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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    Welcome to being able to put your voice into the forum rather than just reading.

    Some interesting and useful comments so far. You can expect them to continue to be all over the map until/unless you give us some more specifics of what you want to be able to do with the bike and whether any parts of it have priority over the others ("street" use with specifics of what sort vs "dirt" use and specifics of what sort).

    It would also help to have an idea of what your idea of a "good" sized engine is and whether you have any preference in engine type (single vs multicylinder). For instance, what's your tolerance for engine revs? To get the most out of a relatively small displacement twin like the Versys-X 300 you need to love, or at least have a good tolerance for, revs. If you'd rather plonk about with loads of torque, don't even consider it. It spins joyfully but bottom end not so much.

    I have decades of experience with street bikes, road bikes (not to be confused with street bikes), and dual sports (not to be confused with real dirt bikes). I've even owned a super moto (DRZ400SM) for a couple of years. Each has generally served their main purpose well. When I did not like a bike, with only one exception, it was not the bike's fault. It was because it was a bike that didn't particularly suit what I wanted to do with it at the time. (The one exception was a 1986 Suzuki GS650 which was a piece of junk no matter what you wanted to do.)

    Help us narrow it down a bit and we can be a lot more help making suggestions.:hmmmmm

    ...ken...
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  2. Bt10

    Bt10 Long timer

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    I did, but some do not.

    Edit to add: And finally sold it because of the seat height with 21/18 and full height dirt suspension.

    I would consider only for the fact that I could probably change to a 19 front wheel, and have a shorter seat height dual sport after valving.
  3. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    Understood. That (seat height) was part of the reason I bought the DRZ SM, too. I didn't mod it at all, though. At that time I was riding more on the road than off road, but I thought I wanted one bike that would be reasonably decent both on the highway and off road. I was wrong. It didn't do either one as well as I wanted. That's not a shot at the DRZ. It was all I expected it to be, just not what I really wanted it to be.

    After most of a couple of seasons I was back to two bikes.

    With the Versys-X 300 I'm down to one bike, AND satisfied, for the first time in a very long time. But I'm riding almost exclusively on the highway now. The 300 gives me more than enough off-pavement ability for the wee bit of unpaved riding I still do.

    ...ken...
  4. Bt10

    Bt10 Long timer

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    Yeah, mine was a DRZ S, and our hiway speed is around 78mph. It finally blew up with stock gearing. Ride old man trail speed on single track with the kids on the vx3, but the front travel is "delicate", or rather, worrisome. I like the seat height off road on this better than the DRZ. COG is better also. Absolutely no "pop" to clear logs etc though. Must get better with clutch I guess.
  5. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    It has been many years since I had any desire to jump logs in a single bound, unless they're less than 4" thick. The 300 will do that decently without having to wheely over them. Not that I need it. If I decide to take a minor off-pavement excursion and see anything larger than toothpicks laying on the road, I'm most likely to exercise it's U-turn ability.

    ...ken...
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  6. craig haggart

    craig haggart Old guy having fun Supporter

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    Welcome to ADVrider, J-Sine! It seems to me that the choice between those two really just boils down to whether you prefer a single-cylinder dirt-style bike (lightweight, tall, narrow seat, small tank, more offroad-oriented suspension and travel) or a parallel-twin ADV-style bike (heavier, standard seat, wind protection, larger tank, pavement-oriented suspension and travel). If you're buying a new one, the KLX300SM and the VX300 list for almost the same price, so cost is not really a factor.

    If you lean towards the Versys it *might* be worth waiting to see if a VX400 emerges, but as you've probably figured out by the fact that this thread already has hundreds of pages, nobody knows. But don't let that stop you from speculating or posting a wish list. It sure hasn't stopped the rest of us!
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  7. 11motos

    11motos Feral Rider

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    Those reviews are a joke. Instead of cherry picking infomercials lets go to the forums and watch the owners comments and experiences and weekly visits to the dealer.
    I had plenty of enjoyment with KTM and even more problems and those were from Austrian bikes.
    The Bajab-KTM is full of, lets say bugs, to put it mildly.

    The reliability of time tested yamaha, kawa, honda and suzi twins is unquestionable and why people want the ninja 400 engine in a trail/adv bike.
    Plenty of thumper threads out there to talk about them.
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  8. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    Have to say my two ninja 250s were so reliable even after high kms.

    If I was leaving for a rtw tomorrow it would be the vx300
  9. J-Sine

    J-Sine n00b

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    Thanks for all the welcoming in depth replies. I wasn't anticipating so many.

    Your perspective shines light on My hopeful ambitions of changing the KLX300sm to shinko 700's 4.5 5.0 to effectively create a 19" front with some width like the tw200 front end. The extra front width I was hoping would help with the "sugar" sand that is everywhere randomly here. As a bonus I thought the Supermoto version would give me the lower seat height and better onroad twistys fun if I went with 50/50 705 shinkos. I currently have an yam XT250 FI which handles my local stuff ok it just that is daunting to ride a hour to more exotic ares near me and has a cramped rider triangle. The KLX 300 would give me a lil more safe power on the highway but because of the height and no fairing it will likely be tiring in a similar way as the xt250 at 65mph.

    Needs are important in making choices for sure. Where I live and plan to ride is not very hill orientated. More sugar sand and wet mud/boggy spots with mounds and lots of single and double track. I used to ride offroad out west so POWER/hill climbing ability was everything to me. Great when young but now I m glad I don't need to super power up everything and worry about tumbling down hill.
    I also am 155lb and 29in inseam so I shy away from bikes over the 32 to 33" mark. Yet over 33" seems to be the magic height that increase suspension travel at almost inch to inch ratios.

    I'm looking for comfort and refinement on top of real world ability to tackle most level terrains. I don't need to travel far or have Long highway range but 2gal is a limiting factor for the KLX300sm thus requiring an extra tank just in case. It is also an older design platform.
    So I am semi-adventurer and have dual sport needs.
    I have no experience riding any supermotos and hoped it would fill the gap.
    I don't really mind revving when need be.
    That said I don't like loud highway cruise noise either. I want to cruise as quietly as possible but really enjoy enjoy growl when opening it up. I do like the 300 p-twins rev scream a lot.


    Well you lay out the differences really well. I almost pulled the trigger on a vx-300 and if a x-400 came out I might upgrade.
    If I were a spec/feature warrior I would go with ktm 390 despite the single and definitely the BMW x-country gs650. Fort9 had a blistering review of the KTM 390 and likely I would feel the same about it.

    I do realize the giant tank on the x-300 bloats it 15-20lbs plus accessories compared to KLX300sm. But 50lbs makes a difference in certain situations. Then we get in to the CG(center of gravity) which the x-300 seems to have very low but you trade clearance for it.
    Since I cant actually sit on a KLX300 super moto this is making it more frustrating. I might not like it. That happens. I did sit on the x-300 and despite 5in travel it seemed soft but progressively hard when pushed down on.
    I am torn on the fairing with use vs cost to fix when I drop it. Oh yes the inevitable.


    All I really want is a 31-32"in seat 320lb wet 50hp twin 6speed abs with cheap to fix fairing and 4 gal tank,low cg and suspension with 9+ inches of clearance and travel and a 19" front and $6-7k?
    How hard can it be?
    So there are compromises for everything.
  10. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    Unicorns are very rare animals - I haven't seen one yet.
  11. 11motos

    11motos Feral Rider

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    David...We are past unicorns.... I think of this thread more like a "catch-all" dump site and it is too late to install a dream catcher.
    ...I am also gilty of promoting certain fantasies...
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  12. J-Sine

    J-Sine n00b

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    Slow mo vid makes everything look awesome. I agree KTM has a bad rep for reliability but they also push the limits more so and there is the trade. I view KTMs more like racing bikes, great when they work right in capable hands but expect to put as much time in maintenance/fixing. Then compound it with questionable india manufacturing it makes sense the poor reviews.


    Covid price gouging like crazy. I won't forget which dealerships are doing it locally. There will be balance soon, as manufacture increases again world wide but americans already bought what they wanted thanks to stimulus money/time this last summer So by next year they will begging us to buy again. For a Vs x-300 I have seen everywhere between $4500 to 5k OTD for NOS by others. Why should I pay $1000 to $1500 more just cuz I want a change of bike right now? I even told the dealer to call me later if they meet my 5k(reasonable)price yet the bike still sits there unsold. Last year I had a dealership text me every other day for 2 months begging to make a sale. So I Know both sides of the game.

    I like your perspective on the X-300, trees happen everywhere but doesn't mean you have to master every obstacle. I also see you are very satisfied with the x-300 doing all well enough. I myself don't want to keep collecting more bikes because that equals more maintenance time /less riding. I'm just older/lazier now. I'm bordering on too many right now and not riding enough. So I'm trying to do it right this time haha.

    Philosophical time: If manufacturers made the perfect unicorn bike then who would buy all the useless bikes out there? They truly have no incentive to genuinely do it. With computer assisted engineering it has clearly become a deliberate choice to not really give customers what they want just what they think they want.
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  13. rideforzen

    rideforzen Long timer

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    I like how Seth Richards at Cycle World sums up his review on the klx300.

    The thing is, the best bike for you is often the one that best fits the time, place, and circumstance in which you find yourself.

    Skip ahead to 4 minutes to see the vx300 on single-track.

  14. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    How hard indeed......?

    Thanks for sharing with us a bit about where your head is at with this. I can be a bit more specific. As it relates directly to you, I've owned half a dozen small displacement dual purpose bikes, including the most recent fuel injected XT250. I've owned the Suzuki DRZ 400SM. I've owned a 2011 BMW GS650GS (the twin). I'm currently riding a 2017 Versys-X300 that I bought new, four seasons ago. And my inseam is 28". On a good day!

    There will be off pavement stuff that you're used to doing with your XT without even thinking about it that the VX 300 either will make you think hard about or might not encourage you to do at all. It's worse in my case because I've chosen to lower it a bit more than 1". But compared to the XT it will be a dream any time you have to do more than 15-20 minutes on the pavement at typical highway speeds, especially if it's windy (it's windy out here on the flat Canadian prairies most of the time). I've done a ton of pavement time on the XT.

    I've even done 350-400km days on it. But a lot of that was a series of fast pavement runs to get somewhere fun, a bunch of time playing, another pavement shot to get somewhere else fun, play some more, rinse and repeat. Check the odometer when fuelling up at the end of the day and be shocked at the total! The little XT is an absolute wizard for that sort of stuff.

    It's also great for similar use in the mountains. Nice tight twisty paved roads in the mountains are the great equalizer. I don't care what you're riding or driving, nobody driving/riding anything can go much faster than the XT can go on those kinds of roads. So the pavement bits between the logging roads and two-track make the entire day more fun.

    Now that i've gotten to an age where I stay away from anything that can break my body, I much prefer the VX 300 for both the Prairies and the mountains just 'cuz it's a much more roadworthy machine, whether you're doing short trips around town or multi-day tours.

    The DRZ400SM was, for me, an in between beast that was too much of a compromise. On the highway it was certainly able to easily keep with traffic. But as you're figuring, it was as uncomfortable as the XT in the elements, putting you up high and the bars keeping your arms wide. When I headed off the pavement I really noticed the extra weight (versus the XT) and the riding height (esp. the distance from my feet to the ground) was not confidence inspiring. The SM tires were also not confidence inspiring on anything that was muddy or loose, even after swapping in a set of Shinko 705s. Much like the Versys-X, it was okay as long as you kept the limits in mind. Which meant a lot slower and less fun than the smaller displacement dual purpose bikes with either knobs or trials tires.

    As I continually reduced, first, the aggressiveness of my off road riding and, then, the amount of off road at all, over the past few years, I found the BMW F650GS to be a perfect companion for seven riding seasons. Ultimately, though, it became too heavy and powerful for me and I was looking for a downsize in both weight and power.

    The Versys-X 300 came along at the perfect time for me. Otherwise I would still be riding the BMW. And might have hung onto the XT in case I got the occasional urge to make some dust.

    I sold the XT when I got the Versys-X but I kept the BMW because I had no idea how the 300 would be on longer trips. It turned out to be unnecessary. The 300 was excellent for longer touring trips and even better handling and more fun on twisty mountain pavement than the Beemer. I pulled the plates off the BMW in August that summer because it hadn't turned a wheel for weeks. I sold it that winter and never looked back.

    My age and riding experience (55 years) and riding preferences these days probably differs from yours, but my experiences with the sorts of bikes you mentioned might help you a bit. By the way, my 2015 XT250 was one of my favourite bikes ever. Probably second only to my Versys-X 300.

    ...ken...
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  15. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    As was mentioned just a couple of posts above yours, we've never seen a unicorn. And we won't because everybody's is different. Even among those of us who want a Versys-X 400, you've seen that the only thing any of us agree on is the desirability of the 400cc motor. Take one tiny step past that and the desires diverge in every direction.

    The best any manufacturer can do is try to capture the general items that a large enough number of people mostly agree on, build one, and see if people put their money where their mouth is. Sometimes even that doesn't work. It's one thing for us to voice our dreams out loud but quite another for us to follow that up with our dollars. For a lot of reasons.

    ...ken...
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  16. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for that. It pretty much says it all, at least for that kind of single track. The best part is that when you get back to the pavement you've got a beautiful ride home, whether it's 20km or 200km.

    ...ken...
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  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I spent 3 days riding this on the CABDR.

    It did it all and very smooth. Rough dirt roads to paved cruising with no vibs at 80+.

    The only unicorn hunters left are those Japanese-only hunters...the rest of us figured it out. :nod

    20201102_104411.jpg
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  18. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    ... that a unicorn doesn't have spoked wheels?
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  19. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    It can if you want it, but after banging along in the desert for days on end doesn't really need it.
  20. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    You mean that cheesy indian POS didn't tell apart and left you strangled in the middle of mojave?? oh my! ROTFLOL