2018 Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs rivals: Specifications comparison

24th Jul 2018 3:58 pm

We compare the more-affordable, localised Kawasaki Ninja 300 to the KTM 390 Duke and the new BMW G 310 R.

Kawasaki has launched a heavily localised version of its entry-level sports bike, the Ninja 300 at Rs 2.98 lakh (ex-showroom, India). This makes the baby Ninja the most affordable Kawasaki offering in India and it sits alongside its larger sibling, the Ninja 400.

Interestingly, this price drop has also brought it closer to the KTM 390 Duke (Rs 2.42 lakh) and the new BMW G 310 R (Rs 2.99 lakh). Not only are they closer in terms of price, but performance and features as well. Here is how the three motorcycles compare on paper.

Disclaimer: We picked the 390 Duke over the RC 390 because it is newer, better equipped and priced closer to the 2018 Ninja 300.

Styling and equipment

The styling of the Ninja 300 is the oldest, but Kawasaki has done a decent job to spruce it up with new colour schemes. As with most Ninjas, the 300 uses fully-faired bodywork. The bike has a lot of design inspiration from the previous-generation ZX-10R – evident from the twin headlights and sharp design language. Despite being present in the Indian market for close to half a decade, the Ninja 300 still looks sporty and attractive. For 2018, Kawasaki has given the Ninja 300 dual-channel ABS as standard. The bike also comes equipped with a slipper clutch. However, this localised version does lose out on some it’s of its premium equipment. Braking components are made by Endurance and tyres are provided by MRF. That being said, the twin-cylinder motor has been carried forward from the CKD unit.

The KTM 390 Duke has the latest design of the three motorcycles here. Inspired by the latest-generation Super Duke 1290 R, it has a sharp styling with chiselled body panels. The split-LED headlight looks unique and most of the trellis frame is on display. This bike is also the most feature-rich model here, the only one to have all-LED lighting, ride-by-wire, adjustable levers, TFT instrumentation with phone connectivity, ABS modes and premium Metzeler tyres. The 390 also has the largest disc up front – 320mm. Like the Ninja 300, it also features a slipper clutch.

Coming to the BMW, the G 310 R is a couple of years older on the design front than the new 390 Duke but it is still newer than the Ninja 300. BMW has not felt the need to update the design over the last couple of years and have only introduced new red colour options. The 310 R, being a sport-naked, has a muscular tank, angular headlamp and compact dimensions. Aside from dual-channel ABS, the bike doesn’t have any other noteworthy features. Although it is well built and comes with Michelin tyres and Bybre brakes. The G 310 R and the 390 Duke also use an upside down fork, while the Ninja 300 uses a conventional unit.

Dimensions
Kawasaki Ninja 300KTM 390 DukeBMW G 310 R
Wheelbase1405mm1357mm1380mm
Seat height785mm830mm785mm
Disc brake size (f/r) 290mm/220mm320mm/230mm300mm/240mm
Tyres (f/r)110/70-17 / 140/70-17110/70-17 / 150/60-17110/70-17 / 150/60-17
Fuel tank capacity17 litres13.4 litres11 litres
Kerb weight179kg149kg*158.5kg

*Dry weight

Performance on paper

What makes the Ninja 300, stand out in this comparison is the fact that it’s the only bike here to feature a twin-cylinder motor. The296cc, parallel-twin twin-cylinder engine makes 39hp and 27Nm of torque. However, it has the highest kerb weight of the three bikes at 179kg. This means the Ninja 300 has a power-to-weight figure of 217.8hp/tonne. The G 310 R uses a single-cylinder 312.2cc motor that makes 34hp and 28Nm of torque. While it does have a comparatively low power figure, it is quite light with a kerb weight of 158.5kg, which results in a power-to weight ratio of 214.5hp/tonne.

It would not be fair to the other two motorcycles if we calculated the power-to-weight ratio of the 390 Duke with its dry weight. However, even with an estimated kerb weight of 165kg, it would still make the highest figure of 263.6hp/tonne.

Powertrain
Kawasaki Ninja 300KTM 390 DukeBMW G 310 R
EngineTwin-cylinder, DOHCSingle-cylinder, DOHCSingle-cylinder, DOHC
FuellingFuel-injectionFuel-injectionFuel-injection
Displacement296cc373.2cc312.2cc
Max power39hp at 11000rpm43.5hp at 9000rpm34hp at 9500rpm
Max torque27Nm at 10000rpm37Nm at 7000rpm28Nm at 7500rpm
Gearbox6-speed6-speed6-speed

Should you be interested in the Kawasaki Ninja 300?

Firstly, the Ninja 300 is the only motorcycle here to have a twin-cylinder bike and that gives it the advantage of smoothness and refinement as compared to a single-cylinder mill. It is also the only bike here to have fairing which makes it more aerodynamic as well as better-suited for touring. However ownership cost is on the higher end of the spectrum and spare parts are also expensive. Also, the effect of localisation on the quality and performance of the baby can only be gauged after we ride it.

The KTM 390 Duke is more hardcore and performance-focused in comparison, while offering great value. But it’s also the most difficult motorcycle of the trio to commute on. The G 310 R, on the other hand, offers premium build-quality and a well-loved German badge, but its sky-high pricing (for a single-cylinder) and restricted dealership network, work against it.

Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Kawasaki Ninja 300KTM 390 DukeBMW G 310 R
PriceRs 2.98 lakhRs 2.42 lakhRs 2.99 lakh

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