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  1. #1
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    Default KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    Hi, I would like to buy my first Adventure bike. I am 1.90 m tall and weigh 118 Kg. It will be my first time riding a bike, so I do not have experience or know what to look out for. The two options in my price category are the KTM Adventure 390 and the Kawasaki Versys X 300. I will likely do a combination of long road and gravel travel, and the occasional trail. If all goes well, I would do weekends away. What bike would you suggest?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    Neither.

    Look for a Honda XR650L, Suzuki DR650, Kawasaki KLR 650, BMW 650 GS - that sort of range.

    For your size and weight, and type of riding they will be far better suited to you.
    Last edited by RobH; 2021/04/17 at 09:23 PM.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    Quote Originally Posted by Flamand View Post
    Hi, I would like to buy my first Adventure bike. I am 1.90 m tall and weigh 118 Kg. It will be my first time riding a bike, so I do not have experience or know what to look out for. The two options in my price category are the KTM Adventure 390 and the Kawasaki Versys X 300. I will likely do a combination of long road and gravel travel, and the occasional trail. If all goes well, I would do weekends away. What bike would you suggest?
    Agree with Rob, those are going to be too small, also the Versys is a road bike. (Kawasaki calls it adventure styled tourer).

    I am biased as I have a KLR, but that is a really good option. If you want new then out of luck, stopped production in 2018, but you can pick them up starting at R22k for 2006 right up to R60k for a 2018.

    If you want a bit more oomph (but less off-road ability) then also look at the Vstrom 650.

    KLR650 - More road than off-road based but good enough for both

    Honda 650L - Definitely more off-road orientated than road.

    Suzuki DR650 - Do not know it at all but according to past research sits somewhere between the Honda XR650 and KLR.

    BMW650GS, probably the most comfortable with good gravel/road mix, and under correction the only one with features likes ABS.

    It also depends what you planning on doing with it. For general purpose riding on-road and gravel etc, and budget is not a consideration I would probably vote for the BMW.

    If you just want to get your feet wet and try out out, get yourself an older KLR650, spend R30k, if you want to resell later you would probably get R30k back.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    yeah at your size those little bikes are a no-go.
    Do you want to buy new? How much are you prepared to spend?

  6. #5
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    Does weight and height play such a big role?
    My budget is between 50,000 and 100,000. I am inclined to go for a new bike, as I am not familiar with bikes, and am not sure what to look out for when it comes to second hand bikes. What should I look out for with a second hand bike? What is good milage on an adventure bike?
    Isn't the maintainance of a BMW expensive?

  7. #6
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    I would wait for the new Honda 300. It is also small but at least its a proper Dual Sport bike unlike the BMW 310 or Kawa Versys..

  8. #7
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    Quote Originally Posted by Flamand View Post
    Does weight and height play such a big role?
    My budget is between 50,000 and 100,000. I am inclined to go for a new bike, as I am not familiar with bikes, and am not sure what to look out for when it comes to second hand bikes. What should I look out for with a second hand bike? What is good milage on an adventure bike?
    Isn't the maintainance of a BMW expensive?
    Iím 1.95 and weigh 20kgís less than you, been riding m/cycles most of my life. You need a big bike, trust me on this. You could ride a small bike, you wonít ride it for long. Nothing wrong with 2nd hand. Donít forget you will need to add in clothing, boots gloves and a helmet of course, thatís a minimum of 15k!

    Here is a start. https://www.junkmail.co.za/bikes/bmw...5b1e9de999892a
    You help where you can, when it is needed. You only give advice when it is asked for!

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  10. #8
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    Look here for solid bikes. They have a very good name in SA.

    https://www.joelsmotorcycles.co.za/

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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    100kg
    Minimum 1200 GS

  12. #10
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    Get the bigger bike, youíll be glad you did!

    ...Iím partial to the XR650L, reliable as an old John Deere tractor and it will climb anything youíre brave enough to tackle

    My ranch bike is a Yamaha XT250DC, a great bike to learn on and ok for riding around on the ranch roads, but really not up for any sort of serious road touring...

    David Vierra
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  13. #11
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    Quote Originally Posted by Spliffcat View Post
    100kg
    Minimum 1200 GS
    Nah here I disagree. The 650 is more than enough.

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  15. #12
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    I'm speaking under correction, from what I've heard KTM is expensive to maintain
    Always think: Could this be sarcasm?

    Andrť Opperman

  16. #13
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    I don't know about other brands, only have experience with KTM. My son's 390 Duke's annual service was R2100, at the local dealer. The 390 Duke has plenty of go, but I would also suggest to rather look at at least 650, otherwise you will be trading up soon.

  17. #14
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    My choice would be the KTM 690 or the new KTM 890 (there is also the older 790), they have various models. I had both in a sence (had the KTM 990 Adventure R and a 2012 KTM 690. Keep in mind the range you want to do, doing distance, a twin cylinder would be recommended. On the 690 that will have enough power, height and with a few mods you can achieve approx 350km with and additional fuel tank.

    With ur build, weight and a few extras you may and will be disappointed with an underpowered bike .... A lot of time it is the power that saves you! Yes it will be expensive to maintain going through the stealers as most other bikes, but the basic stuff you can do yourself. Teach urself the more advanced stuff as after all you will be in the bundoes with no one to call.

    As mentioned, no bike is perfect out of the box and a few mods will be required depending on what u wanna do with it, windshield, bigger footpegs, skidplate and riding gear etc. It is gonna cost...

    M2c worth
    Last edited by JJ-Namibia; 2021/04/18 at 10:39 AM.
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  18. #15
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    My advice is to buy a cheaper bike until you get a bit of experience.

    First of all, youíre going to drop it - especially if youíre riding off-road or on gravel. You wonít enjoy it if youíre constantly worried about dropping a new bike. Buy something that you can batter a bit until you gain more skill.

    Secondly, when I bought my first bike I was 100% sure that I wanted a sports tourer. After about a year, I realised that what I really wanted was a dual-sport. I only figured this out by riding around and realising that the places that I wanted to ride required a dual-sport bike.

    If you buy a cheaper bike and ride it for a year or two until you get into it properly, then youíll be able to invest in a new bike that will suit your needs.

    Iím short, so donít know the plight of a tall rider on a small bike but I will say not to be put off by smaller engines or power ratings. Experienced riders will enjoy the benefits of a more powerful bike but you donít really need it as a newbie. If you learn how to ride and overtake on a lower powered bike, those skills will stand to you in time, even when youíre riding a more powerful bike.

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  20. #16
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    A Suzuki 650 V-Strom would be perfect for your requirements.

    Its the same dimensions as the 1000, so enough space and comfort.

    The 650 motor is powerful enough, but very user friendly.

    Older ones start very cheaply and you should get a late model for around R100k.


    A WK, XJ and a Ducati...

  21. #17
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    Thank you all for the great advise, so far.

    Most of you seem advice me to get omething in the the 600 range rather than the 300 range I was initially looking at. You're sure that such bikes are not too heavy for a beginner like me?

    Due to my budget, this means a second hand bike. How old is too old for a second hand bike, and what is generally considered high mileage?

    Before I make my decision, I will first take a course and see if this whole thing suits me. Are they courses that provide bikes?

  22. #18
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    Out of intrest sake, how are Crosby Adventure bikes? When I was looking around I came across the following add for a new Crosby Adventure 400.

    https://www.gumtree.co.za/a-motorcyc...e=ananzi.co.za

  23. #19
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    I donít know the Crosbyís but for your first bike you need to buy something you can offload easily after a year or so. I donít think the Crosby will fit that bill, too unknown.

    You will most likely outgrow your beginner bike (not always), so itís worthwhile looking at the mainstream brands. Just makes life simpler.

  24. #20
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    Default Re: KTM 390 Adventure or Kawasaki Versys X 300

    You'll be fine on a 600. Agree with the V Strom, buy second hand.

    If you are concerned about basic skills attend a beginners course. Generally these schools can also assist with getting your license. Check if they can give you package discount.

    Riding a bike is about being responsible. You are responsible for making sure you are safe. Get good gear, always use it (ATGATT - all the gear all the time). Cagers will not see you, or see you and not care. Make sure you can handle the situation safely.

    Lastly have fun. Riding a bike gives you a form of freedom other people will never understand.
    Baa Baa Black Jeep
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