What’s the sweet spot for small displacement motorcycles? Is it 250cc? Perhaps 400cc? Ask any internet forum and you’ll likely hear some BS like, 600cc sportbikes are the smallest I would EVER recommend for a beginner. Idiots. Darwinism at its finest. What do we think? We think there are a lot of variables to consider for this question, but the 300cc category is still filled with solid options of bitchin’ motorcycles. Many look at these small-displacement bikes as great options for beginners as well. Which motorcycle is best for a beginner? It all depends on what kind of riding you’d like to do. Any of the options on this list provide a great starting point for new riders. What’s even better is that there are plenty of great bikes in this category that spans multiple genres of motorcycling such as sportbikes, adventure motorcycles, and naked bikes. If you’re interested in entering the world of two wheels check out these great starting points.
Having grown up around motocross, and with a couple of years on the road on two wheels some 13-plus years ago, throwing my leg back over a motorcycle this past summer was anything but starting from scratch (thankfully). Sure, I was a little rusty to say the least, but the essence of riding isn’t something easily forgotten. After a few quick jaunts, I was back in the swing of things. Though the mechanics and principles remain the same, the new motorcycle market for more novice riders is a completely different beast than it was the last time I was on two wheels. A veritable boom of larger, and frankly more appropriate “starter bikes” is well underway in the form of the 300cc class. These more approachable and rookie friendly rides aren’t like the undersized and underpowered 125s and 250s that have been around for decades, which is a fantastic thing – a serious win for new riders who are on the taller side. Throwing my 6’1 frame over a CBR 125, well, can you picture the bear riding a minibike in a Russian circus? You get the idea.
I recently had the privilege of attending two events that brought me to Utah two weeks in a row. Utah is, and has been, one of my absolute favorite places to visit. Since I first laid eyes on its mars-esque landscapes, I was hooked. Every cross country ride or drive I take, I route them through Utah. I’ve passed through more than I’d like to admit, while only stopping to enjoy parts of the state a handful of times.
Three Amigos 300cc ADV Bike Comparison: BMW G 310 GS Vs Kawasaki Versys-X 300 Vs Royal Enfield Himalayan
Why don’t we go to Baja more often? Well, one reason is the manufacturers want us to get special dispensation before we take their bikes to a foreign country, you need to buy Mexican insurance, everybody speaks a weird language down there, you can’t drink the water… those are all really easy obstacles to overcome, and I’m told you can drink the Baja water now.
What does adventure mean to you? Wait, let me narrow that down: What does adventure motorcycling mean to you? Maybe your idea of adventure on a motorcycle is setting out, destination unknown with nothing but a paper map and the Blue Highways to guide you. Or maybe, to you, adventure means setting out across the American southwest with a few friends in tow, using trails and highways to connect yourself to our vast array of spectacular national parks. Perhaps your sense of adventure riding involves knobby tires, an ever-changing trail system of sand washes and fish tacos as you make your way down the Baja peninsula.
Kawasaki’s Versys-X 300 impressed us when we first rode it this spring, with John Burns reporting that it would be a good machine to “propagate your bigger adventures.” Then, after some time on it this summer, its versatility and affordability helped us decide to give it accolades as the Honorable Mention in our Best On/Off-Road Adventure motorcycle of 2017. To better put it to test, we assigned our newest editor, Brent Jaswinski, to load up the littlest Versys with camping gear and head out on the road for an adventure of his own. –Ed.
It’s easy for moto enthusiasts to fall in lust with pricey motorbikes, but it’s much more difficult to feel ardor for inexpensive machines – plastic and steel just isn’t as intoxicating as billet and carbon fiber. But that’s why KTM’s 390 Duke is such a special motorcycle.
I know at least two people who are convinced the Kawasaki Versys 650 is the world’s greatest do-it-all motorcycle, including our own Sean Alexander. I would not attempt to convince them otherwise. The big Versys 1000 is pretty swell, too, and now Kawasaki completes the circle with this all-new Versys-X 300, packing a revised version of the excellent 296cc Ninja 300 parallel-Twin.
In our last Top 10 list of 2016, we, the MO staff, mentioned how much we’re looking forward to flogging the crop of mini-adventure bikes that’ll be coming this way in 2017. In case you forgot, those bikes include the BMW G310GS, Honda CRF250L (and its higher-spec sibling, the CRF250L Rally), Kawasaki Versys-X 300, and Suzuki V-Strom 250. All of those bikes promise big fun in little packages for those who like to veer off the beaten path every now and then. So now we pose the question to you:
EICMA and Intermot have come and gone and the question on most American consumers’ minds is which of the wonderful new models will be making their way to the U.S.? Today, Kawasaki answered their part of the question, confirming the ZX-10RR, Ninja 1000, Ninja 650, Z900, Z650 and the Versys-X 300 for the U.S. market.