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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Versys 300x - First Ride Impressions

Having brought the Versys 300x home last Saturday April 8th, my first opportunity for a ride was the next day.  The forecast called for rains to start late afternoon, but we wanted the temperatures to warm up a little since I wouldn't have heated grips.  

It was close to noon when we set off.  I'd been fighting a cold so thought it best to keep it to a short shake down ride. While it was sunny, it was rather chilly.  

We decided on a familiar route south of Corvallis.  South on Bellfountain Rd to the parking lot of the Muddy Creek Charter School.  Six years ago my first ride on Max was to the same location. We were a little later in the year this time and the blooms were mostly gone from the plum tree.

(First ride on my 2017 Kawasaki Versys 300x)

(It was chilly and I couldn't be bothered to take my helmet off)

(Trobairitz on a Versys - I had my gloves off from taking pictures)

(A Kawasaki Versys 300x and a Triumph Tiger 955)
We got back on the bikes and continued further south on Bellfountain Rd to Alpine.  We stopped at what once was the Alpine Community Center, but is now Queen Bee Honey. This also used to be a meeting place for group rides when folks were coming up from Eugene to do the Alsea Falls twisties (South Fork Rd).

(Stopped for a break at Queen Bee Honey)

(Front view of the Versys 300x)

(And one more shot of the bikes)

As Troubadour was taking pictures I noticed a honey bee land on my helmet, and then another one.  What else would one expect when stopped at a honey company?

(This helmet is the bees knees)

(No bees were harmed in the making of this blog post)
From Alpine we back tracked to Muddy Creek Charter School and turned west on Decker Road. We then turned right onto Ervin Road to see how the Versys would handle its first bit of gravel and to scrub in the new tires a little quicker.  It handled the gravel just fine and I think I went a little faster than I would have on the Gladius.  This looped us back to Bellfountain Road where we turned north and then onto another short stretch of gravel before arriving home.  We arrived home with 85 total miles on the odometer.  I'd officially ridden 45 miles (72 km) which is longer than the 40 miles Troubadour did when riding it home from the dealer.  Not bad since I was just going a wee distance with the way I was feeling.

With no heated grips and the cold air whipping up through my dirt bike helmet, I was happy to be home where it was warm.  

While I love my Gladius, and I will be sad to see it go, I know that it isn't the proper tool for the job anymore. The Versys 300x handled the gravel very well. 

I liken it to a pair of shoes.  While your favorite pair of flashy dress shoes may fit well and you love them, they aren't the proper shoes to go for a hike.  Max is my flashy pair of shoes, he just doesn't do well hiking after Triumph Tigers in the woods.

So far we have a Givi rack on order so that I can put my Givi Monokey top case (aka 'trunk monkey') on the bike and are debating what kind of heated grips to get.  Whether to get grip heaters like I have on Max and the TW 200 or Oxford heated grips.  Troubadour also offered to put the hyper-lites on the bike so that is coming at some point as well. And..... we are still waiting for a call from the dealer to tell us the hand guards and center stand are in.

I am already looking forward to the next ride.

- Au Revoir

"What do you suppose?  
A bee sat on my nose.  
Then what do you think?  
He gave me a wink.  
And said, "I beg your pardon,
I thought you were the garden." - English Nursery Rhyme
.

37 comments:

  1. The new bike looks pretty good! I just noticed that it is a twin cylinder engine. With that engine displacement, it must be incredibly smooth with a high red line. Is there still enough low end torque or is it geared low enough for slow going?

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    1. Yes, it is a parallel twin and even has a slipper clutch. It seems to be smooth so far. Of course you have to shift it quite rapidly. To quote Kawasaki "The Versys-X 300 uses the Ninja® 300 engine as a base, with intake and exhaust tuning tweaks that provide better low and mid-range power characteristics more suitable to an adventure bike while maintaining a smooth top-end for comfortable highway riding" I'll email you a pdf from them which is quite informative.

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  2. Lookin' good the Brandy! That bike looks comfy and like it will go almost anywhere.

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    1. Thank you. I think with the right tires and capable rider it could go a lot of places I wouldn't venture to take it, lol.

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  3. A new bike and not feeling well doesn't make a good combination. Hopefully you will feel better, the weather will warm, and you can get some better bonding time with the Versy.

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    1. We had a gorgeous sunny day yesterday and a dry day today, but as Murphy's Law would dictate I had a lower wisdom tooth and molar pulled Friday morning so I was not allowed to ride and probably couldn't get a helmet on comfortably. Damn appointment had been booked for two months too. Sigh

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  4. Sounds like a great first ride on the new motorcycle!

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    1. It was nice to get out and not have numb hands. Win win.

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  5. You look GREAT on the bike!! Sorry it wasn't warmer and you were under the weather. Can't want till you are able to spend some good time with the Versys. What did you think of it?

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    1. Thanks Lori, it seems to fit well, although the seat is a little wide at the tank or at least it seems it at a stop. Fine when riding even if a little hard. Hoping to go for another ride in a week or two when time and other commitments allow.

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  6. glad you got to ride the new bike

    so what are you going to name this 300x

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    1. I am not sure of a name so far. I never named the TW200 and I can't envision a name for this one either. I guess it doesn't speak to me like Max did.

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  7. Well done, the bike suits you, it looks comfortable and stylish at the same time, I'm sure you're going to do a lot of happy mileage together.

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  8. I am so glad you found the bike you were looking for. It fits you perfectly. Its funny I was having a discussion the other day about the 'sexy shoe' analogy. It is about function over form and my friend was lookimg at down sizing in the cc department and style of bike, she finds her CB1000 wonderful, but heavy and when they travel and if there is gravel its a nightmare and she just finds hefting it around onerus now. She was trying to decide between a Honda Cb500F and a SV650, she loved the SV650, but the price on the honda was better. I told her to take price right out of the equation and just look at the pros and cons of each and what she loved the most, otherwise you're just buying accessories and trying to make the other bike into something it's not.

    We went to honda demo days and it was so dissappointing because of the seat heights being too tall and most even with lowering links would still have been a stretch for me. Kirk is still humming and hawing over the NC750x. Who knows if he will find one.

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    1. Yep, function over frosting. As we get older the function becomes a little more important than the frosting.

      I am lucky the 32 inch seat height of the Versys wasn't too tall.

      Hope Kirk finds something. It isn't always easy finding what you want.

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  9. Great stuff Brandy! The comments by you and Dar are along similar lines as my thoughts about buying bikes. You have to use both your head AND heart to find a bike which you can truly love. The Versys looks like it's going to fill the bill nicely and I'm sure that the light weight is something you're going to love, especially on those gravel roads. Very well done!

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    1. Thanks Geoff. I remember your advice about the bike singing to your heart. So far the Versys doesn't make my heart go pitter-patter like the Gladius but I do really like it. Kind of like you and the Suzuki I guess. I am sure the more I ride it the more I'll feel the love.

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  10. Nice one! I've often ridden a new to me bike over the same road to get a good feel for it. I usually pick a demanding (but not gravel) back road so I can come to grips with handling and brakes. Great that it went well in the gravel too!

    Oxford grips would be my choice...I just happen to have a set that are still going (although fairly worn) at 140,000km...

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    1. With just wanting a quick jaunt, local familiar roads were a good idea. I am looking forward to more rides. (as soon as I heal from getting a wisdom tooth out).

      Thanks for the advice on the Oxfords.

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  11. Damn girl how big are those bee's they could nearly carry you off if there was a swarm of them lol.
    Seriously looking good on the new bike. Enjoy, waiting for the moto posts to start rolling in now....

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    1. They grow them big in Oregon. Make more honey that way.......

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  12. The new bike looks great and I'm pleased to hear it handled the gravel well. Do you have the dual sport tires on yet? Also, do you mind telling me your height and inseam, since you look so comfortably flat-footed? 😁

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    1. We don't have dual sport tires on it yet, just the stock, which aren't too bad. Definitely road oriented though. I am just over 5 ft 7 inches with a 32" inseam. Hard to find pants long enough, but great for sitting on bikes, lol.

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  13. Thank you, you are a little taller and about an inch longer inseam than me but I think it would still work for me. I will keep reading about your journey!

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    1. Troubadour is taller than I am but his inseam is about 2 inches shorter. Because he outweighs me I think we end up touching about the same when on the bike. He compresses the suspension more so it works for his leg length too. So many variables.

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    2. I am guessing from your photos that I might compress the suspension a little more too, so I should be fine! πŸ˜‰

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  14. You're looking great on that Kawa, Brandy. It's a handsome bike. be better soon, eh! You definitely need to try it on longer distance.

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    1. Thanks Sonja. Looking forward to a longer ride. Now if this wisdom tooth issue would resolve itself, I could put a helmet on.

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  15. love the bee photos! The bike looks to suit you well, could maybe do with 'jazzing-up' a little - maybe some chequered transfers on the tank ;) ?

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    1. I was just happy they weren't trying to climb up into my helmet.

      We were thinking the tank needed a little pizzaz. The Kawasaki stickers are over the clear coat so they'll be easy to remove. You may be on to something the with chequers. :-)

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  16. Nice looking bike!
    Re: heated grips, I really like my Oxfords, especially the easy to see and use controller.
    I hope you're feeling 100% better real soon!

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    1. Thank you. Good to hear another vote for Oxfords.

      I am no longer fighting a cold which is nice but i did have a lower wisdom tooth and molar pulled a week ago that is still tender and wouldn't like cool air whipping through my helmet.

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  17. Sorry for the bad 'poetry' but the poem at the beginning of your post got me thinking...

    A bee once alit on my HJC.
    He fluttered his wings then b’gan staring at me!
    'I ain’t gittin no pollen,' he sez, 'whist I here sitz..'
    And I do appreciate the nice rest Lady Trobairitz
    But back to work I must buzzzz makin sweet Or’gun honey.

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    1. Wow, you are witty and creative. Thank you!!

      And thank you for not starting it "There once was a girl from Corvallis......"

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  18. It sounds like the Versys just might be a perfect fit, Trobairitz. Cool.

    You're lucky (or unlucky?) that you didn't end up with a handsome beard o' bees. :D

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    1. I am hoping it is, although a 400cc motor would have been nice.

      I call it lucky there weren't that many bees around and landing on me.

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