It has anti-lock brakes (ABS) as an option, making it the smallest capacity Kawasaki with the feature, while the smallest bike in Australian showrooms with ABS is the Honda CBR250R.
The Ninja 300 also comes with the added safety of an assist and slipper clutch, a feature more common on 600cc supersports or 1000cc superbikes. Slipper clutches prevent dangerous rear-wheel lock-up on quick downshifts. Kawasaki Australia marketing spokeswoman Gina Costello says ABS is available as an option or standard on the majority of its road bike range.
"It's been a positive, particularly for the learner range," she says. "Anything that helps riders stay safe while learning skills is a positive." The Kawasaki ABS unit is the smallest in the world which makes it more applicable to use on small bikes such as the Ninja 300.
"Advancements in technology are also making it more affordable, so it adds to what we can offer a learner especially," she says. ABS is now standard on all road-going 650cc Kawasakis which are learner legal in all states of Australia except Western Australia.
Kawasaki also has ABS as standard on the Versys 1000, ZX-10R, ZX-14, Ninja 1000, 1400 GTR, Z1000 and Vulcan 1700 cruiser range. In July BMW became the first Australian bike importer to have ABS as standard on all road bikes in its fleet, while many other manufacturers are extending its availability throughout their road fleet.
Costello says Kawasaki is "confident of reclaiming the number one position with the new bike which will sell alongside the Ninja 250R, a top seller in Western Australia. "They'll sell side by side. There's still 250 stock out there," she says.
Prices will be announced in the next week. The Ninja 300 is powered by a fuel-injected 296cc twin engine with dual throttle valves. In terms of power the 300 will gain 5kW with an output of 29kW. Stability is improved with a rigid diamond frame and wider 140mm rear tyre.
It features aggressive Ninja styling with big dual headlights, floating windscreen, fairings and wheels. Riders will feel cooler on the bike with large openings in the fairing and a new radiator fan cover to divert engine heat. It will be available in pearl stardust white, ebony or a special edition lime green.
Kawasaki Ninja 300
Price: from $6199
Engine: 296cc twin, 29kW