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Thursday, September 6, 2012

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300

The Kawasaki Ninja has always been a radical family in all it's classes, and Kawasaki has always taken upon the competition and the market forces head-on and as always been very vocal about it, be it the launch of the re-vamped 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R or the 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R. What ever Kawasaki did, the company never restrained itself to go straight to the competition, knock on the door and asked  "this is mine, it's your move now".

Kawasaki itself admits that the Kawasaki Ninja 250 (with or without the "R" badge) has always been it's most popular motorcycle. In all rights, Kawasaki is right about it. The Ninja 250 has all the right bits, in the right amount and in the right proportion. In it's 2008 avatar, the quarter litre Ninja became even more popular, with it's Super-Sport styling, blistering performance and easy ride ability, both for starters and pros. For 2013, Kawasaki looks like in a mood to paint the world green, specially the canvas of the sub-litre class. Just before Kawasaki's "Time Square Takeover", the team green un-veiled the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 (without the "R" badge) and sent a shock wave so strong that we are still trying to get over it.

Want to know more about this 300cc Ninja....? Well, read on...


Engine - 296cc, Liquid cooled, four stroke . parallel twin, DOHC, 8 valves.
Bore x Stroke - 62 x 49 mm
Compression Ratio - 10.6:1
Lubrication - Forced lubrication, wet sump
Induction - Fuel injection: 32 mm x 2 (Keihin), with dual throttle valves
Ignition/Starting - TCBI with Digital Advance/electric
Max Power - 39 hp @ 11000 rpm
Max Torque - 27.0 Nm @ 10000 rpm
Transmission/Drive - 6 Speed/chain
Primary reduction ratio - 3.087 (71/23)
Gear Ratio - 1st 2.714 (38/14), 2nd 1.789 (34/19), 3rd 1.409 (31/22), 4th 1.160 (29/25), 5th 1.000 (27/27), 6th 0.893 (25/28)
Final reduction ratio - 3.000 (42/14)
Clutch - Wet multi-disc, manual

What the Ninja 300 has achieved with a bump of 47cc over the Ninja 250 is almost 6 bhp of peak power performance and almost 6 Nm of torque distribution, allowing the Ninja 300 to deliver better, strong and linear bottom and mid-range performance and at the same time churning out a tidal wave of top end performance for it's class (we might still have to put the Ninja 300 in the quarter liter class). The Ninja 300 also features all new die-cast aluminum cylinders, just like it's bigger siblings, the ZX-10R and ZX-6R. The new design features the new open-deck design, resulting in excellent heat dissipation and weighs 600 gm less than the previous generation cylinders. Complementing the new cylinder approach are the new light weight pistons with flatter crows and hard allumite coating, which not only reduce the reciprocating weight allowing the pistons to operate faster, but also are very rigid to maintain high speed durability.

The Ninja 300 comes with quite some specs on the sheet, like
  • Dual Throttle Valves,
  • F.C.C Assist and Slipper Clutch for lighter clutch actuation and sporty feel,
  • Back-Torque limiter 
to name a few and if those specs are something to transform into real world performance, then this 300 means some serious business.

Not only this, first introduced with the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R, the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 also get the advanced heat air-flow management through it's newly designed full fairing, allowing the hot air from the radiator fan to be thrown out from below the rider's feet resulting in better ride experience.

Chassis and Geometry

Frame - Tube diamond, steel
Rake/Trail - 27° / 93 mm
Front Suspension - 37 mm telescopic fork, 120mm wheel travel.
Rear Suspension - Bottom-Link Uni-Track with gas-charged shock and 5-way adjustable pre-load, 132mm wheel travel.
Front Brakes - Single 290 mm petal disc Single balanced actuation dual-piston
Rear Brakes - Single 220 mm petal disc Caliper: Dual-piston
Front Tyre - 110/70-17 M/C 54S
Rear Tyre - 140/70-17 M/C 66S
Dimensions (L x W x H) - 2,015 mm x 715 mm x 1,110 mm
Wheelbase - 1,405 mm
Seat Height - 785 mm
Ground Clearance - 140 mm
Curb-Weight - 172 kg - 174 kg (ABS)
Fuel Capacity - 17 Litres

The 2013 Ninja 300 gets a stiffer steel tube diamond frame, even though, I personally would have expected a perimeter frame doing it's job instead of a steel tube diamond frame. Kawasaki claims that the newly designed chassis would provide the Ninja 300 with race track level chassis stability, transforming the new green into notoriously mean.

New for the 2013 model year, the Ninja 2013 gets optional Nissin ABS system, which boasts of world's smallest and compact ABS system available in the market. Personally, I'm not expecting Super Sports genre performance from the ABS system, but having this optional feature does shine bright in real world road usage.

With a peak power of almost 30 hp, the Ninja 300 boasts of a Power : Weight ratio of  a stratospheric 226.74 hp per tonne for the Non-ABS version and 224.13 hp per tonne for ABS version.

The Ninja 300 gets a fatter 140 section rubber down rear not only adding to it's big bike aesthetics, but also for better high speed straight line and corner stability. We can only hope the rubber on the new Ninja is of soft compound radial type as the Ninja 250 rubber have often been criticized has been "woody".

Styling and Equipment

The new Ninja 300 looks coming straight from the womb of the ZX-10R, with a proper twin head lamp assembly, front end angle, body lines inspired from the ZX-10R, the Ninja 300 oozes the big bike aura from all corners, with a massive front body work and comparatively minimalistic tail section. The new wheels and the heat dissipation mechanism are inspired from the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R and the Ninja 300 also get the floating type wind screen like the ZX-10R. So, from the Ninja 300, the rider gets the best bits from the Kawasaki flag-ships.

The Kawasaki Ninja 250R was primarily criticized for it's analog console in a world when even a 125cc motorcycle comes equipped with digital gizmo. The 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 changes all that for good. The instrumentation cluster of the Ninja 300 comes equipped with -
  • Analog Tach dial
  • Digital Speedo console
  • Clock
  • Fuel Gauge (another this that was a miss in the Ninja 250)
  • Dual Trip meters
  • Odometer
  • ECO Economical Riding Indicator
The white LED back lit console ensures that the reading the necessary bits is effortless both at night and during the day.

The Kawasaki Ninja 300, even without it's "R" badge is meant to be the top predator in it's class, and even though it's yet to be ridden by the press, if we are to believe by the specs on paper, this Ninja is going to slice through effectively that the competition would need to re-think their strategy as they recuperate from the assault.

Bajaj Auto Ltd. is yet to make any announcement for the Ninja 300 and all fingers crossed on as to when they decide to launch the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 and at what price.

Specs and Image courtesy - Kawasaki Ninja, UK.

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  1. Cut through the competition you say... I do not see any competition in the 300cc category to cut through!!! :)

  2. Ken Da,

    Well, I would say that the Ninja 300 would be aligned with the quarter litre category only unless and untill a new 300cc category is created with more manufacturers joining this genre. In my understanding it's more like the litre class, where bikes with 1000cc, or 1199cc or 1198cc all fall into the litre class only :)

    So, with this point view, the Ninja 300 "should" give it's competition some sleepless times :)

  3. Bike looks ace swing arm and front spindle castlated nut and ret pin look bit cheap though.
    300cc? Sweeeeeeeeet.
    like the idea of abs which means im now upright when i hit stuff.
    Only two questions......are they free........... do they come pre crashed. Yetti

    1. @Yetti,
      Pre Crashed?? Could you elaborate please?? :)


Item Reviewed: 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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