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royal enfield Himalayan or Kawasaki versys 300

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Iranian, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. Iranian

    Iranian Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,049
    Hi everybody,

    I am quite close to pull the trigger on one of this bikes and I have a hard time to decided to which one I should go for.

    I have had a testride both bikes. The Kawasaki shows 8000 rpm at 100 km/h where the royal enfield does 5000 rpm.

    Should I go for a Japanese bike with proven build quality but with a bevy engine or one unproven low reving bike?

    I intend to use it for traveling. The two coming year I will be driving in Europe and the slowly outside Europe.

    What is your opinion on these two bikes?

    KR

    Iranian
    #1
  2. MongoLikeCandy

    MongoLikeCandy Long timer

    Joined:
    May 24, 2020
    Oddometer:
    1,062
    Location:
    los angeles
    REH....travel with panache, arrive in style..... all day, every day.
    #2
    The_Precious_Juice and Chalkie62 like this.
  3. David JM

    David JM Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Anacortes Wa.
    I have the versys 300 with 22,000 miles on it and nothing has broken yet. I have done a couple of 8 to 900 mile day rides on it and usually cruise the freeway at about 125 km/h and can run it up to 140 km/h for passing in either 5th or 6th gear. The high rev engine is one of the best things about this bike. I ride with the 15 tooth front sprocket which will make your lower gears more normal and the upper gears will run about 500 rpms. lower engine speed. I would not hesitate to buy another 300 if this one got stolen.
    #3
  4. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,004
    Location:
    Bow, WA USA
    hi David, how is it on forest service roads? thanks
    #4
  5. Iranian

    Iranian Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,049
    Since you have covered long distances on day rides I guess the high rpm did not bother you. That is one of my concerns with the high rpm on long distances.

    How you done some offroad rides with it?

    I have done short test-drive with both the bikes. I would like to try the versys 300 once again. The second thing that I found little bit wird with the versys 300 is the clutch. You have to let it almost completely out before it engages.


    #5
  6. David JM

    David JM Been here awhile

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    Dec 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Anacortes Wa.
    It does pretty good on gravel roads, around here it's mostly dodging chuck holes, and it does that pretty well. I have had it up to Harts pass with no problems, but it is not an off roader or trail bike.
    #6
  7. Davidc83

    Davidc83 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    864
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    Dont know why you think the Royal Enfield Himalayen is unproven...many riders riding the bike across continents....Go to youtube and find 'itchyboots' videos....her earlier videos as currently she is riding a Honda due to having to store her 2nd RE in South America during the covid shutdown and had to be flown home to the Netherlands....she rode her first RE from India home to the Netherlands, going thru many countries (thousands of Kilometers)....She got her 2nd RE after getting home because she couldnt register the India bike in Europe (wasnt certified for the EU)....
    #7
    9Realms, severely and Richarde1605 like this.
  8. David JM

    David JM Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Anacortes Wa.
    the 300's engine is so smooth that 5000 rpms is kind a like a fast idle, you will get used to the high rpms and like it.. The clutch lever is adjustable, just start turning the quick adjustment nob until the clutch lever moves about an inch or more closer to the grips, its spring loaded so it will stay in that position. check out the posts on the Versys 300 forum here.
    #8
    The_Precious_Juice likes this.
  9. Iranian

    Iranian Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,049
    Well I am quite aware of the itchy boots serial and that is how I found this model but I would not compare the Japanese bikes who has proven them self for decades to do dead reliable bikes with a brand that just recently have started to show that they can produce reliable bikes.

    #9
    severely likes this.
  10. tomo8r

    tomo8r Long timer

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    Oct 9, 2014
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    1,733
    Location:
    Bathurst
    I think you've answered your question, for you.

    Just get the Kawasaki.
    #10
    Vikingtazz likes this.
  11. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
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    6,181
    Location:
    Central Minn.
    At the rate that we have lost Kawi dealers, perhaps Enfield might get a vote.
    That from a current Kawi rider.
    #11
  12. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice 2019 DL650XT Touring

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    9,575
    Location:
    SW VIRGINIA
    Dear Op,

    Thanks for the helpful first post.

    Looks like you have demo road the bikes, but would like more seat time on the 300.

    I'm not sure about dealer support for the RE in Europe.

    __
    Really, these bikes are very far apart except for mass and MSRP.
    One is all torque, the other is all hp.
    So, what bike do you enjoy more?

    For me personally, if the dealership was near the house and I was just commuting, REH all day. Love the bike ergos, the look, and love the engine. I road one twice, Seattle and Portland back in 2019.

    However, for any long distance touring I'd go with Team Japan. But, the REH does allow more versatility due to the 21" front tire, center stand, side luggage mounts, and better suspension (forest roads).

    Let the good times roll.
    #12
  13. GetYourOwn

    GetYourOwn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    882
    Location:
    Nowhere great
    I have had both.

    Took the RE on the MABDR from start to finish and it was an awesome bike. One of the best bikes I have ever ridden on gravel and it handled the journey with no issues. I had to slab it home from NY to NC and the RE while it did the job it didn't like it very much. I also had to keep an eye on the oil level and top it off once on the trip home.

    I bought the 300 last July and have taken a couple 1000+ mile road trips and while I don't do most of my miles on the hiway but the Versys has had no issues sitting on 75 for hours on end. At that speed I don't feel any vibrations through the handlebars or the foot pegs. I also don't have very much buffeting at all with the factory windscreen and a Bell MX9 helmet. I plan on taking the Verys 300 when I do the MABDR again in about a month. The bike is stock except for a +1 tooth sprocket in the front, skidplate, crash bars and a Russel Day Long seat. I don't expect any issues from this bike and will find the hiway ride back home much more enjoyable. I have come close to selling it a couple of time for a bigger bike but for the casual gravel\forest roads that I ride I need something lightweight to pick up easily. The Versys does everything so well I know I would just kick myself for selling it.
    #13
  14. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice 2019 DL650XT Touring

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    9,575
    Location:
    SW VIRGINIA
    Thanks for the feedback!

    "one of the best bikes I have ridden on gravel..."

    No surprise there. Great ergos and great tractor like motor. Surprisingly good suspension for price tag.
    #14
  15. HighrevF

    HighrevF n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2020
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Arizona
    I've been in your exact position looking at both for the next bike. I test rode both and I ended up choosing the Versys 300, mainly because I use it as a commuter as well. I think I might be repeating everyone else's comments as well, but the Versys is better if you're doing more road riding and REH is better if you're going to be doing more dirt riding. Good luck with your choice!
    #15
    The_Precious_Juice likes this.
  16. Sid Post

    Sid Post Middle aged rider

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    If you want to do a lot of highway miles at high speeds, the Japanese options are likely the best option for most people.

    If you are happy doing 45~55MPH on more rural two lanes and enjoy scenic roads, I'd think the Royal Enfield Himalayan would be best, especially the newer 2021 fuel injected model that is coming out of India these days. The RE Himalayan has a more tractor-like quality so if you want a pack mule that will also get you there without much complaint, I think it is an easy choice.

    Royal Enfield won't match the 'bling' of the Japanese options but, it also is an easy option to ride and repair if needed with simple tools in out of the way places. If I were going somewhere distant or remote, I'd rather be on the Royal Enfield as it is a more proven platform for people without a proven support network (i.e. no dealers in a third world country where you must use local parts and mechanics for repairs). It sort of reminds me of the older Japanese dual-sports like the Honda's and Kawasaki's of past decades that built their corporate reputations.
    #16