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Versys-X 400 speculations thread

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by PaD, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    After some dealings with Yamaha Canada a few years back it became pretty clear that they don't put much faith in promises. They know from lots of market research and buying patterns that what consumers say and what they actually do when it comes time to put cash on the counter can be a very long way apart.

    So, for example, would potential customers for a KLR650 type bike actually be willing to pay an extra $300-400? Ignoring what they say and looking at sales numbers over the many years it has been around, Kawasaki can easily determine how price sensitive that buying segment really is.

    I'm not trying to discourage people from communicating their desire for changes to existing models or entirely new models. But the manufacturers have all sorts of data about what sells, at what price points, what margins they need and whether they will actually get those returns from a particular market segment. Any additional input they get from us will be weighed in that context.

    As for who to contact, a good place to start is with regional and country distributors. In my case, if I had a strong enough interest in pushing for something I would communicate that to Kawasaki Canada, Yamaha Canada, etc.

    ...ken...
  2. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I'm not really looking for anything less than 400cc. Although I'm willing to be persuaded - the Tenere 250 is an OK looking bike, and it has a 16 litre tank. But a T4 would be preferable to a T3.
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  3. rideforzen

    rideforzen Long timer

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    I think people need to get realistic about the weight of these smaller adventure bikes. The vx300 and ktm 390 adv weigh just under 390lbs. Add proper spoked 21" front and 18" rear tires, plus longer travel suspension, a factory skid plate and handguards , then stronger frames for offroad use and they will most likely add 30lbs or more to the bike. Then you have a 420lb plus bike. . Add on the cost for suspension and frame upgrades plus added seat height and only a select few would be buyers. 45+ hp and 30+ ftlbs or torque would also be nice. I'm not seeing a sub 400lb off road capable small adventure bike anytime soon. Hope I'm wrong.

    I also want a nice looking bike and dont like the looks of the KTMs. The AT and the T7 have a nice rally look. Imo

    It would be nice if Yamaha steps up but with many wanting a bike for the wife or budget bike I doubt you'll see anything too serious.

    If a manufacturer did make better off road small adventure bike would people pay $7-8 grand for one ?
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  4. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    I think you're mixing things up. You are speaking about "off road" and "adventure" bikes as if they were the same thing. They are not, for exactly the reasons you listed.

    You can have a really good off road bike - light weight, good power to weight ratio, good ergonomics for off road use, good suspension for off road use, good handling off road, good ground clearance - or you can have a really good adventure bike - good on road suspension and handling, good power to weight ratio, load carrying capacity for longer trips, good ergonomics for road use, moderately acceptable handling and weight and ergonomics for easy off road use.

    Pick one.

    You're absolutely right that people wouldn't pay that much money even if the bike really was both a good off road bike and a good adventure bike, as you described it. I think the Versys-X 300 is right in the sweet spot pricewise. I know I wouldn't have bought it if it was much more. And I love everything about it.

    ...ken...
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  5. rideforzen

    rideforzen Long timer

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    There is a trend with bikes like the 790 adventure and the T7. Going smaller and more off road ability. Not to be confused with dirt bikes. These bike tour and haul gear well also.

    For me off road is where the road turns to dirt , logging roads , powerline roads, jeep trails and some single track. (Not smooth graded gravel roads.) Most of the places I see guys on dual sports. Unlike the guys only doing hard single track or mx on their dirtbikes.

    Its finding that ballance of an all around bike that fits my needs. Does nothing great but everything good.
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  6. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    Yeah, I should also be careful of my wording. When I talked about "off road" bikes I had dual sports in mind because of the terrain you were talking about.

    Everyone's unicorn is different. There's a good reason you see mainly dual sports on the roads you listed: they're the best bike for them. When you start with an ADV bike and try to make it really good for the terrain you want it to be good on (dual sport terrain), you end up compromising in a way that really doesn't get you either. The necessary compromise reduces the paved road capabilities without really improving the non-paved road capabilities much.

    The ADV is actually an attempt to do what you're talking about. Loads of people wanted a bike that was a really good pavement bike but that would let them do a little off pavement exploring if the spirit moved. After a couple of decades of evolution the generic ADV bike has pretty much stabilized where it is: a pretty fine pavement bike with a bit of off pavement capability. There are extremes in either direction but because most riders off pavement ability and opportunity are far less than they think, the average ADV is what it is. At its present point, that's my unicorn.

    There are some folks like you who want it to go another step in the dual sport direction. Perhaps the T7 is that. If so, it's got a pretty limited market. Mainly limited to poseurs and people who don't need a ladder to get on a 34.4" seat or need two companions to lift 452lb (plus luggage) up when it goes over. And with that high a center of gravity it's bound to go over at least occasionally if it really does get taken off the pavement.

    ...ken...
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  7. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    This has been my experience that an adventure ready light ADV bike is ~400lbs+ the difference is 20lbs tops. If you want anything lighter you need to be minimalistic in farkling and luggage selection.

    As for USD fork and 21"/18" wheels at under 7k 390adv is right there all it needs is spoke wheel option. And G310GS isn't that far off either actually cheaper. Considering MSRP of Ninja 400 and R3 it wouldn't be an issue for Kawi or Yamaha to build one too.
  8. rideforzen

    rideforzen Long timer

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    A dual sport is a compromise to a true dirtbike. Even on those surfaces a dirtbike is better than a dualsport. And most dualsports suck on the hwy. Dont get me wrong I have owned many dualsport bikes and like them. A drz400s was the last one and it had a 37" seat height. So 34.4 is closer to the ktm 1190 adventure I had. Not bad. I'm hoping the T7 will be funner off road than the 1190 was . And better suspension and spunk than the smaller offerings.

    The drz was like a dirtbike with plates but with a weight penalty. Like KTM and others offer. But for me it was a waist on the logging roads. The suspension wanted to do much harder trails. You could haul through the rougher sections but nothing like my ktm 300 exc would. I've slowed down in my mid 50s and have no need for a serious dualsport. Or for a 250 single lacking power and suspension playing dualsport.
  9. rideforzen

    rideforzen Long timer

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    The KTM 390 just needs the kawi 400 engine. And a facelift. When you increase the wheel size the 33.6" seat height will grow closer to 34 inches or more and loose potential buyers. KTM likes mounting plastic skid plates to their engine. And the kickstand.

    The 310 wouldnt even be an option. For me.
  10. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    ride, this thread is 3 years old, the 300x Still has a road suspension, heavy. this is your thread, japan inc isnt interrested.
    As for the ktm, it works as is, you can dream about the bike you are Not going to get,but without changing ,adding many things.
    why complain about a bike you would not buy?
  11. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    IMO the 21/18 tires belong on dualsport; ADV bikes are fine with 19/17s it is a better compromise between pavement and dirt. 21/18 have much better choice of dirt tires but selection of street and long lasting ADV tires is slim at best.

    I'm not with orange bag crew but also not against either. And I think everyone will be a winner if we have more bikes in this category so Kawi, yammy, Suzi, Triumph bring it on. Heck even if HD brings NATO bike back I will consider it.
  12. rideforzen

    rideforzen Long timer

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    You could say the 19/17 is better for adventure riding but many adventure bikes are running 21/18 or 17 these days. The AT , T7, any of the R model ktm adventure bikes even triumph and BMW 800 .

    Would you choose a dl 1050 over the AT if you had some BDRs in mind ? Or the wee strom or versys 650 over the T7 when you want to explore off road ? Really not a deal breaker but does help when things get rougher. Imo

    Just because I'm not a fan of the KTMs styling doesn't mean it's a bad bike. It actually raised the bar in areas in the lightweight adventure bikes. Now, l hope for a Japanese counter strike with some 400 twins.
  13. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    Weestrom or V650, hands down. Because I will consider this in the context of all my riding interests.

    Right now my primary interests all include pavement.

    In earlier lives when pavement was half or less of my interest my choice would still have been Weestrom or V650 because I would have had a top notch 250 dual sport or 175 - 250 enduro for the unpaved stuff.

    The rougher the off road stuff, the less likely the chances of something like a T700 or AT being considered. Sometimes you just need two rides, not one.

    ...ken...
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  14. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I think my bias towards a travelling dual-sport is because I've only owned naked bikes. In fact, the only non-naked bike I've ever ridden is the VX300. I'm not a fan of all the superstructure and my adventuring doesn't need a fairing.
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  15. ag_streak

    ag_streak Tiene Ruta Cuarenta? Supporter

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    ^ ^ ^ THIS!

    This whole damn thread is about finding a unicorn, when in fact it's better to have two bikes if you can afford it!

    That being said, I'm with @DavidM1, I'd much prefer a new travelling dual-sport, not an off-roadish adventure bike.

    That would be a Japanese 45hp single with 6-speed and FI under 400 pounds, not any twin cylinder over 400 pounds...

    I keep rotating my stable, but right now I'm happy with a road bike and a dual-sport, each for their intended purpose! :lol3
  16. twaldron

    twaldron Dudeman

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    Maybe calling the unicorns ‘wife bikes’ would be a bit counterproductive when you’re trying to encourage an industry niche. :jack
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  17. road_apple

    road_apple Hit the Trail

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    Knowing that the world situation right now is trying on any manufacturer planning release of a new platform I suggest that there are indeed ideas out there. The marketing ideas based on previous sales numbers of Asian markets before any US/EU. My idea is KTM first in Asia, limited release in US/EU then if numbers are good we will see Japanese ideas follow shortly after. Right now it's smoke and mirrors.

    https://advrider.com/ktm-to-launch-5-new-490cc-motorcycles/
  18. IndigoSwann

    IndigoSwann Pirate

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    I agree on a lot of the points raised and I think the current circa 300cc range of ADV bikes are designed with budget and light dirt riding in mind. If you are looking for a 45+hp lighter adv tourer in the $7-$8K range that doesn't look like a KTM then the only thing on the radar I'm aware of will be the Husqvarna Norden 501. Rumour mill is suggesting the KTM P-TWIN will put out 50-60 hp. But I would bet on a stock wet weight of around 420 lbs - add the aftermarket parts and you will be at the 450lbs range where the 790R and T7 sit!

    I think a true specc'd light ADV bike, sub 400 lbs wet would have to be a 400-500cc single and it doesn't look like anyone has one planned. But with alL this gum flapping who the hell knows? Maybe Suzuki will come out a single 400 Vstrom weighing in at 350lbs!
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  19. rideforzen

    rideforzen Long timer

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    About 7 years ago I had a Sportster 1200 Roadster, a Softail Springer classic and a Electra glide ultra . For all the different rides. Then went to a 1190 adventure, a drz400s and a crf230l and a 125cc pit bike. Before the Harleys it was two gen one fz1000s a KLR650 and a exc300. So no stranger to multiple bikes just no longer wanting a herd.

    Then went to the VX300 for a fill in bike until something I was looking for hit the market. When the ktm 790 adventure and the T7 were announced announced I really wanted to try one . And wanted something simple without all the electronics and enough suspension to smooth out the rougher roads. None of the 500+lb bikes interested me after having the 1190. I wanted a twin in the 650cc range . So now I'm waiting for the T7 to ship. The vx300 sold too fast and I really miss riding. Anyway time will tell if it hits the sweet spot for me.

    I agree with how fun a simple naked lightweight dualsport is. But with all the rain and cold weather here I really started liking some protection. And keeping the wind blast down at 60-80 mph. The xt500 stands out as a fun basic bike from my past.
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  20. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    On 2nd day of cabdr I picked bike 6 times.. then I stopped counting but it was at least another 5 times before the end of the day. First 4 times I managed without unloading after that it was extra 5 min to load and unload every time. This is on 354lbs XCo (400lbs on scale as equipped +30lbs duffel) and there's no way I would wanna anything heavier and harder to pickup like AT, T7, 'stroms or versys 650. Maybe 790adv, 1200GS oilhead or V85 because CoG on those is lower.. I need a bike I can lift myself under less than ideal conditions like loose surface, 15000' altitude, laying down the slope, etc. Coincidentally what makes decent BDR bike also makes good travel bike and I am ok with it. If I lived in SW I would lean towards plated dirt or dual sport and big adventure bike would be an option if trip to Alaska would be the worse and I needed 2up capable mount.

    As for KTM styling the beauty is in the eye of beholder; you only look at it once walking up to bike far more important how it looks from the saddle, cockpit.
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