296cc parallel-twin engine from the smallest Ninja, including its slip/assist clutch, fuel injection, and rowdy personality. Figure on about 35 hp at the rear wheel, which should be plenty to propel the 375-pound bike.
Reports indicated that the chassis and bodywork are all new and unique to the X, though the details are a bit sketchy. It appears to roll on tube-type spoke wheels, 19 inches up front, 17 out back. It has a “rugged backbone frame” that’s probably a mildly updated version of the Ninja 300’s affair, while “long-travel suspension” seems to be fairly basic. Fuel capacity is a generous 4.5 gallons considering the Ninja 300 turns in mid-50s in the mpg category.
Kawasaki’s US arm has not yet confirmed we’ll get the Versys-X, but expect some news at the upcoming Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, CA, November 18-20. Keep your fingers crossed for now.