2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 (ABS)

Sep 13, 2012 View Comments by

It is no secret that the 250r has been Kawasaki’s best-selling Ninja, and is commonly viewed as the perfect learner’s bike that provides an ample fun factor. I’m sure we would all enjoy an agile Ninja 250r to the fullest on some twisty backroads. However, many of us (and let’s be honest here) would not dare to roll up to some fellow riders with larger displacement bikes if we were riding a 250r. The skinny rear tire and overall tame and docile appearance does nothing to bolster our ego. Kawasaki is fully aware of the 250r’s perceived image, especially in the U.S., and has tasked their engineers and designers to put forth a quite impressive Ninja 300, while keeping the 250r in the line-up as well.

When seeing Kawasaki’s latest Ninja, the overall appearance of the bike more closely resembles its larger 636cc sibling. Most notably the bold 140/70-17 rear tire, the aggressive looking bodywork, and the dominant exhaust drive home the point that we are not looking at a merely upgraded 250r, but rather, a newly designed motorcycle from the ground up.

The 296cc liquid-cooled, parallel twin engine is tuned to deliver smooth and predictable power around town, plus excellent high-rpm performance on the highway. The carburetor has been retired in favor of a digital fuel injection (DFI) system to ensure improved cold starting, crisper throttle response, and better fuel economy.

Yet another upgrade is the new F.C.C. clutch with assist and slipper functions. The assist feature helps reduce the lever effort by up to 25 percent. The slipper clutch, which has its roots in racing, is designed to reduce the stress on the chain, engine, gearbox and clutch by increased back-torque (or engine braking) when downshifting.  Additionally, it helps alleviate rear wheel-hop when aggressively downshifting before a corner on the racetrack.

Two-piston hydraulic calipers squeeze the single 290mm front and 220mm rear rotors. An optional anti-lock braking system (ABS) is also available as an upgrade.

The Ninja 300 looks very promising, and we can’t wait to get our hands on one for a test ride.

 

TL;DR:

Highlights for 2013 Ninja 300:

  • 296cc engine
  • Six-speed transmission with new F.C.C. assist and slipper clutch
  • More aggressive fairing and integrated front signal lights
  • Wider rear tire

 

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 ABS
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin
Displacement: 296cc
Bore and Stroke: 62.0 x 49.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.6:1
Cooling: Liquid
Fuel Injection: DFI® with dual 32mm throttle bodies
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: Chain
Frame: Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
Wheelbase: 55.3 in
Rake / Trail: 27 degrees / 3.7 in
Front Suspension /
Wheel Travel:
37mm hydraulic telescopic fork / 4.7 in
Rear Suspension /
Wheel Travel:
Uni-Trak® with 5-way adjustable preload / 5.2 in
Front Tire: 110/70-17
Rear Tire: 140/70-17
Front Brake: Single 290mm petal-type disc with two-piston hydraulic caliper Single 290mm petal-type disc with two-piston hydraulic caliper and ABS
Rear Brake: Single 220mm petal-type disc with two-piston hydraulic caliper Single 220mm petal-type disc with two-piston hydraulic caliper and ABS
Dimensions Length: 79.3 in / Width: 28.1 in / Height: 43.7 in
Seat height: 30.9 in
Curb Weight: 379.3 lbs 383.7 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal
Color Choices: Ebony
Pearl Stardust White
Lime Green / Ebony with Special Edition Graphics
Lime Green / Ebony with Special Edition Graphics
MSRP Standard / SE: $4,799 / $4,999 $5,499
Warranty: 12 months
Optional Good Times Protection Plan 12, 24, 36 or 48 months 12, 24, 36 or 48 months
Website: www.kawasaki.com

 

 

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About the author

I've been riding street bikes since my early teens, and I've been addicted ever since. I can currently be found in Northern New Jersey on my quest to discover all the great backroads.