2023 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 First Look Preview

As summer begins to wind down, the motorcycle industry is spooling up with 2023 motorcycle announcements. Alongside the Ninja 400 and Z400, the Versys-X 300 is the third motorcycle in Kawasaki’s lineup that’s designed specifically for new riders. The Versys-X brings its A-game in new paint for the 2023 model year.

Kawasaki’s small adventure-tourer returns for more two-wheeled trips.

Kawasaki’s small adventure-tourer returns for more two-wheeled trips. (Kawasaki/)

The 296cc parallel twin is mated to a six-speed transmission with an assist and slipper clutch for the kind of usability that welcomes beginners. We’re eagerly awaiting the replacement of the Ninja 300–derived engine with the engaging 399cc unit used in the current Ninja and Z models, but it looks like we will have to wait yet another year.

Related: 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 400 First Look Preview

Riders can sit in upright comfort behind a nice wind-deflecting shield.

Riders can sit in upright comfort behind a nice wind-deflecting shield. (Kawasaki/)

The 32 hp, liquid-cooled powerplant is rigidly mounted in the frame, per standard Kawasaki practice, with a telescopic fork and Uni-Trak suspension to smooth out the bumps. Suspension travel is good for 5.1 inches up front and 5.8 inches at the rear. The Versys-X rolls on 19- and 17-inch spoked aluminum rims and stops with two-piston calipers acting on 290mm/220mm discs.

A 17-liter hard saddlebag set, hand guards, and auxiliary lighting kit are optional accessories for the Versys.

A 17-liter hard saddlebag set, hand guards, and auxiliary lighting kit are optional accessories for the Versys. (Kawasaki/)

To ensure comfortable touring or commuting, the Versys situates the rider in an upright and relaxed riding position, and its one-piece seat is roomy enough for two. Wind is deflected by a standard, nonadjustable windscreen. If riders want to improve comfort, there are optional add-ons, such as a tall seat and hand guards. On the utility front there are auxiliary lights, engine guard, centerstand, and luggage options available from Kawasaki’s accessory catalog.

The 296cc twin makes the Versys-X an easy-going commuter.

The 296cc twin makes the Versys-X an easy-going commuter. (Kawasaki/)

Related: 2023 Kawasaki Z400 First Look Preview

Kawasaki has updated the Versys-X 300′s looks with a new Pearl Matte Sage Green/Metallic Matte Carbon Gray color combination and revised graphics. The 2023 model is available with or without ABS at $6,199 and $5,899 respectively.

The Versys-X 300 will retail for $5,899 (without ABS) or $6,199 (with ABS). Both come in the new color.

The Versys-X 300 will retail for $5,899 (without ABS) or $6,199 (with ABS). Both come in the new color. (Kawasaki/)
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