Kawasaki revealed its entry-level Versys-X 300 at the EICMA this week alongside the new “GS” configuration of BMW’s G310R, the G310GS. After years of stuffing bigger and bigger mills into adventure-type bikes, the industry is starting to look at smaller, more manageable powerplants that are not only cheaper to produce and operate, but they’re also lighter.

Continue reading for more on the new adventure bikes.

What’s The Buzz?

Kawasaki And Beemer Release New-for-2017 Adventure Bike Models at Milan
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Kawasaki And Beemer Release New-for-2017 Adventure Bike Models at Milan
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Kawi’s little adventure bike carries prominent DNA markers from the rest of the family with much of the same look, just a little on the smaller side. A 296 cc parallel twin replaces the 1,043 cc and 649 cc plants in the larger versions of the bike, but that isn’t the only change. The rest of the bike is somewhat reduced in its dimensions with an abbreviated front fairing as the change with the most visual impact.

Beemer, on the other hand, took its G310R “Roadster” and made a little adventure bike out of it. The same 313 cc engine drives it, but the factory dropped some of the body paneling to expose the frame a bit and added a dirt-tastic bird-beak front fairing that clearly sets it apart from its road-tastic sibling. I’ll be covering both in a full review soon, so tune in again once the show is over and the dust has settled in Milan.

The weight thing is a definite consideration when you head off-road with adventure bikes that are running tires that are more at home on the black than on the brown; it’s not a matter of if you will have to stand it back up off the ground, but when. As one who’s had to pick up more than one large-displacement ride — all by my onesies to boot — I can definitely appreciate a little downsizing in this department. Maybe this is driven by customer demand, and maybe it’s a symptom of the adventure-bike sector reaching a level of maturity that will support more robust entry-level development. Whichever the case, the Versys-X 300 and G310GS fit the bill nicely.

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Image Source: kawasaki.com, bmwgroup.com, eicma.it

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