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Monday, April 10, 2017

Let the Good Times Roll

I think that I am friends on Facebook with most of the folks who read this blog and therefore this won't be surprising news, but if you haven't yet heard I finally made a decision and bought a new motorcycle on Saturday April 8th.

The new addition to the family is a 2017 Kawasaki Versys 300x ABS in graphite grey.  I just couldn't do the green. It has been a long process deciding between the Honda CB500x and the Versys300x.  We had to wait for the Versys to actually hit the showrooms here in Oregon.  In the end, the Versys won due to the 19" front tire, gear indicator, rear rack, and all for $1200 less than the CB500x. And it actually weighs about 40+ pounds less than the CB500x.

For the past two weekends we visited our preferred dealer a total of three times.  The first was to make sure they did in fact have them in stock.  They did have a green one in ABS that was on a test ride and promptly sold and also a grey one just being prepped that was non-ABS.  For $300 we figured we'd opt for ABS if we chose to purchase.

(2017 Kawasaki Versys 300x in non-ABS)

(First time sitting on a Versys 300x)

(Felt pretty good)
The second visit was on Friday to see if they had unpacked a graphite grey with ABS yet for a test ride.  They hadn't but they did volunteer to bring one in for us from their warehouse in Salem and prep it for Saturday afternoon. 

Saturday morning we went to coffee, had lunch at Marco Polo in Salem, then drove out to Sublimity to the dealer for our third visit.  Our weather had been iffy with a huge storm going through on Friday. Mary's Peak saw wind gusts of 91 mph (146 kph).  Luckily the weather was a little better on Saturday.  Still windy, but at least there were sunny breaks between the squalls.

We arrived sometime after 1 pm and the grey ABS model wasn't quite prepped so Troubadour took the non-ABS model for a wee test ride while the sun was shining. Well it was shining for part of the test ride, then another shower came through.

When he returned to the dealer he noted the only thing I might have issue with is the short gearbox and having to shift more frequently on take off than I was used to with Max.  We talked about it and discussed things and determined that this bike was best suited to how we planned on riding.  The suspension is enough to smooth out the bumpy roads, it has the 19" front tire so we can put a more dual sport/gravel oriented tires on it, it has a gear indicator (which I was used to from Max) and it also came with a rack.  The dealer offered to throw in the Kawasaki hand guards and gave us 10% off on the center stand order.  We did not pay any freight or PDI charges, just MSRP.  We also chose to do the DMV paperwork ourselves which also saved us their $115 documentation fee.

A few years ago Lori, aka BeemerGirl, told me that she believed it was bad luck to ride your own bike home from the dealer.  I believe her after my own experience with the 2009 Bonneville back in 2012.  I rode it home from the dealer and just couldn't bond with it.  So with that in mind Troubadour was nice and suited up between rain storms and rode the Versys home for me to ward off any bad ju-ju.  He stopped part way home and snapped a few pictures with his phone.

(2017 Versus 300x on the way home)

(I was following along in the Fiat 500)

(Outside an abandoned building)
We arrived home with exactly 40 miles on the odometer.  There was less than a half mile on it when he pulled away.  A few more pictures were taken as it sat in the driveway on Saturday afternoon.

(Mission control - 40 miles on the odometer averaging 57.7 mpg)

(2017 Versys 300x in the driveway)
On Sunday we managed to go out for a ride before the rain returned.  I'll post up a trip report and first impressions in my next post.

Max is for sale if anyone would like a gently used 2009 Suzuki Gladius with 11,000 miles on the odometer........... just saying'.

- Au Revoir

" I went to a general store but they wouldn't let me buy anything specific." - Steven Wright
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43 comments:

  1. Nice! You forgot to add something about the unique (in the US) tank graphics on the Gladius! Looking forward to the ride report. Are you thinking of traveling with this or are moto road trips a thing of the past?

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    1. Yes those checkered graphics are rare. I don't think I've seen them on another Gladius even on the international forum. You think that would be a selling feature.

      We have a three day trip to Southern Oregon planned for this summer or fall sometime. Or at least we hope to do it. Should be able to see about 12 covered bridges in that time. We were going to try last September but it was almost 100˚ down there. We'll plan day trips too. It should be fine for mini touring.

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  2. great to see you got the new bike
    better than the green in my eyes as well
    have been reading a bit about these 300's
    not seen one yet dont think there down here as of now
    can the ABS be turned off by you when you want it to be off
    ABS on the dirt roads can be interesting if on
    experience with mine not being off lol

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    1. I was reading on the ADV forum that there were folks in Australia trying to test ride but the bikes were being sold sight unseen so they couldn't keep up. Can't remember which area they were in.

      Off the top of my head I don't think the ABS turns off but I'd have to consult the manual. Good thing I ride pretty easy so I am hoping that won't be an issue. If we were going anywhere too sketchy in gravel I'd be on the TW200.

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  3. Nice of Troubadour to protect your karma with your new motorcycle. Congrats, looks like a great choice!

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    1. Wasn't it nice of him? He is so good to me.

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  4. Nice! Glad you got a great bike and the ABS is a goid thing. I believe here it is standard.

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    1. Thanks Dar. For the extra $300 it is a good thing to have. Just in case it is ever needed..... it wouldn't have been a deal breaker since I've never had ABS but might as well include it.

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  5. Ooo, congrats on the new ride, Trobairitz! I look forward to reading about your adventures. :-)

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    1. Thanks Ry. Let's hope the rains stop so we can have the adventures to document, lol.

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  6. Nice one! Can't wait for all the adv ride reports!

    Dunno about that bad luck thing, now he has a taste, will Troubadour be finding excuses to ride it all the time?

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    1. I can only aspire to the level of your gravel road reports. :-)

      He did enjoy riding it home. I can see it being a his, hers, and ours type of bike for when he doesn't want to lug around his 550 lb Tiger.

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  7. Nice choice on the 300 Brandy.

    You wont regret the ABS it comes in handy when you have a lapse in... er... concentration.

    I'da ridden it home though... just sayin'

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    1. Thank you. With the wind, the squalls coming through, and scrubbing in new tires, it was probably best he rode it home.

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  8. Congratulations on your new bike. I'm looking forward to your opinion on the little Versys.

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    1. Thank you. So far so good, but I've only gone about 45 miles on it.

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  9. Congratulations! I think you picked wisely on the color, I'm not a Kawasaki Green fan, and it matches your Fiat.

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    1. That green is just a little too bright for me. Some people love it, I am just not one of them.

      It is funny when it is side by side with the Fiat the silver really comes out in the Fiat and the Versys has almost a yellow undertone in comparison.

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  10. Sharp looking machine! I like that rear rack on the back too. Very smart!
    Many joyful and safe rides on your new baby!

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  11. Congrats, Brandy. I am not surprised, just glad that you didn't pick the green one ;-)
    300cc are enough most of the time, just remember me and my Vespa. Looking forward to your first ride reports.

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    1. Thank you Sonja. I still love the candy red of the Honda CB500x better, but l went for function not frosting.

      I too agree that the 300cc should be plenty of power. I even had my TU250 on the interstate on occasion and it was fine. Wouldn't want to do it for any length of time, but it is capable if the need arises. Right now I am trying to keep the rpms to a dull roar during the break in period.

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  12. Congrats on the nice-looking bike. I didn't know they did a 300, haven't seen one here in the UK. Look forward to reading your riding posts, hope you have great fun on it!

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    1. Thank you. It is just now hitting the dealerships here, but has been in the works for 6-8 months or so. I was just glad to finally see one in person and actually bring one home.

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  13. Terrific, Brandy. I'm with you on the grey. Don't think I could ride Kawasaki Green either! Great to see that you can get your feet flat - combined with the light weight, not much chance of an accidental drop in tricky situations. It's a really nice-looking bike and will be really interested in your views as it beds in. Good luck with selling the Gladius - it's hardly run in!!!

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    1. I am lucky that I can flat foot it since that is a must for any bikes with me. I am not comfortable at a stop on tip toes.

      The Gladius hasn't seen many miles the last year or two. I am hoping to ride more this year.

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  14. Looks like a really nice buy. The Versys range does seem to be getting quite a few converts across the range.

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    1. Thanks Paul. I was surprised when the Versys 650 didn't come with a 19 inch front tire but the 300x did. It is one of the main boxes ticked. Hopefully they will be popular little bikes.

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  15. Its a sign that smaller bikes are more interesting. I rode all over Europe and North Africa on a 350 twin when I was a youngster and when people tell me 300cc is "too small" for some ride or other I just look the other way. I always ride my motorcycles home from where I buy them but that's not superstition, it's just impatience.

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    1. Nothing wrong with a little impatience when it comes to new bikes.

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  16. What a cool looking bike. Can't wait to hear about the adventures you'll have on it.

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    1. Thank you. No adventures quite yet. I had the wee ride last weekend and a wisdom tooth pulled yesterday so no helmet on this weekend.

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  17. We are considering smaller bikes and this just jumped to the top of the list. Congrats on the new bike! šŸ˜Ž

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    1. Thanks you. They are hitting the showrooms more and more. Check them out, you might be surprised.

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  18. Congratulations!!! You look great on it. That's a very nice new header pic, too.

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  19. Excellent Brandy, nice choice. Did you know its bad luck not to ride your new bike home?
    Heh just messing with you. It will be nice to see your ride reports and your thoughts on the new bike.

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    1. Thanks Steve. Glad to see you've been getting out too.

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  20. TOTALLY AWESOME!!!! I love your new Versus! Does she have a name yet? Have you ridden her? What are your thoughts? Love the color! So excited for you. Sad to see Max go, but sometimes you need to move up. Oilburner is dying to know is you still have TW?

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    1. Howdy Lori. No name yet. Rode it last Sunday, post coming in a bit. So far so good but I've only ridden it 45 miles or so. And yes I still have the TW, can't let go of that. Need it to go tootling off through the woods in the OHV areas.

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    2. YAY! To the ride, and keeping TW around. :)

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  21. Great stuff and first time for me to see one in anything except the green. I like this colour much more. I'm keen to follow how this bike works for you. They are huge success here.

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    1. Hey Warren. Good to hear they are so popular over there. I like the graphite much better than the green, subtle and not attracting attention is more my style.

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