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Head to Head: Entry-Level Sport Bikes

Posted on August 25, 2016 by Eric Ellis.


Ninja 300

Manufacturer: Kawasaki

MSRP: $4,999

Engine: 296cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-stroke, parallel twin

Bore x Stroke: 62mm x 49mm

Transmission: 6-speed

Fuel Delivery: DFI® with dual 32mm throttle bodies

Power: 34.9 hp @ 10,870 rpm, 17.6 lb.-ft. @ 9960 rpm*

Curb Weight: 383.7 lbs

Seat Height: 30.9”

Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal

MPG: 70 (according to Wikipedia)

If you like having a variety of choices then look towards the Ninja 300. Aside from the base model (seen here) you can choose from either an ABS version, an KRT Edition with ABS, or an SE version. Other than ABS the only difference amongst the other R3s is the special graphics and paint schemes. While the Ninja may have the largest gas tank compared to the Honda and Yamaha, when looking at the three you don’t even notice the extra gallon capacity. The tank looks svelte and flows well with the body work, plus if you hate stopping for gas the ability to log an extra 70 to100-plus miles between gas stops is a huge advantage. If you’re going to be doing a lot of 2-up riding it should be noted that the Ninja 300 has the very pronounced rider/passenger seating area with the passenger seat resting significantly higher than the Honda. This will help the passenger to peer over the rider’s shoulder, but can also change up weight distribution and handling.



Manufacturer: Honda

MSRP: $4,399

Engine: 286cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder

Bore x Stroke: 76mm x 63mm

Transmission: 6-speed

Fuel Delivery: PGM-Fi, 38mm throttle body

Power: 27.7 hp @ 8390 rpm, 18.6 lb.-ft. @ 6730 rpm*

Curb Weight: 357 lbs

Seat Height: 30.7”

Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gal

MPG: 71 (according to Honda)

Nipping at the heels of the popular Ninja 300, Honda added 8mm of stroke to the single cylinder CBR250R, increasing displacement from 249cc to 286cc, and introduced the CBR 300R as an early 2015 model. The Honda team didn’t just boost displacement and call it a day however, the 300R features lines and body work similar to its biggest brother, the extremely potent CBR 1000RR. If boasting about power output is extremely important to you, then CBR 300R may be the true entry-level bike in this comparison. While it punches right in line with the R3 and Ninja in peak torque, when it comes to peak horsepower, the single cylinder powerplant gives up more than a handful of ponies. This doesn’t mean beginning riders can’t have fun with the bike, as it’s got plenty of pep to whip you in and out of corners. Extremely skilled riders will take great pleasure in putting the competition in its place despite the power deficiency. The CBR300R has the flattest rider/passenger seating area.



Manufacturer: Yamaha

MSRP: $4,990

Engine: 321cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4 valves/cylinder,4-stroke, inline twin-cylinder;

Bore x Stroke: 68mm x 44.1mm

Transmission: 6-speed

Fuel Delivery: FI

Power: 36.8 hp @ 10,800 rpm, 19.8 lb.-ft. @ 9110 rpm*

Curb Weight: 368 lbs

Seat Height: 30.7”

Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gal

MPG: 56 (according to Yamaha)

Released after the CBR 300R, the This entry was posted in Motorcycle Maniac, Motorcycle News, Sport Bike Buyer's Guide, Street Bike Buyer's Guide and tagged Honda, Kawasaki, Kawasaki Ninja 300.

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