KAWASAKI Z300 (2015 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £340
Power: 38 bhp
Seat height: Medium (30.9 in / 785 mm)
Weight: Low (375 lbs / 170 kg)


New £4,349
Used £3,000 - £4,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The new Kawasaki Z300 may be lacking the outright peak power its A2 category rivals such as KTM’s Duke 390 (43bhp) and Yamaha’s YZF-R3 (44bhp), but it’s the first bike in this class to genuinely look and feel like a slightly smaller version of its bigger cc brothers, even up close. The sister bike to the Kawasaki Ninja 300 has got all the road presence, build quality, style and kudos of a full-fat supernaked – just with enough performance to ensure your A2 licence survives intact long enough to mature into a full one. 

Trust Kawasaki to bring a slice of supernaked nuttiness to the A2-licence class. Forget dull traditional-style commuters, or scaled-down race reps, now there’s a credible, funky looking roadster for riders who aren’t licensed for, or perhaps don’t want to ride, larger capacity machines. The Z300 is the great pretender; convincing supernaked looks and stance contained within a capable and easy-to-use chassis. What the motor lacks in bottom-end it makes up for with that trademark Kawasaki high-revving character.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Z300’s riding position is excellent; those proper supernaked-style flat bars are at just the right pitch to lever out loads of fun, while the pegs are high enough to not pose any ground clearance problems, yet still comfortable enough to not reduce your knees to two painful packets of broken biscuits after a long ride. The 300’s broad tank, made even broader by its power-dressing, shoulder-pad style side fairings, makes for decent lower-body wind protection when cruising at motorway speeds (which it’s easily capable of if you are), but does give the bike a slightly pendulous, top-heavy feel at a standstill. 

Taking up just 2kg of the 170kg overall wet weight, the Z300’s ABS system is the lightest ever fitted to a motorcycle, and is well worth having for the peace of mind it brings. The power and feel offered from the basic single-pot front caliper is adequate enough for everyday use, and the fork reacts to hard braking surprisingly well, while still offering decent damping over Britain’s potholed back lanes. The Z300 floats down A and B-roads with all the poise and road-holding of a larger machine; remaining agile without suffering any of the flightiness or feelings of vulnerability experienced with typical lightweight machines.

Yet it’s a sensation that evaporates with the turn of the key. The 296cc parallel twin is super smooth and beautifully balanced, and the Z300’s steel frame insulates any engine vibration via its rubberised mounts. In fact, the baby Zed’s chassis and suspension work really well together. The ride quality is decent and the Zed’s stability at speed is really impressive, in spite of its spindly fork. 


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

An unkind person might say that the twin-cylinder motor doesn’t deliver power in such a way that would ever trouble a decent frame, as the Z300’s low rpm drive is distinctly lacking. But the eager little twin more than makes up for it with the sheer ability to rev its crackers off at the top end, meaning it’s both docile and easy to manage for the daily commute, as well as being a high-revving hoot for Sunday B-road blasts.

Kawasaki have managed to give their entry-level Zed the same engine character as the flagship ZX-10R; loads of revs, a top-end rush and excellent over-rev qualities. The Z300 makes its 38bhp peak at 11,000rpm but manages to maintain that power all the way to its 13,000rpm red line, meaning you can hold on to gears longer without clattering into a rev limiter. Likewise, its super-smooth throttle response and softer bottom-end power mean it won’t perturb those riders who are just looking for a mild-mannered, good looking street bike to potter around town on, either. It even has bungee hooks for added practicality, and will return 70mpg when ridden sensibly – the ‘Eco’ symbol on the LCD dash letting you know when you’re doing so. 

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Despite its smaller size, fewer cylinders and reduced price, the Z3 doesn’t feel scrawny or cheap like many other manufacturers’ entry-level machines often do; there’s a real big-bike feel to the Z300.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The Z300 is a quality offering, but built with economy in mind. If you're looking for affordable motorcycling – this is it.


3 out of 5 (3/5)

There's not much in the way of bells and whistles, but the Z300's got everything it needs to delvier a great ride. 


Engine size 296cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8v parallel twin
Frame type Tube diamond, steel
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 785mm
Bike weight 170kg
Front suspension 37mm telescopic fork
Rear suspension Bottom-Link Uni-Trak with gas-charged shock and adjustable preload
Front brake Single 290mm petal disc with single 2-piston caliper
Rear brake 220mm petal disc, single 2-piston caliper
Front tyre size 110/70 R17
Rear tyre size 140/70 R17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 70 mpg
Annual road tax £47
Annual service cost £340
New price £4,349
Used price £3,000 - £4,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term 2 years unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 38 bhp
Max torque 19.9 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 261 miles

Model history & versions

Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI Z300 (2015 - on)

6 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI Z300 (2015 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KAWASAKI Z300 (2015 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Engine: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £340
5 out of 5 Best small capacity bike
13 December 2021 by Richard Bolton

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £125

Fun, easy to ride, pops on the over run.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Ride quality is good, however it is a little bike with quite a hard seat and after an hour I need to stop for tea. I’m six foot though and the other half is 5,2” and seems to be ok. Breaks aren’t wonderful but aren’t terrible either it does have ABS

Engine 5 out of 5

It’s a little parallel twin, it revs for ever and you can’t ride it without grinning. Let’s be honest it’s not very powerful but the power it makes is delivered in a way that entertains. Book says it will do 100 I personally have had 90 (on a private track obviously) and although it felt like it could give more it felt a little bit twitchy at the rear,

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Finish is typical of Kawasaki. Reliability wise we’ve had this for three years as a second bike and it’s started ever time first time even after standing for weeks on end

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Typically it only does 3000 miles a year

Equipment 4 out of 5

Basic but functional

Buying experience: Dealer £3.5k in 2018

5 out of 5 You don'tneed an adventure bike to have an adventure
05 March 2021 by Corrie

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £150

Lightweight, excellent handling, punches above its weight.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Ride and seat firm but capable of being ridden all day. Have toured the whole of SA on one, as well as the north of Scotland from the south of England.

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5

Stock tyres are made from cheese. Any of the major manufacturers improved durability. I have replaced with Bridgestone BT45 tyres. Should last well.

Buying experience: Bought online from a dealer up north. Good price poor PDI. No after sales support.

4 out of 5 Kawasaki 300x most enjoyable bike
25 September 2020 by Joe Crennan

Version: 300X

Year: 2020

Colour, Rear rack. Sweet engine. More flickable than cb500x for nearly the same pace (if you can work it 😎) cons: low gearing that causes loss of gear indication & eng. light if changed. 175kg is a bit heavy

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Hard seat initially very noticeable but no problem for me (@59 yrs) on my 200 mile ride home. Suspension ok. Rear brake very poor even after adjustment - but not tight enough yet as I haven't adjusted to the limits of dragging. (cb500x perfect “out of the box”)

Engine 5 out of 5

High rpm barely noticed. Good sound w/o being loud. 300cc is the sweet point for motorcycles. Especially at this power level where rider skill can keep up with anything not travelling at highly illegal speeds. Harder to ride than cb500x (which I also have, both 2020) but more involving & enjoyable. The latter is prob. the best practical bike.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Good mpg even with the high rpm, but cb500x might be better

Equipment 4 out of 5

Very good instrumentation. The rack looks great and more useful than any aftermarket (eg Givi I fitted to cb500x) Screen far away & noisy (easy to remove, with tool kit in the dark) I fitted Acerbis X factor handguards: a nightmare 3 days & I had to modify & fabricate. White & black compliments Kawasaki green handsomely (which is why I persisted)

Buying experience: Rob Speed, Grimbsy fast & easy to deal with. Excellent customer service.

4 out of 5 Average bike, below average fuel consumption
25 November 2019 by Trevor Martin

Version: Urban

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £750

Good work horse and commuter hack.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Great seating if under 5ft 5in. Tall or long legs seating not great.

Engine 4 out of 5

Rough starter in wet weather, radiator cover cloggs up with leaves and rubbish.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Apart from service charge its OK, ignition switch problems, cheap made.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

£75 per hour for service

Equipment 5 out of 5

Nice easy controls, speedo crap, can't see miles per hour, bike made for Europe.

Buying experience: Dealer purchase, no varification on specs or fuel

4 out of 5 Great for the daily trip into London and back
05 October 2016 by Brendan

Version: ABS

Year: 2016

Light and comfy with great mpg. Great for the daily commute in and out of London. The mirrors tell you everything behind you BUT are at an annoying height they like to clash with car mirrors when filtering, bar end mirrors can fix that. The clutch lever is non adjustable and does not bite until the very end, adjustable levers can fix that. No gear indicator, a plug and play aftermarket gear indicator can fix that. So a few little niggles that can be fixed with a few quid.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Single pot brake at the front does the job and bites well. It wont have the super braking power of high performance machine, but you will not need that. ABS does a great job, and a MUST if you are a commuter!

Engine 4 out of 5

Likes to be revved. Not going to win any races, but that is not what this bike is for.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Amazing build quality for a lower CC model. Smaller CC bikes usually have the cheap feel, but this has a highly polished finished.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Tank seems to offer many miles :)

Equipment 3 out of 5

Not a lot of official accessories. After market Ninja 300 products will fit the Z300 (same bike different skin).

5 out of 5 Kawasaki Z300 I Like It Lots
01 February 2016 by Z300 Fan

Year: 2016

Superb Machine Great Reving And Tourque-Great Looks And A Good Fun Ride -Lots Of Smiles. ABS Is Excellent A Great Safety Feature.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

A Good All Rounder - Seating Position Very Good

Engine 5 out of 5

Great All Rounder - Over 100Mph If Required.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Starts On The Button.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Superb Value With Abs - As 4400 New - Bargain

Equipment 4 out of 5

Good Except I Would Have Preffered A Gear Indicator.

Buying experience: Main Dealer Bought .

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