There is not much that we don’t already know about the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300. It looks pretty much exactly like the re-designed 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250R that broke cover in Indonesia earlier this year. The EPA already spilled the beans on the Kawasaki Ninja 300’s 296cc displacement and 40hp, and we know that the Ninja 300 is the peppier fuel-injected cousin to America’s dreadfully under-developed Ninja 250R…and now we know that the bike will come to the American market for next year.

Tipping the scales at the curb with 387 lbs, with its 4.5 gallons of fuel, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 isn’t a featherweight, but it isn’t a slouch either. In fact, when it comes to a sporty learner-class motorcycle for the American market, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 may very well be the bike of choice.

In a category where prospective buyers are raiding the couch cushions for a down payment, price is king. And with its $4,799 starting MSRP, the Ninja 300 is an expensive option, but is it still a bargain?

Kawasaki has done something interesting with the pricing on the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 300 for the US market. With the two black and white models priced at $4,799 MSRP, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 holds a $700 price premium over the Honda CBR250R (note: this is the listed 2012 MSRP, Honda lists the 2013 pricing on the Honda CBR250R as TBD, which could change things a bit).

While we wait to see what Honda does with its 2013 pricing, consider that if new riders want a green Ninja 300, they will have to fork over an additional $200. Hrmpf.

We are really pleased to see that Kawasaki is bringing an ABS model of the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 to the US market. Americans can be a bit stubborn about ABS technology, but the truth of the matter is that it should be on every motorcycle, and likely will be very soon. For new riders, ABS is an absolute must, and its encouraging that Kawasaki isn’t viewing the braking technology as too much of a luxury for the entry-model class.

That being said, the ABS option will have the luxury of costing $5,499 MSRP for new riders, a full $900 premium over the ABS-equipped Honda CBR250R. It is clear looking at the two models that Kawasaki is hoping that its sizable horsepower advantage, along with its sportier 140mm rear tire and slipper clutch, will help tip the scales in its favor.

We will have to reserve our judgment on the Kawasaki Ninja 300 until we ride one, but one thing is clear: the learner-bike category just got more interesting. With KTM supposedly debuting a bike into this space later this year for the US market, 2013 is shaping up to be the year of the learner-bike segment.

Source: Kawasaki

  • Spektre76

    Now I can finally get my son a bike he could ACTUALLY ride.

  • jack

    Learner-bike? Hell I want one myself. What a cool trackday bike.

  • Jake F.

    +1 Jack

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  • BBQdog

    I think the dry weight of the small displacement bikes creeping up to that of the SuperSport 600’s is a bad thing. Look at the KTM FreeRide 350 with 99.5 kg (219.4 pounds). OK, a full faired twin cilinder may weight more, but the currents weights for small diplacement bikes are ridiculous.

  • Jason

    EXACTLY! I mean, I can maybe understand 300lbs, but at close to 400lbs… I fail to understand why it must weigh so much. That’s right there with the “big bikes”. You would think they would make light weight a priority for a “learner” bike. What is the benefit of small if it isn’t any LIGHTER? The slip of the dollar is a tragedy for bike buyers as well. I bought my SV650S with $4500 OTD in 2004. I couldn’t even get a non-abs 300 for that now? THAT is what happened to the US bike market…

  • JoeD

    Nice to see more choices for the Beginner segment. I remember those halcyon days of yore when we had choices of 50, 70,90,100,125,175,250,350,450… well you get the idea. Perhaps the world has changed and it is no longer viable to build so many sizes but the smaller classes have been ignored for too long, streetwise. One thing that has been the bane of new riders is the cost of body panels and the like. We all know things break but new riders usually do not have a lot of money and we all know the cost of ownership is way more than MSRP.

  • AC

    Very seriously thinking about getting one as a track day bike. Pretty cheap and great resell.

  • Damo


    You can bet the KTM will be a 250cc single not a twin. KTM are the Kings of single cylinder performance these days.

    I am still REALLY curious about that bike, but I am sure going to test ride one of these little ninjas when the hit stateside.

  • Shawn

    $700 to get an extra 54% horsepower (14 more hp over the CBR250R’s 26 hp)? I’d say that’s a steal.

  • BBQdog

    @Damo: the KTM 350 Freeride already exists, the Duke 350 will there be soon and I hope for
    the road going Moto3 350 is planned for 2014. All singles, yes.

    Also have a look what BMW does with Hursqvarna. Turn a brand producing light bikes into a brand producing heavy BMW’s with a Husqy logo on it.

  • TC

    Kawasaki has been on a roll lately. Great results at WSBK, new models at the showroom floor. Now it’s your move, Honda. BTW, where are you guys at, Yamaha and Suzuki?

  • The 300 looks like an interesting little steed. With 39 ponies, it’s certainly putting out decent power. I’m VERY interested in seeing a KTM Moto3 350, though; that could really bring the fun back into the sub-600cc segment.

  • Spektre76


    I’m pretty sure that when the ‘Track Nuts’ get a hold of this machine it will lose 20lbs and gain around 15hp. This will be the ‘Pimple Pony’ to have for all of the 13-16yr old’s.

  • @Spektre76: Agreed on the trackability. I’m definitely a fan of the 300 versus the 400 that was in Canada last year. With its better power-to-weight ratio, it’s probably a better performer. With the 300 and the potential of a 350 KTM for 2014, the wee class got a lot more interesting.

  • Griffin

    im looking to get my first bike and have been looking at the 250’s a lot but this is starting to fall into place for me.. just wish i knew when it was coming to the US

  • lamar

    And Honda leaks a photo of what is said to be the CBR500!!! IN YO FACE….lol

  • mike L

    I still like the HYOSUNG GT250R better, just the styling, inverted forks, and the bike has been fuel injected for at least last 2 years now. On top of that you get a brand new bike for about $4000.00 with a 2 year warranty. I love my GT250R!!!