Kawasaki just broke wraps on the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 in Europe. A revised 296cc Parallel Twin, slipper clutch, and optional ABS are all features of the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 which will help it in the sales war against Honda’s CBR250R.
What flavor entry-level Ninja would you like, 250 or 300? Seems like prospective motorcycle buyers will soon be posed with that question after Kawasaki Europe unveiled the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300. This on the heels of Kawasaki Japan revealing an updated 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250R. The big question is, which Ninja will the U.S. market get when Kawasaki pulls the wraps off its new bikes Sept. 13 in Times Square? We’ll let you know soon as we’ll be in NYC for the celebration and will follow that up with a first ride review not long after as we head to Northern California Sept. 17 -19 for the motorcycle’s U.S. debut.
Regardless of what flavor Ninja it is, one thing’s for certain. Kawasaki didn’t take Honda’s release of the CBR250R lightly because a motorcycle which hadn’t changed much over the course of its 29-year existence now sports new internals, revamped bodywork and comes in two sizes. The 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 also receives more rider aids in the form of a factory slipper clutch and optional ABS.
A look at the spec sheet for the Ninja 300 reveals a 296cc Parallel Twin with new pistons sporting flatter crowns, a new sleeveless aluminum die-cast cylinder and cylinder head to go along with a 7.8mm-longer stroke good for a claimed 39 horsepower and 20 lb-ft of torque. (The 2011 Ninja 250R registered 26.34 hp and 13.42 lb-ft of torque on the dyno at Mickey Cohen Motorsports) Dual throttle valves like the ones used on the Ninja ZX-10R help feed the new powerplant and will benefit from wider intake ports and larger intake valves.
The new Kawasaki Parallel Twin will be mounted in a diamond frame that’s claimed to be more rigid thanks to redesigned main tubes. On the front are reworked fork settings while out back is a wider 140mm tire and Unit-Trak rear suspension.
The Kawasaki Europe site states that ABS is an available option, the Nissin unit 40% smaller than the previous Nissin ABS, giving it a claim to the “world’s smallest ABS unit.” A 290mm petal disc with twin-piston caliper used on the front is similar to ones used on Kawasaki’s supersport bikes. One of the most exciting features on the 2013 Ninja 300 has to be its new “Assist & Slipper Clutch.” Kawasaki’s back-torque limiter has been gleaned from the company’s racing program and includes a self-servo mechanism aimed at reducing pull at the clutch lever.
The 2013 Ninja 300 receives the same sporty bodywork as the 2013 Ninja 250R including a floating-mount windscreen like the ZX-10R, a redesigned fan shroud and fins like Kawasaki’s sport-tourer, the Concours. Its tank and tail section also resemble its racy ZX-10R sibling.
So which flavor of Kawasaki will we see Sept. 13? Follow us on Twitter to find out first, followed by a full report not long after.