Confirming what we already knew, the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 broke cover today, and is Team Green’s newest small-displacement sport bike in its motorcycle lineup. 296cc’s of twin-cylinder fury, Kawasaki the Ninja 300 boasts 40hp, twin-butterfly valves, fuel injection, a slipper clutch, a 140mm rear tire, and has optional ABS. A part of a larger movement within Kawasaki, the Ninja 300 exemplifies the “no replacement for displacement” school of thought, and will sell along-side the recently updated (and virtually visually identical) Kawasaki Ninja 250R in more than a few markets.

While we know that the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 is set to debut for our European readers, the big question mark will be whether the small sport bike will come to the North American markets. A spreadsheet from the EPA seems to suggest that will be the case, though it points to a carbureted Kawasaki Ninja 205R and fuel-injected Kawasaki Ninja 400R coming to the US as well, making for one impacted learner-bike market. Meanwhile, reports from Canada confirm that their 250R will also be of the carbureted variety.

The news confirms out suspicion that the Ninja 250R will remain the under-powered, and standard-styled, carbureted learner-bike it has always been in North America, while the Ninja 300 becomes the peppy small-displacement sport bike that we haven’t realized that we will lust over later this fall. Presumably then, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 will go head-to-head with the CBR250R and upcoming KTM Moto3-inspired street bike, among other models.


  • JoeD

    Any one remember box stock racing? How about club level racing? The old RD series. There used to be a much wider selection of class sizes for street bikes which slowly faded. These smaller bikes have a lot to like. Lower insurance, great to learn on and a sporty daily commuter. More is better.

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  • condition_ONE

    Watch the US get stuck with the 250R, and the 400 be a smaller displacement version of the current Ninja 650 (which I can’t stand). Anyone want to bet?

  • james

    @condition_ONE – What’s wrong with the Ninja 650r? My girlfriend wants to buy that to replace her Ninja 250r. I think it’s a good motorcycle for its intend purpose and audience.

  • Jason

    @james: I’m going to say why I wouldn’t want that. The bike would be bigger, bulkier, and HEAVIER than it ever needed to be when they could just hot rod the 250! I think a sportier 300-400 version would be awesome, and a MUCH better direction for Kawi. I would sell my little old nissan truck and buy that bike tomorrow if it became available.

  • JoeD

    @james and jason- I like the concept of the 650R. Real world street manners is what my Norton & Guzzi bikes have due in part to the twin pot low rpm torque. The SV series had good streetability as well. Very confidence inspiring for the novice rider. High strung 600’s can be intimidating and I hear that from a lot of my riding school students. I suspect a sizable cc jump would also taste better to some as well. Round here, the sportster is called a girls’ bike by the HD crowd.

  • MikeD

    At this point in time i think im going to wait until September 13th and see what’s what……and even then still have my doubts.

    I think 300cc is a good choice. What else do the other’s have to offer that looks this good and apparently “will perform” good.
    Personally im against that lard tank also known in Canada as the Ninja 400.

  • condition_ONE

    @ james- I don’t particularly like it because it’s too expensive for what it is, it’s too heavy, it’s frame flexes too much and the brakes are underwhelming.

    Please note that I currently ride a 2009 GSXR 1000, but the bike I rode before that (and was perfectly happy with) was a 2009 Ninja 250R. Please also note that these were not my first or second bikes. Each one is a great bike in its own right, but the Ninja 650 is just underwhelming in all respects. If they injected the motor, put it in an aluminum frame and rid the bike of all bodywork, plus some bigger brakes and some better/larger rubber (120/70 and 180/55), I think it would be great.

  • @MikeD: Canadian Kawasaki Motors has this bike listed on their site in the 2013 lineup and it replaces the Porker 400. The little 300 comes in at 39 ponies and is a whopping 31 kg lighter than the 400, so it actually has a better power-to-weight ratio than the bigger bike. Assuming the running gear is up to snuff, the new 300 could end up being a better ride than the 400. Sweet.

  • MikeD


    September 13th can’t get here fast enough. Not holding my breath, gotta learn to lower my xpectations these days. LMAO.

  • @Mike: I gotta say that the 300’s instrument cluster really works for me. I love the bike in white, but (of course) that isn’t an option in Canada. Bummer.

  • MikeD


    I just wish they had stayed with the smaller rear tire. Now it looks like it had Bottox done and still swollen.
    That and the “Ace Hardare Special” swing arm…wich screams built to a budget.
    But is ok, this is not a SS or SBK. (^-^)

  • @Mike:

    I don’t have a problem with the swingarm. Even the FZ6R has such a beast and you can certainly drag the pegs with that one. I’m more curious about the shocks and forks on the 300. While the 400 might have been portly, it at least had the 650’s running gear, which made it a decent handler. It would be a shame for the 300 to be peppier than the 400, but poorer in the handling department.


    “Meanwhile, reports from Canada confirm that their 250R will also be of the carbureted variety.”

    Actually, the CMGOnline site merely confirmed that they weren’t getting a fuel-injected 250. What we know now is that Canada doesn’t get a 250 at all and is getting the 300 instead.

  • I think it is funny how they have to put “CLOCK” right above the time so you know what it is. LOL