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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been fascinated with these little Adventure bikes ever since they came out a couple of years ago. The Kawasaki Versys X 300 was the first to hit the market with these micro-motor lightweight machines. Since then BWM has come out with a 300 Micro-motor lightweight version of their bigger brother the GS and KTM has followed. Anyway, I went up to the local Yamaha/Kawasaki/Polaris/Ducati dealer for a couple of accessories for the Guzzi, and I saw this sitting on the showroom floor. I was surprised to find it was actually a full sized bike as far as size was concerned. Sitting next to a Yamaha XT250, the Versys X300 was considerably bigger.

It was very light at 380 lbs. Looked up the specs and it comes out to 39 HP/20 LBS torque. While I was sitting on it, the sales guy came up and asked if I was interested. I said that I was just curious about these machines because I hadn't seen one in person. I asked the guy for a test ride and he said no problem. He took a copy of my license, I signed a waiver and he said that these machines are very high revving machines. He said they redline at 12000 RPM's and that the motor is the same motor that is used in the Ninja. He said the motor doesn't hit its comfort zone until the high revs, so rev it. He was right. One word to describe these lightweight machines, FUN, I had a blast on that thing. The price was right, and it was just so different and fun to ride, I bought it. Sorry about the quality of the photo, it was dark, cold and raining, I also included an online image.


 

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Cool bike, you'll have to plan any passing of cars or motorcycles more than your Guzzi. I have a couple smaller displacement bikes and I try to time my passes to keep up the momentum. I've had a few oh $%#@ moments where at the last minute I decided I timed it wrong and have to abort the pass. Whereas on my Aprilia I just gas it by them.
 

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My first bike was the Ninja 300 and, yeah, that motor loves to stay at high rpm. While not a powerhouse, there were very few times that I felt I didn't have enough motor. Around town, it was faster than most cars off the line and I could cruise at 80-85 comfortably on the highway. The biggest issue (for me) at those speeds was turbulence from trucks and crosswinds.

Look forward to hearing about your impressions of it and where it takes you!
 

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Wot Wollerms said.
I have pulled out to pass, on the 45 hp XS400, going up the steep hill on my Island. Some of the cages have more steam.
But the small lighter bikes are worth riding, especially for short hops and around town.

Well done. UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Look forward to hearing about your impressions of it and where it takes you!
Well my first impression from the little bit that I rode it yesterday (32 miles) was of how smooth it runs, no buzz or vibrations, even at higher speeds, which was not what I was expecting from a small displacement parallel twin. Even thou top speed has been tested out to 102 MPH by online reviewers, its definitely not an interstate bike. I had it up to 85 mph and the crosswinds from normal wind and from other vehicles like semi trucks was pretty damn scary. I'm also not use to running that high of RPM's for that long, but the motor loved it. The smallest bike that I've owned in the last 25 years was a Triumph Bonneville, it handled crosswinds much better at 100 pounds more than the Versys X300.

But all that is ok, I didn't buy it for high speed interstate travel, It will do much better on state roads, city streets, two lane highways, fire roads and dirt roads. Talking to two of the sales guys, they are also being used by the buying public as daily urban commuters with a little weekend exploring in mind. They said that they've sold quit a few to seniors who are downsizing to a more manageable bike, and to newbie riders just getting into the sport. They get an amazing 70 mpg (some reporting more, some reporting less) and have a 4.5 gallon fuel tank, so they are pretty much capable of a variety of different types of uses with good fuel range. But for me, its just a fun and different ride. I'll be using it for around town with a little weekend trail or dirt roading that's not too extreme.
 
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My wifes 500RA Honda is a scoot around town and not too bad on the highway but as we have in some cases long hauls it wants a bit up the top when at speed usually +10 or 20 on the open speed limit as it sits just 1500 rpm from the redline no good for 5-6 hours being punished at those revs.
But for short hauls like 200-250klm its pretty good you can actually see cars in the mirrors not like my 848 or V4 S Panigale where its up to by guess & god.
We get about 420 Klm's before reserve the smaller bikes are great for 1 up like said short hauls when your talking 900-1000 klm runs it sorta falls a bit behind.

Pic of my wifes 500RA alongside my Ducati 848 at the Cuballing Pub on a 900klm run
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very nice pair.
 

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Yeah the Versys. I was really looking into one as a first bike but I was afraid it would be too tall for me :( I'm 5'8" with a 32 inch inseam...I think.

Anyway, looks good!
 

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My wifes 5' 7" and the Honda suits her well the only reason I got her the Ducati 2018 Supersport as her level of riding now is passed that bikes application for her as you get to a level on a certain bike and unless you go up a grade your gunna stay at that level.
Not that that little honda does not handle it does and runs on the smell of an oily rag my wife has just out grown it and finds the Duke a better all round package plus she now has panniers which means no more back packs for me!

As a biginers bike they are LAMS approved with 50Hp typical Honda finish and comfortable to ride on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update:
After a 3 hour ride this morning, and riding on a couple trails, I have a few more comments. First, the seat is hard as a rock. After a hour and a half, it begin to feel like I was sitting on a concrete bench. So that's the first thing that I'll have to address. The suspension is great on the road and on the mild trails I rode, haven't ridden on any trails of difficulty as of yet. On the road, it was a soft ride and it handled well as expected. I'm still really impressed by how smooth and vibration free this bike is, especially with only a 300cc high revving little motor. I did feel a little buzz in the handle bars around 57 mph, but moving just past 57 or just under 57, it goes away. The little fairing does a good job of keeping the wind off the body, the windscreen blocked the wind from about the chin down with my helmet taking a lot of wind. A little taller windscreen would be nice if riding on the highways at higher speeds. It was cold out when I started this morning at 38 degrees, but it warmed up pretty quickly to about 58 degrees after a couple of hours. The high today is expected to be 66.

Here's the best part. It has no issues in and around urban traffic, or keeping up on the highways either, it performed as I had hoped. This light weight bikes maneuvering capabilities are amazing. Easy to move around in the garage with one hand, and turns a very tight radius at below walking speed without even trying. I can actually move at a crawl and it maneuvers with such ease without even paying attention, even on dirt and grass, (the advantages of a light weight bike). The Moto Guzzi, not so much. After getting a little spirited on the trails, I decided that it would be a good idea to order crash bars. Its been many years since I've owned or ridden a bike with trail capabilities, they've all been street bikes and my off road skills are not what they use to be.


 

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If you made it that long on that seat before complaining, you made it longer than most do on new bike seats. I only made it 30 minutes on my land yacht Indian before I knew it wasn't going to work and at 45 minutes I simply had to take a break. So, I doubt yours will get better but it is possible. If you would be taking bets I'd go with it won't.

I think you are wise in looking for some kind of protection for the bike. Mainly any expensive plastic parts and such. Glad you are liking it. Believe it or not, it might help you control the Guzzi better. Like those tight U-turns now and then. Practice on a lighter bike rolls over to heavier bikes if done enough times.:thumbsup:
 

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Nice looking bike and it sounds like you are having a blast on it Zeb
 

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If you made it that long on that seat before complaining, you made it longer than most do on new bike seats. I only made it 30 minutes on my land yacht Indian before I knew it wasn't going to work and at 45 minutes I simply had to take a break.
I must be in the minority here.
My '99 Goldwing still has the stock seat on it, and that has to be the most comfortable bike seat I've ever ridden on. Did over 8 hours on it one day
last fall with only one short break. No problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you made it that long on that seat before complaining, you made it longer than most do on new bike seats. I only made it 30 minutes on my land yacht Indian before I knew it wasn't going to work and at 45 minutes I simply had to take a break.
I must be in the minority here. My '99 Goldwing still has the stock seat on it, and that has to be the most comfortable bike seat I've ever ridden on.
I've had bikes with both good and bad factory seats. Both Goldwings (GL1200 & GL1800) had really good factory seats, as well as the 2013 Triumph Trophy 1200 SE. The 2013 Triumph Bonneville and the Triumph Thunderbird had hard as rocks factory seats. The Moto Guzzi Griso is also a good seat, so good that I ordered a 2nd factory seat to have as a spare, and also because they were discontinued.

Nice looking bike and it sounds like you are having a blast on it Zeb
Thanks Critter, I have to admit, I am having fun with it. For those who might be getting older with creeky bones and looking to downsize to something more manageable, I would highly recommend taking a test ride on one of these. The clutch is a very light pull slipper clutch, it can be pulled with one finger, bike maneuvers light and easy and even though it has a 32" seat height, once you sit on it, the bike springs down 2".
 

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Curious. If the bike drops 2 inches when you get on it, doesn't that mean you just lost 2 inches of travel? Would seem like it to me and any off-roading I've done you need all the travel you can get. Is the remaining area of travel very firm then or does it continue to be soft like sitting on the bike demonstrates? Again, just curious. Not picking on it by any stretch. I'm honestly curious about the compression and ability to absorb shock when on nasty trails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Curious. If the bike drops 2 inches when you get on it, doesn't that mean you just lost 2 inches of travel? Would seem like it to me and any off-roading I've done you need all the travel you can get. Is the remaining area of travel very firm then or does it continue to be soft like sitting on the bike demonstrates? Again, just curious. Not picking on it by any stretch. I'm honestly curious about the compression and ability to absorb shock when on nasty trails.
The bike has a pretty soft suspension with the rear seemingly doing most of the squatting when sitting down on the saddle. I didn't take a tape measure and measure it, I was guesstimating. Once sitting on the seat with my full weight (230 LBS), the bike squats down a little and then the suspension gets firmer and stops compressing at a point that I was guesstimating at about 2". It was not bottoming out. Just about every bike that I've owned has done this, with the Griso having the firmest suspension of any bike that I've owned. It might squat (guesstimating maybe 1/2") when sitting on the bike. I'm not a suspension expert, but I would guess on such a inexpensive bike ($5400 for a new X-300), the suspension would be one area that the manufacturers would cut cost. In other words, they wouldn't put Ohlin shocks on an inexpensive 5400 dollar bike since a single rear Ohlin shock could cost up to $1400 dollars.

Maybe the seat is another area on this bike where cost were cut since its rock hard. They didn't skimp on instrumentation though since it has a fuel gauge, temp gauge, gear indicator, trip computer, digital and analog speedo and tach gauges. Its designed more as a street oriented bike than enduro, all Adventure touring bikes are. You can tell this on this bike since they ran the exhaust under the bike, something not done on enduro's or dirt bikes. Any rough area's with tree logs and or boulders, the exhaust will be the first part of the bike damaged. Its classified as an Lite Adventure Tourer with the ability to go off road onto sand, gravel, dirt, forest roads and such. I personally took it myself into the woods on a footpath/game type trail and then across a cow pasture just to see how it would do. It did just fine, but here in Florida we don't have big boulders, we do have some serious holes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
With all that being said, this is what some other owners are putting their VX-300's through. Personally they were not made for this type of off roading, so I wouldn't be doing most of this with mine.




 
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Well that is pretty darn good that you can do what they are doing. That says to me they got some built in reserve you can call on if needed. I was asking because it looks like a good bike to snag for some ranch work now and then but there are places that I could potentially bottom out if there was too much or too soft suspension. But it sounds and looks like a bike I need to get a test ride on. Then look for a used one in good shape still. Or maybe folks don't let go of them. That too would say something about them. But I like what I'm seeing for sure. Thanks.
 
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