Kawasaki Ninja 300 Review and Ride Experience

Kawasaki Ninja 300 Review

After two decades of ruling the quarter litre segment worldwide, Kawasaki lays its stake to continue to rule the world with the launch of Ninja 300. The Japanese manufacturer, instead of just upgrading the Ninja 250R with minor tweaks here and there, which majority of manufacturers do with their winning models, created a whole new different machine.

Ninja 300 is a beautiful combination of superb power, impressive performance, agile handling, improved efficiency and crisp styling. I got my hands on the green goblin and after riding it just for a day I got only one thing to say – “Tonight, we Ride to Hell!”

Here is my Kawasaki Ninja 300 review and riding experience.

Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki Ninja 300

 

Power, Performance and Delivery

Kawasaki Ninja 300 – “Evolution at its Best”

The new Kawasaki Ninja 300 runs on a four-stroke, 296cc parallel-twin liquid-cooled engine. The fuel injected motor generates a maximum power of 39bhp @ 11000rpm, with a peak torque of 2.8kgm produced @ 10000rpm. What the hell does this mean? It means you have a state-of-the-art missile at your disposal and the control of this better be in experienced hands.

You may wonder if a 47cc increase in power mill and a raise of 6 bhp would make much of a difference, compared to the 250R, but the moment you experience the Ninja 300, you’ll realize it’s a unique motorcycle by itself. Despite sharing some configuration and a few parts from its predecessor, there is a different personality to the 300. You’ll land up saying, “Wow…this is a whole new motor…”

Other aspects and improvements worth mentioning about this new mill are,

– Increase in the size of the valves
– Pistons are now weighing lighter than before
– Increase in stroke which obviously gives the plus number in cc
– 600gm lighter sleeveless die-cast cylinders
– The engine is rubber mounted
– Vibe free engine
– New slipper clutch system

Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki Ninja 300

 

A prominent issue with the Ninja 250R was that it was a sleeping giant until it reached 6000rpm. The real performance of that motor was found in the mid-range and beyond. But in Ninja 300 you can feel the torque right from 2000rpm itself. Just pop the clutch and the bike is ready to go boom from the first gear. This also makes climbing steep slopes on 2nd or 3rd gear effortless and stress free.

Now, do not worry about 6000+rpms in the Ninja 300. The question is – Do you have what it takes to handle this beast?! At a flick of the wrist, the bike is ready to show you what it is really made of. The twin cylinder engine is all set to give you instant throttle response and takes you up to three figure speed within no time. You’ll be in the 100kph+ range in just about 7 seconds, 1 second faster than the Ninja 250R. One thing is evident; we don’t have a large number of wide roads where you can legitimately test the potential of such bikes, so you could probably touch the 160 mark and immediately slow down. You may also notice that even after touching 160kph, the rpm needle is still not very close to the red line which means there is one more level to go!!!

The heat dispersion system also has been given attention to. You do not feel warm air on your thighs or anywhere near your feet like in earlier models, also the noise of the radiator fan can hardly be heard. This can be observed if the bike is kept idling in stationary position for a few minutes.

The 6-speed (1-down 5-up) gearbox imparts smooth, well weighted shifts. We can say the feeling is similar to the 250R but gentler and smoother than its predecessor and the immense rush of power is clearly revealed at every shift.

Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki Ninja 300

 

Proud owners of the 250R the world over would often express their desire to have softer clutch lever on their bikes on various Kawasaki forums. The engineers at Kawasaki made a note of it and introduced the “slipper clutch” with which the Ninja 300 seems like a child play. Here is why.

Slipper Clutch

We just love it when we get to know that motorcycles with world renowned technologies are launched in India.

Here is the scene to understand the “slipper clutch” system practically – Let’s say we are engaged in a high speed ride and out of nowhere “Rossi’s” ghost decides to enter our body and nudges us to downshift our gears for that “Vroomm” feeling and we do just that. Now with the normal clutch system on our bikes in the event of sudden down shift of gear we would feel a deep jerk on our entire body rendering us imbalanced and at the same time increasing our chances of locking the rear wheel many folds.

This is where the slipper clutch system comes into play; with Rossi’s ghost in action, we downshift the gear suddenly, the slipper clutch system partially disengages itself allowing some amount of revolutions to bypass which prevents the rear wheels from getting locked up and enables a jerk-free ride too.

To truly appreciate this system, take the Ninja 300 on twisties and slopes and let the ghost out.

On the fuel economy front, we were able to derive an average of 37kmpl.

Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki Ninja 300

 

Comfort and Handling

Long rides have now become a boon on the Ninja 300. Earlier, sitting on 250R was like sitting on a slab of rock and going for a ride. The seats are still hard, even in the 300, but much better – The seating position gives a sporty feel and you just have to bend a little forward for a comfortable reach out to the handle bars. The new mirrors now have more viewing (Read wider view) to them. Even for a horizontally challenged (Real Huge) guy like me who was wearing armoured motorcycle jacket I could view over 80 per cent of uninterrupted background picture in the rear view mirror.

The newly designed tank is perfect for cruising as well as for fast rides. You can grip the tank with your legs during high speeds and feel oneness with the bike at ONCE.

No other bike felt as stable as the Ninja 250R in its segment. And with the Ninja 300, the feeling is confidently carried forward with few improvements for holding on a more powerful engine.

The bike is very swift in handling despite being in the 170kgs+ category. Manoeuvring in city is as easy and riding on highway is heavenly.

Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki Ninja 300

 

Styling and Lineaments – Who is the designer?

May not be Picasso or Manish Malhotra, but we sure have some design geniuses at the Kawasaki design department! You ride the Ninja anywhere and we bet you’ll make some (ALL) head turn.

Although the inspiration for Ninja 300 comes from many of its siblings but this one, just steals the show. The floating windscreen and integrated signal indicators come from ZX-10R- The dual headlights from the ZX-6R. Wheel and side fairing design are from the ZX-14R and the new overhauled silencer and foot-pegs from other big brother (models). The rear of Ninja 300 looks somewhat like the 250R with 10 per cent improvisation of the tail and under seat area.

However, if you keep both the bikes, 250R and 300 side by side, from some angles you’ll find the 300 seem lighter and leaner over the prior variant. But that is NOT true, obviously.

The moment you get close to the bike, you will be tempted to brush your hand over the body to feel the deep glossy surface. Ninja 300 today is probably one of the best looking motorcycles in the world in its class by far.

As many would agree, 300 is a bike to drool for!

Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki Ninja 300

 

Braking and Suspension

The front comes with a 290mm single petal disc while the rear with 220 mm one, each equipped with dual-piston callipers.

Braking is in par with its overall performance only when you don’t compare it with the 250R. Evaluating the braking by comparing it with the earlier Ninja models will not give the right judgment here. Some might find the braking in the 250R more powerful while first timers may feel what they have on 300 is the best.

After riding on steep slopes, downhill, taking sharp corners and going a little off track we are satisfied to say that braking is pretty much up to the mark. You don’t get an ABS option in the Indian version, but the question remains, do we really need it? Read, all you really need to know about ABS.

The suspension of the Ninja 300 is somewhat on the stiffer side, just like the 250R, although the front telescopic forks and the rear adjustable Uni-trak suspension have been improved to deliver a smooth ride and stable handling over a wide range of speed and road conditions. Best is to keep the default company settings. The wider IRC tyres are impressive rubber. The bike handles well at corners during low as well as high speeds. Confident and agile are the words that best describe the feeling. Tires being made of soft compound will get exhausted in the 12000-15000 km range but that should not be a bother because thereafter, you can go for MRF Zapper Q which now comes in a tubeless variant which has a Life-expectancy of 25000kms.

Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki Ninja 300

 

Instrument cluster and console

Only analogue pods for reading makes way a very stylish digital and analogue instrument console designed to impress and guide.

You have the tachometer in analogue design at the centre, warning lights get their individual positions and a cool digital screen on the right side dedicated for quick reads.

Warning lights consist of low battery voltage, OBD port, engine oil pressure, engine temperature, neutral shift light and high beam indicators along with two trip-meters and a clock on the digital screen. Also something new you’ll notice is an ECO sign appearing every now and then next to the speedometer. Its appearance represents that you are in the economy mode. It’s a handy feature to have in the console of the bike. Fuel economy is expected to be around 25km/litre, though we did not get to test this. But depending on your riding style, the efficiency figure can get impressive. Note: On Ninja 250R we managed to get an average of 40km/litre over the company mentioned 26km/litre. The magic is in your hand 🙂

With the 300, we finally get the pass switch, which was painfully missed on the 250R. Headlamps are still on the DRL, so no off switch on this one too. We could not see them in action as it was a day ride but based on what Kawasaki has delivered till now, surely the light spread will not be disappointing.

Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki Ninja 300

 

Verdict

So the big question is Should I Buy the Kawasaki Ninja 300? Absolutely! Ninja 300 is a hands down winner in all departments. Kawasaki has left no stone unturned. Whatever could be upgraded from the 250R has now been brought to a new standard in the 300. Also, Kawasaki will be the first to get this new segment in India. Currently, there stands no competition to the motorcycle and with regards to the after sales service; Bajaj Probiking is already prepared in delivering premium quality service for the maintenance of the motorcycle.

The only thing that goes against the bike is the whopping price tag. The bike comes for Rs. 3.85 lacs on-road Mumbai. Immediately, the comparison starts with CBR 250R, the upcoming Duke 390 and other Honda machines which are most likely to arrive in India in the next few months but like mentioned before, the Ninja 300 is a unique motorcycle and CANNOT BE compared with anything else. You have to see it from this perspective. If you feel the price is high, then you must understand the fact that for this amount you are surely getting the best, modern, state-of-the-art motorcycle from Kawasaki. So if you have the money to shell out, then yes, this motorcycle is the ideal choice to satisfy your sport, touring and commuting needs. You may even go ahead and get these 5 useful accessories for the Ninja 300 that will take the stance of the motorcycle a notch higher.

So here I conclude my Kawasaki ninja 300 review. Do leave a feedback in the comments section to let me know what you think.

“Tonight, we Ride to Hell!!!”

Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki Ninja 300

 

High Five for

  1. The new refreshed look
  2. Improved handling and dynamics
  3. Power distribution across RPMs
  4. Ample under seat storage for tools and documents

Wish it had

  1. Fibre extension on the Front mud guard to protect the radiator from dirt and debris hitting on it during monsoons. (You can still get the aftermarket product.)

Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki Ninja 300

 

Tech Specs:

Engine Type: Liquid cooled, 4- stroke Parallel Twin

Displacement – 296 cm3

Bore and Stroke – 62.0 X 49.0 mm

Compression ratio: 10.6:1

Valve system – DOHC, 8 Valves

Fuel System: Fuel Injection Φ32mm x 2 (Keihin) with dual throttle valves.

Ignition: Digital

Starting: Electric

Lubrication: Forced Lubrication, Wet sump

Transmission: 6-speed return

Maximum Power – 29.0 KW {39PS}/11,000 rpm

Maximum Torque: 27 N.m {2.8 kgf.m} / 10.000rpm

 

Frame, Tyres and Brakes

Type: Tube diamond, steel

Wheel travel: Front: 120mm

Rear: 132mm

Tyre: Front 110/70 – 17M/C 54S

Rear: 140 /70 -17 M/C 66S

Brake Front:  Type: Single 290mm petal Disc

Caliper: Single Balanced actuation dual –piston

Brake Rear: Type: single 220 mm Petal disc

Caliper: Dual –piston

 

Dimensions

Overall length: 2,015 mm

Overall width: 715 mm

Overall height: 1,11omm

Wheelbase: 1,405 mm

Ground clearance: 140 mm

Seat height: 785mm

Curb Mass: 172 kg

Fuel Capacity: 17 litres

Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki Ninja 300

 

Also published in MyBikeMyWorld.com

5 Useful Accessories for the New Ninja 300

After the entire patient wait for the new Ninja 300 from Kawasaki, it is finally available for bookings at a Pro biking dealer near you. It’s supposed to be the next gen upgrade to the best selling quarter litre bike of all time – The Ninja 250R. To takes things even further I went scouting for some cool accessories for the Ninja 300. Checkout my pick…

Kawasaki Ninja 300 Review also present on Wanderlust Biker.

Kawasaki Ninja 300

Kawasaki Ninja 300 now has dual independent head lamps

1. Adjustable levers

Apparently, Kawasaki has provided adjustable brake and clutch levers for the 650cc and upward segments. Adjustable levers add comfort and convenience for riding as well as enhance the handling of the motorcycle. Not the aftermarket levers, but OEM products are available on Amazon for the Kawasaki Ninja 300. If you don’t prefer the online option, wait a little for them to arrive at the motorcycle accessory stores of India.

2. Aftermarket exhaust

If you think the sound of the exhaust has been beefed up in the new Ninja 300, you are sorely mistaken. Sorry about that! Despite altering the low and mid level torque along with a few tweaks, the sound of the exhaust remains pretty close to that of the Ninja 250R. If you are looking for that roar in your Ninja 300, pick the aftermarket exhausts. Some good ones are from Yoshimura, M4 and Leo Vince GP Corsa Slip-On Exhaust.

3. Crash guard

Like it or not, a crash guard is the most important accessory to buy for a motorcycle. Be it Kawasaki or any other brand, to protect the bike in case of a fall, it is absolutely necessary. You could also save a few bucks on the bill thereafter. OEM as well as aftermarket parts are available for the Ninja 300.

Ninja 300

Ninja 300 at the press launch

4. Wheel rim tapes and Tank pad

Accessories, not just for protection, but also for styling are worth spending money on. The tank pad and rim tapes have little safety feature attached to them but they are great products to add some shine and spark to the motorcycle. My personal take? White rim tapes go nicely with the Ninja 300 Green while the red ones suit the White 300.  As for the tank pad, you have a couple of options with the Ninja theme. A simple carbon black still looks best.

5. Front mud guard fender extension

Very few people know about this accessory. Only Kawasaki Ninja riders know that there is not much protection given to the radiator of the bike. The dirt and debris which fly off the front tyre hit the radiator grill head on, eventually damaging the pattern of the grill on the radiator. As per Kawasaki, it is not a threat but taking into consideration the Indian road conditions, you may even see a rock flying off and racing towards your bike.

‘Pyramid Plastics Kawasaki Ninja 250R 08-11 Fender Extender’ is available for the Ninja 250R and the same fits on the new Ninja 300 as well. It is a must have for all Indian riders who intend to buy the new Ninja 300.

Kawasaki Ninja 300 Accessories

Vital accessories for the new Kawasaki Ninja 300

Most products and accessories for the Kawasaki Ninja 300 are available on Amazon.com but now, with the launch of the bike in India, some of them will be available in biking accessory stores across India in less than a month.

10 Questions to Answer Before Buying the Ninja 300

The New Ninja 300 is the talk of the town. Bajaj made a quite press launch in Pune last week, where they mentioned the Ninja 300 is superb upgrade to the Kawasaki Ninja 250R.

With all the hot topics trending around the bike, the prime one is the price that has made headlines. This baby is all your for Rs3.85 lacs on road in Mumbai.

The motorcycle looks top notch but, is the bike really for you?

Here I have put 10 question that one should ask self if he or she is considering to buy the new Ninja 300.

Kawasaki Ninja 300

The New Ninja 300

1. Do I believe I can afford this motorcycle?

In Mumbai, the bike is priced at Rs 3.85 lacs. It may even rise close to Rs 4 lakh too. The bike is expensive, spare parts are not cheap either, and service – maintenance will chew away a good amount of bucks too. However, evidently, Ninja is a name one can blindly rely on. The quality and durability of the parts are superb. Hence, it just might be worth every penny put in.

2. Do I think that the price of this bike is justified?

As already mentioned, the quality of the parts and components of the Ninja 300 are state-of-the-art. It’s rare to face an issue of a break down or a fault in power and performance aspects of the motorcycle.

The point is that a tempting refined feel of the motorcycle can be felt in the first ride itself. But somehow the price has also gone a little over the top. However, if you can fit in the bill, why not? Surely, this bike means serious business.

3. If I put little over a lakh rupees in the price of Ninja 300, I can buy a Ninja 650 instead!

That’s too subjective answer. The Ninja 300 is a racing beauty while the Ninja 650 is the sports tourer. They both differ in many aspects. It’s totally up to the individual! Just to get things in perspective, even the 250R has been taken across the country for road trips through Ladakh and Kashmir!  And, 250R is a pure track machine! Nuff said!

4. Is the Ninja 300 really worth it?

Take the pricing off the mind, just for a second. Every feature in the Ninja 300 has an analysis behind. Kawasaki have not just gotten up from a deep slumber to launch the 300. They have most definitely done their homework and brought out something they can proudly say, its the next gen of the Ninja 250R. It’s a worthy motorcycle and commands respect.

5. Does this bike satisfy my main requirement! Touring, Sport, etc?

Riders must consider asking themselves the most important question — what do I see myself doing with this bike? In India, we have riders who tour on a cruiser as well as on sportsbike. Bikers have ridden to Khardung La on a Royal Enfield as well as on a Ninja. Knowing the very purpose of buying this bike needs a serious thought.

Kawasaki Ninja 300

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300

6. Should I go for the KTM Duke 390 instead?

Duke 390 is the much awaited bike of the year. The price of the motorcycle is speculated to be half of what Ninja 300 is set at. If price is the only the deciding factor, KTM Duke 390 may appear to be a sensible buy!

7. What if I spend on an alternate bike and invest in motorcycle protective and safety gears!

Ninja is a bike that represents power, performance and dynamism. Your protective and safety gears should not be ignored at all. And when riding a sportsbike, you cannot go in for just any cheap — local gear or accessory. You really need to invest on proper sturdy safety products and gear. The best ones start from Rs.10000/-upwards. So, it makes sense if you consider upgrading your safety gear instead of your bike.

8. Can I afford the maintenance of this motorcycle?

Kawasaki riders already know very well how expensive the service and maintenance of the Ninja can get. The service cost itself, minus the consumables is close to Rs1000. So, we can easily expect a premium bill for maintenance on the 300 too. One good thing about the Ninja, however, is all parts and components used in the making are known for their longevity.

9. If I already own a Ninja 250R, should I upgrade to this bike? Should I pin my hopes on the Pulsar 375 instead or wait for any other bike to be launched?

Ninja 250R is already owned by many riders in India. Despite double the price of CBR 250R, the bike has a strong fan following. If a current Ninja 250R owner opts for the Ninja 300, s/he will not be jumping a big leap in terms of upgrade. Yes, everything in the new Ninja 300 just went a level higher, but taking into consideration the condition of the roads we have here, in India, Ninja 250R lives up to the highest expectation.

Pulsar 375 will be out by 2013 year end. One never knows what cards Bajaj intends to play. It may be well worth it to wait and watch before making the final decision.

10. Should I take a test ride first! Or wait for some user reviews to come out!

There are some motorcycles which you just have to take a look and end up feeling yes, this bike is made for me. It’s rather difficult to explain but, for instance, there are many who have felt this when they saw the KTM Duke 200 first. Do you feel the same about the Ninja 300? This one has to be answered by the individual. Whether to test ride it? Whether to read up rider reviews?

Kawasaki Ninja 300

Kawasaki Ninja 300

These are but just simple guidelines before taking the big plunge. It’s best to analyse it on an individual basis. Pretty soon I’ll put the first ride review of the new Ninja 300. Visit Wanderlust Biker later again.

Would you like to know what happened at the Kawasaki Ninja 300 press launch?

Kawasaki Ninja 300 Launched: What is my first impression on seeing the motorcycle!

The first photo of Kawasaki Ninja 300 was already on the web in the last quarter of 2012. Since then media was just speculating that the launch is just around the corner.

Finally on April 10th, 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 was launched in Pune, India.

Ninja 300

I reached the press conference 10 mins late, but just before the bike was unveiled by the Bajaj bosses I entered and found a seat.

With a nail biting visuals in my head I was just counting the seconds in which the curtain was ready to go up. And what a grand machine took stance in front of me and the other journalists. Seeing something in person always gives the best feeling.

The Ninja 300 is really the true upgrade of the Ninaj 250R. The bike has some pretty good new features and all the outdated stuff like the analogue console have been replace with the modern parts that match with today’s style and dynamism.

A detailed log of the press launch of Ninja 300 my colleague has posted in MyBikeMyWorld.com (Do visit there)

If you ask me, divide the motorcycle in two. Cut it from the centre and then compare with the Ninja 250R.

Majority of the upgrades are all in the front side while the rear pretty much looks the same. Although minor carving are present at the rear side but not vivid enough to mention.

The front headlight face looks very similar to the Ninja 650. In fact this one looks like a leaner younger brother of the mid-weight bike from Kawasaki (Ninja 650).

The beauty of the Ninja lies in its reliability. It is a very good looking bike and makes a star out of you.

Now the only thing that bugs me is the whooping price tag on it. As Indian I would really like to think this way, that if I can mange a little over a lac rupees then why should I not go for the Ninja 650 itself. I know they should not be compared but at the end of the day, price is something we all are going to evidently make our decision on.

Despite having sporty elements and a beautiful super sport style appearance, down the line all roads are the same for these high end machine and price will always be a deciding factor when more than one product is present in that segment.

Ninja ruled till now and still will with the Ninja 300; but now expect tough competition from other brands who have stepped on the throttle to reach the number one spot.

I give a thumbs up to the bike. If I ignore the price tag then Ninja 300 has everything that what expects in a quarter litre segment.

Soon will put up the Kawasaki Ninja 300 review on Wanderlustbiker.com

Kawasaki Ninja 300

Technical Specifications

Engine Type:
Liquid cooled, 4- stroke Parallel Twin

Displacement – 296 cm3

Bore and Stroke – 62.0 X 49.0 mm

Compression ratio:
10.6:1

Valve system – DOHC, 8 Valves

Fuel System: Fuel Injection Φ32mm x 2 (keihin) with dual throttle valves.

Ignition:
Digital

Starting: Electric

Lubrication: Electic

Lubrication:
Forced Lubrication, Wet sump

Transmission: 6 Speed return

Maximum Power – 29.0 KW {39PS}/11,000 rpm

Maximum Torque: 27 N.m {2.8 kgf.m} / 10.000rpm

Frame Tyres and Brakes


Type:
Tube diamond, steel

Wheel travel:
Front: 120mm

Rear:
132mm

Tyre:
Front 110/70 – 17M/C 54S

Rear:
140 /70 -17 M/C 66S

Brake Front: 
Type: Single 290mm petal Disc

Caliper Single Balanced actuation dual
–piston

Brake Rear:
Type: single 220 mm Petal disc

Caliper:
Dual –piston

Dimensions


Overall length:
2,015 mm

Overall width:
715 mm

Overall height:
1,11omm

Wheelbase:
1,405 mm

Ground clearance: 140 mm

Seat height:
785mm

Curb Mass:
172 kg

Fuel Capacity:
17 litres

Kawasaki Ninja 250R 08-11 Fender Extender

Here is my latest buy that most Kawasaki Ninja 250R riders will appreciate it. Kawasaki Ninja 250R Fender Extender.

The very day I bought the motorcycle I was instructed by the service in charge people that take good care of the grill in front of the radiator. The material is very sensitive and delicate. There have already been complains of a brand new got damaged because many spray water on the grill in full force without knowing that its gonna screw the condition of that component.

Despite by best attempts, during the bike’s first long ride I was shocked to see how exposed the radiator is to debris and destructive materials as well as the water from the front tyre.

I was surprised how come Kawasaki team did not see this coming.

By the time I reached Chandigarh Probiking from Mumbai, my bike’s 30% of the grill appeared damaged or you can say little bent.

After the trip when I returned to Mumbai I immediately Googled and landed on a page where someone was selling Pyramid Plastics Kawasaki Ninja 250R 08-11 Fender Extender.

Kawasaki Ninja 250R Fender Extender

Just couple of days ago I have ordered one from eBay and very eager to resolve this issue permanently.

I recommend this product to all those who own the Kawasaki Ninja 250R. Its a must have for the long live of the radiator. Surely it will keep the force of water coming up on the radiator during the monsoon, away. Will probably protect from small stones which also come flying off from the front tyre.

The online price on the eBay page mentioned is USD39 minus the shipping charges. With shipping you’ll probably get it around USD50 approximately — the total, final figure.