Only when Royal Enfield introduced their adventure motorcycle in the market, the Himalayan, all other major motorcycling brands started paying attention towards this segment. The Himalayan was praised all over by the Indian auto media for being a fantastic product by the Chennai-based motorcycle maker. The bike is also currently doing decent sales for Royal Enfield and hence proves that India is a major market for small cc adventure bikes. Enter BMW and Kawasaki. Both of these brands recently showcased their offerings in the small adventure tourer segment. So today we calculate which bike among the three can prove to the best package overall.
Everybody say looks are a subjective matter, but we don’t think that holds true in this case. All of the three bikes look vastly different from each other. The Royal Enfield Himalayan has been designed from the ground up that means it is not supposed to carry any of its styling cues from any other big bike of Royal Enfield. While talking about the rest two, both of the remaining bikes are the smallest offerings in their respective family tree. What we mean by that is, the BMW G 310 GS is the smallest member of the BMW adventure GS family while the Versys X-300 is the same in the Versys line of bikes. These bikes carry major designing elements from their bigger bikes.
The BMW G 310 GS looks absolutely stunning with the front extended beak, muscular tank, golden front forks and GS inspired styling. While the Versys X-300 doesn’t look any less than the latter. It has been designed to be more functional than the BMW. With spoke wheels, adventure inspired ergonomics, long travel suspension and much more, the Kawasaki Versys doesn’t look any less.
It is the BMW G 301 GS that steals the show when it comes to looks as it has mildly fresh design with all the right amount of aggressiveness and geometry of an adventurer. On the other hand, the Himalayan proves to be a total outsider in terms of looks as it feels retro and bit dated for today’s comparison.
Engine, Functionality, and Performance:
Among all three, the Kawasaki Versys X-300 is the only bike which has a twin-cylinder engine. To clearly give you an idea, a twin-cylinder engine is famous for delivering bizarre starting range performance, and that means you will have more than enough grunt at the low end to make your way out from the slush mud and dirt. Rest of the two-run on single-cylinders. Also, it is the most powerful, tried & tested as well as reliable engine out of the all. It shares the same engine as Kawasaki Ninja 300. As peradventure needs, we are sure it will be tuned for better torque output at the mid and low range. While the BMW G 300 GS engine delivers larger torque than one of the Versys. It is the only power mill out of the three that hasn’t been tested in real life yet. While other two have been around for quite some time now. Himalayan is the least powerful of all even after packing highest cc in this comparison.
The BMW G 310 GS carries the same instrumental cluster found on its naked sibling. It is technically sound and displays everything necessary when it comes to daily riding needs. On the other hand, the display on the Kawasaki is a semi-digital display that also packs an analog tachometer and a digital screen that displays everything from gear, speed, trip and clock. While the display on the Himalayan is also very informative but is cluttered at the same time. It also has a digital compass.
It is the Kawasaki Versys X-300 that clearly makes a difference when it comes to functionality. It ticks all the right boxes when it comes to needs of an adventure junkie. It has correctly positioned ergonomics that should provide a right balance between daily and off-road needs, it is a clearly superior engine than both of its competitors and also carries the right amount of sharp lines and edges to woo all the bike enthusiasts. Overall it’s the Kawasaki Versys X-300 that makes the most adventure friendly bike in this category.
Also read: KTM 390 Duke vs BMW G 310 R
|Versys X-300||296cc||Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke Parallel Twin||39 hp @ 11,000 rpm||21Nm torque @ 10,000 rpm||6-speed||17-litres||Front: Single 290 mm disc. Caliper: Single balanced actuation dual piston||YES|
|G 300 GS||313cc||single-cylinder water-cooled||34bhp @ 9500rpm||28Nm @ 7500rpm||6-speed||11-litres||Front: Radially bolted 4-piston fixed caliper 300 mm disc barkes||YES|
|Himalayan||411cc||Single Cylinder Air-Cooled 4 Stroke SOHC.||24.5 bhp @ 6500 rpm||32 NM @ 4000 – 45000 rpm||5-speed||15-litres||Front: 300mm disc in front with steel barided lines.||NO|