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Our sincere apologies - its not a KLR, but luckily still a Kawa nonetheless...
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TOPIC: Versys 300 - First Glimpse.

Versys 300 - First Glimpse. 9 months 1 week ago #109343

  • Ryderod
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Went to the launch of this "potentially" great little gem of a bike today. This is the first one in SA at the moment and has been bought in for the homologation process and since this has to be done with zero kms we were not able to even hear it start up. So I will stick to potentially great for now.
A few stats mentioned: she is the same parallel twin motor as in the 300 ninja, but with- gasket thickness for different compression ratio, different exhaust valve, bigger rear sprocket, different mapping. It also has a slipper clutch.
Compared to the KLR it is 1HP down and claimed nearly 40 pounds lighter. It has a seat height of 845mm, a 17lt tank with a claimed range of over 400kms. It also has a patented air duct front panel system that deflects all engine heat under the bike so the rider won't feel it. It also comes with wiring and a spot for a power point. Some pics:
What we've seen all over

Some close ups:

(Hope these come show with tapatalk)


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Last Edit: 9 months 1 week ago by Ryderod.
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Versys 300 - First Glimpse. 9 months 1 week ago #109344

  • DENTON
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Very nice, but as they say, the proof is in the pudding!
What price range are we looking at?
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Versys 300 - First Glimpse. 9 months 1 week ago #109346

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Now, as far as I can see, in standard form this bike should prove an excellent commuter, I imagine far nippier than the KLR with an estimated top speed a bit higher as well. But it does look a lot more road biased and I would not take it on anything more than "soft" gravel type roads without a good few tweaks.
What concerns me, please note, only my personal opinion:
No Cush drive

Narrow handlebars clamp position, a lot more leverage to flex and bend in a tumble, but a quick plus, the mirror now screws into the clutch perch and not the expensive switchgear. Also fuel cap ring is not threaded so no current place for a long ring for those that like magnetic tank bags.

The rear end number plate holder piece is too bulky, heavy and not as securely mounted as it could be IMO
The front fender is way too low

Exhaust is bulky and pipe runs under the already low bike

I know a heap of these points can easily be addressed should the need arise, and in fact Holeshot is already looking at a number of important mods (before anyone moans, yes, I get on well with the guys at Holeshot and have a lot of time for them).
Also the target market might possibly be more commuter / light explorer, (hopefully leading up to a 650 proper dualie?)
There should also be a lot of aftermarket stuff available quickly as this bike has generated a lot of interest. Apparently high, well protecting crash bars already on the cards, pannier racks, pipes, fender kits, etc already being looked at.
We unfortunately had no keys so could not even look at the air filter type and location at this point.
In summary my opinion, in stock dress code I would LOVE this little beauty as a daily commuter, and with a bit of protection and decent tyres would easily take it on nice scenic gravel roads, with a few more mods, tweaks And protection bits I might even take the chance on rougher stuff. This bike feels so light and agile just sitting on it and swinging it around, it should really be a fun bike to ride.
Would it ever replace my current KLR? NO WAY! So it would really look good parked side by side with my current pride and joy. But having said that, this is an assumption and the proof is in the actual ride characteristics.
Pricing is aiming to be just under the R80K mark and the accessories that Holeshot wants to get together are planned to be well priced so as not to be out of place with what is essentially a budget bike. I'm hoping it does actually pan out this way. The first container has left today on its way to SA so I hope the Homologation red tape is sorted quickly!
Oh, lastly I am really stoked to have been offered a comparative test ride once a model is available with a bike mag, this will likely be with my wife's KLR as they would want to compare the 300 against a stock KLR. Can't wait!


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Last Edit: 9 months 1 week ago by Ryderod.
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Versys 300 - First Glimpse. 9 months 1 week ago #109347

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80K for a small 300 cc...? while you can get a honda crossrunner for 74...? not much of a choice there... sorry, too much money for too little bike...

all i want kawa to do, is drop the 650 versys motor in a klr frame - boom! winner. instant best seller... :side:
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Last Edit: 9 months 1 week ago by Pannas.
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Re:Versys 300 - First Glimpse. 9 months 1 week ago #109348

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Pannas wrote:
all i want kawa to do, is drop the 650 versys motor in a klr frame - boom! winner. instant best seller... :side:

Totally agree, the Japs need to catch a serious wake up, it seems only Yamaha is attempting something with their new 660 replacement and nothing much else comes to mind. The KLR was once massively popular in the States but latest figures seem to indicate dwindling sales. Apparently around 7000 sold last year compared to 17000 the year before. The technology gap is just getting bigger and bigger.
If I was allowed one dream bike, 650 versys motor in a KLR frame with decent suspension, brakes, maybe even front abs, with a few modern tweaks like new clocks, seat. Etc. Currently the European bikes are just going to keep caning us. I'm talking mid sized +-600-750 type bikes, not the bigger AT or super 10.



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Versys 300 - First Glimpse. 9 months 1 week ago #109349

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Pannas wrote:
80K for a small 300 cc...? while you can get a honda crossrunner for 74...? not much of a choice there... sorry, too much money for too little bike...

all i want kawa to do, is drop the 650 versys motor in a klr frame - boom! winner. instant best seller... :side:

I almost did it....
regret not going that route, but was scared od modifications to the KLR frame
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Versys 300 - First Glimpse. 9 months 1 week ago #109354

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Nice review and valid points, thanks Orlando!
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Versys 300 - First Glimpse. 9 months 1 week ago #109365

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Will it have enough power for two up
Nice seat though
Bikes are getting too expensive (for me)
Nice write up
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Versys 300 - First Glimpse. 9 months 1 week ago #109380

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Dual wrote:
Will it have enough power for two up

Compared to our KLRs, claimed HP of 39 versus our 42 should put the power fairly close, but the torque is way off. 25Nm peak at 10000 rpm versus our 47Nm peak at 5000 rpm.

I suspect this bike is going to have to be ridden slightly different. Methinks lacking our low down grunt it will have to be kept at much higher revs to tackle stuff like thickish sand, or mud with even minimal luggage weight. I suspect much the same two up
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Last Edit: 9 months 1 week ago by Ryderod.
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Versys 300 - First Glimpse. 9 months 1 week ago #109385

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Ryderod wrote:
Dual wrote:
Will it have enough power for two up

Compared to our KLRs, claimed HP of 39 versus our 42 should put the power fairly close, but the torque is way off. 25Nm peak at 1000 rpm versus our 47Nm peak at 500 rpm.

I suspect this bike is going to have to be ridden slightly different. Methinks lacking our low down grunt it will have to be kept at much higher revs to tackle stuff like thickish sand, or mud with even minimal luggage weight. I suspect much the same two up
Single big bores will always have the advantage when it comes to low down torque...That is one of the reasons I own the KLR! I love that idling torque!
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