Kawasaki’s Ninja 250R came to India in 2009. The quarter litre champion achieved fair success here, and has now been upgraded with a 296cc engine to become the Ninja 300 in 2013. The 300 has just arrived on our shores.
The Ninja 300 has received major styling upgrades, and comes with ZX-10R inspired dual headlamps and a floating visor. Then there’s a sharper nose and tail section in keeping with latest generation large capacity Ninjas, plus dual tone body panels and flush fitted front turn indicators. The Ninja 300 deploys a new set of smart five-spoke alloy wheels and its engine and frame are finished in black. The 300 also gets larger revised fairing vents and a radiator fan cowl to dissipate heat effectively and away from its rider, a feature certain to prove a boon in our climate.
The rider reads a digital speedometer and analogue tachometer. The smartly designed digital display console also shows an odometer, fuel indicator, dual trip meters and clock, apart from an economy indicator. This time round, the Ninja gets a handy pass light switch as was earlier absent.
The Ninja 300 chain guard doubles as protection for the monoshock, keeping dirt and grime at bay. Under seat storage has been increased, the 300 now offering bi-level storage, with individual compartments for tools and documents. The Ninja 300 footrests are machined aluminium units giving it a proper big bike look.
The Ninja 300 houses a four-stroke, parallel-twin and liquid-cooled, 296cc engine. This fuel-injected engine generates maximum power of 38.5bhp at 11000rpm, with peak torque 2.8kgm and delivered at 10000rpm. The extensively reworked engine gets lighter pistons with flatter crowns and shorter connecting rods, sleeveless die-cast cylinders in an 'open deck' format, weighing in at 600gm less, plus a longer stroke cylinder that measures 62 x 49mm. Both intake ports are larger, and seat larger dia valves. The 300 also gets new crankcases. Power is sent to the rear tyre via a 1-down, 5-up shifted, 6-speed gearbox, helped by a slipper clutch system, usually only found on larger capacity motorcycles.
The Ninja 300 weighs 172kg and deploys a reworked rigid, diamond type, steel frame. The frame uses redesigned main tubes, with high tensile steel sections increasing rigidity. Rubber engine mounts are new. The Ninja 300 uses a pair of 37mm telescopic front forks, with softened spring rates and a linked, 5-way preload adjustable monoshock at rear. The bike provides a tubeless front (110/70 x 17inch) tyre and broader (140/70 x 17inch) rear tyre. The riding position remains sporty, but with slightly raised handlebars. The seat is a touch more narrow to better accommodate shorter riders. And the Ninja 300 provides Nissin made disc brakes, 290mm disc in front and 220mm unit at rear. However, the omission of ABS on the India-spec bike is quite an oversight on part of the manufacturer.
The Ninja 300 goes on sale immediately, for Rs 3.50 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) backed by Bajaj’s extensive (71 dealerships, to grow to 80 shortly) Probiking sales and after sales care network.
Ex-showroom price: Rs 3.5 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Installation Parallel twin
Type 296cc, twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke
Power 38.5bhp at 11000rpm
Torque 2.8kgm at 10000rpm
Type 6-speed, 1-down, 5-up
Wheel base 1405mm
Ground clearance 140mm
Chassis & Body:
Wheels 5-spoke alloy
Tyres 110/70 x 17 - 140/70 x 17 inches
Front Telescopic forks
box section swingarm
Front 290mm petal disc
Rear 220mm petal disc
Tank size 17 litres