On the right road the 300 is fun to ride, and on some decent rubber it would be a laugh on track. There’s a slipper clutch for sideways fun for experienced riders and it will even wheelie if you’re brutal enough. The brakes have plenty of feel and ABS is an optional extra. It’s not destined for legendary status like the old KR1S, but still fun in the right situation. The shock’s preload is 5-way adjustable, however revised damping when compared to the Ninja 250 means the non-adjustable forks respond well.
The parallel twin four-stroke engine might not have the thrill of a two-stroke, but it will happily cruise at 80mph into a headwind uphill. It’s not vibrating to death at motorway speeds like the Ninja 250 either. On the motorway 74mpg cruising was a breeze, and even at an indicated 93mph the rev counter hovered around 10,000rpm, 3,000rpm short of the redline, and not sounding too painful. Kawasaki has tried to reduce the vibration felt by the rider by rubber mounting the engine, and it’s worked. Fuel economy should be around 75mpg, meaning the Ninja’s 17-litre tank should be good for a 280-mile range.
There are no reported faults with the Ninja 300 and the finish seems generally sound
A special edition Ninja 300 costs an extra £150 for red wheel tape, a tank pad and WSB-style graphics.
The Ninja comes with a digital speedo, analogue rev counter, clock, fuel gauge and a slipper clutch as standard. ABS is an optional extra.